December 16, 2012 |
Friday's tragic events in Newtown, Conn., where a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at an elementary school, was marked around the soccer world this weekend with several teams paying tribute to the victims. In the English Premier League, four teams -- Queens Park Rangers, Fulham, Aston Villa and Liverpool -- wore armbands in remembrance of those who died. Liverpool and Aston Villa have American owners, which may have influenced their decisions. But the players on Queens Park Rangers decided among themselves to wear the black armbands.
November 13, 2011 |
Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber has presided since 1999 over the fastest-growing professional sports entity in the country. The league, which had 10 teams in 2004, will start next season with 19. And that's not the only number that has increased. MLS is now drawing larger average crowds than the NHL or NBA — and outdrawing professional soccer leagues in Scotland, Brazil and England. Television viewership is way up and expansion fees have more than quadrupled since 2007.
June 10, 2011 |
A letter to Sepp Blatter, recently reelected president of FIFA: Dear Sepp, Congratulations on your recent reelection to whatever it was. Four terms, huh? Boy, you've come a long way since you were pushing wristwatches for a living. Just thought I'd drop you a line or two and say how much better things are now that your "zero tolerance" policy is in place. Oh sure, there are still the occasional bad apples that bob to the surface. I saw the other day, for instance, where some Norwegian newspaper claimed that your buddies Nicolas Leoz of Paraguay and Ricardo Teixeira of Brazil had met with Europe's most notorious black-market ticket scalper not long before last year's World Cup in South Africa.
June 4, 2011 |
FIFA President Joseph "Sepp" Blatter won reelection Wednesday the old-fashioned way — after his only opponent pulled out amid allegations of attempted bribery. That's not to say Blatter wouldn't have won anyway, had the election been held before the charges and subsequent suspension of his rival, Mohamed bin Hammam of Qatar, became known. It was that kind of week for FIFA, filled with accusations — including claims of Qatar's "buying" the 2022 World Cup — and leaving soccer fans with the reminder of a dirty, not-so-little secret: Corruption in sports has existed longer than most can remember.
June 1, 2011 |
This was Joseph "Sepp" Blatter on Wednesday morning, hours before the 75-year-old Swiss was reelected to a fourth term as president of FIFA, international soccer's scandal-ridden ruling body: "I am the captain of the ship and we are weathering the storm," Blatter said. "Our ship is in troubled water and this is why we need to put the ship back on course — and for that we need a leader. " This was Blatter on Wednesday evening, after delegates representing FIFA's 208 member countries had given him a new four-year mandate in a lopsided 186-17 vote: "We are going to put FIFA's ship back on the right course, in clear, transparent waters," he said.
May 30, 2011 |
Jack Warner, the suspended vice president of FIFA, had warned over the weekend that "a tsunami" was about to strike international soccer's governing body. On Monday, that storm hit with a vengeance as Warner accused FIFA of operating "a kangaroo court" and released an email in which Jerome Valcke, FIFA's general secretary, stated that Qatar had "bought" the 2022 World Cup. Qatar, which finished ahead of the U.S. in the Dec. 2 vote to stage the quadrennial tournament, immediately objected and said it would consider legal action.