(WFI) World Football INSIDER rounds up the 10 things you need to know about the global football business today.
FIFA Ex-Co meeting
The FIFA Executive Committee meets on Wednesday and Thursday this week. Key decisions include the allocation of the 31 places that the six confederations will get for the Brazil 2014 World Cup. Also on the agenda is the financial results for the 2007 to 2010 cycle, which includes record revenues from the South Africa World Cup. FIFA will also award hosting rights to various tournaments, with the most high-profile being the 2015 Women’s World Cup. Canada is favourite to beat off competition from Zimbabwe. FIFA president Sepp Blatter will hold a press conference at FIFA headquarters in Zurich at 14.30 CET on Thursday.
Euro 2012 ticket sales launch
UEFA launches ticket sales on Tuesday for the Euro 2012 championships in Poland and Ukraine. UEFA president Michel Platini will be at Warsaw’s Copernicus Science Centre for the launch with Polish Football Federation president Grzegorz Lato. A launch event is also taking place 820km away in Kyiv, with Ukraine tournament ambassador Oleg Blokhin and UEFA Euro 2012 operations director Martin Kallen among the guests. Various ticket packages are available via UEFA.com until the end of March. Ticket prices start at €30. Meanwhile, NATO has offered to help boost security for the Euro 2012 championship. “From the point of view of security, it is a huge challenge. NATO has a wealth of experience in planning actions during civil emergency situations. If Ukraine and Poland have such a desire, then NATO could join this work and assist both in planning this event in terms of disaster prevention and in its preparation in general,” NATO secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen was quoted in an Interfax report.
First summit on illegal sports betting
FIFA chiefs will gather with sports ministers and other sports federation leaders on Tuesday for a meeting organised by the International Olympic Committee on irregular and illegal sports betting. The meeting at the IOC’s headquarters in Lausanne will be chaired by its president Jacques Rogge and will also include representatives from the European Union, the United Nations and Interpol, as well as sports betting operators.
Goal-line technology discussions
The possible introduction of goal-line technology in football comes up for discussion again at the International Football Association Board meeting in Cardiff, Wales on Saturday. FIFA’s lawmaking body will be informed by recent testing of different goal-line technologies. An update on FIFA’s experiments involving an extra official behind each goal, a system that could provide an alternative to true goal-line technology, will also be discussed at the meeting. Among other business on the agenda are the use of snoods by players, the laws governing the colour of players’ tights and use of vanishing spray by referees to mark the 10-yard distance for free-kicks. However, goal-line technology will dominate discussions. FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who has voiced his opposition to the video technology, reluctantly gave the go-ahead for a review of technologies in October after two major refereeing gaffes at the South African World Cup.
Qatar invests in ‘big build’ of 2022 host city
Qatar’s 2022 World Cup final city is pushing forward with billion-dollar development projects. An 86,000-seat stadium will host the FIFA final in the new city of Lusail that is being built from scratch for 400,000 people less than 20km from downtown Doha. Bloomberg reports today that Lusail Real Estate Development Co. is set to award about $3 billion worth of contracts for roads and infrastructure in the coming 12 months. New projects would include a total of five stadiums, manmade islands and an entertainment district. The Qatari state-owned company is investing about $5 billion in the first phase of developing the city, which it hopes to complete by 2015.
Chaos reigns as PSSI braced for no confidence vote
Confusion reigns in Indonesia where an electoral commission overseeing next month’s elections for the FA (PSSI) presidency has declared all four candidates ineligible to stand. Last week, thousands of Indonesian fans took to the streets in protest amid fears that incumbent PSSI president Nurdin Halid, a convicted fraudster, was attempting to manipulate the electoral process after the commission excluded two of his chief rivals from running against him. But now the same commission has also excluded Halid and his ally Nirwan Bakrie and returned the mandate back to the PSSI Executive. It is expected that the situation will be discussed by the FIFA Associations Committee tomorrow in Zurich. Anger has not dissipated by this latest development, with events being discussed in Indonesia’s Parliament and filling many newspapers’. INSIDER understands that the PSSI leadership may face a vote of confidence from a large majority of its members this week.
Houllier joins UEFA Financial Fair Play panel at Soccerex
Aston Villa manager Gérard Houllier, Professional Footballers Association chairman Clarke Carlisle and Wasserman Media Group COO Sam Rush are the latest additions to the speaker line-up at the Soccerex European Forum in Manchester. They join the “Will financial regulation improve football?” panel, which will examine UEFA’s Financial Fair Play concept. Andrea Traverso, UEFA’s head of club licensing, will explain the concept and join discussions at the session. Soccerex takes place Match 30-31.
Launch of João Havelange biography
Former FIFA boss João Havelange has launched his biography in Rio de Janeiro. The Brazilian Olympic Committee organised the launch of the book – ‘João Havelange –The Sports Official of the 20th Century’ before
invited guests and journalists. The publication of the 240-page book is a partnership between the Brazilian Olympic Committee and the Casa da Palavra publishing company. The special bilingual edition profiles the businessman, athlete and sports official who “revolutionised the football world”, from his childhood to the presidency of FIFA. “I must admit that this book made me cry, it touched me a lot, for the way it was prepared and the way it is now being launched. I am very happy with this work,” said Havelange. In 1999, he was voted by the International Olympic Committee to be one of the three greatest sports officials of the 20th century, alongside the founder of the Olympics Pierre de Coubertin and the former IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch.
Arsenal’s trophy-less run goes on
Arsenal’s trophy drought continued when they lost 2-1 to Birmingham in yesterday’s Carling Cup final. Obafemi Martins hit the decisive goal in the dying seconds of normal time. The Gunners have not landed any silverware since winning the 2005 FA Cup. But they remain in the hunt for three trophies this season. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has urged his players to pick themselves up to ensure they end their long wait for a title. If they win their FA Cup replay against Leyton Orient on Wednesday, they face Manchester United in the quarter-finals of the competition. In the Premier League, they are only four points behind United in the race for the championship. And next week, Arsenal travel to Barcelona hoping to overcome the La Liga giants in the second leg of the Champions League.
Chinese FA aims to impress AFC inspectors
China Football Association leaders are aiming to show off the best aspects of their game to AFC inspectors after the country’s federation was rocked by a series of corruption scandals in the past two years. “After the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the Chinese government and the CFA are giving more attention to professional league and professionalisation of clubs. I am sure that such an effort will be rewarded if we can join hands with AFC to improve the management,” CFA vice-president Lin Xiaohua was quoted on AFC.com. “We are well aware that the inspection is very important for the next year’s AFC Champions League. We had organised a meeting last week with the clubs to discuss about the preparations for the inspection visits and I believe that clubs are ready to receive your team for inspection.” The outcome of the AFC’s Special Mission Team will decide the fate of Chinese clubs in the ACL.
By INSIDER’s Mark Bisson and James Corbett
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