Confederation Cup will get FIFA nod


ZURICH: International football authorities cleared up doubts on Monday over whether the Confederations Cup would go ahead in June in France. 

“We have received no request from any of the competing countries asking for a review of the competition,” a FIFA official told AFP. 

Tournament director Gerard Enault told Le Journal du Dimanche newspaper on Sunday he feared the event might be cancelled beause of Iraq war fears. The United States is one of the eight countries qualified for the June 18-29 tournament. 

France, Turkey, Japan, Colombia, New Zealand, Brazil and Cameroon are the other competing teams. 

However, FIFA agreed last Friday the top European clubs would not have to automatically release all their international players for the event. Reports in France suggested that France coach Jacques Santini would be hard pressed to obtain his full quota of French internationals from Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. 

Arsenal have French stars Thierry Henry, Silvain Wiltord, Robert Pires and Patrick Vieira, plus Brazilians Edu and Gilberto Silva and Cameroon's Lauren on their books. 

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez said last week that if Real was still in the running for their domestic title then he would not release Brazil World Cup stars Ronaldo and Roberto Carlos and French stars Zinedine Zidane and Claude Makelele for the start of the tournament. – AFP 

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