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Volume 6 No. 212

International Football

After having appealed a decision by South American football governing body CONMEBOL forcing Corinthians to play its Copa Libertadores home games behind closed doors, the club's Football Dir Roberto de Andrade has revealed the team "will accept any punishment and continue in the competition," according to ESPN BRASIL. The Brasileiro club was ordered by CONMEBOL to play its home games behind closed doors after a young San Jose fan was killed by a flare thrown by a Corinthians supporter. The incident happened in Oruro, Bolivia during the teams' Libertadores clash. Andrade said, "We will play in the Libertadores, what was handed to us we will accept, we will defend ourselves in the legal department, but we will continue in the competition." Corinthians is hoping for CONMEBOL to make a ruling on the club's appeal Monday as the team is scheduled to play a Libertadores home match on Wednesday. If the decision is not overturned and the club is forced to play behind closed doors, Corinthians will have to refund "the more than 20,000 tickets which have already been sold for the game" (ESPN BRASIL, 2/24).

The Palestine FA has told FC Barcelona President Sandro Rosell that his proposal of organizing a friendly match between Barça and a mixed group of Palestinians and Israelis  has "many obstacles," according to the EFE. Palestinian FA President Yibril Rajub said, "It is a creative idea from the Barcelona president. We appreciate his good intentions and motivation, but there are many obstacles." He added, "I hope that all Barcelona followers around the world maintain their optimism for this dream to become reality. When? When the state of Palestine is established, free, independent, democratic, with the values of sports as the main philosophy and culture." He also said that the match could only take place if Israel "recognizes the rights of Palestinian athletes, their existence and their right to train" (EFE, 2/22).

Brasileiro club São Paulo and Argentina club Tigre have been fined $100,000 each for their part in a "troubled Copa Sudamericana final in December and the Brazilian team were handed a one-match home ban in South American club competitions" according to REUTERS. The South American Football governing body CONMEBOL also "confirmed Sao Paulo as title winners in their announcement of the sanctions" on Saturday. The second half of the Dec. 12 final at the Morumbi stadium in Sao Paulo city "could not be completed because of Argentinian side Tigre’s refusal to play the second half after alleged aggression from police and security officers in their dressing room." Tigre "accused Sao Paulo police and security officers of aiming guns at them in their dressing room after the first half ended with a free-for-all among players, staff and fans of both clubs, who have a week to appeal the sanctions" (REUTERS, 2/24). 

Scottish Third Division Rangers have apologized and spoken of its dismay after two fans "were arrested amid controversy over sectarian chanting by its supporters during an away match against Berwick Rangers." A number of offensive songs "were heard from the section of Shielfield Park housing travelling supporters" at the Irn-Bru Third Division match, which was broadcast live on ESPN (HERALD SCOTLAND, 2/24). ... FIFA "is investigating Zambian officials over allegations they allowed eight players banned for match-fixing in a notorious case in Finland to return to football without permission" (AP, 2/23)