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Volume 10 No. 25

International Football

Bundesliga Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke said that large Middle Eastern investment in European football clubs "is unfair to other well-managed teams and Arab owners need to be more patient," according to Karolos Grohmann of REUTERS. The comments come just days after his club marched into the Champions League semifinals "with a last-gasp win over Qatar-owned Malaga." Watzke said, "This (big cash injections) is neither sportsmanlike nor fair and our core business is still sport. We do not need to come with respect and fair play if this is not reflected on all levels." Ligue 1 side Paris St. Germain has spent more than €200M ($262.53M) "in transfers since the Qatari fund QSI bought the club" in June '11. Watzke: "I have the feeling that some sheikhs looked at the flight schedules and then picked a pretty metropolis because that is where the connections to the Gulf region are the best. But that is not how it works" (REUTERS, 4/12).

The sound of the vuvuzela could fade from South African football grounds, but "not because of the droning wall of noise that made it so unpopular with global audiences during the 2010 World Cup." Premier League officials say that "though they are not yet pursuing a ban, it has become a topic of conversation after a rise in incidents where the vuvuzela was used to cause harm" (SOWETAN LIVE, 4/12). ... Real Madrid will spend this summer in the U.S., based at UCLA. Los Blancos spent last summer there, and they "will replicate those plans" for this preseason (FOOTBALL ESPAÑA, 4/14). ... "Cash-strapped" Indonesian football club Persibo was deciding Thursday "whether to withdraw from the AFC Cup after a 'shameful' performance in Hong Kong" when it ran out of players, forcing the match to be abandoned. The club "only had 12 players available for the match, with some having left after the side’s major shareholder stopped paying the team and staff in January," and others suspended (JAKARTA GLOBE, 4/12).