Posts Tagged ‘World Cup’

FIFA’s World Cup of Fraud

March 18, 2016

Infographic reblogged from


No surprise – FIFA whitewashes itself and Qatar but their investigator dissents

November 13, 2014


It seems FIFA’s conclusions are not even shared by their own investigaor:

BBC: The findings of Fifa’s inquiry into allegations of corruption during bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups have been questioned – by the man who conducted the two-year investigation into the claims.

In an unexpected twist, lawyer Michael Garcia says the report “contains numerous materially incomplete and erroneous representations of the facts and conclusions”.



Are all spammers watching the World Cup? or why the Spanish team are like potato plants

June 14, 2014

I usually check my spam folder once a day every morning. Once in a while I find something there which isn’t spam. I have enrolled for a number of subscriptions but where my interest in the subject waxes and wanes. Sometimes, therefore, I delete a number of consecutive  mails and the spam filter picks that up and starts putting these into spam. But retrieving such mail seems to be sufficient to reset the filter to again accept them. I typically get around 50 – 60 spam messages a day and about half of them are in Chinese. Many are of course for Viagara. Most of the Indian spam is for real estate deals. Always 5 – 10 messages regarding some “Register/Query from the home page”  with weird, female, Eastern-Europe- sounding, sender’s names (clearly generated by a very poor program).

But the number of spam messages have been sharply down yesterday and today. This morning there were only 3. It is Saturday morning so it could be the weekend effect. But my working hypothesis is that even the spammers are watching the World Cup matches. And they were all watching yesterday’s Spain – Netherlands match .

In the first half the Spanish flattered to deceive. But in the second half it was just abject surrender. The Spanish team, like the potato plants of the old Spanish saying, were basking in past glories and forgot they were playing a match.

“A man who prides himself on his ancestry is like the potato plant, the best part of which is underground”

Netherlands 5   –  Spain -1!!

Few high points as World Cup kicks-off

June 13, 2014

We are off.

An own goal, a disputed penalty and two mediocre shots elevated by poor goal keeping.

The real battle going on within FIFA but off the pitch. Football fever muting the social unrest in Brazil.

Not a very noisy or musical crowd.

But Brazil won as they should have and Croatia can’t complain. Tradition has been upheld and the hosts have won the opening game.

No vuvuzelas.




“Dirty” FIFA and Qatar World Cup confirmed

March 18, 2014

The 2022 World Cup in Qatar will already achieve the dubious distinction of causing more deaths than they will score goals perhaps 6 deaths per goal.

It has long been assumed that FIFA’s decision to award the World Cup to Qatar was bought – not least because of FIFA’s long, institutionalised tradition of representatives accepting bribes and the poorly kept “secret” that any country wanting to host the World Cup must reserve bribe money in its budget – by whatever name is most appropriate.

Now the Telegraph reveals that millions changed hands just after Qatar was awarded the Championship:

A senior Fifa official and his family were paid almost $2 million (£1.2m) from a Qatari firm linked to the country’s successful bid for the 2022 World Cup, The Telegraph can disclose.

Jack Warner, the former vice-president of Fifa, appears to have been personally paid $1.2 million (£720,000) from a company controlled by a former Qatari football official shortly after the decision to award the country the tournament.

Payments totalling almost $750,000 (£450,000) were made to Mr Warner’s sons, documents show. A further $400,000 (£240,000) was paid to one of his employees.

It is understood that the FBI is now investigating Trinidad-based Mr Warner and his alleged links to the Qatari bid, and that the former Fifa official’s eldest son, who lives in Miami, has been helping the inquiry as a co-operating witness.

The awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar was one of the most controversial decisions in sporting history. The intense summer heat in the desert nation has raised the prospect of the tournament being moved to the winter for the first time.


German football team builds its own resort in Brazil for the World Cup

December 16, 2013

The construction program for the 2014 Brazilian World Cup venues is well behind schedule. A number of deaths have occurred at the various construction sites. Two workers were killed when a crane collapsed onto the roof of the Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo in November. Another was killed at the Palmeiras arena in Sao Paulo which is/was to be a training ground for some of the teams. The latest accidents were at the Arena Amazonia in Manaus, the capital of Amazonas. The Arena is scheduled to host four group stage matches during the competition. Two deaths on Saturday bring the death toll at this Arena to three. A 23 year old construction worker was found dead and is said to have suffered a heart attack. (At 23!) Another worker fell 35 meters after a cable snapped. Work is so far behind at most sites that accelerated, 3-shift programs are being conducted to catch up. Inevitably safety procedures are being given less priority. Some have refused to work and a general strike over safety standards has been called for and further threatens the schedule. Less than a month away from the Dec. 31 FIFA-imposed deadline for Brazil to deliver all 12 of its tournament venues, half are still unfinished, with three of those having no realistic shot of wrapping up before February.

Hotels and transport arrangements are also behind schedule.

TelegraphThere have been disputes and delays to the new light rail vehicle system in another host city, Cuiaba, while in the north-eastern settlement of Natal, mobility projects had to be abandoned and redesigned because of a shortage of time.

Accommodation is also a concern with a shortage of hotels in Rio de Janeiro and Recife, according to the Brazilian Association of Hotel Industries (ABIH). This week, workers at Rio’s Gloria Hotel, which is due to open before the World Cup, told Jornal do Brasil that the renovations were falling well behind.

But the German Football Association is not taking any chances. Winning the Cup is a serious business and they do not place much confidence in the assurances that facilities will be ready. They could not find the hotels to pass muster. So they are taking matters into their own hands and are building their own resort for their players. Der Spiegel writes: Unable to find a suitable location to set up shop in Brazil during the upcoming 2014 World Cup, the German football team has decided to simply build its own. The remote beachside camp will “help minimize strain” on players, the team manager says”.

A digital rendering of the luxurious beachside retreat provided by the German Football Association.

A digital rendering of the luxurious beachside retreat to be provided by the German Football Association.

The team’s beachside “resort” will be located in the sleepy village of Santo André in the state of Bahia, population just around 1,000, the paper wrote. It’s the first time in history that the German team has built its own World Cup facility from scratch, it added.

Coach Joachim “Jogi” Löw, his players and the team’s staff will spend the tournament living in 13 houses, with a soccer playing field and press center about a kilometer away. An airfield just 15 kilometers off will facilitate travel to the match sites.

Bild reports that the construction site entrance already bears the colors of the German flag — black, red and gold.

The location of “Camp Bahia” is “very remote,” Bild added. Some 30 kilometers away from the Porto Seguro resort area, most travelers get there via an old ferry across the Joao de Tiba River.

FIFA promoting and condoning slave labour

September 27, 2013

FIFA are “going to investigate”.

It would seem a little too little and much too late.

Brazil is resorting to extraordinary means to get ready for the World Cup next year.


Construction workers employed on a project in Brazil ahead of next year’s World Cup face “slave-like” conditions, officials say.An investigation into the expansion of Sao Paulo international airport found that 111 workers were living in poor accommodation near the building site.

They were approached in poorer states and some had to pay more than $220 (£140) to secure a job, the Labour attorney general’s office says. The promised wages were $625 a month.

The workers, among them six ethnic Pankaruru indians, were reportedly lured in the country’s north-east with promises of work in Sao Paulo. However, many were not immediately employed and had to stay in one of 11 makeshift camps near the airport which is being expanded in preparation for next year’s World Cup. The Labour attorney general’s office says it found the workers living in “conditions analogue to slaves” and has 30 days to present legal action against the contractors.

According to Brazilian legislation, companies must contract migrant workers in their hometown before transferring them to other cities. 

Similar investigations were under way in other World Cup-related building sites, attorney Cristiane Nogueira, from the Labour attorney general’s office in Sao Paulo, told Brazilian newspaper Folha de S Paulo.

But it would seem to be even worse in Qatar for their World Cup in 2022 – undeserved and where the voting was clearly bought. FIFA have been falling over themselves to ensure their share of Qatar money and where they – for the first time ever and in conflict with most football seasons – are going to hold the World Cup in winter. Here at least 44 Nepalese construction workers have died in just 3 months and the World Cup is still 9 years away. At the rate they are going thousands could die before the World Cup is held.

The Guardian: 

Dozens of Nepalese migrant labourers have died in Qatar in recent weeks and thousands more are enduring appalling labour abuses, a Guardian investigation has found, raising serious questions about Qatar’s preparations to host the 2022 World Cup.

This summer, Nepalese workers died at a rate of almost one a day in Qatar, many of them young men who had sudden heart attacks. The investigation found evidence to suggest that thousands of Nepalese, who make up the single largest group of labourers in Qatar, face exploitation and abuses that amount to modern-day slavery, as defined by the International Labour Organisation, during a building binge paving the way for 2022.

According to documents obtained from the Nepalese embassy in Doha, at least 44 workers died between 4 June and 8 August. More than half died of heart attacks, heart failure or workplace accidents.

The investigation also reveals:

 Evidence of forced labour on a huge World Cup infrastructure project.

• Some Nepalese men have alleged that they have not been paid for months and have had their salaries retained to stop them running away.

• Some workers on other sites say employers routinely confiscate passports and refuse to issue ID cards, in effect reducing them to the status of illegal aliens.

• Some labourers say they have been denied access to free drinking water in the desert heat.

• About 30 Nepalese sought refuge at their embassy in Doha to escape the brutal conditions of their employment.

The allegations suggest a chain of exploitation leading from poor Nepalese villages to Qatari leaders. The overall picture is of one of the richest nations exploiting one of the poorest to get ready for the world’s most popular sporting tournament.

“We’d like to leave, but the company won’t let us,” said one Nepalese migrant employed at Lusail City development, a $45bn (£28bn) city being built from scratch which will include the 90,000-seater stadium that will host the World Cup final. “I’m angry about how this company is treating us, but we’re helpless. I regret coming here, but what to do? We were compelled to come just to make a living, but we’ve had no luck.” 

Of course FIFA is shocked and distressed and will investigate! Not as distressed as the workers are in Qatar or as distressed as the families of the dead.

The Telegraph: 

Britain’s most senior Fifa member said he was “appalled and distressed” by allegations made in an expose of construction practises in the Gulf State as it readies its infrastructure to stage the 2022 tournament.

Boyce told the Telegraph Sport: “Fifa must fully investigate all the facts contained in the article and hopefully report back to the executive committee.”

The Northern Irishman also insisted the matter would be discussed at next week’s Fifa executive committee meeting.

That meeting had initially been expected to confirm that the tournament would move from the summer but is now in danger of being hijacked by a “slavery” scandal. …


Bizarre in Brazil: Referee stabs player, crowd beheads referee

July 7, 2013

Of course in Brazil, football fanaticism is quite similar to the religious fanaticism seen elsewhere. But it does not bode well for the World Cup in 2014. After hosting the Confederation Cup – and fairly successfully – Brazil saw the street protests which have had the spending on the World Cup extravaganza in their sights. Along with the corruption that pervades politics and – of course – football. And violence is never far away when football is involved.


Football spectators in northern Brazil decapitated a referee after he fatally stabbed a player for refusing to leave the pitch, officials say.

An angry mob stormed the field during the amateur game in the state of Maranhao and stoned Otavio da Silva to death before severing his head.

Police said the murder was in retaliation for Mr Silva stabbing player Josenir dos Santos.

One man has been arrested over the killing and investigations continue.

The incident took place on 30 June in the remote town of Pio XII, but news of the event has been slow to emerge.

The state’s Public Safety Department said it started when the referee and Mr Santos got into fist fight after the player was sent off but refused to leave the pitch.

Map of Brazil

Mr Silva then pulled out a knife and wounded Mr Santos, who died on his way to the hospital.

The player’s friends and relatives rushed onto the field, stoned the referee to death and dismembered his body, the department said in a statement.

Blatter and his stinking mess of FIFA corruption

May 30, 2011
Sepp Blatter

Image via Wikipedia

Sepp Blatter is standing unopposed and the writhing mess of corruption that FIFA has become continues. That World Cups are bought and sold is patently obvious. Apart from masses of money Qatar brings nothing to a World Cup competition and takes away much. The corruption – under Blatter’s watchful and forgiving eye – has of course resulted in stupid decision after stupid decision.

As long as Blatter continues the corruption and stupidity will remain institutionalised and there is no chance of FIFA even beginning to put its house in order.


Fifa general secretary Jerome Valcke has denied Jack Warner’s claim in an e-mail that Mohamed Bin Hammam “bought” the 2022 World Cup finals for Qatar. 

Suspended Fifa vice-president Warner made public the e-mail which also questioned why Asian football boss Bin Hammam was running for Fifa president. Valcke wrote: “[Hammam] thought you can buy Fifa as they bought the World Cup”.

But in Valcke’s denial he insisted he was not referring to any “purchase of votes or similar unethical behaviour.” ….. And last weekQatar 2022 World Cup officials denied allegations, published in the Sunday Times, that they paid bribes in return for votes.

Meanwhile, independent Australian senator Nick Xenophon has demanded that Fifa refunds the Aus$45.6m (£29.6m) his country spent on their unsuccessful bid to host the 2022 World Cup. Xenophon said: “It appears corrupt and highly questionable behaviour goes to the core of Fifa. Australia spent almost $46m on a bid we were never in the running for. Now we hear that bribes may have been made to fix the result for who will head up Fifa.”

As vice president, China’s Zhang Jilong will take charge of the AFC in the absence of Bin Hammam. However, the decision to suspend Bin Hammam has been met with widespread criticism throughout the Middle East.

AFC vice president Yousuf al-Serkal, from neighbouring United Arab Emirates, said: “I think Bin Hammam has been mistreated. “Bin Hammam is the right person who should have been elected to the presidency of Fifa from the point of view of change.”

The Telegraph

The prospect that Sepp Blatter will tomorrow be returned unopposed as president of Fifa, the game’s governing body, is enough to make any true football fan, of whatever nationality, cringe with embarrassment.

Unopposed? Does that mean people think he is doing a good job? Couldn’t some tramp be brought in from the streets of Zurich to contest the election? Are ballot papers being printed to give this fiasco a veneer of legitimacy? And who is paying for the prerequisite slap-up lunch for the stooges flying thousands of miles to rubber-stamp Blatter’s election?

The sheer absurdity of the process makes Premier League footballers look like paragons of virtue. Unless 75-year-old Blatter does the decent thing and agrees to the deferment of tomorrow’s election – and nothing in his record of ruthless, self-important nest-feathering suggests that he is capable of doing the decent thing – a coronation of look-away-now awfulness, with toadies in blazers applauding the Supreme Leader, is in prospect. 

His 13-year-old presidency of Fifa has been marked by faux pas after faux pas. When he has not been mulishly resisting long-overdue reforms, such as goal-line technology, he has been insulting women, by advising female footballers to wear tight shorts and low-cut tops, and homosexuals, by urging gay fans to practise sexual restraint at the 2022 
World Cup in Qatar.

But it is the sheer incompetence of Fifa under Blatter that has been truly shocking. Never mind the bribery allegations and counter-allegations swirling around the Qatar bid. No sporting body with any pretensions to seriousness would have agreed to award a World Cup, traditionally held in June/July, to a country where temperatures at that time of year top 40C. ….  Half-cocked plans for air-conditioned stadiums, or for the tournament to be held mid-winter, have only underscored the ludicrousness of the bidding process – with the minnows of world football all too easily seduced by large cheques.

Paul the Psychic Octopus of World Cup fame has passed away ! RIP

October 26, 2010
Ein Weltmeister nimmt Abschied

Paul the psychic octopus

Paul the Psychic Octopus of World Cup fame has passed away !

“Management and staff at the Oberhausen Sea Life Center were devastated to discover that oracle octopus Paul, who achieved global renown during the recent World Cup, had passed away overnight,” the aquarium said in a statement.

“He appears to have passed away peacefully during the night, of natural causes,” said Sea Life manager Stefan Porwoll.

“His success made him almost a bigger story than the World Cup itself… We had all naturally grown very fond of him and he will be sorely missed.”


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