FIFA, Knowing Prosecutors Are Watching, Makes Some Changes

March 2, 2016

“ZURICH — Soccer’s governing body used an election on Friday to try to break with the past. FIFA chose a new president, the Swiss administrator Gianni Infantino, while approving reforms intended to overhaul the multibillion-dollar organization that the American authorities said last year was overrun with criminals. A new era has begun, Mr. Infantino said, addressing fellow FIFA officials in a stadium here but surely hoping that United States prosecutors were listening from afar. In their continuing case, the federal authorities in Brooklyn have depicted the Switzerland-based FIFA as a victim, hijacked by depraved leaders — corrupted but not corrupt. The organization hired top defense lawyers and crisis managers from the United States to share information with investigators and help advance that characterization in the nine months since charges were first unsealed.” NY Times
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Familiar Story for Thai Soccer as an Election Prompts ‘a Civil War’

February 11, 2016

“Surawut Maharom was looking stressed. His job had seemed simple when he had first arrived: to oversee an election on Thursday to choose a new president of the Football Association of Thailand. But nothing is simple when it comes to soccer in Thailand. ‘This is a civil war,’ Surawut said. ‘It’s the most difficult case that I’ve dealt with.’ In October, FIFA, global soccer’s governing body, dismissed the executive committee of the Thai soccer association after its president, Worawi Makudi, was suspended pending an ethics investigation.” NT Times

Why FIFA should hit Mexico with harsher penalties for ‘puto’ chants

February 7, 2016

“Two years later, FIFA has finally fined Mexico for fans chanting puto at games. I already explained back in 2014 why this term is offensive and heterosexist. Yes, lots of Mexico fans say they don’t mean it “that way,” but recall the early 1990s when Americans used the word ‘gay’ to mean ‘stupid’? Yeah, that was offensive. It still is. Puto is no different. The LGBTQ community in Mexico finds the term offensive, has made that point well known, and the so-called ‘tradition’ is less than two decades old. It needs to go and the time is ripe to make it happen. Still, one problem remains: FIFA’s impotency.” Fusion

World Cup 2018 – peace at last

January 17, 2016

“Amid the dying embers of 2015 there was a spark which spoke volumes about the nature of football and politics, which are always one and the same. And it all revolved around the fallout from the bids for World Cup 2018. In Russia, as we know, all football clubs are political vehicles. They are backed by local cities/regions, or by politicians/businessmen, bar one exception.” backpagefootball

SI Now: Wahl on European coaching carousel, Arsenal, FIFA election

January 10, 2016

“The European coaching carousel is in overdrive, with a number of the sport’s biggest names on the move. Jose Mourinho is gone from Chelsea, and Guus Hiddink is in charge for the rest of the season. Pep Guardiola announced he’ll be taking a Premier League job after this season with Bayern Munich, where Carlo Ancelotti will then take over. Zinedine Zidane has taken over for Rafa Benitez at Real Madrid, where Zidane starred as one of the world’s greatest players. To make sense of it all, speculate on where the carousel might stop next and also delve into Arsenal’s Premier League title chances and the latest regarding the FIFA election, SI’s Grant Wahl joined Maggie Gray on Thursday’s SI Now. Watch the video above for the entire interview, and for more on the goings on in the world of soccer, listen to the new Planet Fútbol Podcast here.” SI

Brighton Floored by a Wolves Sucker Punch

January 6, 2016

“When the Football League’s longest unbeaten run from the start of the season came to an end, it at least did so with a degree of finality. Being the last unbeaten club in the upper echelons of the English league system had, in all honesty, become something of a millstone around the neck of Brighton & Hove Albion. After last season’s closer than expected or wanted brush with the possibility of relegation back to League One, a year of mid-table security might have been enough for the club, but from the start of the season Chris Hughton’s team had been grinding out results week after week, seldom looking likely to set the world alight, but being consistently difficult to beat.” twohundredpercent

Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini Are Barred From Soccer for 8 Years

December 21, 2015

“Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini, two of the most powerful figures in global soccer, were barred from the sport for eight years on Monday morning after being found guilty of ethics violations. The suspensions were imposed by the independent ethics committee of FIFA, soccer’s international governing body. Mr. Blatter, who is FIFA’s longtime president, as well as Mr. Platini, who is the president of UEFA, which oversees soccer in Europe, are prohibited from taking part in any soccer-related activities while barred — a sanction that, in Mr. Platini’s case, seemingly ends any chance that he will be able to run in February’s special election to fill the post Mr. Blatter has said he would vacate.” NY Times
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