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Volume 6 No. 212

International Football

Two German broadcasters have said that "they were detained by Qatari police this month as they attempted to investigate the plight of migrant labourers building infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup," according to Osborne & Gibson of the London GUARDIAN. Filmmaker and head of a Munich-based production company Peter Giesel and his cameraman Robin Ahne "were detained for 27 hours after filming the working conditions of labourers from the balcony of the Mercure Grand hotel in Doha." Giesel said, "They said they just wanted to talk to us, but it wasn't clear about what. But the interrogations went on for several hours and then the security police got involved. They were talking about us sparking a riot by talking to the workers ... and that's why we got detained and put in jail." Giesel and Ahne were seized and held on Oct. 3, at exactly the same time as FIFA's exec committee "was discussing the issue in Zurich." The pair were released after friends and family got in touch with the German embassy in Qatar, "prompting the German government's human rights commissioner to get involved." The footage shot by the German broadcasters "has been acquired by Sky Sports News" (GUARDIAN, 10/14).

The players of Bulgarian first division club Neftohimic Burgas "have agreed to play without wages in an attempt to save the club from bankruptcy" (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 10/15). ... Another wave of fan violence hit Brazil during the weekend, "with seats destroyed at a World Cup stadium in Fortaleza and dozens of supporters detained after clashes in Sao Paulo." World Cup organizers said on Monday that "about 100 seats were destroyed at the Arena Castelao by Fortaleza fans upset that the team missed out on promotion" (AP, 10/15). ... An official FIFA Fan Zone will open on the Corniche in Abu Dhabi on Thursday "to give supporters a front-seat view" of the U17 World Cup matches (THE NATIONAL, 10/15). ... Italy coach Cesare Prandelli said that Italy's football players "will be banned from using Twitter and other social media at the World Cup in Brazil next year." Prandelli: "New... rules will come into force, and they will be more stringent. We are looking at banning the use of social networks for players. ... The restriction will definitely be in force for the World Cup training camp" (REUTERS, 10/15). ... World football players' union FIFPro VP Philippe Piat said that FIFPro "will urge its members not to take part in the 2022 World Cup if it is played in Qatar's summer." Piat, the only candidate in next week's FIFPro presidential election, said, "We will not play in the summer in Qatar. Playing in Qatar when it's 45-50 degrees Celsius is not serious, even if they install air conditioning in the stadia" (REUTERS, 10/15).