Monthly Archives:September 2019


MP launches campaign for ‘new FIFA’

September 30th, 2019 / / categories: 深圳桑拿网 /

The summit on Jan.


21 has been organised by British Member of Parliament Damian Collins, a long-time critic of the way football’s world governing body has been run.

Delegates will include FIFA presidential candidate Jerome Champagne, Harold Mayne-Nicholls, the head of the technical inspection team for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids, and the former chairman of the England FA, David Triesman.

The announcement comes three days after FIFA executive committee member and Asia vice-president Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan declared his intention to run as a reformist candidate against incumbent Sepp Blatter, the 78-year-old Swiss who has been FIFA president for the last 17 years.

“People have had enough,” said Collins, the Conservative MP for Folkestone and Hythe and a member of parliament’s Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee.

“I speak to amateur and professional players, fans, and mums and dads whose children play and love the game. It has reached the stage where FIFA is a laughing stock. We all love the game. But we all detest how it’s run.”

Collins says the Brussels meeting will be a first step to “making a new FIFA a reality”, adding, “It’s also the first of its kind where politicians, players, fans and corporations will come together in a campaign for change.”

Other European politicians and football personalities will be at the summit, Collins says.

“We don’t intend to talk about what is wrong with FIFA, as we all know what’s wrong,” he said.

“The experience since the Presidential election in 2011 — when we were promised things would change — shows that FIFA is incapable of reforming itself. But we also know that FIFA’s problems go much further back than that.”

Collins says the recent events concerning the Garcia report into the conduct of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup Bids was the final motivation needed for him and others to take action.

“Like the decisions surrounding Russia and Qatar, the farce surrounding the Garcia report is symptomatic of a governing body where democracy, transparency and accountability were long ago forsaken in place of corruption, mismanagement and self-interest.”

Michael Garcia, FIFA’s chief ethics investigator who spent 18 months compiling a report into the controversial World Cup bidding processes quit his post last month, with a withering attack on FIFA’s culture and practices, claiming “a lack of leadership” in the organisation.

Collins continued: “We want to see football governed by people who make decisions and take action in a transparent manner, and who are held accountable in the best interests of the sport and civil society.”

No-one at FIFA was immediately available to comment.

(Editing by Martyn Herman)

Developed by an Israeli firm, Smart Court is designed to help coaches by reviewing players’ strokes, recording ball speed and other statistical data and tracking drills, but it can also be used to call lines and identify service faults.


Until now, the dominant review system in tennis has been Hawk-Eye, a computerised network of six cameras that can pinpoint a ball to within 5 millimetres.

It has added drama to the grand slams and is a hit with broadcasters and spectators alike. But at an estimated cost of $100,000 per court, Hawk-Eye is only for professionals and the world’s top tournaments.

Smart Court uses a different approach involving six permanently fixed cameras that record everything that happens during play. While less accurate than Hawk-Eye, it is precise enough to check lines and comes at a much lower price — $10,000 and a licence fee — making it affordable for serious clubs.

Already installed on 80 courts across the United States and Europe, the system has drawn praise from current and former top players and coaches, including world number one Novak Djokovic and six-times grand slam singles champion Stefan Edberg, who now works with Roger Federer.

The coaches of Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams are also converts.

Chen Shachar, the chief executive of PlaySight, the company which developed the system, is encouraged by the positive feedback and has ambitions to expand globally, with tennis one of the world’s most popular amateur sports.

“Our plan for the next two years is to install it on at least 200 courts and have between 4,000 and 5,000 smart tennis courts in the next four years,” Shachar told Reuters, adding that revenue should reach $10 million in the coming year.

As with many of Israel’s technological breakthroughs, the system is derived from the military, where event-based analysis of combat scenarios, particularly aerial warfare, is crucial for training. Some PlaySight executives have military backgrounds.

When it comes to using the system, players wanting to review a line call, a tight rally or a particularly great (or terrible) shot would go to a touch-screen console at the side of the court and hit review.

The screen would play it back instantly. The data and imagery can also be viewed over the Internet later.

While Smart Court is focussed on tennis for now, Shachar plans to roll it out for other sports, including basketball, handball and squash, soon. Ice hockey and soccer are also potential targets as goal-review technology becomes more popular.

(Writing by Ori Lewis; editing by Luke Baker and Toby Davis)

The 34-year-old captain, who has spent his entire career at Anfield and is worshipped by the fans, agreed this week to continue his illustrious career in California with the Major League Soccer champions.


Gerrard has been quoted as saying he would have stayed at Liverpool had he been offered a new contract in the close season, while Rodgers admits his departure will be a huge loss.

“No doubt Steven is still a top class player and him leaving in the summer will leave a void on the pitch and off the pitch also,” Rodgers told a news conference.

“But we will have to move forward and bring in the best players we possibly can into this wonderful club.

“History shows that great players here have moved on and it’s an opportunity for the club and other players to go and grab the mantra and make their presence here felt.”

Gerrard said at the weekend the turning point in his decision to depart came when Rodgers told him he could no longer play every game.

He did not blame the club for effectively making up his mind to leave but said he was ready to commit his future to Liverpool in the summer after they finished as Premier League runners-up.

“If a contract had been put in front of me in pre-season I would have signed it,” Gerrard was quoted as saying by the Liverpool Echo on Tuesday.

“I’d just retired from England to concentrate all my efforts on Liverpool. I didn’t want my club games to be tailored.”

Gerrard can still play a pivotal role in Liverpool’s season which offers a League Cup semi-final against Chelsea, an FA Cup run and the Europa League as well as trying to climb the Premier League table and grab a top-four spot.

They are currently eighth, seven points behind fourth-placed Southampton.

“It will be tough to qualify for the Champions League but I’m looking forward to the challenge in the second half of the season,” Rodgers said. “Seven points may seem a lot but it can be whittled away.”

Liverpool face an away trip to Sunderland on Saturday.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; editing by Toby Davis)

Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan, who was not even born when Blatter first joined FIFA as its technical director in 1975, declared his candidacy on Tuesday, promising to make the organisation more transparent.


The 39-year-old royal faces a tough battle to beat the 78-year-old Swiss who is expected to formally declare his intention to stand for a fifth term before the Jan. 29 nomination deadline even though FIFA, and Blatter, have been engulfed in one scandal after another for years.

Until Prince Ali, who has some powerful backers including UEFA president Michel Platini, announced his intentions the only other runner was FIFA’s former deputy secretary-general Jerome Champagne.

The 56-year-old former French diplomat declared his candidature a year ago and like Ali, is committed to bringing much-needed change to world soccer’s governing body which is generally perceived as a corrupt, secretive organisation.

But however well-intentioned Champagne is and despite a series of absorbingly well-argued documents outlining a brighter footballing future if he became FIFA president, it is difficult to see where his votes will come from — especially as Prince Ali has now thrown his hat in the ring.


Because, to all intents and purposes, Prince Ali, FIFA’s Asia vice-president perceived as the leading reformist member of the FIFA executive committee, will be regarded as the only credible alternative to the old guard.

The election will take place at the FIFA Congress in Zurich on May 29 and is a one-member one-vote process with an outright winner needing two-thirds of the 209 votes cast.

If the vote was held today, Blatter would probably hold an advantage of around 120-90 and the ageing tyro is probably secure enough to withstand Ali’s attack because, as ever, he is the man holding all the aces.

And it almost seems impossible to imagine that the Swiss will not be milking the applause after a fifth election victory following his earlier successes in 1998, 2002, 2007 and 2011.

In those 17 years, he has only faced two challenges — first when he beat UEFA’s Swedish president Johansson for the seat left vacant following the retirement of 82-year-old Joao Havelange 111-80, and again in 2002 when he saw off a half-hearted campaign headed by Cameroonian Issa Hayatou, the president of the African confederation by 139 votes to 56.


No-one stood against him in 2007 when he was returned unopposed by acclamation, while in 2011 his rival Mohamed Bin Hammam of Qatar withdrew from the campaign shortly before voting took place after facing bribery allegations.

He was eventually banned from soccer for life.

Since 2011 though, FIFA have come under the microscope as never before following endless allegations of wrong-doing regarding the voting process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups which were awarded to Russia and Qatar respectively on the same day in December 2010.

To this day there have been no satisfactory answers to allegations of FIFA skulduggery in determining those votes and the situation was made worse last month when Michael Garcia, the New York lawyer who spent 18 months investigating the allegations, quit his post, blaming FIFA for a “lack of leadership” and questioning its intention to work as an open, transparent organisation.

Despite all that, Blatter still commands the support of the majority of the 209 member nations and as he clocks up 40 years at FIFA, he certainly knows how to use the system.

In June Blatter was assured of the continuing support of the majority of delegates in five of FIFA’s six confederations.

The only one that gave him a frosty reception during a whistle-stop tour of confederation meetings in Sao Paulo just before the World Cup in Brazil was Europe’s UEFA.

As one of his long-time executive committee colleagues Michel D’Hooghe of Belgium told Reuters, he retains a steely grip on FIFA’s affairs.

“He is powerful, he is untouchable, he is, I would say, the Pope of Football,” D’Hooghe, the president of the Belgian FA said.

(This refiled version of the story corrects lit in sixth paragraph)

(Editing by Martyn Herman)

Pardew was named as manager of his former playing club Crystal Palace on Saturday after Palace met the terms of a release clause in his Newcastle contract.


While he is busy plotting this weekend’s home clash with in-form Tottenham Hotspur, Pardew’s Thursday news conference inevitably focussed on his reasons for leaving mid-table Newcastle for a relegation battle.

“It was difficult because it’s a big club run on fairly tight financial margins,” Pardew, who spent 229 games in charge of Newcastle and took them into the Europa League in 2012, said.

“Our net spend was one of the lowest, we had to really work hard at transfers because the funds for a club of that size makes it difficult and for the fans to understand that you need slow progress, to build slowly, which we did for four years.”

Despite a steady tenure at club desperate for success, Pardew never completely won over the Geordie faithful and a dismal start to this season saw a concerted campaign by fans to get him sacked, with scores of banners held up at home and away matches.

Pardew resisted any temptation to hit back though.

“I’ve left a good club, I like to think with a good base of young players and some fantastic professionals,” the former Crystal Palace midfielder said.

“We’ve pulled above our weight at times. Of course when you lose games there will be criticism from the stands but never once did I sense that outside of the ground.

“I had tremendous support while I was there and want to thank all Geordies.”

Pardew, who has also managed Reading, West Ham United and Southampton, said the decision to leave was his alone.

“Personally and professionally it was the right time for me and the right time for Newcastle too if I’m honest,” he said.

“It was my decision, (Palace chairman) Steve (Parish) met the clause in my contract and I had to make a decision which I hope was the right one for me and the right one for Palace.”

Palace are third from bottom in the table and this weekend host a Tottenham side buoyant after beating Chelsea.

“When you’re fighting relegation you don’t want to hit teams in red hot form and Totenham are, so not the greatest of starts,” he said.

“We will have to try and knock them off their stride.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; editing by Justin Palmer)