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Volume 6 No. 211

International Football

The government official overseeing football said that Brazil’s plans to reform the sport "after decades of mismanagement won’t include an English Premier League-style model because it would weaken the national team," according to Tariq Panja of BLOOMBERG. Lawmakers, club presidents and the Brazilian football confederation (CBF) "have been discussing the creation" of a new football structure as Brazil prepares to host the 2014 World Cup. Brazil national secretary for football Toninho Nascimento said, "It’s great league, but it’s very bad for the national team. We don’t want this in Brazil." More than half of Premier League team owners "come from outside the U.K. English players account for less than a third of playing time this season." Nascimento, a former sports editor of Brazil’s O Globo, said that "although the spectacle served up by the 21-year-old Premier League is 'marvelous,' it comes at a cost." Squads full of foreigners "harm national team prospects." He said, "We have to be careful about what we do. The system in England is a big problem." About 70% of all Premier League players "are foreign compared to 6.9 percent in Brazil, according to website" (BLOOMBERG, 10/28).

The FA is "to publish plans later this year about increasing the number of British Asian players and coaches in the English game," according to Mandeep Sanghera of the BBC. Only eight homegrown Asian players "currently have professional deals across England's top four divisions." FA Inclusion Projects Coordinator Kevin Coleman said, "There are some specific targets around Asians in football." The aim is to "boost the number of homegrown Asians playing and coaching at both grassroots level and in the professional game." Asians made up 7.5% -- about 4.2 million people -- of the population in England, according to the '11 census. Those figures are not "reflected within football but Coleman believes the signing of the inclusion and anti-discrimination plan by football's authorities will have a major impact on the number of British Asians involved with the game" (BBC, 10/29).

ASIAN OFFICIALS' RECOMMENDATIONS: INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL reported "under the chairmanship" of FIFA VP Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, Asian football officials have "concluded a high-profile round table in Jordan by recommending a series of proposals to boost the development of grassroots football in the region." The package of "recommendations for driving grassroots football forward" includes the initial priority for grassroots football in Asia of girls and boys from 5 to 12 years of age, "followed by girls and boys from 13 to 19 years of age." Another recommendation encourages football bodies to organize "grassroots activities for men and women as well." The recommendations also suggest that Asian football bodies "must share best practices from organizations large and small, and communicate grassroots information using the Internet and other media" (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 10/29).

The Football League "will consider whether to introduce goalline technology in the latter rounds of the Capital One Cup, the tournament it oversees, and maintains it has no ideological opposition to its use in the league programme," according to David Hytner of the London GUARDIAN. The problem, however, for the Football League "is the huge cost of installing and maintaining the technology." A host of special cameras "would have to be set up at each ground, focused on the goals." League Championship Wigan Athletic Manager Owen Coyle said, "Obviously, there are huge financial implications; that will always be the difficulty. We know the huge wealth of the Premier League clubs but it will always be difficult further down the leagues" (GUARDIAN, 10/29). In London, Ben Rumsby reported "there are no such financial barriers for Premier League teams which stage League Cup ties, although technology has yet to be turned on in this season’s competition because the Football League uses Mitre balls, not the Nike ones for which Hawk-Eye is currently calibrated." The Football League confirmed "it was in talks with Mitre, the Premier League and Hawk-Eye about getting the technology up and running before the end of this season's League Cup," the fourth round of which begins this week, with the quarterfinals played in mid-December (TELEGRAPH, 10/29).

Football Against Racism in Europe Exec Dir Piara Powar said that "kicking Russia out of club and national competitions could prove counter-productive in terms of teaching the country how to eradicate the abuse of black players," according to Andrew Warshaw of INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL. Powar said that "Russia had to stop constantly going on the defensive every time it falls under the spotlight because of racism by its fans." Powar, a member of FIFA's anti-discrimination task force headed by FIFA VP Jeffrey Webb, "has been keeping a close eye on developments involving CSKA Moscow and Manchester City's Yaya Toure who has raised the concept of a possible boycott by black players of next year's World Cup." Powar is impressed by UEFA's crackdown so far this season but favors a "carrot-and-stick approach." Powar: "The issue for us now is how do we educate Russian football and these fans" (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 10/29). WORLD FOOTBALL INSIDER reported FIFA VP Prince Ali bin Al Hussein called for Russia "to tackle racism head on" to ensure the issue does not blight the World Cup in '18. He "was unconvinced that a boycott would be the right answer." Hussain: "What I hope happens is that these issues are seriously tackled so we can have a good World Cup. There was talk of boycotting the last European Championships in Poland and Ukraine but that went ahead and went well" (WORLD FOOTBALL INSIDER, 10/29). INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL's Andrew Warshaw wrote Webb, who heads the organization's anti-discrimination task force, said that "English football needs to seriously address the issue of coaching and management opportunities for retired black players and other ethnic minorities." Webb said non-white players are "demoralized" once they hang up their boots. EPL Norwich City's Chris Hughton "is the only black manager in the Premier League and Blackpool's Paul Ince and Charlton Athletic's Chris Powell the only ones in the Football League following the departure of Chris Kiwomya from Notts County" (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 10/29).

La Liga club Elche has denounced its own fans "who racially abused Granada's French defender Allan Nyom" in Saturday's La Liga game at its Martinez Valero stadium in Alicante. Elche said on its website (, "The club repudiates in the strongest possible terms the racist chants directed at the player Nyom that came from one very small section of the crowd" (REUTERS, 10/29). ... Cape Verde has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport over the FIFA ruling which resulted in it "being kicked out of the World Cup qualifying competition." The Lausanne-based tribunal said on Tuesday that "it had registered the protest, although it could not yet give a date for the hearing and decision" (BBC, 10/29). ... Northern Ireland Manager Michael O'Neill "has backed plans to expand the competing nations in the World Cup Finals from 32 to 40." O'Neill:  "It's just an extra game really. It'd benefit the game and if there were extra places available for European teams it would certainly be a bonus" (UTV, 10/28). ... The Scottish FA "could face punishment" from FIFA for the behavior of "Croatia fans during a World Cup qualifying match at Hampden Park this month." FIFA has "opened disciplinary proceedings against the SFA and the Croatian FA" for their failure to prevent travelling supporters from "letting off flares and smoke bombs during Scotland’s 2-0 win in the concluding group A qualifying match two weeks ago, with one flare being thrown on to the track" (LONDON TIMES, 10/29).