• Will Platini join rogues gallery of disgraced confederation bosses?
    Michel Platini, the former French great and current UEFA president, remains the favorite to succeed Sepp Blatter as FIFA president despite being accused of accepting a $2 million "disloyal payment" from Blatter in 2011 for work deemed to have been done from January 1999 to June 2002, though key European backers have started to express concerns about the allegations.
  • Lionel Messi needs to get better advice
    For a guy who seems to have all the money he'll ever need, one wonders why Lionel Messi ever got mixed up with Messi & Friends. In the summer of 2012 and 2013, Messi played a series of all-star games in Colombia, Mexico and United States. The second year was a fiasco, and Spanish Guardia Civil investigators are now looking into charges that the matches were arranged by drug cartels to launder money.View image ...
  • Is England in Danger of Losing a UCL Slot?
    The UEFA Champions League and Europa League both return this week, and the British press is once again reminding us of English teams' awful start to both competitions. As you might have heard, Premier League clubs failed to qualify for the UCL quarterfinals in two of the last three seasons, and Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal each began the current campaign with 2-1 losses. As one report claims, "the English plight is becoming so desperate that the Premier League is in danger of losing one of its four places in the Champions League." Indeed, this is true: the Premier ...
  • What's to Look for as the FIFA Scandal Hits New Heights
    As you might have heard, the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland on Friday announced that it is investigating FIFA president Sepp Blatter for alleged "criminal mismanagement and misappropriation." The criminal proceedings relate to two transactions that the 78-year-old signed off on: one, the sale of 2014 World Cup rights to the Caribbean Football Union, which was previously headed by disgraced former CONCACAF president Jack Warner, at the absurdly deflated sum of $660,000; and two, the payment of $2 million in 2011 to current UEFA president and FIFA presidential hopeful Michel Platini for unknown services-right around the time the ...
  • Liverpool's narrow escape in League Cup won't ease pressure on Rodgers
    A bad start to the Premier League season has ratcheted up tensions in Liverpool, which is wallowing in the lower half of the standings and prompting speculation that manager Brendan Rodgers, hired in 2012 with just four seasons of experience, has run out of ways to achieve results. Liverpool scraped past Carlisle United of League Two in the League Cup and plays Aston Villa on Saturday.
  • Valcke's exit gives Putin's Russia free pass
    Soccer fans may know Jerome Valcke as the master of ceremonies at televised FIFA events such as the World Cup draw. But the Frenchman, suspended from his duties as FIFA secretary general last week amid allegations of involvement in schemes to sell tickets above face value at World Cup events, was responsible for its day-to-day business affairs.
  • Don't expect these surprising Hammers to quit clanging
    On Saturday, West Ham beat a Manchester City team that fielded the most expensive starting XI in EPL history. The 2-1 loss was City's first in the EPL and the club's first EPL goals allowed all season. Saturday also marked West Ham's first ever victory at the Etihad, a win that saw the Hammers become the first team in a decade to claim away wins against Arsenal, Liverpool and Man City during the same season.
  • Diego Costa is Chelsea's Biggest Problem
    Chelsea striker Diego Costa on Monday was charged with violent conduct by the English FA for his altercation(s) with Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny in the first half of Chelsea's 2-0 win against the Gunners on Saturday. Apparently, referee Mike Dean did not see the Brazilian-born Spain international twice hit Koscielny in the face and then chest-bump him to the ground, prior to goading Gabriel Paulista, the Frenchman's partner in central defense, into receiving a red card in the 45th minute of the contentious encounter at Stamford Bridge.
  • What's Next for Valcke and the FIFA Scandal?
    Bloomberg News on Friday reported that Jerome Valcke, FIFA President Sepp Blatter's No 2, pushed soccer's world governing body to a multi-million-dollar payoff and assurances that he wouldn't be pursued for damages in exchange for stepping down as the organization's general secretary, according to unnamed sources. One of the sources claims that Valcke, who had announced that he planned to leave FIFA alongside Blatter in February, recently told soccer's governing body that he wished to depart sooner, and that he also wanted millions of dollars more than he was entitled to under his current contract as well as legal protection-if, ...
  • Deja Vu: A Troubling Sign for English Teams in Europe
    Once again, the British press is wondering what's wrong with Premier League teams in Europe after three of four English clubs lost their UEFA Champions League openers this week: on Tuesday, the Manchester clubs each failed to protect 1-0 leads and eventually fell 2-1 in their openers. On Wednesday, 10-man Arsenal lost by the same scoreline.
  • Europe's Most Disappointing Team So Far
    English champ Chelsea and Italian champ Juventus are undoubtedly the highest-profile European clubs to endure a poor start to their respective seasons, but Germany's Borussia Monchengladbach, which finished third in the Bundesliga last season, is arguably the most disappointing.
  • Time to Crack Those Eggs, Jose
    As you might imagine, Chelsea fans are absolutely baffled by what's going on with their team this season. Last season's comfortable Premier League champion has already lost three of its first five games, matching its total losses for the entire 2014-15 title-winning campaign in early September. The Blues are currently 17th, two points above the relegation zone, and a whopping 11 points behind Premier League pace-setter Manchester City, which is perfect so far.
  • UCL Preview: The Six Frontrunners
    The World Cup will probably always be soccer's biggest competition, but the UEFA Champions League, which returns Tuesday, is arguably the sport's best. No other tournament in world soccer beats the UCL in terms of the quality of teams and the quality of players on display, and the packaging and theme song aren't half bad either.
  • Man United's Porous PR Stunt
    As we reported yesterday, Manchester United suddenly found itself in the news for the wrong reasons, as the British press on Thursday claimed that several senior Manchester United players had approached coach Louis van Gaal earlier this season about his stifling coaching style. Well, by the end of day Friday, the kerfuffle seemed to evaporate into thin air, as van Gaal, speaking ahead of United's home clash against Liverpool on Saturday, calmly gave his explanation for the alleged episode, which was later followed by the surprise announcement that goalkeeper David De Gea, who spent the entire summer transfer window openly ...
  • Why the LVG Experiment Could Spell Disaster for Man United
    The list of big-name players and coaches that have had problems with Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal is pretty long. In fact, the Daily Mirror went so far as to compile a list of well-regarded names that have publicly aired their disputes with the Dutch tactician; it includes the likes of former Barcelona greats Johann Cruyff, Rivaldo, Hristo Stoitchkov and Ronald Koeman, and, more recently, Angel Di Maria, Rafael, Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez, and compatriot Robin van Persie, all formerly of Manchester United. According to reports appearing Thursday in both The Sun and The Times (via ESPN), the latter former ...