Sepp Blatter to Resign as FIFA President

June 2, 2015

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“Sepp Blatter, who led world soccer’s governing body for 17 years and had just won re-election for a fifth four-year term, resigned his position at a hastily called news conference in Zurich on Tuesday evening in the wake of an international corruption inquiry. In a short speech delivered at the headquarters of FIFA, which oversees global soccer, Mr. Blatter said that ‘FIFA needs a profound restructuring’ and that he had decided to step away from the organization for which he had worked in various positions for 40 years. Mr. Blatter, 79, who spoke in French, then referred to his recent re-election by FIFA’s 209 member nations when he said, ‘Although the members of FIFA have given me the new mandate, this mandate does not seem to be supported by everybody in the world of football.’ …”
NY Times, The Rise and Fall of Sepp Blatter

Sepp Blatter to resign as Fifa president amid corruption scandal
“Sepp Blatter says he will resign as president of football’s governing body Fifa amid a corruption scandal. In announcing his exit, the 79-year-old Swiss has called an extraordinary Fifa congress “as soon as possible” to elect a new president. Blatter was re-elected last week, despite seven top Fifa officials being arrested two days before the vote as part of a US prosecution. But he said: ‘My mandate does not appear to be supported by everybody.'” BBC (Video)

John Oliver and Last Week Tonight went after FIFA again
“Soccer fan and HBO’s Last Week Tonight host John Oliver isn’t afraid of taking FIFA to task for, well, being FIFA. Two weeks ago, Oliver provided a brief update on the troubled non-profit organization in advance of its presidential elections. But now that the election is over and FIFA has overwhelmingly voted to give ‘President for Life’ Sepp Blatter a fifth term, Oliver and his team have brandished the knives once again. Apparently, no one is safe. This time, those caught in the Last Week Tonight wake include alleged FBI snitch and acclaimed cat person Chuck Blazer, the spectacularly and often hilariously allegedly corrupt former CONCACAF ringmaster Austin ‘Jack’ Warner, as well as FIFA’s corporate sponsors. …” Fusion (Video)

Sepp Blatter to resign FIFA presidency
“In a stunning announcement made at a hastily called news conference Tuesday in Zurich, FIFA President Sepp Blatter said he will resign after FIFA elects a new leader at an ‘extraordinary congress’ that will be called by the organization’s executive committee. The election will be at least four months away, a FIFA official announced. FIFA’s next congress, at which such decisions usually are made, is not until next May in Mexico, but FIFA announced its desire to speed up the process in order to put the scandal in the past.” Washington Post (Video)

These 5 alternatives to Sepp Blatter are just as likely to fix a broken system
“For the past week, the soccer community has been discussing the FIFA investigations, indictments and arrests in a way that’s made me want to do the unthinkable and delete my Twitter account. The rhetoric from soccer journalists, commentators, and outside observers has come across like a public contest to decide who can most poetically (or angrily, if you like your takes hot n’ fresh) make painfully obvious points like ‘bribery is bad,’ ‘Qatar is a weird place to play soccer,’ and ‘women are people, too’ sound like groundbreaking shit. I hate it, but at the same time, I understand the struggle.” Fusion

Salt Lake Olympic, global finance scandals hint charging FIFA execs could prove much easier than punishing them
“On June 8, 1998, two days before Brazil opened France’s World Cup with a 2-1 win over Scotland, a former head of the World Society of Friends of Suspenders from rural Switzerland was elected as FIFA president. Sepp Blatter’s rise to power has proved to be a pivotal moment in modern sports history, but it was far from the biggest sports governance story of the year. That came in that winter, when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) was mired in a scandal related to its award of the 2002 Winter Olympics to Salt Lake City.” Fusion

How Fifa can find a new direction and start the clean-up of corruption
“The 161-page indictment of 14 Fifa officials and marketing executives is pretty repetitive. They are accused of a simple scheme to extract bribes and kickbacks, repeated many times over. National football associations, federations and confederations own the broadcast and marketing rights to the national teams that everyone likes to follow. The elected officials in these organisations are supposed to use the revenues they generate to support the development of the game – but many seem to want to enrich themselves instead.” Guardian


Bulgaria and the secret service

June 2, 2015

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“During the years of the Cold War, the Eastern European secret services were involved in all aspects of everyday life. Football, the greatest social phenomenon of the 20th century, was not an exception. Behind the Iron Curtain, the beautiful game was under the command of a system of departmental clubs. In every Eastern European country, the main derby was between clubs of the army and the interior ministry – with many clubs taking their name from the associated departments, with the club’s associated to the police being named Dinamo (e.g. Kiev, Tbilisi, Bucharest, and Zagreb). The degree of intervention from the secret service depended upon the specificities of the regime.” Slavic Football Union


Britain’s “other” national team: Ellan Vannin

June 2, 2015

“The four national teams of the United Kingdom are supposedly England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Each with its own FIFA affiliated side, these nations have spanned generations and produced some wonderful footballers, and in the case of England have even won the FIFA World Cup, triumphing by a margin of 4-2 over West Germany in 1966 – a fond memory to those who witnessed that historic match.” Football Pink


A Troubled History – José Maria Marin

June 2, 2015

“‘Sport is very authoritarian,’ said the Brazilian marine engineer Ivo Herzog. ‘And it mobilises millions of people. Apparently, sport attracts a certain kind of human being: men who used to work inside totalitarian forms of government, who are products of non-free environments, who can’t handle a democratic reality. They appear to feel comfortable inside sports administrations, in a way they don’t out in the real world.’ For a couple of years, Herzog has been running a campaign to remove José Maria Marin from his positions as president of the Brazilian football federation (CBF) and head of the local organising committee for the World Cup.” The Blizzard


Fulham – Penthouse And Pavement

June 2, 2015

” For many years Fulham enjoyed a great deal of success. Funded by substantial investment from their then owner Mohamed Al Fayed, the club rose from the third tier of English football to reach the top flight and then became an established Premier League club. They finished as high as 7th one season, followed by a memorable run to the Europa League final, where they were narrowly defeated by Atletico Madrid after extra time. As Al Fayed noted, the breathtaking 4-1 victory over the mighty Juventus en route to that final was ‘probably the greatest game ever seen at Craven Cottage.’” The Swiss Ramble


Tiki-Taka’s Trojan Horse: Luis Enrique Transformed Barcelona From Within

June 2, 2015

“The shadow of Pep Guardiola still hangs over everything that happens at FC Barcelona, and for good reason. In 2009, Guardiola’s first season as manager, the club won the treble — league, league cup, and Champions League. It went on to win another two league titles, one more league cup, and one more Champions League trophy during Pep’s four years in charge. Quite simply, his Barca side, with their sustained dominance and signature quick-passing style, are the defining team of the 21st century.” Grantland


A Look Back at Hertha Berlin’s Season

June 2, 2015

“A whirlwind. That would be one way to describe Hertha Berlin’s season. They teetered on the edge of relegation twice in the middle of the season and were in the conversation for the calamity that was the last few match days. Even if their chance was slim to get relegated, they didn’t help themselves by posting the league’s third worst form in the second half of the season with 4 wins, 5 draws and 8 losses. The DFB Pokal didn’t go so well either, as they were one of Arminia Bielefeld’s victims amid the 3.Liga sides’ impressive run. The Berliners didn’t have the season they’d hoped, but in looking at it and their position on the table, it could have been much worse.” Bundesliga Fanatic