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WORLD CUP NEWS: FIFA TO REORGANIZE MANAGEMENT STRUCTURE
Published July 10, 1998
FIFA's Exec Committee, meeting for the first time under newly elected President Sepp Blatter, agreed to hire a consulting firm to study reorganization of its management structure," according to a report in the Ft. Lauderdale SUN- SENTINEL. Earlier in the day, FIFA's World Cup Organizing Committee heard Chair Lennart Johansson declare the tournament an "overwhelming success." Johansson said there had been problems with ticket scandals and fan violence, but he and Blatter said that the quality of play, atmosphere in the stadiums and general organization made this a "memorable World Cup in almost every respect." At the meeting, Blatter stepped away "from one of the main planks of his campaign platform" and withdrew his proposal to set up a full-time executive board at the federation's headquarters in Zurich (Ft. Lauderdale SUN-SENTINEL, 7/10). The FINANCIAL TIMES' Sugden & Tomlinson wrote that FIFA's reform structures reflect Blatter's "desire" to "consolidate his control over key decisions" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 7/10). WOMEN EYE '99: In N.Y., Stefan Fatsis writes on the progress of the '99 Women's World Cup. Organizers hope to sell 500,000 to 700,000 available tickets, making it "the biggest women's-only sports event ever." The event "has gotten some" corporate help -- from A-B and adidas --"to spread the word" and Marla Messing, President of the Women's World Cup Organizing Committee, met this week with Coca-Cola regarding a possible marketing partnership. Claude Ruibal, Coca-Cola's head of worldwide soccer said that while the event "plays well" to the company's grass-roots interest, "I doubt we'll do a national marketing program around Women's World Cup" (Stefan Fatsis, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 7/10). NOTES: An estimated 24 million viewers in France watched the conclusion of the France-Croatia match on Wednesday. The population of France is about 60 million (AP/Mult., 7/10)....An editorial in the MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE states, "You don't have to love soccer to appreciate something extraordinary about ABC's broadcasts of the World Cup," which air "without commercial interruption. Other networks, too, should appreciate ABC's experiment and look for ways to extend it to more sports broadcasts" (STAR TRIBUNE, 7/10)....NEWSDAY's Steve Zipay gives a "red card" to ESPN2 for its bottom-screen crawl showing the final score of Tuesday's Brazil-Netherlands match during the tape- delayed replay that night (NEWSDAY, 7/10).