Julio Grondona. (Getty Images)

Grondona to Quit in 2015

Julio Grondona will soon quit the Argentine Football Association after 36 years at the helm.
“I have a mandate that ends in 2015,” he was quoted Tuesday by Argentina’s Radio 10.
“I’m perfectly well now and must carry on. I have a very important position at international level and that would be lost.”
Grondona, 81, is a senior vice president of FIFA and a member of its Executive Committee.
“I’ll fulfill my mandate, then younger (men) will come, the new generation of directors to replace me,” he said. 
Grondona has overseen more than three decades of Argentine football, including a World Cup win in 1986, six Under-20 titles and two Olympic gold medals.
MPs Call Out Premier League
Parliament’s Culture, Media and Sport Committee is calling on Premier League clubs to clean up their finances or face new legislation forcing better football governance.
“We have been clear that we want the football authorities to carry out the reforms they promised by the start of the 2013-14 season – most notably around improved governance and diverse representation at the FA, the development of a licensing system and greater financial transparency,” British sports minister Hugh Robertson was quoted Tuesday in a Reuters report, welcoming the Committee’s findings.
“If football does not deliver then we will look at bringing forward legislation,” he added.
In a joint statement, the FA, Premier League and Football League said “we are confident that the necessary progress will be made”.
Indian League Flops
A proposed Indian professional league has stalled out despite the star power of Italy’s 2006 World Cup-winning captain Fabio Cannavaro and former Arsenal winger Robert Pires.
Football traditionally takes a backseat to cricket in India. (Getty Images)
Portuguese midfielder Maniche, ex-Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler, former Spain striker Fernando Morientes, former Bolton midfielder Jay-Jay Okocha as well as Juan Pablo Sorín and Hernán Crespo of Argentina were also among the roughly 30 internationals signed up for the five-team tournament, which held a player auction last January but failed to gain any traction since.
“The main reasons for not pursuing the project further were logistics like the unavailability of stadia and the backing out of some of the franchises for commercial reasons,” Indian Football Federation secretary general Utpal Ganguly is quoted Tuesday by The Associated Press.
“Besides, the timing of the league was not suitable for foreign players.”
New FA Chief for China
China is quick to fill the leadership void atop its FA after sacking Wei Di earlier this month.
Zhang Jian. (Xinhua)
Zhang Jian, 47, former policy and regulation director of China’s General Administration of Sport, was unveiled Tuesday as Di’s replacement, according to a Xinhua report.
China’s men missed out on qualification for the 2010 World Cup after finishing third in a group below Iraq and Jordan. They then failed to reach the London 2012 Olympics; meanwhile, the women didn’t make the 2011 World Cup.

UEFA Focuses on Marketing Women’s Football

UEFA says women’s football took center stage at a recent development conference in The Hague.
Held under the auspices of the UEFA Women’s Football Development Program, the workshop was European football’s answer to requests by a number of national associations for assistance in marketing the women’s game, specifically Scotland, Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Russia and Austria.
FAs with more established women’s leagues such as France and Germany were also present to share experiences and offer advice.
“This marketing plan project is a key step for these associations in reaching that next level, a step closer towards the professionalization of the women’s game in these countries,” said UEFA Executive Committee member Karen Espelund.

New Roles for Russian FA Chief

Nikolai Tolstykh is the newest member of UEFA’s national associations committee, the Russian Football Union announced Monday.
Tolstykh, who was elected RFU president in September, joined FIFA’s associations committee last week.
By INSIDER’s Matthew Grayson

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