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Volume 6 No. 197

International Football

Barcelona FC President Sandro Rosell said that he wants "to seek ways to make La Liga more competitive," so that teams other than itself and Real Madrid "have a chance of winning the title," according to Christian Levaux of REUTERS. One of the reasons for the dominance of Barça and Real Madrid in their domestic league is their "stranglehold over income from audiovisual rights." There is no system of collective bargaining and revenue sharing that other European leagues have. Rosell suggested that Barça "might be prepared to accept change," although club officials have made it clear in the past they "would not be prepared to see their share of the pot shrink." Rosell agreed that a league in which the big two were not always so dominant "would be more compelling." When asked if it would be better to follow the EPL model, where three or four teams scrap for the title and the top dogs slip up against lesser sides much more regularly, Rosell said, "No, no it's something I fully agree with. We have to sit down with the Spanish teams and look for solutions on that yes, I agree" (REUTERS, 9/18).

Rio de Janeiro Football Federation President Rubens Lopes revealed that the Campeonato Carioca 2013 (Rio State Championship) "will allow the sale of alcoholic beverages inside stadiums," according to Leo Burla of The four big clubs in Rio (Flamengo, Fluminense, Vasco and Botafogo) support the idea. Lopes will have a meeting with Rio de Janeiro Attorney General Claudio Lopes to discuss the topic. A date for the meeting has not been scheduled as of now. Rubens Lopes would like for alcohol to be available inside stadiums "only when the game is being played." The sale of alcohol inside stadiums, or within 500m of them, "has been prohibited in the state of Rio de Janiero since June 23, 1998." Rubens Lopes said, "In England they can drink, and this does not increase violence in stadiums. We have a study that shows that the majority of people wait until the first whistle to enter the stadium, and there are still those who even wait for the game to start, so they can be drinking on the outside, because they know they cannot get it inside. And what does this cause? Turmoil and problems when it comes to stadium access" (, 9/18).