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FIFA: Blatter and Platini receive eight years ban for corruption

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New Delhi: FIFA President Sepp Blatter and the European Soccer boss Michael Platini were banned for eight years by FIFA’s ethics committee on Monday for alleged involvement in financial iregularities.

The pair was also fined. The investigation was carried out in a payment of more than two million dollars from FIFA to Platini.

This marks the end of Blatter’s 17-year reign as the FIFA Chief and Platini who was favorite to replace him, lost his chance.

THerre is an inquiry going on about the awarding of the world cup 2018 and 2022 to Russia and Qatar respectively.

The prosecutors indicated that there 27 present or former FIFA officials that are under the scanner. Russian President Vladimir Putin had said that Sepp Blatter should be given the Nobel prize for his contribution to the world of football.

The corruption in football shook the world. Football, being the most famous game in the world is more financially supported than any other games. Players and clubs make a lot of money and it opens up the door for the corruption.

Sepp Baltter was criticized a number of times for his approach of leading the FIFA, however, he manegd to stay in the power for than one and a half decade.

Both men received a ban of eight years, but they did not get any criminal punishment. This also marks the heaviest casualities in the football world.

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FIFA expresses satisfaction over Guwahati stadium for U-17 World Cup

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FIFA, Pixabay

Guwahati, March 26, 2017: A delegation of the world football governing body FIFA, accompanied by members of the Local Organising Committee (LOC), on Sunday visited the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium here to assess the preparedness of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup venue.

The delegation was pleased with the preparations at the venue and the eagerness shown by the Assam government, according to a release.

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Addressing the media after the inspection, FIFA Head of Events Jaime Yarza was happy with the progress at the venue.

“The state government is wonderful and their eagerness to be a great venue for the first FIFA tournament in the country is worth lauding. We know how passionate the supporters are in this part of the country and hence, we’re very happy to see the developments and preparations here in Guwahati,” he said.

“There are minor issues to sort out — like development of a new hotel for teams but I believe we are well on schedule for the tournament.”

Tournament Director of the LOC, Javier Ceppi, was also pleased with the progress shown.

“The state government of Assam has really taken the leadership when it comes to making the World Cup a huge effort in their state. We are already working on all operational and promotional matters to make sure that all the people of Assam and of the neighbouring north-eastern states can enjoy World Cup matches in the north-east,” Ceppi reckoned.

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Speaking about the venue which includes the stadium as well as training sites, he added: “The development in the stadium is very satisfactory and we are sure that the FIFA U-17 World Cup will do justice to the vision of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal of making Guwahati the sports capital of India.”

Also present at the venue were Assam Sports Department Commissioner Ajay Tewari, Assam Football Association President Hemendra Nath Brahma and LOC Project Director Joy Bhattacharjya.

The delegation will finish their weeklong inspection at Kolkata on Monday. (IANS)

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Over 82,400 Tickets requests globally received by FIFA for the 2017 Confederations Cup

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FIFA, Pixabay

Moscow, Jan 20, 2017: Over 82,400 tickets requests globally were received by world football governing body FIFA for the 2017 Confederations Cup, which is due to kick off in Russia in less than five months.

The tournament will be held from June 17 to July 2.

“82,478 FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 tickets had been requested by fans from all continents by the time the first sales window closed at 12.00 CET (14.00 Moscow time) on 19 January 2017,” FIFA said in a statement on Thursday, reports Tass.

“Russian fans are on top of the list with 71,266 tickets requested, followed by their Chilean counterparts with 4,949.”

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The statement from FIFA said that “The tickets purchased by 5 April 2017 will be delivered by courier service free of charge as of April 2017”.

Ticket prices for the 2017 Confederations Cup and the 2018 World Cup were announced in Moscow on July 5 after the board meeting of the Russia-2018 Local Organising Committee (LOC), attended by FIFA officials. The first stage of ticket sales for the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia was launched on December 9 last year.

FIFA’s Head of Ticketing Falk Eller was quoted in the statement as saying: “The sales system in place ensures that fans all around the world have fair and equal access to tickets.”

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“The number of ticket requests from Chile confirms the great appeal of the tournament, not only in Russia but also abroad, as some fans are willing to cross the world to see their team play in the FIFA Confederations Cup,” Eller said.

“We are convinced that the Tournament of Champions will have a thrilling atmosphere in the stands and that the coming sales phases will enable more fans to secure their tickets,” the FIFA official added.

Ticket prices for the Confederation Cup and World Cup are usually divided into three categories and the global football organisation visas the price for each category.

The Confederations Cup will be held at four stadiums in Russia — Otkritie-Arena in Moscow, St. Petersburg Arena, Fisht in Sochi and Kazan-Arena in Kazan. (IANS)

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Gianni Infantino: New FIFA President

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The recent FIFA Presidential elections resulted in the victory of Gianni Infantino, the former lawyer from Switzerland and the Uefa general secretary by a whopping 115 votes out of 207, 27 more than his rival Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa. Gianni is a 45-year-old lawyer and holds Italian as well as Swiss nationality. His term will end in May 2019.

Blatter who had been the FIFA President since 1998, stepped down last year due to many allegations against him and then was also suspended from all football-related activities for 6 years for violating ethical guidelines of FIFA. Michel Platini, former UEFA president who was expected to be the successor of Blatter was also suspended for similar charges and hence could not stand in the elections.

The impactful 15-minute speech delivered by Infantino before the first round voting began was jaw dropping. He spoke in many languages without the help of any notes and presented himself as a leader for the world. He explicitly said that he travelled almost five times around the globe meeting the people who could vote for him.

“We will restore the image of FIFA and the respect of FIFA. And everyone in the world will applaud us.” Infantino said in his speech citing the corruption and bribery allegations during the Blatter era. “I will work tirelessly to bring football back to Fifa and Fifa back to football,” he said. “This is what we want to do.” He mentioned his administrative experience as he led Uefa out of a financial crisis and increased the revenues manifold.

Soon after the elections, Blatter voiced his opinions too. “I congratulate Gianni Infantino sincerely and warmly on his election as the new president. With his experience, expertise, strategic and diplomatic skills he has all the qualities to continue my work and to stabilize Fifa again”, he said.

This was the first time since 1974 that a second round was needed in the Fifa presidential elections. Joao Havelange of Brazil succeeded to win in the second round of the elections 42 years back.

It seems as if the most deserving and capable of delivering leader has been elected as a result of the elections. Infantino has a good practical experience in a significant football association, being involved with Uefa since 2009. Sheikh Salman has been alleged of human rights violations and also vote buying in the past. Jerome Champagne (also stood in the election) has been associated with football for only the past few years. 

Now the future will tell us whether Infantino will be able to carry the disgraced reputation of Fifa in the recent years on his shoulders and revamp it into the well-respected body it used to be or even take it to greater heights.

(Inputs from agencies)