Soccer News & Notes, December 7, 2010

Liverpool targets Indonesia academy
Tuesday, December 7, 2010

English Premier League club Liverpool FC is planning to set up a football academy in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta, according to local newspaper reports.

"There is a plan to establish a Liverpool Academy in Jakarta next year," Chris Wren, executive director of the British Chamber of Commerce, was quoted as saying by the Jakarta Globe. "Assuming this [visit] is successful and things go as planned, it could be under way as early as May."

In a news report sourced by The Times of India, links with the club were established as part of Liverpool’s corporate social responsibility programmes in Indonesia.

Liverpool has sent coaches to Jakarta twice this year, with former striker Ian Rush presiding over one soccer clinic in May and the club launching eight days of activities to promote football education last weekend.

Source: SoccerEx Business Daily

FIFA not considering World Cup voting system change
Submitted by Matt Cutler on Tue, 07/12/2010

FIFA, football’s world governing body, is not considering a reform of the voting system for choosing World Cup hosts despite the controversy surrounding last week’s decision for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments.

On Thursday, FIFA’s executive committee voted to award the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 tournament to Qatar, decisions that prompted complaints that politics had played a large a part in the process.
Jerome Valcke, FIFA general secretary, said: "We have not sat down to discuss a reform of the voting system. It’s not part of our discussions at the moment."

"Yes, it is a political decision," he added. "But overall, I think reactions were positive. The decision was fairly well received by football fans. It shows that football is open to the world.

"Russia is a great footballing country and deserves it. And the Middle East is part of the family of football."

Valcke also said the bidding process to chose who would stage the 2026 tournament would not take place before 2018.

Source: sportbusiness.com

FIFA’s Chuck Blazer Says Organization Must Reform Voting Process

Blazer Wants FIFA To Reconsider How It Determines World Cup Hosts Before ’26 Vote

FIFA Exec Committee member Chuck Blazer Friday said that "politics came into play in the votes to have Russia and Qatar host the World Cup and that soccer’s governing body must reconsider how it decides future tournament sites," according to the AP. Blazer, the lone American on the 24-member committee, said that "because FIFA is unlikely to choose the 2026 host for eight years, it should consider changes well before it is time to vote again." Blazer added that CONCACAF "was the biggest loser in the decision to end FIFA’s policy of rotating World Cup hosts among the continents." Blazer said, "The shame of all of it is under the rotation system, clearly ’18 would have been ours, and we gave way to lifting that system in order to provide Europe with a good opportunity and FIFA to have another European World Cup in between." Blazer added, "In the beginning of this process, I thought the executive committee was the right body to make the decision because … FIFA depends on the World Cup for all of its revenues. But in the end, because of the combination of decisions which are taken sometimes on the basis of political and other considerations, I think we may have to look at a different way of doing things in the future" (AP, 11/3). In L.A., Grahame Jones wrote under the header, "U.S. Should Be Outraged Over World Cup Vote." Jones: "Where is the fury, America? Where is the outrage that should have come from being slapped in the face and laughed at?" (L.A. TIMES, 12/5). SI.com’s Grant Wahl wrote, "Why don’t the U.S. and England bid committees stand up to FIFA? Why can’t U.S. Soccer follow the lead of England bid chief Andy Anson and say it shouldn’t bid again until FIFA has more transparency?" (SI.com, 12/3).

WRONG REACTION? President Obama, when asked Thursday about the decision to award the ’22 Cup to Qatar, said, "I think it was the wrong decision." In Chicago, Philip Hersh wrote Obama’s reaction "smacked of the attitude — a combination of entitlement, superiority and sour grapes — that has made the United States terra non grata in the international sports world." Hersh: "Couldn’t the President simply have congratulated Qatar on its historic triumph while expressing disappointment the U.S. bid had failed? What he actually said, effectively belittling Qatar with a wrong-headed answer, can do future U.S. bids for the World Cup no good, as the people who vote for these things have long memories" (CHICAGOTRIBUNE.com, 12/3). ESPN.com’s Jeff Bradley wrote, "The American soccer family needs to once again come to the realization that this sport is as much about heartbreak as it is about victory celebrations. … The game’s not going anywhere but forward in the U.S." (ESPN.com, 12/3).

ENGLAND ACTS OUT: The GUARDIAN’s Owen Gibson reported acting FA Chair Roger Burden "will not take the job full-time in protest at the ‘night of the long knives’ in Zurich that left England’s 2018 World Cup bid in tatters with only two votes." Burden "lashed out" at FIFA and its decision-making process "amid signs that the catastrophic outcome for the bid could spiral into yet another crisis for the FA, which has been without a full-time chairman since Lord Triesman was forced to resign in April." Burden wrote in a letter to the FA board, "I had applied for the position of chairman. I recognise that an important part of the role is liaison to FIFA, our global governing body. I am not prepared to deal with people whom I cannot trust and I have withdrawn my candidacy" (GUARDIAN, 12/4). In London, Henry Winter reports the FA "will contact FIFA about implementing a ‘sensible reform’ of the World Cup bidding process but has dismissed any possibility of a breakaway from the global governing body." The FA also "intends toning down its toxic criticism of FIFA’s executive committee officials." The FA "will talk to" Anson "about his repeated attacks on FIFA in the wake of Thursday’s humiliating loss." There is "growing awareness within Wembley circles that Anson’s excoriation of FIFA risks longer-term damage to England’s low reputation in Zurich’s eyes" (London TELEGRAPH, 12/6). The LONDON TIMES’ Ashling O’Connor reports the FA also "plans an internal review of its governance structures in the new year." The review "would run in parallel with a parliamentary inquiry into the management of the national game and would take place after the appointment of the FA’s new chairman" (LONDON TIMES, 12/6).

Source: sportsbusinessdaily.com

Houston signs "Greenstar" shirt sponsorship
Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Major League Soccer (MLS)’s Houston Dynamo has signed a five-year shirt sponsorship deal with Greenstar Recyling worth a reported $12.7 million.

The Greenstar shirt deal replaces a four-year jersey sponsorship by Amigo Energy that was valued at between $1.5 million and $2 million.

MLS sponsorship values have been on the rise since 2007, when a rule limiting shirt sponsorships to the backs of jerseys in national advertising packages was rescinded.

According to the Houston Chronicle, Greenstar will also be the first founding partner of a new stadium scheduled to open in the spring of 2012. Ground-breaking for the stadium is to set to start in January 2011.

Source: SoccerEx Business Daily

England’s Football Association calls for FIFA World Cup changes
Submitted by Matt Cutler on Mon, 06/12/2010

Alex Horne, general secretary of the English Football Association (FA), has called on FIFA to introduce a spending limit on World Cup bids and earlier elimination rounds during the voting process.

England lost out in the race for the 2018 tournament on Thursday after gathering only two of 22 first-preference votes. The England bid’s three-year bid campaign is understood to have cost around £15 million.

"I think the process could have sensible reform," Horne told BBC Radio 5 live yesterday. "For example, for nine bidders to go all the way to Zurich may not be strictly necessary."

"I think there are other ways of looking at the process, not just bidding one year at a time. There could be pre-elimination rounds or criteria," he added.

Over the weekend acting FA chairman Roger Burden withdrew his application for the permanent post over England’s World Cup bid failure, saying "the role entails liaising with FIFA and I want nothing more to do with them."

Source: sportbusiness.com

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