Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 6 No. 194

International Football

CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb "has one thing on his mind: Get the 2026 World Cup to North America," according to Andrew Gastelum of the L.A. TIMES. The U.S., which played host to the 1994 World Cup, "is the early favorite to land the 2026 World Cup, but will be competing with confirmed bids from Mexico and Canada." Webb said, "Whether it is the United States, Mexico or Canada … ultimately it doesn’t matter which country in CONCACAF hosts it. We’ve made it very clear that 2026 must belong to us" (L.A. TIMES, 7/9). GOAL's Zac Lee Rigg reported though CONCACAF contains more than three dozen member nations, the three in North America are "likely the only viable candidates to host a World Cup." Webb mentioned that he "has held meetings" with U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati, Canadian Soccer Association President Victor Montagliani and Mexican Football Federation President Justino Compeán to "discuss bringing the quadrennial event back to the region." Webb said, "We collectively must make an effort. We must decide, ultimately, that it doesn't matter which country within CONCACAF hosts it. We've said it very clear from the outset, that 2026 must belong to [this] confederation" (GOAL, 7/7).

Indonesian billionaire Erick Thohir's move to take over Serie A side Inter Milan "has got the approval" of Pier Silvio Berlusconi, who is the son of the president of rival club AC Milan, according to Eric Noveanto of GOAL. The younger Berlusconi stated that he will "welcome the Indonesian investor, who is fast closing in on sealing the deal, with open arms to the Serie A." Berlusconi: "If there are foreigners who are willing and able to invest in our football, then it is a good thing." But he also "took the opportunity to point out that Milan will never be up for sale." Berlusconi: "But I see this sport with a sense of romance and passion and my father also has the same perspective. That is why he will never sell Milan's shares" (GOAL, 7/5).

Tanzania Football Federation Secretary General Angetile Osiah said that the "protracted electronic tickets will be in use at the beginning of new premiership season expected to kick off mid next month," according to Joseph McHekadona of Dar es Salaam's THE GUARDIAN. The application of the tickets "has been overdue for almost eight months since the earlier decision was announced in December." The tickets "were supposed to be in use at the beginning of the second half of the previous season but to no avail." CRDB Bank "will provide and manage the electronic ticketing" at football venues where premier league games are played (THE GUARDIAN, 7/5). INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL's Mark Baber reported pressure is "being exerted by media and politicians in Tanzania to expedite the long delayed launch to counter corruption and increase revenues." Osiah said the problem is being caused by "unscrupulous" security officials who "allow fans without valid tickets to enter venues, as well as individuals who buy tickets wholesale and then resell them at higher prices" (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 7/9).

FIFA President Sepp Blatter says Israel has promised to help solve one of Palestinian football’s biggest problems -- "traveling in and out of the Palestinian territories." Blatter met with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, who said Tuesday he has pledged to help FIFA find a solution and that their meeting is proof the problem is a "national interest" for Israel (AP, 7/9). ... The National Football Museum beat its target for visitor numbers by more than 100,000. Around 458,000 fans "have been through the Manchester attraction’s doors since the museum opened its door at the Urbis building last year." Museum bosses "set a target" for 350,000 visitors when they opened their doors in July '12 (MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS, 7/8).