Every senior player in the Premier League and Football League "will be obliged to attend a session this season to receive guidance on racist and homophobic language and where banter oversteps the mark," according to Martyn Ziegler of the PA. The Professional Footballers' Association is organizing the sessions, called the ''The Senior Player Programme on Diversity and Equality'' and the union "has written to the managers of all 92 clubs asking them to make sure the players attend." The sessions "will highlight what sort of language is unacceptable -- even as banter in the dressing room -- and encourage players to report incidents if they are either victims or witnesses of abuse." PFA CEO Gordon Taylor said, "We are rolling out these courses on equality and the nature of law in this country so there is no excuse for not abiding by those laws. Letters have gone out to clubs and we need to avoid any such embarrassment again after the recent cases." The program "has been developed by" the PFA in conjunction with the FA, the League Managers' Association and the Premier League. Each session "will last for 45 minutes and will be delivered by two tutors, one of whom will be a former professional player." In the sessions, players "will be given scenarios where abuse occurs -- either from fans or from other players -- and guided as to their correct response." They will also "be asked to judge what they regard as dressing room banter and told whether their views are appropriate" (PA, 8/6).
FIFA-appointed expert Harold Mayne-Nicholls, who first cautioned about the dangers of taking the 2022 World Cup to Qatar said that "stripping Qatar of hosting rights for the 2022 World Cup just because of the heat issue and the fuss generated over a possible switch to winter is not an option," according to Andrew Warshaw of INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL. Mayne-Nicholls said that "it would not be fair to hand the tournament to someone else." Mayne-Nicholls said, "I can't see that happening. You can't take it away unless you discover something unethical. There have been rumors for years, but nobody has discovered anything." Mayne-Nicholls did not rule out a legal challenge by the losing 2022 bidding countries "but believes it unlikely." Mayne-Nicholls: "If we change the date from June and July, we are changing the bids but I'm not sure whether Japan, Korea, Australia and the USA would go as far as to take legal action" (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 8/6).
Liga MX President Decio de María has confirmed that "the drug responsible for a pair of positive results on drug tests administered on the first matchday of the current season" was banned performance-enhancer Clenbuterol. De María also said that the positive tests came from two different teams, and Liga MX sides Chivas, Tigres, América and Santos "were ruled out because they did not have games on the day the tests were administered" (MEDIO TIEMPO, 8/5). ... League Championship Blackpool Manager Paul Ince labeled the pitch invasion by Preston fans an "absolute joke" after his side crashed out of the Capital One Cup, calling for "a major clampdown by the authorities." At the final whistle, hundreds of home fans swamped the pitch, prompting police horses to enter the fray and disperse the unsavoury end to the Lancashire derby (London TELEGRAPH, 8/6).