Sepp Blatter's top FIFA aide is focus of reported $10-million payment

Sports / Soccer /

FIFA sent out a surprising news release early Monday, saying that its secretary general, Jerome Valcke, would not be attending a women's World Cup news conference Thursday in Vancouver, Canada, because he had to attend to matters at FIFA's headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland.

A few hours later, the New York Times explained what those matters ...Read more

Soccer's corruption scandal could undermine shining moment for US

Sports / Soccer /

In the spring of 2014, international soccer officials made a historic announcement -- Copa America, one of the world's oldest and most-prestigious tournaments, was coming to the U.S. for the first time.

American officials saw the choice as validation of the game's continued growth in this country. The Rose Bowl and other venues quickly jumped ...Read more

FIFA President defends his reputation, downplays corruption investigation

Sports / Soccer /

ZURICH, Switzerland--FIFA President Sepp Blatter on Saturday faced the media for the first time since his organization was engulfed by a corruption scandal and fiercely defend his reputation.

"This is your stand that we are not changing," he said to a reporter who questioned whether culture of the world soccer organization was corrupt. "You ...Read more

FIFA to monitor Israeli and Palestinian soccer; bid to suspend Israel dropped

Sports / Soccer /

ZURICH -- FIFA on Friday agreed to monitor Israeli and Palestinian soccer after Palestinians dropped a bid to suspend Israel from the international association, part of a compromise that followed some tense moments.

The Palestinian Football Association had introduced a motion to suspend Israel from FIFA because it said the country was not ...Read more

Sepp Blatter vows FIFA reforms as dramatic presidential vote looms

Sports / Soccer /

ZURICH, Switzerland -- FIFA held its annual Congress on Friday, with President Sepp Blatter and other leaders vowing reform but announcing no fundamental change in the global soccer group's oversight structure?.

Blatter opened the session by acknowledging the scandal in which 14 people, the majority of them current or former FIFA officials, ...Read more

Miami company at the center of soccer scandal

Sports / Soccer /

MIAMI -- The Miami branch of a Brazilian conglomerate ruled the lucrative soccer media market on two continents -- largely, federal authorities say, because it also paid out the richest bribes to the sport's top officials.

The Traffic Group -- founded by Jose Hawilla, who secretly pleaded guilty to corruption charges late last year -- is at the...Read more

FIFA balance of power tips from Sepp Blatter to outraged sponsors

Sports / Soccer /

Sepp Blatter's days are numbered. And that number may not be a big one.

After 17 years atop sport's most lucrative, powerful and seemingly corrupt organization, FIFA's anachronistic president was dealt a major blow this week when the U.S. Department of Justice unsealed a 47-count indictment that painted soccer's global governing body as a ...Read more

With the world's eyes on FIFA, Sepp Blatter vows regain trust of fans

Sports / Soccer /

ZURICH -- A day after 18 individuals and two companies were named in connection with a wide-ranging corruption scandal that rocked world soccer, FIFA President Sepp Blatter vowed to help officials root out wrongdoing "from top to bottom," and regain the trust of fans worldwide.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of FIFA's annual meeting, where ...Read more

CONCACAF names new president, adds executive committee

Sports / Soccer /

A day after being rocked with indictments of several of its top officials and allegations of massive corruption and bribery, the Miami Beach-based Confederation of North, Central America and the Caribbean Football Association (CONCACAF) announced Thursday that it had dismissed president Jeffrey Webb and vice president Eduardo Li and named senior...Read more

Putin says FIFA scandal 'not our business,' alleges US meddling

Sports / Soccer /

Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied any connection with the bribery scandal afflicting the world soccer organization FIFA, claiming the allegations of inappropriate influence in choosing venues for the next championships are the result of Western "pressure" to move the 2018 games out of Russia.

Calls mounted Thursday for FIFA President ...Read more

South African official denies $10 million bribe to secure 2010 FIFA World Cup

Sports / Soccer /

JOHANNESBURG -- South African Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula on Thursday vehemently denied allegations that South Africa bribed FIFA officials with $10 million to secure soccer's World Cup in 2010, and accused the United States of going "beyond its borders" by indicting 14 people, including FIFA officials, on corruption charges.

Meanwhile, one ...Read more

FIFA scandal had origins in hotel room

Sports / Soccer /

The scandal that rocked international soccer Wednesday may have gotten its start four years ago in a conference room at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Trinidad, where officials attending a meeting of the Caribbean soccer union were handed envelopes containing $40,000 in cash.

They gathered to hear a pitch from a candidate running to replace Sepp ...Read more

Legal case against soccer officials appears strong

Sports / Soccer /

WASHINGTON -- Using multiple inside informants and sophisticated financial tracking techniques first developed for drug transactions, federal prosecutors in New York have presented a powerful indictment of world soccer that may reach even higher into the world's most popular sport.

The 165-page indictment unsealed Wednesday is remarkably ...Read more

Latin America hails FIFA indictments that hit long-serving soccer bosses

Sports / Soccer /

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador -- A sprawling U.S. criminal probe into the "World Cup of fraud" within global soccer touched hard on Latin America and the Caribbean and made clear that many disgusted fans were hungering for a housecleaning.

Hardly anyone came to the defense of the busted soccer federation bosses, who came from Argentina, Brazil, the...Read more

Despite FIFA bribery scandal, soccer's popularity still high in Europe

Sports / Soccer /

ATHENS, Greece -- European soccer fans reacted with a mix of satisfaction and world-weariness to the news Wednesday that top officials of FIFA, the world sport's governing body, had been indicted on corruption charges.

"I'm delighted this happened. It's been appalling to see people die because FIFA wrongly handed Qatar the World Cup," said John...Read more

FIFA soccer officials charged in long-running global corruption scheme

Sports / Soccer /

WASHINGTON -- Law enforcement officials have thrown some serious red cards at the world soccer organization, charging nine top FIFA officials and five corporate executives with conspiracy and corruption for actions that span several decades.

In a 47-count indictment unsealed early Wednesday morning, U.S. prosecutors charged the defendants with ...Read more

FIFA says it won't re-vote for 2018, 2022 World Cup sites

Sports / Soccer /

Hours after nine FIFA members and five corporate executives tied to soccer's governing body were indicted on corruption charges, FIFA announced it would not hold a re-vote on its 2018 and 2022 World Cup host nations.

FIFA spokesman Walter De Gregorio told reporters during a news conference Wednesday in Zurich that "Russia and Qatar will be ...Read more

Bribes, money laundering and the World Cup: What happens now with FIFA?

Sports / Soccer /

The U.S. Justice Department unveiled indictments Wednesday morning against 14 high-ranking officials with FIFA, world soccer's governing body, who face charges of racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering following a three-year FBI investigation.

The indictment names 14 people, some of whom were arrested Wednesday morning in Zurich by Swiss...Read more

FIFA leaders held in U.S. corruption probe

Sports / Soccer /

LOS ANGELES--The U.S. Justice Department is expected to bring federal corruption charges against as many as 14 high-ranking members of world soccer's governing body Wednesday, following a three-year FBI investigation that could cripple Sepp Blatter's run for a fifth term as FIFA president.

According to CNN, an indictment against the FIFA ...Read more

Mayors embrace UM joining David Beckham in stadium push

Sports / Soccer /

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado on Friday embraced a new push by soccer star David Beckham for a Miami stadium, saying a central role by the University of Miami would be helpful as the school seeks a new home for its football games.

"I think that it's a good idea-- and it's something I brought up to the Beckham ...Read more