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Volume 10 No. 25

International Football

UEFA is expected to require Euro 2020 cities to have two airports, which is "likely to be something of a headache" for Cardiff’s backers, according to Martyn Ziegler of the PA. Instead of taking place in one or two countries, Euro 2020 will be spread across the continent, leaving UEFA "anxious" about travel between venues. While Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium is larger than two of the 13 stadiums that will be chosen, the city’s lack of a second airport disqualifies it. For Cardiff to be considered, Welsh FA would "have to argue that Bristol or even airports further afield could be used as an alternative for fans." EUFA is expected to finalize Euro 2020 plans at its exec committee meeting on March 28 (PA, 1/24).

FA Chair Gordon Taylor said Chelsea player Eden Hazard should not have "taken the law into his own hands" when he allegedly kicked a Swansea ballboy Wednesday while trying to retrieve the ball, according to Frank Keogh of the BBC. Hazard was ejected for violent conduct during the Capital One Cup semifinal second leg. Taylor said, "You can't take the law into your own hands" (BBC, 1/24). In London, Simon Rice reported the incident occurred in the final minutes of the match at Liberty Stadium in Wales in which Swansea advanced to next month's cup final with a 2-0 aggregate win. When the ball went out of play, ballboy Charlie Morgan "proceeded to lay on the ball in an attempt to waste time." Hazard "attempted to retrieve the ball back by kicking at the ball, and in doing so hit Morgan" (INDEPENDENT, 1/24). Also in London, Jeremy Wilson wrote there has been "widespread condemnation" for the part played by Morgan. Swansea Manager Michael Laudrup denied that "there had been any instruction for ballboys to waste time" (TELEGRAPH, 1/24).

TIME-WASTING TWEET: Also in London, Naughton & Jacob reported Morgan had "boasted on Twitter before the match of his talent for time-wasting." Morgan wrote on Twitter that he no longer acts as a ballboy but had been called back to run the ballboy team "because of the snow." Morgan wrote, "The king of all ballboys is back making his final appearance #needed #for #timewasting." Morgan is thought to have had only a few thousand followers before the match, but by Thursday morning "he had more than 80,000." Footballers also questioned the ball boy's reaction. Former England striker Michael Owen said, "Both the kid and Hazard were in the wrong. Not having Hazard tried to hurt him, though. He just tried to toe poke it [the ball] out of his grip." Hazard issued an apology. Hazard: "The boy put his whole body on to the ball, and I was just trying to kick the ball and I think I kicked the ball and not the boy." The FA is "expected to charge Hazard with misconduct and he can expect at least a three-game ban" (LONDON TIMES, 1/24).

Bayern Munich President Uli Hoeness told club board members that soon-to-be coach Pep Guardiola would have €278M ($371M) at his disposal to recruit players (L'EQUIPE, 1/24). ... After hooligans "forced a Bundesliga game to be delayed by throwing lit flares," Germany national team coach Joachim Löw is "leading the call for tighter security measures in stadiums." Löw said, "It is absolutely unacceptable when a game needs to be interrupted like that" (AFP, 1/24). ... Ethiopia has been fined $10,000 by the Confederation of African Football for "the conduct of the team's supporters in Monday's match against Zambia." Fans "threw missiles, including plastic vuvuzelas, on to the pitch after Ethiopia keeper Jemal Tassew was sent off in the first half of the 1-1 draw" (BBC, 1/23).