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Jun 1, 2015

FIFA patronage endears Blatter to 196th-ranked Fiji

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – The unflinching support of tiny, developing countries has long been a vital plank of Sepp Blatter’s political base and those in any doubt of the impact of FIFA’s patronage need look no further than the Pacific Island nation of Fiji.

With a population of just 900,000, Fiji is famous for punching above its weight in international rugby but remains a minnow in global soccer, its men’s team a lowly 196th out of the 209 nations in world rankings.

Jun 1, 2015

Soccer-FIFA patronage endears Blatter to 196th-ranked Fiji

MELBOURNE, June 1 (Reuters) – The unflinching support of tiny, developing countries has long been a vital plank of Sepp Blatter’s political base and those in any doubt of the impact of FIFA’s patronage need look no further than the Pacific Island nation of Fiji.

With a population of just 900,000, Fiji is famous for punching above its weight in international rugby but remains a minnow in global soccer, its men’s team a lowly 196th out of the 209 nations in world rankings.

May 29, 2015

FIFA scandal no surprise for Australian whistle-blower

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Bonita Mersiades, a prominent activist for change in global soccer governance, might be expected to be feeling more than a little vindicated following this week’s arrests of high-ranking FIFA officials in Zurich.

Mersiades was the head of communications for Australia’s bid to host the 2022 World Cup and offered evidence in FIFA’s probe into the bidding process for that tournament, which was awarded to Qatar, and the 2018 finals, which went to Russia.

May 29, 2015

Soccer-FIFA scandal no surprise for Australian whistle-blower

MELBOURNE, May 29 (Reuters) – Bonita Mersiades, a prominent activist for change in global soccer governance, might be expected to be feeling more than a little vindicated following this week’s arrests of high-ranking FIFA officials in Zurich.

Mersiades was the head of communications for Australia’s bid to host the 2022 World Cup and offered evidence in FIFA’s probe into the bidding process for that tournament, which was awarded to Qatar, and the 2018 finals, which went to Russia.

May 28, 2015

Australia police weighing probe of FFA payment to Warner

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Australian police may investigate a payment of $500,000 by Football Federation Australia to Jack Warner after the former soccer powerbroker was arrested in a sweeping corruption probe launched by U.S. authorities this week.

Australia’s national soccer governing body claimed the payment was made as part of “mandatory” FIFA bidding criteria during the country’s failed bid for the 2022 World Cup but was misappropriated by Warner.

May 28, 2015

Soccer-Australia police weighing probe of FFA payment to Warner

MELBOURNE, May 29 (Reuters) – Australian police may investigate a payment of $500,000 by Football Federation Australia to Jack Warner after the former soccer powerbroker was arrested in a sweeping corruption probe launched by U.S. authorities this week.

Australia’s national soccer governing body claimed the payment was made as part of “mandatory” FIFA bidding criteria during the country’s failed bid for the 2022 World Cup but was misappropriated by Warner.

May 28, 2015

Asia backs embattled Blatter and endorses FIFA election

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – The Asian Football Confederation has re-affirmed its support for embattled FIFA boss Sepp Blatter and pushed for Friday’s presidential election to go ahead despite the corruption scandal that has rocked soccer’s global governing body.

The AFC, which represents 47 member nations, has been a staunch ally of the 79-year-old Swiss and the bloc’s support will be vital for his hopes of clinging to the presidency for a fifth term.

May 28, 2015

Soccer-Asia backs embattled Blatter and endorses FIFA election

MELBOURNE, May 28 (Reuters) – The Asian Football Confederation has re-affirmed its support for embattled FIFA boss Sepp Blatter and pushed for Friday’s presidential election to go ahead despite the corruption scandal that has rocked soccer’s global governing body.

The AFC, which represents 47 member nations, has been a staunch ally of the 79-year-old Swiss and the bloc’s support will be vital for his hopes of clinging to the presidency for a fifth term.

Apr 29, 2015

Rugby-Rebels hope players can deliver winning sales pitch

MELBOURNE, April 29 (Reuters) – With the cash-strapped Australian Rugby Union eager to attract private investors to the Melbourne Rebels, the struggling Super Rugby team’s on-field performances have inexorably become part of the sales pitch.

The ARU announced a A$6.3 million ($5 million) loss for 2014 last week, with A$3.3 million invested to prop up the Rebels, who are battling to maintain rugby’s foothold in one of the world’s most competitive sporting markets.

Apr 17, 2015

Horton dreams of restoring Australia’s 1,500 reign

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – For a myopic teenager who can barely see his hand in front of his face, Australia’s Mack Horton has a laser-sharp focus on his bid to restore his nation’s dynasty in the 1,500 meters freestyle.

Swimming’s most grueling pool event holds a special fascination in Australia, which has produced an honor-roll of 1,500 champions since Andrew “Boy” Charlton at the 1924 Paris Olympics.

    • About Ian

      "Based in home-town of Melbourne covering sports in Australia and New Zealand and a member of the Asia Sports desk. Previously covered general news and politics in Beijing with a special focus on the Beijing 2008 Olympics."
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