Saudi Arabia

South Korea's preparations for the co-hosting of the 2002 World Cup are well on track to be completed before the December 2001 deadline set by FIFA, according to event co-ordinator Peter Velappan.

Europe's leading soccer leagues have taken on world governing body FIFA about releasing players for the controversial Confederations' Cup in January.

The campaign team behind South Africa's bid to host the 2006 World Cup will end its global charm offensive in the coming week with visits to Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

FIFA are looking into the possibility of rescheduling the Confederations Cup from January to August 1999 after world champions France withdrew last month.

Peter Velappan, the general secretary of the Asian Football Confederation, has attacked the decision by Saudi Arabian club Al Ahli to withdraw from the semifinals of this year's Asian Cup Winners' Cup.

Saudi Arabia has withdrawn from next month's Asian Games in Bangkok because the event clashes with religious and national festivals at home, Thai officials have said.

Bernie Ecclestone has dropped plans to seek new investors for his Formula One Administration until the European Commission gives a final ruling on grand prix broadcasting rights.

Manchester United will take another step towards global brand status by opening a chain of retail shops in the Middle East.

Egypt's national soccer manager Mahmoud el-Gohary and the board of the Egyptian Football Association have resigned following the national team's defeat last week in the Confederations Cup Championship in Mexico.

Al-Dahshouri Harb has been appointed the new head of the Egypt Football Association (EFA) following the resignation of the EFA board.

The Extreme Sports Channel has extended its coverage beyond Europe after it signed a deal with pay-TV platform Showtime in the Middle East and Africa.

The Thailand Football Association has written to FIFA to request a change of venue for their Asian World Cup qualifying match scheduled for Baghdad on Friday, a Thai official said on Tuesday.