Barca to open academies in Saudi Arabia and UAE with Fitness Time

Barcelona announces links with Fitness TimeBy Mark Baber
May 26 - A month after first becoming a sponsor of Barcelona, Saudi based Fitness Time has been chosen as the official partner of FC Barcelona in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates under a partnership agreement which will see Barcelona establish seven football academies for the Fitness Time in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

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Saudi tunnel assault earns Estoyanoff AFC ban and fine

Fabian EstoyanoffMay 25 - Former Uruguay international Fabian Estoyanoff, now playing in Saudi Arabia, has been banned for six matches by the Asian Football Confederation for assaulting a South Korean opponent following an AFC Champions League game earlier this month.

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Israel-Palestine dispute flares as border incident fuels row

Israel vs Palestine flagsBy Andrew Warshaw
May 25 - As the behind-the-scenes diplomacy to halt Palestine's call for Israel to be suspended from FIFA enters its final phase, the head of the Palestine Football Association has provided FIFA with a timely example of why his controversial proposal remains on the table at the forthcoming FIFA Congress.

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AFC draw line through pre-congress gathering

AFC logoBy Andrew Warshaw
May 22 - The Asian Football Confederation, rocked by allegations of a cover-up within its own ranks which is currently being investigated, appears to have cancelled a gathering of its national associations on the eve of next week's FIFA congress in Zurich.

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Blatter walks Israeli-Palestinian tightrope with new 'message' for Ramallah meeting

Israel vs Palestine flagsBy Andrew Warshaw
May 20 - Sepp Blatter remains optimistic, after meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, that he can find a solution to the Palestinian bid to ban Israel from world football that threatens to overshadow his re-election bid at next week's FIFA Congress in Zurich.

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Malaysian Ultras call for fan boycott of Spurs and Liverpool matches

Liverpool in MalaysiaMay 19 - A Malaysian supporters group is calling for a boycott of two lucrative close-season games against Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, saying the fixtures are fruitless and serve no other purpose than to fill the coffers of the national federation.

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Rajoub outlines Palestinian grievances as Blatter heads out for crisis talks

Israel vs Palestine flagsBy Andrew Warshaw
May 18 - As Sepp Blatter engages in a final piece of shuttle diplomacy in an attempt to stop Palestine officially calling for Israel's suspension from world football, the Palestinians have sent their proposed resolution to all 208 other FIFA members to counter what they claim are "distorted" allegations regarding the reasons behind the proposal.

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Soosay steps back while AFC opens old wounds with new investigation

Alex SoosayBy Andrew Warshaw
May 13 - The Asian Football Confederation (AFC), whose leader insisted only two weeks ago was entering a new era of transparency and unity, has been plunged into fresh crisis after its number two official was suspended pending an internal investigation into reports he asked for incriminatory evidence against him to be removed.

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Match-fixing: China and India must face home truths, says Eaton

greece crime sceneBy Andrew Warshaw
May 11 - China and India may be arguably the world's two biggest untapped footballing markets but unless they solve the problem of match-fixing and betting fraud they will never catch up.

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