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Volume 6 No. 216

International Football

FIFPro and the Professional Footballers' Association said that footballers "should be removed from play if they lose consciousness," according to the BBC. EPL Tottenham keeper Hugo Lloris was "allowed to carry on after being knocked out in Sunday's 0-0 draw with Everton." PFA Deputy CEO John Bramhall said, "If anyone suffers severe trauma to the head and loses consciousness, they should be required to leave the field." The FA said that a player "can continue if assessed by a doctor." FIFPro medical advisor Vincent Gouttebarge said, "FIFPro condemns that the health and safety of players are left to coaches, trainers or even to players themselves. Medical professionals should be aware of any relevant medical guidelines and apply them in order to empower the health and safety on the field" (BBC, 11/4). In London, Jack Pitt-Brooke reported "while no rules were broken" at Tottenham, the PFA argued that in the future such situations "should lead to a compulsory substitution." Bramhall said, "When treating a player on the pitch, it can be very difficult to determine the severity of a head injury. It is important to take the pressure off the players, club medical staff, and the manager -- removing the need for them to make a very difficult decision" (INDEPENDENT, 11/5).

INJURIES MIRROR NFL: REUTERS' Kate Kelland reported brain scientists are warning rugby and football players who suffer multiple knocks to the head during their careers "are at added risk of brain damage that could lead to dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases." John Hardy, chair of Molecular Biology of Neurological Disease at University College London's Institute of Neurology, said, "What happens is that when you have a big impact, your skull twists one way but your brain stays in the same place." These injuries, he said, "are common" among boxers, NFL and hockey players, as well as football and rugby players. They "can cause damage to the brain similar to abnormalities found in people with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia" (REUTERS, 11/5).

Fears about disruption to the 2014 World Cup "have been raised after the key global football conference Soccerex was cancelled because of continuing civil unrest," according to the BBC. It "was due to start" in just three weeks time at the Macarana stadium in Rio de Janeiro. The organizers and Rio's state government "disagreed over why the event is being called off." In a statement, the organizers said the government took the decision because of "ongoing civil unrest" in Brazil. This was later "strongly denied" by the state government of Rio, instead citing funding problems. In a statement, the Rio government said, "The governor says he encouraged the organisers to seek cultural and sports incentive funding to finance the event, but the organisers failed to do so."  The organizers said that they would "be taking legal action against the Rio authorities responsible." Soccerex CEO Duncan Revie called the cancelation "cruel" and said he wanted to apologize to "every business, football club, league, federation and media organization affected by this news" (BBC, 11/5). FIFA Marketing Dir Thierry Weil told reporters in London: "We are as surprised as anybody at this change of plans but we do not believe it will have any influence on the hosting of the World Cup. It's a pity it has been canceled, it's never good when you cancel such an event. Flights and hotels have been booked and this causes massive disruption, but this won't impact on the World Cup" (REUTERS, 11/5).

FIFA said that a provisional arrangement for the organization of football in "the divided island" of Cyprus was "agreed between" the Cyprus FA and the Cyprus Turkish FA on Tuesday, according to Kieran Barry of REUTERS. FIFA said in a statement, "The arrangement, which is based on the FIFA and UEFA statutes and only concerns football-related matters, aims to unify and facilitate the progress of football within the football communities on the island of Cyprus through a relationship based on trust, mutual respect and goodwill." Cyprus "has been divided into Greek and Turkish parts" since a Greek Cypriot coup was followed by a Turkish invasion of the north in '74. FIFA hailed Tuesday's agreement in Zurich as a "major milestone" (REUTERS, 11/5). BLOOMBERG's Paul Tugwell reported the CTFA "will be a member of the CFA, which will be responsible for organizing local soccer and for international activities in all of Cyprus." FIFA President Sepp Blatter said in the statement the agreement is an “excellent example of how football can build bridges and bring people together after a long period of conflict” (BLOOMBERG, 11/5). INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL's Andrew Warshaw reported both sides "agreed to set up a steering committee to work towards implementing the arrangement which will give Turkish Cypriots a far greater say in the running of the game than they have ever had since separation." Earlier this year, the leaders of the respective federations announced that "they were closer than ever to burying their differences after decades of division." In what was described as a crucial breakthrough that could "pave the way for ultimate integration, the two sides set out a roadmap for a deal that will have ramifications far beyond fans on both sides of the island" (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 11/5).

EPL club Norwich has been fined £20,000 ($31,900) after admitting a FA charge in relation to its "players being involved in an stoppage-time scuffle against Cardiff" (London INDEPENDENT, 11/5). ... The FA of Malaysia "confiscated about 1,000 fake tickets from fans before the kick-off of the Malaysia Cup final between Kelantan and Pahang at the Shah Alam Stadium on Sunday." FAM Tickets & Gates Committee Chair Datuk S. Sivasundaram believes that "a syndicate is behind the printing of these illegal tickets" (THE STAR, 11/5).