(WFI) World Football INSIDER rounds up the 10 things you need to know about the global football business today.
Fresh ethics problem for FIFA
Germany’s Guenter Hirsch has quit FIFA’s ethics committee in protest at Sepp Blatter’s inability to rid world football’s governing body of corruption. His resignation comes in the wake of the World Cup bid bribery scandal that brought down two Ex-co members, Amos Adamu and Reynald Temarii, and the awarding of 2018 and 2022 tournament hosting rights to Russia and Qatar respectively. According to the DPA news agency, he said in a letter to FIFA’s ethics chairman Claudio Sulser: “The events of the past few weeks have raised and strengthened the impression that responsible persons in FIFA have no real interest in playing an active role in resolving, punishing and avoiding violations against ethic regulations of FIFA.”
Cameron critical of football governance
British Prime Minister David Cameron has again criticised FIFA, citing the broken promises to vote for England 2018 made by Ex-co members he met during the bid campaign. England was knocked out in the first round of voting on Dec. 2, gaining just two votes from the 22 FIFA members. “I definitely had a number of those FIFA executives who looked me in the eye and shook my hand and said ‘don’t worry, we’re with you’,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live on Sunday. “I’m afraid that the world of football governance is rather murky in that way. It was sad to lose and yes, some people were not straight with us.”
FIFA Ballon d’Or awards
The inaugural winner of the FIFA Ballon d’Or will be announced in Zurich tonight. Barcelona’s Xavi, Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta are contesting the player of the year award. It will be streamed live on FIFA.com from 19.00 CET. Competing for the women’s honour are Fatmire Bajramaj, Marta, Birgit Prinz, Pia Sundhage and Silvia Neid. Other awards up for grabs are the coach of the year title and FIFA presidential award, while the FIFA FIFPro World XI will reveal the year’s 11 best players as voted by their peers and the FIFA Puskas Prize will reward the scorer of the finest goal of 2010, voted by FIFA.com users.
Beckham trains at Spurs
David Beckham had a medical at Tottenham Hotspur on Monday morning, with
the LA Galaxy star set begin his four-week training spell with the club
tomorrow. The 35-year-old aims to use the time to get fit for the start
of the Major League Soccer season in April. He is schedule to return to
the Galaxy on Feb. 10. Spurs officials are still hoping a deal can be
finalised that will allow Beckham to play for them. Negotiations are
taking place between the clubs over the proportion of wages that the
London club would have to splash out for. Meanwhile, Beckham’s spokesman
described as “laughable” a suggestion by West Ham vice chairman Karren
Brady that his move to Spurs was part of a PR stunt to aid the club’s
campaign to move into the 2012 Olympic Stadium. The two clubs are
shortlisted to take control of the stadium, with the Olympic Park Legacy
Company expected to decide in March.
FA Cup 4th round highlights
The FA Cup fourth round meeting
between Manchester United and League One Southampton is a repeat of the
1976 final when the Saints emerged 1-0 winners. Other highlights of the
draw are Chelsea’s tie with fellow Premiership side Everton and a clash
between London rivals Fulham and Tottenham Hotspur. Lowly Stevenage of
English football’s fourth tier created the shock of the weekend’s third
round matches with a 3-1 win over Newcastle. They will be at home to
Reading in the next round.
Saudi Arabia fire coach after shock defeat in Asian Cup
Saudi Arabian FA chiefs didn’t waste any time in sacking coach Jose Peseiro after the team suffered a humiliating
2-1 defeat to underdogs Syria in their Asian Cup Group B match on Sunday. Technical director Nasser Al Johar has been appointed to coach the Saudis for their final group games against Japan and Jordan; it’s his fifth stint managing the national team. President of the Saudi FA Prince Sultan Bin Fahd Bin Abdulaziz said in a statement that Peseiro had chosen the wrong tactics for the game against Syria and an unsuitable squad.
“The performance was bad and we want to correct things before the next two matches,” he was quoted on AFC.com. Saudi Arabian football chiefs have made a habit of sacking coaches during and after competitions down the years; Saudi has reportedly had 27 national team bosses in the last 20 years.
There was a full house for India’s clash with Australia in the Group C opener at Doha’s 13,500-seat Al Sadd Stadium today. Qatar’s large Indian expat population turned out in numbers to see their team take on the Socceroos, the pre-competition favourites who were 3-0 up at half-time.
Asian Cup observer programme for Australia
Seven Australian government and football officials began a four-day
Asian Cup observation programme today. The initiative follows the
awarding of the 2015 edition to Australia last week and will see
officials briefed on all aspects of the Qatar 2011 organisation and
visits to Doha’s host stadia. The AFC was represented by general
secretary Alex Soosay and assistant general secretary Michelle Chai.
FIFA threatens sanctions against new Indonesian football league
The breakaway Indonesian Premier League (LPI) kicked off on Saturday, defying moves made by the Indonesian Soccer Association (PSSI) to prevent the competition getting underway. Persema FC beat home side Solo FC 5-1 at Manahan Stadium in Surakarta, Central Java. The match was played before a crowd of 22,000 spectators, setting a new attendance record for the stadium, according to the LPI. FIFA has already threatened to punish clubs participating in the LPI because it is not supported by the PSSI. League spokesman Abi Hasantoso told the Jakarta Post that league organisers “were waiting to be summoned by FIFA so we can clarify the matter”. “FIFA needs to better understand the state of soccer in the country,” he said.
Boxers to test Euro 2012 stadium
Ukrainian and Polish boxers Vladimir Klitschko and Tomasz Adamek are set to sign a contract this week to fight at Wroclaw’s new Euro 2012 stadium in September, BSANNA News reported today. The Polish city’s Euro 2012 organisers said the bout – expected to be staged in front of a capacity crowd of 42,000 – would be a landmark moment in Wroclaw’s series of test events leading up to kick-off of the UEFA tournament in June next year.
Borgogno death saddens Blatter
FIFA president Sepp Blatter has praised the contribution to football of Italy’s veteran administrator Dario Borgogno who died last week. He wrote Italian FA president Giancarlo Abete to express his “immense sadness” at the death of the 87-year-old. Borgogno had a number of roles for both FIFA and UEFA during a career in which he was the Italian FA’s general secretary from 1971 until 1987 and was a key figure in the organisation of the 1990 World Cup. “I will carry the memory of Dario as a qualified leader and more importantly as an extraordinary man, whose work always carried the imprint of his human qualities, not only for the FIGC [Italian FA] but also in European and world football.”
By INSIDER’s Mark Bisson
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