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Volume 6 No. 193

International Football

ManU is among "a number of Premier League clubs" that have reservations about "closing the transfer window before the start of the season," according to Jason Burt of the London TELEGRAPH. Plans are reportedly "well advanced" and already at "approval level" in a "huge development" for English football which is likely to be implemented next year. While it appears "the majority of clubs are set to back the move" -- and the English Football League has already announced it is considering following the EPL's lead -- there are "serious concerns." Watford is one club that will oppose it. Chief among those concerns is "the possible competitive disadvantage English clubs will face over the rest of Europe," especially those clubs that are involved in European competition with overseas clubs still able to trade -- including buying players from the Premier League -- up until the window closes at the end of August. ManU said that it "would not comment on the proposal ahead of the next Premier League shareholders meeting" but it is understood that ManU and Watford "are not alone in having concerns." Arsenal Manager Arsène Wenger warned that although he would be in favor of the change, "it may place English clubs at a disadvantage." He said, "Let's not forget that people who are not happy will sometimes go abroad to different countries and that will not stop" (TELEGRAPH, 8/16).

The FA is "facing calls for greater transparency" over England int'l Eni Aluko's "hush-money" case and is being urged to do more to move away from a culture of "stale, pale, white old men" in keeping with its promises to promote equality, according to Daniel Taylor of the London GUARDIAN. English football's governing body is facing new questions after reports that Aluko was paid £80,000 ($103,070) as part of an agreement "following a bullying complaint" -- not upheld by the FA -- featuring an account of how one of her younger teammates in the England women’s setup was upset by a "highly inappropriate" comment from England Manager Mark Sampson. Aluko, who is also a qualified lawyer and has made herself unavailable for England for as long as Sampson is manager, stated that "she is unable to speak about the matter because of the terms of the agreement." While Kick It Out Chair Herman Ouseley asked the FA if "he can see its full finding," one of the sport's other campaign groups, Show Racism the Red Card, is "hoping the governing body can learn from what has happened." Show Racism the Red Card Founder & CEO Ged Grebby said, "It could certainly be used as an example in training [of equality issues]" (GUARDIAN, 8/17).

UEFA extended its Kit Assistance Scheme which provides uniforms and equipment for Europe's smaller national associations. The program, which runs in two-year cycles, will continue until '22. UEFA launched a tender for a supplier in January and Italian company Macron was selected (UEFA).

Plans to field a China U20 side in Germany's fourth tier "have hit problems less than a day after the deal was signed," with three of the teams in the league "refusing to play against the Chinese side." Chinese execs on Wednesday confirmed the U20 side will compete in the regionalized fourth tier as a "developmental initiative." Of the 19 teams in the league, 16 "have given the green light to the project," but Mannheim, TuS Koblenz and Stuttgarter Kickers said "no" (AFP, 8/17).

Bolivian Football Federation (FBF) President Marco Peredo resigned on Wednesday, citing "the carnival" that persists in Bolivian football and "the resistance to his presidency" as his motives. He said, "Do whatever you want with football. I'm going to play somewhere else, where people want to play fair, and I've already decided what I'm going to do about my life in football. It is not worth it. This, this is a carnival" (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 8/17).