Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 7 No. 149

International Football

The office of Switzerland's attorney general "suspended a federal prosecutor in connection with investigations into alleged improprieties in the world of football," according to THE LOCAL. The attorney general's office (OAG) said that the suspension was linked to "investigations into football and FIFA," but stressed it had "no connection" to recent Football Leaks "revelations of meetings" between high-level OAG and FIFA execs. The OAG said in a statement that it received "information about complaints" against the head of the federal prosecution's economic crimes division, named by Swiss media as Olivier Thormann, "leading to his suspension." Thormann was suspended "temporarily from all of his duties until further notice," the OAG said, "without specifying which specific investigations the prosecutor had been working on" (THE LOCAL, 11/9).

An estimated 500 women attended the Asian Champions League final in Iran on Saturday.

Iranian equality campaigners questioned whether Saturday's decision to admit female fans to the Azadi Stadium for the Asian Champions League final "was a one-off or the start of a new era for sport in the country," according to Michael Church of REUTERS. Authorities in the conservative Islamic nation "relaxed a ban on female fans at club football matches" that has been in place since '81 to permit a group of women to attend the game between Tehran's Persepolis and Japanese club Kashima Antlers. Campaign group Open Stadiums tweeted, "This big festival of football passed. Our Q is: Do they let women attend next matches or not. What gonna be their excuses?! We'll wait and see." FIFA President Gianni Infantino and Asian Football Confederation President Sheikh Salman bin Khalifa attended the game and Infantino "praised Iranian officials for the decision to permit women to attend" days after FIFA General Secretary Fatma Samoura met campaigners in Switzerland (REUTERS, 11/11).

La Liga President Javier Tebas said of the league's plan to hold a match in Miami in Barcelona, "The objective is a game in the United States, if not this year, next year. We have a right to this and we are going to fight to achieve it" (LIBERTAD DIGITAL, 11/12).

NFF President Amaju Pinnick (right) expressed his support for Gianni Infantino.

One of FIFA President Gianni Infantino's "staunchest allies in Africa" branded the latest allegations against him as "hopelessly weak" and said that his continent "still stands firmly behind" Infantino, who is running for re-election next year. Nigeria Football Federation President Amaju Pinnick "hit out" at Football Leaks, the whistleblowing website whose latest claims were widely reported by Der Spiegel over the past week. Pinnick said, "The leaks are hopelessly weak and it does not affect the fact that Africa sticks with Gianni" (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 11/12).

Scottish Premiership side Rangers was "hit with a disciplinary charge from UEFA" over its Europa League match against Spartak Moscow last week. Both clubs were cited for the match failing to kick off "exactly on time." The game kicked off two minutes later than the scheduled time (STV, 11/12).

Italian referees will boycott amateur matches in the region of Lazio "after one of them was attacked following a match on Sunday." Riccardo Bernardini, 24, had to be treated at the hospital after "being attacked by at least two supporters" following a match between Virtus Olympia and Atletico Terranova in the Promozione league. The Italian referees’ association (AIA) described the incident as "the umpteenth episode of violence and harm to a referee" (REUTERS, 11/12).