Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 6 No. 212

International Football

FA Chair Greg Dyke "committed to funding independent research into head injuries in the sport amid growing concerns over an alarmingly high incidence of dementia among former professional players," according to Sam Peters of the London DAILY MAIL. Dyke met the family of former England striker Jeff Astle -- who died in '02 aged 59 from early on-set dementia which a coroner found was caused by heading footballs -- and he apologized for the FA's and Professional Footballers' Association's "failure to deliver promised research while providing assurances more will be done to tackle the problem." This week "it emerged that as many as six of Aston Villa’s 1957 FA Cup winning side may have died suffering from dementia while the Mail on Sunday has also been inundated with calls and letters from families of ex-professionals with the disease." In June, Professor Willie Stewart, a world-leading neuropathologist who accompanied Astle’s family to Wembley to meet Dyke last week, "re-examined the former West Bromwich Albion striker’s brain and confirmed he died from chronic traumatic encephalopathy" -- a form of dementia caused by repeated head injuries and found in former boxers, American footballers and rugby players. Stewart said, "This is potentially a significant public health issue and needs to be treated as such" (DAILY MAIL, 8/16).

Polish Ekstraklasa side Legia Warsaw is "disappointed" UEFA did not support an expedited Court of Arbitration for Sport ruling over its Champions League punishment, according to the BBC. CAS will assess Legia's bid for "urgent provisional measures" on Monday. A fast-track procedure "could have led" to a CAS verdict on Monday. The club now hopes to be reinstated in the competition at Scottish Premiership side Celtic's expense "while the full appeal against the punishment is heard." An appeal at the level of UEFA "has already been rejected." Legia Warsaw Chair & co-Owner Dariusz Mioduski said, "Standing against UEFA has never been our aim, we wanted to oppose against the regulations which are obviously against the fair-play and the spirit of sport" (BBC, 8/16). The Scotland DAILY RECORD reported Mioduski said on Friday morning that "UEFA would not fast-track their application." He said, "A few days ago we requested UEFA for a quick appeal and we also discussed the possibility of not getting the right result. ... We tried to contact UEFA ... but after several hours we finally got an indication that UEFA will not support us. This effectively means that they want us to accept their decision." A UEFA spokesperson said that it "had not been given any information on the case from CAS" (DAILY RECORD, 8/15).

In a bid to boost attendance of football matches in Poland, the parliament's Physical Culture and Sports commission "unveiled a legislative proposal to scrap supporters' cards which are currently a prerequisite for attending Polish league matches," according to Jaroslaw Adamowski of INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL. Under the plan, the cards "will be cancelled" in the '15-16 season. The cards, which are currently issued to supporters by clubs, "will be replaced by regular identification documents, such as ID cards or passports, enabling fans to purchase tickets online without prior registration at stadiums." This "will also allow supporters of local sides to attend matches hosted by rival clubs." Opposition Law and Justice (PiS) party MP Andrzej Betkowski said, "These modifications are designed as a nod towards [football supporters], as without them [matches] are dead" (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 8/15).

Before Argentine second division side Nueva Chicago's game on Saturday, five members of "rival factions of the club's fan base" were injured in a shooting, including one who was killed. The victim, 20, was "identified as a member of the 'Las Antenas' faction, which clashed with the 'Los Perales' group" prior to a game against Guaraní Antonio Franco. The incident took place 600 meters from Nueva Chicago's República de Mataderos stadium in Buenos Aires (EFE, 8/17). ... FIFA has reinstated impeached Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President Aminu Maigari with immediate effect. It "also directed" that the planned Aug. 26 elections "must hold on the said date." FIFA said in a statement that Maigari's "impeachment by some members of the Executive Committee of the NFF did not follow due process and was not ratified by the Congress of the NFF" (ALL AFRICA, 8/15).