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Link – Qatar 2022 bid team ‘sabotaged World Cup rivals’

First, the Qatar World Cup is just the “disaster” that keeps on giving for FIFA public relations. Second, maybe we should just get used to this being the norm for anything, elections, WC and Olympic bids, etc.

The claims came from an anonymous whistleblower, who alleged to the Sunday Times that a smear campaign had been orchestrated on behalf of Qatar’s bid committee, which included paying a professor $9,000 (£6,900) to write a damning report on the economic cost of a US World Cup, recruiting journalists and bloggers to promote negative stories in the US, Australian and international media, and organising grassroots protests at rugby matches in Australia, to give Fifa the impression of a lack of support for bids in their home countries.

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/jul/29/qatar-2022-bid-team-sabotaged-world-cup-rivals-whistleblower-says?CMP=share_btn_tw

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Link – FIFA set to approve bigger, richer World Cup on Tuesday

FIFA wants us to believe this isn’t about the money, it’s about “growing the game”, but please, this is about the money.

And that’s ok. Just admit it FIFA.

The downsides to the change are obvious. Think about the 15-16 seeds in the NCAA basketball tournament, for example. Sure, occasionally you get a nice story out of these teams being competitive, but most of the time, those games suck. (And really, given the competitive balance in world soccer, it might be more comparable to the 15-16 seeds in the Women’s tournament.)

So there are going to be some ugly games out there. OK, deal with it.

The move to individual time slots though and three team groups, is a concern. There actually is a reason that the last group games are played at the same time, to prevent teams from knowing what outcome they need ahead of time and colluding together to produce that outcome. I’m not a fan of changing those times to make TV happy and running the risk. It will happen eventually.

With three teams in each group, it would be easy as pie for the last game to occur between two teams that collude to get each other to the next round, leaving the third team out.

For example – let’s take Teams A,B and C in a group.

  • Team A defeats Team B by a 3-1 score
  • Team B ties Team C
  • Team A now has the option of deciding whether they would rather Team B moves on by trying their best to defeat Team C by more goals, or simply allowing Team C to keep it close and letting them move on.

That’s a problem. One that could easily be eliminated by having 12 groups of 4, and then adding in second place teams along with the top 8 third place teams.

Or, it’s a problem that they are creating so that then they can go to a 64 team tournament to fix it….?

This is FIFA, I wouldn’t put anything past them.

http://www.apnewsarchive.com/2017/FIFA-is-set-to-make-the-World-Cup-a-bigger-and-it-hopes-richer-event-even-if-the-price-to-pay-is-lower-quality-soccer/id-d0207eee5a6c477b868ba19d35659074

Link – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland fined over poppy displays

jarmoluk / Pixabay

Just when you thought the NFL was ridiculous with it’s uniform rules, and celebration rules, along comes FIFA to make sure you don’t forget how silly strict adherence to a rule can appear.

At the same time we are all rolling our eyes at the Cowboys getting a 15-yard penalty because Zeke Elliott drew attention to the Salvation Army by jumping into the display kettle after a touchdown, save some for FIFA punishing teams for remembering veterans.

Yes, there’s a rule against political displays. It’s there for a good reason, a soccer game shouldn’t be a place for political statements, especially when they target other countries and may lead to in-stadium strife.

But a remembrance of Armistice Day? Really?

http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/3270/england-national-team/2016/12/19/30654882/fifa-fine-england-scotland-wales-and-northern-ireland-over-poppy-

Reading – Cleaveland: Better rules needed for soccer concussions

I could get behind a change in the substitution rules for soccer because with the way they are now, there’s almost no way a player with a potential concussion is getting proper treatment. On the other hand, if you make the change there are coaches who will absolutely abuse the rules. Can we protect against that? Does it matter? Are head injuries serious enough that we don’t care if there’s a solution to that problem before we implement a change?

Cleaveland: Better rules needed for soccer concussions | Life – Entertainment | Times Free Press

Sepp Blatter to Step Down As FIFA President

Now we’re getting somewhere.

We’ll see who takes over as FIFA President and whether they can clean out the corruption that has been an integral part of FIFA for years.

The other big question is, will john Oliver drink that Bud Light Lime now? 😉

Update: John Oliver has posted the only possible reaction on Twitter: