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Volume 6 No. 212

International Football

The exhibition games of 2nd Bundesliga clubs Dynamo Dresden and SC Paderborn against Russian side Rubin Kazan "have reportedly been fixed," according to the SID. There reportedly have been "high bets and unusual referee appointments." The Russian Premier League side used eight players from its second-division "farm team" Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk during its 3-0 loss to Dresden. Friedhelm Althans, who is the chief investigator of the '09 Bochum betting scandal, said, "I've submitted evidence that hints at possible match-fixing to UEFA." The test match between Paderborn and Kazan "is also under suspicion." Bookmakers "recorded unusually high bets on a goal of Paderborn during the 85th minute of the game." The team scored its 2-1 game winner in the 89th minute via penalty kick. Paderborn GM Michael Born "reportedly has already informed the German Football League (DFL) about the incident." Born: "There have been several strange refereeing decisions during the game. Prior to the penalty kick, two players jumped for a header, yes there was a little contact, but all of a sudden there was a whistle, unbelievable." Born added, "We had an early suspicion, and we now informed the DFL about it. That's all we can do for now." UEFA "has not yet taken any action in the case of the Dresden game." Dresden Sport Dir Steffen Menze explained that "ahead of the game, it was agreed upon that Kazan would play with a B team." However, it "was not agreed upon that it would use a majority of players from its farm team" (SID, 1/29).

Spain's national football team is "set for another stopover" in the U.S. prior to "jetting out to Brazil this summer," according to MARCA. After La Roja warmed up in Miami and N.Y. ahead of the Confederations Cup, Washington, D.C. "has been chosen as the base this time around." It will be Spain's "second phase of warm-up work ahead of the World Cup." Though the Champions League final is scheduled for May 24 in Lisbon and "it is mandated that all players who feature in it are given a week off," Spain plans to begin World Cup training on May 26 in Madrid. The squad will fly to D.C. on June 2, and leave the U.S. for Curitiba on June 8. The "torrential rain" that prevented the team from "training properly in Miami last June was a vital factor in the decision to look elsewhere," with D.C. "getting the nod because it will be hot -- like in Brazil -- but the conditions will be comfortable enough to work in" (MARCA, 1/28).

The local organizing committee for the Qatar 2022 World Cup has been activated, "with a newly-formed Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy providing oversight of the project." The head of the LOC, which will liaise closely with FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke and his World Cup department, "has yet to be named" (WORLD FOOTBALL INSIDER, 1/29). ... Nocerina has been kicked out of Lega Pro B "after players faked injury during the game with Salernitana in November." The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) confirmed that the Neapolitan team "had been expelled and had also handed out bans to a number of players and officials," as well as fining the club €10,000 ($13,700) (FOOTBALL ITALIA, 1/29). ... FIFA on Tuesday "extended to a global level sanctions imposed by the Asian Football Confederation on three Lebanese match officials who were part of a sex-for-fixing scandal." FIFA said that "it had banned referee Ali Sabbagh from all football-related activities for life, as well as forbidding him entering any stadium in the world." Linesmen Ali Eid and Abdallah Taleb "were handed down ten-year football and stadium bans" (AFP, 1/29). ... FIFA "has been alerted" after a rogue group offered Tottenham the chance to sign Dutch Eredivisie side FC Twente striker Luc Castaignos using falsified documents. The Dutch football employers' organization (FBO) "has also warned three agents over the matter" after Twente Chair Joop Munsterman’s signature was apparently forged for a false mandate document authorizing Castaignos’ sale (ESPN, 1/29). ... Australian second-tier club Tuggeranong United "will get a 'significant shot in the arm' financially if its appeal to be included in the inaugural Football Federation Australia Cup is successful." United will find out at a Capital Football board meeting on Feb. 18 "whether it will be the ACT's representative in the elite 32-team nationwide competition" (CANBERRA TIMES, 1/28).