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SBD Global/January 12, 2017/International Football

Football Notes: Six $12,000 Watches Disappear From FIFA Best Awards

FIFA's "obsession with expensive watches" led to another "farcical" episode at its Best Awards in Zurich this week. Six Hublot Big Bang watches, worth around £10,000 ($12,224) each, were "due to be presented" to the individual winners. But they "disappeared" somewhere between FIFA HQ and the Zurich TV studios where the event was being staged. Hublot representatives found another range of their watches "at the last minute" to present to the winners, who included Cristiano Ronaldo and Claudio Ranieri. A FIFA spokesperson said, "We are looking into what happened to the watches. They went missing somewhere" (London DAILY MAIL, 1/10).

Serbian side Partizan Belgrade has been banned from the Champions League and Europa League for the next three seasons "because of unpaid debts." UEFA said the '15 SuperLiga champions had broken rules on unpaid debts three times in the past five years. UEFA added that the club owed €2.5M ($2.6M) in unpaid debts as of September (BBC, 1/11).

Singapore's Central Provident Fund Board is "investigating local S-League clubs for possible non-payment of CPF contributions to their Prime League footballers." A CPF Board spokesperson said, "The CPF Board takes a serious view of employers who do not fulfill their CPF obligations to their employees." It is understood that "at least one club had failed to pay the contributions for up to five years." The Prime League teams are the reserve sides of each professional S-League club, "largely featuring young players below 21." There are six local S-League clubs, excluding the Young Lions. An S-League spokesperson said, "The S-League understands that the clubs had in the past been under the perception that the 'allowance' paid to the Prime League players did not necessitate CPF contribution" (STRAITS TIMES, 1/11).

CONMEBOL announced a partnership with Sportradar's Integrity Services, focusing on a range of the continent's leagues and competitions. This partnership is part of the governance and transparency development that has been central to CONMEBOL President Alejandro Domínguez's administration since his election in Jan. '16 (Sportradar).
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