FIFA’s chief investigator will interview members about Qatar World Cup vote


FIFA’s leading investigator Michael Garcia is set to interview 12 members of the executive committee who voted in favor of Qatar hosting the 2022 World Cup.

The move comes after reports on Tuesday linked former vice-president Jack Warner with receiving millions of dollars from a Qatari company, owned by Qatar’s FIFA executive Mohamed Bin Hammam, just days after FIFA’s executive committee decided to hand the tiny Arabic nation the showpiece tournament. Qatar’s 2022 World Cup organizing committee has defended its bid and stated it adhered strictly to all the correct regulations.

Only 12 of the current 24 members who voted back in 2010 are still on the board, including President Sepp Blatter, with many resigning while under investigation or being banned from the exec. committee altogether.

Following these serious allegations surrounding former FIFA executives, the fact that world’s soccer governing body is now stepping in, years after the fact, seems a little bizarre. But at least they are taking it seriously. We hope. We’ve seen multiple cases and allegations of corruption, bribery and wrongdoings at the very top of the game, which needs to be dealt with swiftly and with maximum severity. In their defense, FIFA have been extremely busy bunnies trying to sort all this out. Sadly both internal and external investigations into their daily workings have been commonplace for some time.

(MORE: Qatar World Cup scandal: Reports of former Fifa vice-president paid millions by Qatari firm)

Many soccer fans around the world are calling for a re-vote in the 2010 vote to have the World Cup in Russia in 2018 and then in Qatar four years later. Will we see that happen? I doubt it.

FIFA have gone too far down the line with preparations in both countries to call it off now, but if they did… the United States of America, England, Australia and Germany have all been touted as countries who can host a tournament of that scale at the drop of a hat. That is another debate we’ve had time and time again.

Safe to say, the outcome of this investigation is crucial as to the where the 2022 World Cup will be held. Stay tuned.

Ancelotti rules himself out of Liverpool job

Carlo Ancelotti, Real Madrid CF
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Carlo Ancelotti will not be the next manager of Liverpool, if you’re not so cynical that you don’t believe Mr. Ancelotti himself, that is.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Ancelotti, who this summer was fired one season after winning the UEFA Champions League at Real Madrid, has been widely reported a top-two candidate for the Premier League club’s vacant managerial position ever since Brendan Rodgers was fired on Sunday.

While he may very well have been one of Liverpool’s top choices, to hear Ancelotti tell it, he’s not interested in taking the job, nor any other job anywhere in the world this year.

[ MORE: “Super computer” predicts final Premier League standings ]

Ancelotti, speaking at the National History Museum in London on Tuesday — quotes from the Guardian:

“I enjoy my time now but, of course, I want to come back to manage – to work – because it is my passion. I want to take my time to rest, but next season I am ready.”

“Why not [return to Paris Saint-Germain]? I have very good memories of Paris, PSG, I have good relations with everyone, with Nasser [al-Khelaifi, the PSG president].

“But I’m thinking about other things and PSG has a very good coach in Laurent Blanc. I hope he will continue and shine in the Champions League.”

Of course, with Jurgen Klopp reportedly all but officially announced as Liverpool’s new manager, Ancelotti is probably doing two things by ruling himself out until next season: 1) saving a bit of face, given that he was pretty clearly not Liverpool’s first-choice candidate; 2) letting every Ancelotti-sized club know that he’ll be available come this spring and summer, just in case they’re considering firing their current manager and need a bit of assurance an elite candidate will be available.

[ MORE: Klopp expected to be named new Liverpool manager this week ]

For instance, the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City, PSG and Juventus immediately come to mind. A manager of Ancelotti’s quality will always have options and offers, and that’s something he clearly understands. Ancelotti has earned the right to enjoy a year-long sabbatical and to be picky when choosing his next job.

Report: FIFA provisionally suspends Sepp Blatter

Sepp Blatter, FIFA president

Sepp Blatter could, finally, be frozen out by FIFA.

The 17-year leader of world soccer’s governing body has reportedly been suspended for 90 days after FIFA’s ethics committee met on Wednesday to discuss allegations against both Blatter and his close ally Michel Platini.

[ MORE: Chung to sue Blatter ]

Reports suggest that the decision to suspend the Swiss official still needs to be formally ratified by the adjudicatory chamber of the ethics committee, but it is highly likely that Blatter will be suspended until January 2016.

Blatter, 79, has been at FIFA for over 40 years but under his stewardship the organization has been riddled with allegations of corruption as current investigations from both the U.S. and Swiss authorities continue. The longtime FIFA official is suspected of “criminal mismanagement or misappropriation” by the Swiss authorities after a payment of over $1.9 million is linked to Blatter and the current president of UEFA, and FIFA presidential candidate, Platini.

[ MORE: How will USA line up vs. Mexico? ]

Klaus Stoehlker, who formerly advised Blatter, has told Sky News that the ethics committee “made the ruling pending further investigations by the Swiss attorney general” and the verdict was “pending”  but that “no negative finding had been made against the head of world football’s governing body.” It is believed that the 90-day suspension is the maximum amount of time the ethics committee can suspend any individuals while an investigation is ongoing.

It has been reported that the head of FIFA’s ethics committee, Judge Hans Joachim-Eckert, has told Blatter of his suspension.

The leader of FIFA, who will stand down following the next presidential elections on Feb. 26, 2016, has been defiant in recent weeks despite growing pressure from corporate sponsors of FIFA for him to resign.

On Wednesday he spoke out and denied he will quit, while at the Leaders’ in Sport Summit in London another presidential candidate ,Chung Mong-joon, declared that he will sue Blatter for “at least $100 million” and believes the FIFA president and his “cronies” are deliberately sabotaging his own presidential campaign.