The German Football League (DFL) "has decided to send Bundesliga club Werder Bremen on a public relations tour to China," according to the SID. The goal of the tour "is to further the DFL's int'l marketing in China." Werder Bremen will receive about €500,000 ($692,000) for the trip. The club's trip to China from June 30 until July 6 "will also include two test matches" against Chinese Super League sides Tianjin Teda on July 2 and Changchun Yatai on July 5 (SID, 3/6).
SUMMER TOUR: The KÖLNER STADT ANZEIGER reported Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen's preparations for the upcoming season "will include exhibition matches in South Korea and Finland." Leverkusen is expected to take on South Korean club FC Seoul on July 30. It will also play an exhibition game against Scottish Premiership side Celtic at the Helsinki, Finland Olympic Stadium on Aug. 2 (KÖLNER STADT ANZEIGER, 3/6).
The FA and EPL side West Brom striker Nicolas Anelka appeared "set to accept the five-match ban" imposed on Anelka for his "quenelle" gesture by an independent panel when the written reasons behind the decision were published on Thursday, according to Owen Gibson of the London GUARDIAN. The five-match ban and £80,000 ($134,000) fine imposed on the Frenchman, who was subsequently suspended by his club and is unlikely to feature for them again this season, has been criticized as "too lenient" in some quarters, with Labour MP John Cryer labeling the FA "pathetically spineless." But some Jewish groups "have praised the FA for making the punishment stick." The FA has said that "it will wait for the written reasons to be made public before commenting on whether it will push for a stronger penalty, but it is believed to be unlikely to do so." Albion is also considering the full report before deciding what, if any, additional action will be taken against the forward (GUARDIAN, 3/6).
The FIFA Disciplinary Committee sanctioned the Antigua and Barbuda FA for FIFA Goal Regulations violations. The ABFA has been ordered to pay a fine of CHF 30,000 ($34,000) for having agreed to mortgage a property that was the subject of a FIFA Goal Programme investment with Antigua Commercial Bank without FIFA's prior consent (FIFA). The AP's Graham Dunbar reported describing the mortgage deal as an "inadvertent oversight," the federation said that "it was needed to help fund the national team's World Cup qualifying matches." ABFA President Everton Gonsalves said in a statement, "This arrangement with the bank was for the sole purpose of the further development of football in Antigua and Barbuda via participation in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers which is mandatory for all members of FIFA." The mortgage "was reported to FIFA by a football club in Antigua following the ABFA election last May" (AP, 3/6). FIFA has opened the bidding process for the 2019 Women's World Cup as well as seven more competitions, which are the FIFA Club World Cups from '15-18, the 2017 Beach World Cup, the 2018 U17 Women's World Cup and the 2018 U20 Women's World Cup (FIFA).