Oct 112018
Faisal vows to make PFF statues in accordance with FIFA

LAHORE: Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) President Faisal Saleh Hayat has expressed his gratitude to FIFA and AFC for extending their mandate and vows to make it accordance with FIFA statues till 2020.In an interview with The News Faisal termed FIFA MA Committee decision ‘a right step in the right direction’ which will help promote and flourish football in Pakistan. “Pakistan football has suffered immensely due to third party interference over past three years causing massive damage. We are now in the process of rehabilitating those damages and need active and full support of FIFA and AFC. The youth of Pakistan is passionate about football and plans are already afoot to bring those motivated youth in the framework of our activities.”The PFF chief said that the infrastructure – they had started to build in the form of ‘Goal Projects’ – has suffered huge blows due to the previous government-backed occupiers over last three years. “FIFA and AFC cooperation with the PFF is vital for the growth of the game in Pakistan, when the government support is lacking and resources are scarce.”He said that PFF is embarking upon a phased ambitious plan involving clubs at all levels to enhance the technical and qualitative skills of players, coaches, referees, technicians and related officials.“We have planned a comprehensive system for international competitive matches for our national teams both senior and youth including women and the main aim is to promote the skill development at every level.”Recently, the FIFA MA Committee has extended the PFF [Read More…]

Oct 092018
Sierra Leone files appeal against FIFA suspension

FREETOWN: Sierra Leone has appealed against its suspension by world football’s top body on charges of government interference.After a crisis meeting on Monday with the government, the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) sent a letter to FIFA asking it to lift the suspension so that the country can play Ghana in looming qualifiers for the Africa Cup of Nations.It said it would dispatch a delegation to FIFA headquarters in Zurich for talks. The West African nation was rocked last week when FIFA suspended it for government interference. The bustup is rooted in a move by the country’s anti-corruption commission to sack SLFA president Isha Johansen and general secretary Christopher Kamara during an ongoing probe into corruption and mismanagement.The meeting on Monday took place in State House, the official residence of President Julius Maada Bio, in the capital Freetown, ministers said.“(The) government met with Isha and (her) secretary general so as to commence the mediation process for the lifting of the FIFA ban,” Sports Minister Ibrahim Nyelenkeh told AFP.“We want FIFA to reverse the suspension to enable us (to) participate in a CAF pending game with Ghana this month,” he said. “We are very hopeful that FIFA will lift the suspension after our mediation process.” The letter to FIFA, seen by AFP, carried the SLFA letterhead and was signed by Johansen, although it was unclear whether she had been reinstated to her job. On September 20, her deputy, Brima Mazola Kamara, had said that he had replaced her.In addition, Nyelenkeh said [Read More…]

Oct 082018
FIFA extends PFF?s mandate till 2020

LAHORE: FIFA, world football’s ruling body, has extended the mandate of Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) till March 2020.The FIFA Committee, at its meeting, after taking into account all relevant factors took this decision the other day. The PFF has been informed through a letter written by the FIFA Secretary General. The elections of PFF will be held after meeting certain requirements.“The committee has also deliberated on the situation of Pakistan while giving due importance to the recent past happenings in the honourable courts of Pakistan. The committee took note of the two decisions issued by the Supreme Court of Pakistan on the situation of the PFF,” the letter said“The committee was also informed about the visit of the PFF President Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat, to the Home of FIFA in Zurich. In this regard, it was briefed in detail on the contents of your earlier letter. especially with regard to the PFF’s request on the extension of the tenure of the PFF executive committee and the proposed roadmap,” FIFA Letter added.In particular, the committee noted that the PFF Statutes need to be aligned with the requirements of FIFA and the FIFA statutes as well as that the clubs eligible to participate in the electoral process have to be scrutinised. Based on the aforementioned, the committee decided that the PFF needs to revise its statutes in order to align them with the requirements of FIFA and the FIFA statutes and in parallel, carry out the scrutiny of the clubs.“Once these [Read More…]

Dec 292017
Top athletes who bid farewell to their careers in 2017

As the year ends, we take a look at some athletes who hung up their boots but not before leaving an indelible mark in the world of sport they belonged to and inspiring generations of their fans to live their dreams.  Gianluigi Buffon Gianluigi Buffon after losing at the end of the FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon called time on his 20-year, 175-cap international career after Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup 2018 in a major heartbreak for the football-loving nation.  Buffon, who made his Italy debut in October 1997, was one of the driving forces behind his country’s run to the 2006 World Cup title, where he didn’t concede a single goal to opponents in regulation time over the course of seven matches – letting in only an own-goal by Cristian Zaccardo and a penalty by Zinedine Zidane in the final against France.  The goalkeeper helped Parma to the UEFA Cup title back in 1999, and has since won eight Serie A titles with Juventus, including the last six. Xavi  Xavi said he would retire at the end of the season  Barcelona legend Xavi revealed in November his intention to retire from football and said he will hang up his boots in 2018. The four-time Champions League and World Cup winner has planned an immediate transition into coaching. Frank Lampard Frank Lampard called it quits after a 13-year run with Chelsea English footballer Frank Lampard called it quits in February 2017, after a 13-year run with [Read More…]

Dec 262017
NY jury acquits former Peru soccer boss in FIFA trial

Former president of Peruvian Football Federation Manuel Burga — one of three defendants in the FIFA corruption trial — walks outside the United States Federal Court in Brooklyn, New York, US, December 26, 2017. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz NEW YORK: A US jury acquitted a “thrilled” Peruvian former soccer boss at the FIFA corruption trial on Tuesday, allowing him to jet home while two convicted co-defendants await sentencing from behind bars. The panel cleared 60-year-old Manuel Burga — a former head of Peru’s soccer federation and ex-FIFA development committee member — on one count of racketeering conspiracy on the seventh day of deliberations in New York. The jury returned the verdict following the Christmas holiday after convicting Jose Maria Marin, former head of Brazil’s Football Confederation and Juan Angel Napout, former head of Paraguayan football on Friday. They were previously deadlocked on Burga. The Peruvian was arrested in 2015, when the United States unveiled the largest graft scandal in world soccer, indicting 42 officials and marketing executives, as well as the sports company Traffic, with corruption crimes totalling more than $200 million. But more than two and a half years later, a bribery trial opened in a Brooklyn federal court with only three defendants in the dock — one of whom now walks free. While the extraordinary trial exposed systemic corruption at the heart of the world’s most popular sport, US federal prosecutors’ case against Burga was considered weak. Prosecutors themselves conceded that he never received bribery money, despite contending he agreed [Read More…]

Dec 222017
Two ex-South American soccer officials convicted in FIFA bribery case

The former respective heads of the Paraguayan Football Association (PFA) and the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) Juan Angel Napout (L) and Jose Maria Marin (R) — the defendants in the FIFA corruption trial — arrive at US Federal Court in Brooklyn, New York, US, December 22, 2017. REUTERS/Stephen Yang A New York jury on Friday found two former South American soccer officials guilty of taking bribes in exchange for the award of valuable marketing and media rights to international matches, the first trial verdicts in a US probe of world soccer’s governing body FIFA. Juan Angel Napout of Paraguay, former head of South American governing body CONMEBOL, and former Brazilian soccer chief Jose Maria Marin were convicted of corruption charges brought by US prosecutors in 2015. Marin was found guilty of six counts, including racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracy. The jury cleared him on another count of money laundering conspiracy. Napout was found guilty on three counts, including racketeering conspiracy and wire fraud conspiracy. He was cleared on two counts of money laundering conspiracy. The jury did not reach a verdict in the case against Manuel Burga, former president of the Peruvian soccer federation, and the judge said the jury should return on Tuesday to deliberate. The three men were the first to stand trial on charges brought by US prosecutors in 2015 as part of investigations that shook up FIFA. “We are obviously disappointed but will continue to seek justice for our client,” Marin’s lawyer, Charles [Read More…]

Dec 222017
Man City signs 2nd FIFA eSports player

LONDON: Manchester City on Friday announced the signing of FIFA eSports player Marcus “ExpectSporting” Jorgensen, who will represent the club around the world on the PlayStation 4 (PS4) console. Jorgensen, 18, becomes the Premier League leaders’ second eSports signing, following Xbox player Kieran “Kez” Brown, who joined the club in 2016. Marcus enjoyed a successful 2017, becoming the inaugural champion at the FIFA Interactive Club World Cup, beating competitors from top European football clubs, and also reaching the FIFA Interactive World Cup Grand Final in London. “I’m extremely happy to be stepping into the next chapter of my eSports career with Manchester City,” said Jorgensen. “2017 represented such a successful season for me and I have the drive and ambition to take my game to the next level.”Nuria Tarre, chief marketing officer for City Football Group, said: “We’re really excited to be signing Marcus to represent Manchester City in tournaments and fan events around the world. He has already demonstrated that he can compete amongst the best eSports FIFA players around so we can’t wait to see how he progresses.” Jorgensen will represent City for the first time at the FUT Champions Cup from January 26 to 28 January in Barcelona. His appointment takes the number of eSports players signed to City Football Group clubs, including New York City and Melbourne City, to five. Participation in eSports has soared as virtual games gain traction with a worldwide fan audience.

Dec 202017
FIFA halves doping sanction for Peru footballer to 6 months

LIMA: FIFA has cut its doping-related sanction of Peru’s football captain Paolo Guerrero to a six-month suspension, half its previous year-long ban that would have kept him from playing in the country’s first return to the World Cup in more than three decades, Guerrero’s lawyer said on Wednesday. Speaking in a broadcast interview on local TV channel Canal N, attorney Pedro Fida said his legal team would continue to work to absolve him. Earlier this month, FIFA banned Guerrero for one year for failing an anti-doping test for cocaine.

Nov 282017
FIFA will not tolerate racism at 2018 World Cup

FIFA president Gianni Infantino has said racism will not be tolerated at next year’s World Cup in Russia, adding that referees will have the power to stop or even abandon matches if discriminatory incidents take place. Several players, including Brazil and former Zenit St Petersburg forward Hulk, have voiced concerns that racism could mar the tournament, saying such incidents are a regular feature of domestic league games in the country. Infantino said in a video statement that anti-discrimination was a “high priority” for FIFA, and that the organisation would deal with offences firmly. “We’ll make sure that no incidents will happen and… we have for the first time in a World Cup the so-called, three-step procedure where a referee can stop a game or even abandon a game if there are discriminatory or racist incidences,” he added. “We will be very, very firm on that so we can expect fair play in Russia.” Infantino, who was elected FIFA president in February of last year, also said technology would play a big role at the tournament, although a final decision on using video assistant referees (VARs) would only be taken next year. VAR, which involves officials watching the action remotely and drawing the match referee’s attention to officiating mistakes or missed serious incidents, is already in use in the top-flight leagues of Germany and Italy. “I think it is absolutely normal that in 2018 we can explore and see how we can help the referee and the team to take the [Read More…]

Nov 212017
POA should consult FIFA in a bid to resolve soccer issue: Aqil

KARACHI: Pakistan Olympic Association’s (POA) vice-president and former senator Syed Aqil Shah on Tuesday said that the government should take initiative to ask POA to consult FIFA in a bid to resolve football issue in the country.“I will tell you that it’s the time the government takes an initiative to ask POA to talk to FIFA so that the issue could be resolved,” Shah told ‘The News’ from Peshawar in exclusive talks.He was quick to add that in case of any sports dilemma in the country the concerned NOC should be consulted.“It’s the NOC which is affiliated with the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The IOC talks to the NOCs and federations and not to any other. And you know football is an Olympic sport and FIFA is its international body. The POA can talk to FIFA. So there is a procedure and that should be adopted,” Shah added.FIFA has suspended Pakistan last month for the third party’s interference. And it has also left a stiff message that unless Pakistan Football Federation’s (PFF) headquarters in Lahore and its accounts are handed over to the federation suspension would not be lifted.On the other hand the matter is in the Lahore High Court (LHC) and a hearing in this regard would also be held on Wednesday (today).Because of the conflict between the PFF and its rival group football has seen a long lay-off as since April 2015 Pakistan neither toured abroad, nor it could hold its Premier League which is considered the major [Read More…]