FIFA acknowledges World Cup hosting bribes, asks US for cash

GENEVA (AP) — FIFA acknowledged Wednesday that past World Cups were awarded based on bribes, and the organization wants U.S. prosecutors to give it “tens of millions of dollars” seized from the former FIFA officials who took the cash. FIFA submitted a 22-page claim to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New York on Tuesday that seeks a big share in restitution from more than $190 million already forfeited by soccer and marketing officials who pleaded guilty in the sprawling corruption case. Tens of millions of dollars more is likely to be collected by U.S. authorities when sentences are handed...

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Infantino seeks regional World Cup if elected FIFA president

LONDON (AP) — The World Cup could be spread across entire regions, emulating the continent-wide 2020 European Championship, if Gianni Infantino wins the FIFA presidential election next month. The UEFA secretary general used his manifesto, which was published on Tuesday, to say FIFA should not limit the tournament to be being held in one or two countries. The 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea was the only time the event has been co-hosted. Infantino, working alongside Michel Platini at UEFA, spearheaded spreading Euro 2020 across 13 countries. In November, Infantino told The Associated Press of his plan...

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FIFA says corruption crisis hinders search for new sponsors

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — The FIFA corruption crisis is hurting its search for new World Cup sponsors. Targeting almost $6 billion in revenue from the 2018 tournament, FIFA has not signed any new sponsors since last year’s World Cup in Brazil. “Definitely the current situation does not help to finalize any new agreement. That is a fact,” FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke said Friday ahead of this weekend’s qualifying draw. The first big event for host Russia has brought hundreds of international media to St. Petersburg, offering a natural stage for a sponsorship launch. However, Valcke said no...

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FIFA presidential election to be held on Feb 26 giving Sepp Blatter seven more months in power

ZURICH (AP) — FIFA will hold a presidential election on Feb. 26, giving Sepp Blatter seven more months in power before leaving the scandal-tainted governing body. The date was chosen by FIFA’s executive committee on Monday, after Blatter announced plans to resign four days following his re-election in May amid American and Swiss criminal investigations into corruption. The 79-year-old Blatter, who first joined FIFA 40 years ago, has held onto the most world powerful job in world soccer since 1998. FIFA’s 209 members, who elected Blatter to a fifth term in May, will return to Zurich next year to...

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FIFA has the power to strip Russia, Qatar of their World Cups if corruption proven

If there is enough evidence of wrongdoing, FIFA has the power to strip the World Cup from both Russia and Qatar. Soccer’s governing body, currently engulfed in the worst corruption scandal in its 111-year history, has a provision which allows it to revoke hosting rights for “unforeseen contingencies and force majeure.” “If there is still evidence that a substantial amount (of votes) have been bought by illegal means, then of course it could be changed,” Swiss law professor and anti-corruption expert Mark Pieth told The Associated Press. “I would not totally rule it out, and of course there are...

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