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Volume 7 No. 81

International Football

The New Zealand national football team "will put more than just World Cup qualification on the line" when it meets Peru in next month's intercontinental playoff, according to Liam Hyslop of STUFF. Winning will provide New Zealand Football with a $10M boost that automatically comes from World Cup participation, securing a "consistent program of games" for the All Whites through the next four-year World Cup cycle. Losing will see NZF left with whatever it is able to "scrounge from the playoff," with the selling of TV rights for the home leg in Wellington set to provide the "biggest windfall," but not enough to sustain its current activity levels. NZF CEO Andy Martin said that costs "will need to be cut if the All Whites do not make the World Cup." The organization was "extremely fortunate four years ago" to get more than NZ$6M out of broadcaster Univision when it hosted Mexico for the playoff, "even though the on-field aggregate loss was 9-3." Martin: "Mexico obviously was a perfect storm, final game, two big broadcasters in Mexico bidding for the game." NZF will receive NZ$2.3M ($1.7M) from playing in the Confederations Cup in June this year. The NZF's annual report budgeted for a NZ$1.2M loss for the calendar year '17, with budgeted overall revenue of NZ$15M ($10.8M) and expenses of NZ$16.2M ($11.6M). That is what makes the NZ$14M ($10M) from World Cup qualification "so crucial." It would "almost double" NZF's revenue for the year (STUFF, 10/15).

One of Asia's "most cashed-up clubs," Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua, wants Australia Manager Ange Postecoglou "to take over as head coach," presuming he "quits the national team next month," according to Tom Smithies of the Sydney DAILY TELEGRAPH. Shanghai Shenhua is "believed to have prepared a contract" worth $3M a year to tempt Postecoglou, who told his bosses at Football Federation Australia that he "intends to step down" after the World Cup playoff against Honduras next month. It would be a "high-profile move" for Postecoglou to coach a squad that includes former ManU player Carlos Tevez, who is reported to earn more than A$1M ($790,000) a week. Shanghai Shenhua is "notoriously fickle over its coaches and has a reputation" for not honoring contracts. Former Western Sydney Wanderers coach Tony Popovic previously rejected a contract worth A$20M over several seasons from Shenhua over a "perceived lack of control in football matters." Whether Postecoglou -- who remains contracted to FFA "until next month at least, having not yet resigned -- will be tempted by the move remains to be seen" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 10/16).

MASS EXODUS?: In Sydney, Ray Gatt reported FFA will "likely have to come up with an entirely new Socceroos coaching staff" if Postecoglou leaves the national team. Though he is "expected to be the target" of an offer from Shanghai Shenhua, he reportedly "has his heart set on a position in Europe." If that happens, Postecoglou "is expected to take his assistant coaches Ante Milicic and Peter Cklamosvki with him, leaving a massive hole for FFA to fill" going into the World Cup, if Australia makes it. Milicic "has been touted" as a replacement for Postecoglou at the Socceroos and also for A-League club Western Sydney. However, "it is understood Milicic, who is based in Croatia with his family, has told the Wanderers he is not interested in the job" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 10/17).

Women's football in England "is about to find itself in uncharted territory" and the FA is being warned that "no more mistakes can be made," according to Leo Spall of The "sorry saga" surrounding the sacking of former England women's team Manager Mark Sampson will see its ability to govern "examined by a House of Commons select committee" on Wednesday. How the FA "deals with issues of bullying, racism, whistleblowing, safeguarding, employment vetting, and internal inquiry procedures" are all "likely to be discussed." Within weeks, the FA will also have its "first solid indications of how fruitful its push toward a full-time, professional league is likely to be." There is a Nov. 10 deadline for club license applications at the top of a "restructured game which is due to launch next year." The fact that both issues "gained widespread attention at the same time" -- the announcement for the latter came "in the middle of the furore" around Sampson -- "has been dismissed by the FA as coincidental, but the combination appears to have left the governing body at a watershed moment." Anti-discrimination group Kick It Out CEO Roisin Wood said, "They need to get it right now." Kick It Out has supported Chelsea Ladies striker Eni Aluko in her "racism and bullying" claim against Sampson. Wood: "There has to be real transparency around this case, a real look at the whistleblowing culture and really strong things in place to let players come forward, share what they think and not have that in any way impact their careers" (, 10/16).

Spanish third division team Coruxo has "been forced to train away" from its complex this week because of the damage caused by "the fires that have ravaged parts of Galicia in northern Spain," while the club has offered its stadium to those seeking shelter, according to Adriana Garcia of The club based in the province of Vigo opened its 1,500-capacity O Vao Stadium on Sunday evening "to people seeking shelter from the 105 fires that have claimed the lives of three people" (, 10/16). In Madrid, Jesús Izquierdo reported La Liga sides Las Palmas and Celta Vigo "took to the pitch" wearing shirts that paid tribute to the victims of the fires. The players will also wear black armbands and there will be a minute of silence dedicated to the victims (MARCA, 10/16).