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Volume 7 No. 149

International Football

Cardiff Chair Mehmet Dalman said that the club was seeking "clarification" on the Sala transfer.
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

EPL side Cardiff City Chair Mehmet Dalman said that the club will be "honorable" with Nantes over the £15M ($19.3M) transfer for Emiliano Sala, according to Rob Phillips of the BBC. Dalman, who defended "withholding a payment," confirmed the French club was threatening legal action, but that Cardiff was seeking "clarification." Dalman "also gave strong backing to Neil Warnock over his connection with football agents," claiming people had "knives out" for the club's manager. Sala was traveling to Cardiff in a light aircraft that went missing over the English Channel on Jan. 21. Confirming the Nantes action, Dalman said, "Of course, if we are contractually obliged to pay them then of course we will. We are an honorable club. But if we are not -- and there are some anomalies in that -- then surely you would expect me as the chairman and guardian of this club's interests to look into that and hold our position. That is what we are doing." He added that the club is "looking to get a full picture of events" (BBC, 2/12).

Football Federation Australia's board is hoping to finalize a settlement agreement for former Matildas coach Alen Stajcic on Thursday, according to Dominic Bossi of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. FFA will also begin the first steps toward outlining its "intended review of the its senior management team," including FFA CEO David Gallop. It "has not ruled out seeking external assistance." Having left several items on the agenda "unaddressed following a marathon five-hour meeting on Monday night," the board is set to reconvene via a teleconference on Thursday hoping to finalize a severance package with Stajcic. It will be the first issue raised at the meeting of the new board, which is "understood to be furious with the manner in which Stajcic's sacking was handled by Gallop's senior management team." It is understood the majority of the board is "eager to undertake an in-depth review into the performance of Gallop and his team," which could lead to significant changes of the organization's structure and personnel. While undertaking a review is a unanimous decision among the board members, it is yet to be formalized and the method "will be agreed upon after reaching a settlement with Stajcic." It is understood an independent review into the sacking saga "is a firm possibility, in a bid to bring in external expertise to prevent a similar situation ever occurring with its national teams" (SMH, 2/13).

CONCACAF revealed that it is expanding the CONCACAF League from 16 to 22 clubs, including an additional five Central American teams and one from the new Canadian Premier League. Starting from '19, the club competition will additionally serve as the qualifying tournament for teams from Central America for the CONCACAF Champions League (SOCCEREX, 2/12).

La Liga side Alavés will increase its revenue by €3M ($3.4M) as part of its five-year deal advising Japanese side Kagoshima United. The Japanese club has been promoted from the third tier to the second tier since the partnership was signed in November (EFE, 2/13).

ManU and Paris St. Germain were charged by UEFA following their Champions League last-16 match at Old Trafford on Tuesday. ManU was charged with the "throwing of objects by fans and blocking of stairways." PSG was charged with the "setting off of fireworks, throwing of objects, acts of damages and crowd disturbance" (BBC, 2/13).

The Tottenham Hotspur Supporters' Trust called on UEFA to take action after the club submitted a report containing accounts from fans who "allege they were assaulted by Barcelona security staff in December." After Tottenham's 1-1 draw against Barcelona at Camp Nou, video footage emerged "appearing to show stewards striking out at Spurs supporters with batons, seemingly without provocation" (ESPN.com, 2/13).

The Chinese FA officially moved to a new office in Beijing. The new HQ will have space for 200 employees (YUTANG SPORTS, 2/13).