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SBD Global/October 1, 2013/International FootballPrint All
French Football League (LFP) President Frederic Thiriez "is keen to return Ligue 1 to an 18-club competition," according to SOCCEREX. French newspaper L'Equipe reported that "the proposal has already polarised opinion within the French game," with the top division having previously existed with 18 clubs from '97-98 "before it returned to its traditional 20-club model when the Ligue 1 brand was formed" in '02-03. Thiriez’s plan "is understood to revolve around improving the quality of Ligue 1, reducing the fixture calendar and increasing the distribution of TV revenues for clubs in the top flight." The proposal "would also reduce the number of promotion and relegation places between Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 from three to two and introduce a financial bonus system for French clubs that are successful in the UEFA Europa League" (SOCCEREX, 9/30).
U.K. Sports Minister Hugh Robertson has condemned FIFA for making "a mess" of handing the 2022 World Cup to Qatar "but sees no option other than moving the tournament to the winter," according to the PA. Robertson also believes that "those other countries who bid for 2022 should be compensated" by FIFA. Robertson said, "I don't think anybody in the world of football thinks a World Cup in Qatar in the summer is a sensible or deliverable option. To that extent, this is a mess of FIFA's own making." Robertson said that he sympathized with calls for compensation "but does not believe there should be a re-vote" for '22. Robertson: "FIFA has to remember there are a series of other countries who bid for that 2022 World Cup in good faith and are now going to find the goalposts have moved. If it's held in the winter that's absolutely sensible, but to have a re-pitch would be quite unfair on the Qataris. I think a deal should be done where the fact the Qataris won it fair and square is acknowledged but other nations who bid for 2022 are compensated in some shape or form, either financially or by hosting other FIFA tournaments" (PA, 9/30).
A source said Monday that a notorious Singaporean match-fixing gang "rigged more than 100 football games worldwide in a scam worth millions of dollars, before it was busted this month," according to the AFP. The source, who has direct knowledge of the case, added that "there were signs that the syndicate, allegedly led by Singaporean businessman Dan Tan, was involved in violent activity." However, the source "played down suggestions that the gang was responsible for a greater share of the 680 suspicious games reported by European investigators earlier this year." The "five alleged members still in custody" include Tan. They are being held under a section of the criminal code usually employed against criminal gangs, "which allows for up to a year's detention without trial" (AFP, 9/30).
ManU is "reviewing whether to have a women's football team." ManU "discarded their last" women's team in '05. While many elite Premier League clubs such as Arsenal, Chelsea, Man City, and Liverpool -- which won the Super League title on Sunday -- "all have sides," ManU "offer coaching to females up to the age of 18 as part of their community-engagement programme, which occurs through its centre of excellence" (London GUARDIAN, 9/30). ... A poll revealed that German football fans "want to see football taking a lead on social issues." Only 18% of German fans believe that the German Football Federation (DFB) "is doing enough to combat homophobia, with 55% saying not enough is being done." Regarding racism, 40% "are happy with the DFB's commitment," while 46% "see the need for more action" (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 9/30).