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SBD Global/March 5, 2014/International Football

Football Notes: Madrid Opens Up 'Espacio España' Fan Zone Ahead Of La Roja-Italy Match

For Spain's friendly against Italy on Wednesday night, La Roja will have its own "Fan Zone" in Madrid for fans and kids, with a "wide variety of performances and activities, as well as a tribute for former Spanish coach Luis Aragonés." The area, called the "Espacio España," will feature a "giant shirt that fans will be able to sign in honor of Aragonés." The shirt will be hung outside Vicente Calderon stadium during the match (MARCA, 3/4). ... UEFA "has given a 10-match ban to a Belgian futsal player" who made the same quenelle gesture that led to West Bromwich Albion striker Nicolas Anelka being given a five-game suspension. Belgian player Omar Rahou "made the gesture several times during the Futsal Euro 2014 tournament when celebrating a goal" (GUARDIAN, 3/4). ... The Asian Football Confederation welcomed the decision by FIFA and the Int'l FA Board "to allow female players to cover their heads after two years of testing a safe headscarf design." AFC President Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa: “Women’s football is still at the beginning stage in West Asia but I hope that it (the ruling) will give a big boost as the member associations will be able to field teams in international events" (AFP, 3/4). ... A group representing European football clubs "will meet with officials from the sport’s governing body to discuss switching the dates of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to winter because of extreme heat in the emirate." European Club Association General Secretary Michele Centenaro said that "he would be one of its two representatives at the meetings with the so-called Qatar 2022 Task Force sessions with FIFA" (BLOOMBERG, 3/4).
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