Football: EU rules ticket sales `lost cause'

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The Independent Online
THE European Union has refused to seek a redistribution of World Cup tickets already allocated, making sure instead that the limited amount of seats still available will be distributed more equably.

Even though the EU's executive commission maintained that the largest share of tickets had already been sold through a system unfairly favouring the French, an EU spokesman said it would not expend energy on a lost cause.

Instead, the commission said it has been "discussing solutions to assure that all tickets still available to the public will be distributed on equal conditions to all supporters".

Mark Goldberg has been given more time to complete his pounds 30m takeover of Crystal Palace. The club director and prospective chairman is now expected to have a controlling interest by 22 December and not October, as originally planned. His next payment has been deferred until 29 May. Ron Noades will continue as chairman.

Terry Venables is poised to turn down Goldberg's offer to become Palace's new manager and he has told friends that he is reluctant to go to the struggling club. The Australian coach has been offered a lucrative five- year deal, but is believed to prefer to wait for an approach from a top Premier League club.

Palace's pounds 1m bid for Aston Villa's Sasa Curcic has been blocked after the Serbian midfielder was denied a work permit. The Department of Education and Employment ruled that he had not played enough games for his country or for Villa to qualify for a renewal of the permit.

The Football Association has been asked by Fifa, the game's world governing body, to begin experiments with video technology to help decide whether a ball has crossed the goal-line. The International Football Association Board, the Fifa body that sets the rules of the game, has asked the FA to work with universities to help referees avoid goalscoring controversies. However, Fifa, has emphasised the move is only a trial.

The IFAB have also agreed to an FA experiment in Jersey where referees will be allowed to move the ball 10 yards closer to the goal if the defending side attempt to slow the taking of a free-kick.

The board will also bring in a new law from 1 July which could see players sent off in this summer's World Cup for any tackle from behind. Under current rules, players can be dismissed if they make contact with the opponent, but the new rule could see them sent off even if they take the ball first.

The Football League have decided to copy their Italian counterparts and tell supporters how many minutes of injury time will be played. The reserve official will be told by the referee how long will be added on and he will hold up a substitutes' board to inform fans. The trial runs from next weekend until the end of the season. It may also be used at the Coca-Cola Cup final between Chelsea and Middlesbrough on 29 March.

Tottenham are set to give a trial to a Chinese international. Fan Zhiyi, who plays for Shanghai Shenhua, spent a week with Southampton earlier this year and will return to England on Monday for a three-week stint with Spurs.

Jean-Jacques Eydelie has signed for Walsall from the Swiss side Sion. The French midfielder, who was fined and given a year's suspended ban three years ago after admitting bribing Valenciennes players to throw a match against Marseilles to help them win the championship, will be on a monthly contract.