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May 27, 2015

Blatter shrugs off Figo dictator jibe as election nears

ZURICH (Reuters) – FIFA president Sepp Blatter shrugged off Luis Figo’s accusation he had turned world soccer’s ruling body into a dictatorship as the election campaign moved towards its final stages on Tuesday.

Former world player of the year Figo, 42, of Portugal, fired a parting shot when withdrawing his presidential candidacy last week, saying Blatter was a dictator and the election was nothing more than a plebiscite, meaning it was not a fair and open contest.

May 27, 2015

Arrested FIFA officials face extradition to U.S.: NY Times

ZURICH (Reuters) – Authorities in Zurich on Wednesday launched an operation to arrest several high-ranking FIFA officials on corruption charges and extradite them to the United States, the New York Times reported.

The Times, citing anonymous law enforcement officials, said the U.S. federal charges include racketeering, money laundering and wire fraud and span two decades of misconduct in soccer’s world governing body. More than 10 officials were expected to be indicted, the newspaper reported.

May 27, 2015

Soccer-Arrested FIFA officials face extradition to U.S. – NY Times

ZURICH, May 26 (Reuters) – Authorities in Zurich on Wednesday launched an operation to arrest several high-ranking FIFA officials on corruption charges and extradite them to the United States, the New York Times reported.

The Times, citing anonymous law enforcement officials, said the U.S. federal charges include racketeering, money laundering and wire fraud and span two decades of misconduct in soccer’s world governing body. More than 10 officials were expected to be indicted, the newspaper reported.

May 26, 2015

World Cup perfect at 32 teams, says CONCACAF chief Webb

ZURICH (Reuters) – The World Cup is football’s jewel and should not be tarnished by being increased to more than 32 teams, CONCACAF confederation president Jeffrey Webb said on Tuesday.

Webb, whose region represents north and central American countries and the Caribbean islands, said he would welcome another spot for his confederation but said 32 teams was the right number for the globe’s most popular sporting extravaganza.

May 26, 2015

Soccer-World Cup perfect at 32 teams, says CONCACAF chief Webb

ZURICH, May 26 (Reuters) – The World Cup is football’s jewel and should not be tarnished by being increased to more than 32 teams, CONCACAF confederation president Jeffrey Webb said on Tuesday.

Webb, whose region represents north and central American countries and the Caribbean islands, said he would welcome another spot for his confederation but said 32 teams was the right number for the globe’s most popular sporting extravaganza.

May 26, 2015

Soccer-Blatter shrugs off Figo dictator jibe as election nears

ZURICH, May 26 (Reuters) – FIFA president Sepp Blatter shrugged off Luis Figo’s accusation he had turned world soccer’s ruling body into a dictatorship as the election campaign moved towards its final stages on Tuesday.

Former world player of the year Figo, 42, of Portugal, fired a parting shot when withdrawing his presidential candidacy last week, saying Blatter was a dictator and the election was nothing more than a plebiscite, meaning it was not a fair and open contest.

May 24, 2015

Hull relegated as Newcastle survive on final day of drama

LONDON (Reuters) – Hull City were relegated and Newcastle United survived the drop on a dramatic final day of the Premier League season on Sunday when West Ham United announced that manager Sam Allardyce’s contract was not being renewed at Upton Park.

Newcastle’s 2-0 win over West Ham at a raucous St James’ Park, where Moussa Sissoko scored after 54 minutes and Jonas Gutierrez added a second in the dying minutes, meant they finished with 39 points while Hull ended on 35 and in the bottom three after drawing 0-0 at home with Manchester United.

May 24, 2015

Soccer-Hull relegated as Newcastle survive on final day of drama

LONDON, May 24 (Reuters) – Hull City were relegated and Newcastle United survived the drop on a dramatic final day of the Premier League season on Sunday when West Ham United announced that manager Sam Allardyce’s contract was not being renewed at Upton Park.

Newcastle’s 2-0 win over West Ham at a raucous St James’ Park, where Moussa Sissoko scored after 54 minutes and Jonas Gutierrez added a second in the dying minutes, meant they finished with 39 points while Hull ended on 35 and in the bottom three after drawing 0-0 at home with Manchester United.

May 21, 2015

Forty-five minutes that could change football’s world

LONDON (Reuters) – When Sepp Blatter is not comparing FIFA to a boat in calm or choppy waters he often uses football analogies to illustrate his point so it might amuse him to think he faces a tricky 45 minutes at this month’s Congress.

That is when he will have to sit back and listen to the three men challenging his right to remain FIFA president, with each being allowed 15 minutes to score, as it were, a goal that would send him crashing to defeat.

May 21, 2015

Factbox – FIFA presidential elections since 1904

LONDON (Reuters) – For the first time since 1961 the names of more than two men will be on the ballot paper when delegates cast their votes for the next president of FIFA in Zurich on May 29.

Three men contested the 1961 election with Englishman Stanley Rous winning, becoming the sixth president, a position he held until 1974.