League Notes: Bernie Ecclestone Expects Nürburgring Deal This Week
F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone said that the German Grand Prix is set to be held at the Nürburgring and "a deal could be agreed this week." The F1 calendar has the German race listed for July 7 at "a circuit to be confirmed." The Nürburgring and Hockenheim have alternated as venues for the German Grand Prix in recent years. Ecclestone added that the F1 calendar would have 19 races rather than the 20 slots available (REUTERS, 1/8). ... The Kuwaiti ambassador to Bahrain has been "forced to explain why some Kuwaiti flags raised" before the nation’s Gulf Cup Group B opening match with Yemen on Sunday "appeared to be orange in colour." Ambassador Sheikh Azzam Al Mubarak Al Sabah explained that the low quality material with which the flags "were made of inadvertently resulted in an orange reflection." Azzam insisted that "no political connotations were intended " (GULF NEWS, 1/8).
FOOTBALL DISCIPLINE: The Hungary and Bulgaria national teams must each play their next home matches without spectators after FIFA found each club in violation of FIFA's disciplinary code. Hungary was disciplined for an episode of racism and anti-Semitism by its supporters during an Aug. 15 match against Israel. The committee found Bulgaria in violation of FIFA's disciplinary code when supporters threw two fireworks onto the pitch during an Oct. 12 match against Denmark (FIFA). ... The FA has confirmed that it has "officially appealed" against UEFA's bans against Steven Caulker and Tom Ince over England U21's European Championship playoff against Serbia. Tottenham Hotspur defender Steven Caulker was given a two-match ban and Blackpool winger Tom Ince a one-match suspension after "clashes between players and coaching staff" at the end of an October match (London TELEGRAPH, 1/8). ... Fourth Division Italian side Pro Patria has been "ordered to play one home match behind closed doors" after racist chants prompted AC Milan to walk off the pitch during a friendly last week. The Lega Pro judge made the decision Tuesday, noting that Pro Patria has already been fined €5,000 ($6,500) for similar behavior by its fans this season (AP, 1/8).