Football Notes: UEFA Publishes '14-16 European Football Championship Regulations
The regulations of the UEFA European Football Championship, '14-16 competition, have been published on UEFA.com after being approved by the UEFA Exec Committee at its December meeting in Bilbao, Spain. As hosts, France qualifies automatically for the first 24-team final tournament -- to be played from June 10-July 10, '16 -- leaving a record field of 53 nations to be drawn into groups of five and six teams when the qualifying draw takes place in Nice on Feb. 23 (UEFA). ... Poland's Ekstraklasa "is aiming to educate young footballers on the risks related to gambling." The initiative, carried out by the Ekstraklasa Foundation, is launched in cooperation with Transparency Int'l, "which also collaborates with six other European football leagues" on similar programs (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 12/19). ... FIFA President Sepp Blatter said that referees will use the recently developed vanishing spray at the World Cup next year "to stop defensive walls creeping forward at free-kicks." Blatter said that the spray, developed in Brazil and Argentina, "had received a positive reception after being used at the Club World Cup in Morocco" (REUTERS, 12/19). ... Despite many unsolved problems and casualties in Indonesian football, FIFA said that "it has seen improvements" from the Indonesian FA (PSSI). Officials from FIFA "were in the country on a five-day trip as part of the FIFA Performance Program to discuss governance, management and technical support" (JAKARTA GLOBE, 12/19).