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AN ABOUT SEPP: BLATTER WANTS WOMEN'S WORLD CUP BEFORE MEN'S
Published December 13, 1999
FIFA President Sepp Blatter "wants the next Women's World Cup tournament to take place before the men's World Cup in 2002," according to Philip Hersh of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE, who notes Blatter's stance "represents a change in the position announced last week by FIFA officials." Blatter noted the 2002 Men's World Cup starts June 1, and said the women's tournament "could begin in late March or early April." Blatter: "It is better to play this before the men's World Cup and bring people's attention to soccer. It will be a curtain-raiser" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 12/13). U.S. women's team member Brandi Chastain said that FIFA never discussed moving the Women's World Cup from 2003 to 2002 with departed USSF President Alan Rothenberg. Chastain: "He was as shocked as we were" (S.F. EXAMINER, 12/12). COACHING CONTROVERSY: In N.Y., Jere Longman noted speculation has Univ. of Portland men's and women's soccer coach Clive Charles being named to replace Tony DiCicco as the U.S. women's team coach and called the move "a mistake." Longman: "[The women] are more successful and more popular that the men, deservedly so. After earning next to nothing for so long, they have the right to a bigger slice of the financial pie. The [USSF] has no reason to resent their achievement or to punish their assertiveness by hiring a coach from the outside and cleaning house." Longman added that the "best way to achieve Olympic success is an orderly transition" from DiCicco to assistant coach Lauren Gregg: "It is not the politically correct thing to do, just the correct thing" (N.Y. TIMES, 12/12). In San Jose, Ann Killion cited sources within the federation as saying that there "has been internal criticism of how the U.S. women played during the World Cup." Killion: "Sure, they won, but apparently it just wasn't dominating enough for some folks. That works against Gregg" (S.J. MERCURY NEWS, 12/12). In L.A., Grahame Jones wrote that while Gregg is the "obvious successor ... sexism looms large in the federation's thinking." There is "immense jealousy, not to mention resentment, among some at U.S. Soccer headquarters ... over the success of the women's program, compared to the frequent failings ... of the men's teams" (L.A. TIMES, 12/12). NCAA FINAL: In Charlotte, Scott Fowler wrote on Ericsson Stadium hosting the NCAA men's soccer tournament and wrote that the "only disappointing aspect was attendance." Fowler: "Organizers had dreamed of 20,000- 30,000 fans [for Friday's semifinals] at one point. They got 13,231 officially, and that was a generous estimate." (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 12/12). The two-day total was 28,670, down from last year's two-day total of 32,818 in Richmond. NCAA spokesperson Mark Bedics: "We would have liked to have seen more people and that's one of the things we'll look at how we can improve" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 12/13).