Tags: Soccer

FIFA Ethics Boss Quits in Disgust


“A new failure for FIFA.”

That was the response from FIFA vice president and UEFA president Michel Platini earlier today after Michael Garcia, the head of FIFA’s ethics committee, had quit in protest over the handling of his findings investigating the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding procedures.

Michael Garcia cited a “lack of leadership” at the top of FIFA in a resignation statement. He also said he has lost confidence in the independence of his ethics committee colleague, German judge Joachim Eckert.

Though Garcia did not identify Sepp Blatter by name, he also revealed that the FIFA executive committee — led by the longtime president — made a failed complaint of unethical conduct against the former U.S. Attorney in September.

Speaking at the Club World Cup in Marrakech, Morocco, Blatter told The Associated Press he was stunned by Garcia’s decision to resign.

“I’m just surprised,” Blatter said. “It’s all what I can say. Just that.”

Garcia quit a day after the FIFA appeals panel rejected his challenge of Eckert’s summary of the confidential 430-page investigation dossier. Last month, Eckert moved to close the case on the World Cup bidding contest because of lack of evidence.

Russia won the right to host the 2018 World Cup and Qatar was awarded the 2022 tournament.

After Eckert’s summary was made public, Garcia claimed that the German judge had misrepresented his work and then launched his failed appeal.

“(My) report identified serious and wide-ranging issues with the bidding and (World Cup host) selection process,” Garcia wrote Wednesday, adding that Eckert’s decision “made me lose confidence in the independence of the Adjudicatory Chamber, (but) it is the lack of leadership on these issues within FIFA that leads me to conclude that my role in this process is at an end.”

In his resignation statement, Garcia also questioned how FIFA can truly change after years of scandals and criticism.

“No independent governance committee, investigator, or arbitration panel can change the culture of an organization,” Garcia wrote.

Garcia also revealed that the executive committee tried to have disciplinary proceedings opened against him for “allegedly violating the Code of Ethics through my public comments.” The attempt was rejected by the chairman of the FIFA disciplinary panel, at a time when Garcia pressed for publication of key details from his report.

FIFA vice president Michel Platini, also the UEFA president, called Wednesday’s events “a new failure for FIFA.”

More here, courtesy of the Associated Press.

Tags: Soccer

Punish Putin By Cancelling the 2018 World Cup in Russia?


Rep. Peter King suggested as much on yesterday’s Face the Nation:

“This really is a game changer. That I think is the point that our U.S. and Western allies have to make clear to Putin: that the rules of the game have now changed,” King said. “He’s violated civilized norms and I think that we have to take very severe economic sanctions and also ones that are symbolic.”

He suggested the U.S. and Western allies should consider calling for the cancelation of the 2018 World Cup in Russia and denying landing rights to Aeroflot, the biggest airline in Russia.

Good luck with that. We can’t get the prime minister of the Netherlands to suggest Russia was involved, yet we’re going to mobilize support to cancel the World Cup? And announcing a boycott won’t work because who knows if the United State will even qualify for the 2018 event?

The only way this might work, however, is if the countries were to go after FIFA right now and award Brazil a do-over of sorts and allow them to host the Cup again in 2018. Maybe — just maybe — there’d be enough support from South and Central American countries to get it done. 


Tags: Soccer

World Cup: ‘Brazilian Voodoo Priest to Curse Germany’



Germany will have to contend with black magic as well Brazil’s Selecao in Tuesday’s World Cup semi-final as a voodoo priest plans to curse die Mannschaft.

Brazil will be without injured superstar Neymar in Belo Horizonte, but black magic enthusiast Helio Sillman from Rio de Janeiro says his curse will hinder Joachim Loew’s team in the semi-final.

“I’ll take their top player and bind his legs so he can’t run on the pitch,” said Sillman, referring to the voodoo doll of an undisclosed German player that will be cursed in a ceremony before the game.

The rest here.

Tags: Soccer

The Vatican’s World Cup Tweet



Here’s the pic:

Argentina, however, went on to win. No new cartoon with a happy pope?



Tags: Soccer

Watch Angry Young Swiss Riot After Yesterday’s World Cup Loss


This exclusive video after Switzerland lost a heartbreaker to Argentina comes from one Matias Tute Russo:


Hmmm, just like Michigan State, right???

More on yesterday’s other World Cup match here.

Tags: Soccer

Floods In Recife, Brazil Don’t Stop USA vs. Germany


The World Cup goes on as the host city of Recife floods:




​Even “Teddy Roosevelt” won’t be stopped:


Tags: Soccer

FIFA Bans Uruguay’s Luis Suarez From the World Cup


USA Today:

Uruguay’s Luis Suarez will miss the rest of the World Cup, as well as the start of the English Premier League season, after FIFA banned him from all soccer for four months for biting an Italian player.

Suarez was banned for nine official matches, beginning with Uruguay’s round of 16 game against Colombia on Saturday. He’s also prohibited from being in the stadium when Uruguay plays.


Tags: Soccer

CNN Producer Injured During World Cup Protest in Sao Paulo


And this is only the first day:

The good news is that Ms. Arvanitidis​ has left the hospital and is back at work. Here’s hoping that covering the rest of the tournament isn’t as painful.

Tags: Soccer

USA Coach Says It’s ‘Unrealistic’ to Talk about Team Winning World Cup


Via CBS Sports:

’Unrealistic’ for US to win World Cup? Klinsmann can’t be from around here

In Jurgen Klinsmann’s defense, he’s not from around here. To his credit, he knows it. That’s why his latest mealy-mouthed commentary about the US men’s soccer team, as it enters a World Cup it apparently can’t win, was followed by the following disclaimer:

“If it is American or not,” Klinsmann said this week, “you can correct me.”

Don’t need your permission to correct you, Jurgen. See, here in America, we don’t ask or even need permission to be bold, blunt, aggressive. Another thing we don’t do: We don’t apologize for losing before the game even starts. In America we don’t, or we didn’t, say what Jurgen Klinsmann said this week about the 2014 World Cup:

“For us now talking about winning a World Cup,” he said, “it is just not realistic.”

Put that in bronze and mount it outside the US Soccer Federation office in Chicago. Florida football has “The Promise” by Tim Tebow. US soccer can have “The Surrender” by Jurgen Klinsmann.

For us now talking about winning a World Cup, it is just not realistic.

There will be American fans at the World Cup in Brazil this week, enough for every one of them to paint a letter on his or her white T-shirt and spell out that memorable bit of pep-talkery from Jurgen Klinsmann:

Winning: it is just not realistic.

The rest here.

Tags: Soccer

Meet the Venomous, Dinner-Plate-Sized Spider Waiting to Greet World Cup Fans in Brazil


Via the Wall Street Journal, I give you the wandering spider:








Brazil: the magical land of samba, soccer, Seleção…and spiders. Big, fat hairy spiders. And snakes. And flesh-eating fish.

Brazil is a wonderful place for the World Cup, the quadrennial soccer tournament that begins there on Thursday, but it could prove problematic for traveling fans who suffer from two of the most common phobias: arachnophobia and ophidiophobia, which is even harder to pronounce when a viper is slithering toward you.

The Brazilian wandering spider is of particular concern. Not only is this beast the size of a dinner plate—it is also the most venomous spider in the world, Guinness says. There is an antidote for wandering spider bites, so deaths are rare. Its venom can, however, cause erections in male victims, which seems an unnecessarily cruel blow to a man’s dignity. Arachnophobes who suffer from medorthophobia are doomed.

The Brazilian wandering spider, of the Phoneutria genus, isn’t afraid of entering human dwellings and has a reputation of being aggressive. It is basically an eight-legged Oakland Raiders fan. There are eight known species of Phoneutria, all of which can be found in Brazil and some of which will be trying to mate throughout the World Cup. During this period, males are more likely to be found in dark corners looking for a partner.

Click here for more creepy-crawlies to avoid while traveling to the Cup.

Tags: Soccer

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