Brian's Feed
Jul 25, 2015

Soccer-South America the toughest group, says Pekerman

ST PETERSBURG, July 25 (Reuters) – South America is still the most difficult continent to qualify for the World Cup from, Colombia coach Jose Pekerman said after draw on Saturday.

Teams face long journeys and must play in heat, cold and high altitude during the marathon 18-match, two-year campaign but Pekerman said it was also the quality of the opposition which made qualifying from South America such a challenge.

Jul 24, 2015

FIFA to meet sponsors after reproaches from Coke, Visa, McDonald’s

ST PETERSBURG, July 24 (Reuters) – FIFA will meet its leading commercial partners next month after three of them increased pressure for major reforms to soccer’s governing body following a series of corruption scandals.

FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke said that Coca-Cola , Visa and McDonald’s had written asking for information about what was being done to clean up governance of the sport. He admitted that scandal had made it difficult to attract new sponsors.

Jul 24, 2015

Brazil’s Hulk pulls out of World Cup draw

ST PETERSBURG (Reuters) – Zenit St Petersburg’s Brazilian striker Hulk has pulled out of Saturday’s World Cup qualifying draw, only days after complaining of “gross and ugly” racism in Russian football.

The Brazilian international will be replaced by former Russia captain Alexey Smertin as one of the draw assistants for Saturday’s event in St Petersburg, FIFA said in a statement, adding that Hulk had withdrawn due to club commitments.

Jul 24, 2015

Soccer-Brazil’s Hulk pulls out of World Cup draw

ST PETERSBURG, July 24 (Reuters) – Zenit St Petersburg’s Brazilian striker Hulk has pulled out of Saturday’s World Cup qualifying draw, only days after complaining of “gross and ugly” racism in Russian football.

The Brazilian international will be replaced by former Russia captain Alexey Smertin as one of the draw assistants for Saturday’s event in St Petersburg, FIFA said in a statement, adding that Hulk had withdrawn due to club commitments.

Jul 23, 2015

Blatter in Russia on first foreign visit since crisis

ST PETERSBURG (Reuters) – FIFA president Sepp Blatter arrived in St Petersburg on Thursday on his first official trip abroad since he announced on June 2 that he would step aside amid the worst crisis in his federation’s history.

Blatter will be at Saturday’s draw for the 2018 World Cup qualifying competition, an extravaganza which Russia President Vladimir Putin is also due to attend.

Jul 23, 2015

Soccer-Blatter in Russia on first foreign visit since crisis

ST PETERSBURG, July 23 (Reuters) – FIFA president Sepp Blatter arrived in St Petersburg on Thursday on his first official trip abroad since he announced on June 2 that he would step aside amid the worst crisis in his federation’s history.

Blatter will be at Saturday’s draw for the 2018 World Cup qualifying competition, an extravaganza which Russia President Vladimir Putin is also due to attend.

Jul 23, 2015

Soccer-Platini, romantic or pragmatist?

ZURICH, July 23 (Reuters) – One of the most exquisitely gifted soccer players of his generation, Michel Platini likes to portray himself as an old-fashioned romantic with a mission to maintain the game’s purity.

As he now ponders a bid for the presidency of soccer’s world governing body FIFA, however, some may wonder whether the moody Frenchman, one-time midfielder, is the right man to clean up an organisation mired in a graft scandal reaching its top echelons.

Jul 23, 2015

Russian authorities fail to understand racism, says U.N. official

ST PETERSBURG (Reuters) – Russian football authorities need to do more to combat racism and have so far failed to fully grasp what it means, a United Nations official said on Thursday.

Racism in the 2018 World Cup host nation was thrown back into the spotlight on Wednesday when the Russian Football Union (RFU) rejected allegations that Ufa midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong was racially abused by Spartak Moscow supporters.

Jul 23, 2015

Soccer-Russian authorities fail to understand racism, says U.N official

ST PETERSBURG, July 23 (Reuters) – Russian soccer authorities need to do more to combat racism and have so far failed to fully grasp what it means, a United Nations official said on Thursday.

Racism in the 2018 World Cup host nation was thrown back into the spotlight on Wednesday when the Russian Football Union (RFU) rejected allegations that Ufa midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong was racially abused by Spartak Moscow supporters.

Jul 20, 2015

FIFA tries again to clean itself up

ZURICH (Reuters) – FIFA will set up a new taskforce to propose reforms aimed at cleaning itself up after a series of scandals over the past few years, soccer’s governing body said on Monday.

The proposed reforms would include integrity checks for the all-powerful 25-member executive committee, term limits for top officials and public disclosure of their earnings.