• Why Disempowering Blatter Will Take a Global Effort
    FIFA on Friday lost its credibility with the West after Sepp Blatter was reelected president of soccer's world governing body just two days after Swiss and U.S. authorities arrested nine officials from the organization as well as five sports marketing execs, charging them with involvement in kickback schemes totaling $150 million. During a pair of acceptance speeches, Blatter made it very clear that he knows exactly where his bread is buttered, going out of his way in both to praise tiny Oceania, suggesting that the series of island nations, whose total population is less than 15 million-deserves more respect, and …
  • Can Jordan's Prince Ali Really Dethrone Blatter?
    That's the question on the lips of many the day before FIFA's Congress votes for the next president of soccer's world governing body for the next four years. To be sure, Prince Ali bin al Hussein's chances of overtaking incumbent Sepp Blatter's bid for an unprecedented fifth consecutive term as FIFA president have certainly improved in the wake of Wednesday's arrests of 14 people in the U.S. and Switzerland, including nine current and former soccer officials.
  • FIFA's Indictments: More Deja Vu?
    Off The Post couldn't help but be overcome by deja after waking up to news of the 14 indictments handed out by Swiss and U.S. authorities on Wednesday morning as the FIFA Congress and subsequent presidential election were scheduled to begin in Zurich. In a nutshell, here's what happened: nine current and former soccer officials from North, Central and South America were indicted by Swiss and U.S. authorities alongside six sports marketing executives for alleged racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering, among other white-collar crimes, over a 24-year period. The officials and executives in question were allegedly involved in kickbacks …
  • The Vindication of Jonas Gutierrez
    Jonas Gutierrez capped what will most likely be a fairytale ending to his Newcastle career on Sunday as the Magpies escaped relegation thanks to his game-winning performance in the 2-0 win against West Ham United on the final day of the Premier League season. Last fall, Gutierrez, a seven-year servant of the club, looked a forgotten man under former coach Alan Pardew, despite battling back to fitness after undergoing testicular cancer treatment in 2013 and 2014.
  • Why Gareth Should Bail, Part Two
    Former Real Madrid and Wales coach John Toshack said this week that he thinks the world's biggest club is not getting the best out of Gareth Bale because coach Carlo Ancelotti is playing him out of position. "With Bale, everything is strange. I don't see him happy. It's true that playing for Real Madrid can be imposing, but it shouldn't be his case after two years," he said, adding: "I see strange things, gestures with Cristiano Ronaldo, looks. Injuries have also cut his rhythm. But I see him playing and it doesn't look like him. I see him suffer. He …
  • Blatter's Peace-Making Mission Fails
    FIFA President Sepp Blatter's peace-making mission failed on Wednesday after the Palestinian soccer association (PFA) opted to press forward with its plan to ask the 209 member-strong FIFA Congress to suspend Israel at the meeting which follows the FIFA presidential election on May 29. The PFA claims that restrictions on the freedom of movement over Israeli borders for Palestinian players and officials are unfair, even racist; additionally, it notes that five Israeli teams currently play inside Palestinian borders without the territory's permission.
  • Israel Could Face FIFA Suspension
    Israel is facing suspension from international soccer games and competitions after the Palestinian soccer association (PFA) promised to put Israel's treatment of Palestinian soccer players on trial at the upcoming FIFA Congress in Zurich on May 29. The PFA alleges that Palestinian players receive humiliating and/or racist treatment when they have to deal with Israeli security forces-for example, when they cross over the borders between Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. In addition to not allowing the free movement of Palestinian or foreign players across Israeli borders, the PFA also alleges that five teams in the Israeli Premier League are …
  • Why Real Madrid Should Let Ronaldo Go
    The main reason Off The Post doesn't like the parade of individual awards that come down the pipe at the end of every season, is that increasingly, awards season fosters the development of the worst kind of teammate for any coach or player aspiring to win an actual trophy to deal with: that is, the preening individualist (PI). Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo is an absolutely exceptional talent, well beyond world-class, and as such, you can absolutely win things with him in your eleven, provided you configure the rest of your team around his preening individualism. Of course, Real Madrid …
  • Atleti the Difference in Barca's Title Win
    It was all about Atletico Madrid as Barcelona won its 26th La Liga title on Sunday. Nearly one year after Atleti went to Barca and won the league, Barca headed to Atleti on the penultimate day of the season and took it back, thanks to another moment of genius from Lionel Messi.
  • How Sepp Blatter Stays in Power
    Among other things, Jeremy Schaap's ESPN E:60 documentary on FIFA and its president, Sepp Blatter, attempts to shine a light on the corrupt bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, awarded to Russia and Qatar, respectively, in 2010, as well as the upcoming FIFA Presidential election, which will be held on May 29. As opposed to four years ago, when Blatter was reelected unopposed, this time around, the 79-year-old faces three different challengers: Prince Ali bin Al-Hussein of Jordan, Michael van Praag, head of the Netherlands' soccer federation (KNVB), and former Portuguese soccer star Luis Figo.
  • Hard Luck, Gareth?
    Gareth Bale missed more than half a dozen chances as Real Madrid crashed out of the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday night after a 1-1 draw against Juventus at the Santiago Bernabeu. Juve, the Italian champion now for four years running, qualified for the June 6 final in Berlin by virtue of the 3-2 aggregate score between the clubs over two games.
  • Bayern Munich's Big Crossroads
    If Jupp Heynckes' Bayern Munich was all about organization, physicality, and the clever playmaking of Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery, Pep Guardiola's Bayern would be-as it was at Barca-all about possession and high-pressing whenever the team lost the ball so it could be regained quickly. Predictably, the transition to a new style of play was not always easy.
  • Why Bale Should Fire His Agent
    A day after Jonathan Barnett, Gareth Bale's agent, responded to criticism of his star client's performances following Real's 2-1 defeat to Juventus in the first-leg of the UEFA Champions League semifinal last Tuesday, Real coach Carlo Ancelotti launched an attack on Barnett in response.
  • Barca "a Unit," Real a Team of Individuals
    Real Madrid's La Liga title hopes faded further into the distance this weekend after Barcelona opened up a four-point lead at the top of the standings. Barca would now be crowned champion if it wins one of its remaining two games, against third-place Atletico Madrid and relegation-threatened Deportivo La Coruna, respectively. And while the praise for Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez continues to pour in for their dominating offensive contributions, Diego Simeone, the coach of rival Atletico Madrid, notes that its the defensive-minded Gerard Pique, Javier Mascherano, Jeremy Mathieu, Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic that give Barca's front three …
  • Strike Threatens to End La Liga Season This Weekend
    There is an absolute mess brewing in Spain over a new law regarding the sale and distribution of Spanish league TV rights that pits the Spanish professional players' union (AFE) with Spain's soccer federation (RFEF) on one side against the professional soccer league (LFP) and the government's sports council on the other.
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