FIFA

News Update

Questioning instant replay

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Thursday's soccer news starts with the growing complaints about how instant replay is working at the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup. The quick take is that it isn't, at least not enough to convince that it's worth the effort.

Instant replay, which of course FIFA would prefer the soccer world refers to as "video assistant referee", has been a long time coming.

Getting excited about the Confederations Cup

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Friday's soccer news starts with the Confederations Cup. It's easy to dismiss an international tournament that doesn't involve the USMNT. Easier still if you want to jump on board with those who think it's a bit much for FIFA to run a mini-World Cup the year before the main event. Both are fair points, to some extent.

Germany in the Confederations Cup

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Thursday's soccer news starts with the Confederations Cup. FIFA's World Cup warmup starts on Saturday in Russia, and it's not a safe assumption that even the participating countries really care. Germany, for instance.

The defending World Cup champions are having issues filling stadiums for friendlies at home, partly because their results seem like a foregone conclusion.

Playing the youth World Cups

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Tuesday's soccer news wonders if it's really worth the trouble trying to draw overarching conclusions from the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup. There's an argument that FIFA doesn't do the teams much of a favor by selling international broadcast rights to what used to be the youth championships. In terms of relative obscurity, it might be worthwhile to let these tournaments enjoy them.

Borussia Dortmund makes a change

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The DFB Pokal celebrations didn't last long for Borussia Dortmund. The Bundesliga club made a coaching announcement in Tuesday's soccer news, parting ways with Thomas Tuchel.

"We would like to thank Thomas Tuchel and his coaching staff for the sporting success they have brought to BVB...." read Borussia Dortmund's official statement.

AFP

Banned Jerome Valcke gets October CAS appeal date

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Lausanne (AFP) – Former FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke will have his appeal over his 10-year ban from football heard by the Court of Arbitration for Sport on October 11.

Sepp Blatter’s former righthand man was suspended in September 2015 over the 2014 World Cup tickets scam and was sentenced by FIFA’s ethics committee in February 2016 to a 12-year ban from football.

Banned Jerome Valcke gets October CAS appeal date

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Lausanne (AFP) – Former FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke will have his appeal over his 10-year ban from football heard by the Court of Arbitration for Sport on October 11.

Sepp Blatter’s former righthand man was suspended in September 2015 over the 2014 World Cup tickets scam and was sentenced by FIFA’s ethics committee in February 2016 to a 12-year ban from football.

‘No investigation’ opened into Infantino: FIFA

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Lausanne (AFP) – Football’s world governing body FIFA assured Tuesday that “no investigation” had been opened into president Gianni Infantino after sources said his role in the Confederation of African Football’s presidential elections was being looked into.

Maria Claudia Rojas, the new president of the investigatory chamber of FIFA’s ethics committee, “has confirmed that all files have been handed over to her and that there are no open preliminary or investigation proceedings involving the FIFA President”, the organisation said in a statement.

‘No investigation’ opened into Infantino: FIFA

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Lausanne (AFP) – Football’s world governing body FIFA assured Tuesday that “no investigation” had been opened into president Gianni Infantino after sources said his role in the Confederation of African Football’s presidential elections was being looked into.

Maria Claudia Rojas, the new president of the investigatory chamber of FIFA’s ethics committee, “has confirmed that all files have been handed over to her and that there are no open preliminary or investigation proceedings involving the FIFA President”, the organisation said in a statement.

Ousted FIFA ethics heads were investigating Infantino: sources

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Lausanne (AFP) – FIFA’s ethics team had been investigating the role played by the organisation’s president, Gianni Infantino, in the Confederation of African Football’s presidential elections before being removed from office, sources said on Monday.

Swiss prosecutor Cornel Borbely, who was chairman of the ethics committee’s investigatory chamber, had opened an invstigation into suggestions Infantino might have sought to influence the election of Madagascar’s Ahmad Ahmad as president of CAF in March.

Ousted FIFA ethics heads were investigating Infantino: sources

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Lausanne (AFP) – FIFA’s ethics team had been investigating the role played by the organisation’s president, Gianni Infantino, in the Confederation of African Football’s presidential elections before being removed from office, sources said on Monday.

Swiss prosecutor Cornel Borbely, who was chairman of the ethics committee’s investigatory chamber, had opened an invstigation into suggestions Infantino might have sought to influence the election of Madagascar’s Ahmad Ahmad as president of CAF in March.

Argentine banker pleads guilty in FIFA scandal

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New York (AFP) – A 56-year-old Argentine banker pleaded guilty in New York on Thursday to transferring more than $25 million in bribes in the massive FIFA corruption scandal that has rocked world soccer.

“I deeply regret what I did. I am ashamed and I wish I could express in words what I feel,” Jorge Arzuaga told Federal Judge Pamela Chen in Brooklyn, speaking in slow but perfect English.

Argentine banker pleads guilty in FIFA scandal

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New York (AFP) – A 56-year-old Argentine banker pleaded guilty in New York on Thursday to transferring more than $25 million in bribes in the massive FIFA corruption scandal that has rocked world soccer.

“I deeply regret what I did. I am ashamed and I wish I could express in words what I feel,” Jorge Arzuaga told Federal Judge Pamela Chen in Brooklyn, speaking in slow but perfect English.

Football: Argentine banker pleads guilty in FIFA scandal

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New York (AFP) – A 56-year-old Argentine banker pleaded guilty in New York on Thursday to transferring more than $25 million in bribes in the massive FIFA corruption scandal that has rocked world soccer.

“I deeply regret what I did. I am ashamed and I wish I could express in words what I feel,” Jorge Arzuaga told Federal Judge Pamela Chen in Brooklyn, speaking in slow but perfect English.

Football: Argentine banker pleads guilty in FIFA scandal

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New York (AFP) – A 56-year-old Argentine banker pleaded guilty in New York on Thursday to transferring more than $25 million in bribes in the massive FIFA corruption scandal that has rocked world soccer.

“I deeply regret what I did. I am ashamed and I wish I could express in words what I feel,” Jorge Arzuaga told Federal Judge Pamela Chen in Brooklyn, speaking in slow but perfect English.

Football: Xi meets FIFA boss as China eyes World Cup

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Beijing (AFP) – Chinese President Xi Jinping met with FIFA chief Gianni Infantino on Wednesday as the football world watches for signs that the Asian giant will make a bid to host a World Cup.

Xi greeted Infantino in the capital’s palatial Great Hall of the People but the two men did not mention China’s World Cup ambitions as they exchanged pleasantries before their closed-door meeting.

Football: Xi meets FIFA boss as China eyes World Cup

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Beijing (AFP) – Chinese President Xi Jinping met with FIFA chief Gianni Infantino on Wednesday as the football world watches for signs that the Asian giant will make a bid to host a World Cup.

Xi greeted Infantino in the capital’s palatial Great Hall of the People but the two men did not mention China’s World Cup ambitions as they exchanged pleasantries before their closed-door meeting.

HRW slams ‘abuse’ of Russia World Cup workers

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Moscow (AFP) – Human Rights Watch in a report released on Wednesday highlighted exploitation of workers on 2018 World Cup construction sites and accused FIFA and host Russia of taking insufficient action to halt abuse.

The New York-based group accused world football governing body FIFA of failing to effectively monitor labour conditions ahead of the Confederations Cup starting June 17 and the World Cup that kicks off in a year’s time.

Palestinians take FIFA to court over Israeli clubs

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Lausanne (AFP) – The Palestine Football Association (PFA) appealed to the world’s top sports court on Tuesday, seeking to force FIFA to rule on the future of Israeli clubs playing in the West Bank.

The case filed at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) is aimed at voiding a FIFA resolution, passed at its Congress last month, to push back a decision on the Israeli clubs until March 2018 at the latest.

Palestinians take FIFA to court over Israeli clubs

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Lausanne (AFP) – The Palestine Football Association (PFA) appealed to the world’s top sports court on Tuesday, seeking to force FIFA to rule on the future of Israeli clubs playing in the West Bank.

The case filed at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) is aimed at voiding a FIFA resolution, passed at its Congress last month, to push back a decision on the Israeli clubs until March 2018 at the latest.

Infantino ‘confident’ in 2022 despite Qatar crisis

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Lausanne (AFP) – FIFA is confident the diplomatic crisis sweeping Qatar will normalise and not threaten the 2022 World Cup, the organisation’s president, Gianni Infantino, said in an interview published Sunday.

“We are facing a diplomatic crisis,” Infantino told Switzerland’s Le Matin Dimanche newspaper.

Infantino ‘confident’ in 2022 despite Qatar crisis

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Lausanne (AFP) – FIFA is confident the diplomatic crisis sweeping Qatar will normalise and not threaten the 2022 World Cup, the organisation’s president, Gianni Infantino, said in an interview published Sunday.

“We are facing a diplomatic crisis,” Infantino told Switzerland’s Le Matin Dimanche newspaper.

FIFA sponsors ‘accelerate’ China’s World Cup chances

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Beijing (AFP) – China’s footballers may be struggling on the pitch but its companies are proving to be a big player, signing sponsorship deals with FIFA as the giant Asian nation looks to boost its chances of hosting the World Cup.

In the space of a year, football governing body FIFA has gained three major Chinese sponsors in conglomerate Wanda, Hisense - the world’s number three television manufacturer - and smartphone maker Vivo, who concluded a deal just a week ago.

FIFA admits North Koreans helped build World Cup venue

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Zurich (AFP) – Football’s world governing body FIFA said Friday it had evidence that North Korean workers had been employed on 2018 World Cup venue construction in Russia.

A FIFA inspection tour to Saint Petersburg in November uncovered information that workers from the Stalinist state were engaged on stadium construction, it said.

FIFA admits North Koreans helped build World Cup venue

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Zurich (AFP) – Football’s world governing body FIFA said Friday it had evidence that North Korean workers had been employed on 2018 World Cup venue construction in Russia.

A FIFA inspection tour to Saint Petersburg in November uncovered information that workers from the Stalinist state were engaged on stadium construction, it said.

Briton pleads guilty in FIFA scandal

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New York (AFP) – A 60-year-old British citizen pleaded guilty in New York on Wednesday to money laundering conspiracy in connection with the sweeping corruption scandal that has rocked world soccer.

Costas Takkas, the former Cayman Islands Football Federation general secretary, has been living under house arrest in Florida after initially pleading not guilty and being released on a $1 million bond.

Briton pleads guilty in FIFA scandal

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New York (AFP) – A 60-year-old British citizen pleaded guilty in New York on Wednesday to money laundering conspiracy in connection with the sweeping corruption scandal that has rocked world soccer.

Costas Takkas, the former Cayman Islands Football Federation general secretary, has been living under house arrest in Florida after initially pleading not guilty and being released on a $1 million bond.

Football: Briton pleads guilty in FIFA scandal

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New York (AFP) – A 60-year-old British citizen pleaded guilty in New York on Wednesday to money laundering conspiracy in connection with the sweeping corruption scandal that has rocked world soccer.

Costas Takkas, the former Cayman Islands Football Federation general secretary, has been living under house arrest in Florida after initially pleading not guilty and being released on a $1 million bond.

Football: Briton pleads guilty in FIFA scandal

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New York (AFP) – A 60-year-old British citizen pleaded guilty in New York on Wednesday to money laundering conspiracy in connection with the sweeping corruption scandal that has rocked world soccer.

Costas Takkas, the former Cayman Islands Football Federation general secretary, has been living under house arrest in Florida after initially pleading not guilty and being released on a $1 million bond.

Villar wins eighth term as Spanish FA president

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Madrid (AFP) – Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) president Angel Maria Villar was reelected for an eighth term on Monday after being unopposed in elections.

Villar, a long-term UEFA and FIFA vice-president, has been head of the Spanish FA for the past 28 years and was reelected with 112 votes in favour, with 11 abstentions and six spoiled ballots, the RFEF confirmed.

Villar wins eighth term as Spanish FA president

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Madrid (AFP) – Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) president Angel Maria Villar was reelected for an eighth term on Monday after being unopposed in elections.

Villar, a long-term UEFA and FIFA vice-president, has been head of the Spanish FA for the past 28 years and was reelected with 112 votes in favour, with 11 abstentions and six spoiled ballots, the RFEF confirmed.

European Soccer

Friday Kickoff: Ronaldo, FIFA, Donnarumma and more

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A tax investigation could send shockwaves throughout the soccer landscape.

Cristiano Ronaldo reportedly wants to leave Real Madrid this summer following recent tax fraud allegations. Ronaldo has reportedly gone to Real Madrid president Florentino Perez to state his desire to leave (REPORT)

The Swiss attorney general's office says there are 25 separate investigations into suspected corruption involving FIFA and World Cup bidding.

Monday Kickoff: Qatar, Bale, Hazard and more

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The hosts of the 2022 World Cup are back in the news while one Champions League winner insists he won't be leaving his club.

Six Arab countries including Saudi Arabia and Egypt have cut diplomatic ties with Qatar due to the country's alleged backing of militant groups. (REPORT)

Gareth Bale insists that he is "happy" at Real Madrid despite consistent injuries leading to a reduced role with the club.

The Rest

Former Swiss banker pleads guilty in FIFA corruption case

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Former Swiss Banker Jorge Luis Arzuaga has admitted of paying millions of dollars in bribes to Fifa’s former senior executive Julio Grondona, chairman of football’s world governing body’s finance committee and president of the Argentinian football association, the Guardian report.

Following US investigation into Fifa-related corruption, Jorge Luis Arzuaga pleaded guilty to money laundering conspiracy charge on Thursday.

FIFA president believes Qatar World Cup not under threat despite ongoing diplomatic crisis

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Doubts over Qatar hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup increased exponentially after the country was surrounded with a diplomatic crisis.

Arab nations namely Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain cut ties with Qatar, accusing it of “destabilising the region with its support for Islamist groups”.

Rüdiger asks FIFA, who disbanded its anti-racism task force, to act on Serie A racism

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Roma defender Antonio Rüdiger has asked Fifa to act on racism, after another season of several such despicable incidents in Serie A.

Rüdiger was racially abused by Lazio fans during an Italian Cup game in March. During the last season, Juventus defender Mehdi Benatia was even called a “shitty Moroccan” live on television.

This Weekend's Soccer on TV

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The major Europeanleagues may be finished but that doesn't mean that there isn't plenty of soccer on TV this weekend.

Taking center stage is the Champions League final between Juventusand Real Madrid Saturday. Real Madrid will be gunning for their second straight title against a stout Juventus team.

USMNT remains 23rd, Mexico drops a spot in latest FIFA ranking

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The U.S. Men's National Team is still the 23rd best team in the world, according to FIFA's latest world ranking.

The USMNT, who have a friendly against Venezuela on Saturday before a pair of CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers, did not move anywhere in the list released by the sport's governing body on Thursday.

‘The Ruling Is Unfair And Causes Irreparable Damage’ – Atletico Madrid Unable To Sign New Players Until January 2018 After Transfer Ban Upheld

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The big news emanating from Spain this morning is that Atletico Madrid have had their transfer ban upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Back in January of last year, Atleti (along with rivals Real Madrid) were banned from signing players for two consecutive transfer windows for breaching FIFA regulations over the registration of minors.

FIFA being FIFA at their Congress

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The soccer news starts with FIFA president Gianni Infantino using some interesting phrasing when describing issues facing world soccer's governing body. As the Independent's Ian Herbert asks why Infantino thought it was the right move to introduce "fake news" and "alternative facts" into the FIFA conversation.