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Volume 10 No. 25

International Football

Reports in Spain maintain that the sale of La Liga season tickets for the '13-14 campaign "are down on previous seasons," according to FOOTBALL ESPANA. Although there are still signings to be made with two weeks of the summer transfer window remaining, "most clubs are weighed down by increasing debt and have accordingly raised their prices, a situation seen as a major contributing factor as the country struggles through an economic crisis." Eleven teams "have increased season ticket prices for this season." The cheapest highest-priced season ticket on offer is at Levante for €440 ($587), while the most expensive is the €1,840 ($2,455) Real Madrid fans "would need to cough up to get prime seats in the Santiago Bernabeu" (FOOTBALL ESPANA, 8/18).

Indian club football has been "thrown into chaos with all its I-League clubs failing to pass the club licensing test -- leaving the league without a single eligible club," according to Mark Baber of INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL. At the same time, the All India Football Federation and its sponsor IMG-Reliance is continuing the "drive to emulate the success of Indian cricket by restructuring football," including setting up a new tournament and new franchise clubs. A Wednesday meeting of the Club Licensing Appeals Body "holds the future of Indian football and the existing I-League in its hands as it decides the future of the teams and the league." The planned IMG-Reliance league is "reportedly going from strength to strength having come close to fulfilling its quota of Indian players." IMG Reliance has revealed that it requires "just four more players to be added to their roster for their new league," which, added to four provided by each of the proposed franchises, "will fulfil the total of 96 Indian players." A senior official from IMG-Reliance said, "I think we should complete our Indian quota latest by next week. Once that happens, our focus will be turned to foreign signings" (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 8/19).

A judge in Rosario, Argentina is investigating whether drug gang Los Monos (The Monkeys) "could receive a percentage of the player fee" if Argentine first division side San Lorenzo player Angel Correa is traded. One of "the first facts that activated alarm is that Correa is a native of Las Flores, a neighborhood dominated by Los Monos, as well as recorded conversations that compromise his representatives" (OLE, 8/19). ... France is to entertain Australia for the first time in an int'l football football friendly when it meets later this year. The fourth encounter between the two teams will take place at the Parc des Princes in Paris on Oct. 11, "four days before France's final World Cup qualifier at home to Finland" (REUTERS, 8/19). ... An Italian sporting court ordered Serie A club Lazio on Monday "to shut the notorious Curva Nord section of the ground for one game following racist chants aimed at Juventus players during the Super Cup" over the weekend. The Curva Nord "is the area behind the north goal in Rome's Olympic Stadium" (REUTERS, 8/19). ... The NextGen Series, the most prestigious youth tournament in European football, "has been suspended for a season amid funding problems." The suspension of the event has been described as "hugely disappointing" by organizers, who have been unable to secure sponsorship (ESPN, 8/16). ... The Korea Football Association on Monday "rejected an earlier proposal to reduce penalties on players implicated in a wide match-fixing scandal." The KFA turned away a proposal made by the K League "to downgrade penalties on 27 players" in connection with match-fixing in '11 (YONHAP, 8/19).