SBD Global/August 26, 2014/International Football

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  • Real Madrid's Average Season Ticket Cost Leads La Liga At $934

    The average cost of season tickets for La Liga side Valencia for this year "is lower than that of La Liga's other top teams: Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atlético," according to J. Roda of SUPERDEPORTE. The "average was calculated taking representative prices of tickets throughout the stadiums, from the cheapest to the most expensive." By this calculation, the average season ticket for Valencia costs €514 ($678), while Real Madrid's average season ticket (€708) ($934) is the most expensive, followed by Athletic Bilbao (€642) ($847), Málaga (€572) ($755), Barcelona (€549) ($724) and Atlético (€525) ($693) (SUPERDEPORTE, 8/25).

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  • Scottish Referees Association Chair Adamant Officials Are Not Considering A Strike

    Scotland's "under-fire referees" on Sunday insisted "they are not holding a gun to the heads of the SFA and SPFL by demanding a fairer deal for whistlers at every level of the game," according to David McCarthy of the Scotland DAILY RECORD. Scottish Senior Football Referees Association Chair James Bee is "adamant that their 150-strong membership" are not considering strike action despite "negotiations between the three parties reaching an impasse." Further talks are "due to be held within two weeks as Bee tries to broker a deal that will see match officials from the lower reaches of the game receive a wage rise." The SPFL is "believed to be proposing a redistribution of the current budget that would give whistlers in top games more cash but reduce payments" for lower graded top-flight games. There are "also proposals to increase Championship games" from £195 ($323) to £350 ($580) but the SSFRA is asking for £300 ($497) per game. Bee believes stories published last week "misrepresented Scotland’s referees and painted them as money-grabbers." Bee said, "We don't want to strike. There's no appetite in the refereeing community. We've never once mentioned it as a possibility. It's not something we're considering" (DAILY RECORD, 8/25).

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  • Hong Kong Premier League Club Eastern Offering Players $130,000-Plus In Bonuses

    Hong Kong Premier League side Eastern is offering its players more than HK$1M ($130,000) in bonuses for "capturing any one of the three cup titles in the new season, while the incentive for winning the league will be much more," according to Chan Kin-wa of the SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST. Eastern Dir Peter Leung Shou-chi said, "Money always matters in professional soccer and we are happy to offer the players big cash rewards provided they can meet the challenges." He added, "The league will of course be our prime target, especially as this is the first Hong Kong Premier League which will always be remembered." The "ambitious club" has set aside a budget of more than HK$20M ($2.6M) for the new season with "financial backing from Salon, an entertainment conglomerate based in Macau." Although Eastern "did not sign any new overseas players this summer, they lured seasoned expatriates already proven in Hong Kong" -- Sean Kilama, Michel Lugo and Reinaldo Peres from Sun Hei, Miroslav Saric from Rangers and goalkeeper Yapp Hung-fai, from South China (SCMP, 8/25).

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  • Algerian Football League Suspends Play Following Player's Death

    Algeria has "suspended football indefinitely following the death of Cameroonian player Albert Ebosse, who was hit by a stone thrown by fans," according to Ian Hughes of the BBC. The Algerian Football Federation (FAF) made the decision after a meeting on Sunday. Algerian authorities had "already ordered the indefinite closure of the 1st November 1954 stadium." That ruling "will now apply to all stadiums in the country." The FAF said in a statement it had postponed the league "in protest at the irresponsible actions of certain fanatics and hooligans who resort to violence in the stadiums which has reached an unacceptable level." An investigation into Ebosse's death, and a "deeper inquiry into football hooliganism in the country, has been ordered by the Algerian interior ministry" (BBC, 8/25). The AFP reported Ebosse's death "has sparked widespread revulsion in Algeria." The FAF said that it was "considering taking further action, including the expulsion of the club at fault 'from all competitions.'" Algerian daily El Watan suggested "this tragedy surprises nobody." It explained, "For years now violence has crept into the stadiums and spills over sometimes onto the streets, bringing with it a climate of fear and insecurity in our cities." Another daily, Liberte, suggested Saturday's tragic incident "could have happened in any Algerian stadium," as "violence is general and systematic." For psychiatrist Mahmoud Boudarène, Ebosse’s death under a "deluge of missiles" was "a collective murder" in a nation where violence "has become the norm" (AFP, 8/25).

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  • Seoul-Based Conglomerate Eland To Launch New K-League Club

    South Korea's governing body of professional football on Friday "approved a proposal by a local business conglomerate to found a new club for next season," according to YONHAP. The K-League "gave the green light to Eland to launch a new team to be based in Seoul." Eland will "use the Jamsil Olympic Stadium in southern Seoul as its home base, and will start out in the second division" K-League Challenge in '15. Eland will join FC Seoul of the "top-flight K League Classic in the nation's capital." Last month, Eland announced the hiring of Martin Rennie, a Scotsman who "once managed" Major League Soccer side Vancouver Whitecaps as its first head coach. Under the K-League rule, Eland must "pay up" $491,000 in the K-League Challenge entry fee and 50 million won ($49,000) in the "annual membership fee" by the end of Feb. '15. When the club is promoted to the K-League Classic, then Eland will have to pay $491,000 won in entry fee and 150 million won ($147,000) in the annual membership (YONHAP, 8/22).

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  • Football Notes: Atlético Manager Diego Simeone Suspended Eight Games

    The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has suspended Atlético Madrid Manager Diego Simeone "for eight matches on Monday after he was sent off during the second leg of the Spanish Super Cup" against Real Madrid for "tapping the back of the assistant referee's head." He will "miss four Spanish league matches, with the remaining four-match ban applying to future Spanish Super Cups" (AP, 8/25). ... Spanish second division side Llagostera's first home game of the season Saturday against Leganés will be played behind closed doors. The sanction is related to "a racist act by a Llagostera fan" during a game on May 18 (AS, 8/25). ... La Liga side Athletic Bilbao announced on Monday that tickets for its home Champions League playoff match against Serie A side Napoli on Wednesday are sold out. The winner of the game -- the second leg of a playoff following a draw last week -- will advance to the group stage of the Champions League. It will be Athletic's first game at its renovated San Mamés stadium, "with 50,000 fans expected to fill the stadium" (AS, 8/25). ... Chelsea Manager Jose Mourinho "wants NFL-style timeouts to be introduced to football so that he can discuss tactics with his players twice during each game." Mourinho believes that managers would benefit from two brief stoppages -- one in each half -- "to give specific instructions to their team and change formations" (London DAILY MAIL, 8/25). ... The Bank for Investment & Development of Cambodia on Friday donated $6,000 to the Cambodian U21 squad, "who returned home the day before from their 2014 Hassanal Bolkiah trophy campaign in Brunei." The team "won three of their Group B matches against hosts Brunei, Singapore and Indonesia" (PHNOM PENH POST, 8/25). ... Italy’s Federal Prosecutor’s office has “confirmed that no action will be taken” against Italian Football Federation (FIGC) President Carlo Tavecchio for “racist comments.” FIGC Federal Prosecutor Stefano Palazzi has “closed his investigation” because it did not “reveal any facts of disciplinary importance to charge” the newly elected president “both in objective and subjective terms” (FOOTBALL ITALIA, 8/25). ... Striker Teerasil Dangda became the “first Thai to play” in La Liga when he came off the bench for Almeria in its 1-1 draw with Espanyol on Sunday. The 26-year-old is on a “season-long loan from Thai Premier League side Muangthong United as he bids to seal a permanent deal with the Spanish side,” which “narrowly avoided relegation last term after finishing one point above the drop zone” (REUTERS, 8/25). ... A Vietnam court found nine footballers and a bookmaker "guilty of match-fixing on Monday after they colluded to throw an AFC Cup game in Malaysia" in return for a $40,000 bribe. The court jailed bookmaker Dao Duc Loi and former national team player Tran Manh "each for 30 months, but gave suspended sentences to eight others from Vissai Ninh Binh who rigged the away match against Malaysia's Kelantan in March" (REUTERS, 8/25).

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