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Volume 6 No. 213

International Football

Former U.K. Tory party treasurer Jonathan Marland has "emerged as a strong contender for the vacant Premier League chairmanship," according to Charles Sale of the London DAILY MAIL. Marland had "discussions about the role before corporate financier Anthony Fry, who has stood down for health reasons, was appointed in April 2013." But Marland then had "too many other business and political commitments, including being the Prime Minister's trade envoy." These have now eased, leaving the Tory peer "able to devote the number of days required for such a crucial football role." The EPL panel, led by Chelsea Chair Bruce Buck, tasked with finding Fry's successor is waiting until CEO Richard Scudamore shows he's "fully fit to resume duties after major heart surgery before selecting a second chairman in two years." Former Southampton Chair Rupert Lowe is "another name being linked" with the EPL chairmanship (DAILY MAIL, 8/10).

Man City is "believed to be high on Football Federation Australia’s wish list as the likely next opponent for the A-League All Stars next year," according to Ray Gatt of THE AUSTRALIAN. FFA CEO David Gallop confirmed on Monday that "he is already looking for another high-profile European club to play in Australia." While he refused to name any of the clubs under consideration, he admitted that "it is one regarded as being in the world top 10." FFA "is determined to continue to build on the All Stars concept" following the success of Sunday’s match against Italian side Juventus, "when 55,000 watched the locals push the Serie A champions all the way before losing 3-2 in the dying minutes." Whether FFA "can attract one of the ‘Big Four’ remains to be seen, given they are in heavy demand for pre-season tours" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 8/12). In Sydney, Dominic Bossi reported FFA disclosed to A-League clubs a A$1M ($930,000) "direct profit from the Juventus friendly match and confirmed the All Stars concept will remain an annual fixture for the foreseeable future." Gallop said, "We're already in heavy planning to make sure there is another big fixture." The All Stars concept "received a favourable response from the Juventus players." Simone Pepe, who scored the winning goal for the Italian champions, "praised the standard of Australian football" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 8/11).

FIFA is "set to introduce time-outs and action replays during matches," according to Simon Mullock of the London DAILY MIRROR. The Dutch FA (KNVB) has "secretly piloted a scheme to develop video technology -- including the plan for teams to call for one decision review in each half." The KNVB's plan is "backed by colleagues in England, Germany and the United States." KNVB Head of Referees Dick van Egmond said, "We've received a ­positive answer from FIFA for an ­experiment in official matches." The proposal will be presented to the Int'l FA Board -- which governs the "laws of football" -- this week. Now, the Dutch want the experiment to be "publicly expanded in youth ­football in the hope that it will bring a ­permanent change in the laws of the game" (DAILY MIRROR, 8/9). In London, Henry Winter reported FA Chair Greg Dyke believes video technology "should be introduced in to football." Dyke: "We should not close our eyes to ways to make things better." The IFAB discussed "possible changes at its last gathering in March but decided against its introduction despite Dyke's lobbying" (TELEGRAPH, 8/10).

Real Murcia will play in the Spanish third division's Grupo I during the upcoming season following relegation for financial reasons. The team will have to make 19 trips to cities as far from Murcia, located in southeast Spain, as Santiago de Compostela, which is located 1,009km away in northwestern Spain. Real Murcia's shortest road trip will be 594km. The team will travel a total of 15,676km this season -- with its average bus trip expected to take seven and a half hours and cover 825km (MARCA, 8/11). ... Swiss Football Federation Head of Refereeing Carlo Bertolini said that "the vanishing spray will make its debut in the Swiss Football League next spring." He said, "It wasn't possible to introduce it earlier, but starting with the second half of the season the spray will be used here" (BLICK, 8/11). ... Visiting fans "will not return to Argentine football stadiums" in '14, but the "door is open for a return the following year." Province of Buenos Aires Sports Secretary Alejandro Rodríguez said, "It could happen starting next year, when there could be two new laws to modify the Penal Code and reclassify fan gang crime." Of an immediate return, Rodríguez said "it is a rumor, there are no possibilities of visiting fans returning" (CLARIN, 8/10). ... League Championship side Norwich City is "promising to clamp down on any supporters found guilty of using racist abuse after fans brought an incident at Molineux to their attention." It "is believed that a handful of the visiting support aimed abuse at a Wolverhampton Wanderers player, thought to be their recent signing, Rajiv van La Parra." The family of a black Norwich player was "believed to be closeby" (LONDON TIMES, 8/11). ... Sports data provider Sportradar has "penned an agreement with the Thai Premier League to monitor betting" during the '14 season. The association builds on the organization's existing partnerships in the region with the Asian Football Confederation and Football Federation Australia (FFA), and will see Sportradar "scrutinise betting behaviour and patterns for all 380 games of the campaign, including those games that were completed earlier in the year" (SBC NEWS, 8/11). ... Fans carrying iron bars got into a "heated confrontation" before the Brasileiro match between Corinthians and Santos that marked Robinho's return to Santos on Sunday. Nearly 100 fans clashed before the game at the Vila Belmiro Stadium. Video footage showed fans "swinging iron bars and throwing rocks and other objects at each other on the streets outside the stadium." Some Santos supporters "aimed firecrackers at their rivals" (AP, 8/10).

GHANA WARNED: FIFA said in a written warning to the Ghana FA that it risks an int'l ban if the country "conducts a government-ordered Commission of Enquiry into its World Cup campaign." After the "disastrous campaign" in which more than $3M "had to be flown from Ghana to Brazil to pay the players -- two of whom were later thrown out of camp for disciplinary reasons -- Ghana President John Mahama called for a review." FIFA, however, "prohibits governmental interference in the running of a national association" (BBC, 8/8).

GERMANY APPROVES VANISHING SPRAY: The German Football League (DFL) has approved the use of vanishing spray in Germany's top two divisions. The League Association Board voted unanimously in favor of the measure (Bundesliga).