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Volume 6 No. 248
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Football Notes: FA May Be Forced To Change FA Cup To Midweek Tournament

The FA conceded that it "may be forced to change the FA Cup to a mainly midweek tournament" with replays scrapped from the fourth round onward as "part of moves to reduce fixture congestion and allow a winter break." FA CEO Martin Glenn confirmed that talks about "reducing the fixture pile-up" and having a midseason break have been revived, but "any change would have to wait" until '22 (LONDON TIMES, 8/10).

Almost two-thirds of football fans believe the sport is corrupt, with "more than half believing it to be riddled with cover-ups and scandals." According to a Populus survey, football was "labelled the least trustworthy of 12 sports on issues such as match-fixing, doping, and financial corruption." Eighty percent of athletics fans believe it has a "major problem with performance-enhancing drugs." Darts and golf, in contrast, were "perceived to be the most honest pursuits" among the 2,000 people questioned (HERALD SCOTLAND, 8/10).

Dr. Bennet Omalu, who first identified chronic traumatic encephalopathy in NFL players, is convinced that "scores of British footballers are also suffering from the devastating disease." He warned that association football "cannot survive as the world's most popular sport if it fails to address the dangers of catastrophic brain injury among its players." Omalu is calling for the "most comprehensive overhaul ever of the rules governing youth football" (London TELEGRAPH, 8/9).

The Senegalese Professional Football League handed a seven-year ban to US Ouakam "following the crowd trouble which left eight people dead" during the League Cup final against Stade de Mbour last month. The LSFP's disciplinary committee said that it holds US Ouakam "exclusively responsible" for the tragedy at the Stade Demba Diop on July 15 (BBC, 8/10).