What are Domenico Scala’s plans to restructure FIFA before election of new president?

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Before Sepp Blatter resigns as FIFA president sometime in the next year, handing the reigns over to a newly-elected leader, he’ll have the chance to be a major part of changes to the infrastructure of soccer’s governing body.

And while there’s a very good chance, in our opinion, that he’ll be forced to step away from that sooner than expected — FIFA says the earliest we can expect an election is December — Blatter’s speech on Tuesday introduced us to the idea of a man named Domenico Scala helping him in a big way.

[ MORE: All the FIFA news you need ]

“I cannot do this alone. I have asked Domenico Scala to oversee the introduction and implementation of these and other measures. Mr Scala is the Independent Chairman of our Audit and Compliance Committee elected by the Fifa Congress. He is also the Chairman of the ad hoc Electoral Committee and, as such, he will oversee the election of my successor. Mr Scala enjoys the confidence of a wide range of constituents within and outside of Fifa and has all the knowledge and experience necessary to help tackle these major reforms.”

Scala is a Swiss-Italian businessman who serves as the independent chairman of FIFA’s audit and compliance committee. Born in 1965, he’s business-first and soccer-second.

Here’s Scala’s response, a long missive which does not distance him from Blatter. From FIFA.com:

“Before I begin, I would like to thank the President. The decision that he has made today was difficult and courageous. In the current circumstances, this is the most responsible way to ensure an orderly transition. I know that he has truly acted with the best interests of FIFA and football in his heart.

“I have a great amount of respect for the President and the role that he has played in championing reform within FIFA. As he has recognised, we have worked hard to put in place governance reforms. But this has not been enough.

“By making this announcement, he has created an opportunity for us to go further than FIFA has before – to fundamentally change the way in which FIFA is structured.

“As the independent Chairman of the Audit and Compliance committee, I am committed to working to facilitate the implementation of the reforms that the President has outlined and to putting in place the conditions for the election of a new President.

“As the President has stated, these reforms will include fundamental changes to the way in which this organisation is structured – steps that go far beyond the actions that have been implemented to this point. I would like to provide you with additional details into the process that FIFA will follow moving forward.

“Under the rules governing FIFA, the election of the President and any fundamental reforms to the FIFA statutes must be voted on by the Members at the FIFA Congress. The next FIFA Congress is scheduled for May 2016 in Mexico City. As the President has stated, this would be an unnecessary delay. In order to facilitate more immediate action, the President will ask the Executive Committee to organise an Extraordinary Congress in order to elect the new President and vote upon these reforms.

‘Based upon the FIFA statutes, a four-month notice is required for any presidential elections to be held. FIFA must also consider appropriate time to vet candidates and allow them to present their ideas for the organisation that set forth their vision. Therefore, while the decision on timing of the Extraordinary Congress and election of a new President will ultimately be up to the Executive Committee, the expectation is that this could take place anytime from December of this year to March of next year.

“For years, FIFA has worked hard to put in place governance reforms, but as the President has stated, this must go further to implement deep-rooted structural change. The President has outlined a number of specific recommendations to achieve this. A number of these steps have previously been proposed but have been rejected by Members. Today more than ever, FIFA is committed to ensuring that these changes are implemented and upheld.

“As part of FIFA’s work, the organisation will re-examine the way in which it is structured. While it would be premature to speculate on the outcomes of this work, nothing will be off the table, including the structure and composition of the Executive Committee and the way in which members of the Executive Committee are elected. I expect this to be an important aspect of ongoing reform. As I said a year ago, the structure of the Executive Committee and its Members are at the core of the current issues that FIFA is facing. Current events only reinforce my determination to drive this reform.

“Many of the issues that have been raised in the past relate to the actions of individuals. In order to ensure that those who represent FIFA are of the highest integrity, FIFA will seek to implement FIFA-driven integrity checks for all Executive Committee members. Such a reform was previously proposed by the Independent Governance Committee but was rejected by the Confederations. Today these checks are the responsibility of the confederations to which these members belong. This must change. Confederations actions must be consistent with their speech.

“While FIFA operates in line with all applicable laws and international accounting standards, FIFA recognises that many have questioned the transparency by which FIFA operates. To address specific calls, FIFA will seek to publicize the compensation of the President and the Executive Committee Members and will propose term limits for the President and Executive Committee members.

“FIFA is fundamentally committed to change and are determined to address the issues that continue to undermine FIFA and football more broadly.

“Today, the President communicated his decision to all 209 Members. Now is the time for FIFA to move forward. There is significant work to be done in order to regain the trust of the public and to fundamentally reform the way in which people see FIFA. These steps will ensure that the organization cannot be used by those seeking to enrich themselves at the expense of the game.”

It’s important that Blatter’s departure not be a “get out of jail free” card for the rest of FIFA. Do Scala’s comments make you think anything major will change? Or is it just lip service?

Keep checking ProSoccerTalk for the latest, as we continue to cover the shocking news that Blatter’s time is up.

Man City vs Man United: How to watch live, stream link, team news

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Manchester City vs Manchester United: Erling Haaland is set for his Manchester derby debut when the two-time defending champions host the rapidly improving Red Devils at Etihad Stadium on Sunday (watch live, 9 am ET on Peacock Premium). 

STREAM LIVE MAN CITY vs MAN UNITED

Haaland has taken the Premier League by storm with an absurd 11 goals scored in his first seven games after (ostensibly) choosing Man City over Man United before leaving Borussia Dortmund this summer.

Six weeks ago, Manchester United had not a single point from their first two games, including a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of tiny Brentford, but Erik ten Hag has since switched tactical course en route to four straight wins, including a 3-1 victory over PL leaders Arsenal last time out, to set up this hugely intriguing showdown on Sunday.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Man City vs Man United

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]


How to watch Manchester City vs Manchester United live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 9 am ET, Sunday
Online: Stream via Peacock Premium


Key storylines & star players

Despite a pair of disappointing draws (Newcastle and Aston Villa), it’s been an unbeaten start to the 2022-23 season for Man City, who still lead the PL in possession (66.4 percent per game) while also becoming an unstoppable offensive force from last season (14 goals in their first seven games) to this season (23). That’s not to say it’s been easy as Manchester City go through a tactical shift of their own to better appeal to the big Norwegian’s poaching abilities. Though they have been forced to grind out results a few times already this season, it’s highlighted a newfound spontaneity for a side that’s been as regimented as any in the world. Will that freedom be what ultimately lands Pep Guardiola his first Champions League trophy since 2011, and perhaps a third straight PL title (and a fifth in six years) to boot?

As for Manchester United, the Ten Hag era has been a wild roller-coaster ride already, short as it’s been. The back-to-back defeats were one thing, but the abject performances were the real cause for discontent. While picking up the four straight victories, the Dutchman has also settled on a midfield setup with Scott McTominay and Christian Eriksen operating in (effectively) a double pivot with Bruno Fernandes the most advanced of the three. It has brought defensive stability, of course, but more importantly the change has revealed a deadly counter-attacking side. Each of Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Fernandes have scored twice during the winning run, with new boy Antony also getting in on the fun on his debut. With space in behind (and the proper service from deep), Ten Hag might just have his first winning formula (albeit quite unlike him).


Manchester City team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Kalvin Phillips (shoulder), John Stones (hamstring), Benjamin Mendy (suspension – MORE) | QUESTIONABLE: Aymeric Laporte (knee)

Manchester United team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Harry Maguire (hamstring), Marcus Rashford (thigh), Brandon Williams (undisclosed), Mason Greenwood (suspension – MORE) | QUESTIONABLE, Donny van de Beek (knock), Martin Dubravka (knock)

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WATCH: Lionel Messi spins gorgeous free kick goal past Nice’s Schmeichel

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Lionel Messi got the better of Kasper Schmeichel with an outstanding free kick as Paris Saint-Germain outlasted Nice 2-1 on Saturday at the Parc des Princes.

The world’s greatest scorer was fouled to set up a free kick just inside the arc. Nice, of course, got into a wall and former Leicester City keeper Kasper Schmeichel arranged it to his liking.

As he does so many times, however, Messi spun a free kick just over the wall. The ball, which came so close to taking a slight turn off a leaping wall member (actually, did it?), tumbled down and right into the side netting to give PSG a 1-0 lead before the match was a half-hour old.

[ MORE: USMNT’s Ricardo Pepi scores relentless Groningen goal ]

Gaetan Laborde tied the match before halftime, and Nice’s revamped roster looked set to hold tight for a point (The club’s signed familiar Premier League names Schmeichel, Ross Barkley, Aaron Ramsey, and Mario Lemina).

Even that wouldn’t be enough, though, as Kylian Mbappe came off the bench to replace young Hugo Ekitike to finish a Nordi Mukiele assist for a 2-1 win.

PSG has eight wins and a draw this season, good for a two-point lead on second-place Marseille. Messi has five goals and a joint-league-best seven assists, tied with Neymar. Mbappe and Neymar are tied for the league goals lead with eight.

Lionel Messi free kick goal video

USMNT’s Ricardo Pepi defies xG with relentless goal (video)

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USMNT forward Ricardo Pepi’s goal while trying to will Groningen back into an eventual 4-1 loss to AZ Alkmaar on Saturday will not be one of the expected variety.

The 19-year-old striker, on loan from Augsburg, ran onto an audacious long pass from 20-year-old defender Neraysho Kasanwirjo but had plenty of work to do with AZ leading 2-0.

[ MORE: Josef Martinez scores audacious overhead goal ]

Pepi sees one defender fall in a race to the ball, then bodies up AZ’s Sam Beukema a little outside the six-yard box.

Hand-to-hand combat sees both players hit the turf, and Pepi probably could won a penalty.

But the World Cup hopeful spins while on the pitch and snaps a shot past charging AZ goalkeeper Hobie Verhulst to make it 2-1.

Video after the jump.

Ricardo Pepi
fotmob.com

Ricardo Pepi goal video: Fantastic start to Groningen loan

Pepi now has a goal or an assist in his first three Eredivisie outings, not unlike his fantastic start to life in a USMNT shirt.

His goal contributions have taken a dive since his first two USMNT matches — World Cup qualifiers against Honduras and Jamaica — and he only has one assist from the following 10 outings in a U.S. shirt.

Still, Pepi is clearly one of Gregg Berhalter’s favorite options for the upcoming World Cup, and his performances will be measured against Union Berlin’s Jordan Pefok, FC Dallas’ Jesus Ferreira, and others.

In a tournament where every moment matters, his work for this scrappy finish will be well-noted by the USMNT staff.

Josef Martinez scores vicious overhead kick in Atlanta United loss (video)

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If this is the last goal of Josef Martinez’s (likely) final season with Atlanta United, it will be very appropriate.

So for Martinez, even in a losing effort, to go airborne for an overhead kick that is a simply sensational feat of athleticism and power, well, it just feels right.

The 29-year-old Venezuelan forward joined the Five Stripes in 2017 in what seemed a massive capture for the club at the time and now seems downright gargantuan, but he’s fallen out with current manager Gonzalo Pineda and was even suspended for a match last month.

[ MORE: West Ham beats Wolves | Klopp reacts to latest setback ]

Martinez has nine goals and four assists in an injury-abbreviated 25-game season, giving him 111 goals in 156 appearances for ATL UTD. The former Torino and Young Boys striker is still being capped for Venezuela and would leave with an MLS Cup, Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, and Campeones Cup as well as a boatload of individual honors.

Atlanta lost 2-1 to New England on Saturday and returns home for their season finale next weekend versus New York City FC. The Five Stripes won’t make the playoffs unless at least two teams decide not to field teams, so if the NYCFC game doesn’t go well, let’s pretend this one was his final appearance for the club.