Brian's Feed
Jul 25, 2015

FIFA as opulent as ever at World Cup draw

ST PETERSBURG (Reuters) – When it boils down to it, making a draw for a major soccer tournament involves little more than pulling balls out of plastic pots. But, around that apparently simple act, FIFA has managed to build a two-day event featuring a banquet in a palace, a high-level security operation and a glitzy extravaganza.

Saturday’s draw in St Petersburg, two hours long and featuring various musical interludes, was typical of the opulence that soccer’s governing body and its leaders have been increasingly criticized for.

Jul 25, 2015

Soccer-FIFA as opulent as ever at World Cup draw

ST PETERSBURG, July 25 (Reuters) – When it boils down to it, making a draw for a major soccer tournament involves little more than pulling balls out of plastic pots.

But, around that apparently simple act, FIFA has managed to build a two-day event featuring a banquet in a palace, a high-level security operation and a glitzy extravaganza.

Jul 25, 2015

South America the toughest group, says Pekerman

ST PETERSBURG (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 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.