Currently, a battle is going on between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, one that is affecting international football as well. There is no doubt that Saudi Arabia wants to take the World Cup away from Qatar in 2022. The “Foundation for Sports Integrity” was launched in a lavish setting in London in May with buzz words about “transparency” and “corruption” that made several participants ask about the source of the money. Two of them were Andreas Selliaas and Jan Jensen*, who have tried to track the secret backers of the new initiative. Jim Waterson of the Guardian also weighs in with additional facts. Interestingly, with regard to awarding the FIFA World Cup 2026, which was announced later in Moscow in July, Saudi Arabia backed the winning, so-called “United” bid of the United States, Canada and Mexico, while Qatar backed the Morocco bid.
Panel discussion at the FFSI conference | Andreas Selliaas
(London, Updated 28 June) – The Foundation for Sports Integrity (FFSI) was launched at the fashionable Four Seasons Hotel at Ten Trinity Square in London on 31 May. The founder of the FFSI is Jaimie Fuller, the Chairman of SKINS, one of the persons behind the initiative New FIFA Now and a familiar face to those attending Play the Game conferences.
South Korean basketball players have their identifications checked by North Korean officials upon their arrival at the Pyongyang Airport | AP
DOZENS of South Korean basketball players arrived in North Korea’s capital today for a series of games the two Koreas hope will foster a spirit of detente generated by the recent North-South summit meetings. Continue reading →
Filip Reyntjens* tells how one of the world’s poorest countries came to sponsor one of the Britain’s richest soccer teams
Arsenal FC’s new sponsor is Rwanda. Twitter/@Arsenal
Rwanda keeps surprising. Recently the Rwandan Development Board signed a sleeve sponsoring deal with London Premier League club, Arsenal. Over a three-year period, the 200 sq centimetre ad “Visit Rwanda” will cost the country USD$39 million. Continue reading →
As the 2018 World Cup frenzy starts to take over the news cycle, it is essential that we highlight examples of how the sport has brought people together, such as is the case of Celtic FC and Palestine. Celtic Football Club, a football club based in Glasgow, Scotland, has consistently shown solidarity with the Palestinian struggle.
(June 8) – In the summer of 1978, at the height of Argentina’s brutal right-wing dictatorship, the 11th FIFA World Cup took place amidst an outcry over granting legitimacy to a state that is now known to have been responsible for the disappearances of around 30,000 people. Continue reading →