August saw European club football kicking back into life after the summer break and the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ season getting underway. In England the programme started earlier than usual following a request from national coach Sven-Goran Eriksson that his players be given a week's extra rest ahead of the finals next summer. For Liverpool, this was by no means the start of their season however as they had been involved in qualifiers to defend their UEFA Champions League title since mid-July,
In Africa, the race to join Liverpool at the FIFA Club World Championship Japan 2005 hotted up as the CAF Champions League tournament headed towards the semi-finals stage. Zamalek joined their Cairo rivals Al Ahli in the final four, while Etoile Sahel's 1-1 draw against Esperance left them on the brink of the semis following the fifth round of group matches in the African Champions League.
Fans across eastern Asia were treated to a regional football extravaganza as men's and women's teams from Korea Republic, Japan, China and Korea DPR played against each other in two separate competitions. The eight-day men's tournament ended in Daegu with China emerging victorious after avoiding defeat in three of their four matches. The champions of the women's section were the hosts, Korea Republic, who fared better than their male counterparts who failed to register a win.
A multi-divisional delegation left FIFA headquarters for South Africa to discuss provisional arrangements for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. The inspection group made a flying visit to Johannesburg, the City of Tshwane (formally known as Pretoria), Rustenberg, Bloemfontein, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town, where the focus was on viewing facilities.
Elsewhere in South Africa, the SOS Children's Village in Rustenburg began construction as part of the '6 Villages for 2006' campaign. FIFA and SOS Children's Villages also laid the foundation stone in the Mexican city of Morelia.
FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking
Brazil, Argentina, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Mexico and USA continued to occupy the top six positions, but England (7th, up 1) overtook Spain (8th, no change) and France. The month's major movers were to be found lower down the ranking list, with Cosafa Cup winners Zimbabwe (51st, up 2) and defeated finalists Zambia (56th, up 6) narrowly missing out on joining the top 50. Gold Cup finalists Panama (77th, up 6) climbed to their highest ever position in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking.
2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™
There were no 2006 FIFA World Cup™ qualifiers in August 2005.
11 Aug - FIFA and UEFA pledge their continued support for the Football Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina after positive round-table talks in Zurich
11 Aug - International Football Association Board members clarify the on-field application of Law 11 (Offside) after a working-group meeting in Zurich
12 Aug - FIFA suspend the Yemen Football Association (YFA) on the grounds of serious interference by political authorities in the internal affairs of the association
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