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Volume 10 No. 25

International Football

José Mourinho will not wait until the end of the season "to sit with Real Madrid President Florentino Pérez and GM José Ángel Sánchez" to agree on a cancelation of a contract that last summer was renewed until June 30, 2016, according to José Luis López of MUNDO DEPORTIVO. Mourinho announced after losing the Copa del Rey final that Real Madrid fans will not have to wait until the team finishes this season to know his future. Mourinho's decision "coincides with the wishes of Real's leadership, which will make his departure public this week so it can freely negotiate the arrival of Paris St. Germain Manager Carlo Ancelotti." Although there has been speculation that Real Madrid would replace Mourinho with Real Madrid Castilla coach Alberto Toril for the final two games of the La Liga season, "this will not happen." Mourinho will remain with the club until June 1, when it plays Osasuna in Pamplona in the season finale (MUNDO DEPORTIVO, 5/20).

MOVING TO CHELSEA: In Madrid, J.L. Calderón reported Mourinho "will be the Chelsea manager next season." Mourinho "will bring his adventure at Real Madrid to a close on June 30 and return to England to begin his second stint in charge of the Blues." Mourinho "has already told his innermost circle that the agreement with Chelsea is a done deal" (MARCA, 5/19).

FANS WANT TORIL: Also in Madrid, Carlos Forjanes reported Real Madrid fans do not want to see any more of Mourinho on the bench, "and they prefer that Toril coach the final two games of the La Liga season." This was expressed by 82% of the participants who answered AS's question, "Should Toril sit on the Real Madrid bench for what remains of the season?" The poll question drew 29,295 votes, with just 18% of responses favoring Mourinho finishing the season (AS, 5/20).

Scottish Premier League St. Mirren Chair Stewart Gilmour believes an SPL vote on reconstruction plans "could take place in the coming days following positive talks between the 12 top-flight clubs" Monday, according to Gavin McCafferty of the SCOTSMAN. The SPL clubs "were in unanimous agreement two weeks ago on pushing for a merger" with the Scottish Football League and the introduction of top-flight playoffs. Gilmour "was happy with the continuing consensus" Monday. Gilmour said, "I think we’ll vote very soon. It could well be (this week). We agreed we can take a short notice (vote). Then it’s up to the SFL clubs to make their decision" (SCOTSMAN, 5/20).

TALKIN' RANGERS: In a separate piece, McCafferty reported alleged links between Scottish Third Division side Rangers ex-CEO Charles Green and ex-Owner Craig Whyte are a "very serious issue." However, Regan said that the SPL "will wait on the outcome of a Rangers-commissioned report before deciding on any course of action." Rangers last month appointed financial investigators from Deloitte and law firm Pinsent Masons "to probe allegations made by former owner Whyte surrounding his relationship with Green during the change of ownership at Ibrox last summer." Regan said, "We wrote to the club and expressed our concerns on a number of points related to the revelations in the press about the links between Craig Whyte and Charles Green" (SCOTSMAN, 5/20).

The suspected match-fixing in the La Liga game between Levante and Deportivo "is still alive," according to José Félix Díaz of EL CONFIDENCIAL. The open investigation into the matter is continuing, with "everything now indicating that the case is related to different Chinese mafias that use bets on athletic events to strengthen their positions and economies." The Chinese mafias used former Spanish and Chinese football players "who were charged with contacting Levante players to shape the money bet, and the case is now in the Anti-Corruption Office." The case was discovered by the authorities because of the large amount bet on an unusual result like a 3-0 lead at halftime, more unusual when the winning team is almost relegated. This fact activated the alarms of the police and of betting houses, which are the starting point to investigate suspected fixed results. Three of the implicated Levante players "have not worn the club shirt since. Sergio Ballesteros, Juanlu Gómez and Gustavo Munúa have disappeared from the team's 11 on club orders, while Juanfran Garcia has had physical problems" (EL CONFIDENCIAL, 5/20).

European clubs will learn further details this week of UEFA’s new U19 club competition "aimed at giving players competitive experience of foreign opposition at a younger age," according to Gary Jacob of the LONDON TIMES. The UEFA Youth League "will be open to the 32 teams who qualify for the Champions League group stage next season and will be a direct rival for the NextGen Series." The Youth League "will mirror and run in parallel to the Champions League." The teams "will be drawn in the same group as their senior side competing in the Champions League." Fixtures will be held on the same date, or day before, "allowing fans to watch both games and also help clubs with the logistics and costs of teams travelling abroad." UEFA "will reveal more plans" at a two-day exec committee meeting in London on Wednesday (LONDON TIMES, 5/20).

The Indonesia FA has been fined $15,000 "for repeated crowd infringements" at int'l matches. The PSSI were fined $10,000 after fans "ignited firecrackers and threw water bottles" during Indonesia's March 23 Asian Cup home qualifier against Saudi Arabia, with the additional $5,000 a result of "similar incidents during four matches last year" (EUROSPORT, 5/20). ... Italy national team Manager Cesare Prandelli has "claimed that Italian football has a 'problem' with racism." Prandelli: "It is a general problem in Italian football. To be a credible footballing nation, we must not tolerate it any more" (FOOTBALL ITALIA, 5/20). ... The FA announced that it will be supporting the 2013 UK Asian Community Cup. The festival acts as a showcase for amateur Asian teams, with the final taking place at EPL West Ham's Upton Park (FA). ... La Liga Sevilla President José María del Nido has "asked for forgiveness for what happened at the end of the game his team lost to Real Sociedad on Saturday, when he raised the volume of Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán's speakers to a deafening level to drown out the protests of fans," according to AS. In an announcement he signed, Del Nido called it "a regrettable error" and confirmed that as club president, he "is conscious of the anger of many of the fans in attendance" (AS, 5/20).