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Volume 10 No. 22

International Football

Europe’s leading football leagues "have submitted an official protest" over proposals to hold the 2022 Qatar World Cup in the winter, but their objections "were ignored" by the home nations’ representative on the FIFA exec committee, according to Oliver Kay of the LONDON TIMES. The EPL, along with the top divisions in France, Germany, Italy and Spain, have sent their objections to FIFA under the banner of the Association of European Professional Football Leagues, whose Chair Frédéric Thiriez "signed the letter." FIFA Exec Committee VP Jim Boyce said in an interview with TalkSPORT that, while he could understand the leagues’ concerns, a winter World Cup "was the only option in 2022 due to the oppressive heat in Qatar in summer." Boyce: "I know the Qataris have said that they’re preparing to air-condition the stadiums, but how can you air-condition a country? Thousands of people will want to go and enjoy the World Cup as spectators. If we’re going to have a World Cup in Qatar, in my opinion it has to be played in winter, when the temperature will be more pleasant" (LONDON TIMES, 8/13). INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL's Matt Scott reported under Article 81 of the FIFA statutes, "changes to the International Match Calendar are in the gift of the executive committee." However, the statutes also stipulate that decisions must be taken "after conferring with the Confederations" (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL 8/13).

Argentine first division side Godoy Cruz on Tuesday started selling tickets for Sunday's game against River Plate to the "general public." Tickets for Godoy Cruz fans were scheduled to go on sale on Wednesday. The game will start Sunday at 9:15pm at Godoy Cruz's home stadium in Mendoza. With "visiting fans banned by the Argentine FA from football stadiums, this plan was devised to deceive the AFA and its security organizations" (CLARIN, 8/12). ... Ligue 1 side Monaco "still has three points" this season after the French Football League's (LFP) appeals committee canceled a two-point penalty the club received last season. Part of the penalty "also included playing a game behind closed doors, and that has been maintained." Monaco was sanctioned "because a fan invaded the field and attacked a referee during a game on May 17" (MUNDO DEPORTIVO, 8/13). ... The Nigeria FA said that the protest by the Malawi FA against the southeast city of Calabar, Nigeria, as a World Cup qualifying match venue "is unfounded." Malawi national team Manager Tom Saintfiet had written to FIFA, "urging a change of venue for the Sept. 7 World Cup qualifying match against Nigeria, from Calabar to Abuja." He had cited "inadequate security and a lack of good hotels in Calabar" (XINHUA, 8/13). ... Israeli Premier League side Beitar Jerusalem said that "it will stop playing on the Jewish Sabbath." Owner Eli Tabib "made the decision to stop playing from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday in order to allow its religious and traditional fans to attend home games" (JTA, 8/12).

GOAL-LINE TECHNOLOGY: The German Football League (DFL) has stated that "it remains unconvinced by goal-line technology" despite the opening weekend of the 1st Bundesliga season being affected by a controversial decision. TSG Hoffenheim forward Kevin Volland's goal "was not awarded after crossing the goalline during his team's 2-2 draw with FC Nuremberg on Saturday." Match referee Thorsten Kinhöfer "admitted his mistake after consulting TV replays at half-time," but the DFL will continue to wait for further testing of new technology until at least July '15. DFL Managing Dir Andreas Rettig said that FIFA's accepted margin of error of three centimeters "is simply too big for us" (SOCCEREX, 8/13).