Football Notes: UEFA President Platini To Announce Whether He Will Challenge Blatter
UEFA President Michel Platini is "set to announce Thursday if he will challenge former mentor Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency." Platini will "meet the leaders of his 54 member federations at the Champions League draw in Monaco before holding a news conference to explain his decision." UEFA spokesperson Pedro Pinto said, "He will present his plan and they will give him their feedback. It is always his policy to consult the national associations before making a big decision" (AP, 8/26). ... Israel's match against Belgium "for qualification to the 2016 European championship was postponed to March because of security concerns, the sport’s regional body said." The game, scheduled for Sept. 9, "will take place March 31 after negotiations" between the football bodies of the two countries (BLOOMBERG, 8/27). ... A 20-year-old fan of Paraguayan club Cerro Porteño "died on Wednesday of a gunshot to the head" outside Defensores del Chaco stadium in Asunción. The woman was "intercepted by a group of young fans, presumably of Cerro Porteño rival Olimpia, and was shot" (MARCA, 8/27). ... South Korea has "narrowed down the candidates for its men's national team head coach to four or five." KFA Technical Committee chief Lee Yong-soo said that the "goal is to fill the coaching vacancy within September but did not name any of the candidates" (YONHAP, 8/27).
IN NIGERIA: The Nigeria Football Federation is "in disarray after meetings on Tuesday resulted in a controversial 'election' and a split in the governing body." The developments on Tuesday have "resulted in a situation where Nigeria are in danger of being suspended from world football for government interference" (BBC, 8/27). ... Ghana FA President Kwesi Nyantakyi "looks to have been cleared by FIFA of any match-fixing allegations following a preliminary investigation" as the world governing body has "referred the claims" of a U.K. newspaper to the GFA to investigate. The ruling is a "massive boost" for Nyantakyi, "who is seeking to launch a legal action against the English newspaper the Daily Telegraph over the report made during the World Cup in Brazil in June." The Telegraph accused him of "being involved in match-fixing before the World Cup, which sparked international attention on Ghana" (GHANA SOCCER NET, 8/25).