Nine years after volcanic eruption, football still suffers | Readings for 2 December 2006

Germany | Appeals court ponders freeing corrupt referee

Robert Hoyzer, in jail for his role in fixing cup and lower-league matches, could be freed pending an appeals court ruling Dec 15. Hoyzer’s deeds are “an instance of common trickery,” a prosecutor says, not necessarily a crime. The German legal system often calls on prosecutors to review the basis for convictions. State prosecutor Hartmut Schneider calls the verdict of the Berlin court that convicted Hoyzer in Nov 05 “remarkably superficial.” (Deutsche Welle, 28 Nov 06)

Youth | Study finds Scotland ignores its wee ones

Researchers have concluded that short-statured footballers are overlooked for select teams, affecting especially those born late within a youth-football selection year. Gordon Strachan, Kevin Keegan and Steven Gerrard all were “late maturers” who would today be in danger of being overlooked or discouraged from pursuing the game. (Scotsman, 1 Dec 06)

Environment | World Cup bids need to be green

FIFA should replicate the International Olympic Committee in considering environmental protection as an organizing principle at large tournaments, says the United Nations Environmental Programme in Berne, Switzerland. Efforts in Germany in 2006 were praised as a standard for future World Cups. Fifty-seven percent of journeys during the event, for example, occurred on public transport. The tournament also helped fund clean-energy schemes in India and South Africa. (Reuters, 1 Dec 06)

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