(WFI) World Football INSIDER rounds up the latest football business news.

City Partner with BT Sport

Manchester City has teamed up with the Barclays Premier League’s newest rights holder, BT Sport. The club says the three-year deal, first of its kind in the Premier League, will bring fans closer to the action than ever before. The agreement will include weekly interviews from key members of the playing and coaching staff, exclusive access and behind-the-scenes content. Under the deal, City’s purpose built pre-match entertainment area will be renamed BT City Square, from which BT Sport will broadcast live match day programming before every home game.

Tom Glick, City’s chief commercial and operating officer, said: “We are delighted to work together with BT Sport as their first official partner and look forward to close collaboration to drive innovative content that can be shared across each of our media platforms. As part of the partnership, our purpose built outdoor fan entertainment area, BT City Square, will also be enhanced, making it an even better venue for fans and families to gather before and after each home game.”

Launched earlier this month, and free to BT broadband customers, BT Sport is no stranger to Manchester City, having enlisted the help of the Blues’ and England number 1, Joe Hart who featured heavily in their recent advertising campaign. The first of Manchester City’s home games to be screened by BT Sport will be against Hull City and Everton, with more games to come later in the season.

Asian Football Boss Backs Qatar 2022

The AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa has restated his confederation’s support for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, as pressure mounts on FIFA and organisers to switch the tournament from summer to winter. “The AFC is confident that Qatar will host a magnificent World Cup; under the guidance of FIFA; and with it only being the second time that Asia plays host to a FIFA World Cup – we are sure that Qatar will make Asia proud,” he said.

Salman said he was confident FIFA would make the best decision at its 2-3 October executive committee meeting on whether to move the World Cup to the cooler winter months. Asia’s football leader also added that he was certain that in 2022 Asian teams would be legitimate contenders for the World Cup: “Based on the performance and achievements of Asian nations in all FIFA competitions and the recent Olympics in both the male and female categories show that we are now world beaters and worthy contenders for any competition; and why not winning it in 2022 in Asia.”

African Football Official Steps Down

After 37 years of service to the Confederation of African Football, Madame Abla Hassan, its director of the competitions division, retires today.

CAF president Issa Hayatou praised her immense contribution and dedicated service that has seen great improvement to football in Africa since she joined CAF in 1976. She had been CAF competitions director since 1994. Sherien Arafa, CAF’s competitions deputy director, will be acting director until a new appointment is made to the post.

By INSIDER editor Mark Bisson

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