Change.org received a petition to "pardon" the debt Cristiano Ronaldo allegedly owes to Spain's tax authorities and keep him at Real Madrid, according to the EP. The petition currently has 988 signatures "and has been widely criticized on social media" (EP, 6/19). ESPN.com's Mark Lovell wrote Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge dismissed reports linking Ronaldo with the Bundesliga champion. Italian publication Gazzetta dello Sport reported Bayern was interested in signing Ronaldo from Madrid. Rummenigge added, "We're used to being the subject of intense transfer speculation during transfer windows. Normally we don't comment on rumors, but in this case, we would like to make our position on Cristiano Ronaldo absolutely clear: This rumor is completely unfounded and must be consigned to the realms of fantasy" (ESPN.com, 6/19).
CAUTIOUS OUTLOOK: In London, Jason Burt reported ManU is treating talk Ronaldo "has set his heart on returning to the club" with "caution." Although the club "would want to be involved" in talks if Ronaldo tries to "force his way out" of his Real Madrid contract, it is "pressing ahead" with transfer plans already in place. The club remains "cautious in the knowledge that the story could quickly end" if Real Madrid manages to appease him (TELEGRAPH, 6/19)
Exactly a week since the All India Football Federation announced the successful bids of Bengaluru and Tata Steel to operate teams in the franchise-based Indian Super League from '17-18, "the air of uncertainty over the future of the I-League, the existing official league of India, continues," according to Debayan Sen of ESPN.com. The AIFF "may have made the announcement about the expansion of the I-League," but it is reportedly "yet to finalise the exact nature of the forthcoming domestic season." This led to media reports of "clubs considering their own future within the league, and of others eager to field teams if there are more pull-outs." Kolkata clubs Mohun Bagan and East Bengal met AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das informally on Friday to "clarify the stance of the sport's governing body on the coming season." Das said that while there has been no official decision yet, the federation's league committee is "expected to meet before the end of month," and all decisions about the '17-18 season are "likely to be taken." These would include the "exact structure" of the leagues, the Asian Football Confederation qualification criteria as well as a "possible window for a super league" (ESPN.com, 6/19).
The K League said on Monday that a video review system will be implemented next month to "reduce refereeing mistakes and enhance the quality of matches." The league said that the VAR system will be adopted on July 1 in the K League Classic "after going through a three-month test." The Int'l FA Board approved the K League's test of the VAR system in March (YONHAP, 6/19).
The National Football Museum in Manchester will host #CALLITOUT -- "a symposium to mark the rise of the LGBT fan movement, and to debate issues surrounding homophobia in the sport" -- on Saturday. The free event is organized by alliance group Pride in Football and funded through the Premier League Fans Fund (SKY SPORTS, 6/19).
La Liga side Málaga's fans have purchased 20,000 season tickets for '17-18. Prices for season tickets range from €250-€950 ($279-$1,060). Tickets have been on sale for 40 days, and 5,000 have been acquired in the last 15 days (AS, 6/19).