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New standard launched for FIFA Quality Programme

'FIFA Basic’ has been launched as the lowest standard of the FIFA Quality Programme which sets industry standards for football products.

‘FIFA Basic’ has been launched as the lowest standard of the FIFA Quality Programme which sets industry standards for football products.

The FIFA Quality Programme sets standards for products such as playing surfaces, equipment and football technology.

‘FIFA Basic’ sits behind ‘FIFA Pro’ and FIFA Quality Pro’. FIFA believes that the new standard will boost football development.

The ‘FIFA Basic’ standard focuses on cost efficiency, durability and safeguarding player safety.

The ‘FIFA Quality’ standard products meet the standard for community and amateur level sport while ‘FIFA Quality Pro’ products meet the benchmarks for professional football.

FIFA’s Quality Programme Conference and Research Symposium was held for the third time recently and was centred on the presentation of the new standard. More than 400 representatives from the football industry, major leagues, and confederations and associations attended the seminar.

“The event offered an important exchange with industry representatives, the football world and the research community on global standards and new developments. Even more important was the opportunity to hear about the industry’s challenges in these challenging times and to discuss possible solutions,” FIFA Director of Football Technology & Innovation, Johannes Holzmüller said about the conference.

“The introduction of the new FIFA Basic quality category and the FIFA Innovation Programme will have a positive impact by making products more affordable and adaptable for all levels of the game.”

Other initiatives were also introduced at the seminar – a new Quality Programme for Football Goals was also presented. Guidelines for natural turf and floodlighting are being developed in this area.

The FIFA Innovation Programme was also announced, which is aimed at new football products coming onto the market.

“The FIFA Innovation Programme, which creates a transparent and uniform process through which new products must pass in order to be approved within a fixed period of time and with clearly defined objectives,” FIFA said in a media release on its website.

On the FIFA Football Technology website, the FIFA Quality Programme has information about the football products it sets standards for from footballs, pitches, VAR, goal line technlgies to futsal surfaces and products.

Daniel Foley is a sports junior journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy and micro industry matters.

Acun Medya Group secures Hull City takeover

EFL Championship side Hull City AFC has been purchased by Turkish production company Acun Medya Group, headed by Acun Ilicali.

EFL Championship side Hull City AFC has been purchased by Turkish production company Acun Medya Group, for a fee in the reported region of $37 million AUD.

Acun Ilicali, a 52-year-old businessman and owner of Acun Medya Group, was introduced to fans at the MKM Stadium prior to the club’s 2-0 win at home over Blackburn Rovers.

The takeover brings the controversial ownership of the Allam family to an end, much to the delight of fans after a roller coaster 11 years in charge.

Despite overseeing two promotions to the Premier League, an FA Cup Final and Hull’s first-ever foray into a European competition through the UEFA Europa League in 2014, the Allam family became increasingly unpopular with the fans.

The unpopularity of the Allam family is due to many different reasons, however it all started when the family proposed a name change to ‘Hull Tigers’ back in 2013. The move was ultimately blocked by authorities a year later, which frustrated the Allams and they then put the club up for sale, straining the relationship with fans and seeing a decline in attendances at home fixtures.

The new ownership will look to win back supporters and turn the negative tide.

Acun Medya Group Owner, Acun Ilicali:

“I am happy that I have fulfilled one of my biggest dreams. We are starting a beautiful journey with Hull City. We have many big dreams and goals to achieve together with our fans,” he said.

Outgoing Vice-Chairman Ehab Allam:

“During our tenure, we have worked hard to create a sustainable model and successful academy set-up, giving the club the foundations it needs for the future,” he said.

“There have been lots of ups and downs over the last 11 years or so, but we will take some very fond memories with us… We have taken a very business-led approach to running the club and I truly hope Acun can rebuild the relationship with the fanbase and also bring back the success on the pitch that fans crave and deserve.”

Hertha Berlin pushing hard for stadium upgrade

Top-flight German football club Hertha Berlin has reiterated its intention to develop a new stadium nearby to the Olympiastadion.

Top-flight German football club Hertha Berlin has reiterated its intention to develop a new stadium nearby to its current home, the Olympiastadion, releasing fresh renderings of its vision for such a project.

The club has been attempting to progress plans to develop a new home for several years and in February 2020 stated that the OlympiaPark would be the preferred location.

In November 2018, Hertha confirmed it was targeting an opening date in July 2025 for a new-look Olympiastadion, with preference to be building a completely new stadium rather than renovating the current one.

The current Olympiastadion has been home to Hertha Berlin for almost 60 years, and has a capacity of around 74,000. However, the club is seeking a more intimate stadium for its fans, as well as the inclusion of an athletics track.

Hertha’s former stadium commissioner, Klaus Teichert, withdrew an application for a decision to be made on the location for a new stadium, with Brandenburg also put forward as a potential location.

Hertha Berlin Chief Financial Officer, Ingo Schiller:

“We have entered into talks with the new government and are working hard to set the course for our new stadium in 2022,” he said.

“The stadium is the club’s most important project, especially in terms of the economic situation.”

There is a lot of political support necessary for the project to get approved, as the potential worksite currently includes residential apartments, a big reason for negotiations coming to a stall at times.

A resident spoke to local radio station rbb24:

“You talk about ir, but not with us. We are still not prepared to sell our apartments in Sportforumstraße or to negotiate about them,” they said.

“It is very unfortunate that our residents in Sportforumstraße are once again unsettled by this uncoordinated approach.”

Hertha Berlin and backers of the new stadium have been in negotiation with Berlin’s sports senator, Iris Spranger, with talks to continue over the next month.

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