“Extensive criminal network involved.”
“Biggest-ever investigation” into match fixing.
Numbers into the hundreds of officials, players and criminals under suspicion and being scrutinized.
These clearly are not the words and elements you want to see associated with global soccer. But here it is, as we told you earlier.
Ralf Mutschke, FIFA Director of Security, says greater cooperation will be required between law enforcement agencies and sports’ governing bodies in order to cleanse the infection.
He wants tougher policies and harsher sanctions for violators, such as lifetime bans, and says FIFA guidelines provide sufficient teeth.
What Mutschke said after today’s announcement from Europol out of the Hague on wide-ranging accusations of corruption:
The news today from Europol follows a long investigation. I have been very clear in saying that match-fixing and match manipulation is a global problem, and one that is not going to go away tomorrow. FIFA and the football community are committed to tackling this problem, but we will not succeed alone.
“The cooperation between law enforcement and sporting organizations needs to be strengthened. The support of law enforcement bodies, legal investigations, and ultimately tougher sanctions are required, as currently there is low risk and high gain potential for the fixers.”
At the FA Cup final on Saturday at Wembley there was a moving tribute to the people killed in the Manchester bombing attack earlier this week.
On Monday a suicide bomber killed 22 people and injured a further 67 after detonating a bomb outside Manchester Arena following an Ariana Grande concert.
Ahead of the FA Cup final, Arsenal and Chelsea came together to salute everyone impacted by the atrocity.
Watch the moving video below as 90,000 stood in silence to show their solidarity.
Alexis Sanchez’s goal put Arsenal 1-0 up early on in the FA Cup final against Chelsea in hugely controversial fashion.
[ LIVE: Follow the FA Cup final here ]
Initially the goal was called out for offside on Aaron Ramsey who didn’t touch the ball but was mightily close to the action, but referee Anthony Taylor overruled his linesman and gave the goal.
There was also a hint of a handball on Sanchez’s part as the ball ricocheted off him in a tackle.
Watch the video below as Chelsea were left fuming but Arsenal didn’t care…
The U-20 World Cup in South Korea continues to provide plenty of drama.
[ MORE: U-20 World Cup latest ]
In Group C already-qualified Portugal fought back from 1-0 down against Iran to win 2-1 and sealed their spot in the last 16, while Costa Rica join both Portugal and Zambia in the knockout rounds after they beat Zambia 1-0.
Italy led Japan 2-0 in Group D but Japan fought back to make it 2-2 as they made it through to the last 16 alongside Italy and Uruguay. Elsewhere in Group D Uruguay and South Africa played out a 0-0 draw with Uruguay already through to the knockout rounds (they have yet to concede a goal) and South Africa heading home.
The final set of group games take place on Sunday with Groups E and F coming to a close, including the U.S. facing Saudi Arabia as Tab Ramos’ men aim to seal a spot in the last 16.
Three of the eight last 16 matches have now been confirmed with England facing Costa Rica, Venezuela taking on Japan and hosts South Korea will play Portugal.
Click on the link above for all the latest news from the U-20 World Cup, while below are video highlights from Saturday’s four games in Groups C and D.
Group C – Portugal 2-1 Iran
Group C – Costa Rica 1-0 Zambia
Group D – Japan 2-2 Italy
Group D – Uruguay 0-0 South Africa
Arsenal and Chelsea clash in the FA Cup final at Wembley on Saturday.
[ LIVE: Follow the FA Cup final here ]
For Chelsea a win would complete a memorable double in Antonio Conte‘s first season in charge.
And for Arsenal it is about restoring some pride in a season where they finished in fifth place in the Premier League, and Arsene Wenger becoming the record FA Cup holder as a manager.
Below are the starting lineups for both teams as Chelsea line up as expected, while Arsenal have Per Mertesacker starting with Gabriel, Koscielny and Mustafi all out injured.
Click on the link above to follow the game live, while ProSoccerTalk will have analysis, reaction and more from Wembley following the full-time whistle.
Chelsea: Courtois; Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Cahill; Moses, Kante, Matic, Alonso; Pedro, Diego Costa, Hazard. Subs: Begovic, Zouma, Ake, Terry, Fabregas, Willian, Batshuayi