Japanese FA chief calls for AFC election
Japan Football Association president Junji Ogura wants the Asian Football Confederation to officially oust Mohamed Bin Hammam from its presidency now that FIFA has found him guilty of bribery. He “has been banned for life so I think an election needs to be held,” he told The Associated Press days after FIFA formally banished Bin Hammam from the sport. Zhang Jilong of China has been acting AFC boss since the Qatari’s initial suspension last month, and the AFC executive committee is scheduled to meet Friday to discuss its future leadership.
Wenger backs Premier League push for goal-line technology
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger echoes Premier League CEO Richard Scudamore’s hopes to introduce goal-line technology ahead of the 2012/13 season. “If out of 100 decisions [referees] get 95 right instead of 85, you have to use technology,” he said in a statement on the club’s website. Arsenal, meanwhile, had its own attempts to implement the controversial system for this weekend’s Emirates Cup blocked by world football’s governing body, according to Wenger because “FIFA do not want to start to have a different set of rules here and there.”
Change ahead for Argentinean football
Argentina is restructuring its domestic football leagues to form a 38-team tournament beginning with the 2012/13 season. The Press Association reports that 15 of the country’s 20 top-tier teams have now passed the resolution recently put forward by Argentine FA chief Julio Grondona. The new format places the top five finishers from each of two zones into a championship stage while the remaining 28 clubs try to stave off relegation.
Big spending projected for Russian World Cup
Russia will spend an estimated $1.4 billion to revamp Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Business daily Vedomosti reports that construction of a skating rink, swimming pool and perhaps even a concert hall are included in current plans for the renovation of the city’s former Olympic complex. The
78,360-seat main stadium, Russia’s largest, is scheduled to stage the opener, semifinals and final of football’s showcase event come 2018.
Asian hopefuls fight to stay alive in 2014 World Cup qualifying
Asia’s second qualifying round for the Brazil World Cup wraps up Thursday with 15 fixtures spread across the continent. Palestine v Thailand, Bangladesh v Lebanon, Laos v China, Indonesia v Turkmenistan, Philippines v Kuwait, Myanmar v Oman, Hong Kong v Saudi Arabia, Maldives v Iran, Tajikistan v Syria, Vietnam v Qatar, Yemen v Iraq, Malaysia v Singapore, Kyrgyzstan v Uzbekistan, India v United Arab Emirates and Nepal v Jordan are the second-legs
scheduled for Thursday. A draw for the third-round group stage will follow in Brazil on July 30, at which point the continent’s big guns such as Japan, Australia and South Korea enter the equation.
Five new member countries possible for FIFPro
Unions from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Malta and Slovakia are eying membership in FIFPro, the worldwide organization for all professional footballers. The five recently participated in the FIFPro Europe Conferences in Thessaloniki, Greece and will be formally welcomed to FIFPro headquarters in the Netherlands on Sept. 6 and 7. “We will inform these new unions about all FIFPro activities and we will also make clear to them what we can do for each other,” secretary general Theo van Seggelen said in a statement posted to FIFPro’s website.