Soccer News & Notes, January 18, 2011

CONCACAF to seek additional World Cup berth

PANAMA CITY — CONCACAF will fight for a guaranteed fourth place at the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals in Brazil, the confederation’s Executive Committee announced Sunday.

Meeting in Panama City, Panama, site of the Copa Centroamericana, the committee expressed certainty that CONCACAF has earned the right to increase its allotment of slots at World Cup finals from the 3.5 it currently possesses.

"We believe that CONCACAF deserves another full place at the World Cup finals due to the performances of our teams on the field and the actions of our confederation off it," said CONCACAF President Jack Warner. "We are unified in our efforts to make this happen."

A decision on the subject is expected to be made at a meeting of the FIFA Executive Committee in March.

CONCACAF also announced plans for a year-long series of events commemorating the confederation’s 50th anniversary. The 50th anniversary will be incorporated into all confederation activities, including a gala celebration during the Gold Cup this summer.

"Our confederation has grown dramatically the past half century," Warner said. "We look forward to celebrating this milestone all year."

In another action, the United States was awarded the men’s Olympic qualifying tournament to be held in March 2012.

The Executive Committee was also briefed on an expansion of the confederation´s referee development initiatives, including the hiring of former FIFA referee Brian Hall as Director of Referee Administration.

It was also announced that CONCACAF will hold its annual Congress May 3 in Miami Beach, Florida.


Canada signs new kit deal with Umbro

The Canadian Soccer Association has announced a new partnership with kit supplier Umbro. The partnership will help launch a new national uniform that will be worn for the first time in a Men’s International Friendly match this 9 February 2011. The jersey will go on sale to the public this 1 June 2011.

Umbro’s 87 years of soccer history and heritage, combined with the Canadian Soccer Association’s mission to provide leadership in the pursuit of excellence in soccer, will contribute to the development of all levels of soccer in Canada, from the community to the national teams. The four-year partnership runs through 31 December 2014.
"We are pleased to announce our new four-year partnership with Umbro and are excited by the opportunity that this partnership brings to the Canadian Soccer Association as we continue our brand building effort for the sport in this country," said Peter Monotpoli, General Secretary for the Canadian Soccer Association. "The next four years are critical for the organisation with the Women’s National Team participating in the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Olympic preparations for both the Men and Women, qualification for the Men’s National Team for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and a record-number of youth teams in operation. It is not only Umbro’s presence on the pitch that is important for the organisation, but their commitment to ensuring that the Canadian Soccer Association brand has a strong retail presence."

"Through our partnership with the Canadian Soccer Association, we will create, define and drive the culture of soccer in this country, "said Gerald Woodman, President of Umbro. "We will change the look of our game, both on and off the pitch. Soccer is hitting unprecedented levels of participation and importance in the Canadian sporting landscape. As soccer grows, our brand deepens and strengthens in the eyes of the player and fan alike. We will tie into the emotive elements of the game and the Candian Soccer Association will be at the very heart of these initiatives."

Source: Canadian Soccer Association

Nike Unveils Newest Version Of French National Soccer Team Kit

Nike today unveiled the new France national soccer team uniforms as part of a partnership renewal with the French Football Federation. The new kit will be worn in a match for the first time on Feb. 9 against Brazil at Stade de France. The new kit and other Nike Sportswear FFF products will be available at retail from Feb. 5. Nike will unveil a print and TV ad campaign titled, "Vive Le Football Libre," promoting the new kit and partnership renewal (Nike).


ASEAN countries consider 2030 World Cup bid
Submitted by Matt Cutler on Tue, 18/01/2011

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) discussed the possibility of tabling a joint bid to host the 2030 FIFA World Cup during the organisation’s Foreign Ministers meeting.

According to a statement from Singapore Football Association president Zainudin Nordin on Monday, the group, which also includes Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, considered the proposal during the gathering over the weekend.

"It is possible for ASEAN to jointly host the event in 20 years’ time and to possibly meet the football standards then due to the aggressive football youth development programmes of ASEAN member nations," stated Nordin.

"A joint bid by ASEAN will raise the international profile of the region and will also unite citizens of the member nations," he added. Uruguay, which staged the first World Cup in 1930, and Argentina have already expressed an interest in bidding for the 2030 tournament.

Indonesia was in the running to stage the 2022 World Cup before a lack of government support curtailed the country’s bid, but the nation did link up with Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam to host the 2007 Asian Cup.


Scootish Premier League confirms "broad support" for 10-team top flight
Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Scottish Premier League (SPL) announced on Monday that there is "broad support" for the introduction of a 10-team top flight and a 12-team second tier in the country.

Representatives of the 12 top-flight clubs met to discuss the future structure of football in Scotland after initial proposals for a two-tier SPL of 10 teams in each division was met with opposition from some clubs. A formal vote on the plans discussed at the meeting could be taken within the next two months.

An SPL statement read: "The Scottish Premier League clubs reaffirmed their commitment to the work of the Strategic Review Group to develop a structure for the whole of Scottish football. Broad support was given to progressing a 10-team Premiership and a 12-team Championship at the top of a pyramid for Scottish football as the preferred option."

The statement continued: "The SPL clubs have asked the executive team to further develop aspects of these proposals and to update the Strategic Review Group’s report. The SPL will now consult with the Scottish FA and the Scottish Football League and its clubs before a final decision by the SPL clubs."

Source: SoccerEx Business Daily

UEFA Warns Soccer Clubs To Rein In Spending Or Face Consequences

Platini Says Loss-Making Clubs Could Be
Excluded From UEFA Champions League

UEFA President Michel Platini yesterday warned "top clubs that they will ‘face the music’ if they fail to rein in their spending as a new report showed more than half of Europe’s 655 top-flight clubs reported a loss in 2009," according to Jonathan Clegg of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. Europe’s top-division teams’ total revenue "climbed to a record" $15.1B (all figures U.S.) in ’09, but UEFA officials said that net losses almost doubled to $1.56B and that there "was ‘massive’ spending on player wages." The UEFA report found that "top clubs spent an average of 64% of their income on wages in 2009," with 73 European clubs spending "more than 100% of their revenue on wages." Platini "insisted that loss-making clubs would be excluded" from the UEFA Champions League, soccer’s "most lucrative competition, if they do not abide by UEFA’s complex new ‘Financial Fair Play’ rules." UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino described the new rules as an "indirect salary cap." He said that a panel of UEFA officials "will monitor club finances and recommend sanctions." Under the rules, European clubs are allowed a total loss of $6.49M in the "first three years of assessment, or up to" $58.4M "if a wealthy owner makes a one-off donation to wipe out losses." UEFA then "will allow progressively smaller losses from 2015 before the break-even rule becomes mandatory" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 1/12). The FINANCIAL TIMES’ Roger Blitz notes 11 clubs "taking part in this season’s UEFA competitions would have fallen foul of the new regulations" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 1/12).


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