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Volume 6 No. 212

International Football

Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan "is planning to buy a football team in the forthcoming Indian Super League," according to Urvi Malvania of the Indian BUSINESS STANDARD. Khan said, "We are passionate about our cricket franchise Kolkata Knight Riders and would want to get into other sports. Football is the ideal way to go, considering Kolkata is crazy about it. We are in talks with IMG-Reliance for the tournament. It's at a nascent stage, but we are looking at the opportunity." He and KKR co-Owners Juhi Chawla and Jai Mehta "have no intention of selling the team." Khan revealed that "in the past he wanted to have a team in the Formula 1 sport, but that did not work out." The ISL is a football tournament "which will follow" an Indian Premier League-like structure. It is "expected to take off in September-October" (BUSINESS STANDARD, 2/20).

Man City Manager Manuel Pellegrini could face action from UEFA over his comments following its 2-0 Champions League defeat to Barcelona "after the European governing body launched an investigation into his remarks," according to the MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS. Pellegrini criticized Swedish referee Jonas Eriksson "and appeared to question his impartiality after a match which turned on the decision to award Barca a penalty and send off City defender Martin Demichelis in the 54th minute." A UEFA statement said, "UEFA has mandated a disciplinary inspector to commence an investigation concerning the press interviews given by the Manchester City FC head coach Manuel Luis Pellegrini to media after the above-mentioned match. Based on the outcome of this investigation, a decision will be taken on whether disciplinary proceedings will be opened." UEFA's referees chief "has already dismissed Pellegrini's comments." FIFA VP Jim Boyce said, "I read the remarks that were made by the Manchester City manager. I saw the game and my own personal opinion is that I thought the referee had a good game" (MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS, 2/20).

Spain's National Anti-Violence Commission condemned the "unidentified person who threw a gas canister onto the field during Saturday's La Liga match between Villarreal and Celta Vigo." The commission proposed that Villarreal, which hosted the match, be fined €4,000 ($5,476) (EFE, 2/20). ... Spain's Competition Committee decided to fine Spanish second division side Real Jaén player Jona €2,000 ($2,738) for showing a "message of support for the fight against youth cancer." Jona lifted his shirt to display a message on his undershirt that said, "Ánimo pequeñines, día mundial contra el cáncer infantil" ("Cheer up toddlers, World Day against childhood cancer") -- Int'l Childhood Cancer Day. Jona: "I am surprised because my only objective was to support children on child cancer day, which was celebrated last Saturday" (SPORT, 2/19). ... The Confederation of African Football and UEFA "are set to grow closer" with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on Thursday for mutual cooperation toward the development of the game. The MoU, "meant to strengthen cooperation between the two confederations and provide a framework for exchange and dialogue," was sealed at the CAF headquarters in Cairo (ALL AFRICA, 2/20).