SBD/3/Leagues Governing Bodies

FIFA MAKES EXECUTIVE DECISION TO SPLIT WORLD CUP 2002

     South Korea and Japan, the two contenders to stage the 2002
World Cup, were told Friday to co-host the event, according to
the FINANCIAL TIMES.  The "unprecedented decision" forces the two
historically antagonistic countries to share the responsibilities
and revenue of the event and was an "embarrassment" for FIFA
President Joao Havalange who had backed Japan's bid.  Japanese
officials described the decision as "unfair and foresaw serious
disputes over which country would host the opening ceremony and
the final."  The decision will "force FIFA to begin new
negotiations on broadcasting rights" to the Cup, as initial
offers were taken on the "assumption that the competition would
be staged in one country" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 6/1).  The move
"dilutes the economic benefits of the games," and the "biggest
headache is expected to come in deciding which country will stage
the final match" (Shirouzu & Cho, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 6/3).  The
move was "a major victory for the Koreans" and a "fierce
disappointment for Japan."  The Japanese spent a reported $75M on
their bid, establishing a pro soccer league to gain "global
credibility" (John Powers, BOSTON GLOBE, 6/1).  U.S. Soccer
Federation President Alan Rothenberg called the ramifications
"huge," adding, "There is a background of animosity and a lot of
hurdles ahead" (George Vecsey, N.Y. TIMES, 6/2).  In Washington,
John Haydon notes "FIFA's decision was a big surprise, but
ultimately the right one" (WASHINGTON TIMES, 6/1).
     NEWS & NOTES:  FIFA also awarded the '99 Women's World Cup
to the U.S., with U.S. officials regarding DC's RFK Stadium as
the leading site for the semifinals and finals (Berkowitz &
Sullivan, WASHINGTON POST, 6/1)....IMG is reportedly one of two
candidates to take control of the French soccer club Olympique
Marseille.  The offer is part of a strategy to extend IMG into
the "hugely profitable and growing business" of European soccer
(FINANCIAL TIMES, 6/1).
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