Cup bid dropped by FIFA
Indonesia has been dropped from the race to host the 2022 World Cup because of a lack of government support, FIFA said in Zurich on Friday. “We have informed Indonesia that because they failed to provide a number of documented guarantees by the deadline, Indonesia is no longer a candidate for 2022,” FIFA secretary-general Jerome Valcke told reporters. “They are out of this process.” The announcement leaves Australia, England, Japan, Mexico, The Netherlands/Belgium, Russia, Spain/Portugal and the US as candidates for the 2018 or 2022 finals, while Qatar and South Korea are bidding for the finals in 2022 only.
FIFA lifts suspension
FIFA on Friday lifted its suspension on the Iraqi Football Association (IFA) after a solution was found to a spat over alleged government interference, officials said. “Iraq is fully back as a member of FIFA,” governing body president Sepp Blatter said. The IFA was suspended in November after police seized control of its offices and its governing board was dissolved on charges of links to former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein. FIFA had called for the members of the association’s executive committee to be reinstated. It said on Friday that the Iraqi national Olympic committee and the International Olympic Committee had helped restore the IFA’s “full authority.”
Kurdish team to stay up
The Turkish Football Federation on Friday ruled against relegating Diyarbakirspor, the only Kurdish team in Turkey’s top league, after the team’s last two matches ended in fan violence. The case had become a matter of state, with politicians across Turkey’s fractious political spectrum and even the powerful military warning that penalizing Diyarbakirspor could harm Turkey’s national unity and radicalize Kurdish fans. The federation said on its Web site it had ruled against handing a second default defeat to Diyarbakirspor after a match against Istanbul’s Buyuksehir Belediyespor was abandoned in the 87th minute when fans invaded the pitch. The federation had already penalized Diyarbakirspor with a 3-0 default defeat to Bursaspor, after their match earlier this month was abandoned in the 17th minute because of crowd violence.
Charges filed in PSG case
Preliminary charges of murder have been filed against three men suspected of taking part in an attack on a Paris Saint-Germain fan who died earlier this week. The three suspects, who were part of a group of four people arrested last week, have been freed under judicial supervision, the Paris prosecutor’s office said on Friday. The 38-year-old PSG fan died late on Wednesday after spending weeks in a coma following an attack by rival PSG supporters.
Maniche nets to grab point
Maniche scored a spectacular equalizer to earn Cologne a 1-1 draw at home to Borussia Moenchengladbach in the Bundesliga on Friday. The Portuguese midfielder collected a pass from Zoran Tosic before firing into the top corner from the edge of the penalty area in the 79th minute. Marco Reus had put Borussia ahead in the 56th minute, running past three Cologne players and driving a low shot into the corner of the net. Cologne are without a win in seven games and Borussia in five, with both teams just above the relegation zone.