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Volume 6 No. 212

International Football

UEFA President Michel Platini believes that there is "no will within FIFA to impose age and mandate limits on senior officials after a proposal to do so was dropped from FIFA's Congress," according to Mike Collett of REUTERS. Platini: "President (Sepp) Blatter said that the reforms would be concluded at the 2013 Congress, but now they are not." Platini added that the seven European members of FIFA's 24-strong exec committee "were unhappy that the proposal had been postponed." Platini: "We have been speaking about this for two years." Platini "wants a limit on the number of terms elected officials can serve, as well as age limits." Platini: "This is not UEFA that is stopping the reform; we are not blocking anything. The seven UEFA members did not want to postpone the decision" (REUTERS, 5/30). The AP's Gerald Imray wrote when asked if he thought the age and terms limits would be agreed on at the '14 Congress in Brazil, Platini said, "No. Because it concerns Blatter, it concerns me, it concerns the age, it concerns people of 83 years. It concerns the people who are judge and jury." At the UEFA meeting, Blatter "underlined FIFA's democratic process" but admitted that process "can make it easy to delay taking decisions." Blatter: "Everyone is allowed to vote for what he wants. That's democracy at FIFA." But, Imray suggests, "When the FIFA Congress gets down to business on Friday, member countries won't vote on three areas of reform: limiting senior officials' age and terms, revealing their salaries and bonuses and allowing independent observers on FIFA's executive committee" (AP, 5/30).

MUSICAL CHAIRS: In a separate piece, REUTERS' Collett reported English FA General Secretary Alex Horne said that Britain's long-term presence on the FIFA exec committee "will be retained despite the abolition" of the British vice presidency. The British vice-presidency "will be abolished" at Friday's FIFA Congress in Mauritius, a "trade-off for the four British associations" of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales retaining their influence on the Int'l FA Board. However, Britain "will retain a permanent seat" on the exec committee as one of the three European VPs proposed and seconded by UEFA (REUTERS, 5/30).

LADIES FIRST: The BBC's Richard Conway reported FIFA "will elect a woman" to its exec committee for the first time in its history. Former Australia int'l Moya Dodd is one of three women vying for a four-year term as a FIFA exec. Dodd: "I would hope I could contribute something, not just for women's football but for women in football." Her election rivals are Burundi's Lydia Nsekera and Sonia Bien-Aime of the Turks and Caicos Islands. All three remaining candidates will serve on the exec committee -- "one as elected member for four years and two as co-opted members for one year" (BBC, 5/30). In Sydney, Megan Levy reported Blatter called Dodd "good, and good looking" in an address to the Asian Football Confederation. Dodd said that she "was not offended by Blatter's view of her." Dodd said, "I was more focused on his earlier comments that I was a good candidate, a very good candidate. Knowing him as I do, I certainly took no offense" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 5/30).

Former Barcelona VP and current Man City CEO Ferrán Soriano admitted in court that spying on club employees occurred, but indicated that former Barcelona Security Dir Xavier Martorell was responsible. Soriano pointed out that Martorell spied on workers through a program that controlled emails (EFE, 5/30). ... The battle between Mexico and Mallorca for Giovani dos Santos has now seen the La Liga club reported to FIFA. Friday "is a FIFA deadline for clubs to release players to their national federations for scheduled international games." However, Mallorca has reportedly made moves to indicate that it "will not release Giovani until after he has played in the club’s final league game of the season." Mexico's federation, with a World Cup qualifier against Jamaica on June 4, has "now turned to FIFA" to ask that it intervenes (FOOTBALL ESPANA, 5/30). ... Twelve people "have been arrested after fans stormed a stadium hosting a Malaysian football championship semifinal and forced the game to be called off amid chaotic scenes" (AFP, 5/30).