Monday Briefing - FIFA to Name Anti-Corruption Members; Euro 2012 Tickets on Sale

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The ticket sales window for Euro 2012 closes on Feb. 29 (Getty)
(WFI) INSIDER rounds up the global football business news and previews the week ahead.

Blatter to Unveil Members of Governance Committee
FIFA president Sepp Blatter is set to unveil some of the members of his new Independent Governance Committee, including those from outside the game, after the Dec. 17 Ex-Co meeting in Tokyo. A report on the anti-corruption committee's activities is listed only 15th on the agenda for this week's meeting, with Blatter's update to his colleagues on the ISL case getting even less discussion time. Last week, the long-awaited publication of the dossier, believed to link members of world football’s governing body to the ISL marketing scandal, was postponed. Blatter is expected to inform when the information will go public. Other key agenda items for the FIFA Ex-Co meeting in Tokyo are preparations for the Brazil 2014 World Cup and approval of the media and marketing regulations for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

CAF Upset at IOC Reprimand of Hayatou
The Confederation of African Football has expressed disappointment that its president Issa Hayatou was last week reprimanded by the IOC over ethics violations related to the ISL marketing scandal. The Cameroonian admitted receiving payments from ISL, the former marketing agency of world football's governing body, in 1995. But CAF vice president Almamy Kabele Camara said in a statement issued Sunday that the money had been donated to CAF to mark its 40th anniversary celebrations. "President Hayatou never received the said sum for his personal account and could not, therefore, use it for personal needs. No conflict of interest, therefore, can be charged against him. It is recalled that the general principle of law, which is binding on all, provides that the accused should be given the benefit of doubt," CAF said in the statement. "CAF regrets that all documents and evidence provided were not considered, even as its Executive Committee had approved the donation as recorded in its minutes. Rejecting all these documents demonstrate disrespect and lack of consideration of the IOC towards the Pan-African institution.

UEFA Launches Euro 2012 Ticket Sales
Tickets went on sale today for fans of the 16 teams qualified for Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine. A total of 32% of the overall stadium capacities has been reserved for fans of the finalist teams. Each side will get 16% of the overall net stadium capacity - or a minimum 6,000 tickets - for each of their group stage matches. For quarter-finals and semi-finals the number of tickets set aside is 5,000 per participating team, and for the final 9,000 per team. Lotteries will determine which applicants receive tickets. Sales through UEFA.com run until Feb. 29. A total of 1.4m tickets will be available for Euro 2012, with about 85% going straight to the fans. The remaining tickets will be allocated to non-participating member associations, other members of the football family such as confederations and clubs as well as host cities and VIPs.

BBC, ITV Bag Euro 2012 Rights
The BBC and
FIFA's comms chief Walter De Gregorio: "I believe that keeping in constant contact will help us avoid any misunderstandings or distorted information appearing in the news."
ITV have been awarded exclusive media rights to cover all 31 matches of Euro 2012, UEFA announced today. The UK broadcasters will also further exploit all games via their respective internet and mobile platforms. A daily highlights programme will also be shown on each matchday during the tournament, and the BBC has the right to provide extensive coverage of the competition across its radio channels.

Al Sadd Prepare for Barcelona Clash
AFC Champions League holders Al Sadd will face Barcelona in the semi-finals of the FIFA Club World Cup after the Qatari side beat Esperance of Tunisia 2-1 on Sunday. The match is on Thursday, with the winner advancing to the final on Dec. 18; J.League champions Kashiwa Reysol or Brazilian giants Santos will be the other finalists.

UEFA Extends Champions League Deal with Canal Plus
UEFA has awarded the fifth and final 2012-15 UEFA Champions League package to Canal Plus in France. The package acquired by Canal Plus consists of 13 first-pick live matches as well as the UEFA Champions League magazine programme. Each match will be broadcast live on Canal+, with the Saturday final and the weekly magazine show being broadcast on a free-to-air basis. The live matches will also be accessible on a platform neutral basis (including via internet and on mobile).

FIFA Draws Line Under Russia 2018 Rumours
Walter De Gregorio, FIFA's new director of communications and public affairs, visited Moscow late last week to meet the Russian media chiefs he will be dealing closely with in the build-up to the 2018 World Cup. De Gregorio promised transparency in the long road ahead to the tournament. "Journalists should feel that FIFA is working in close contact with the 2018 Russia Local Organising Committee and that at any moment they can get any information from both the LOC and FIFA,” he said. He added: “I believe that keeping in constant contact will help us avoid any misunderstandings or distorted information appearing in the news. For example, despite recent reports in a number of European and Russian publications, FIFA is not conducting any investigation into the Russian bid for the 2018 World Cup."

New Portuguese FA Chief
Fernando Gomes has been elected as the new president of the Portuguese Football Federation, succeeding Gilberto Madaíl who stepped down after 15 years as FPF chief. Gomes, 59, has served FC Porto's management board in several areas, and was president of the Portuguese Professional Football League since June 2010.
"This is an important moment for Portuguese football," he said, looking ahead to Portugal's quest for Euro 2012 glory. The team was drawn in the Group of Death earlier this month; it will meet Germany, The Netherlands and Denmark. "Our goal will be to promote Portuguese football, building on the good things that have been achieved in the last 15 years," Gomes said of his aims as FPF boss.

African Sides Claim London 2012 Places
Gabon, Morocco and Egypt have qualified for the London 2012 men’s Olympic football tournament by claiming the top three spots in the first continental event at this age group. Gabon beat hosts Morocco 2-1 in Saturday’s. Egypt beat Senegal 2-0 in the third-place match to qualify for their 11th Olympiad.


By INSIDER editor Mark Bisson

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