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February 7, 2013 | By Kevin Baxter
Much ado about nothing. That wasn't exactly Sepp Blatter's reaction to Europol's report of what the law enforcement agency said were 680 "suspicious" soccer matches over the last 18 months, but it was the bullet point. "Most of the matches which they put in this tray, 600 or 800, have already been analyzed, dealt with and even were at court," Blatter, head of FIFA, the world governing body for soccer, told the Associated Press on Thursday. Europol, the police liaison agency for the European Union, said it knew of 380 suspicious matches played in Europe in recent years and 300 more worldwide.
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October 16, 2013 | By Kevin Baxter
The World Cup is less than eight months away, but the name-calling continues with Brazilian congressman and former national team star Romario launching another attack against FIFA, world soccer's governing body, and its president, Sepp Blatter. According to the Associated Press, Romario spoke at a congressional hearing Tuesday and called Blatter a thief and labeled his assistant, FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke, "a blackmailer. " Romario, who has long been critical of both FIFA and the Brazilian organizers of next summer's tournament, continued his attacks online, writing on his website Wednesday that Valcke was not "the best person to do business" with Brazil and calling the Brazilian soccer federation "corrupt.
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February 14, 2010 | By Grahame L. Jones, On Soccer
Last week was the week that Ashley Cole broke his ankle, Ryan Giggs broke his arm and Sepp Blatter broke his own record for inane remarks. This week is the week that John Terry returns from what must have been an interesting few days with his unhappy but likely soon-to-be-very-rich wife in Dubai, and the European Champions League returns from an all-too-long hiatus. Where to begin? Perhaps, given the fact that Vancouver will be in the headlines for only a couple of weeks before the Canadian city again fades into international obscurity, Blatter is the place to start.
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April 23, 2013 | By Chuck Schilken
FIFA president Sepp Blatter and soccer's World Cup have joined the quickly increasing number of high-profile figures and organizations to become victims of Twitter hackers. Soccer's governing body said Monday that the Twitter accounts of Blatter and the World Cup organizers had been hacked and that any messages implying that the FIFA president had admitted to corruption and stepped down were untrue. Of course, anyone following either account closely may have suspected as much.
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April 23, 2013 | By Chuck Schilken
FIFA president Sepp Blatter and soccer's World Cup have joined the quickly increasing number of high-profile figures and organizations to become victims of Twitter hackers. Soccer's governing body said Monday that the Twitter accounts of Blatter and the World Cup organizers had been hacked and that any messages implying that the FIFA president had admitted to corruption and stepped down were untrue. Of course, anyone following either account closely may have suspected as much.
SPORTS
June 10, 2011 | By Grahame L. Jones
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.
SPORTS
July 12, 2010 | By Grahame L. Jones and Kevin Baxter
When Sepp Blatter says you've stepped out of line, you know you've really made a big mistake. And the FIFA president was full of contempt for the two World Cup finalists Monday, the day after Spain won its first title with an ugly, foul-filled 1-0 win over the Netherlands in extra time. "It was not exactly what we have, or what I have, expected for fair play on the field of play in the final," Blatter said at a news briefing to mark the end of the tournament. English referee Howard Webb showed 14 yellow cards — more than twice the previous record for a World Cup final — and one red card for Dutch defender John Heitinga . But Blatter made clear he wasn't blaming the officials for their handling of an often bad-tempered match, which was watched by an estimated global television audience of 700 million people.
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July 2, 2011 | Grahame L. Jones, On Soccer
Major international soccer tournaments always produce all sorts of interesting sideshows and, one week into the Women's World Cup in Germany, the same is holding true. Take, for instance, the brouhaha over Nigeria Coach Eucharia Uche's stance on gay players. Or England forward Eniola Aluko's raw-language rant on Twitter against fans who had criticized her. Or the claims that some players who helped Equatorial Guinea qualify were men. Strange doesn't begin to cover it. Then, almost inevitably considering the government involved, there was the imprisonment in Iran of journalist and women's rights campaigner Maryam Majd just before she was to leave Tehran to cover the World Cup. Finally, just because it wouldn't be a World Cup without an octopus or two, we bring you Paula, successor to Paul of South Africa 2010 fame.
SPORTS
October 16, 2013 | By Kevin Baxter
The World Cup is less than eight months away, but the name-calling continues with Brazilian congressman and former national team star Romario launching another attack against FIFA, world soccer's governing body, and its president, Sepp Blatter. According to the Associated Press, Romario spoke at a congressional hearing Tuesday and called Blatter a thief and labeled his assistant, FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke, "a blackmailer. " Romario, who has long been critical of both FIFA and the Brazilian organizers of next summer's tournament, continued his attacks online, writing on his website Wednesday that Valcke was not "the best person to do business" with Brazil and calling the Brazilian soccer federation "corrupt.
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June 9, 1998 | MIKE PENNER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Sepp Blatter, the man with the name that sounds like the inside of a German soccer ball, became the most powerful man in international soccer Monday when he was named president of FIFA, succeeding the retiring Joao Havelange. Blatter, 62, was elected virtually by default after he and European soccer union president Lennart Johansson failed to garner enough votes on the first ballot and Johansson withdrew before the second ballot, leaving Blatter as the only remaining candidate.
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February 7, 2013 | By Kevin Baxter
Much ado about nothing. That wasn't exactly Sepp Blatter's reaction to Europol's report of what the law enforcement agency said were 680 "suspicious" soccer matches over the last 18 months, but it was the bullet point. "Most of the matches which they put in this tray, 600 or 800, have already been analyzed, dealt with and even were at court," Blatter, head of FIFA, the world governing body for soccer, told the Associated Press on Thursday. Europol, the police liaison agency for the European Union, said it knew of 380 suspicious matches played in Europe in recent years and 300 more worldwide.
SPORTS
November 26, 2011 | By Kevin Baxter
It was one of the most memorable moments from the FIFA World Cup last year: Before the semifinal matches, players from both teams stood alongside a huge banner that read "Say No to Racism" as their captains read statements condemning prejudice to a television audience numbering in the tens of millions. That it took place in South Africa, a country whose recent history bears testimony to the pain and futility of racism, made the scene all the more moving. Too bad FIFA President Sepp Blatter didn't get the message.
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July 2, 2011 | Grahame L. Jones, On Soccer
Major international soccer tournaments always produce all sorts of interesting sideshows and, one week into the Women's World Cup in Germany, the same is holding true. Take, for instance, the brouhaha over Nigeria Coach Eucharia Uche's stance on gay players. Or England forward Eniola Aluko's raw-language rant on Twitter against fans who had criticized her. Or the claims that some players who helped Equatorial Guinea qualify were men. Strange doesn't begin to cover it. Then, almost inevitably considering the government involved, there was the imprisonment in Iran of journalist and women's rights campaigner Maryam Majd just before she was to leave Tehran to cover the World Cup. Finally, just because it wouldn't be a World Cup without an octopus or two, we bring you Paula, successor to Paul of South Africa 2010 fame.
SPORTS
June 10, 2011 | By Grahame L. Jones
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.
SPORTS
June 1, 2011 | By Grahame L. Jones
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.
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May 31, 2011 | Grahame L. Jones, On Soccer
On the eve of one of the most important elections in recent international soccer history, the incumbent remained defiant Tuesday while his onetime-ally-turned-enemy made an astonishing about-face. FOR THE RECORD An earlier online version of this article erred in referring to the American secretary general of CONCACAF as Dick Blazer. This version has corrected his name to Chuck Blazer. Joseph "Sepp" Blatter, the president of FIFA for the last 13 years, is running unopposed on Wednesday for a fourth term as the head of soccer's world governing body.
SPORTS
June 29, 2010 | By Kevin Baxter and Grahame L. Jones
Reporting from Pretoria and Cape Town, South Africa — A day after insisting it would not reconsider its stand against video replays, FIFA reversed itself Tuesday with President Joseph "Sepp" Blatter saying it would be "a nonsense" not to take a look at goal-line technology. Blatter also apologized to England and Mexico for officiating errors that may have helped eliminate them from the World Cup on Sunday. England had an obvious goal disallowed in its 4-1 loss to Germany and Mexico was the victim of a goal that never should have counted in its 3-1 loss to Argentina.
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April 22, 2002 | GRAHAME L. JONES, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The Confederation of North and Central American and Caribbean Assn. Football (CONCACAF), soccer's governing body in this region, apparently has cast its lot with Sepp Blatter in his bid to be reelected FIFA president. That much was clear when the organization, whipped on by Americans Alan Rothenberg, a CONCACAF vice president, and Chuck Blazer, CONCACAF's general secretary, voted, 36-2, to reelect Jack Warner, 59, of Trinidad and Tobago as its president for a fourth four-year term.
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May 12, 2011 | Grahame L. Jones, On Soccer
It would be exceptionally satisfying to state here that FIFA was on its knees and unable to stand up for the count. Sadly, that count will go ahead, and when it is over June 1 and soccer's latest presidential election has been held, Joseph "Sepp" Blatter very likely will still be the head of the sport's international governing body. No amount of corruption, it seems, can bring down the 75-year-old Swiss. Snakes might be rare in Switzerland, but snake oil is obviously in plentiful supply, and Blatter is one of its most successful salesmen.
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October 30, 2010 | By Grahame L. Jones
One month from Tuesday, on Dec. 2, the devils will gather around a possibly pentagon-shaped table in Zurich, Switzerland, checking their pitchforks at the door and tucking their pointed tails beneath their chairs. With winter fast approaching, there might be a fire blazing in the hearth. That would be appropriate, warmth and devils going hand in hand, as it were. Of course, things have been a little too hot lately for the devils. Each new suggestion of corruption and each new accusation of collusion, bribery and devil-knows-what has raised the temperature at soccer's global headquarters by several uncomfortable degrees.
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