Ekstraklasa teams up with Transparency to educate players on gambling risks

Transparency International logo

By Jaroslaw Adamowski
December 19 – Poland’s Ekstraklasa, the operator of the top tier of Polish professional football league, is aiming to educate young footballers on the risks related to gambling. The initiative, carried out by the Ekstraklasa Foundation, is launched in cooperation with Transparency International which also collaborates with six other European football leagues on similar programmes.

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UEFA 2016 qualification format adds opportunity to small nations

uefa flag

By Andrew Warshaw
December 18 – Many of Europe’s less heralded countries will be given a greater chance than ever to qualify for the European Championship finals following a revolutionary new format unveiled by UEFA for 2016. Teams will be placed into nine groups of five and six teams, with both group winners and runners up qualifying automatically as well as the best third-placed side.

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Leonardo slams Platini for failing to see role of third-party ownership


By Paul Nicholson
December 19 – Brazilian, coach and former World Cup winner Leonardo has accused UEFA president Michel Platini of not knowing what he is talking about when it comes to the importance of third-party player ownership in South America, and that the 14 month ban he received in France at PSG for allegedly pushing a referee on the touchline “had a political logic to it”.

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New Global Player mag launches with promise of more to come

global player order page

December 18 – The Global Player, a new magazine, was published this week by the International Football Arena (IFA) and is as eclectic and elegant in its look and feel as the IFA conferences are themselves. Originally planned as a one-off to celebrate 15 years of IFA in Zurich, the magazine will now be published regularly, though the commitment to the publishing schedule is to be announced.

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