Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 6 No. 212

International Football

The German Football League (DFL) said on Monday that Germany has "opted not to bring in" goal-line technology after the clubs from the top two divisions "voted against it," according to Karolos Grohmann of REUTERS. DFL President Reinhard Rauball said, "I can announce the clubs of the Bundesliga and the 2nd Bundesliga opted to do without it." He said that half of the top-flight clubs "had voted in favour but a two-thirds majority was needed." In the 2nd Bundesliga "only three of the 18 teams had voted for technology to come in." Rauball: "This issue is off the table for now." German referees "had backed the idea of putting a tiny camera on the line in order to avoid human error." DFL CEO Christian Seifert said, "This was a democratic vote and we have to accept it. But the professionalism of the Bundesliga does not depend on the introduction or not of goal-line technology." The Premier League became the first domestic league to use technology in August. Goal-line technology will also be used at the World Cup in Brazil (REUTERS, 3/24). HANDELSBLATT reported Rauball said that according to a study by the Technical University of Munich, "goal decisions represent only 5% of controversial scenes in a game." The rest are "fouls, offsides and other rule violations." The camera-based system would have had a price tag of €500,000 ($688,600), while the system using a magnetic field would have cost a maximum of €250,000 ($344,300) for a period of three to three-and-a-half years (HANDELSBLATT, 3/24).

The Russian Football Union on Monday "confirmed it plans to bring the two Crimean clubs currently in the Ukrainian Premier League over to the Russian league system," according to R-SPORT. The two Crimean clubs in the Ukrainian top flight are '92 champions Tavria Simferopol and FC Sevastopol, "both of whom have so far continued to play in the Ukrainian league despite their home region’s absorption by Russia." A FIFA spokesperson said that "football's world governing body had not been approached regarding the Crimea issue." The spokesperson said, "To date FIFA has not received any such request. FIFA has not approved anything." If the clubs were to move, a "certain process" of approval would need to be followed (R-SPORT, 3/24).

J.League side Urawa Reds striker Tadanari Lee has urged Japanese football to follow the Premier League’s zero-tolerance attitude toward racism "after taking part in the first J.League game to be played behind doors," according to Andrew McKirdy of the JAPAN TIMES. On Sunday, the J.League handed the club an unprecedented one-game supporter ban for a “Japanese only” banner hung by fans over an entrance to a stand at a game earlier this month. Lee, who joined Urawa from League Championship side Southampton at the start of the year, "applauded the J.League’s efforts to tackle discrimination in Japanese stadiums." Lee said, “Of course there are times when I feel it. ... I’m a football player and all I want to do is play football. I’d really like this kind of thing to stop" (JAPAN TIMES, 3/24).

Liga MX side Guadalajara said in a statement that it will "seek a lifetime stadium ban for unruly fans after two police [officers] were injured in an altercation Saturday night at Estadio Jalisco" during the club's 1-1 draw against Atlas, according to ESPN. Guadalajara said in the statement, "After what happened at the clasico in Estadio Jalisco, where a group of pseudo-fans had an altercation with the police, Chivas has determined, based on videos, pictures and public statements, that it will do what is needed so that these individuals can no longer enter any Mexican League stadium. We will also offer our support to find all those responsible for injuring police as well as investigate in detail the cause of these violent acts and starting today we will ban all members of the supporter's group who were involved" (ESPN, 3/24). In Mexico City, Jesús Hernández reported Guadalajara Owner Jorge Vergara Madrigal said on Twitter on Sunday that he would "donate money to cover the medical costs of the treatment for the injured officers." Madrigal "also said that the club would use its resources to find those responsible for the violence" (LA AFICION, 3/23). LA AFICION reported Jalisco Governor Aristóteles Sandoval tweeted on Sunday, "as a Jalisco citizen and fan of football I am dismayed and sad about the violence that occurred yesterday at our Jalisco Stadium." Sandoval "assured that the incident will be formally investigated and that there will be no impunity under any circumstances." Sandoval also tweeted, "Los estadios de fútbol son y serán de las familias; no permitiremos que la violencia nos arrebate ese gran espectáculo que es el fútbol" ("The football stadiums are currently and will always be for families; we will not allow violence to snatch from us the great show that is football") (LA AFICION, 3/23).

Spain's Referees' Committee (CTA) has reported Real Madrid players Sergio Ramos and Cristiano Ronaldo to the Spanish Football Federation's (RFEF) Competition Committee "after their criticism of Clásico referee Alberto Undiano Mallenco." The panel, which "holds meeting on Wednesdays," will decide "whether the comments made by the Madrid players are worthy of punishment." Ronaldo said of Mallenco, "He was pale, very nervous. A referee has to be relaxed in order to do as well as possible. It makes me think that matches are not only won on the pitch. Maybe they don't want us to win the league. Since I've been at Madrid we've never benefited from refereeing." Ramos: "It was a very tense Clásico. ... For the good of Real Madrid and of football, let's hope Undiano does not officiate another of our games this season" (AS, 3/24). ... Bayern Munich has been hit with a partial stadium closure for their Champions League quarterfinal against ManU "over the homophobic banner unfurled before their win over Arsenal." The European champions were sanctioned by UEFA for displaying a banner which featured the words "Gay Gunners" and an animation of Mesut Özil in front of the visitors’ signature cannon during this month’s last-16 second leg at the Allianz Arena. Bayern was also fined €10,000 ($14,000) after action was jointly taken over a political banner which read, "Say No to racism, Say Yes to Kosovo" (London TELEGRAPH, 3/24).