FIFA Gives Go-Ahead to Turkey 2013
Turkey’s U-20 World Cup will kick off as planned next week despite anti-government riots in Istanbul.
FIFA gave the green-light Wednesday as police and protesters continued to clash in Taksim Square.
The tournament is scheduled to begin June 21 in seven cities across Turkey, including Istanbul.
“The riots deal with a domestic issue based in two contained areas in Istanbul,” FIFA said in a statement. “It is not foreseen that the tournament areas are affected. We are in contact with the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) and receive regular updates regarding the security situation.”
Galatasaray’s Turk Telekom Arena is due to stage 11 matches, including the July 13 final.
“The LOC will continue its close co-operation with law enforcement and will regularly update FIFA,” said world football’s governing body.
“Safety and security is one of the most important matters in preparation of any major event. FIFA has full confidence in the Turkish authorities and their developed security concept for the FIFA U-20 World Cup which encapsulates any potential risks.”
Bloomberg Launches “Power Football 50”
Lionel Messi edges Christiano Ronaldo as the top performer in European Football, according to new rankings released Wednesday by Bloomberg Sports.
Messi sits first with a score of 91.25 on the inaugural BSports Power Football 50, just ahead of Ronaldo at 91.16.
Third with a ranking of 89.27 is Franck Ribery, one of five footballers from Champions League winners Bayern Munich to make the cut.
In fact, Germany’s Bundesliga places 15 footballers in the top 50, the most of any league. England’s Premier League is second with 14, followed by Italy’s Serie A with 11, Spain’s La Liga with six and France’s Ligue 1 with four.
“We continue to look at new ways to use analytics that will be interesting to fans, and are pleased today to unveil what we believe will be a game-changer in the way professional football is looked at in the future with the ‘Power Football 50,’” said Bill Squadron, President of Bloomberg Sports.
“Analytics is becoming more and more prevalent in both the minds of the fans and in the decision making power of the clubs, and we are confident this index will help both stir healthy debate and be a great measuring stick for player evaluation going forward.”
Click here to see the complete rankings.
FIFA Fines Zambia
Zambia must pay $10,000 after its fans flung missiles onto the field during a recent qualifier for the Brazil 2014 World Cup.
According to The Times of Zambia, the fine from FIFA refers to Zambia’s 4-0 rout of Lesotho over the weekend in Ndola City, a match during which fans threw objects such as plastic bottles and empty beer cans onto the pitch.
“We all need to be responsible for safeguarding our infrastructure and our continued enjoyment of such modern facilities as the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium can only be guaranteed if we guard them jealously,” Football Association of Zambia spokesman Erick Mwanza was quoted by the country’s media.
“We should also engage in activities and celebrations that may not raise unnecessary alarm, but adhere to the rules and regulations that govern events hosted at such arenas.”
Zambia has since restricted the sales of some 37,000 tickets for an upcoming qualifier against Sudan so as to curb disorderly conduct.
By INSIDER’s Matthew Grayson
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