The Home Office said that U.K. pubs "will not be allowed to open late" during England's opening World Cup match this summer, according to Haroon Siddique of the London GUARDIAN. It "has rejected" a request from the British Beer & Pub Association "for serving times to be extended during the opening and closing weekends" of the World Cup. Crime Prevention Minister Norman Baker said the World Cup was not a "one-off." England plays Italy at 11pm local time on Saturday June 14. BBPA has urged Baker to "reconsider his decision as its initial request was made before the World Cup draw was made." BBPA CEO Brigid Simmonds said, "The Home Office wrote back to us and said, 'We don't consider this of national importance.' They've really missed something here and they should reconsider" (GUARDIAN, 2/2).
The Terengganu FA wants the FA of Malaysia "to investigate the alleged assault" of a Malaysia Super League side T-Team player and fitness coach during the FA Cup second round match against Johor Darul Ta’zim at the Larkin Stadium in Johor Baru on Saturday, according to Joseph Kaos Jr. of THE STAR. T-Team claimed that player Evaldo Goncalves and fitness coach Stefano Impagliazzo, both Brazilians, were assaulted by a "high-level personnel" from Johor FA's management in the stadium tunnel at halftime, with JDT leading 2-1. T-Team's players "refused to come out of the dressing room for the second half and the game was then abandoned" (THE STAR, 2/3). In Petaling Jaya, K. Rajan wrote a lengthy 12-month ban and a RM8,000 ($2,400) fine is the punishment "most likely to be meted out" on the high-ranking Johor Darul Ta’zim official if he is found guilty of assaulting a T-Team player. The ban and fine are based on FAM's disciplinary code. FAM General Secretary Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin promised that "stern action will be taken once they receive the match commissioner’s report on Monday" (THE STAR, 2/2).
Football Federation Australia has brought in new measures to tighten security for "active supporters" of A-League sides Western Sydney Wanderers and Melbourne Victory, according to Michael Lynch of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Under the new rules, "designed to more rigorously police the zones within the ground where the clubs' most zealous fans gather, only club members will be entitled to purchase tickets into active-supporter areas." The FFA said in a statement, "Each member will be entitled to purchase one ticket for their own use." The move "is designed to prevent the sort of scenes that provoked embarrassing coverage on television and in the papers following the post-Christmas match between the two clubs." The game's governing body "is aware of the growing climate condemning street violence, particularly in Sydney" (SMH, 2/2).
FIFA has given Qatar two weeks to explain "how it is improving welfare and living conditions for workers building World Cup 2022 projects." FIFA said it expects to be sent "information on the specific steps" that have been taken since President Sepp Blatter visited Qatar after rights groups "criticized conditions for migrant workers from countries like Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh" (AL JAZEERA, 1/31). ... The Myanmar Football Federation "is now building its third football academy" near Thuwunna Sports ground in Yangon, with plans to complete the academy this year. MFF will build the Yangon Football Academy with the assistance of FIFA's Goal Project-5 program. The MFF president "will cover the construction costs" (ASIA NEWS NETWORK, 2/1). ... The Japan Soccer Museum "will host a special exhibit" celebrating Tokyo’s historic National Stadium. The stadium, which hosted the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, "will be closed this year for reconstruction as the centerpiece of the 2020 Tokyo Games." The exhibit at the Japan Soccer Museum in Tokyo’s Bunkyo Ward "will introduce visitors to the games and tournaments staged there" (KYODO 1/31).