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Volume 10 No. 25

International Football

Man City and Arsenal "will wrap up their pre-season programmes by taking each other on in a friendly" in Helsinki, Finland, according to the PA. The sides will play at the Olympic Stadium in the Finnish capital on Aug. 10, one week before the new Premier League season begins (PA, 6/5). FOOTBALL ESPAÑA reported Barcelona will face Polish side Lechia Gdansk in its first preseason friendly this summer (FOOTBALL ESPANA, 6/5). FOOTBALL ITALIA reported Italy will play against Haiti in Rio de Janeiro on June 11 in a friendly "to raise funds for those hit by the 2010 earthquake" (FOOTBALL ITALIA, 6/4). FOOTBALL ESPANA also reported La Liga Real Betis "will play three summer friendlies in England." Real Betis will be based in Manchester, England, and have arranged fixtures against Championship sides Huddersfield Town and Bolton Wanderers on July 24 and 26, respectively. The club will take on League One outfit Wolverhampton Wanderers on July 27 (FOOTBALL ESPANA, 6/4).

Guadalajara, Spain Mayor Antonio Román said Wednesday that Spanish Second Division club Guadalajara's administrative relegation is a "grievance" toward the club because "there are numerous teams that maintain debts," according to the AS. Román: "We will fight and wear out the path in the courts of justice and at the different levels of sport." Román has considered requesting an interim suspension of the sanction while there is a possibility that a judge will overturn the decision. Román said, "I do not accept that they impose athletic relegation in the offices for something that could have a different punishment" (AS, 6/5).

Former Barcelona Security Dir and Spanish Dir General for Prison Services Xavier Martorell resigned Tuesday "for personal reasons." Martorell was accused by former Barcelona Dir General Joan Oliver of spying on club employees (MUNDO DPEORTIVO, 6/5). ... Issues arising from the recent African Champions League tie between the South African side Orlando Pirates and TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo are "still to be dealt with by the Confederation of African Football." Allegations that a TP Mazembe official struck one of the Swazi referees after the first leg at Orlando Stadium -- and a complaint by the South African FA about the treatment of Pirates and their entourage in Lubumbashi for the second leg -- "have been made in the wake of last month's controversy-dominated tie." CAF General Secretary Hicham El Amrani said, "The disciplinary board of CAF will meet in June to cover any incidents that occurred during this match" (SOWETAN LIVE, 6/4). ... Six fans have been handed prison sentences for racially abusing Serie A club AC Milan players during a January friendly. The men will be imprisoned for between 40 days and two months (FOOTBALL ITALIA, 6/5). ... For the upcoming Spanish Second Division game between Recreativo and Huesca, primary betting houses "are not trusting the game will be played normally, and have removed betting offers as suspicions surround the match." Huesca can avoid relegation with a win after Guadalajara was relegated for administrative reasons, and will be taking on a Recreativo team "with nothing to play for" (AS, 6/5).