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Volume 10 No. 25

International Football

Scottish Premier League Hibernian Chair Rod Petrie is "adamant there is no way the future of Scottish football will be carved up" to help speed up Third Division Rangers’ return to the top flight, according to Iain Collin of the SCOTSMAN. Petrie combines his roles at Hibernian, where he is currently filling in as interim CEO, with that of chairman of the Professional Game Board of the Scottish FA, where he is also second VP. The PGB has been "charged with finding a solution to the long-running wrangle over league reconstruction." The Scottish Football League was "first to release its latest plans for the way ahead the SPL then announced counter-proposals." Petrie admitted the SFL’s blueprint had “merit.” However, he "failed to address the financial issues raised by a significant reduction in matches from the current set-up." He also defended the SPL’s "recipe for change to some sceptical shareholders," and assured fans that the accusation that proposals were being made with Rangers’ elevation through the leagues in mind was "well wide of the mark" (SCOTSMAN, 12/12). Petrie: "Discussions are now being pursued in earnest between the SPL and the SFL. There are two options, which have been put forward in recent weeks. The SFL plan has merit but on its own does not deal with the top clubs suffering a 20% drop in the number of games" (Scotland DAILY RECORD, 12/12).

Brazil Deputy Sports Minister Luis Fernandes said that Manaus, one of the 12 cities due to stage World Cup matches in Brazil in 18 months, "will be ready on time," despite fears expressed by FIFA, according to Mike Collett of  REUTERS. Fernandes said, "There is no threat whatsoever to any of the 12 host cities not being ready in time. We are confident that all the host cities are confirmed, and there are no threats to any of them." Last month, FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke expressed concern that Manaus "would not be ready in time." Fernandes added, "Manaus is in the heart of the Amazon jungle and that has added to the complexity of organising the World Cup there. It is not an area that has easy access as other cities do, so it demands special attention because of the specific nature of the city. There is no obstacle in place that will threaten Manaus hosting matches in 2014" (REUTERS, 12/12).