The football associations of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have relaunched the Baltic League, which is contested by the four best teams from each of these three countries. The competition was initially launched in 1990 and dominated by Lithuanian clubs, but at the time of the Baltic states’ independence, the clubs lacked the wherewithal to prolong the experiment and it was abandoned after a single session. The latest instalment of the competition kicked off in early March of this year and will be played concurrently with the countries’ national championships. The tournament consists of a qualifying stage made up of three groups, which will run until the end of May, and a final stage comprising quarter-finals, semi-finals and a final, all played over two legs. The competition is scheduled to end at the beginning of November.
The Football Association of Serbia has undergone a change of policy by opting for decentralized structure. Whereas the capital, Belgrade, was hitherto the nerve centre for all the association’s activities, they will now take place all over the country. The association’s executive committee led the way in February by holding a meeting in Kragujevac in central Serbia, a change that met with a very favorable response across the country. Other events have followed suit and the association’s president, Zvezdan Terzic, other senior officials and even the coach, Javir Clemente, have begun to travel the land far and wide to visit clubs and local governments, thus underlining the fact that football is truly a matter for all Serbs.
Innovation for Romanian referees: for the first time, the Romanian Football Federation’s referees committee organized a week-long training camp during the winter break. One hundred and twelve referees and assistant referees from the country’s top three divisions met near Antalya in turkey for a week to undergo physical tests and receive instruction. The excellent results obtained suggest that a good level of refereeing can be expected at matches in the second half of the season.