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Volume 6 No. 213

International Football

Once the "first choice destination for the world's top players, Serie A increasingly seems to be looked upon as a place for older players to see out their careers," according to the AFP. Among those to arrive during the transfer window were 33-year-old Patrice Evra, who moved from ManU to Juve, his 32-year-old former teammate Nemanja Vidic, who joined Inter Milan, and Ashley Cole, 33, who went from Chelsea to AS Roma. Clubs in countries such as Portugal and the Netherlands "seem to have accepted their fate to act as springboards for players moving between Latin America, Eastern Europe or Africa and Europe's biggest clubs." Italian clubs, however, "appear to be unsure if they should concentrate on developing young talent or sign players with some experience" (AFP, 9/3). The London GUARDIAN reported Ligue 1 Monaco supporters are "being urged to demand refunds for their season tickets after the club failed to secure replacements for Radamel Falcao and James Rodríguez despite their high-profile departures this summer." A blog post was published on the Planete ASM website under the title, "Planete ASM speaks on the matter of refunds." The post read, "With these two departures and with almost no new signings during the whole transfer window, Monaco fans are swinging between anger, confusion and frustration. The fans feel betrayed today -- for having believed the club's promises and having accepted a significant increase in season ticket prices at Stade Louis II" (GUARDIAN, 9/3).

A beer price increase of more than 8% "has caused some discontent among fans of Bundesliga side Schalke." The beer price for a pint "has increased by 8.3%" from €3.60 to €3.90 ($5.20). It is the club's "first beer price increase since '10" (DER WESTEN, 9/1). ... Wales' opening Euro 2016 qualifying match on Tuesday "will not be moved after the pitch in Andorra passed its latest inspection." UEFA "was unhappy with the pitch at Andorra's national stadium after previous tests showed the ball rolled too fast on the 3G artificial surface." But the game "was given the go-ahead on Wednesday" (BBC, 9/3). ... Dubai Sports City's Spanish Soccer School, the coaching program overseen by former Real Madrid and Spain defender Michel Salgado, "is set for a second-year expansion." In its inaugural season last year, more than 700 children ages 6-16 trained at Dubai Sports City, "but now sessions will also be held at the Repton School in Dubai" (GULF NEWS, 9/3).