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Volume 6 No. 212

International Football

While Football Federation Australia CEO David Gallop "is under no illusions that football would receive a 'rocket boost' from qualifying for the World Cup, he won't budge from his stance that the A-League is now the defining yardstick for the code's success," according to Sebastian Hassett of the BRISBANE TIMES. The Socceroos' aspirations for next year "will be decided over the next fortnight." Gallop "knows making it to Brazil would provide a big boost" toward football's momentum, but he is confident that the game is popular enough to continue thriving no matter what happens in coming days. Gallop said, "We really want to qualify for Brazil, and it would provide a rocket boost in the game's trajectory, but I am firmly of the view that it's no longer boom or bust for the game." Tantalizing for head office "would be the guaranteed financial windfall qualification brings," though Gallop does not want football depending on handouts from above. He said, "There's no doubt it would be good for the game from a financial perspective if we made it to Brazil, but it's not something we can afford to be dependent upon" (BRISBANE TIMES, 6/10).

Russian President Vladimir Putin "signed into law Friday measures giving FIFA powers to stop commerce in large areas of the 2018 World Cup host cities," according to R-SPORT. The "so-called World Cup Law mandates that FIFA or its nominees must give written approval for any trading or advertising within two kilometers of a stadium on match day." That area covers, for example, "several Moscow districts home to tens of thousands of people and most of central Volgograd." The text of the law published on a government website states: "On the days on which sports competitions are held, trading activity on the territory of the stadium and in other places where events are taking place, and also within a radius of two kilometers around stadiums, may take place only with the official written consent of FIFA or persons nominated by FIFA." A similar clause "requires FIFA approval for advertising within the same radius of a stadium, or in the airspace above an arena." The law also exempts FIFA from Russian tax "and allows alcohol sales at matches under an exemption from Russia's blanket ban on alcohol at sports events" (R-SPORT, 6/7).