Latest FIFA news

  • Judge delays U.S. extradition request for Argentina FIFA defendants 18 hours ago

    By Hugh Bronstein BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - An Argentine judge has suspended the U.S. extradition request for Hugo and Mariano Jinkis, who are wanted as part of the FIFA graft scandal that has rocked world football over the last three months, according to court papers seen by Reuters on Thursday. The sport was thrown into turmoil in May when U.S. authorities announced an indictment saying 14 men corrupted football's world governing body by agreeing to more than $150 million (97.30 million pounds) in bribes and kickbacks for media and marketing rights. Hugo Jinkis, 70, and his son Mariano, 40, are among the current and former FIFA officials and corporate executives indicted on racketeering charges. More »

  • Barcelona's Messi wins UEFA Best Player in Europe award
    Barcelona's Messi wins UEFA Best Player in Europe award 18 hours ago

    MONACO (AP) — Lionel Messi added another individual trophy to his collection Thursday, being voted UEFA's Best Player in Europe for last season. More »

  • Judge throws out Leoz request to halt extradition to US 19 hours ago

    ASUNCION, Paraguay (AP) — A judge in Paraguay has thrown out a request that proceedings for extradition to the United States be dropped against Nicolas Leoz, the former head of the South American football confederation. More »

  • US blocks Nicaragua bid to extradite FIFA case suspect 20 hours ago

    BERN, Switzerland (AP) — The United States has blocked Nicaragua's attempt to extradite FIFA bribery case suspect Julio Rocha to his home country. More »

  • Sexwale still mulling bid for FIFA presidency
    Sexwale still mulling bid for FIFA presidency 21 hours ago

    By Brian Homewood MONACO (Reuters) - South African businessman and former political prisoner Tokyo Sexwale is still mulling whether to run for the presidency of soccer's governing body FIFA, he said on Thursday. Sexwale, currently head of FIFA's Israel-Palestine monitoring committee, announced via a spokesman at the start of this month that he was considering joining the race to replace outgoing president Sepp Blatter. "I will make my mind very, very clear in due course but obviously we are headed for a situation where FIFA is looking forward to have a new president and I will leave the matter there," he told reporters in a conference call to discuss the Israel-Palestine issue. More »

  • U.S. asks Swiss to extradite Nicaraguan in FIFA case 21 hours ago

    By Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA (Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Justice has asked Switzerland to give priority to a U.S. request to extradite former FIFA official Julio Rocha in preference to a later request from his native Nicaragua, the Swiss Justice Ministry said. Six of seven soccer officials detained in Zurich in late May remain in Swiss custody pending extradition requests from the United States to face charges in a corruption scandal that has rocked world's soccer governing body. More »

  • Sexwale 'weighing all options' about FIFA presidential race 21 hours ago

    MONACO (AP) — Touted as a potential FIFA president, Tokyo Sexwale is "weighing all options" before deciding if he will enter the governing body's election race. More »

  • Chelsea: Jose Mourinho knocks 2013 Europa League triumph in sly dig at Rafael …
    Chelsea: Jose Mourinho knocks 2013 Europa League triumph in sly dig at Rafael … Thu, Aug 27, 2015

    Jose Mourinho has claimed that Chelsea's 2013 Europa League victory under the guidance of Rafael Benitez was "not good" for the club. Real Madrid boss Benitez took over as interim manager at Stamford Bridge in November 2012 after the sacking of Roberto Di Matteo and led the club to victory in Europe's second-tier competition, along with a third-place finish in the Premier League. More »

  • Betis coach Mel fears Real 'raging bull'
    Betis coach Mel fears Real 'raging bull' Thu, Aug 27, 2015

    By Iain Rogers MADRID (Reuters) - Living in one of the main centres of Spain's bull-fighting culture, Seville natives know a thing or two about dealing with the angry beasts but Real Betis coach Pepe Mel would rather not have to in La Liga on Saturday. Betis, the second-division champions who are based in the Andalusian capital, play at Real Madrid's Bernabeu stadium (2030 GMT) after the world's richest club by income were held to a 0-0 draw at another promoted side, Sporting Gijon, in their opening game of the campaign last weekend. It was a frustrating return to La Liga for Real's new coach Rafa Benitez and he and the players, including FIFA Ballon d'Or holder Cristiano Ronaldo, will be desperate to put on a good show for their fans. More »

  • China's Wanda to buy Ironman triathlon organiser for $650 mln
    China's Wanda to buy Ironman triathlon organiser for $650 mln Thu, Aug 27, 2015

    Triathletes take part in the 3,800m swimming leg of the Ironman Copenhagen, on August 23, 2015 More »

  • Bangladesh hoping to keep Australia to three Thu, Aug 27, 2015

    Bangladesh are just hoping to lose by no more than three goals when they take on Asian champions Australia for the first time in next week's highly-anticipated World Cup qualifier in Perth. The Bengal Tigers, ranked 170th by FIFA and who fell to a 3-1 home defeat by Kyrgyzstan in their opening qualifier in June, are nonetheless desperately keen for the Sept.3 clash even if a landslide loss is expected. 160 million are excited," Bangladesh Football Federation technical director Nipu Bayazid Alam Zubair told Reuters in a recent interview. More »

  • CONMEBOL refuses to confirm 2016 Copa America in U.S. Thu, Aug 27, 2015

    The South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) has cast doubt on the location of next year's centenary Copa America by refusing to confirm it will be held in the United States as originally planned. The 2016 cup was scheduled to be staged in the U.S. with 10 teams from CONMEBOL and six from CONCACAF, the North, Central American and Caribbean federation. "We want to do it," CONMEBOL president Juan Angel Napout said after a meeting of executives in Paraguay on Wednesday. More »

  • FIFA and CONMEBOL to audit Bolivia Football Federation Wed, Aug 26, 2015

    ASUNCION, Paraguay (AP) — CONMEBOL and FIFA will audit the finances of the Bolivian Football Federation, whose leader was jailed for alleged corruption, the president of South America's soccer confederation said on Wednesday. More »

  • Platini's credentials as reformer questioned by FIFA rival Wed, Aug 26, 2015

    LONDON (AP) — As Michel Platini prepares to reveal his FIFA presidential vision, a rival contender is launching his campaign by questioning the UEFA leader's long-standing association with Sepp Blatter and his credentials to reform the scandal-tainted governing body. More »

  • FIFA's Israel-Palestine committee meets for first time Wed, Aug 26, 2015

    A new FIFA committee began its attempt to settle the dispute between the Israeli and Palestinian football federations when it met for the first time on Wednesday, soccer's world governing body said. The meeting was chaired by South African businessman and former political prisoner Tokyo Sexwale, who said that both sides had confirmed their intention to promote a dialogue. The committee was set up following a heated exchange at the FIFA Congress in May, when the Palestinian Football Association (PFA) unexpectedly dropped its proposal to have Israel banned from international soccer. More »

  • Football must not be overlooked in FIFA race - Platini
    Football must not be overlooked in FIFA race - Platini Wed, Aug 26, 2015

    By Brian Homewood ZURICH (Reuters) - FIFA presidential candidate Michael Platini will publish his manifesto in the next six to eight weeks and wants to bring football back into the spotlight during the campaign, a source close to the Frenchman said on Wednesday. Although Platini, the UEFA president, agrees that reform of scandal-plagued FIFA has to be the priority in the run-up to the election on Feb. 26, he also believes it should not completely overshadow the sport itself, the source told Reuters. Platini, who announced his intention to stand on July 29 and will hold his first media conference since then in Monaco on Friday, has spent the last few weeks meeting people outside soccer's European ruling body UEFA to test the water. More »

  • FIFA hosts Israeli, Palestinian football leaders for talks Wed, Aug 26, 2015

    ZURICH (AP) — A FIFA panel aiming to improve Israeli-Palestinian football relations met for the first time Wednesday and agreed a follow-up session in the Middle East next month. More »

  • Dutch club Roda sign young Australian De Silva Wed, Aug 26, 2015

    (Reuters) - Promising young Australian midfielder Daniel de Silva has agreed a two-year loan move to Dutch club Roda JC Kerkrade, Perth Glory said on Wednesday after a transfer to Italian side AS Roma appeared to collapse. AS Roma agreed to buy the prodigiously talented De Silva from Perth in July after some standout display in the A-League, but the Western Australians said on Wednesday they had loaned out the player rather than the Italians. Australian Associated Press reported that Perth had re-registered De Silva after the Roma transfer, believed to be an A-League record A$1.5 million, collapsed. More »

  • Swiss expect to decide on FIFA extraditions in September
    Swiss expect to decide on FIFA extraditions in September Tue, Aug 25, 2015

    By Stephanie Nebehay BERNE (Reuters) - Swiss authorities expect to decide in September whether to extradite six football officials to face corruption charges in the United States, a Justice Ministry spokesman said. The accused men, who are in custody and whose lawyers are opposing their extradition to New York, would have 30 days to appeal decisions to the Federal Criminal Court in Bellinzona - a process that could take several months. Now we are able to examine whether conditions are fulfilled to grant extradition and take our decision," ministry spokesman Folco Galli told Reuters. More »

  • San Marino MP compares Roy Hodgson to an elephant after cricket joke
    San Marino MP compares Roy Hodgson to an elephant after cricket joke Tue, Aug 25, 2015

    The England manager has come under fire for a “joke in bad taste”. More »

  • Suspended Suarez, Cavani out of Uruguay tour squad Tue, Aug 25, 2015

    MONTEVIDEO (Reuters) - Suspended strikers Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani were missing from the 23-man Uruguay squad announced by the Uruguayan FA to prepare for 2018 World Cup qualifiers in October. Both are eligible for friendlies against Panama and Costa Rica next month but coach Oscar Tabarez has picked players available for the South American qualifiers starting on Oct. 5. Suarez, who has served five matches of a nine-match FIFA ban for biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini at the 2014 World Cup, can only return for Uruguay’s fifth qualifier away to Brazil next March. ... More »

  • 'Lot of hope' for Iranian football after nuclear deal
    'Lot of hope' for Iranian football after nuclear deal Tue, Aug 25, 2015

    National team coach Queiroz is positive but wants improved facilities for the side to improve. More »

  • Queiroz cautiously optimistic for Iran future
    Queiroz cautiously optimistic for Iran future Tue, Aug 25, 2015

    Iran boss Carlos Queiroz is too well versed in football politics to accept all the issues he faces in his role will be fixed following the nuclear deal that will lift financial sanctions on the Islamic Republic. The former Real Madrid and Portugal manager has already resigned twice in his four years at the helm of the Iran side following rows with administrators on how to improve the running of the game in Asia's best nation, according to FIFA rankings. The former Manchester United assistant boss is desperate for greater investment to help a side he led to last year's World Cup, but spending is not easy. More »

  • FIFA dismiss Indonesia claims they will visit Jakarta Tue, Aug 25, 2015

    (Reuters) - FIFA have dismissed claims by Indonesia that they will visit Jakarta in October with a view to overturning the football ban on the Southeast Asian nation for government interference. Indonesian Youth and Sports Minister Imam Nahrawi said on Friday FIFA would send an investigative team and see that all was well again in the country's football governance, but the world governing body told Reuters on Tuesday the trip was news to them. "FIFA and AFC (Asian Football Confederation) would like to confirm that no such visit is planned," a spokesman said. More »

  • Paraguayan defendant in FIFA case should not be extradited to U.S. - lawyer
    Paraguayan defendant in FIFA case should not be extradited to U.S. - lawyer Mon, Aug 24, 2015

    A Paraguayan judge should dismiss a U.S. extradition request for Nicolás Leoz, the former head of South America's CONMEBOL football confederation, because a treaty between the two countries is fraught with legal holes, Leoz's attorney said on Monday. Paraguay has an extradition treaty with the United States, but the legal argument put forward by Leoz's lawyer in court on Monday highlights how the long arm of U.S. law may struggle to reach all defendants swiftly. "The defence is saying that you cannot extradite somebody if the law did not lay out the rules of the game," Ricardo Preda, the attorney representing Leoz, told reporters outside the court. More »

  • Ex CONMEBOL head asks end of US extradition request Mon, Aug 24, 2015

    ASUNCION, Paraguay (AP) — A lawyer for the former president of South America's soccer confederation is requesting a Paraguayan judge to throw out a request by U.S. prosecutors to extradite him to the United States where he has been charged in a corruption scandal. More »

  • Blatter: I'll be appreciated when I'm gone
    Blatter: I'll be appreciated when I'm gone Mon, Aug 24, 2015

    FIFA president says he is clean and reminds critics of the good work he has done for world football. More »

  • I will be appreciated when I've gone, says Blatter
    I will be appreciated when I've gone, says Blatter Mon, Aug 24, 2015

    By Brian Homewood ZURICH (Reuters) - Outgoing FIFA president Sepp Blatter believes his critics will realise they have been wrong and will recognise his achievements once he has left soccer's world governing body. In an interview with the BBC, the 79-year-old Swiss defended his record at the head of scandal-plagued FIFA and said he was respected in many parts of the world. Blatter noted he was often subjected to hostile treatment on social media but said: "Go to the world, go to Asia, go to Africa... go to China, ask them what they think about FIFA and Blatter, that's different. More »

  • New coach Benitez dogged by lack of Real goals
    New coach Benitez dogged by lack of Real goals Mon, Aug 24, 2015

    Real Madrid's new coach Rafa Benitez said last week he was not concerned about his side's relative goal drought in their final warm-up matches before they began their latest La Liga campaign at promoted Sporting Gijon. It was a triumph for modest Gijon, whose annual budget in 2014-15 was more than 100 times smaller than Real's, while Benitez was left bemoaning a lack of shooting accuracy from his players but insisting he was still optimistic Real can secure silverware this term. Benitez, who was a player and coach in Real's academy before stints in charge at clubs including Valencia, Liverpool, Chelsea, Inter Milan and Napoli, replaced the sacked Carlo Ancelotti after Real failed to win the Champions League, La Liga or the King's Cup last season. More »

  • Real held at Gijon, Suarez earns Barca win in Bilbao
    Real held at Gijon, Suarez earns Barca win in Bilbao Sun, Aug 23, 2015

    Rafa Benitez suffered an embarrassing setback in his first La Liga outing in charge of Real Madrid when they were held to a 0-0 draw at promoted Sporting Gijon in their opening match of the season on Sunday. Real's expensively assembled squad, including FIFA Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale, the world's most expensive player, could not find a way past Gijon's determined defence at the Molinon. There were no such problems for Real's great rivals Barcelona, who got their bid for a sixth La Liga title in eight years off to a winning start when Luis Suarez buried a fine volley shortly after halftime to secure a hard-fought 1-0 win at Athletic Bilbao. More »

  • FIFA reform chief Carrard says criticism of Blatter 'unfair' Sun, Aug 23, 2015

    The head of FIFA’s new reform committee has said the football governing body's outgoing president Sepp Blatter had been unfairly criticised and there was no evidence of him being involved in corruption. Swiss lawyer Francois Carrard was appointed earlier this month as the independent chair of FIFA’s 15-person reform committee which will hold its first meeting on Sept. 2. In an interview with Swiss newspaper La Matin Dimanche, Carrard, former director general of the International Olympic Committee, said criticism of Blatter was more to do with him having been at the helm of the sport's ruling body for 17 years. More »

  • FIFA's reform committee head says Blatter unfairly treated - paper
    FIFA's reform committee head says Blatter unfairly treated - paper Sun, Aug 23, 2015

    Outgoing FIFA President Sepp Blatter has been unfairly treated over the corruption scandal surrounding world soccer's governing body, the head of its reform committee told a Swiss newspaper. U.S. prosecutors in May indicted nine soccer officials, most of whom had FIFA positions, and five marketing and broadcasting company executives over alleged fraud, money-laundering and racketeering. Blatter, who decided to step aside just days after being elected to a fifth consecutive term as FIFA president, has been pilloried for the world soccer body's failure to clamp down on corruption earlier. More »

  • Iran coach says Guam visa hassles nothing to do with soccer Sun, Aug 23, 2015

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Iran coach Carlos Queiroz says the frustrations faced by the tiny Pacific island of Guam in obtaining visas to travel to Tehran for a World Cup qualifier next month give just a glimpse of the problems long faced by his team in negotiating international soccer. More »

  • Chung says report of FIFA investigation proof of Blatter sabotage Sat, Aug 22, 2015

    By Simon Evans MIAMI (Reuters) - FIFA presidential candidate Chung Mong-Joon said on Saturday that a report he was being investigated by the football body's ethics committee was proof that outgoing president Sepp Blatter was trying to interfere in his campaign and should step down. German newspaper Die Welt reported on Friday that South Korean Chung was facing an investigation into his involvement in a 2010 plan to set up a global football development fund related to South Korea’s bid for the 2022 World Cup. It was the latest in a series of allegations and counter-allegations surrounding candidates in the increasingly heated race to replace Blatter amid the worst crisis in FIFA's history. More »

  • Blatter gets cow, milks support at home charity event
    Blatter gets cow, milks support at home charity event Sat, Aug 22, 2015

    ULRICHEN, Switzerland (AP) — Sepp Blatter was given a cow but gave little away about FIFA business at his annual charity football tournament on Saturday. More »