Teixeira on the brink
Reports emerging from Brazil indicate that Ricardo Teixeira, the longstanding president of the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF), is set to resign after 23 years in charge.
According to Brazil’s O Globo newspaper, Teixeira could resign within the next 24 hours, and his successor will be Jose Maria Marin, one of the vice presidents of the CBF.
The news came on the day another newspaper, Folha de S.Paulo, reported that a company linked to Teixeira overcharged the organisers of a November 2008 friendly match between Brazil and Portugal in Brazil’s capital, Brasilia.
Teixeira, who famously branded Britain ‘the pirates of the world’ after a BBC Panorama programme in 2010 accused him of taking bungs to procure TV contracts, has frequently been accused of exploiting his position for financial gain.
In 2001, a Congressional investigation accused him of 13 crimes ranging from tax evasion to money laundering to misleading lawmakers, although no charges were ever brought.
Teixeira was also accused of taking more than $1 million in bribes from ISL, the marketing firm that worked with FIFA in the 1990s.
Little Jack Warner backed into a corner
Jack Warner has dismissed requests from FIFA about the whereabouts of emergency aid money intended for Haiti which had been sent to the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation two years ago.
The former FIFA vice-president has been implicated in the affair after FIFA said that $250,000 had been wired to the TTFF at Warner’s request following the Haiti earthquake, but the Haiti federation said it had only received US$60,000.
“Let them write, when I want to talk I will talk,” said Warner. “I have nothing to answer to anybody. You can’t take every foolish report that appears in a newspaper and ask me questions about it.”
Warner resigned all his football posts last year at the height of FIFA’s cash-for-votes scandal, and he sees the latest revelations as part of a broader conspiracy against him.
“This happened, I mean, imagine two years ago, two years ago (and) something has now been raised, ask yourself why guys,” he told reporters.
“Then of course FIFA withholds Jack Warner’s pension. News for Jack Warner, but of course that’s okay… to make me look bad? Let me tell you something. There is nothing anybody could say or do to make me look bad anymore.”
Interestingly, amid the bluster, there’s no denial from Warner that the money might not have reached its intended destination.
Goal of the day
Kevin Prince-Boateng’s stunning volley set Milan on their way to a 4-0 demolition of Arsenal.
Paying the price
China’s state news agency says a former World Cup referee is among nine people who have been jailed for their involvement in the country’s match fixing scandal.
The official Xinhua News Agency said that a court in northeast China sentenced Lu Jun to 5 1/2 years in jail for taking about nearly $130,000 to fix seven league matches. Lu officiated at two games at the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan.
Three other referees—Huang Junjie, Zhou Weixin and Wan Daxue—were sentenced to seven, three-and-a-half and six years, respectively, for fixing matches.
Chinese football has been beset by match-fixing scandals for years, which has led to widespread disillusionment among fans. Still, I’m sure that paragon of virtue, Nicolas Anelka, will soon turn that around.
The pain of defeat
Playing his last game for Arsenal before returning to MLS, Thierry Henry shows just how much Wednesday’s Champions League defeat to Milan meant to him.
Behind closed doors
Egyptian Football Association president Anwar Saleh has revealed that the the country’s top-flight competition will resume without spectators present.
The Egyptian Premier League is currently suspended after 74 people were killed earlier in the year as violence broke out after a match between Al-Ahly and Al-Masry in Port Said.
“The league will be resumed behind closed doors, but it will all depend on the results of the investigations,” Saleh told Ahram Sports.
“Security is the priority of all Egyptians and if it is achieved, the fans will return to the stands gradually.
“Resuming the competition is essential for several parties so I think that the clubs will not oppose playing the matches without their supporters.”
Saleh is the acting president of the Egyptian FA until elections are held after the previous administration was dissolved by Prime Minister Kamal al-Ganzouri in the wake of the Port Said violence.
Quote of the day
“Luck certainly played its part. I was a bit fortunate with the goal; I looked at the situation I was in and took a shot. Luckily for me it managed to go in the bottom corner. I don’t think it was down to my skill as a footballer − on the contrary, it was down to luck.”
A rare display of humility from a professional footballer as Zenit St Petersburg’s Sergei Semak plays down his wonderfully improvised backheel goal against Benfica.
Here’s the goal, which also features another backheel flick in the build-up by Alexander Kerzhakov.
Warsaw stadium boss pays price for Euro 2012 delays
Rafal Kapler has been forced out as manager of the Warsaw National Stadium that will host the opening game of Euro 2012, following safety concerns and construction delays..
Kapler’s resignation followed the cancellation of last weekend’s Polish Super Cup match amid safety concerns. A bonus of around £114,000 that was due to be paid to Kapler was also withheld by sports minister Joanna Mucha.
The Super Cup match was moved after police said communication in some areas of the stadium wasn’t possible and that the safety of spectators could not be guaranteed.
The National Stadium is due to host the Euro 2012 opening match on June 8 between Poland and Greece.
Leverkusen shirt tale embarrasses Voller
Is it any wonder that Bayer Leverkusen lost their home tie to Barcelona in the Champions League? Reports from Germany suggest a dressing-room bust-up at half-time between defenders Michal Kadlec and Manuel Friedrich over… who got to swap shirts with Lionel Messi.
Bild reported that Kadlec exchanged shirts with Messi at half-time, only for Friedrich to take it from him after a fight outside the changing rooms. Kadlec, who scored Leverkusen’s goal in the 3-1 defeat, then exchanged shirts a second time after the final whistle.
Leverkusen sporting director Rudi Voller insisted neither player would get to keep the shirt, saying instead that Messi’s garment will be auctioned for a charitable cause.
Rumour of the day: Suarez to PSG?
French daily L’Equipe, in its frontpage lead, is suggesting that Liverpool could offload troublesome forward Luis Suarez to Paris Saint-Germain this summer.
The main justification for the story seems to be the presence of Suarez’s Uruguay team-mate, Diego Lugano, in Paris. But moneybags PSG, after missing out on Alexandre Pato and Carlos Tevez in the January window, would have no problem paying a fee comparable to the £24m that Liverpool paid Ajax a year ago.