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Volume 10 No. 25

International Football

Carlo Tavecchio "has been elected as the new president of the Italian Football Federation (FIGC)," according to the BBC. The 71-year-old "caused controversy" during his election campaign after making a racist comment about some players being "banana eaters." Tavecchio "beat former AC Milan player Demetrio Albertini in the vote." Tavecchio said, "I will be a president for everybody, and especially for those who have legitimately expressed their dissent about me taking the job." Tavecchio secured 63.63% of the vote in the third round of polling, "compared to rival Albertini's 33.95%." He "replaces Giancarlo Abete" (BBC, 8/11). In London, Ben Rumsby wrote Man City Elite Development Squad Manager Patrick Vieira "reacted with dismay" to Tavecchio’s election as president of FIGC, despite being condemned by the head of FIFA’s anti-racism task force, Jeffrey Webb, and Football Against Racism in Europe Exec Dir Piara Powar. Vieira "used Twitter to express his disappointment." Vieira posted, “For me, that shows how far away the Italian football authorities are from dealing with discrimination. 63.63% of those that voted are admitting that they aren’t fighting against racism, or that they don’t want to fight these problems. I played in Italy for years so I know the issues, I saw the issues. If he was an English man making this kind of comment, politically, he would be completely out" (TELEGRAPH, 8/12). The London GUARDIAN reported several leading clubs "withdrew support for the amateur leagues president, who originally had the backing of all Serie A teams apart from Juventus and Roma." Among his first tasks "will be selecting a new head coach for the Italian national team." Former Juventus coach Antonio Conte and former Man City Manager Roberto Mancini "are reportedly leading the race" to replace national team coach Cesare Prandelli (GUARDIAN, 8/11).

Fearful Togo officials have asked the Confederation of African Football to "move a game out of Ebola-affected Guinea as the outbreak of the deadly disease threatens to badly disrupt the African Cup's final qualifying round," according to Ekoue & Imray of the AP. Games involving Sierra Leone are "already under scrutiny after that country said it would not host any football matches until further notice because of Ebola." The Togo Football Federation's request refers to the "first game of the final group stage in Guinea in the first week of September." The federation said, "We are scared by the situation prevailing in that zone." The TFF added that it would "follow advice from its government, which would likely prevent the party travelling to Guinea." Togo stressed it would not "put in danger" the lives of its players and officials and said some of the squad members had "already expressed fears over going to Guinea" (AP, 8/11). The AP reported Sierra Leone has asked for permission to play some of its African Cup qualifiers in Ghana "because of the Ebola outbreak." The CAF said the request had "been made to Ghanaian authorities and 'necessary reviews are being undertaken'" (AP, 8/12).

The Premier League is planning to meet fans angry about ticket prices "for the second successive summer when hundreds of them march on its headquarters on Thursday," according to Ben Rumsby of the London TELEGRAPH. The Football Supporters' Federation will lead a protest against price rises in the wake of clubs' new £5.5B ($9.2B) broadcast deal, claiming "nine out of 10" of those who attend matches believe doing so has become too expensive. Thursday's march "will focus on overall prices amid fury" from West Ham supporters about having to pay up to £75 ($120) to watch their side's season opener against Tottenham. The league is ready to listen, "despite having no direct power over prices charged by its clubs" (TELEGRAPH, 8/12). In London, Ben Burrows wrote the FSF said that "the clubs have swelled their coffers enough of late to give the common fan a discount but are choosing not to." The FSF said, "The increase in Premier League media rights alone could have led to all 20 clubs letting in each and every supporter for all 38 games for free last season without being any worse off than they had been the season before." The protest "will begin at Marble Arch on Thursday" at 1pm before heading to Gloucester Place (DAILY MIRROR, 8/12).

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Monday ordered the government to keep spending for the 2018 World Cup "in check," according to Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber of the MOSCOW TIMES. Medvedev: "Funds have already been allocated for the construction [of sports facilities, hotels and other infrastructure projects]. The costs are being calculated in different ways. But taking the current situation into account, we need to follow the financial plan that already exists." Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said on Monday that 12 stadiums "still need to be built, along with 64 training facilities and 102 training pitches, to accommodate the 32 teams that will participate in the next World Cup." Mutko also said that 10 host-city airports will need to "undergo restoration, and that a brand new airport will be built in the southern metropolis of Rostov-on-Don" (MOSCOW TIMES, 8/11).

Uruguayan Eugenio Figueredo, who is leaving his role as president of CONMEBOL to succeed Julio Grondona as FIFA VP, "admitted it would be 'difficult' for Argentina and Uruguay to jointly host the World Cup" in '30. Figueredo: "I have no doubts, and I can assure it today, that Uruguay could organize a 'mundialito' or something special, but not a World Cup" (LOS ANDES, 8/12). ... FIFA has received a complaint from Dutch footballer Michel Vorm's former club, Dutch side FC Utrecht, in relation to his transfer to Tottenham from Swansea. Vorn moved to White Hart Lane for an "undisclosed fee," with Utrecht claiming "they have not received" 30% of Vorm's transfer fee, which Utrecht alleges was "part of a sell-on agreement between them and the Swans when he moved to Wales" for £1.5M in '11 (London TELEGRAPH, 8/12). ... Poland's Legia Warsaw has decided to "appeal against their elimination from the Champions League over the use of a suspended player, saying on Tuesday they deserved to be in the next stage of the competition." Legia was stripped of its place "despite beating Scottish champions Celtic 6-1 on aggregate because they brought on a suspended player, Bartosz Bereszynski, for the last few minutes of the second leg they won 2-0 at Murrayfield" (REUTERS, 8/12). ... Colombian footballers Andres Gonzalez and Jairo Suarez are the first two int'l players "confirmed for the inaugural season" of the Indian Super League. These two, "apart from 47 other international players, will comprise the required quota of 49" in the central int'l player pool. The draft will be held on Aug. 21 (THE HINDU, 8/12).