Soccer News & Notes, December 1, 2010

Oceania Football Confederation loses World Cup vote
Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) will forgo its World Cup votes at tomorrow’s FIFA Executive Committee meeting now that suspended president Reynald Temarii have vowed to fight his one-year ban.

Temarri had been caught in a newspaper sting operation that appeared to show the OFC official promising to deliver a World Cup vote in return for funding of a football academy in New Zealand.

But Temarii has now stated in a letter released by the OFC that he will appeal against the ruling: "I decided not to waive this fundamental right to restore my honor, dignity and integrity following the calumnious accusations I suffered," he said.

The OFC also confirmed that Acting OFC President David Chung "will not be able to replace Mr Temarii on the FIFA Executive until such time as the appeal process has concluded."

The decision means that there be will be 22 instead of 24 FIFA ExCom votes up for grabs. Former ExCom member Amos Adamu of Nigeria was banned for three years following the same Sunday Times investigation.

Source: SoccerEx Business Daily

CLINTON, OBAMA BACK WORLD CUP BID IN FINAL PRESENTATION TO FIFA

The U.S. and four other ’22 World Cup bid groups gave their final presentations to FIFA today in Switzerland ahead of tomorrow’s vote on the site. President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton weighed in, with Obama in a taped video message saying the U.S. would be an "excellent host." Clinton, appearing in person, said, "You won’t have to worry about construction deadlines or ticket sales" (AFP, 12/1). The U.S. presentation opened with actor Morgan Freeman saying that the U.S. is the "world’s most diverse country," and Clinton "later built on that theme"
(AP, 12/1).

Qatar’s bid attempted to "assuage concerns about its heat, emphasizing the tiny Gulf Kingdom’s role in the heart of the Middle East and football’s power to unite" (WORLDFOOTBALLINSIDER.com, 12/1). Japan said that if it hosts the event, it will "beam games to stadiums around the planet using revolutionary 3-D technology" (AP, 12/1). South Korea "highlighted the prospect of peace and a united Korea" (AP, 12/1). Actors Hugh Jackman and Elle Macpherson backed Australia’s bid, which "aimed to assure FIFA it could have a profitable and secure tournament in the only continent never to host" the event (AP, 12/1).

Source: www.sportsbusinessdaily.com

FIFA Corruption Casts A Shadow Over Thursday’s World Cup Voting

Continued allegations of corruption involving top FIFA officials have "called into question the integrity of Thursday’s votes that will decide the host countries" for the ’18 and ’22 World Cups, the latter of which is being sought by the U.S., according to Jere Longman of the N.Y. TIMES. The Swiss chapter of anticorruption organization Transparency Int’l has "called for the votes to be postponed until ‘full light is shed’ on a spate of recent bribery allegations published and broadcast by European news media." FIFA, which is based in Zurich and will host tomorrow’s vote in the Swiss city, has given "no indication that it would delay" the voting (N.Y. TIMES, 12/1). In DC, Steve Goff notes allegations that two FIFA officials "tried to sell their votes" are "casting a large shadow over the vote." While those two officials have been suspended, "others have also been accused of unethical behavior" (WASHINGTON POST, 12/1). Russia Minister of Sport Vitaly Mutko, Chair of the country’s bid for the ’18 World Cup and one of 22 FIFA Exec Committee members scheduled to vote, said yesterday that if the "Spain-Portugal bid wins for 2018 and Qatar wins for 2022 there will be questions of whether the vote was fixed because of the unproved allegations of an alliance between those two bids." Mutko said, "We do not support any alliances or collusion. We would like that not to happen" (WSJ.com, 11/30).

Clinton Among U.S. Dignitaries In Zurich Lobbying For ’22 Bid

CASEY AT THE BAT: Former President Bill Clinton and WMG Chair & CEO Casey Wasserman flew last night to Zurich to join the delegation and lend support for the U.S. Bid Committee lobbying to bring the ’22 World Cup to the U.S. Clinton, a long time friend of Wasserman, has been very public about his support for the U.S. to host the World Cup. Clinton and Wasserman are expected to arrive on Wasserman’s plane in Zurich in time for tomorrow’s vote by FIFA, a source said. A spokesperson for Wasserman declined to comment on Wasserman’s or Clinton’s private travel plans. The U.S. is competing to host the event in ’22 against Australia, Japan, Qatar and South Korea. Clinton is the honorary Chair of the bid committee and Wasserman is one of the committee’s board members. L.A. is one of 18 U.S. cities that could host ’22 World Cup matches, and the multi-purpose stadium Wasserman is working with AEG to develop in downtown L.A. could become a host site for those World Cup games. Wasserman joined the board of the U.S. Bid Committee for the FIFA World Cup long before concrete plans for a downtown L.A. NFL stadium surfaced in the media (Mullen & Mickle, SportsBusiness Journal). Clinton, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, USSF President Sunil Gulati, Galaxy F Landon Donovan and actor Morgan Freeman were expected to be part of the bid’s final presentation to FIFA’s Exec Committee (AP, 11/29).

TOP OF THE TABLE: REUTERS

Mike Collett reported a confidential report prepared for FIFA by consulting firm McKinsey contends that World Cups held in England (’18) and the U.S. (’22) would "meet all of FIFA’s projected revenue targets and deliver bigger profits to world soccer’s governing body than any of their competitors." McKinsey awarded both England and the U.S. "an unbeatable overall 100 percent rating." FIFA commissioned the firm to "analyse each bid across five key revenue streams: sponsorship, ticketing, hospitality, licensing and media rights" (REUTERS, 11/30). In Newark, Frank Giase wrote it is "clear England, which hasn’t hosted a World Cup since 1966, and the United States are the frontrunners, but nothing is certain, and there is always the possibility of an anti-U.S. backlash despite the record revenue and attendance produced" at the ’94 World Cup (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 11/30). Gulati said, "Different things matter to different people. This is an election. It’s not only about the reports" (WSJ.com, 11/30).

Qatar Making A Strong Case To Host ’22 Event, Largely Due To Financial Strengths

STIFF COMPETITION: In Philadelphia, Kerith Gabriel notes while "many experts believe the U.S. is the favorite" for the ’22 World Cup, "Qatar in recent weeks has been viewed as a major competitor, promising to dump in excess of $50 billion toward building technologically advanced facilities should FIFA approve the nation of a little more than 1.69 million citizens" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 12/1). In L.A., Grahame Jones notes the "deep-pocket Qataris are the main worry" for the U.S. Qatar, which "wants the World Cup and has the financial clout to get it," already has "five extraordinary stadiums under construction" (L.A. TIMES, 12/1). FOXSPORTS.com’s Ives Galarcep noted the FIFA report on the U.S. bid indicates that "there just isn’t much FIFA can point to that’s wrong with the bid." The Australian bid is the "only other bid that makes sense as a legitimate rival," since FIFA’s study of Qatar’s bid was "rife with serious questions" about its validity and the "ability of the Arab nation to deliver what it is promising" (FOXSPORTS.com, 11/30).

A HUGE MOMENT FOR THE U.S.: SI.com’s Steve Davis noted MLS officials "recognize the spectacular growth opportunities World Cup 2022 could create for the league and domestic soccer in general." MLS Commissioner Don Garber: "If we do prevail, then between now and 2022 we will have a 12-year run that will change this league and the sport in America forever." Aside from the "boon to development of fans and players, it’s mostly about leverage." Davis: "Imagine Garber and Gulati going to the networks for contract talks. Consider their favorable place at the bargaining table as they bundled MLS and national team matches with World Cup rights" (SI.com, 11/29). Garber: "If we win, we’ll have over 10 years to work with cities, stadiums, sponsors, broadcasters and the entire soccer community to harness the whole power of the world’s most popular sporting event" (SI.com, 11/30). He added, "Clearly for us, there is nothing that we could do in the United States, whether it be our federation or Major League Soccer, that would be more important than having the World Cup here in our country" (AP, 11/30).

Source: www.sportsbusinessdaily.com

Hollywood star Morgan Freeman joins U.S. bid team
Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The USA Bid Committee has added Hollywood actor Morgan Freeman as a speaker in its FIFA Executive Committee presentation today. Freeman joins President Bill Clinton, USA Bid Committee chairman Sunil Gulati, and national team midfielder Landon Donovan for the bid committee’s final presentation to FIFA in Zurich. "We are honoured and fortunate that Morgan Freeman is joining our group on Wednesday as we make our presentation to the FIFA Executive Committee," said Sunil Gulati.

The 30- minute presentation is the United States’ last chance to show FIFA officials why the US should host the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Source: SoccerEx Business Daily

England 2018 World Cup bid tops revenue charts
Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A study commissioned by FIFA has identified England and the United States as the only nations able to meet the governing body’s revenue targets for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments, reports Bloomberg News.

The confidential report, seen by Bloomberg News, is called the "World Cup Host Candidate Report" and was prepared by McKinsey & Co to assist the FIFA Executive Committee in its decision on Thursday.

Andy Anson, CEO of England’s bid committee, was quoted by Bloomberg News highlighting the report’s findings. "FIFA have just published an economics study and England comes out way ahead of its competitors in that economic study," he said. "If you combine the technical evaluation with the economics study, we clearly have the strongest bid."

The England bid scored 100 per cent in all five sales categories, including media, sponsorship, ticketing and licensing.

Source: SoccerEx Business Daily

Serie A players confirm strike
Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Italian Serie A players are to go on strike in this season’s 16th round of games at the weekend of December 11 and 12.

The players’ union and the league have been negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement for months, but talks have come to nothing.

A strike was scheduled for September only to be cancelled as both sides agreed to enter into negotiations with a deadline of yesterday for a deal to be reached.

"We are really disappointed because we were open to negotiate and to find common ground, but no agreement has been reached," said players’ union vice president Leonardo Grosso.

The players’ main concern is what they perceive as a lack of protection when clubs try to force them into a transfer when they enter the final year of their contracts.

Source: SoccerEx Business Daily

English Premier League clubs pay 67M pounds to agents
Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The 20 clubs in the English Premier League have paid 67.1 million pounds to agents in the year to September, 3.5 million pounds less than in the previous 12 months.

Chelsea and Liverpool paid 9.2 million pounds and 9 million pounds respectively, some 3 million pounds more than the third biggest spender, Manchester City.

The figures represent a slight decrease to champions Chelsea, but a 2.4-million pound rise to Liverpool

Manchester City more than halved their spending while Manchester United increased theirs by 800,000 to 2.3 million pounds.

Blackpool, which imposed strict spending limits after being promoted, were bottom of the charts having paid just 45,000 pounds.

A total 742 transaction took place in the second year the Premier League released its clubs’ spend on agents’ fees compared to 792 one year earlier.

Source: SoccerEx Business Daily

EA Sports Signs On As Founding Partner Of Expansion MLS Whitecaps

EA Sports’ Deal With Whitecaps Marks Company’s First Agreement With North American Soccer Team

EA and the MLS Vancouver Whitecaps have formed a relationship making EA Sports a founding partner and the official video game partner of the franchise. As part of the deal, EA Sports will showcase its "FIFA Soccer" franchise through the Whitecaps, including signage, broadcast and game applications. In addition, a limited number of "FIFA Soccer 12" games will be available in British Columbia that are designed with Whitecaps branding. The deal marks EA’s first partnership with a North American soccer team, following pacts with EPL clubs Chelsea and Arsenal and Spanish La Liga club Real Madrid (EA). In Vancouver, Bruce Constantineau notes EA Sports will have "exclusive access to Whitecaps players for motion-capture technology that makes video games more realistic." EA Sports VP & GM of Soccer Matt Bilbey said that the video game manufacturer also will "use Whitecaps players, staff and fans to test early versions of its soccer products." Additionally, EA and the MLS club "expect to launch a program soon to promote the development of youth soccer locally and nationally." The Whitecaps now have three major corporate sponsors for their MLS debut in ’11 — EA, BMO and Bell (VANCOUVER SUN, 11/30).

Source: www.sportsbusinessdaily.com

FIFA ExCo members accused of bribe-taking
Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The BBC’s Panorama documentary last night aired allegations of bribe-taking involving three FIFA executive committee members set to vote next Thursday on the bids to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

The programme obtained a list of alleged kickbacks worth around $100 million paid between 1989 and 1999 by the defunct sports marketing agency International Sports and Leisure (ISL) to FIFA officials in exchange for rights deals.

Most of the 175 payments were made to companies in Liechtenstein – one of which, called Sanud, is allegedly connected to Brazilian federation and 2014 World Cup chief Ricardo Teixeira and received $9.5 million.

The names of Paraguayan Nicolas Leoz, head of the South American confederation, and Cameroon’s Issa Hayatou, president of the African governing body, appear linked to payments amounting to $600,000 and $20,000, respectively.

Moreover, according to the BBC, the initials JH alongside a $1 million sum on the list correspond to a payment to Brazil’s Joao Havelange, ex-FIFA president and former father-in-law of Ricardo Teixeira.

The England 2018 bid, which fears to be hurt by the accusations, reiterated its criticism of the timing of Panorama saying "it did nothing more than rake over a series of historical allegations none of which are relevant to the current bidding process" and that "it should be seen as an embarrassment to the BBC."

Source: SoccerEx Business Daily

Rogers Reportedly In Talks To Buy MLSE Sports Properties

Rogers Communications is "in talks to buy" the Maple Leafs, Raptors, Toronto FC and AHL Marlies for more than $1B (all figures Canadian) in "what would be the biggest transaction in Canadian sport history," according to sources cited in a front-page piece by Cribb & VanAlphen of the TORONTO STAR. Sources indicated that the asking price for the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan’s 66% share of MLSE "is in the neighbourhood of $1.3 billion." The sources noted that a deal would include "all of MLSE’s sports properties, including Leafs and Raptors TV stations, but not the company’s real estate holdings." Cribb & VanAlphen note buying a stake in MLSE "would transform Rogers, which already owns the Toronto Blue Jays, into one of the most powerful sports enterprises in North America." The "programming enticements of a deal are irresistible" to Rogers. The media conglomerate, which "already has epublishing, cable, radio and wireless interests and owns the Blue Jays baseball club, could merge Leafs and Raptors TV, add the Toronto FC games and effectively start the most powerful regional sports network in the country." Analysts contend that Rogers might be "attempting a pre-emptive move," because MLSE at the moment "is a threat to start its own powerful regional TV network" (TORONTO STAR, 12/1). The FINANCIAL POST’s Tedesco & Sturgeon cite sources as saying that OTPP is "actively shopping" MLSE, but there is "absolutely no deal" to sell a majority stake to Rogers. Sources added that the OTPP also has been "in talks with BCE Inc., which recently bought CTV," MLSE Chair Larry Tanenbaum, and "at least two potential U.S. buyers" (FINANCIALPOST.com, 12/1).

MOVING INTO SPORTS: The GLOBE & MAIL’s Perkins, Grange, Krashinsky & Marlow note Rogers has been "pushing further into sports deals." It has "already struck content deals with the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames, and recently dropped an undisclosed amount of money to purchase the naming rights to what is now known as the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, which included valuable content deals with the Vancouver Canucks." If Rogers does gain a majority stake in MLSE, the "regulatory implications are huge." Although broadcasting companies are "mandated by the CRTC to share their signals with other networks, the rules on sharing are much less clear for the actual owners and creators of the content." If Rogers owned the Maple Leafs, they "could technically deny their telecom rivals the content — or demand an enormous premium" (GLOBEANDMAIL.com, 12/1).

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1 Comment

  1. Chung misleading FIFA

    Papua New Guinea do not recognize Davcomment_ID Chung as prescomment_IDent of their football association. Nor do they also recognize his executive.

    Chung was formally replaced at the national congress of Papua New Guinea Football Association (PNGFA) held in the city of Mt Hagen on 5th July, 2008.

    Out of the 22 member associations 17 voted against him and that is the absolute majority. Effectively this ended his four (4) year term of office.

    No political influence was involved in his removal. Chung was replaced because many things done under his leadership are not right and is a cause for concern over whole of Papua New Guinea. Here are reasons for replacing CHUNG:

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