Category: International

Former FIFA president named in bribery caseFormer FIFA president named in bribery case

Former President Joao Havelange and his former son-in-law Ricardo Teixeira took multi-million dollar bribes on World Cup deals, Swiss prosecutors said in a legal document released on Wednesday, dealing a fresh blow to world soccer’s ruling body.

The 96-year-old Brazilian – who was FIFA president for 24 years before Sepp Blatter took the role in 1998 – pocketed at least 1.5million Swiss francs, while FIFA executive committee member Ricardo Teixeira at least 12.74million Swiss francs in payments from World Cup marketing partner ISL.

FIFA’s discredited Swiss-based marketing partner collapsed in 2001 with debts of around $300 million.

Havelange was instrumental in bringing the Olympics to Rio de Janeiro and to South America for the first time when in 2009 the IOC elected the city as the 2016 host.

He is the former father-in-law of Teixeira, who recently resigned as head of Brazilian football and as chief of Brazil’s organising committee for the 2014 World Cup following a spate of corruption allegations.

Harry Kewell quits Melbourne VictoryHarry Kewell quits Melbourne Victory

Kewell was close to signing a new two-year contract but made the stunning decision to reject Victory’s offer for family reasons.

The footballer, who rushed to England after Australia’s World Cup qualifier against Japan in Brisbane, made the decision in the last few days, blindsiding the club and the star’s management.

Victory confirmed on Sunday the shock announcement that Kewell has played his last game for the A-League club.

“It was one of the toughest decisions we’ve had to make,” Kewell said in a statement issued by his management.

I enjoyed playing for Victory and living in Melbourne, but family comes first and together we made a decision that it was best for us to remain close to our family at this time.”

Christian Obodo was released by kidnappersChristian Obodo was released by kidnappers

Nigerian international Christian Obodo was yesterday evening released by his captors in southeastern state of Delta.

Obodo who was in Nigeria to visit his family was driving alone in an area called Effurun in southeastern Delta State on Saturday morning when some unknown gunmen abducted him.

Abductors of the soccer star who was kidnapped in southeastern state of Delta on Saturday had initially demanded a ransom of €150, 000 , according to a family source.

But upon release, neither the soccer star’s family nor security officials were willing to reveal how much the kidnappers were paid before freeing their captor.

David Beckham still on Olympic listDavid Beckham still on Olympic list

David Beckham’s dream of Olympic participation was given a boost after he was included in Britain’s 35-man squad.

The announcement of Stuart Pearce’s final 18-man squad will be made on July 6 and Beckham, if confirmed in the final squad, would appear as one of three permitted overage players.

Ryan Giggs, Craig Bellamy, Rio Ferdinand and Frank Lampard have also been mentioned as potential candidates.

Beckham’s name has been a constant though, mainly due to the influential role he played in getting the Olympics.

Manchester United to play friendly in South AfricaManchester United to play friendly in South Africa

Manchester United will play an off-season friendly in the company of South African side Ajax Cape Town, as local media reported.

The game will be held at the Cape Town Stadium, this will be first visit for the Red Devils in South African since they formed part of the Vodacom Challenge back in 2008, when they beat Kaizer Chiefs in the final.

World Cup 2014 slogan: All in one rhythmWorld Cup 2014 slogan: All in one rhythm

FIFA and Brazilian organizers announced yesterday that “All in one rhythm” will be the official slogan of the 2014 World Cup, representing the “unique flavor that Brazil will bring” to football’s showcase event.

The slogan in Portuguese is “Juntos num so ritmo.” The slogans were developed by Brazilian communications agency Aktuell and were chosen from among 26 versions proposed by six shortlisted Brazilian-based agencies.

“Football means everything to Brazilians,” said former Brazil star Ronaldo, a member of the local organizing committee. “That is why it has such potential to bring people together and be a force for good. The rhythm of football is everywhere in Brazil, uniting people both young and old and from all sections of our society.”     

Chicharito named UNICEF ambassadorChicharito named UNICEF ambassador

Mexican footballer Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, who plays for Manchester United, was named a UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) ambassador.

“When I heard that UNICEF wished to invite me to become a National Ambassador, immediately I thought: if it’s about doing something for the children of my country, I am in,” Hernandez said at his designation ceremony.

Hernandez earned the nickname, written on his jersey, from his father, Javier, a Mexican striker who played in the 1986 World Cup and was known as Chicharo, or ‘pea’, because of his green eyes.

Manchester United is the world’s most popular football clubManchester United is the world’s most popular football club

Manchester United has been identified as the world’s most popular football club by a survey carried out by a leading market research agency, Kantar.

According to the largest global football follower survey, 19-time champions Manchester United has 659 million followers worldwide.The survey gathered 54,000 respondents from 39 countries, a release stated.

In the survey, Kantar also found that football remains the world’s most popular sport, with 1.6 billion followers globally, reinforcing the results of a recent FIFA survey which produced a similar figure.

Ivory Coast appointed Sabri Lamouchi for coach jobIvory Coast appointed Sabri Lamouchi for coach job

The Ivory Coast made a surprise coaching switch on Monday, naming former France international Sabri Lamouchi as their new boss after sacking Francois Zahoui five days before their opening 2014 World Cup qualifier.

A brief statement from the Ivorian Football Federation announced the change and thanked Zahoui for his work but gave no the other details of the swift and unexpected change.

Adding to the surprise is the fact that the 40-year-old Lamouchi has no previous experience as a coach.

The former Inter Milan midfielder, who is of Tunisian descent but won 12 caps for France, has been a television pundit since ending his playing career three years ago.