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Volume 6 No. 235

International Football

FIFA President Sepp Blatter said that he "will make a decision on whether to run for a fifth term as FIFA president before this year's Congress in Sao Paulo in June," according to Julien Pretot of REUTERS. Blatter said, "Let me repeat what I have been saying. I am not yet tired enough to decide that I will retire. Having said that, everything is open. I will certainly take a stand before this year's Congress." Blatter, who will be 78 in March, hinted that UEFA President Michel Platini "could succeed him even though the once-close relationship between the two has become strained in recent years." Blatter said, "He helped me become president in 1998 in Paris where it was us against the rest. It would be a logical continuation" (REUTERS, 1/16).

FC Barcelona "club members who would like Camp Nou to be their final resting place will now be able to have just that." FC Barcelona is set to open its new Memorial Area, "able to house up to 30,000 urns, which will make it the world's largest site within a sports facility" (MARCA, 1/15). ... Brazilian football player movement Bom Senso is threatening a "strike during the upcoming season." Brasileiro side Vasco da Gama player and Bom Senso spokesperson Juninho Pernambucano said that "players will stop league play" if the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) fails to meet their demands, "which include limiting the number of games per season and imposing strict financial regulations to guarantee that players receive their salaries" (EFE, 1/15). ... Colombian second division side Unión Magdalena footballer Ferley Reyes was killed in a shooting on Wednesday that also wounded his teammate, Luis Díaz Asprilla. The players were "hanging out with two other teammates at a barber shop at the time of the shooting" (OLE, 1/16). ... The head of a new Spanish football anti-corruption unit, Manuel Quintanar, said that his target "is to fight the growing threat of organised crime in the game." Quintanar was this week appointed director general of a new league integrity department, as the Spanish government and the football league "attempt to combat the spread of bribery and illegal betting on matches" (REUTERS, 1/16). ... Fans who are being priced out of attending the Brazil World Cup because of the high rates of accommodation "should take a look at a campsite option launched by two Englishmen in Recreio, in the west of Rio de Janeiro." For £35 ($57) a day per person, campers "can turn up and get the full World Cup experience in one of Rio's safer districts and in an area of outstanding natural beauty" (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 1/16). ... ManU fans "have slammed the club for selling discounted tickets to students in a bid to boost Old Trafford attendances." The club "sometimes offers a few hundred tickets to Manchester University Students' Union for fixtures that have not sold out" (MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS, 1/16).