Thursday , September 20 2018

Korean WC qualifier vs Kuwait in ‘limbo’ – Scandal inquiry to cost 3.5m euros

Boca Juniors’ forward Carlos Tevez shoots the ball during their Argentina a First Division football match against River Plate at the Monumental Stadium in Buenos Aires on March 6. (AFP)
Boca Juniors’ forward Carlos Tevez shoots the ball during their Argentina a First Division football match against River Plate at the Monumental Stadium in Buenos Aires on March 6. (AFP)

SEOUL, March 7, (Agencies): South Korea may not play their last match of the second Asian qualifying round of the 2018 FIFA World Cup this month following their opponents’ international suspension, the local football governing body said Monday.

The Korean Football Association (KFA) said that FIFA, the world’s top football body, will give its decision by Thursday about whether or not the World Cup qualification match between South Korea and Kuwait should take place at Daegu World Cup Stadium on March 29 as originally scheduled.

FIFA suspended the Kuwait Football Association last October after it failed to amend the country’s sports law to prevent government interference in the national football body. All Kuwaiti teams and clubs were banned from international competition, and their senior national team’s match against Myanmar last November was not played. Kuwait were forced to forfeit the match at a 3-0 loss.

The result allowed South Korea to secure a spot in the final round of the regional qualifications for the 2018 World Cup with two matches to spare. South Korea, which have six straight wins in their group, still have to host Lebanon on March 24 at Ansan Wa Stadium in Ansan, Gyeonggi Province, before the Kuwait match.

South Korea, led by Uli Stielike, originally planned to use overseas-based players in the two remaining matches. With some of those players confined to the bench of late, the coach was hoping to help them stay sharp in the World Cup qualifiers.

But if their last match against Kuwait doesn’t take place following the FIFA ruling, Stielike will have to send back his summoned players after just one match.

The KFA said that it is planning to have a friendly if the match against Kuwait doesn’t take place, but has yet to find an opponent. Under FIFA rules, a friendly match held on an international match day by a national team must take place on the same continent in which the team’s country is located.

“Most countries that we contacted are not accepting the situation that we should wait until Thursday for FIFA’s notification,” a KFA official said. “We can’t go to Europe since our friendly match should be held in Asia.”

— (Source: The Korean Herald)

The German FA’s (DFB) inquiry into the 2006 World Cup scandal is set to cost around 3.5 million euros ($3.83m), interim president Rainer Koch has revealed.

Last October, German magazine Spiegel opened a can of worms by claiming the DFB had used a slush fund of 6.7 million euros in 2000 to buy votes from members of FIFA’s executive committee in order to win the right to host the tournament.

In the wake of the scandal, the DFB tasked business law specialists Freshfields with auditing the bid and on Friday the official report “could not rule out” that bids were bought.

FIFA has welcomed the report, but said “many questions still remain to be answered” as they continue their own investigation.

The DFB has yet to receive the final bill from Freshfields, but Koch expects it to be 3.5 million euros.

“It will be around that figure, but I don’t know exactly because the relevant accounts are not yet available. There is still a large part missing for the Freshfields’ work,” Koch told Sky.

Former World Cup final referee Pierluigi Collina has welcomed the introduction of video technology trials to assist officials and said on Sunday it will end years of frustration for the men in the middle.

Collina, the most distinctive and famous referee of modern times, remembered for his piercing blue eyes and bald head, also said the revised laws of the game were a major development in bringing all interested parties in the game together.

The decisions to allow a two-year experiment with video technology and change a number of the game’s laws were announced on Saturday by soccer’s law-making body, the International Football Association Board (IFAB), after a meeting in Cardiff.

The laws, extensively rewritten for the first time since they were formulated in the 19th century, have been edited from 22,000 to 12,000 words by former Premier League referee David Elleray with some input from, among others, Collina, who took charge of the 2002 World Cup final between Brazil and Germany.

Brazil coach Dunga dropped veteran midfielder Kaka and added Liverpool striker Roberto Firmino for World Cup qualifying matches against Uruguay and Paraguay.

According to the Brazilian football confederation, Orlando City’s Kaka suffered a thigh injury during a training session in the United States.

The match against Uruguay on March 26 will be played in Recife, which is near the epicenter of the Zika epidemic. Almost 45,000 tickets have already been sold.

Brazil then plays at Paraguay on March 29 in Asuncion.

Firmino scored Sunday in Liverpool’s 2-1 win against Crystal Palace in the Premier League.

“This is my best moment at the club,” Firmino said.

After four games, Brazil is in third place in the 10-team South American group with seven points.

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