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Volume 6 No. 212

International Football

The "first problem with the final" of the Champions League will be lodging, according to J. I. García-Ochoa of MARCA. Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid will compete in the final on May 24 in Lisbon, Portugal, "which can be traveled to in a short time from Madrid using plane, train or car." Since Tuesday night, "making reservations for hotel rooms during the weekend of the final (May 23-25) has already been nearly impossible." There are "practically no open rooms" and those available cost €1,600 ($2,220) -- "true madness." Ticket prices are "more affordable, but depending on category." The tickets cost from €70-€390 ($97-$540). Both teams will receive 17,000 tickets to distribute to their fans. The "most expensive seats almost all belong to UEFA, which will have a total of 24,000 for its partners and sponsors" (MARCA, 5/1). The EFE reported Spanish train operator Renfe will have additional trains and "will sell 2,000 extra tickets for the trip" between Madrid and Lisbon, which will be added to Renfe's "Trenhotel Lusitania" offer. This "will help fans make the trip both before and after the Champions League final" (EFE, 5/1).

MARÍN AVOIDED WATCHING: LIBERTAD DIGITAL reported because his "nerves do not allow it," Atlético CEO Miguel Ángel Gil Marín is "not usually present during games at his team's Vicente Calderón stadium." For his team's Champions League semifinal return league match in London against Chelsea, which Atlético won 3-1, Marín "made sure his flight back to Spain from London coincided with the time of the match" (LIBERTAD DIGITAL, 5/1).

Serie A side Inter Milan is "seen as having fallen foul of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules and so may risk punishment in the coming days," according to FOOTBALL ITALIA. Roma is "apparently just safe." Clubs are allowed to lose up to €45M ($62M) over the last two years. The Gazzetta dello Sport reported that Inter’s deficit "will surpass this." Juventus, AC Milan, Napoli and Fiorentina "fall into the category of clubs cleared under FFP regulations." Roma is "on the cusp," alongside Liverpool and Chelsea, for breaching the €45M deficit allowance (FOOTBALL ITALIA, 5/1).

Barcelona's Camp Nou stadium will on Saturday pay homage to former coach Tito Vilanova, who died last Friday at the age of 45. During the club's La Liga match against Getafe, Barcelona will honor Vilanova with a minute of silence and a video in his memory. The players will also wear shirts that say, "Tito, per sempre etern" ("Tito, forever eternal") (MARCA, 5/1). ... Thousands of football fans "could struggle to use the Internet at half of the World Cup stadiums in Brazil, a top government official said on Wednesday, underscoring the country's problems in preparing for the massive sporting event in June." Communications Minister Paulo Bernardo said that six of the 12 stadiums "have not yet inked deals to install Wi-Fi networks, leaving only mobile networks available, which may not be sufficient to supply fans' demand for data capacity during games." Bernardo: "Even if those stadiums sign deals now, it will be very difficult to offer good-quality service" (REUTERS, 5/1). ... League Championship side Wigan was fined £40,000 ($67,000) for breaching agent regulations. It "admitted a charge" in relation to the signing of Marc-Antoine Fortuné in July, with the conduct of the agent Willie McKay going against FA regulations. McKay has "had his overseas agent registration suspended for nine months", with the punishment "stayed for a period of two years" (PA, 4/30).