Football Notes: FIFA Reveals 43% Decrease in Ticket Requests For World Cup
FIFA revealed a 43% decrease in ticket requests for the 2018 World Cup in Russia compared to the '14 event in Brazil. FIFA confirmed a total of 3,496,204 tickets had been requested for the '18 tournament when the first sale period ended. A total of 6,164,682 requests for tickets for the 2014 WC had been received "when the initial application period for that event ended just over four years ago" (SKY SPORTS, 10/12).
The Chinese FA will "bring in foreign referees to officiate selected Super League games starting this weekend and will later introduce the use of video replay in response to recent controversies." Swedish referee Jonas Eriksson will oversee Saturday's game between Tianjin Quanjian and Shandong Luneng. French referee Tony Chapron will officiate Sunday's game between Shanghai Shenhua and Tianjin Teda (AFP, 10/12).
Bringing a temporary end to the S.League "would be disastrous for Singapore football," according to former Tampines Rovers Chair Krishna Ramachandra. The S.League is set to see its S$16M ($11.8M) annual funding from the Tote Board "cut in half" for '18. But Krishna said that "pausing" Singapore's only professional sports competition is not the answer (ESPN.com, 10/11).
Colombia captain Radamel Falcao said that he spoke to Peru players "as the two sides played out a 1-1 World Cup qualifying draw that sent his country to Russia" and ensured a playoff place for Peru. Falcao was criticized by South American media "for approaching three Peru players" during the match in Lima with the score at 1-1 and five minutes remaining. It has been alleged that Peru "did not push for a winning goal after his intervention" because even though a win would have given the country direct qualification, a loss would have seen it miss the playoffs (ESPN.com, 10/12).
The Celtic fan who tried to kick Paris St. Germain's Kylian Mbappé during last month's Champions League clash at Celtic Park "will not be jailed." John Hatton, from Belfast, was sentenced to a 160-hour community payback order at Glasgow Sheriff Court and "banned from attending football matches for the next four years" (ESPN.com, 10/12).