Racists Must Be ‘Kicked Out’ Of Stadiums – Infantino

(file photo) FIFA president Gianni Infantino has pushed for a worldwide ban on spectators who abuse black footballers. Mohd RASFAN / AFP

 

Racists must be “kicked out” of stadiums, FIFA president Gianni Infantino said on Thursday, as he pressed for a worldwide ban on spectators who abuse black footballers.

Speaking days after England’s Euro 2020 qualifier in Bulgaria was twice stopped because of chants targeting English players, Infantino insisted the world body would punish racism.

“If there are racists that abuse footballers, we have to stop the game,” he told a press conference on a visit to Dhaka.

“We cannot let the racists win. The football has to continue and we have to punish the people,” Infantino said.

He added it was now easy to identify the culprits in modern stadiums with closed circuit TV and that a “strong message” must be sent.

“They have to be taken, kicked out of the stadium, they must not be allowed to enter into football stadiums any more, and criminal proceedings should be brought against them.

“It’s a crime and it should be a crime in all countries of the world to commit a racist abuse,” he said.

Infantino reaffirmed that if a country bans a spectator because of racism, “FIFA will extend it worldwide because racists have no place in football in any country and no place in any football stadium or arena in any part of the world.”

Six Bulgarians have been indicted for abuse at Monday’s Bulgaria-England game when monkey chants and apparent Nazi salutes overshadowed England’s 6-0 win. Three more are being sought.

One 18-year-old was indicted on Wednesday for using Nazi salutes and four others have been fined and banned from sports events for two years.

Infantino had already condemned the incident in a statement on Tuesday, calling racism an “obnoxious disease that seems to be getting even worse in some parts of the world”.

He said Thursday that on top of stadium action better education was needed.

“We have to educate our youth, our children and those who are a bit older as well,” he said.

Infantino also said that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar “will be the very best World Cup ever” despite new controversy over the heat and empty stadiums after the world athletics championships in September saw some long distance races badly affected.

The FIFA boss insisted that it would be cooler as the football tournament would be in November and December.

“I am sure in Qatar we will witness from a technical point of view, the very best World Cup ever.” He also expressed confidence that the stadiums would be “full”.

“Football is the number one sport in the world. We will fill the stadiums in Qatar and anywhere else in the World easily with the World Cup.”

AFP

Indonesia Slapped With FIFA Fine Over Match Crowd Trouble

FIFA Bans Ex-Zambian Football Chief Bwalya Over Bribery Allegations
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Indonesia’s national football association has been fined by FIFA over crowd trouble during a World Cup qualifier against Malaysia, the organisation said Wednesday.

The Football Association of Indonesia was slapped with a $45,000 sanction over the chaos in Jakarta last month, when Malaysian fans were threatened and pelted with projectiles during the visiting side’s 3-2 win.

Malaysia’s visiting youth and sports minister Syed Saddiq had to be evacuated from the match as violence broke out, sparking a formal apology from his Indonesian counterpart.

“PSSI respects the legal process and FIFA’s decisions,” the association’s secretary general Ratu Tisha Destria in a Wednesday statement, adding that changes were being made so violence “will not happen in the future”.

An qualifier match against Vietnam slated for next week has been moved from Jakarta to holiday island Bali to avoid similar crowd problems.

It also came after the PSSI said earlier this year that Indonesia and Australia were in preliminary talks about making a joint bid for the 2034 World Cup.

The incident marked another black eye for football in Indonesia, where the professional league has been tarnished by a host of problems, including match fixing scandals and deadly hooliganism.

AFP

FIFA Fines Hong Kong After Fans Whistle Chinese Anthem

FIFA Bans Ex-Zambian Football Chief Bwalya Over Bribery Allegations
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FIFA fined the Hong Kong Football Federation on Wednesday after local fans booed and whistled the Chinese national anthem at a World Cup qualifier against Iran.

The Disciplinary Commission of world football’s governing body handed the federation a 15,000 Swiss francs (13,700 euros) fine, reprimanding Hong Kong fans for “disturbance during national anthems; use of objects to transmit a message that is not appropriate for a sports events.”

Hong Kong fields an independent team but because it is an administrative region of China, the Chinese national anthem is played before matches.

The territory has been engulfed by anti-Beijing demonstrations for months and China’s national anthem, ‘The March of the Volunteers’, was whistled by fans on 10 September, before Hong Kong lost 2-0 Iran, FIFA said.

Hong Kong is third in Group C of the Asia zone and after playing in Iraq on Wednesday, their next home game is against Bahrain on 14 November.

AFP

Sierra Leone To Play Next Match Behind Closed Doors

 

Sierra Leone were ordered by FIFA on Wednesday to play their next home match behind closed doors following disturbances at the World Cup eliminator against Liberia last month.

FIFA cited a number of incidents including “invasion of the field of play, throwing of objects, lack of order or discipline observed in or around the stadium” as they also imposed a fine of 50,000 Swiss francs (45,700 euros).

Liberia, who won the tie 3-2 on aggregate to advance to the second round of African qualifying for the 2022 World Cup, complained that their team had been attacked by Sierra Leone supporters and prevented from training.

Peter Butler’s side are one of 40 that will be drawn into 10 groups of four with qualifying set to continue in 2020.

Cardiff To Appeal FIFA Ruling Over Sala’s Transfer Payment

Nantes’ Argentinian Italian forward Emiliano Sala during the French L1 football match between Stade Rennais (Stade Resnais FC) and Nantes (FC Nantes) at The Roazhon Park in Rennes.

 

Cardiff said on Wednesday they would appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport against FIFA’s decision to make them pay Nantes the first instalment of the transfer fee for Emiliano Sala.

The world governing body this week ordered Cardiff to pay French club Nantes an initial six million euros ($6.5 million) in their dispute over the payment of the transfer fee for Sala, who died in a plane crash.

“There remains clear evidence that the transfer agreement was never completed in accordance with multiple contractual requirements which were requested by Nantes, thereby rendering it null and void,” Cardiff said in a statement.

“We shall be appealing to CAS in order to seek a decision which considers all of the relevant contractual information and provides clarity on the full legal situation between our two clubs.”

AFP

FIFA Orders Cardiff To Pay Nantes $6.5m For Sala’s Transfer

This file photo taken on November 25, 2017, shows Nantes’ Argentinian Italian forward Emiliano Sala during the French L1 football match between Stade Rennais (Stade Resnais FC) and Nantes (FC Nantes) at The Roazhon Park in Rennes.

 

Cardiff City must pay French club Nantes six million euros ($6.5 million) to settle a dispute over the payment of the transfer fee for Emiliano Sala, FIFA said on Monday.

The amount corresponds to the first instalment of the 17 million-euro fee Cardiff had agreed to pay Nantes before Sala died in a plane crash on January 21 while travelling to join his new club.

Cardiff had previously resolved not to pay any of the money even though the transfer had been completed before the accident.

The announcement from world football’s governing body followed a meeting by its Players’ Status Committee.

In a statement, FIFA said it had “never lost sight of the specific and unique circumstances of this tragic situation during its deliberations on the dispute at stake.”

Both clubs can appeal the decision to the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Nantes had previously appealed in February over Cardiff’s failure to pay the 17 million euros they said was owed.

The plane Sala was travelling on came down in the English Channel on January 21 during a night-time flight.

His body was recovered, but that of the pilot, David Ibbotson, has never been found.

A report by Britain’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch in August said that Sala and the pilot were likely exposed to “potentially fatal” levels of carbon monoxide on the plane.

AFP

Qatar To Test New 2022 Stadium During Club World Cup

The official logo of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 is unveiled on a giant screen in Madrid on September 3, 2019. GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP

 

Qatar will inaugurate the third of its eight World Cup stadiums when the Education City ground hosts the Club World Cup semi-final tie on December 18, FIFA said on Monday.

The 40,000-seat venue seven kilometres (four miles) outside central Doha will also host the third-place play-off and the final of the tournament which gets underway on December 11.

The inaugural game will see Liverpool, as European champions, face either CONCACAF Champions League winners Monterrey, Al Sadd of Qatar or minnows Hienghene Sport of New Caledonia who are Oceania champions.

The 2022 hosts have so far inaugurated the newly-built al-Janoub stadium in May, as well as the Khalifa International stadium which opened in 1976 and was relaunched in 2017 after a full refurbishment.

“With all three venues located a maximum of 12 kilometres from central Doha, the FIFA Club World Cup 2019 will provide a glimpse of Qatar’s compact nature ahead of the FIFA World Cup 2022,” FIFA said in a statement.

“Taking place around the same time of the year and with matches kicking off from 17:00 local time (1400 GMT), this year’s tournament will also give teams and fans alike the chance to experience Qatar’s mild winter.”

Average temperatures are expected to range between 15 and 24 celsius (59 to 75 Fahrenheit), it added.

Hassan al-Thawadi, the secretary general of Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, said following Al-Janoub’s opening in May that two further new stadiums would be ready “by the end of this year (or) first quarter” 2020.

The exact date would depend on the timing of events to launch the two venues, he added.

“By 2021 all our stadiums will be ready,” he said.

AFP

FIFA To Ensure Iran Allows Women Fans Into Match

FIFA President Gianni Infantino/ AFP

 

FIFA will send a delegation to Tehran to make sure women fans are admitted to the World Cup qualifying match between Iran and Cambodia on October 10.

Former French World Cup winner Youri Djorkaeff told AFP on Thursday that he would be part of the delegation.

“Iran is a hot topic and I am organising myself to be there on October 10,” Djorkaeff said.

It was his first interview since his appointment a week ago as Chief Executive Officer of the FIFA Foundation, whose objectives include making football more accessible to women in the Middle East.

The presence of a delegation is important “to show that FIFA intervened there with conviction,” said the former midfielder.

On Sunday, Gianni Infantino, president of the governing body of world football, said he had been “assured” by Iran that women could attend the match.

There had been calls to ban Iran from international competitions following the death of a female fan, Sahar Khodayari, who set herself on fire following her arrest for trying to enter a stadium.

Iranian women have been banned from stadiums since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, with religious leaders arguing that they must be protected from the “male atmosphere” and the “sight of half-naked men”.

While a small number of women have been allowed to attend international matches in recent years, others have been prosecuted for going to games in other competitions.

AFP

FIFA Reduces Players’ Loan Per Club To Eight

FIFA Bans Ex-Zambian Football Chief Bwalya Over Bribery Allegations
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FIFA has agreed steps that will limit the number of players clubs can send out on loan from next season and will also limit the amount of money paid to agents in commissions, world football’s governing body announced on Wednesday.

In a statement, FIFA said it had taken “a series of key steps to protect the integrity of the system and prevent abuses” following a meeting of its Stakeholders Committee.

From next season, the number of international loans out and in permitted per club will be limited to eight, with that figure dropping progressively to six by the 2022/23 season. The number of players that can be loaned between the same two clubs will be capped at three.

However, the cap will only be applied to players aged over 21, or “non club-trained” players aged 21 and under.

The measures are aimed at curtailing “abusive and excessive practices”, with FIFA citing the hoarding of players by clubs and the distortion of competition when teams bring in several players on loan from a bigger club with whom they have a close relationship.

“Players’ development is suffering as they are moved from one club to another with no clear career plan. The current loan system has facilitated player hoarding with clubs putting numerous players on their books and then loaning them out to other clubs,” FIFA said in a confidential document seen by AFP.

The measures appear to be aimed at clubs such as Chelsea, who have habitually had vast numbers of players out on loan in recent seasons.

Monaco have as many as 18 players currently loaned out, including seven at Belgian side Cercle Brugge.

The recommendations will be endorsed at the upcoming FIFA Council meeting in Shanghai, scheduled for October 24.

However, they will not immediately apply to domestic loans, with the document stating that member associations will have three years in order to implement rules on a loan system “in line with FIFA principles”.

Meanwhile, in an effort to curb the amount of money going out of the game and into the pockets of agents, FIFA stakeholders also agreed to limit commissions as “conflicts of interest plague football’s transfer system”.

As a result, a selling club will not have to pay more than 10 percent of a transfer fee received to an agent acting on their behalf.

Agents representing a player will be entitled to a maximum of three percent of that player’s total remuneration and another three percent for representing the buying club.

In 2016, Mino Raiola was paid 27 million euros for his role in Paul Pogba’s transfer from Juventus to Manchester United for a then world-record fee of over 100 million euros.

The new measures are designed to limit “financial incentive of agents to engineer a possible transfer” and to create “more transparent and objective forms of remuneration”, the document stated.

“Certain measures will certainly not please some agents, but there was a consensus on these measures and there have been discussions going back more than a year,” a FIFA official told journalists at the organisation’s Zurich headquarters.

“This is an important step towards making transfers more moral.”

The measures will also be endorsed at the FIFA Council in Shanghai.

AFP

Five US Players Make FIFA Women’s World 11

 

Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe are among 5 players of the United States national team voted in the 2019 FIFA FIFPRO Women’s World 11.

Julie Ertz, Rose Lavelle and Kelly O’Hara are the three other American players who were part of the team that successfully defended its World Cup crown, this summer in France.

FIFPRO, the World Player Union, invited top female footballers worldwide to pick a team with 1 goalkeeper, 4 defenders, 3 midfielders and 3 forwards based on their performance during the 2018-2019 season. More than 3,500 female footballers in 40 countries filled in a ballot. The players with most votes in their position were selected for the World 11.

For the first time, the Women’s World 11 was presented by FIFA and FIFPRO during the Best Football Awards, this Monday at Milan’s Scala theatre.

The 2018-2019 FIFA FIFPRO Women’s World 11 is:
Player (country, last season’s team)

GOALKEEPER
Sari van Veendaal (The Netherlands, Arsenal/currently Atletico)

DEFENDERS
Lucy Bronze (England, Olympique Lyonnais)
Nilla Fischer (Sweden, VfL Wolfsburg/currently Linkopings)
Kelly O’Hara (USA, Utah Royals)
Wendie Renard (France, Olympique Lyonnais)

MIDFIELDERS
Julie Ertz (USA, Chicago Red Stars)
Amandine Henry (France, Olympique Lyonnais)
Rose Lavelle (USA, Washington Spirit)

FORWARDS
Alex Morgan (USA, Orlando Pride)
Megan Rapinoe (USA, Reign FC)
Marta Vieria (Brazil, Orlando Pride)\

MORE FIFA FIFPRO WOMEN’S WORLD 11 FACTS

This is the 4th Women’s World 11. Previous editions were presented by FIFPRO in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Wendie Renard is the only player to appear in all 4 World 11’s. Nilla Fischer, Marta and Alex Morgan all have three awards.

Sari van Veenendaal, Kelly O’Hara, Rose Lavelle and Megan Rapinoe received their first World 11 award.

Amandine Henry and Julie Ertz return in the World 11. They both made one other appearance, in 2015.

Six players from the previous World 11 did not receive enough votes to get re-elected: Camille Abily, Pernille Harder, Hedvig Lindahl, Dzsenifer Marozsan, Lieke Martens and Irene Paredes. Abily quit her career.

Most players picked Alex Morgan in their team: 1816. Renard is second, Rapinoe third.

USA is the country with most World 11 awards this year: 5.

The reigning World Champions are also first on the all-time list with 14 awards. 9 US players in total have received a World 11 trophy.

France is second with 9 World 11 awards and 4 different players, Germany has 5 awards and 4 players.

Olympique Lyonnais have three players in the World 11: Bronze, Henry and Renard.

Most World 11 players were under contract with a club in the USA: 6.
FIFPRO received most votes from Japan (213), followed by Venezuela, Chile, Colombia, and Sweden.

fifpro

Jailed South American Official Gets Life FIFA Ban

FIFA Bans Ex-Zambian Football Chief Bwalya Over Bribery Allegations
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Two weeks after former South American football official Juan Angel Napout was sentenced to nine years in prison by a US court for corruption, he was banned for life on Thursday by FIFA. 

Napout, at one time the head of both the Paraguayan and the South American(Conmebol) football federations and a FIFA vice president, was found guilty by a New York court in April.

On August 29, he received the longest sentence of any of the 42 accused in the ‘Fifagate’ case.

The FIFA Ethics Commission followed suit on Thursday, saying they had found Napout guilty of “corruption”.

They suspended him for life from “any football-related activity” and fined him 1 million Swiss francs (913,000 euros).

The US investigation exposed tens of millions of dollars in bribes paid by sports promotion companies to senior figures in South American soccer federations, for broadcast rights and promotional events at tournaments organised by Conmebol, including the Copa America and the Copa Libertadores.

The US court also fined Napout $1 million and ordered the 61-year-old to return the $3.3 million in bribes received.

The former boss of the Brazilian Confederation, Jose Maria Marin was sentenced to four years in prison.

AFP