The reported effort by the state-run Saudi Public Investment Fund to buy the Newcastle United football club has prompted an opposition campaign by human rights organizations.
A general view outside St James’ Park on March 14, 2020, as the Premier League is suspended due to the number of coronavirus cases growing around the world | REUTERS/Scott Heppell.
By Neil Curry
(April 29) – It’s been more than six weeks since a soccer ball was last kicked in the English Premier League (EPL). Liverpool FC and its star Egyptian striker and folk hero Mo Salah had been within a whisker of securing the championship title when the gates to stadiums were locked following the novel coronavirus outbreak. With the terraces empty, and millions of football fans around the world lamenting the loss of their beloved game, passions have been redirected to competition off the pitch. Continue reading
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.
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
Qatar’s Marko Bagaric from Bulgaria, left, tries to score past France’s Ludovic Fabregas during the men’s preliminary handball match between France and Qatar at the 2016 Summer Olympics on Tuesday in Rio de Janeiro | Ben Curtis/AP
By TONY SEED
August 10, updated August 19, 2016
Of the some 11,000 athletes competing in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, an unknown number are competing for medal-hungry countries that are not their birth nation. At least 23 of Qatar’s 39 member team at Rio were born outside of Qatar and transplanted – recruited in many cases with the offer of financial inducements. The Canadian Olympic team also features a number of plastic or transfer athletes recruited through the “Own The Podium” program of private big capital for support and funding on the basis that they are “winners” and “America’s best who happen to have some kind of Canadian connection.” Such developments, all in the name of high ideals, should be of concern to Canadians.
Systemic corruption is quite common among the world’s political, financial, and economic power-brokers. Every other political, financial, and economic entity in the US is entangled in some form of systemic corruption, including professional sports leagues and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA); yet the US has not pursued violators from those entities. Above all, what is suspicious about the US intervention into FIFA politics is that whenever the US intervenes internationally, claiming to be concerned about democracy, good governance, and/or human rights, that intervention proves to be duplicitous. Professor GEORGE WRIGHT* on the US-dictated Anglo-American/UEFA alliance. Continue reading
By JAMES M DORSEY*
A planned anti-Qatari protest ahead of a match between Chelsea and Manchester United, the first major fan demonstration against the 2022 World Cup host, and the imminent publication of a Sunday Times book documenting Qatari political interference in world soccer body FIFA’s 2011 presidential election that returned Sepp Blatter to office at the behest of the FIFA president casts a shadow over next month’s FIFA election and is likely to renew debate about the integrity of the Qatari bid.
By John Leicester, Associated Press
(March 24) PARIS — Accusing it of practising “modern slavery,” a French campaign group has filed a legal complaint against construction giant Vinci for grave mistreatment of migrant workers in Qatar, the host country of the 2022 World Cup.
Jassim Bin Hamad stadium in Doha, Qatar | Reuters/Fadi Al-Assaad
Temperatures in Qatar can reach 40C between May and September, although a date for the World Cup has still not been set in 2022. Qatar is one of the main funders of terrorist gangs in Syria.
teleSUR (Nov. 5) – The International Federation of Professional Footballers (FIFPro) concluded its General Assambley in Tokyo Wednesday, with the players saying holding the 2022 World Cup in the Qatari summer represents a huge health risk for players. Continue reading
Blatter announces Qatar
A FIFA task force held a meeting Monday, at FIFA headquarters in Zurich, to discuss the options for the 2018-2024 international match calendar, and more specifically, they discussed over when should the Qatar 2022 World Cup take place. Continue reading