*ITALIAN STADIA LIKE PIZZERIAS? How times change. In Italia '90 we all marveled at Italy's football grounds like Milan's fortress-like San Siro, Turin's caverous Stadio delle Alpi, Bari's space-age San Nicola and Genoa's wonderfully quirky Luigi Ferraris, wishing we could have such soccer cathedrals at home.
Fast forward twenty years and the designs have stagnated and fallen below the quality of those in England, Germany and Spain.
Now with a slew of new grounds in France on the way in the build-up to Euro 2016, Italy is having to question its model of municipally-owned arena (also the norm in the USA), while other nations let their clubs own theirs.
"It's like theatres and restaurants," said AC Milan's vice-president Adriano Galliani told Gazzetta dello Sport. "There are beautiful theatres and ugly ones, there are luxury restaurants and pizzerias. But without stadiums we can't do anything and without a new law we can't construct new stadiums."
* Brazilian legend Zico, who has coached Japan and Kashima Antlers amongst others, is set to ink a deal to coach Iraq.
*Former US coach Bob Bradley is in talks to become the national team coach of Egypt.
*Carlos Tevez is back in Manchester having failed to tie-up a transfer elsewhere and will be training with his supposed replacement and compatriot Sergio Aguero.
*Barcelona B starlet Thiago Alcantara, who shone in this summer's Euro U21 Championship in Denmark, is in Spain's senior squad for their friendly with Italy in Bari on Wednesday.
*"We are not touching now the Qatar World Cup" was Sepp Blatter's enigmatic response to a question about the timing of the 2022 competition. As it stands, it will take place in June in arenas air-conditioned to avoid the 40C heat.
*Tottenham Hotspur's ticket office was trashed in the violence which has engulfed parts of London for the past two nights. The trouble began with a police shooting of an armed man in Tottenham. The club is asking fans to use the internet instead.
The London 2012 Olympic football will be called 'The Albert' after the Cockney rhyming slang for ball - 'Albert Hall'.
*The UEFA Champions League playoff draw has been made: Arsenal v Udinese, Bayern Munich v Zurich, Lyon v Rubin Kazan, Villareal v Odense.
*The FIFA U20 World Cup in Colombia has reached the knockout stage. The last 16 lineup is thus:
Tues 9th Aug:
Argentina v Egypt
Cameroon v Mexico
Colombia v Costa Rica
Portugal v Guatemala
Weds 10th Aug:
Brazil v Saudi Arabia
France v Ecuador
Nigeria v England
Spain v South Korea
- Sean O'Conor
World Cup Pens
World Cup Posters
Euro 2012 football