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Volume 6 No. 264

International Football

The timing and length of the transfer window is "expected to return to the agenda" at the Premier League’s annual meeting in June "even though the clubs only agreed to close this summer’s window early last September," according to Matt Hughes of the LONDON TIMES. The motion to shut the window before the start of next season, on Thursday, Aug. 9, was carried by 14 votes to five, with Burnley abstaining, but those clubs which voted against "remain adamant that they will be at a competitive disadvantage compared to their European rivals and will push for the old system" of an Aug. 31 deadline to be reinstated for the '19-20 season. Most clubs are "likely to see how this summer pans out before committing either way." Another argument being used by some clubs is that the principle of preserving the integrity of the competition by closing the window early is "incompatible" with having a 31-day window in January, which many find "hugely disruptive." As a result, there have been informal discussions about restricting the January window to one week for emergency signings, "an idea that may also be discussed at the next annual meeting" (LONDON TIMES, 1/19).

Gulati raises concerns about U.S.-led bid for 2026 World Cup.

Outgoing U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati raised concerns about the country's 2026 World Cup bid as a new poll showed global confidence in American leadership is "at an all-time low," according to the London GUARDIAN. The U.S. is "widely seen as a favorite to win the bid" for the '26 tournament, which it plans to co-host with Mexico and Canada. However, a new poll of 134 countries showed global approval for the U.S. has fallen from 48% under Barack Obama’s presidency to 30% after one year of Donald Trump. According to the survey, Germany and China are "now seen as more reliable world leaders" than the U.S. The North American bid is backed by "far better infrastructure than Morocco," the only other rival for the hosting rights. However, Gulati said that "other factors could come into play." He said, "This is not only about our stadiums and our hotels and all that. It's about perceptions of America, and it's a difficult time in the world. So there's only certain things we can control. We can't control what happens at the 38th parallel in Korea, we can't control what happens with embassies in Tel Aviv, and we can't control what happens with climate change accords" (GUARDIAN, 1/18).