Football Notes: Japan FA President Apologizes To Qatar Over 2022 Flap
Japan FA President Kuniya Daini "sent an apology to Qatar 2022 claiming he was mistranslated in an interview." In a letter to Qatar FA President Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Bin Ahmad Al Thani, Daini wrote, "It is a fact and a decision by FIFA that [the] 2022 FIFA World Cup will be held in Qatar. We, Japan Football Association, fully support the hosting by Qatar with confidence that it will lead to further development of football in Asia" (PA, 4/24). ... Dutch side AFC Ajax has "extended the ban on their fans attending away league games against arch-rivals Feyenoord in Rotterdam following the riotous behaviour of supporters in Sunday's Dutch Cup final." It "ends hopes" that a five-year suspension instituted in '09 by the two clubs and the mayors of Rotterdam and Amsterdam, after a series of violent incidents, on away fans travelling to matches between the two clubs would be lifted. Fans of the league leaders "threw fireworks on the field, set advertising hoardings on fire and caused a half-hour hold up to the final against PEC Zwolle at the Feyenoord Stadium" (REUTERS, 4/24). ... Barcelona announced that it will be opening its first "official club academy in the United States." The academy, which will be called the FCB Escola, will open in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in August. The academy will "be designed for boys and girls ages 6-13, with as many as 400 expected to participate" (SPORT, 4/24).