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Volume 6 No. 212

International Football

Long-standing FIFA "critic" Andrew Jennings said that increasing pressure, including from Australia, over the "bizarre" choice of Qatar as 2022 World Cup host "could bring down FIFA and its embattled President Sepp Blatter," according to Tony Harper of FOX SPORTS. Jennings, whose '06 book "Foul!" and '10 BBC Panorama documentary that focused on how alleged FIFA corruption has "dogged Blatter’s regime," urged Football Federation Australia Chair Frank Lowy "to go further in condemnation of the decision." Jennings: "He knows what’s gone on, we all know what’s gone on. Nobody’s going to sue Frank Lowy, he’s one of the world’s richest men, and someone needs to say what needs saying and he’s in the best position to do it." Jennings said that Blatter "was in a desperate position, having to defend a decision he believes he does not support." Jennings: "Blatter’s problem is that he allowed this decision to be made by a group of old men who will likely be dead in 2022. But he’s behaved disgracefully in letting it happen. He should have kicked out the people who did that vote, and there should be a re-vote." FIFA’s exec committee will meet in Zurich on Oct. 3-4 and is "expected to push ahead with a plan to shift the date of the 2022 tournament." Jennings said that he "could not predict how the vote next month would fall, but was adamant a winter World Cup won’t happen." Jennings: "You can never predict what they will do." He added, "The bizarre decision to take the World Cup to Qatar defies the realities of the game. The temperatures in the summer are impossible and in winter it will not happen, period. The European leagues will not stand for it" (FOX SPORTS, 9/18).

Turkey believes it is "top of the list" to host the 2020 European Championship final after Istanbul lost the 2020 Olympics race, according to the AP. UEFA President Michel Platini "pledged his conditional support in January for Istanbul getting the elite final and semi-finals hosting package." Turkish Football Federation General Secretary Emre Alkin said, "It is all about the promises and Mr. Platini in a face-to-face conversation promised us -- and I underline that, promised us -- that if we don’t get the Olympic Games we will surely have the final package." UEFA is expected to announce on Friday which "are the formal applicants to host matches at Euro 2020, which will be played in 13 countries." Alkin said he expects "three or four, including Turkey," of UEFA’s 54-member countries to compete for the final package (AP, 9/18).

Brazil has "expressed interest" in hosting the women’s World Cup as early as '19. Brazilian Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo said that he has "talked with" FIFA President Sepp Blatter about the idea. Rebelo: "I think other countries are interested in holding the event. We’ll have to look at the calendar. If we don’t get it for 2019, then we’ll have to look at another year (2023)" (AP, 9/17). ... Goal-line technology "will be used" for the first time during a Dutch professional league match between FC Utrecht and Roda JC Kerkrade on Saturday (XINHUA, 9/18). ... Bulgarian side CSKA Sofia coach Stoycho Mladenov said that he is "expecting a murder at the Bulgarska armia stadium." Mladenov revealed that his son, Stoycho Mladenov Jr., who is his assistant, "was attacked by a masked man." Mladenov: "A hooded man attacked him. He is known to the police. My son is safe because at that time there were people there. Things cannot continue like this. The atmosphere here is like a time bomb. It is going to be a murder here" (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 9/18). ... Salamanca, Spain Mayor Alfonso Fernández Mañueco has asked the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) to "modify its regulations if they do not adapt to the city's legal rulings." This was Salamanca's response after the RFEF "opposed a Salmanca club's inclusion in a national competition following UD Salamanca's disappearance." Mañueco said that "if the RFEF's regulations do not follow the law, they will have to change because they are subject to the laws and rules of the country" (EP, 9/18). ... Brazilian fourth-tier side Aparecidense masseur Romildo da Silva was suspended by a Brazilian sports tribunal for 24 games and fined "about $250" for his actions earlier in the month. During an Aparecidense match against Tupi, Silva "lurked from behind the net and entered the field when a Tupi player cleared the goalkeeper and appeared to have an open shot on goal." Silva "blocked two consecutive shots," allowing his team to advance to the quarterfinals. With the ruling, "Tupi replaces Aparecidense in the next round" (AP, 9/18). ... All '13 results of Australian second tier football club Southern Stars "have been annulled although the scandal-ridden club has been cleared to feature in what looms as the most bizarre game in state league history." The "depleted Stars host third-place Bentleigh Greens for no points on Sunday at Kingston Heath Soccer Complex after Football Federation Victoria cleared them to play the final round of the season despite five of their games alleged to have been fixed this season" (HERALD SUN, 9/19).