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Sep 30, 2014

Soccer-Basel fans baffled by new coach Sousa’s switches

BERNE, Sept 30 (Reuters) – Paulo Sousa was an enigma to FC Basel fans when he was appointed as coach at the end of last season and, four months later, they are still fathoming what to make of the Portuguese and his endless tactical switches.

Incredibly, Sousa was selected after his Maccabi Tel Aviv side were twice knocked out of European competition by Basel last season, losing in the Champions League qualifying rounds and then the Europa League round of 32.

Sep 26, 2014

Gibraltar barred from FIFA membership

ZURICH, Sept 26 (Reuters) – Gibraltar, accepted as a member by European football’s governing body UEFA last year, does not qualify for membership of FIFA, football’s governing body said on Friday.

Speaking to reporters after an executive committee meeting, FIFA president Sepp Blatter said Gibraltar could not be accepted because, in effect, it was not regarded by FIFA as ‘a country’.

Sep 26, 2014

Soccer-Gibraltar barred from FIFA membership

ZURICH, Sept 26 (Reuters) – Gibraltar, accepted as a member by European soccer’s governing body UEFA last year, does not qualify for membership of FIFA, soccer’s governing body said on Friday.

Speaking to reporters after an executive committee meeting, FIFA president Sepp Blatter said Gibraltar could not be accepted because, in effect, it was not regarded by FIFA as ‘a country’.

Sep 26, 2014

I’m just a servant of football, says Blatter

ZURICH (Reuters) – FIFA president Sepp Blatter is a mere servant at the service of football, he said on Friday as he re-stated his intention to run for a fifth mandate in next May’s election.

Blatter also declined a challenge from Jerome Champagne, his only declared opponent so far, to take part in a public debate about the future role of football’s governing body, saying “we shall not imitate politics”.

Sep 26, 2014

Soccer-I’m just a servant of football, says Blatter

ZURICH, Sept 26 (Reuters) – FIFA president Sepp Blatter is a mere servant at the service of football, he said on Friday as he re-stated his intention to run for a fifth mandate in next May’s election.

Blatter also declined a challenge from Jerome Champagne, his only declared opponent so far, to take part in a public debate about the future role of soccer’s governing body, saying “we shall not imitate politics”.

Sep 26, 2014

FIFA to ban third-party ownership of players

ZURICH (Reuters) – Soccer’s governing body FIFA has agreed to ban the third-party ownership of players, its president Sepp Blatter said on Friday, seven years after first promising to outlaw the practice.

Blatter said a working group would be set up to implement the ban which would come into effect following “a transitional period”.

Sep 26, 2014

Blatter downplays calls for Garcia report to be made public

ZURICH (Reuters) – FIFA president Sepp Blatter side-stepped demands for a report into the 2018/2022 World Cup bidding process to be made public on Friday and dismissed a controversy over $25,000 watches given to his executive committee members as a “non-problem.”

Several executive committee members have called for the report by ethics investigator Michael Garcia to be made public and Garcia himself this week also said it should be published.

Sep 26, 2014

Soccer-Blatter downplays calls for Garcia report to be made public

ZURICH, Sept 26 (Reuters) – FIFA president Sepp Blatter side-stepped demands for a report into the 2018/2022 World Cup bidding process to be made public on Friday and dismissed a controversy over $25,000 watches given to his executive committee members as a “non-problem.”

Several executive committee members have called for the report by ethics investigator Michael Garcia to be made public and Garcia himself this week also said it should be published.

Sep 26, 2014

Soccer-FIFA to ban third-party ownership of players

ZURICH, Sept 26 (Reuters) – Soccer’s governing body FIFA has agreed to ban the third-party ownership of players, its president Sepp Blatter said on Friday, seven years after first promising to outlaw the practice.

Blatter said a working group would be set up to implement the ban which would come into effect following “a transitional period”.

Sep 23, 2014

FIFA executive committee member wants ethics investigation made public

BERNE (Reuters) – The public has a “full right to know” the contents of the ethics investigation into the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, FIFA executive committee member Prince Ali bin Al Hussein of Jordan said on Tuesday.

“In the interest of full transparency, I believe it is important that the much-anticipated report on the ethics investigation that is crucial to ensuring good governance at FIFA is fully disclosed and open to the public,” he said on Twitter.