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Al Chase

Just For Kicks

By Al Chase

Thursday, July 20, 2000



France closes gap
on world leader Brazil

EURO 2000 champion France has edged closer to first-place Brazil in the June FIFA world soccer rankings.

Brazil leads with 825 points. France is in second place with 800 points.

The Czech Republic (753) remained in third place. Argentina moved up a spot to tie Spain for fourth with 744 points.

June was a very busy month for international soccer. Besides the European Championships and the Oceania Nations Cup, there were numerous World Cup qualifying matches and some 75 friendlies were played.

Australia made the biggest jump, 29 places to No. 63, after winning the Oceania Nations Cup.

The top 25 teams with points and position change since May:

1. Brazil 825, 0. 2. France 808, 0. 3. Czech Republic, 753 0. 4. Spain 744, 0, and Argentina 744, +1. 6. Italy 732, +8. 7. Portugal 717, +8. 8. Holland 713, +13. 9. Germany 711, -3. 10. Norway 708, -3.

11. Yugoslavia 705, -1. 12. Romania 701, -1. 13. Mexico 698, -5. 14. Croatia 694, -5. 15. England 691, -3. 16. Denmark 653, -3. 17. Colombia 650, +1. 18. Sweden 645, -2. 19. Paraguay, 642 -2. 20. United States, 639 -1.

21. Scotland, 629 0. 22. Chile, 625 +1. 23. South Africa, 624 -3. 24. Russia, 616 0. 25. Morocco, 607 +1.

Tapa

The French picked up another trophy last week: the fair play award given by European soccer's governing body.

The fair play award is based on, among other things, player and fan conduct.

The Netherlands was second and Spain third in the fair play ratings.

Another plus for France is the $9 million it will receive for winning Euro 2000. It's the champion's share of the $75 million pool derived from ticket sales, sponsorship and television rights.

Italy will receive $8.3 million while the losing semifinalists, Portugal and the Netherlands, get $6.3 million.

The remainder is split among the other 12 teams depending on where they finished in the tourney.

Tapa

Japan is spending $3 billion preparing for the 2002 Men's World Cup, while the Koreans' bill will total about $2.5 billion.

The 10 stadiums will be ready by August next year, well ahead of the May 31, 2002 tournament opening.

One thing out of the organizers' control is the weather. June is among the wettest months in Japan and South Korea, raising fears of flooded pitches disrupting the schedule.

There will be 3,240,894 tickets available for the 2002 event.

Tickets will be sold by three categories -- 1: Best tickets available; 2. Seats in the four corners of each stadium, and 3. Other seats.

The highest prices are for the final, with category 1 seats costing $750, category 2 seats going for $500 and category 3 seats selling for a mere $300.

The cheapest tickets are for first-round matches, $150, $100 and $60.

A total of 880,000 tickets will be available internationally to public and national governing bodies.

Tapa

The United States women's national team will play three exhibition matches, coast-to-coast, in its final tuneup for the 2000 Olympics.

The Americans play Russia at Annapolis, Md., Aug. 13; Canada at Kansas City, Mo., Aug. 20, and Brazil at San Jose, Calif., Sept 1.

Tapa

With the Nevada Wolf Pack joining the Western Athletic Conference this fall, the University of Hawaii Wahine will play seven conference matches.

Rice is the only conference member without a women's soccer program.





Al Chase has been covering sports in Hawaii
since 1968. His column appears on Thursdays.
From the local ranks to the World Cup,
Al Chase will help keep you up to date on futbol.
achase@starbulletin.com



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