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Volume 6 No. 213

International Football

The German Football League (DFL) "will not change its basic stance on the issue of goal-line technology despite Friday's phantom goal," according to the SID. DFL Managing Dir Andreas Rettig said, "We aren't against technological progress at the DFL, but we are talking about a very complex system, which is possibly still failure-prone. A margin of error of three centimeters, as FIFA allows, is not acceptable for us." In addition, Rettig pointed out the various systems that are preferred by different int'l associations. UEFA is in favor of goal-line referees, FIFA on the other hand will use the goal-line technology of German company GoalControl during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The 50-year-old also said that there are several unanswered questions: "Are we only implementing the system in the Bundesliga or also in the 2nd Bundesliga?" "What's the criteria for non-league competitions such as the German Cup (DFB-Pokal) or relegation?" However, Rettig said that the DFL's opposition to the system "is based on the three centimeter tolerance, which we don't accept" (SID, 10/21).

FIFA President Sepp Blatter arrived in the Caribbean this week "seeking to tighten financial oversight" in a region where some projects funded by grants from the governing body "floundered," according to Alex Duff of BLOOMBERG. A plan "to develop a national team for the Turks and Caicos Islands 'in the middle of nowhere' flopped," according to former squad member Chris Gannon. FIFA said in April it has had “difficulties” with projects on Antigua: an undated picture on its website of a planned $400,000 field shows "a waterlogged plot of disused land." Blatter began meeting with officials from 22 Caribbean football associations and the U.S. and Canada at a five-day seminar in the Cayman Islands Monday. FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke said that the trip "is part of a global roadshow that aims to ensure Blatter’s reforms to increase accountability and transparency reach national federations." Valcke: “FIFA cannot work at the top of the pyramid if at the bottom of the pyramid the member associations don’t have the same level of organization.” The Caribbean associations are part of the CONCACAF confederation, which also oversees football in North and Central America. The region has received $260M of FIFA’s developments funds that have totaled about $2B since '99 (BLOOMBERG, 10/21).

The int'l players union, FIFPro, "has issued a damning indictment of the exploitation of minors in South American football, urging FIFA to take action and demanding a complete overhaul of the practice," according to Andrew Warshaw of INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL. FIFPro's concern "follows alarming findings in a book entitled Niños Futbolistas (Boy Footballers) published by Chilean investigative journalist Juan Pablo Meneses which reports that many players aged 12 or younger are being bought by agents, who then transfer them to Europe." For more than two years, Meneses "investigated the treatment of talented child footballers, visiting nine South American countries, including Argentina and Brazil, to gather as much information as possible on how best to buy a promising youngster who could later be sold to a club in Europe" (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 10/21).

UEFA President Michel Platini has urged Qatar to solve its "problems" ahead of the 2022 World Cup which will be played in the Gulf state. Platini: "It's a gift that was made to the Qataris. But there are problems and they have to solve them. There are more important problems than knowing whether we play (the World Cup) in the summer or in the winter" (REUTERS, 10/20). ... Brazil int'l goalkeeper Jefferson has "criticised the state of the Maracana stadium pitch, saying the venue for next year`s World Cup final is unfit for playing." Jefferson: "We can`t play on a pitch like that. It was especially bad in the six-yard box. The people who look after the pitch need to review what they are doing. The Maracana deserves better" (XINHUA, 10/20). ... Spanish Football League (LFP) President Javier Tebas "dropped a complaint against national team execs for charging the travel expenses of their wives or partners to the national federation." Auditors found that five federation officials including FIFA VP Angel Maria Villar "began to charge the expenses of their partners to the organization" at the end of '02 (BLOOMBERG, 10/21). ... Gabriel Alejandro Aguirre, a 13-year-old boy "wearing an Argentine first division side Newell's jersey," died Sunday in Rosario while returning home from "watching the Newell's-Central rivalry match on TV at a friend's house." Aguirre was "believed to be fatally shot in a drive-by shooting, and Rosario police are investigating the case" (OLE, 10/21).