Reuters Soccer Blog
World Soccer views and news
You just can’t keep FIFA out of the news and the latest in the almost daily unfurling of allegations is perhaps the most devastating yet.
But just how seismic are the latest round of accusations and is there any way back Mohamed bin Hammam now?
One bonus for non-Manchester United and Barcelona fans is that the latest FIFA news has distracted everyone from the round-the-clock build-up to the Champions League final.
Saturday’s showpiece is looming on the horizion and the diminutive Lionel Messi is looming largest for Manchester United.
Dominating football news on Tuesday are the allegations by David Triesman to a UK parliamentary inquiry that several FIFA executive committee members asked for favours in return for their votes for England’s 2018 World Cup bid.
Startling stuff, especially with the FIFA presidential election less than a month away and a third of the 24-man executive committee having been accused of corruption.
Visitors to the Marriot Marquis Hotel in downtown Miami on Tuesday were greeted by a typical conference ‘Welcome Desk’ in the hotel’s spacious lobby area. Behind the desk was a banner declaring the 50th Congress of CONCACAF – the governing body for football in North and Central America and the Caribbean was gathering, along with FIFA president Sepp Blatter, to review the year, discuss key issues and – top of the agenda – to decide whether to back Blatter in June’s FIFA elections or to support his opponent, Asian soccer chief Mohamed Bin Hammam.
It was the first time I had seen the logo of the congress. There had been no promotion of the event on the Confederation’s website, no communiques from CONCACAF inviting the press to the gathering and, somewhat strangely, the three seats at the welcome desk were empty. A rather odd ‘welcome’ to what was, in world soccer governance, a crucial meeting.
The sport is more global than ever, highlighted in December when Qatar was awarded the 2022 World Cup ahead of the United States, Japan, Australia and South Korea despite the fact a Middle Eastern country has never before hosted a major global sporting event.