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Profile: International Federation of Association Football (FIFA)

International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) was a participant or observer in the following events:

Farah Addo, vice president of the Confederation of African Football and president of the Somali Football Federation, alleges that the election of Sepp Blatter as FIFA president in 1998 was marred by bribery. Addo tells the Daily Mail that he was offered $100,000 for his vote. He refused, but “18 African voters accepted bribes to vote for Blatter.” Addo adds that he believes that some people in Blatter’s campaign were involved in the offers, although Blatter himself was not. According to Addo, all 51 African countries initially decided to vote for Blatter’s rival, Lennart Johansson. However: “Then I received a phone call from Somalia’s ambassador to one of the Gulf states. He said: ‘I have a friend who you know who wants to offer you $100,000 to switch your vote. Half in cash and the rest in sports equipment.’ They would send the cash to me or I could go to the Gulf to collect it.” Addo further alleges: “The night before the election people were lining up in Le Meridien Hotel [in Paris] to receive money. Some told me they got $5,000 before the vote and the same the next day, after Blatter won. I made my own private investigation and found that 18 African voters accepted bribes to vote for Blatter.” Mohiadin Hassan Ali, vice president of the Somalian association, confirms the story, saying, “We accepted money to vote on behalf of Somalia FA for J.S. Blatter in the FIFA presidential election in Paris.” [CNN, 2/28/2002]

Entity Tags: Joseph S. Blatter, Confederation of African Football, International Federation of Association Football, Mohiadin Hassan Ali, Somali Football Federation, Farah Addo

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

FIFA executive committee member Julio Grondona, an Argentinian, makes disparaging remarks about Jews’ ability to referee football games. He comments, “I do not believe a Jew can ever be a referee at that level [the Argentinian first division] because it’s hard work and, you know, Jews don’t like hard work.” Grondona will not lose his position at FIFA, but will later become senior vice president of the organization. [Observer, 11/28/2010]

Entity Tags: International Federation of Association Football, Julio Grondona

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

FIFA president Sepp Blatter suggests that female footballers should wear tighter shorts in a bid to attract more spectators. “Let the women play in more feminine clothes like they do in volleyball,” says Blatter. “They could, for example, have tighter shorts. Female players are pretty, if you excuse me for saying so, and they already have some different rules to men—such as playing with a lighter ball. That decision was taken to create a more female aesthetic, so why not do it in fashion?” The comments will be condemned by numerous female footballers. [Guardian, 1/16/2004]

Entity Tags: International Federation of Association Football, Joseph S. Blatter

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

FIFA vice president Jack Warner makes around $1 million touting tickets for the 2006 World Cup for fans of England, Mexico, and Japan. Warner and his son Daryan use a travel company they own, Simpaul, to strike secret deals to sell thousands of room-and-ticket packages to agents around the world. One group of 900 tickets is sold to England fans for that country’s first round matches, and similar packages are made available to 1,500 Mexico fans and 3,000 Japan supporters. [Daily Mail, 9/12/2006]

Entity Tags: Daryan Warner, Jack Warner, International Federation of Association Football

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

FIFA’s newly established ethics committee holds its first meeting. [BBC, 1/10/2011]

Entity Tags: FIFA Ethics Committee, International Federation of Association Football

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

FIFA and the International Federation of Professional Footballers (FIFPro) sign a memorandum of understanding stating that FIFA and FIFPro have agreed to introduce FIFA’s proposed “6+5” regulations over the course of several seasons. Under the plan each club side would have to have six players qualified to represent the national association to which the club belonged at the start of each match. The other five and all the substitutes could then be foreigners. The plan is controversial because it is a clear breach of regulations on the free movement of labour set out in Article 39 of the Treaty of Rome, which governs the operation of the European Union. [World Sports Law Report, 12/6/2006]

Entity Tags: Fédération Internationale des Associations de Footballeurs Professionnels, International Federation of Association Football

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

FIFA president Sepp Blatter makes a speech to the Soccerex conference in Dubai about a range of current topics. On the issue of video replays, he says he will never allow matches to be halted as long as he remains FIFA president. However, he remains open to goalline technology, provided it delivers an instant answer, and he thinks it may be ready for introduction at the Club World Championship in Tokyo in December 2007. Blatter also dicusses his “6+5” proposal to limit the number of foreigners clubs field. “We believe six plus five will give more incentive to young players,” says Blatter. “All the big clubs have youth departments but there is no chance for these players to play in the first team.… The big clubs with a lot of money can afford to buy the best players. They have 20, 25, sometimes 30 on their list but only 11 can play. What are the others doing? Waiting? Recuperating? Or taking away the chance for other teams to have a better starting eleven? What these rich clubs are doing is taking the best out of market, then not letting them play. Look at the results in some European leagues. Some clubs are already far away after a third of the season, the others can only play to avoid relegation, not for the title. Something is wrong about this.” Blatter also warns of foreign investors buying English clubs, saying: “England must be a very attractive league for investors to take over whole clubs. As long as they are promoting the game in a sensitive way, we are not concerned. But if they are arriving to take the best out of football, rather than to serve it, again something is wrong because when you have so much money, it leads to a distortion as far as the other clubs are concerned.” [Daily Mail, 11/27/2006]

Entity Tags: International Federation of Association Football, Joseph S. Blatter

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

FIFA president Sepp Blatter gives an interview to the German magazine Kicker on a number of reforms for the world game. Blatter thinks that the football season should begin in late February and finish at the end of November, with the longer winter break being used for national team games. “I’ve just proposed to the clubs: play through the summer, make the season like the calendar year,” says Blatter. “This would leave enough time for players to recover and there could be blocks of three weeks of qualifying games in winter.” He claims, “This idea is supported by big European clubs.” In addition, in World Cup qualifying he wants more European groups with less teams qualifying from each group; this would lead to fewer games for national teams, which is what big clubs want. Blatter also expresses support for his “6+5” idea to limit the number of foreigners club teams field. “The ‘6 5’ is coming, for sure,” he says, although it is only to be applied in Europe. “First, it will bring a higher identification between clubs and fans. Second, it would raise the opportunities for talents. And third, the clubs’ finances would benefit if they take players from their own schools.” Such a rule is controversial, because it is contrary to well-established European Union regulations on the free movement of labour. Therefore, Blatter appeals to the EU to stay out of football, although he would like government help creating more transparency in financial structures in international football and its transfer market. Blatter also rejects calls for a salary cap. [Associated Press, 12/4/2006]

Entity Tags: International Federation of Association Football, Joseph S. Blatter

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

On the eve of a crucial European Parliament vote on FIFA’s “6+5” rule to limit the number of foreigners fielded by football clubs, the organization’s president Sepp Blatter holds a roundtable with journalists to promote the regulation. Blatter says that the rule is intended to “protect minors, protect youth training, adapt the transfer system to today’s realities, and ensure tighter control over the actions of players’ agents.” In addition, it will help keep national teams strong and allow youth players to play for their original clubs. Blatter says the rule does not conflict with well-established European Union legislation on the free movement of labor, because “[c]lubs will still be free to take on as many foreign players as they want. When a match kicks off however, they will have to have six players on the pitch who are eligible for the national team of the country in question.” Blatter is critical of UEFA’s 4+4 “home-grown player rule,” as it “does not protect players who are eligible for the national team of the club in question,” and under this system “the richest clubs would merely have to buy players at an even younger age than they are currently doing.” He also points out that on average the five main European leagues (Germany, England, Spain, France, and Italy) already mostly comply with the “6+5” rule, so it would not make much difference to them anyway. Blatter claims that 80 percent of revenues generated by the Champions League go to the competing clubs, and that the “6+5” rule would lead to more equitable distribution, although the mechanism by which this would occur is unclear. Blatter acknowledges that there will be problems implementing the rule, but cites support from other sports organizations and says FIFA needs “to convince the world and the media.” [FIFA, 5/7/2008] The European Parliament vote will go against the “6+5” rule 518 to 49 (see May 8, 2008).

Entity Tags: International Federation of Association Football, Joseph S. Blatter

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

FIFA’s 58th Congress votes 155-5 to support the organization’s “6+5” proposal to limit the number of foreigners appearing for football clubs. In addition to supporting the proposal’s aims, the congress asks the presidents of FIFA and UEFA to continue to try to find ways of implementing the rule in Europe. A number of speakers at the congress also express support, although UEFA president Michel Platini points out that “6+5 is considered illegal within the European Union.” At this time the proposal is planned to be phased in, meaning a maximum of seven foreigners in club teams’ starting lineups in 2010-2011, six the next season, and five the season after that. [FIFA, 5/30/2008]

Entity Tags: International Federation of Association Football, Michel Platini

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

Two European commissioners restate their opposition to FIFA’s “6+5” proposal to restrict the number of foreigners fielded by football teams. The statement is issued following a meeting of European sports ministers that FIFA attended. The opposition of Vladimir Spidla and Jan Figel, European commissioners for employment and education respectively, is grounded in the fact that the rule “is based on direct discrimination on the grounds of nationality, and is thus against one of the fundamental principles of EU law.” However, the two commissioners remain “open to discuss ways and means of bringing more balance to the game of football together with FIFA and other interested parties to find a solution that would be compatible with EU law.” Regarding a proposal made by football authorities to ban international transfers of players aged under 18, they have some sympathy for the idea, but “free movement of workers is a fundamental principle of the EU. And a proposal to ban all transfers of under-18s would, at first sight, appear to constitute indirect discrimination in the field of free movement of workers and could be disproportionate in light of the objectives pursued.” [European Commission, 11/28/2008]

Entity Tags: European Commission, International Federation of Association Football, Jan Figel, Vladimir Spidla

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

FIFA’s Dispute Resolution Chamber hands down a ruling punishing the Swiss club FC Sion and its Egyptian goalkeeper Essam El Hadary over Al Hadary’s transfer from the Egyptian club Al Ahly in February 2008. The goalkeeper is banned for four months, starting from the next season, and Sion is ordered to pay Al Ahly a transfer fee of US$1.25 million and also prevented from registering new players for two transfer windows, i.e. more than a year. The move was illegal under FIFA regulations because El Hadary was under contract with Al Ahly and there was no agreement between the clubs. FC Sion says it will appeal the ruling. [BBC, 6/2/2009; Court of Arbitration for Sport, 6/1/2010 pdf file]

Entity Tags: FC Sion, Al Ahly, Essam El Hadary, International Federation of Association Football, Dispute Resolution Chamber (FIFA)

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

Andy Anson, chief executive of the English bid team for the 2018 World Cup says that of the 24 members of FIFA’s executive committee who will vote on the World Cup’s allocation, “at least 13 are buyable.” The comments are made to a closed gathering of senior civil servants, including a Downing Street representative, a few journalists, and other members of the bid team at a dinner party in a private room of the InterContinental hotel in Mayfair, London. Anson makes the statement in response to a question about corruption at FIFA, adding that he and his team had come to this conclusion after much thought. According to Patrick Collins, a Daily Mail journalist present: “[Anson’s] colleagues coughed loudly and fixed him with incinerating glares. Somebody explained that the notion of ‘buying’ delegates had never crossed English minds. Anson realised the import of his remark and started to retract. Later, we were spun the line that things had been said which could easily be taken the wrong way.” Following the World Cup’s allocation to Russia, Collins will publish details of the conversation, despite the fact that it was conducted on an off-the-record basis. He will say he is doing so because by its reaction to the numerous corruption allegations made against FIFA during the bidding process the bid team “so lightly shed integrity and self-respect.” [Daily Mail, 12/5/2010]

Entity Tags: Andy Anson, Patrick Collins, International Federation of Association Football

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

Former World Cup-winning captain and coach Franz Beckenbauer, now a member of FIFA’s executive committee that will vote on the 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosts, backs Australia’s bid to organize the 2022 event. “Australia was a perfect host for the Olympics,” Beckenbauer says. “They know how to handle these big events. The football World Cup—it’s even bigger than the Olympics because it’s more cities, it’s more spectacular than the Olympics—I think you can do it.” He adds: “Australia has shown the world many, many times that [they] can handle these big events. There is no doubt that Australia can host the World Cup and organise the World Cup.” [Fox Sports, 10/26/2010] Beckenbauer does not specifically say he will vote for Australia, but it seems likely that the one vote it will get is from him (see Around 2:30 p.m. December 2, 2010).

Entity Tags: Franz Beckenbauer, International Federation of Association Football

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

Mohamed bin Hammam, president of the Asian Football Confederation and a senior member of FIFA’s executive committee that is soon to vote on the allocation of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, criticizes a Sunday Times investigation which recently revealed two of his fellow committee members were corrupt. The investigation led to the suspension of the two men, Nigeria’s Amos Adamu and Tahiti’s Reynald Temarii, from the committee, after they agreed to accept money from Sunday Times reporters posing as lobbyists to vote a certain way. “Forging identity, fabricating evidence, and setting traps are unethical behaviours in my point of view,” says bin Hammam. “One thing about Middle East media, these are rare happenings there. Is it ethical to use unethical measures to protect the ethic? How can we serve justice and look for fairness by not acting justly and fairly? How will we clean dirty laundry by using dirty water?” [Daily Mail, 11/2/2010]

Entity Tags: Asian Football Confederation, Mohamed bin Hammam, International Federation of Association Football

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

Mohamed bin Hammam, a Qatari, senior FIFA executive committee member, and president of the Asian Football Confederation, denies that he has agreed to back the Spain/Portugal bid for the 2018 World Cup in return for Spain backing the Qatari bid. The claim was recently reported in the Spanish daily Marca, which purported to carry an interview with him expressing his support for Spain/Portugal. “A Spanish newspaper, called Marca, which I have never heard of, completely fabricated an interview with me, pretending that Asia and I will support Spain’s bid,” says bin Hammam. “The Asian executive committee had taken a decision to support Europe in 2018. However, no decision was taken to back any one country. We agreed to give the four Asian members the freedom to select the country that they deem appropriate.” [Daily Mail, 11/28/2010] It will later be reported that bin Hammam did indeed vote for Spain/Portugal (see May 1, 2011).

Entity Tags: International Federation of Association Football, Mohamed bin Hammam, Asian Football Confederation

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

FIFA president Sepp Blatter warns fellow members of the organization’s executive committee of the “evils of the media” shortly before they vote on who will host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. The remarks will be interpreted by some as encouragement not to vote for the English campaign, as the English media outlets Panorama and the Sunday Times have recently exposed corruption at FIFA. England will actually be eliminated in the first round of voting (see Around 2:00 p.m. December 2, 2010). Andy Anson, the chief executive of the failed English bid, will later say: “I think that was unhelpful—the last thing those guys hear before they go and tick the box is the evil of the media. That is not helpful and actually inaccurate. I was told by someone who was in the room that that’s the last thing they were told by Sepp Blatter. There was a final sum-up before they voted and I think it was at the beginning of that.” [Press Association (London), 12/3/2011] It is unclear who the “someone who was in the room” is. However, one of the voters in the room is Geoff Thompson, chairman of England’s bid. [BBC, 12/2/2010]

Entity Tags: Andy Anson, Joseph S. Blatter, Geoff Thompson, International Federation of Association Football

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

England are eliminated in the first round of voting for the 2018 World Cup, after receiving only two votes. The full results of the first round and the FIFA executive committee members who voted for the various potential hosts are:
bullet England: two votes. Geoff Thompson (England) and Issa Hayatou (Cameroon). [BBC, 12/2/2010]
bullet Holland/Belgium: four votes. Michel D’Hooghe (Belgium) and Michel Platini (France, see December 4, 2010). [BBC, 12/2/2010]
bullet Spain/Portugal: seven votes. Angel Maria Villar Llona (Spain), Julio Grondona (Argentina), Ricardo Teixeira (Brazil), Nicolas Leoz (Paraguay, see November 24, 2010), Mohamed bin Hammam (Qatar, see May 1, 2011), Worawi Makudi (Thailand), and Hany Abo Rida (Egypt). [Daily Telegraph, 11/25/2010]
bullet Russia: nine votes. Vitaly Mutko (Russia) and Chuck Blazer (USA, see December 10, 2010).
The other members of the executive committee who voted (two for Holland/Belgium, the rest for Russia) are Sepp Blatter (Switzerland), Mong Joon Chung (South Korea), Jack Warner (Trinidad and Tobago), Senes Erzik (Turkey), Junji Ogura (Japan), Marios Lefkaritis (Cyprus), Jacques Anouma (Ivory Coast), Franz Beckenbauer (Germany), and Rafael Salguero (Guatemala). [BBC, 12/2/2010] As there is no absolute majority in the first round, the vote will go to a second round. [BBC, 12/2/2010]

Entity Tags: Jack Warner, Worawi Makudi, Vitaly Mutko, Issa Hayatou, Hany Abo Rida, Geoff Thompson, Franz Beckenbauer, Senes Erzik, Angel Maria Villar Llona, Chuck Blazer, International Federation of Association Football, Ricardo Terra Teixeira, Nicolas Leoz, Rafael Salguero, Julio Grondona, Michel D’Hooghe, Marios Lefkaritis, Jacques Anouma, Joseph S. Blatter, Junji Ogura, Mong Joon Chung, Michel Platini, Mohamed bin Hammam

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

FIFA’s executive committee votes to award the 2018 World Cup finals to Russia, which receives an absolute majority in the second round of the ballot. England was eliminated in the first round (see Around 2:00 p.m. December 2, 2010). The full results of the second round and the FIFA executive committee members who voted for the various potential hosts are:
bullet Holland/Belgium: two votes. Michel D’Hooghe (Belgium). [BBC, 12/2/2010]
bullet Spain/Portugal: seven votes. Angel Maria Villar Llona, Julio Grondona (Argentina), Ricardo Teixeira (Brazil), Nicolas Leoz (Paraguay, see November 24, 2010), Mohamed bin Hammam (Qatar, see May 1, 2011), Worawi Makudi (Thailand), and Hany Abo Rida (Egypt). [Daily Telegraph, 11/25/2010]
bullet Russia: 13 votes. Vitaly Mutko (Russia) and Chuck Blazer (USA, see December 10, 2010).
The other members of the executive committee who voted (one for Holland/Belgium, the rest for Russia) are Sepp Blatter (Switzerland), Michel Platini (France), Mong Joon Chung (South Korea), Jack Warner (Trinidad and Tobago), Senes Erzik (Turkey), Geoff Thompson (England), Issa Hayatou (Cameroon), Junji Ogura (Japan), Marios Lefkaritis (Cyprus), Jacques Anouma (Ivory Coast), Franz Beckenbauer (Germany), and Rafael Salguero (Guatemala). [BBC, 12/2/2010]

Entity Tags: International Federation of Association Football, Ricardo Terra Teixeira, Hany Abo Rida, Vitaly Mutko, Worawi Makudi, Franz Beckenbauer, Rafael Salguero, Angel Maria Villar Llona, Chuck Blazer, Nicolas Leoz, Senes Erzik, Mohamed bin Hammam, Jacques Anouma, Jack Warner, Issa Hayatou, Joseph S. Blatter, Geoff Thompson, Mong Joon Chung, Michel D’Hooghe, Marios Lefkaritis, Julio Grondona, Junji Ogura, Michel Platini

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

Australia is eliminated in the first round of voting for the 2022 World Cup hosts, after receiving only one vote. The full results of the first round and the FIFA executive committee members who voted for the various potential hosts are:
bullet Australia: one vote. Franz Beckenbauer (see October 26, 2010).
bullet Japan: two votes. Junji Ogura (Japan).
bullet United States: three votes. Chuck Blazer (USA).
bullet South Korea: four votes. Mong Joon Chung (South Korea) and Geoff Thompson (England, see Before December 1, 2010).
bullet Qatar: 11 votes. Mohamed bin Hammam (Qatar). [BBC, 12/2/2010; BBC, 12/2/2010]
The other FIFA executive committee members who vote are Sepp Blatter (Switzerland), Jack Warner (Trinidad and Tobago), Senes Erzik (Turkey), Marios Lefkaritis (Cyprus), Jacques Anouma (Ivory Coast), Rafael Salguero (Guatemala), Geoff Thompson (England), Issa Hayatou (Cameroon), Michel D’Hooghe (Belgium), Michel Platini (France), Angel Maria Villar Llona (Spain), Julio Grondona (Argentina), Ricardo Teixeira (Brazil), Nicolas Leoz (Paraguay), Worawi Makudi (Thailand), Hany Abo Rida (Egypt), and Vitaly Mutko (Russia). [BBC, 12/2/2010] As there is no absolute majority in the first round, the vote will go to a second round. [BBC, 12/2/2010]

Entity Tags: Issa Hayatou, Vitaly Mutko, Senes Erzik, Worawi Makudi, International Federation of Association Football, Geoff Thompson, Franz Beckenbauer, Hany Abo Rida, Angel Maria Villar Llona, Chuck Blazer, Rafael Salguero, Ricardo Terra Teixeira, Mong Joon Chung, Joseph S. Blatter, Julio Grondona, Junji Ogura, Nicolas Leoz, Jacques Anouma, Marios Lefkaritis, Jack Warner, Mohamed bin Hammam, Michel D’Hooghe, Michel Platini

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

Japan is eliminated in the second round of voting for the 2022 World Cup hosts, after receiving only two votes. Australia was previously eliminated in the first round (see Around 2:30 p.m. December 2, 2010). The full results of the second round and the FIFA executive committee members who voted for the various potential hosts are:
bullet Japan: two votes. Junji Ogura (Japan).
bullet United States: five votes. Chuck Blazer (USA).
bullet South Korea: five votes. Mong Joon Chung (South Korea) and Geoff Thompson (England, see Before December 1, 2010).
bullet Qatar: 10 votes. Mohamed bin Hammam (Qatar). [BBC, 12/2/2010; BBC, 12/2/2010]
The other FIFA executive committee members who vote are Sepp Blatter (Switzerland), Jack Warner (Trinidad and Tobago), Senes Erzik (Turkey), Marios Lefkaritis (Cyprus), Jacques Anouma (Ivory Coast), Franz Beckenbauer (Germany), Rafael Salguero (Guatemala), Issa Hayatou (Cameroon), Michel D’Hooghe (Belgium), Michel Platini (France), Angel Maria Villar Llona (Spain), Julio Grondona (Argentina), Ricardo Teixeira (Brazil), Nicolas Leoz (Paraguay), Worawi Makudi (Thailand), Hany Abo Rida (Egypt), and Vitaly Mutko (Russia). [BBC, 12/2/2010] As there is no absolute majority in the second round, the vote will go to a third round. [BBC, 12/2/2010]

Entity Tags: International Federation of Association Football, Ricardo Terra Teixeira, Senes Erzik, Vitaly Mutko, Hany Abo Rida, Franz Beckenbauer, Geoff Thompson, Angel Maria Villar Llona, Chuck Blazer, Nicolas Leoz, Worawi Makudi, Mohamed bin Hammam, Jacques Anouma, Jack Warner, Issa Hayatou, Joseph S. Blatter, Mong Joon Chung, Rafael Salguero, Marios Lefkaritis, Junji Ogura, Michel D’Hooghe, Michel Platini, Julio Grondona

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

South Korea is eliminated in the third round of voting for the 2022 World Cup hosts, after receiving only five votes. Australia and Japan have already been eliminated in previous rounds (see Around 2:30 p.m. December 2, 2010 and Around 2:30 p.m. December 2, 2010). The full results of the third round and the FIFA executive committee members who voted for the various potential hosts are:
bullet South Korea: five votes. Mong Joon Chung (South Korea) and Geoff Thompson (England, see Before December 1, 2010).
bullet United States: six votes. Chuck Blazer (USA).
bullet Qatar: 11 votes. Mohamed bin Hammam (Qatar). [BBC, 12/2/2010; BBC, 12/2/2010]
The other FIFA executive committee members who vote are Sepp Blatter (Switzerland), Jack Warner (Trinidad and Tobago), Senes Erzik (Turkey), Marios Lefkaritis (Cyprus), Jacques Anouma (Ivory Coast), Franz Beckenbauer (Germany), Rafael Salguero (Guatemala), Issa Hayatou (Cameroon), Michel D’Hooghe (Belgium), Michel Platini (France), Angel Maria Villar Llona (Spain), Julio Grondona (Argentina), Ricardo Teixeira (Brazil), Nicolas Leoz (Paraguay), Worawi Makudi (Thailand), Hany Abo Rida (Egypt), Junji Ogura (Japan), and Vitaly Mutko (Russia). [BBC, 12/2/2010] As there is no absolute majority in the third round, the vote will go to a fourth round. [BBC, 12/2/2010]

Entity Tags: Hany Abo Rida, Rafael Salguero, Ricardo Terra Teixeira, Geoff Thompson, Vitaly Mutko, Worawi Makudi, Franz Beckenbauer, Angel Maria Villar Llona, Chuck Blazer, Mong Joon Chung, Senes Erzik, Michel Platini, Jack Warner, Issa Hayatou, International Federation of Association Football, Mohamed bin Hammam, Jacques Anouma, Nicolas Leoz, Julio Grondona, Junji Ogura, Joseph S. Blatter, Michel D’Hooghe, Marios Lefkaritis

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

FIFA’s executive committee votes to award the 2022 World Cup finals to Qatar, which receives an absolute majority in the fourth round of the ballot. Australia, Japan, and South Korea have already been eliminated in previous rounds (see Around 2:30 p.m. December 2, 2010, Around 2:30 p.m. December 2, 2010, and Around 2:30 p.m. December 2, 2010). The full results of the fourth round and the FIFA executive committee members who voted for the various potential hosts are:
bullet United States: eight votes. Chuck Blazer (USA).
bullet Qatar: 14 votes. Mohamed bin Hammam (Qatar). [BBC, 12/2/2010; BBC, 12/2/2010]
The other FIFA executive committee members who vote are Sepp Blatter (Switzerland), Jack Warner (Trinidad and Tobago), Senes Erzik (Turkey), Marios Lefkaritis (Cyprus), Jacques Anouma (Ivory Coast), Franz Beckenbauer (Germany), Mong Joon Chung (South Korea), Geoff Thompson (England), Rafael Salguero (Guatemala), Issa Hayatou (Cameroon), Michel D’Hooghe (Belgium), Michel Platini (France), Angel Maria Villar Llona (Spain), Julio Grondona (Argentina), Ricardo Teixeira (Brazil), Nicolas Leoz (Paraguay), Worawi Makudi (Thailand), Hany Abo Rida (Egypt), Junji Ogura (Japan), and Vitaly Mutko (Russia). [BBC, 12/2/2010]

Entity Tags: Geoff Thompson, Nicolas Leoz, Franz Beckenbauer, Ricardo Terra Teixeira, Senes Erzik, Vitaly Mutko, Mong Joon Chung, Angel Maria Villar Llona, Worawi Makudi, Chuck Blazer, Rafael Salguero, Michel D’Hooghe, Michel Platini, International Federation of Association Football, Hany Abo Rida, Issa Hayatou, Jack Warner, Mohamed bin Hammam, Joseph S. Blatter, Junji Ogura, Julio Grondona, Marios Lefkaritis, Jacques Anouma

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

British journalist Charles Sale says that UEFA president and FIFA executive committee member Michel Platini voted for Holland/Belgium in the first round of voting for the 2018 World Cup hosts (see Around 2:00 p.m. December 2, 2010). He adds that Platini voted for Russia in the second round. [Daily Mail, 12/4/2010] It is unclear how Sale could know this, as the vote is secret. However, the details of the vote indicate that two or three voters switched from Holland/Belgium in the first round to Russia in the second. [BBC, 12/2/2010]

Entity Tags: International Federation of Association Football, Charles Sale, Michel Platini

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

Chuck Blazer, the US representative on FIFA’s executive committee, says he voted for Russia to host the 2018 World Cup. “I voted for Russia,” Blazer says. “England clearly had a great bid. But in the end, I look at England and say, ‘What more would we have when we’re finished other than what I am certain would have been a great World Cup?’ I believe that when we’re finished in Russia, we’ll have accomplished a lot of different things. We can open up a market that is important from a world perspective.” [Daily Telegraph, 12/10/2010]

Entity Tags: Chuck Blazer, International Federation of Association Football

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

FIFA president Sepp Blatter says that homosexual fans attending the 2022 World Cup, planned for Qatar, should “refrain from sexual activity.” The comment is made in response to a question about whether he sees any cultural problems with holding the World Cup in Qatar, where homosexual activity is illegal. According to the BBC, Blatter’s comments are apparently a joke and he then adds seriously that he is sure there will be no problems for homosexuals who decide to attend. Despite this, his comments will be condemned by numerous figures involved in campaigning for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights. [BBC, 12/14/2010]

Entity Tags: International Federation of Association Football, Joseph S. Blatter

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

The government of Brazil publishes a law granting FIFA a series of federal tax exemptions for the 2014 World Cup and the 2013 Confederations Cup. The exemptions come into force on January 1, 2011, and are part of FIFA’s requirements for holding a World Cup. According to the law, FIFA does not need to pay taxes on imported goods, contributions to social security related to imported goods and services, or contributions to programs for social integration and heritage formation related to imports. However, the exemption for equipment and construction of the stadia to be used for team training in the World Cup’s 12 host cities is not authorized by Brazil’s Ministry of Finance. The ministry says this exemption would allow “undue expansion of tax incentives to stadia with the purpose to offer support, whose characteristics deviate from the aims and the reasons justifying the granting of benefits.” However, according to Brazil’s Ministry of Sports, the country’s gains with the Cup will be greater than the tax exemption granted to FIFA. [Xinhua News Agency (Beijing), 12/21/2010]

Entity Tags: International Federation of Association Football, Ministerio do Esporte (Brazil), Ministerio da Fazenda (Brazil)

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

Guenter Hirsch, a member of FIFA’s ethics committee, resigns from his position on the body. In a letter to commission chairman Claudio Sulser, Hirsch comments, “The events of the past few weeks [the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar] have raised and strengthened the impression that responsible persons in FIFA have no real interest in playing an active role in resolving, punishing, and avoiding violations against ethic regulations of FIFA.” FIFA responds to the resignation with a statement saying that Hirsch has not attended a committee meeting for four years. [BBC, 1/10/2011]

Entity Tags: Claudio Sulser, FIFA Ethics Committee, Guenter Hirsch, International Federation of Association Football

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

A federal Swiss court rejects appeals lodged by the club FC Sion and goalkeeper Essam El Hadary against decisions of FIFA’s Dispute Resolution Chamber and the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). Both FIFA and CAS had ruled that Sion and El Hadary had broken the rules over the player’s transfer from the Egyptian club Al Ahly to Switzerland in 2008 (see April 16, 2009 and June 1, 2010). As a result of the two rulings, compensation was to be paid to Al Ahly and Sion was banned from transfer activity for two transfer windows. As the appeals are rejected, the CAS ruling remains in force. [FIFA, 1/19/2011] It is against FIFA’s statutes for a dispute to be brought before a civil court. [BBC Scotland, 8/16/2011]

Entity Tags: FC Sion, Essam El Hadary, International Federation of Association Football, Al Ahly

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

Unsuccessful FIFA presidential candidate Grant Wahl.Unsuccessful FIFA presidential candidate Grant Wahl. [Source: Sports Illustrated]Sports Illustrated journalist Grant Wahl announces a bid for the FIFA presidency, joining the incumbent Sepp Blatter and Asian strongman Mohamed Bin Hammam of Qatar in the race. In order to be on the ballot for the summer election, however, Wahl has to be nominated by one FIFA member by April 1. Wahl criticizes Blatter for the corruption that dogged the recent World Cup bidding process and says that trusting Blatter to clean up the organization is like “trusting a Tour de France winner to oversee cycling’s anti¬doping program.” He also dismisses bin Hamman as “just another FIFA insider.” Wahl’s program is:
bullet Clean up the organization, including “releasing all of its internal documents, WikiLeaks-style, and commissioning an independent investigation using the guidelines of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act”;
bullet Enhancing the role of women in FIFA, including appointing a female general secretary;
bullet Support for instant replay;
bullet The World Cup will be refereed by the best referees, regardless of where they come from, and they will have to explain decisions to the press after games;
bullet Yellow cards will no longer be awarded for removing a shirt following a goal;
bullet A limit of two terms will be imposed on the FIFA president.
While Wahl’s chances of being nominated are slim, he comments, “I actually think I would beat Blatter if the election were left up to the world’s soccer fans (instead of the current system of one vote per FIFA member nation).” [Sports Illustrated, 2/17/2011]

Entity Tags: Mohamed bin Hammam, Grant Wahl, Joseph S. Blatter, International Federation of Association Football

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

FIFA reminds the Swiss club FC Sion that it will be under a transfer ban in the summer 2011 transfer window, according to a later interview with FIFA’s director of legal affairs Marco Villiger. [FIFA, 9/30/2011] However, Sion will sign players in the window (see Summer 2011), leading to a dispute (see September 2, 2011).

Entity Tags: FC Sion, International Federation of Association Football

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke says that Qatar “bought” the right to hold the 2022 World Cup in a private e-mail to FIFA vice president Jack Warner. “For MBH [Mohamed bin Hammam, the leading Qatari football official who is now running for president of FIFA], I never understood why he was running. If really he thought he had a chance or just being an extreme way to express much he does not like anymore JSB [Sepp Blatter, bin Hammam’s opponent in the race]. Or he thought you can buy FIFA as they bought the WC [World Cup].” The e-mail’s date is unknown, but presumably it is written in the early spring of 2011. After the e-mail is made public in a wave of mud-slinging during the presidential election, Valcke will say that he did not mean that Qatar officials actually bribed voters: “I’d like to clarify that I may use in an email—a ‘lighter’ way of expression by nature.… What I wanted to say is that the winning bid used their financial strength to lobby for support.” [Sky News, 5/30/2016]

Entity Tags: International Federation of Association Football, Jack Warner, Jerome Valcke, Mohamed bin Hammam

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

The English Football Association says it will abstain from voting for one of the two candidates, Sepp Blatter and Mohamed bin Hammam, running for the position of president of FIFA. The decision is made because of allegations of corruption made against both men in recent months. “There are a well-reported range of issues both recent and current which, in the view of the FA board, make it difficult to support either candidate,” says the FA in a statement. “The FA values its relationships with its international partners very highly. We are determined to play an active and influential role through our representation within both UEFA and FIFA. We will continue to work hard to bring about any changes we think would benefit all of international football.” [BBC, 5/19/2011]

Entity Tags: Football Association, International Federation of Association Football, Joseph S. Blatter, Mohamed bin Hammam

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

Chuck Blazer, an American member of FIFA’s executive committee, goes public with allegations that Mohamed bin Hammam, one of two candidates in the forthcoming election for FIFA’s presidency, gave bribes to as many as two dozen voters. Blazer alleges that Jack Warner, the president of the North American football grouping CONCACAF of which Blazer is general secretary, was involved. According to Blazer, at a meeting of the Carribean Football Union (CFU) Hammam, aided by Warner and two other CFU officials, Debbie Minguell and Jason Sylvester, offered cash to CFU members in return for voting for him (see May 10, 2011). [Press Association (London), 5/25/2011]

Entity Tags: International Federation of Association Football, Chuck Blazer, Debbie Minguell, Jack Warner, Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football, Jason Sylvester, Mohamed bin Hammam

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

FIFA announces that its ethics committee will investigate two members of the organization’s executive committee, Mohamed bin Hammam and Jack Warner, as well as two Carribean Football Union officials, Debbie Minguell and Jason Sylvester. The announcement follows allegations of vote-buying made by fellow executive committee member Chuck Blazer (see May 24, 2011). The officials are to attend an ethics committee meeting in four days’ time to discuss the allegations. Bin Hammam is currently running for FIFA president, with the election scheduled to take place next week. Bin Hammam’s rival is the Swiss Sepp Blatter, so the ethics committee hearing will not be attended by its chairman, Claudio Sulser, who is also Swiss. Instead the meeting will be chaired by Petrus Damaseb, a judge from Namibia and the committee’s deputy chairman. [Press Association (London), 5/25/2011]

Entity Tags: Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football, Petrus Damaseb, Claudio Sulser, Jason Sylvester, Mohamed bin Hammam, Chuck Blazer, Debbie Minguell, Jack Warner, International Federation of Association Football, FIFA Ethics Committee

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

FIFA presidential candidate Mohamed bin Hammam refers his opponent, the incumbent Sepp Blatter, for an ethics invesigation. This follows the opening of an ethics investigation into bin Hammam, who offered bribes to 25 voters in the Caribbean (see May 10, 2011, May 24, 2011, and May 25, 2011). According to bin Hammam, the report into the matter that forms the basis of the charges against him contains “statements according to which Mr Blatter, the incumbent Fifa president, was informed of, but did not oppose, payments allegedly made to members of the Caribbean Football Union.” Reportedly, FIFA vice president Jack Warner, who is also under an ethics investigation, told Blatter of the payments. If this were true, it would be an ethics violation by Blatter, as FIFA officials are under a duty to disclose any evidence of improper conduct to the organization’s secretary general. Bin Hammam’s allegations are first made in a letter to FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke, but are then reported in the media. [Guardian, 5/26/2011] FIFA’s ethics committee will open an investigation of Blatter (see May 26, 2011).

Entity Tags: Joseph S. Blatter, Jerome Valcke, Mohamed bin Hammam, International Federation of Association Football

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

FIFA’s ethics committee opens an investigation into the organization’s president, Sepp Blatter. The investigation was proposed by Blatter’s presidential rival in a forthcoming election, Mohamed bin Hammam (see May 26, 2011). According to bin Hammam, Blatter knew of but did not oppose bribes bin Hammam is said to have offered 25 presidential voters. Blatter did not report the bribes, although FIFA’s code of ethics apparently places a duty to report such conduct on all officials. [Daily Telegraph, 5/27/2011] The ethics committee will clear Blatter of the allegations, saying the bribes had not actually been paid when he learned of them, so there was no duty to report (see May 29, 2011).

Entity Tags: Jerome Valcke, International Federation of Association Football, Joseph S. Blatter, Mohamed bin Hammam, FIFA Ethics Committee

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

Jack Warner, vice president of FIFA and president of the CONCACAF grouping of North and Central American football associations, promises a “football tsunami” of dirty laundry if an ethics committee hearing goes against him. Warner is facing bribery charges due to an alleged attempt by FIFA presidential candidate Mohamed bin Hammam to bribe Carribean voters (see May 25, 2011). “I tell you something, in the next couple days you will see a football tsunami that will hit FIFA and the world that will shock you,” says Warner in Port of Spain. “The time has come when I must stop playing dead so you’ll see it, it’s coming, trust me. You’ll see it by now and Monday. I have been here for 29 consecutive years and if the worst happens, the worst happens.” Warner also insists he is not guilty of a “single iota of wrongdoing,” says he he could walk away from FIFA, as “you must never get too attached to anything,” claims, “I am wielding more power in FIFA now than sometimes even the president, I must be the envy of others,” and adds that he voted for the US to hold the 2022 World Cup finals (see Around 2:30 p.m. December 2, 2010). [Daily Telegraph, 5/28/2011]

Entity Tags: Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football, Jack Warner, International Federation of Association Football

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

At a hearing on bribery allegations, FIFA’s ethics committee clears the organization’s president Sepp Blatter of wrongdoing, but provisionally suspends his presidential rival Mohammed bin Hammam, FIFA vice president Jack Warner, and two other officials. The allegations stemmed from a meeting in early May, when bin Hammam, aided by Warner and the other two officials, Debbie Minguell and Jason Sylvester of the Caribbean Football Union, paid voters to support bin Hammam (see May 10, 2011). The allegations were broken by FIFA executive committee member Chuck Blazer, leading to ethics referrals for the five officials (see May 25, 2011 and May 26, 2011). According to Namibian judge Petrus Damaseb, who chairs the committee meeting, Blatter is not guitly of the charges against him—that he knew of the bribes, but failed to report them—because he only knew of them in advance. Damaseb says, “The committee took the view that the obligation to report did not arise because at that stage no wrongdoing had occurred.” [ESPN, 5/29/2011] The relevant section of FIFA’s ethics code states, “Officials shall report any evidence of violations of conduct to the FIFA secretary general, who shall report it to the competent body.” [FIFA, 2009 pdf file] According to the ethics committee, there is therefore no duty under the code to report forthcoming violations of ethics. However, the committee decides that the other four officials have a case to answer and are provisionally suspended from all football-related activity. [ESPN, 5/29/2011]

Entity Tags: International Federation of Association Football, FIFA Ethics Committee, Debbie Minguell, Petrus Damaseb, Jason Sylvester, Joseph S. Blatter, Mohamed bin Hammam

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

Mohammed bin Hammam, the Qatari head of the Asian Football Confederation, pulls out of the race to become president of FIFA. His withdrawal means that the incumbent, Sepp Blatter, is unopposed in the election. Both bin Hammam and Blatter face corruption charges and are due to attend an ethics committee meeting today to answer allegations about their alleged involvement in bribery, ahead of the presidential vote in three days’ time. “It saddens me that standing up for the causes that I believed in has come at a great price—the degradation of FIFA’s reputation. This is not what I had in mind for FIFA and this is unacceptable,” says bin Hammam. “I cannot allow the game that I loved to be dragged more and more in the mud because of competition between two individuals. The game itself and the people who love it around the world must come first. It is for this reason that I announce my withdrawal from the presidential election.” [Guardian, 5/28/2011]

Entity Tags: International Federation of Association Football, Mohamed bin Hammam

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

The Civil Court of Martigny and St. Maurice orders FIFA, the FIFA subsidiary Transfer Matching System GmbH, and the Swiss Football League to allow six FC Sion players to play with immediate effect. The players were signed during a transfer ban (see Summer 2011), so FIFA claims they cannot be fielded, and the Swiss Football League had ruled to this effect (see July 15, 2011 and July 29, 2011). However, the league’s rulings are now overturned. [FIFA, 11/18/2011] Two days later, the Swiss Football League issues a statement saying that the players can be used until a further court ruling. [Swiss Football League, 8/5/2011] The same judge will later affirm his ruling (see September 27, 2011), but it will be overturned by a higher court (see November 16, 2011).

Entity Tags: Swiss Football League, FC Sion, Transfer Matching System GmbH, Civil Court of Martigny and St. Maurice, International Federation of Association Football

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

FIFA president Sepp Blatter says that civil courts should not be used in the dispute with the Swiss club FC Sion. Although operating under a transfer ban (see April 16, 2009), Sion signed several new players (see Summer 2011) and used them to secure a place in the Europa League (see August 25, 2011), which UEFA is now reviewing. “Tell me,” says Blatter, “on what grounds we should grant an exception to a club where millions of others follow the rules?” He adds: “I like the way [FC Sion owner Christian] Constantin makes things happen generally, but one of the fundamental principles of football is not using the civil courts with our internal regulations. FIFA judged the case and found Sion guilty.” [Daily Mail, 8/29/2011]

Entity Tags: Joseph S. Blatter, International Federation of Association Football, FC Sion

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

Marco Villiger, FIFA’s director of legal affairs, gives an interview to the organization’s website on the dispute between FIFA and UEFA on the one hand and the Swiss club FC Sion on the other. Villiger says that by involving civil courts in the dispute, Sion is “irresponsible” and has done an “enormous amount of damage” to “the autonomy of the sport” and also to Swiss football. He adds that the civil actions have caused “chaos” and comments: “If every club went to a local court when they disagreed with something, international football would no longer be possible. Arguments over the games which involved ineligible players will continue long after this case is closed.” He also discusses FIFA’s communication policy on the case, saying, “Normally FIFA does not comment on ongoing cases, but we are being a little more open about this one because the other side have been so aggressive in the media.” Villiger also hints that FIFA is displeased with the Swiss FA’s handling of the matter, saying that member associations are responsible for enforcing FIFA’s decisions: “If an association chooses not to enforce it, it’s up to us to sanction them. Possible sanctions include suspensions, expulsion from competitions, and so forth. If we can no longer enforce decrees, the whole system is in danger.” [FIFA, 9/30/2011] FIFA will later make such a threat against the Swiss FA explicit (see December 17, 2011).

Entity Tags: International Federation of Association Football, Marco Villiger

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

A Swiss appelate court, the Tribunal Cantonal Valais, overturns lower court rulings favorable to the football club FC Sion in a dispute with FIFA and UEFA. A lower court had twice ruled (see August 3, 2011 and September 27, 2011) that players FIFA declared ineligible because of a transfer ban on the club (see Summer 2011) could actually play. FIFA welcomes the ruling, stating, “The Cantonal Court has thus indirectly taken the same view as FIFA and the [Swiss Football League] and its ruling has indirectly confirmed the legality of the transfer ban FIFA imposed on [FC Sion].” [FIFA, 11/18/2011]

Entity Tags: International Federation of Association Football, FC Sion, Swiss Football League, Tribunal Cantonal Valais, Swiss Football Association

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

FIFA president Sepp Blatter makes some controversial comments about racism in response to a question asked by CNN World Sport. “I would deny it. There is no racism,” says Blatter. “There is maybe one of the players towards another—he has a word or a gesture which is not the correct one. But the one who is affected by that, he should say: ‘This is a game. We are in a game, and at the end of the game, we shake hands.’ And this can happen, because we have worked so hard against racism and discrimination.” [BBC, 11/16/2011] Blatter will soon issue an apology for the comments (see November 16, 2011).

Entity Tags: International Federation of Association Football, Joseph S. Blatter

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

FIFA president Sepp Blatter issues a clarification of remarks he made earlier in the day about racism in football; in an interview with CNN he had appeared to suggest that a player who was the target of racist abuse from an opponent should shake the opponent’s hand after the game and forget about it (see November 16, 2011). “My comments have been misunderstood,” says Blatter in a FIFA press release. “What I wanted to express is that, as football players, during a match, you have ‘battles’ with your opponents, and sometimes things are done which are wrong. But, normally, at the end of the match, you apologise to your opponent if you had a confrontation during the match, you shake hands, and when the game is over, it is over. Anyone who has played a football match, or a match in any sport, knows that this is the case. Having said that, I want to stress again that I do not want to diminish the dimension of the problem of racism in society and in sport. I am committed to fighting this plague and kicking it out of football.” [FIFA, 11/16/2011]

Entity Tags: International Federation of Association Football, Joseph S. Blatter

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

FIFA threatens to suspend the Swiss FA in a long-running dispute over the transfer of an Egyptian goalkeeper to FC Sion in 2008 (see April 16, 2009). FIFA sets a deadline of January 13, by which time the Swiss FA must comply with its instructions. Otherwise, the Swiss national team will be unable to play matches and FC Basel will be unable to continue in the Champions League. FIFA demands that Sion be penalised by forfeting each game in which it fielded an ineligible player, in particular the six it signed in the summer when FIFA says the club was under a transfer ban due to improprieties during the goalkeeper’s transfer. “The executive committee decided to give a final deadline of January 13 to the Swiss FA to enforce the registration ban imposed on Sion… and to sanction the attitude of the club repeatedly trying to circumvent this decision in a legally abusive manner,” says a FIFA statement. However, Swiss FA spokesman Peter Gilleron tells a news conference FIFA’s demand is “impractical,” although he believes a points deduction is possible. [Reuters, 12/17/2011] In response, Sion files a criminal complaint against FIFA’s executive committee (see December 29, 2011).

Entity Tags: FC Sion, International Federation of Association Football, Swiss Football Association

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

The Swiss club FC Sion files a criminal complaint against FIFA’s executive committee in the long-running dispute over a player’s transfer (see April 16, 2009). FIFA had previously threatened to suspend Switzerland from international competition if the Swiss Football Association did not sanction Sion in accordance with FIFA’s instructions, and such suspension would mean that the Swiss national team could no longer play matches and that FC Basel could not continue in the Champions League (see December 17, 2011). Sion says on its website that the threat amounts to unacceptable blackmail and a breach of a basic legal rule. [Associated Press, 12/29/2011]

Entity Tags: FC Sion, International Federation of Association Football

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

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