FIFA Inquiry Yields Indictments; U.S. Officials Vow to Pursue More

May 27, 2015

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“United States law enforcement officials declared in forceful terms on Wednesday that their broad investigation of FIFA had only begun and pledged to rid the international soccer organization of systemic corruption. The Justice Department, F.B.I. and I.R.S. described soccer’s governing body in terms normally reserved for Mafia families and drug cartels, saying that top officials treated FIFA business decisions as chits to be traded for personal wealth. One soccer official took in more than $10 million in bribes, Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch said. The schemes involving the fraud included the selection of South Africa as the host of the 2010 World Cup; the 2011 FIFA presidential elections; and several sports-marketing deals.” NY Times (Video)

FIFA: U.S. alleges corruption, indicts 14; Switzerland opens separate probe
“‘The indictment also alleges that corruption and bribery extended to the 2011 presidential FIFA election, and to agreements regarding sponsorship of the Brazilian national soccer team by a major U.S. sportswear company,’ U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch told reporters in New York on Wednesday while providing details about the U.S. corruption investigation into FIFA officials and others. FIFA executives and others used bribes to influence where the 2010 World Cup would be held, Lynch told reporters Wednesday while providing details about the U.S. corruption investigation of FIFA. The 2010 World Cup was held in South Africa.” CNNN (Video)

Fifa officials corrupted football – US prosecutors
“US prosecutors have accused several officials from football’s governing body Fifa of racketeering, fraud and money laundering involving tens of millions of dollars over 24 years. Prosecutors said they had discovered a dozen schemes, including one awarding the 2010 World Cup to South Africa. Fourteen people have been indicted, with seven held in Zurich on Wednesday. Fifa president Sepp Blatter is not among them. Fifa still intends to hold its presidential election on Friday. However, European football body Uefa has called for the election to be postponed and said it would decide on Thursday whether to boycott the congress. Mr Blatter is seeking re-election and is favoured to win a fifth term.” BBC (Video)


How Danny won over Zenit hearts – and the void he may leave behind

May 27, 2015

“When Danny joined Zenit St Petersburg from Dynamo Moscow for €30m in 2008, he was greeted with widespread scepticism. This was, after all, a Zenit team that, inspired by Andrey Arshavin and Anatoliy Tymoshchuk, had just won the Uefa Cup. Did they really need to spend that much on a player from one of their bitterest rivals? Seven years on, Danny leaves Zenit as a club legend: a draw at FC Ufa nine days ago enough to secure him his third league title with the club.” Guardian – Jonathan Wilson


The trouble with Liverpool? Very little is won by the sheer power of romance

May 27, 2015

“Liverpool is a romantic club. There’s no two ways about it. Its history needs no introduction. The club’s honours are almost beyond counting. Some of the greatest managers, players and teams to have graced the English game have done so sporting the Liver bird crest. To this day, there is not a set of fans beyond Merseyside who do not feel a little pang of inadequacy as they hear the choruses of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ rise up at Anfield, or as they watch the Kop stand in fiery red as one. The club is a beautiful bastion of football folklore, a fierce and loyal community too. True romantic seeks football club, must pride itself on multiple European titles? Liverpool’s the one for you.” Football Pink


2014/15 Ligue 1 End Of Season Awards

May 27, 2015

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“An exciting Ligue 1 season came to an end with a bit of an anti-climax. After Lyon & Marseille both held their own as potential challengers to Paris Saint-Germain’s domination in France, the capital club showed their experience and retained their title, now making it three successive championship wins having gone 18 years without one. For manager Laurent Blanc, it was a fantastic response to all his critics, with an impressive showing in Europe as well and also the possibility of winning a domestic treble, something never done in France earlier. But he isn’t the only one to have impressed both domestically and in Europe, with a few others deserving as much credit as French domestic football begins to set itself up on the footballing map.” Outside of the Boot


Queens Park Rangers – Do You Believe In The Westworld?

May 27, 2015

“In August 2011 it looked like a new dawn was breaking at Queens Park Rangers, who had just been promoted to England’s top flight for the first time in 15 years. Moreover the Malaysian entrepreneur Tony Fernandes had bought a majority 66% shareholding in the West London club from the previous shareholders, who included the Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone and team principal Flavio Briatore. Compared to his flamboyant predecessors, the affable founder of Air Asia seemed far more level-headed and was certainly much more communicative with the fans. Furthermore the remaining 33% of the club was owned by the family of Lakshmi Mittal, one of the wealthiest men in Britain, whose son-in-law, Amit Bhatia, is on the board.” The Swiss Ramble


River vs. Boca ’68 – The tragedy of La Puerta 12

May 27, 2015

“The Superclasico between River Plate and Boca Juniors is a fixture in the world football calendar that’s steeped in history, one that halts all activity in Buenos Aires but also captures the imagination of football fans around the globe. It has witnessed some of the game’s greats take part on either side: Alfredo Di Stefano, Diego Maradona, Enzo Francescoli, Juan Roman Riquelme and Gabriel Batistuta to name just a handful and is credited with being one of the most incredible spectacles in sport.” Football Pink


Five reasons Barcelona won La Liga

May 24, 2015

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“Xavi Hernandez lifted the domestic league trophy in front of the adoring Camp Nou on Saturday in what was an emotional farewell to the most influential midfielder in the Catalans’ history. Although Cules are obviously delighted to be celebrating their 23rd Liga title, their team has been forced to overcome plenty of adversity to reach their objective. Here are five reasons Barcelona won La Liga.” ESPN


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