Blatter appears at CAS for appeal against ban

first_imgBy Cecile MantovaniLAUSANNE, Switzerland (Reuters) – Disgraced former FIFA president Sepp Blatter appeared before sport’s highest tribunal, the Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS), yesterday to appeal against his six-year ban from soccer.The 80-year-old, who headed soccer’s global governing body for 17 years until he resigned in June last year, was banned from all football-related activity last December along with the-then European soccer boss, Michel Platini.“My name wouldn’t be Sepp Blatter if I didn’t have faith, if I wasn’t optimistic,” he told reporters as he arrived for the hearing. “I will accept the verdict because, in football, we learn to win, this is easy, but we also learn to lose, but this is not good, I wouldn’t want to lose.”The bans were imposed for ethics violations related to a payment of two million Swiss francs that FIFA made to Platini with Blatter’s approval in 2011 for work done a decade earlier.“I’m sure at the end …. that the (CAS) panel will understand that the payment made to Platini was really a debt that we (owed) him and this is a principle, if you have debts, you pay them,” Blatter said.Both men, who have denied wrongdoing, were initially banned for eight years, later reduced to six by FIFA’s own appeals committee. Platini has already taken his case to CAS, who rejected his appeal but reduced his ban to four years.CAS have not said when its final decision on Blatter’s appeal will be announced.Blatter resigned in the midst of a FIFA corruption crisis only four days into his fifth term.Several dozen football officials, including former FIFA executive committee members, and entities were indicted in the United States on corruption-related charges last year.Switzerland, for its part, opened a criminal investigation into the decision to award the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar respectively.last_img read more

Enyimba, FC IfeanyiUba Amongst 416 Clubs around the World to Share…

first_imgSuper Eagles Number Two goalkeeper, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, left FC IfeanyiUba at the expiration of his contract with the Nnewi club to join Enyimba before heading to Russia as the only home-based player in the Nigerian squad.Although Ezenwa was in charge of all Nigeria’s qualifying matches after dependable Carl Ikeme who stood between the sticks in the first game with Zambia in Ndola was diagnosed with Leukeamia, Francis Uzoho was the preferred choice of Coach Gernot Rohr for the Number 1 jersey.Despite his role as unused goalkeeper before Nigeria crashed out in the group stage, Ezenwa fetched FC IfeanyiUba and Enyimba $118,860 (about N43million) respectively.In the breakdown of the pay out to all the 416 clubs that contributed players to the Mundial in Russia, $237,720 (about N87million) was allocated to the NFF for onward transmission to the two clubs with rights to Ezenwa.Other members of the Super Eagles earned the FIFA Club Benefit pay out for their foreign clubs while third choice goalkeeper, Daniel Akpeyi, who was the only player from the South African league at Russia 2018 fetched Chippa United $237,720.Of the $6,320,805 that was allotted to teams from Africa, Egypt’s top club, Al Ahly earned the highest pay out of $1,744,695 (about N645million).Unsurprisingly, the top ten clubs who had the most players in the squads at the World Cup and who will in turn receive the biggest share of the benefits are all European powerhouses: Manchester City FC, Real Madrid CF, Tottenham Hotspur FC, FC Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain FC, Chelsea FC, Manchester United FC, Club Atlético de Madrid, Juventus FC, and AS Monaco.English clubs earned the highest pay out of $37,406,940 while Spanish clubs were next to earn $22,572,080. German clubs were third earning $18,920,672. Teams in France that won Russia 2018 earned $15,303,225.However, substantial amounts will also go to clubs from Asia and the Americas as well as to other leagues in Europe.The total pay out to the 416 clubs from 63 member associations of FIFA, represents a significant increase of almost 200 per cent compared to the previous edition.FIFA President, Gianni Infantino, said the redistribution of the World Cup benefit is to ensure that football community that contributed to the success of the Mundial got rewarded.“The FIFA World Cup is the pinnacle of football, generating passion and emotion from every player and every fan in every corner of the world. It is FIFA’s responsibility to redistribute the revenues of this unique competition among the entire football community, and clubs, obviously, deserve to share in this success as they were key contributors.“I’m very pleased to see that teams from so many different regions will benefit from this programme, which will help to develop football even further around the globe,” Infantino noted.The Club Benefits Programme is part of a broader collaboration agreement between FIFA and the European Club Association (ECA), which was first launched ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup and further extended in 2015 to cover both the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Duro IkhazuagbeTwo of Nigeria’s NPFL clubs, Enyimba FC of Aba and FC IfeanyiUba are among the 416 football teams around the world to share the $206 million Club Benefit Programme after the successful staging of FIFA’s 2018 World Cup in Russia last summer.FIFA yesterday confirmed the payments that will see a share of the revenues from Russia 2018 allocated to the clubs whose players contributed to the success of the World Cup.last_img read more

Playoff baseball continues to provide special moments

first_imgPerhaps we don’t see it much in Southern California, but this is the time of year when the cool air rolls in and the leaves begin to change. For a certain group of sports fans, this change of weather means one thing: the MLB postseason. I love October baseball. It’s not my favorite playoffs of the professional sports — the NHL holds that spot — but when October rolls around, I’m always excited for baseball playoffs, regardless of if I have a team in contention or not. There’s just something about the magic of October baseball that I really love. Some of my most memorable sports moments happened in October. I’ve gotten to see the Red Sox win the World Series three times in my life. While all wins are great, the 2013 win sticks out to me the most. I remember Game 6 at Fenway Park the most. John Lackey took the mound after losing Game 2, also at Fenway. The Red Sox knocked in six runs, three each in innings three and four. At this point, sitting on my couch at home, I was on top of the world. The Red Sox were set to win their third World Series in 10 years. The Cardinals picked up a run in the seventh, but I wasn’t worried. I could just feel that the Red Sox were going to win. Koji Uehara came in as the closer. When he walked out, I knew the Red Sox were finally going to clinch the World Series at Fenway — something that hadn’t happened in 95 years. Uehara struck out Matt Carpenter to win it all. Watching the team and the fans at Fenway celebrate, I jumped off the couch, just as happy as all of them. I wanted more than anything to be there that day. Going to Fenway had been my dream since I was about 7 or 8. I finally got to live out that dream this past May. While at Fenway, I got to see all of the team’s World Series memorabilia. Getting to see everything from the 2013 World Series was beyond cool. To top the victory off, David Ortiz was named the World Series MVP. I was so excited for him that I cried during the presentation of his award and his interview. It was a pretty amazing Wednesday.The second most memorable memory I have is Game 2 of the 2015 National League Division Series. My friend Sam and I sat atop Dodgers Stadium excited to watch Zack Greinke pitch. It was an eventful game, to say the least. The Mets knocked in two early, which brought down our spirits just a bit, but then the Dodgers knocked in one a inning or so later. The Dodgers were down 2-1 in the bottom of the seventh when one of the biggest things to come out the this series happened. With one out, Chase Utley slid into second, collided with Ruben Tejada, and broke his leg. At first, everyone in Dodgers was screaming and cheering that Utley was called safe. It wasn’t until Tejada didn’t get up that everyone realized something was wrong. A silence more or less fell through the stadium as they played replay after replay on the big screen — Tejada still hadn’t gotten up. It felt like forever until they finally brought the stretcher out. Everyone clapped as Tejada was strapped on and taken off the field. The Dodgers went on to score four runs in that inning, winning the game 5-2. After the first run, the stadium was rocking. It continued to get louder and louder with each run the Dodgers scored. That was some of the most fun I’ve ever had at a sporting event.Even though the Dodgers ended up losing the series, it was still a great game and atmosphere to take part in. The Dodgers haven’t won a World Series in my lifetime, but every year when October rolls around and the boys in blue are playing, part of me hangs onto the hope that it’ll finally be the year. So far, it’s never been the year, but maybe this year will be different. To me, October baseball is the best kind of baseball. There’s a type of magic around it that keeps me coming back year after year. Maybe it’s the fact that the MLB season has 162 games that make October so special. There are stretches of the baseball season that don’t seem to matter. With so many games, baseball feels long and tedious, but that’s not the case in October. Crazy and exciting things always seem to happen in the postseason. This year’s playoff is nothing short of expectations. The Cubs are looking to break their 107-year curse. The Indians are looking to win their first championship since 1948. The Dodgers are trying to “Win for Vin” and get their first title since 1988. Whoever ends up winning, it’ll be an exciting, magical journey through October, and I couldn’t be more excited to watch. Jodee Storm Sullivan is a junior majoring in broadcast and digital journalism. Her column, “The Storm Report,” runs Tuesdays.last_img read more