Thursday, February 14, 2008

Cricus told to stay in town

Great to see that the rest of the world has more common sense than the Premier League's greedy chairmen.

BBC SPORT | Asia opposes Premier League plan

"Asian Football Confederation president Mohamed bin Hammam says he is strongly opposed to the Premier League's plan of top-flight clubs playing games abroad.

The English season could be extended by one match with the 39th round being played in five overseas venues.

'We'll vote strongly against it. The Premier League is putting money before responsibility and dignity,' Hammam told BBC sports editor Mihir Bose.

'As far as Asia is concerned, I'm not supportive of this initiative.'

The plans to play a 39th round of games abroad from January 2011 have sparked widespread criticism.

And the BBC has learned that world governing body Fifa is also lukewarm about the idea.
It has made it clear it will not consider the proposal unless it comes from the English Football Association, rather than the Premier League."

And the US has said it would only entertain the idea if Fifa approved it.

However, some federations in the Middle East have expressed an interest in the plans.

Qatar says it would love to stage a game in Doha while Saudi Arabia says it would be interested if the matches involved big teams such as Manchester United, Chelsea or Liverpool.

Hammam believes the Premier League and its chief executive Richard Scudamore should have thought more carefully about the proposal before it became public.

"I wish the people in charge of the Premier League would think twice about organising any matches outside England in Asia," added Hammam.

"Friendly matches I'm not against. I welcome that. But I cannot digest at all that a different league will be played in another country than its own.

"There was no consultation, I just read about it in the newspapers.

"But the recommendation as far as this is concerned will be no. There's no question of the Premier League organising such a match in Asia.

That's restored a bit of my faith in the game.

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