SBD Global/March 21, 2017/International Football

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  • German Football League CEO Seifert Wants More Competition For Bayern Munich

    German Football League (DFL) CEO Christian Seifert "urged Bundesliga clubs to increase the level of competition" for "runaway" leader Bayern Munich, according to Mark Lovell of ESPN.com. Bayern "moved a step closer" to its fifth consecutive title over the weekend, increasing its lead at the top to 13 points with a 1-0 win at Borussia Monchengladbach. Seifert said, "It's not up to Bayern to change it. Five teams eye the Premier League trophy every season, three in Italy and two in Spain. However, in Germany, 17 clubs declare that Bayern have no competition. This needs to change at some stage." Seifert talked "openly" about German football's 50+1 ownership model. There has been "controversy this season over promoted Leipzig." Seifert: "The league is stable enough to honestly discuss the pros and cons of the 50+1 rule. But there are important achievements closely associated with 50+1. For example, we definitely have to maintain our socially acceptable ticket prices. Clubs cannot be allowed to become an object of speculation -- the Bundesliga means too much to people for that to happen" (ESPN.com, 3/20).

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  • Man City Close To Deal With Team In Uruguay To Expand CFG's Global Reach

    Man City is "close to confirming a deal with a team in Uruguay as the next stage in City Football Group’s global expansion," according to Jack Pitt-Brooke of the London INDEPENDENT. Man City identified South America as its "next target" and believes that a partner club there "would help" with its commercial growth. Many top Premier League teams "see South American expansion as their next step, and have sent research missions to Brazil and Colombia to find similar arrangements." But Man City believes it has "beaten" its rivals and will announce the Uruguayan partnership soon. Man City CEO Ferran Soriano, the man overseeing CFG's global growth, has "always wanted one club on every continent for the group." The next stage of CFG's expansion after South America "will be into China." CFG sold a 13% stake to Chinese investors in '15 for £265M, valuing the whole enterprise at £2B (INDEPENDENT, 3/20).

    Print | Tags: International Football, United Kingdom, South America
  • Turkish President Says Politics, Football Will Soon Be Rid Of 'Hooliganism'

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that "hooliganism" will "soon be a thing of the past" in Turkish football and politics, suggesting that "violence" and "coups" would no longer get people anywhere, according to the HURRIYET DAILY NEWS. Erdoğan said, "As the quality of politics improved, our nation eliminated those who believe in getting power via rigging, cheating, coups, threats, destructive politics and no elections." Turkey is "heading for a referendum" on a "charter change that will introduce an executive presidential system." Erdoğan, a former footballer, said that he learned much from the game in terms of "discipline, teamwork and loyalty" (HURRIYET DAILY NEWS, 3/20).

    Print | Tags: International Football, Europe
  • Football Notes: Spartak Moscow Fans Unfurl Banner In Response To BBC Documentary

    Spartak Moscow fans "unfurled a banner" in response to the BBC's documentary, Russia's Hooligan Army, in which England fans were warned they are "100 percent guaranteed" to be targeted at the 2018 World Cup. The banner, which was "displayed during Spartak's 1-1 draw at Lokomotiv Moscow on Saturday, branded the BBC the 'Blah Blah Channel'" (ESPN.com, 3/20).

    La Liga on Sunday announced the "expansion of its presence in Asia by opening an office in Singapore." The league plans to "increase its popularity in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam." La Liga President Javier Tebas will "open the Singaporean office on March 23, the league's fourth office in Asia after Dubai, China and India" (MALAYSIAN DIGEST, 3/20).

    Croatia will play to its first full home crowd at a competitive match in almost two-and-a-half years this week, in a World Cup qualifier against Ukraine. Hooliganism "meant fans were banned from several home matches" -- the last time Croatia had a full home crowd was in a 6-0 win over Azerbaijan in Oct. '14 (REUTERS, 3/20).

    Ghanaian referee Joseph Odartei Lamptey has been banned for life by FIFA "after being found guilty of influencing the result of a World Cup qualifying match." Lamptey incorrectly awarded a penalty during a qualifier for the 2018 World Cup between South Africa and Senegal in November (London GUARDIAN, 3/20).

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