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Volume 6 No. 212

International Football

Professional Footballers' Association CEO Gordon Taylor retains the "full support" of the PFA in the wake of allegations that he has amassed substantial gambling debts, according to the PA. The allegations appeared to place Taylor's position at the head of the union in doubt, "but in a statement released on Thursday afternoon, the PFA has indicated that is not going to happen." The statement said, "The management committee are aware of the recent press allegations regarding Gordon Taylor. Whilst this is a private matter for Gordon, he has informed us that this dispute has been in the hands of lawyers for some time." Taylor himself is yet to speak on the matter, although given the regularity with which he is required to comment on playing matters, "that is not a stance which could realistically last for any significant length of time" (PA, 8/29). REUTERS' Josh Reich wrote the 68-year-old Taylor has recently spoken about the "social responsibility" of his members and called for zero tolerance towards gambling, as well as highlighting its dangers for players. The PFA recently fined and suspended Tottenham's Andros Townsend "for breaching betting regulations." EPL side Stoke City's Cameron Jerome was also fined £50,000 ($77,400) "for admitting a breach of the rules" (REUTERS, 8/29).

In "yet another blow to Indian football," the All India Football Federation was on Thursday "forced to disband its developmental outfit Pailan Arrows due to lack of financial commitment from its sponsors," according to the PTI. AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das said, "The sponsors (Pailan Group) are still yet to make any financial commitment. The infrastructure (at Pailan in the outskirts of the city) is in a bad shape... We have no option but to pull out the team. So, there will be 14 teams in the I-League 2013-14." Das, however, added that "the future of the 20-odd contracted players would be secured as the AIFF would continue to pay their salaries" (PTI, 8/29).

State FAs in Malaysia "have been given one month to set up integrity committees to help curb match-fixing or action will be taken against them," according to Ahmad & Husin of THE STAR. Youth & Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said that some states had refused to set up the committees, adding that "he would come down hard on those who failed to meet the deadline." Jamaluddin said, "I have asked them nicely when I met them three months ago, but there are still those who just refuse to do so." He said this when asked what the ministry "planned to do about the match-fixing menace," following Negri Sembilan FA President Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan's allegations "that match-fixing is taking place in the Malaysia Cup competition." Mohamad was reported by a Malay language daily as saying that he could "smell corruption" happening and did not rule out his state team's involvement either (THE STAR, 8/29).

The FIFA task force aimed at improving the situation of football in Palestine will hold its first meeting Sept. 3 in Zurich. The group is set to analyze different bilateral matters including facilitating the movement of players, referees and equipment in and out of and within Palestine. The ultimate objective is to improve the situation of football in the region (FIFA). ... FIFA said that players from Estonia and Tunisia and match officials from Lebanon and Armenia "have been given worldwide bans in connection with attempts to manipulate games." FIFA said that the bans had "already been imposed at local level by the respective federations and would now apply globally" (REUTERS, 8/29). ... The Spanish government has justified La Liga side Real Valladolid's decision not to allow Deportivo La Coruña fans to carry flags representing the Spanish state of Galicia into a La Liga game on May 11 at Valladolid's José Zorrilla stadium. The Spanish government said in a statement, "Although it is true that flags and emblems do not by themselves constitute any sort of infraction or crime, at a sporting event with masses of people and other circumstances, like athletic or regional rivalries, converging, displaying flags could provoke an adverse and violent reaction by other fans in attendance" (EL PAIS, 8/29). ... Deportivo La Coruña President Augusto César Lendoiro, whose team now competes in the Spanish second division, "requested that his team's fans give Real Madrid an ovation for participating 'for free' in the 60th edition of the Teresa Herrera Trophy on Thursday" at Deportivo's Riazor stadium. Lendoiro: "We should thank Real Madrid for the effort they make in coming for free, in a special way, because they are coming in between two La Liga games" (EFE, 8/28). ... The Greek football authorities "have again reformatted the leagues in a desperate bid to create more revenue." This time the format of the Football League, the country's second tier, "has been changed with immediate effect as the league seeks to generate more TV money" (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 8/29). ... Two "notorious Brazilian fan groups have been given a two-year ban from attending matches at Brasilia's Mane Garrincha 2014 World Cup stadium." The government of Brazil's Federal District "applied for the penalty to the Hawks of the Faithful and Sao Independent fan clubs for their involvement in wild brawls at the venue in the past two weeks" (XINHUA, 8/29).