Football Notes: NZ Football Requesting FIFA Finance Private Jet Trip To Peru
New Zealand Football hopes to charter a plane to get the All Whites from Wellington to Lima next month -- and it approached FIFA "to underwrite the costs." The "most likely scenario" is that New Zealand and Peru would share the private flight after the first leg (Nov. 11) of the World Cup playoff. But it could cost up to $1M, which is why NZF and the Peru Football Federation have approached FIFA for financial assistance (NEW ZEALAND HERALD, 10/17).
Honduras national men's football team Manager Jorge Luis Pinto said that FIFA's decision to schedule the World Cup qualifier between Australia and his team with five days in between the two matches was "inhumane." The first match in the intercontinental playoff is "scheduled to take place in Central America on Nov. 10, with the second leg in Sydney five days later" (REUTERS, 10/16).
The Oman FA signed a five-year cooperation deal with the Qatar FA, "with a top Omani official describing it as beneficial for the sport in the country." The agreement is aimed at mutual cooperation and the development of football in both countries (TIMES OF OMAN, 10/16).
Qatar 2022 Organizing Committee Assistant General Secretary Nasser al-Khater said of his expectations for the tournament, “We expect to be able to attract between 1.1 and 1.5 million fans. This would be more than in Brazil (600,000 in ’14) and South Africa (500,000 in ’10) and would be a record. We have to keep in mind that Qatar is four hours from various Indian cities with more than 2 million inhabitants, and also from China” (AS, 10/17).
IN SPAIN: Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) President Juan Luis Larrea on Tuesday inaugurated the “Ceuta City of Football” in the autonomous Spanish city on the north coast of Africa. The RFEF invested €3.6M ($4.2M) in the facility, which covers 5,045 square meters (EFE, 10/17).
Barcelona's place in La Liga "should not be affected by any moves toward Catalan independence," according to Mediapro President Jaume Roures, whose company holds the int'l rights to the Spanish league. With recent events having "seriously focused minds on the possibility of Catalonia breaking away from Spain," the issue of where Catalan teams, including Espanyol and Girona, "would then play their football has been hotly debated" (ESPN.com, 10/17).
The Spanish Football League (LFP) canceled its annual Gala Awards Ceremony that honors the top players and coaches in Spain and "will instead create a new format that ensures better attendance." A La Liga statement said, "With the aim of defining a new format and adapting it to the La Liga new strategy, we have taken the decision not to celebrate the Gala Awards for the 2016-17 campaign (ESPN.com, 10/17).