Football Notes: Drake Foundation To Spend £1M On A Study Of Brain Injuries
A charitable foundation funding medical research said that it will spend up to £1M ($1.3M) on a study of brain injuries in footballers. This follows a BBC documentary "highlighting the potential long term risks of repeated heading of a ball and the plight of retired professional players who have developed dementia." The Drake Foundation was set up in '14 with a commitment to "improve the understanding of concussion injuries in sport" (BBC, 11/13).
Honduras national football team coach Jorge Luis Pinto accused Australia of "espionage" in the build-up to the first leg of the side's World Cup playoff on Friday. Pinto said that "the Australians used a drone to film his team training" before the 0-0 draw in San Pedro Sula -- and the Honduran FA "tweeted footage of the alleged incident." Pinto: "I think it is embarrassing for such an advanced country." Football Federation Australia "denied any involvement" (BBC, 11/14).
The Irish FA "is set to back the implementation of video assistant referees" in the wake of Northern Ireland's failure to reach the World Cup after a "controversial penalty." Manager Michael O'Neill's side lost its playoff with Switzerland 1-0 on aggregate after a "dubious first-leg penalty." The IFA "is one of the five members" of the Int'l FA Board (BBC, 11/13).
La Liga President Javier Tebas said that the league "plans to introduce video assistant referees" next season. Spain’s top flight "is the only one of Europe’s top five leagues which has so far shunned the use of goalline technology, much to the frustration of the teams." Tebas: "Next season there will be VAR in La Liga, without a doubt" (REUTERS, 11/14).
Hundreds of Hong Kong football fans booed and jeered the Chinese national anthem at an Asia Cup qualifier match on Tuesday "in defiance of Communist Party rulers in Beijing." The booing of the anthem, "The March of the Volunteers," has "become a fixture at football matches in the Chinese-ruled territory." Hong Kong is preparing to introduce a law that will penalize people who boo the anthem, but details "have yet to be set" (REUTERS, 11/14).
Uruguayan footballers "were able to remove the execs of the Uruguayan footballers' association" during an assembly on Sunday. In October, players went on strike to force intervention (DPA, 11/14).