BBC reports Qatari officials considering legal action over potential 2022 re-vote

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From most fan’s perspectives, FIFA is not moving fast enough on Qatar, but today’s news from England serves as a reminder. Soccer’s world governing body must not only move deliberately but fairly in assessing of the 2022 World Cup host nation, a sad reality considering the expected mortality rate for those working on the event’s infrastructure. Without that process, the controversial hosts could have recourse in court.

According to the BBC, organizers from Qatar are considering legal action should its hosting privileges come up for a re-vote. With FIFA’s president, vice president, and UEFA’s head all expressing varying levels of concern about the 2022 event, momentum is already building toward that end, but in a case that’s likely to be filed in Switzerland, Qatar could force FIFA to show more than uncertainty and speculation caused the process to be re-opened.

Most crucially, perhaps, will be whether a re-vote can even happen without leaving FIFA exposed, all of which depends on the exact legal commitment the body’s made to the host nation. Even if it can authorize a re-vote, the organization may still have to justify its decisions to a judge.

From the BBC:

Qatari officials are believed to be considering all options open to them, including possible legal action, if the vote for the 2022 World Cup is re-run …

Qatari officials claim more than £23bn of investment linked to the 2022 World Cup would be under threat if Fifa, football’s world governing body, strips the Gulf state of its right to stage the showpiece event.

If there’s any question why FIFA, in the face of so much controversy, seems to be acting slowly, this scenario is the answer. Before the governing body acts to move 2022, it needs to solidify its case. It needs to have more than suspicions from fans and questions about timing and temperature. With the organization having already voted to committed to Qatar, it will may need to have a solid case before breaking that agreement.

Thankfully for those who want the World Cup moved, FIFA has a number of years to get this done. If the body isn’t snapping to attention whenever the Times of London publishes something, it’s because the papers aren’t where this battle will be waged. FIFA may eventually need to make its case to a  judge.

Rapids add longtime Bundesliga winger Aigner from 1860 Munich (highlights)

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The Colorado Rapids are hoping for an injection of offense from veteran Bundesliga right winger Stefan Aigner.

The soon-to-be 30-year-old has played 274 games between the first and second tiers of German soccer, with 25 goals and 25 assists in Bundesliga play and a further 31 and 25 in the second tier.

Most recently with 2.Bundesliga side 1860 Munich for a third time, he’s played most of his career between Munich and Eintracht Frankfurt.

[ MORE: BVB’s Merino to Newcastle ]

Aigner has the resume to succeed and perhaps star in MLS, especially if he wasn’t slowed too much by a knee injury last season (He returned and produced at the 2.Bundesliga level).

Here’s what Rapids interim general manager Padraig Smith said:

“We’re excited to add a player of Stefan’s caliber to our roster for the next three-and-a-half years,” said Smith. “As an organization we are committed to fielding a forward-thinking side and bringing in Stefan – a technical and versatile player who can excel in multiple attacking roles – will help us achieve that vision.”

UEFA Champions League wrap: Celtic held; U.S. GK Horvath busy

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It was a busy night in the UEFA Champions League, with clubs battling for berths in the playoff round where they could draw big names Liverpool, Napoli, Sevilla, Sporting CP or Hoffenheim.

[ MORE: How will USMNT line up? ] 


Club Brugge 3-3 Istanbul Basaksehir

American backstop Ethan Horvath was under siege at home, but his Club Brugge side overcame throwing away a 2-0 deficit to claim a 3-3 draw with İstanbul Başakşehir. The three road goals will give the Turkish visitors every reason to feel good about the Aug. 2 second leg.

Celtic 0-0 Rosenborg

Brendan Rodgers‘ Scottish champions outshot the visitors 12-8, but couldn’t find a way into the goal. Now the Bhoys will have to score in Norway to advance to the next round.

Nice 1-1 Ajax

Mario Balotelli‘s 32nd minute staked Nice to a halftime lead, but the UEFA Europa League finalists snared an away goal through Donny van de Beek to send Ajax back to Holland with a slim advantage.

UCL first legs

Tuesday
Qarabag 0-0 Sheriff
Slavia Prague 1-0 BATE Borisov
AEK Athens 0-2 CSKA Moscow
Steaua Bucharest 2-2 Plzen
Vardar 1-0 Copenhagen
Partizan Belgrade 1-3 Olympiacos

Wednesday
Astana 3-1 Legia Warsaw
Dynamo Kyiv 3-1 Young Boys
RB Salzburg 1-1 Rijeka
Hapoel Be’er Sheva 2-0 Ludogorets Razgrad
Viitorul 1-0 APOEL Nicosia
Maribor 1-0 FH

Terim steps down as Turkey manager after restaurant fight

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ANKARA, Turkey (AP) Turkey’s soccer federation says it has parted ways with national team manager Fatih Terim.

The announcement on Wednesday came weeks after Terim and his two sons-in-law were involved in a fight with a restaurant owner.

[ MORE: How will USMNT line up? ] 

The Turkish Football Federation statement said Terim, 63, and the federation agreed that “it would be healthier for both sides to part ways,” saying non-football related issues were harming both Terim and the federation.

It also thanked Terim, who has headed the national team since 2013, for his services.

Terim previously managed Galatasaray, Milan and Fiorentina. There was no word on who would replace him.

BVB mid Merino reportedly undergoing Newcastle medical

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It’s been a wild year for Mikel Merino, and now the Spaniard is close to playing for a legend from his home country.

Merino joined Borussia Dortmund from Osasuna last summer, and the 21-year-old had a hard time getting playing time under Thomas Tuchel.

[ MORE: Gold Cup Final preview ]

A defensive midfielder who also plays center back and a bit further up the pitch, Merino is set to join Rafa Benitez on loan at Newcastle United for the club’s return to the Premier League next month.

Merino was photographed in Newcastle on Wednesday, and would join a central midfield with Jonjo Shelvey and Isaac Hayden. Both players thrived in the Championship last season.

The Magpies turned Christian Atsu‘s loan permanent to start the summer, and then purchased Florian Lejeune, Jacob Murphy, and Javier Manquillo.