Vanishing spray to  appear in French League

»The French Football Federation (FFF) will adopt the use of vanishing spray to mark out free kicks at top-level matches next season, president Noel Le Graet announced this week, reports Reuters.

The spray was used at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil to ensure defensive walls did not encroach more than 10 yards (9.15 metres).

"We have adopted spray for Ligue 1, Ligue 2, the national championship and the women's first division. This decision will be applied for the start of the season," Le Graet said in a statement.

The use of the spray, which disappears after 60 seconds, was widely praised during the World Cup in June and July.   

Zizou’s first signing is.... a mystery player

»Famed for his grace and elegance as a player, Zinedine Zidane apparently has other priorities as a coach, as he made brawny, bustling Finnish striker Eero Markkanen his first signing for Real Madrid's B team, reports Reuters.

Now boss of the Champions League winners' 'Castilla' reserve side, Zidane sought out the relatively unknown Finn and bought him from Swedish club AIK Stockholm, where his six goals in 14 appearances were enough to convince one of the game's greats that he was worth a gamble.

"Coming to AIK was a dream come true," Markkanen said in a statement issued by AIK announcing the move. "Thanks to hard work, my team-mates, (AIK coach) Mr. Alm and his coaching staff, another dream is now coming true."
No details of the transfer fee have been released.

Television pundit turns technical chief

»Television pundit Lee Yong-soo was named as the South Korean Football Association's new technical chief on Thursday, charged with appointing a new head coach for the upcoming Asian Cup, reports Reuters.

Lee, who does commentary for the KBS station and is a professor of physical education at Sejong University in Seoul, resumes the role he held in 2002 when South Korea finished fourth at their home World Cup.

He replaces Hwangbo Kwan, who, along with head coach Hong Myung-bo, stepped down after the Koreans managed only one point in a group stage exit at the recently concluded World Cup in Brazil.

"I decided someone had to do it, and so I am back after some 10 years," Lee, 54, was quoted as saying by the Yonhap News Agency.

"The most pressing matter now is obviously to name the new national team head coach.”
Keen to recapture form of 2008, says Iniesta
»Barcelona are looking to recapture the kind of form they hit when former coach Pep Guardiola, the club's most successful manager, took over in 2008, midfielder Andres Iniesta has said.

The Catalan club are in the process of rebuilding after they failed to win major silverware last season for the first time in six years and coach Gerard Martino has been replaced by Luis Enrique.

Players including Uruguay forward Luis Suarez and Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitic have arrived to join the likes of Lionel Messi and Neymar and Iniesta said the players were excited about the new season starting next month.

"We want to get back to doing things well and making the fans happy," the Spain playmaker and club captain said.

"This year will be tough but we have the goal and the ambition to repeat (the successes of) the 2008-09 season," he added.

Extreme cyclist starts extreme adventure

»Austrian extreme cyclist Wolfgang Fasching started a one-man race this week from Vladivostok via Moscow to St Petersburg in an attempt to cover 10,000 kilometres in 24 days, reports IANS.

The cyclist has a support team that will follow him all the way to St Petersburg. A team of fifteen, including medics, technicians, media-group, and a cook in five vehicles will escort him along the route.

Fasching is planning to cover 400 to 500 kilometres a day with three to four hours of sleep. “For the first time before the race I had a good rest, and I feel good. I am ready for this run,” Fasching said before his journey.

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