FIFA World Cup and Football Soccer News

FIFA World Cup News and Other Soccer/Football Stories

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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

FIFA to step up anti-racism efforts for World Cup

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AP 3:52 p.m. EST December 2, 2014

ZURICH (AP) — FIFA has committed to tackle racism incidents harder at World Cup matches after criticism of its lackluster efforts in Brazil.
racism

Taking advice from its anti-racism task force, FIFA has pledged to help train and appoint anti-discrimination officers to work at qualifying matches for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The task force met Tuesday, chaired by FIFA vice president Jeffrey Webb, who spoke out in Brazil against failures to gather evidence and prosecute disciplinary cases.

FIFA will also guide its 209 member federations toward "best practice on policy, education, sanctions and cooperation with civil society partners."

"Both measures send out a concrete message," Webb said in a statement published by FIFA. "Now we need the full support from clubs, member associations, NGOs and campaign groups."

The full support of FIFA appeared to be lacking in June when it did not sanction reported incidents of discriminatory chants and banners, and fans wearing black-face makeup.

Webb, who is black, also pointed then to challenges in tackling longstanding racism problems in Russian football.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter said, after watching the World Cup final in Rio de Janeiro with Russia's President Vladimir Putin, that they would make the issue a priority.

FIFA's statement Tuesday acknowledged the importance of using the next World Cup to "showcase FIFA's zero-tolerance policy against any form of discrimination."

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Monday, December 1, 2014

Nominees for the FIFA Ballon d’Or 2014 awards revealed

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The contenders for this year’s FIFA Ballon d’Or award for the best player of 2014 and for the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year 2014 award were announced today on FIFA.com, francefootball.fr and YouTube.

In alphabetical order, the FIFA Ballon d’Or nominees are: Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Lionel Messi (Argentina) and Manuel Neuer (Germany), while Nadine Kessler (Germany), Marta (Brazil) and Abby Wambach (USA) will contest the women’s award.

The candidates for the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Men’s Football and FIFA World Coach of the Year for Women’s Football awards were also announced. In alphabetical order, the contenders are: Carlo Ancelotti (Italy/Real Madrid CF), Joachim Loew (Germany/German national team) and Diego Simeone (Argentina/Atletico de Madrid) for the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Men’s Football award, and Ralf Kellermann (Germany/VfL Wolfsburg), Maren Meinert (Germany/Germany U-19 and U-20 national teams) and Norio Sasaki (Japan/Japan national team) for the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Women’s Football award.

All the nominees were confirmed after a voting process which was open to the captains and head coaches of the men’s and women’s national teams of the 209 member associations as well as to international media representatives selected by FIFA and France Football voted for candidates.

The percentages of the collected votes are as follows (number of votes/number of associations): 

Voting for men’s awards: 
Member associations (captains & coaches): 87% 
Media representatives: 94%

Voting for women’s awards: 
Member associations (captains & coaches): 83% 
Media representatives: 77%

The voting procedure for each of the awards is supervised and monitored by the independent observer PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Switzerland.

The shortlist of 15 forwards for the FIFA FIFPro World XI was also announced, completing the final shortlist of 55 players also featuring five goalkeepers, 20 defenders and 15 midfielders.


Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sony does not plan to renew FIFA sponsorship contract – sources

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sony logo

TOKYO (Reuters) – Sony Corp does not plan to renew its sponsorship contract with FIFA, the governing body for world soccer, as the Japanese electronics maker needs to prioritise its restructuring efforts, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Such a move would follow Emirates Airline’s [EMIRA.UL] announcement this month that it was ending its sponsorship of FIFA, a blow to the governing body as it investigates whether there was corruption in the bidding process for the next two World Cup competitions.

Sony has been a FIFA sponsor for the eight years to 2014 in a contract worth 33 billion yen ($280 million).

Sony on Tuesday said it was aiming to restructure its television and mobile divisions further, while targeting robust growth for its electronics devices division, which houses its growing image sensors business.

An official for the electronics conglomerate said he could not comment on future contracts.

The people familiar with the matter declined to be identified as they were not authorised to speak to the media.

A FIFA spokesman said: “The existing contract with Sony runs until 31 December 2014 and we are currently in discussions with the brand.”

Sponsors have put pressure on FIFA to respond robustly to allegations of bribery to secure the 2018 World Cup for Russia and the 2022 tournament to Qatar.

Earlier this month, FIFA’s ethics judge Hans-Joachim Eckert said in a statement there were no grounds to reopen the controversial bidding process, clearing Qatar and Russia of wrongdoing.

But that announcement was immediately undermined when Michael Garcia, the former U.S. prosecutor that led FIFA’s own investigation, said that he disputed its summary of his findings.

A number of European officials have called on FIFA to publish Garcia’s full report but the governing body said it could not release it to the public for legal reasons.

Garcia and Eckert met face to face and decided that Garcia’s report would be sent to the chairman of FIFA’s audit and compliance committee, Domenico Scala, who would in turn decide how much of the report should be sent to the FIFA executive committee.

They also confirmed that the ethics committee had opened a number of formal cases against unidentified individuals and FIFA confirmed it had lodged a criminal complaint in Switzerland, but stood by its conclusion that any wrongdoing was not enough to jeopardise the winning bids.

(Reporting by Reiji Murai; Additional reporting by Julian Linden; Writing by Edwina Gibbs; Editing by Peter Rutherford)


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Germany receive FIFA World Cup Badge at Die Mannschaft film premiere

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(FIFA.com) Monday 10 November 2014
FIFA Badge

Prior to today’s world premiere of the film Die Mannschaft (The Team) - a documentary charting Germany’s triumphant 2014 FIFA World Cup™ campaign - FIFA President Blatter awarded the German national team and its coaching staff the FIFA World Champions Badge in Berlin. On the stage at the cinema in Potsdamer Platz, Germany’s entire FIFA World Cup winning side, German FA [DFB] president Wolfgang Niersbach and the FIFA President looked back on the unforgettable emotions the tournament in Brazil stirred up.

“Winning the World Cup in Brazil crowned the development that started with the summer fairytale of hosting the finals in 2006,” said FIFA President Blatter, who also praised the exemplary ambassadorial role the 23 members of the squad played at the tournament: “The team’s attractive and attacking playing style is symbolic of a cosmopolitan and engaging Germany that people everywhere recognise, respect and appreciate.”

FIFA first awarded the coveted World Champions Badge to Italy in 2006. In recognition of Germany’s success at Brazil 2014, and as a permanent reminder of their triumph, the team may now wear the Badge on their shirts until the Final of the Russia 2018 World Cup.

DFB president Niersbach was delighted to receive the accolade, saying: “It’s a huge honour for our national team to be able to wear the World Champions Badge on their shirt and it is visible proof that they achieved great things in Brazil. The entire footballing community in Germany is proud of this golden emblem.”

Coach Joachim Low and World Cup-winning captain Philipp Lahm likewise expressed their pride at the award, as well as having lifted the country’s fourth title following the achievements in 1954, 1974 and 1990. “The Badge is a wonderful honour but at the same time I view it as an incentive and an obligation not to ease off,” said Low. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

FIFA Official Doubts the 2022 World Cup Will be Held in Qatar

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By: NICK SCHWARTZ  | usatoday.com
FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar

FIFA’s decision to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar has been heavily criticized since the final vote in 2010, with allegations of corruption within FIFA and Qatar’s record of human rights violations leading many to call for the decision to be reversed. The challenges of holding the world’s biggest tournament in western Asia during the summer months — when temperatures in Doha reach an average high of 106 degrees — seem unsolvable. Qatari officials have promised to spend $4 billion on air conditioned stadiums to protect players and fans, but not everyone is convinced.

FIFA Executive Committee member Theo Zwanziger told German newspaper Bild that he does not think the tournament will take place in Qatar.

Via Reuters:
“I personally think that in the end the 2022 World Cup will not take place in Qatar. Medics say that they cannot accept responsibility with a World Cup taking place under these conditions…. Fans from around the world will be coming and traveling in this heat and the first life-threatening case will trigger an investigation by a state prosecutor.”
FIFA president Sepp Blatter admitted in May that awarding Qatar the World Cup was “a mistake,” and has also said that it is not “rational and reasonable” to play the 2022 World Cup in the summer. Moving the tournament to the winter would wreak havoc on club football league schedules across the world.

If Qatar is stripped of the World Cup, it could potentially be hosted in the United States. The U.S. finished second in the voting process in 2010, ahead of South Korea, Japan and Australia.

Read more: http://ftw.usatoday.com/2014/09/2022-world-cup-qatar-fifa-official