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Discussion Starter #1

Blatter proposes calendar reform :glasses:


FIFA president Sepp Blatter has claimed he may intervene to limit the number of matches in domestic leagues as he believes that footballers play too many games.
Blatter believes many players were jaded during Euro 2004 and reckons the answer lies in reducing the number of games.


He told L'Equipe: 'I enjoyed Euro 2004 but I was also a little saddened and forced to reflect.

'Like at the 2002 World Cup many stars were physically and mentally exhausted and left an aftertaste of nonchalance and lassitude.

'(Zinedine) Zidane seemed to be hiding against the Greeks and was not looking for the ball.

'If on the other hand the three-time FIFA World Player of the Year had been at the top of his game he would have run after the ball in decisive moments.'

Eventual winners Greece eliminated defending champions France in the quarter-finals.

Blatter went on: 'There are too many games and especially at club level.

'The international calendar of FIFA is well structured and not overloaded.

'The total number of matches is correct and the relationship between club competitions and national team competitions is balanced.

'There are too many games especially in the national league. Some associations organise championships with 20 teams, even more. We must absolutely reduce the figure. Less (teams) means more (quality).'

Blatter made it clear he was prepared to act to enforce that demand.

'We must therefore intervene to break the rhythm, protect footballers and therefore football.

'We must find a balance between the interest of the clubs and of the national teams. It is a big building site that we must work at.'

Blatter added: 'I have said it - 20 clubs is too much, 18 is the limit.

'But in reality it is not a question of fixing a ceiling of clubs but of dates. Cases are different from one country to another whether there are one or two domestic cups, two-legged matches or not.

'We will impose a limit via FIFA statutes either by congress or by the executive committee. We will see how we will get there.'

Blatter also slammed top clubs for complaining about international friendlies when they take players on lucrative pre-season matches abroad.

'The big clubs complain that their players are tired or injured but during the close-season they are increasing lucrative tournaments a long way away. It's not serious,' he said.
:dazed:
 

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Discussion Starter #2
FIFA Lifted Ortega Ban.. :thmbup:

Fifa have decided to allow Ariel Ortega to continue his career after Newell's Old Boys agreed a deal with the player's current club Fenerbache.

The talented Argentine midfielder was serving a suspension because of a disagreement with the Turkish giants but he will now resume his playing days.

A deal in the region of €3.5 million has been brokered between the two clubs and has clearly delighted the South American outfit.

''The return of Ortega to football is a shock to everyone, the fans, the press and everyone that likes to watch football,'' read a statement from the club.

''We knew we had a 90 percent chance of having Ortega at Newell's but now we can confirm that everything has been agreed and he has already signed his contract.

''He will not have any problem in playing next Sunday against Velez.''
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Argentina and Iraq win the FIFA Fair Play Trophy

Athens, 28 August 2004 -

The FIFA Fair Play Trophy at the Olympic Games Athens 2004 has been won by Argentina and Iraq. The two teams share the award after finishing level and follow in the footsteps of Brazil (Sydney 2000) and the Argentinian side of 1996 (Atlanta).
At all its competitions, FIFA rewards the team(s) who displayed the greatest loyalty and whose on- and off-pitch behaviour was the best. FIFA presents the winning team with a trophy and each of its members with a medal and a certificate. Argentina and Iraq will also receive a voucher worth US$10,000 for the purchase of adidas equipment to be used exclusively for developing youth football in their countries.
In addition to claiming the Fair Play Trophy and the Gold Medal, Argentina pulled off a feat without precedent in FIFA's annals. Never in the history of FIFA competitions (since 1930) - all age categories, Men's and Women's events included - has a team won the title without conceding a single goal.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking .

www.fifa.com

Continental winds of change

Recent continental competitions have engendered changes throughout this month's edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking. Argentina's penalty shoot-out second place in the Copa America has seen the South Americans not only return to the Top Ten, but also rocket to fourth place, to the chagrin of the Czech Republic (5th, down 1).
No changes at the top for the leaders: Brazil 1st, France 2nd, Spain 3rd, a trio whose composition has amazingly remained virtually unruffled since August 2002.
In the Asian Cup, surprise quarter-finalists Uzbekistan (51st, up 29) can celebrate twice over - despite narrowly missing out on a place in the Top 50, their Best Mover of the Month title also brings them a historic best-ever slot in the Ranking. Other big wins are evident across South America and Asia - Uruguay (19th, up 13), Peru (61st, up 14), China PR (51st, up 13) and Oman (50th, up 8). Unfortunately for Korea Republic (22nd, down 2) and Iran (24th, down 3), their substantial points gains do not result in a move up the table, primarily due to other teams claiming even more points in the game fest during the last four weeks.
For the August edition of the Ranking, 73 new "A" matches were evaluated, bringing this year's total to 620 games so far. The regional composition of the Top 50 has been altered in Asia's favour this month: AFC: 8 teams (up 2); CAF: 9; CONCACAF: 3 (down 1); CONMEBOL; 6 (down 1); OFC: 0; UEFA: 24.

- The next FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking will be published on 1 September 2004.
 

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Friday, September 3, 2004

Brazil: No more let offs for 'rude' Milan. :notlist:


TERESOPOLIS, Brazil, Sept 2 (Reuters) - Brazil branded AC Milan rude and intransigent on Thursday over the Italian Serie A club's refusal to release three players for last month's friendly with Haiti.


Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) president Ricardo Teixeira accused Milan, where veteran captain Cafu, goalkeeper Dida and midfielder Kaka play, of creating problems over the release of players since the start of the year.


The crunch came last month when Milan refused to release the trio for the game in Port-au-Prince.

The match had been arranged to promote peace between warring factions in the strife-torn Caribbean nation where Brazilian troops lead a United Nations peacekeeping force.

'The problems with Milan started with the Olympic qualifying competition, then the World Cup qualifiers against Argentina and Chile, followed by the friendly against France for the FIFA Centenary match, and in Barcelona (for a match against a Catalan XI),' Teixeira told reporters at Brazil's training camp.

'And now with this game against Haiti.'

He added: 'We've tried to solve everything by talking. We called them several times, but they've been very intransigent.'

'At the time of the game against Argentina, we received a rude letter from Milan, even though it was a competitive international and they were obliged to release players,' said Teixeira.

'They apologised later but it was unacceptable behaviour.'

The Haiti match, which Brazil won 6-0, took place on a date allocated by FIFA but Milan were not obliged to release the players because the game was not in their own continent.

As a reprisal, the trio were dropped from Sunday's World Cup qualifier against Bolivia because the CBF thought they had not exerted enough pressure on Milan directors.

Teixeira said the CBF had tried to co-operate with Milan in the past, excusing their players from the Copa America in July as well as some friendlies.

But he said the goodwill had run out.

'From now on, our relationship will be within the law,' he warned.

'We're going to demand that they meet all the FIFA demands. There won't be any more let-offs like the Copa America.'
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Overcrowded calendar killing football says Spain's Baraja :groan:



MADRID, Sept 7 (Reuters) - Spain midfielder Ruben Baraja says that unless urgent action is taken by the sport's governing bodies the overcrowded football calendar will end up destroying the game as a spectacle. :eekani: :undecide:

"What the authorities are doing at the moment is complete madness," Baraja was quoted as saying in Spanish sports daily Marca on Tuesday.

"I think the way they are treating players is totally unfair... in the end they are going to kill football."

The Valencia midfielder, who played a total of 64 matches last season and has taken part in nine games in the last 21 days, said that players were unable to perform at a top level because of the endless succession of domestic, European and international fixtures.

"In the end you will see players performing well below their usual level and that will be bad for everyone: for the players themselves, the fans and the authorities."

Baraja cited the experience of club colleague Roberto Ayala as an example of what would happen to players who were given no time to recover from one season to the next.

Following an exhausting double-winning season with Valencia, the Argentine defender spent three months playing in World Cup qualifiers, the Copa America and then the Olympics, only to end up having to undergo surgery to deal with damaged knee ligaments.

"The abuse of players has gone far enough," said Baraja. "All of us want to play, but when we are abused then things like the Ayala injury are bound to occur."

Baraja's club are at present involved in a club-versus-country row with Argentina over midfielder Pablo Aimar.

The Primera Liga side refused to allow Aimar to join up with the South Americans for their recent World Cup qualifier with Peru saying that the midfielder was still suffering from the after-effects of a groin injury.

The decision prompted a strong response from Argentine coach Marcelo Bielsa who accused Valencia of violating the rules on making players available for international matches.

"We went through all the necessary procedures, but they didn't send him, they ignored the regulations and I don't know what will become of this situation," he said.

 

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Discussion Starter #7
Parreira Blasts Milan And Bayern Munich

9/7/2004

Brazil's national team coach, Carlos Alberto Parreira, had harsh words against Milan and Bayern Munich for not allowing their players to play for the World Champions in a friendly match.
In fact, Milan and Bayern Munich did not give permission to Dida, Cafu and Kaka, and Lucio and Ze Roberto to play in the friendly match between Brazili and Haiti, an action which angered Parreira.

The Brazilian coach then decided not to call-up those players for last Sunday's World Cup Qualifier match against Bolivia, and today he declared: "We are not any national team. We won the World title 5 times. We always obeyed the club's requests, but at this point it's better if we clear our position."

"We have nothing against the players. It's only a way to show our disappointment at the European clubs, in particular at Milan."
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ortega FIFA ban temporarily lifted


September 10, 2004

BUENOS AIRES (AFP) - Former Argentina international striker Ariel Ortega has had his FIFA ban temporarily suspended so he can play his next two league matches for Newell's Old Boys, an Argentine football federation official revealed.

Ortega had been suspended by world football's governing body because of the conflict between old Turkish club Fenerbahce, who want nine million euros for him, and Newell's Old Boys, who say the problem will be soon be resolved with a 2.87 million euro payment.

The 30-year-old former River Plate, Valencia, Sampdoria and Parma player announced last November that he had given up football but then decided to play for Newell's Old Boys.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Europe's top clubs agree to FIFA's new championship :scared:



LONDON, Sept 10 (Reuters) - Europe's top clubs have withdrawn their opposition to FIFA's new-look Club World Championship and agreed to play in the six-club tournament.

World soccer's governing body announced early this year that the annual championship would start in December 2005 with all six confederations sending their champion club to Tokyo.

The G-14 group of top European clubs immediately announced their strong opposition to the idea which, it said, ran against the clubs' policy of trying to ease the workload on players.

UEFA, European soccer's ruling body, said on Friday that its 102-strong European Club Forum had agreed to the championship although the team concerned would not necessarily be the winners of the Champions League.

The forum contains representatives from the clubs involved in the unofficial G-14 pressure group.

"The European Club Forum discussed and agreed to participate in the new format FIFA Club World Championship starting in 2005, the clubs agreeing that the participation of the qualified European club be on an invitational basis only and as long as the present six-club format is maintained," a statement said.

FIFA announced in May that the prize money for the championship would total $15 million. The tournament replaces the World Club Cup, played annually in Tokyo between the champions of South America and Europe.

The forum also backed a proposal to allow the cancellation of yellow cards handed out in the qualifying matches for the Champions League group stage and the first round of the UEFA Cup so that all clubs entered the competitions "on a level playing field".

 

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Discussion Starter #10
Blatter won't change rules

12/09/04

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has ruled out introducing new regulations to force players to talk to the media.

England's players took what was described by the Football Association as a "collective decision" not to speak to the media after their 2-1 win in Poland revitalised their 2006 World Cup qualifying campaign.

The players were reacting to the criticism which following their 2-2 draw with Austria in Vienna.

Blatter disagrees with the stance taken by Sven-Goran Eriksson's men, but told the Sunday Express: "I think it would be wrong if we had to make new regulations. It would not be correct."

Goalkeeper David James took most of the inevitable flak which followed the poor second-half display in Vienna.

He was dropped for the qualifier in Poland, as was striker Alan Smith.

"Maybe one of the players could have been affected by criticism but if you are a personality of public life - and definitely players of the national squad are people of public life - you have to accept that sometimes you will be honoured and other times you will be criticised," added Blatter.

"I am concerned at what happened. I think footballers are the actors from the field of play and they should communicate.

"Football should take the opportunity to speak and to communicate for the good of the game."
 

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Discussion Starter #11
FIFA to consider changing international date arrangements



By Mike Collett

LONDON, Sept 12 (Reuters) - FIFA is to re-examine arrangements for playing international double-headers to help ease the strain on players, clubs and their coaches.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter said world soccer's governing body will consider a suggestion from Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger among others, that international double-headers should be played on Wednesdays and Saturdays instead of the other way around.

"This is a very intelligent proposal from Mr Wenger and we will examine it next month," Blatter told a media briefing on Sunday, adding that a number of other calendar issues would be discussed at a Strategic Committee meeting early next month.

FIFA introduced their international co-ordinated calendar two years ago in a bid to streamline the dates for competitive internationals and friendlies and while the idea has generally worked well, there is still a huge burden on players appearing for both their clubs and countries a few days apart.

If the switch was adopted and the first of the double-headers was played on Wednesday rather than Saturday, players would have a full week to recover before their next club match.

Blatter was critical of the England players who refused to speak to the media after being lambasted last week when they drew 2-2 with Austria in Vienna after leading 2-0 with just 19 minutes to go.

Blatter said: "International footballers are recognisable public personalities with an obligation to communicate with the media and the public and accept from time to time that they are going to be criticised.

"This is a world of total communication now and to lose communication is wrong, and to instigate a media blackout was wrong."

Blatter is meeting England coach Sven Goran Eriksson while in London on Monday and says he intends to tell him personally he thinks the England players should have spoken to the press last week.

Blatter also said the decision by English referee Steve Bennett to hand Everton's Tim Cahill a second yellow card for pulling his shirt over his face after scoring against Manchester City on Saturday was also wrong -- but that the rules on what constitutes the removal of a shirt also need to be looked at.

He said: "A referee should never expel a player just because he pulled his shirt over his head, he should just have a word with him.

"If you take off your shirt and wave it over your head that's a different matter -- then you are saying you are ready to go back to the changing rooms."

 

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Discussion Starter #12
FIFA will give players more rest before 2006 World Cup finals


September 23, 2004


ZURICH, Switzerland (AP) -- FIFA has altered its competition calendar in 2006 to give players a break before the World Cup finals.

The world soccer organizing body said Thursday that all league and cup play will end on May 14, which will be followed by an eight-day rest period. The period May 23-June 8 was designated for World Cup preparation, with the opening of the World Cup finals in Germany on June 9.

To accommodate the changes, FIFA said the UEFA Cup and Champions League finals would also be moved forward a week. The UEFA Cup final will be played May 17 and the Champions League final May 24.

``The view of the technical experts in world football is very clear,'' FIFA said in a statement. ``Players, especially internationals, are taking part in too many matches.''

FIFA acknowledged the level of play fell in the 2002 World Cup and the 2004 European Championship ``as a likely consequence of the increase in matches.''

 

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FIFA committee agrees over need to reduce matches :glasses:


ZURICH, Oct 5 (Reuters)

- FIFA's strategic studies committee agreed on Tuesday over the need to reduce the number of matches played globally each year.

The aim is to protect players more effectively and avoid burnout, especially with a view to the 2006 World Cup.

But a statement after a day-long meeting said it would require concessions "from every party and interest group involved, including FIFA, the (soccer) confederations, associations, leagues and clubs."

A wide-ranging eight-hour meeting also covered refereeing, the international match calendar, development programmes, the future of FIFA competitions and FIFA finances.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter said: "I am very happy with the outcome of today's meeting. The overall consensus on major issues by the representatives of the six confederations is very encouraging and I feel optimistic about the future of football."

FIFA's executive committee meets on Wednesday to make decisions on the various issues raised.

Player burnout has long been an issue of concern amid the proliferation of tournaments worldwide. Last month a conference of European coaches concluded top players were "misused and overplayed".

UEFA development director Andy Roxburgh said the premature retirement from the international game of leading players was as much to do with mental as physical burnout.

 

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Australia coach Farina calls FIFA ruling a joke :howler:



By Greg Buckle

MELBOURNE, Oct 8 (Reuters)

- Australia coach Frank Farina says the decision by world soccer's governing body FIFA to allow Solomon Islands striker Commins Menapi to play in Saturday's Confederations Cup first leg qualifier is a joke.

Menapi scored two goals in a 2-2 draw against Australia in the combined Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) Nations Cup and World Cup qualifying tournament in Adelaide in June and he also received two bookings in the competition.

The Socceroos topped the six-team event with Solomon Islands in second place, both sides qualifying for the Confederations Cup two-leg playoff series in Honiara on Saturday and Sydney on Tuesday.

"They (Solomon Islands) are saying he (Menapi) has been cleared but it's an absolute joke. It's all very clouded over," Farina told reporters in a teleconference from Honiara on Friday.

"They are saying they have approval for him to play. How can that possibly be the case when this is basically the final of that Adelaide tournament? Two yellow (cards) and you are normally suspended.

"We would like to see in writing that FIFA have approved that he can play. We don't seem to have that.

"So that is something that if they do allow him to play, maybe they (Solomon Islands) will get in trouble for it later on."

WORLD CUP

Australia and Solomon Islands also proceed to the qualifiers in September next year for the right to represent Oceania in a World Cup playoff series against the fifth-ranked South American team.

OFC acting general secretary Tai Nicholas said on Friday the confederation would send written confirmation of Menapi's status to both teams before Saturday's game.

"The advice we received from FIFA verbally in Zurich was because he was suspended in a World Cup qualifying match, he can serve his suspension in the next World Cup qualifiers," Nicholas told Reuters.

"We'll get written clarification now from FIFA," Nicholas added in a telephone interview from Auckland.

"I thought my word was good enough but obviously not."

Nicholas said he had sent verbal confirmation to OFC staff in Honiara and they had passed on the news to Australia and Solomon Islands.

"But obviously Australia is not happy so we will get written confirmation."

Australia have been hit by injuries to strikers Harry Kewell, Mark Viduka and John Aloisi although Kewell and Aloisi are hopeful of recovering from leg strains in time for Tuesday's second leg.

The playoff winners will represent Oceania at next year's Confederations Cup in Germany alongside Brazil, Tunisia, Greece, Mexico, Argentina, Japan and the hosts.

 

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Nervous Zico calls for World Cup rule change



MUSCAT, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Japan coach Zico wants the Asian World Cup qualifying format changed in order to protect top teams from missing out.

The Asian champions play Oman away on Wednesday and, while a draw would see Japan through to the final round of qualifiers, a defeat could mean they crash out.

"I think they should change the current format so you don't get a situation where the traditionally strong teams are at risk of not qualifying," said Zico.

"Japan are good enough to be in the World Cup finals. The World Cup needs teams like Japan as well as China, South Korea and Saudi Arabia.

"The rules should be changed to protect the teams that have done the most for Asia."

However, Zico's plea ignored the fact that Japan have qualified just twice for the World Cup -- the second time as co-hosts in 2002. China have only qualified once.

South Korea have been to six World Cups and reached the semi-finals as co-hosts with Japan two years ago while Saudi Arabia have qualified three times.

Japan struggled to beat Oman at home in their opening 2006 qualifier in February and at the Asian Cup in July.

They lead Oman by three points in Group Three and defeat in Muscat would leave Japan in a precarious position with one game left to decide who advances.

Only the top team from each of the eight groups goes through.
 

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Monday, November 29, 2004

FIFA stand firm against paying players :stress:


DUBAI, Nov 29 (Reuters) - World soccer's governing body said on Monday that it was up to national associations to reimburse clubs for players on international duty and not the responsibility of FIFA.
FIFA reinforced its strong opposition to the idea at the Soccerex conference when Markus Siegler, Director of Communications, told delegates that 75 per cent of the profits from major tournaments such as the World Cup are ploughed back into the national associations.


'It is up to them what they do with it, but in some countries it goes back to the clubs.

'It is not up to FIFA to say what the associations should do with it. But in most countries professionals make up just 0.01 per cent of the players - there are many more players who are amateurs, women, boys and girls at grass roots level.'

FIFA, and its continental confederations such as UEFA in

Europe, the AFC in Africa and CONMEBOL in South America, have long come under pressure from the likes of the G14 group of Europe's 18 richest and most powerful clubs in particular to compensate them for releasing players for World Cup finals and European championships.

G14 maintain that FIFA and in Europe, UEFA, should pay the players' salaries for the duration of the events and last year threatened to take legal action if the ruling bodies refused to negotiate.

That threat has so far not materialised, while FIFA and its regional allies have fiercely resisted any attempts to compensate the clubs. Siegler's comments indicate they have no intention of changing their policy.

Chelsea director Paul Smith, Freddie Shepherd of Newcastle United and Inter Milan's managing director Jeff Slack all claimed it was wrong that they should have to pay players when they were on international duty, especially if they get injured.

'We loan them out and they come back injured,' said Smith. 'That is not logical by any stretch of the imagination.'

Slack said Kily Gonzalez had been out for months since being injured playing for Argentina and yet Inter had to keep paying his wages.

Shepherd added: 'In what other business would you be expected to loan out your employees and not get a penny back? It doesn't make sense.'
 

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Mexican club prohibited from fielding woman striker :thmbdown: :veiled:



MEXICO CITY, Dec 19 (Reuters) -

Mexican second division club Celaya has been refused permission by the world governing body FIFA to field woman striker Maribel Dominguez.

Celaya agreed terms last week with the 27-year-old, who played at the Athens Olympic Games, in a move which split Mexican football and sparked a national debate.

On Sunday FIFA said it would not accept Dominguez playing in a men's professional league.

"The Executive Committee stressed once again that there must be a clear separation between men's and women's football," a FIFA statement said.

"This is laid down in league football and in international matches by the existence of gender-specific competitions, and the laws of the game and FIFA's regulations do not provide for any exceptions."

Dominguez, who is 1.60 metres and weighs 54 kgs, has played in the United States. Mexico does not have a women's professional league.

 

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Spanish FA fined by FIFA for racial abuse :thmbup:


December 21, 2004

ZURICH, Switzerland (Ticker) - The Spanish Football Association was fined approximately $87,000 by FIFA on Tuesday for the racist chanting at last month's international friendly match against England.

After a thorough investigation, FIFA found that several black English players were racially abused by a boorish crowd during a 1-0 loss at the Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid on November 17.

Along with charges that similar incidents occurred the night before during an under-21 international match between the same countries, FIFA opened its investigation November 18, looking to eliminate the "scourge" from the sport.

"We will demand explanations from the Spanish soccer association so we can examine the incidents and clarify whether the statutes, regulations and code of ethics of FIFA have been violated," the sport's international governing body said in a statement.

In response to FIFA's interest in the incidents, the Spanish Anti-Violence Commission outlined a plan of action to help eradicate racism from soccer, invoking "Ley de Deporte" (Sport Law).

Under the plan, individuals convicted of racism at a sporting event would be banned from venues for five years and fined a maximum of approximately $53,000.

Last Wednesday, the Spanish Football Association opened a disciplinary file against national coach Luis Aragones after he created controversy in October with racist remarks about Arsenal striker Thierry Henry captured on camera. Henry is black and a native of France.

When asked to explain his actions before the November 17 match against England, Aragones responded with a tirade about England's colonial past. The comments provoked racist chanting from a substantial section of the crowd aimed at visiting black players.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
December 22, 2004

45,000 Reasons Why FIFA Are A Waste of Space

Article by The Editor on December 22, 2004

The Spanish football federation have been fined just £45,000 (100,000 Swiss Francs) by FIFA for the sickening monkey chanting at the recent Spain v England international 'friendly' match in Madrid. This insult is on top of the measly £6,000 fine handed out to Real Madrid after their 'fans' abused black players and performed Nazi salutes during a Champions League match.

The fine is probably less than the weekly wage of any player in the two squads from that night. In fact so pathetic is the punishment handed out to the Spanish football federation that it in itself condones the actions. FIFA were obliged to find the federation guilty as the evidence was there for all to see, but the punishment is an admission by football's governing body that they want to do nothing about racism. It's pathetic, it's insulting and it's 45,000 reasons why FIFA is no longer relevant in football. If they can't deal with the biggest issue affecting football today, they can't deal with anything. :groan:

Not that the lax punishments have been solely reserved for Spanish sides - other nations and clubs have received similarly small punishments. Indeed the FA received just a 150,000 Swiss Franc fine for the deeply offensive "I'd rather be a Paki than a Turk" chanting at the England v Turkey match in Sunderland two years ago. The issue is not about who is committing the offence, but that the crime is not being punished enough to produce a correction in behaviour. Until FIFA, UEFA and other relevant bodies get serious about racism it will never be stamped out and we are all losers because of it. :nono:
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Goal Programme

Laying the foundations for the future of Chilean football

(FIFA.com) 23 Dec 2004

Sergio Araya

Nicolas Leoz, the president of the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL), has spent three frantic days in various parts of central Chile inaugurating four new sports complexes that have been constructed thanks to financing received from the FIFA Goal programme.

Along with Reinaldo Sanchez, the president of the Chilean Federation, Manuel Burga, the president of the Peruvian Federation, and Harold Mayne-Nichols, the FIFA Development Officer, and the various political and sporting authorities of the places visited, the CONMEBOL president was able to see that the work done had been carried out to aid the development of the game at grass-roots level. Leoz remarked after his visits that he was "proud of the way Chilean football believe in youth and are investing in the future".
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Leoz's first destination was the ANFA sporting complex, in the Quilicura commune of the Chilean capital, where two new stands and two futsal arenas have been built and the dressing rooms have been refurbished. Then, that evening, the group inaugurated the new floodlights at Palestino's ground in La Cisterna commune. At a simple ceremony, the president of the tricolour club stated that " it is an honour for the club that the president of the South American Football Confederation is here as it reaffirms his enormous interest in youth football and for the game that we love so much".
There was an early start the following day as the group made their way north to Coquimbo city to inaugurate Coquimbo Unido's (Coquimbo United's) "Complejo Las Rozas'' complex. At these scenic coastal facilities, Doctor Leoz reiterated that "as president of the South American Confederation it is my duty not only to deal with professional football but also to promote football amongst youngsters. They carry our hopes and it is for them we are building. I would therefore like to congratulate the Chilean Football federation once again for their efforts".

After the inauguration ceremony and the lunch which the club had prepared for their illustrious guests, the delegation returned to Santiago to visit the new INAF (National School of Football) complex that has also been built via the FIFA Goal programme.
This flying visit to Chile ended on Wednesday, November 24, with the inauguration of a football pitch and new dressing rooms in the Municipal de Union La Calera stadium. Roberto Chahuan, the mayor of La Calera city, and the directors of the local club and their president Camilo San Martin were present at an emotional ceremony.

Before cutting the traditional ribbon and uncovering the commemorative plaque set in the new premises of the stadium, Reinaldo Sanchez summed up his impressions of the trip ."During these three days we've spent inaugurating projects in different parts of the country I've felt a great sense of satisfaction because I've seen for myself that our children will have better infrastructures to play football."
 
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