Football Notes: Spanish Football Federation Withdraws Fine Of Real Jaén's Jona
The Spanish Football Federation's (RFEF) Appeals Committee on Friday "agreed to withdraw" Spanish second division side Real Jaén player Jona's €2,000 ($2,738) fine for "showing a message of support for the fight against youth cancer" (EFE, 2/21). ... Man City Manager Manuel Pellegrini has "retracted his extraordinary comments about Swedish referees and the allegation that bias from one of them caused City’s defeat to Barcelona on Tuesday," with an apology that has come "too late" to avoid a UEFA disciplinary charge. UEFA charged Pellegrini with "violating their principles of conduct" -- which may bring him a three-game touchline ban when his case is heard on Friday (London INDEPENDENT, 2/22). ... England national team Manager Roy Hodgson said that he was "worried about UEFA's 'week of football' concept following the 2016 European Championship draw in Nice on Sunday." Under new UEFA rules, matches in qualifying for Euro 2016 will be staged "every day from Thursday to Tuesday of double-header international weeks." Hodgson: "The thing I'm most concerned about is Thursday. I fear that in our preparation we will have to deal with top (Premier League) matches on Sunday, which means we wouldn't really get to work with the players before the Tuesday" (REUTERS, 2/23). ... The FA of Malaysia has launched the "Love Football, Stop Hooliganism" campaign -- "aimed at stemming the spread of football violence in the M-League" (THE STAR, 2/22). ... Asian football "agreed on a raft of measures for tackling cardiac arrest following the death last November" of U22 Jordanian footballer Qusai Khawaldeh, whose "tragic loss sent shockwaves throughout the region" (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 2/22).