(WFI) UEFA plans to impose strict penalties on clubs who flout its new Financial Fair Play regulations. The penalties include withholding prize money, transfer bans and the ultimate punishment will be a ban from all European competition. UEFA president Michel Platini is championing the new regulations in the hope that it will force clubs to form a more successful business model, as only 20% of European clubs turned in a profit last year. European Club Assocation chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, quoted by the BBC, said: “Always buying, buying, buying isn’t rational.” The chief executive of Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich added: “We unanimously signed up to FFP in 2009 and we are ready for it now. The ECA will help clubs meet the criteria, it’s an obligation.”

Australia’s 2022 World Cup bid costs
Football Federation
Australia (FFA) has presented the final costs of its failed bid to host the 2022
World Cup to the Australian Senate. The bid spent virtually all of the Au$45.59 million ($48.2m) government grant on a campaign that ended
in humiliation with Australia receiving just one vote from the FIFA Ex-Co last December. Qatar won hosting rights. The FFA’s report also
details the amount paid to several controversial lobbyists, one of whom was Peter Hargitay a former aide to Sepp Blatter. The bid’s consultants were paid a total of Au$6.72m – Hargitay’s European Consultancy Network received Au$1.45m of this. Incredibly, Au$10.38m was splashed out on the bid book alone, which was presented to FIFA president Sepp Blatter by FFA chiefs Frank Lowy and Ben Buckley in May 2010. In a statement on the
FFA website, CEO Buckley said: “The acceptance of the report marks
the end of the bid process and with our commitments to the Federal
Government around the bid now complete, we can close the chapter on this
stage of our history. We were all disappointed with the result of the
decision and we are on record as saying that we believe the bid process
was flawed.”

In comparison, the English FA spent about £15 million ($24m) on its bid only to see England dumped out of the 2018 contest in the first round of the 2018 secret ballot after garnering just two votes.

Blatter supports calls for new Slovakian stadium
FIFA president Sepp Blatter has added his support to calls for Slovakia to build a new national stadium after visiting the country this week to meet with the

FFA chairman Frank Lowy led Australia’s failed bid campaign (Getty)

Slovakian Football Assocation (SFZ). After being given a tour of their headquarters, Blatter and his FIFA delegation met with members of the Slovakian parliament including Prime Minister Iveta Radicova. A new national stadium was one of the talking points, and Blatter said: “With a national team of its standing, which qualified for the last FIFA World Cup, and nearly 500,000 registered players and officials – some 10 per cent of its population – Slovakia should have a major stadium.”

Romania’s National Arena opens
Romania opened their new national stadium on Tuesday in front of nearly 55,000 fans who watched their country draw 0-0 with France in a Euro 2012 qualifier. The match in Bucharest was preceded by a ceremony during which the four players who have been capped more than 100 times for Romania were given UEFA awards. They are: László Bölöni (108 caps, now coach of PAOK FC), Gheorghe Popescu (115 caps), Gheorghe Hagi (125 caps) and Dorinel Munteanu (134 caps, now coach of Romanian champions FC Oţelul Galaţi). The new stadium drew many plaudits, including some from UEFA Europa League final ambassador Miodrag Belodedici, who himself was capped 53 times for Romania. He said: “It is a very beautiful stadium, very elegant; something we have not had in Romania before. People in Romania are very keen to see new stadiums, to see infrastructural improvements in sport, and I hope it will be a great success.”

Jordan FA offers win bonuses for 2014 WC qualifiers
The Jordan Football Assocation has announced that it isl rewarding the national team’s players for their first two victories over Iraq and China in the Brazil 2014 Asian qualifiers. The decision means that each player will receive $6000 for their 2-0 victory over former Asian champions Iraq and $4000 for beating China 2-1 at home this week. JFA President Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, who is also a FIFA vice president , told local media: “I am happy with the results achieved in the first two matches. It proves that Jordan football is in great condition and the national team can progress more in the qualifiers.”

Klochkova becomes friend of Euro 2012
Four-time Olympic
swimming gold medallist Yana Klochkova has been named as the 38th
“Friend of Euro 2012 in Ukraine”. The 200m and 400m individual medley
champion in both 2000 and 2004 received said: “I will do everything I
can to help Ukraine host the tournament in the best possible way.” Up to
100 people in both host nations, Poland and Ukraine, will be nominated
as Friends of Euro 2012.

By INSIDER’s Christian Radnedge

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