Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 10 No. 26

International Football

When the Chinese Super League summer transfer window closed at midnight on Friday, the country's authorities "could feel quietly satisfied and declare their mission to cool the hyper-inflated player market a success," according to Michael Church of REUTERS. Previous windows "had seen the Asian transfer record shattered three times in 18 months." The big-money signings and high wages "were threatening to spiral out of control," and when Hebei China Fortune paid Beijing Guoan €20M ($22.9M) for local defender Zhang Chengdong, the authorities "stepped in to calm rampant over-spending." Regulations implemented on June 14 saw football authorities impose a 100% levy on foreign signings of more than 40M yuan ($5.9M), "leaving clubs uncertain of how to tackle the altered landscape." Speculation "that had raged for months" linking "high-profile" strikers such as Chelsea's Diego Costa and Borussia Dortmund's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang with moves to the CSL on deals worth more than €100M ($114.7M) "shuddered to a halt almost overnight" (REUTERS, 7/15). The AFP reported University of Salford sports business professor Simon Chadwick said that the transfer tax and limits on the number of foreign players to three a match "killed" the market. Chinese clubs were under "heavy pressure from the government" to stop spending on foreign talent. Chadwick: "Clubs have erred on the side of caution and desisted from making the kind of high-profile, high-value signings that we have seen over the last few years. The state has effectively spoken and when the [Chinese] state speaks, people in organizations are expected to listen" (AFP, 7/16).

A "fake story claiming that six Arab countries had demanded that Qatar be stripped of the right" to host the 2022 World Cup was published on Saturday on a site "falsely purporting to be The Local Switzerland," according to THE LOCAL. The article claimed that Saudi Arabia and five other countries had sent a letter to FIFA calling Qatar a "base of terrorism." It also included "fabricated quotes" from FIFA President Gianni Infantino, in which he said that Qatar "might indeed be stripped of the hosting rights." The fake story was "widely reported" in the int'l press, with Reuters, the London Telegraph and ESPN "all running reports quoting The Local." However, "an investigation by The Local quickly revealed that the article had never in fact been published" on The Local. Instead, it "appeared on a site that aped The Local Switzerland" (THE LOCAL, 7/16).

The FA announced English football will "trial temporary dismissals," also known as sin bins, across 32 grassroots leagues in the '17-18 season. The sin bins will apply to "selected divisions" in England's Step Seven -- the lowest tier of the National League system -- and the leagues below. The FA chose to "focus on dissent," which amounted to a quarter of all yellow cards last season (REUTERS, 7/14).

Former Chilean FA President Harold Mayne-Nicholls, who assessed bids for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, "had his ban from football cut to two years." Mayne-Nicholls was one of five senior officials FIFA said "were being investigated." He has served the suspension because the initial seven-year ban was issued in '15 (BBC, 7/14).

CONCACAF announced the opening of a new office in Guatemala City, Guatemala. In '17, the confederation is tripling its investment in tournaments held in Central America compared to previous years (BOX SCORE NEWS, 7/13).

Eight people died and at least 49 are injured "after a wall collapsed at a football stadium in Senegal." It happened at Demba Diop stadium in Dakar at the end of the League Cup final between Stade de Mbour and Union Sportive Ouakam. Fighting started between rival fans and "police responded by using tear gas, which led to panic, a stampede, and the wall collapse" (BBC, 7/16).