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Rediff.com  » Sports » Football Extras: Juve prez admits tense times between clubs and FIFA

Football Extras: Juve prez admits tense times between clubs and FIFA

October 25, 2018 23:43 IST

News of all that's transpired on and off the football field

FIFA logo outside their headquarters in Zurich

IMAGE: FIFA logo outside their headquarters in Zurich. Photograph: Harold Cunningham/Getty Images

Juventus President Andrea Agnelli described the relationship between European clubs and FIFA as tense and implied on Thursday the global soccer body was jumping the gun in its plans to introduce two new competitions.

Agnelli, who is also chairman of the powerful ECA association representing more than 200 European clubs, said any discussions over new tournaments should only take place in the broader context of the international calendar.

 

FIFA President Gianni Infantino will put his plans for two new international soccer tournaments to a vote at a meeting of the body’s ruling council on Friday.

Infantino revealed his plans in May for a new Global Nations League and a revamped Club World Cup, which he says are backed by a "solid and serious" group of investors willing to spend $25 billion over a 12-year cycle starting in 2021.

However, there has been opposition to the plan from domestic leagues, European clubs and European soccer body UEFA.

"FIFA is proposing new competitions, but we have to start from the base, that is the international calendar after 2024," Agnelli told a Juventus shareholders' meeting. "In this moment the relationship is tense."

In contrast, he said the ECA had a joint vision with UEFA and the two were working "with harmony and in reciprocal respect ... It's in this manner that we can find joint solutions."

The international calendar allocates dates for national team matches and international tournaments to avoid clashing with domestic dates. The current calendar runs until 2024 and discussions are already taking place over the next cycle.

Agnelli has already called for a modernised calendar which reduces the burden on players.

SAFF U-15 C'ship: India lose to Pak in opener

The Indian U-15 football team kicked off their title defence at the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship with a 1-2 defeat at the hands of Pakistan in their first match in Kathmandu at the ANFA Complex.

In a tightly-contested match, Pakistan had taken the lead in the first half. In the 53rd minute, though India had equalized, a late goal by the opponents in the 85th minute proved to be the difference between the two sides.

India started the match on an attacking note but failed to see the light of day as the opponent flooded bodies in defence.

In the 30th minute, the opposing side took the lead after Adnan Justin found the back of the Indian net from close range. At the half-way point, the scoreline read 1-0 in Pakistan's favour.

India wasted time in the second half and got into the thick of affairs. Finding an opportunity to test the opposition at almost every minute upped the ante for the Indians.

In the 53rd minute, India equalised their deficit when Thlacheu Vanlalruatfela broke free of the Pakistani defence and latched onto a through ball, bundling it home with ease to make the scoreline read 1-1.

A goal in the 85th minute by the opposition gave them the lead 2-1 and they held onto the lead as the full-time scoreline read 2-1 in Pakistan's favour.

The Indian U-15 football team will now clash with Bhutan on October 27, in their last group stage match of the SAFF U-15 Championship.

Greece sack coach Skibbe after bad Nations League run

Greece have parted ways with German coach Michael Skibbe after the team's disappointing run in the Nations League, the Football Association (EPO) said on Thursday.

The EPO appointed 65-year-old Angelos Anastasiadis as his successor, the first Greek coach for the national team, who is not an interim solution, in 17 years.

Skibbe had taken over in 2015 after the 2004 European champions' failure to qualify for Euro 2016 and last year signed a contract extension to include Euro 2020 if they qualified.

The former Bundesliga coach then narrowly missed out on the 2018 World Cup when Greece finished second in their qualifying group but lost in a playoff to eventual runners-up Croatia.

But their performances in League C of the newly-created Nations League sealed his exit after Greece won two matches and lost the other two to lie in second place on six points, six behind leaders Finland.

"We decided to end our cooperation with Mr Skibbe and at the same time it was decided to bring in Angelos Anastasiadis," Greek FA President Vangelis Grammenos told reporters.

"The FA's decision, as is easily understood, is the result of the bad run and bad results recently."

Anastasiadis, whose contract will run to December 2019, has coached several clubs in Greece and was Cyprus coach from 2004-11 but has not worked at a club since 2016.

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