Football Notes: Man City Uses Children's TV Shows To Help Foreign Players Learn English
Man City's new foreign signings such as Jesus Navas and Alvaro Negredo "are being urged to watch children’s television programmes to help them learn English." Usually it is shows like "The Sopranos" or "Breaking Bad," which you hear Premier League footballers "rave about," but at the Etihad Stadium it is all about "Teletubbies," "Balamory," and "In The Night Garden" (London INDEPENDENT, 11/4). ... FIFA has released a list of the best-attended games so far during the ongoing U17 World Cup matches being held in the UAE. The semifinal matches "are to be held Tuesday, with the championship match scheduled for Friday." The games that have drawn the best attendances so far were the "Nigeria-Iraq and Argentina-Canada matches," which both drew crowds of 10,120. The other three matches to draw more than 9,000 took place between Mexico and Brazil (9,210), Canada and Iran (9,135), and Argentina and Austria (9,135) (LA AFICION, 11/3). ... The Spanish national football team will play a friendly in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea against Equatorial Guinea on Nov. 15 after "canceling a match against Angola on the same date." The team will travel to South Africa for a "friendly against the South African national team four days later" (MARCA, 11/4). ... The dispute over whether Kosovo should be given full int'l playing rights "shows little or no sign of being resolved." FIFA President Sepp Blatter recently hosted the latest in a series of talks with Football Federation of Kosovo President Fadil Vokrri and his Serbian counterpart Tomislav Karadzic. But Karadzic said that he still "totally opposes any kind of recognition for the breakaway Balkan state" which declared independence from Serbia in '08 (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 11/4). ... The Serbian government "must follow in Britain's footsteps" in preventing football hooliganism after yet another Belgrade derby was marred by fan violence (REUTERS, 11/4). ... Ghana's sports minister "requested an urgent meeting" with FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke on Monday over security plans for the World Cup playoff against Egypt in Cairo, "repeating his country's fears for the safety of travelling players" (AP, 11/4). ... The Brazilian government "wants to improve services" for the nearly 600,000 int'l visitors and 3 million local tourists expected at the 2014 World Cup (AP, 11/4).