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Volume 6 No. 215

International Football

French Football Federation President Noël Le Graët revealed that France would play two friendlies in Brazil next year, including one against the Seleção, according to the JDD. Le Graët said, "It is not finalized, but it should be within a month. We are wanting to do it, and Brazil is happy to welcome us." The second friendly could be against Uruguay or perhaps England, "which will also be present during the same time frame" to play Brazil. When asked about playing England in Brazil, Le Graët said, "It is definitely a possibility." The dates still need to be figured out. They will have to be after the end of the European leagues (June 1), but before the Confederations Cup (June 15). The time of the matches is also in question, as they have to be "acceptable" to audiences in Brazil and France (JDD, 10/6).

In a bid to fill empty stands, players for Croatian champions Dinamo Zagreb have "pooled their cash to reward one fan" attending their UEFA Champions League match against Ligue 1 club Paris St. Germain with 1M kunas ($174,000), according to the AFP. Midfielder Mateo Kovacic came up with the idea and posted a video, "One Million for a Full Stadium," on his Facebook page, in which he explains the idea to his teammates. The 18-year-old looked into the camera and said, "Dear fans ... we are sad that you did not come to the stadium, but I think that you will come now." He then takes the camera into the locker room where he asks his teammates what they think of the idea. Defender Josip Simunic said, "Whatever you say, if only it will fill the stadium."  Midfielder Sammir said, "It's really bad to play in front of empty stands. This (the reward) is fine. No problem." The players said that 1M kunas will be given if more than 25,000 fans attend the game against PSG. If more than 15,000 fans attend the reward would amount to €20,000 ($25,950), while for 5,000 fans it "drops drastically" to around €650 ($843). At half time of the match, five possible winners will be chosen by "randomly selecting the barcode" of a ticket used to attend the match. As of now, it is "not yet clear" how the overall winner will be determined (AFP, 10/5).

Coaches from AC Milan and Manchester City will be giving football lessons to Delhi’s youth at the ongoing Football Link Int’l Festival in India. More than 80 schools from across the city are participating in U-14, U-17 and girls categories at the Thyagaraj sports complex (PTI, 10/8). ... The All India Football Federation and German Olympic Association organized a goalkeeping course, "Art of German Goalkeeping," which kicked off Monday at the Cooperage ground in Mumbai. The week-long event, and the "first of its kind," will be conducted by former German goalkeeper Lutz Pfannenstiel. It will comprise of theory and practical sessions, "stressing on various positions of the goalkeeper and how the dynamics have changed in recent years" (TNN, 10/8).