New order

Signs of the changing order in world football can be seen in the growth of Brazil’s Brasilierão which has climbed above Holland’s Erevidisie to become the world’s sixth richest league.

A study conducted by BDO RCS reveals the growth of football as the sport benefits from the country’s economic boom.

With £543 million, Brazil is £326 million behind the French league, the world’s fifth largest.

The Premier League generates £2.1 billion, ahead of the Bundesliga £1.3 billion, La Liga £1.25 billion and Serie A £1.2 billion.

“While the clubs of Europe are struggling to maintain its revenues in Brazil we are just discovering this potential,” said Amir Somoggi, the author of the report, told O Estado de Sao Pãulo.

“New TV quotas, the operation of arenas, still little known here, naming rights.

“The Brazilian market is only beginning to develop.”

BDO believes the impact of hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2014 could see the Campeonato Brasileiro displace Ligue 1 and break into the top-five – a scenario that would have been unthinkable a decade ago.

Further threats to Western European supremacy in the coming years can be expected to come from Russia, China and the Middle East.

More strikes in Brazil

Brazil may know how to run a successful domestic championship, but asking them to organise a World Cup is a different matter. The city of Salvador is the latest of the country’s 2014 World Cup venues to be hit by a strike by construction workers.

The Brasilia, Belo Horizonte and Rio de Janeiro venues have all been affected by strikes, but Salvador’s preparations were praised by FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke only two weeks ago. Not anymore. Workers are unhappy with deals made between venue cities and the consortiums building or refurbishing World Cup stadiums

In Recife, another World Cup host city in the state of Pernambuco, workers have been on strike for a week over unpaid wages, although the employers claim their salaries are up to date.

“The stoppage, considered illegal by the Arena Pernambuco Consortium, has been compromising the works schedule since last Wednesday,” the consortium said in a statement.

Homophobia in Colombia

Courtesy of Bogota-based journalist, Carl Worswick, comes a shocking story of homophobia in Colombian football.

The head of the amateur, youth and women football association of Colombia (Difútbol) and one of the vice presidents of the Colombian football federation (Colfútbol) has just come out with some shocking homophobic comments regarding referees in Colombia.

Álvaro Gonzalez Alzate says: “One of the main requirements you have to have to referee at the top level in Colombia is to be homosexual.”

“It makes me very worried … there’s no worse illness – if you can call it that – and with respect to those that suffer from it, than homosexuality.”

He goes on to say that Colombian referees were once considered the third best in South America behind Argentina and Brazil but he now believes they are in tenth place.

Gonzalez previously caused outrage for his backing of woman-beating ex-national coach Hernán Dario Gómez. Gómez beat up a woman outside a Bogotá bar last August but Gonzalez called Gómez’s critics “false moralists” and vowed to “fight tirelessly for him to continue.”

He was eventually forced to accept Gómez’s resignation when national team sponsor Bavaria beer threatened to pull their sponsorship plug.

Calls for Terry to be stripped of captaincy

John Terry looks set to ignore calls for him to resign as England captain despite facing trial over racial abuse allegations.

The Chelsea defender is due to face charges on 9 July after an incident involving QPR’s Anton Ferdinand in the teams’ Premier League match in October.

Damian Collins MP, a member of the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, has voiced his opinion on Twitter.

“John Terry should stand aside as captain until the case is resolved, and any doubt either way removed,” he said.

The call was backed by Piara Powar, the executive director of European football’s anti-discrimination body – Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE).

“Innocent until proven guilty,” he Tweeted. “But should John Terry remain as England capt through the Euros? I can’t see how he can.”

Reading striker and BBC radio pundit Jason Roberts Tweeted: “Believe me…the Dressing room at the Euros will be TOXIC unless the correct decision is made..!!!

“Innocent until proven Guilty…I have also noted that Woodgate and Bowyer where suspended from England Duty pending there Assault Charges???”

According to a source close to Terry, the defender has no intention of resigning the captaincy.

“He won’t stand down. He is sure of his innocence and thus feels it would be wrong to do so,” said the source.

Goal of the day

Ghana secured the point they required to top their group in the African Nations Cup, courtesy of a 1-1 draw with Guinea. The Black stars went ahead when a corner reached Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu, who flicked the ball up and volleyed it into the top corner from the edge of the penalty area.

Quarter-final draw
04/02/12: Zambia v Sudan, Bata

04/02/12: Ivory Coast v Equatorial Guinea, Malabo
05/02/12: Gabon v Mali, Libreville
05/02/12: Ghana v Tunisia, Franceville

Spot the ball

A day after Milan requested that their forthcoming Serie A match against Napoli be cancelled because of adverse weather conditions in Italy, footage arrives suggesting they may have a point.

Tuesday’s Serie B match between Livorno and Varese at the Stadio Armando Picchi was played in a blizzard. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the hardy players used a white ball, which was nigh on impossible to see. As for the spectators, well they must have thought they were attending an exhibition match for a new Winter Olympic sport.

There is a reason why the orange football was invented; it’s a lot easier using that than painting the snow orange.

Here, apparently, Magnus Troest scores his second goal of the game to hand the visitors a 3-1 victory.

FIFA case goes back to court

The 11-year-old FIFA-ISL corruption case is heading for Switzerland’s supreme court after appeals were lodged to block publication of a key document.

The Swiss Federal Tribunal says it has opened five separate case files. It says the appellants’ identities must remain confidential.

The appeals challenge a December decision by Zug canton supreme court calling on FIFA to publish the dossier naming officials who took kickbacks from World Cup broadcast deals.

The 2010 settlement document reportedly identifies officials who admitted taking kickbacks, and repaid $6.1 million to remain anonymous.

FIFA has said it supported the Zug ruling and wouldn’t appeal.

Malaysian player faces ban

Malaysia striker Safee Sali has become his country’s first football millionaire by re-signing for Indonesian club Pelita Jaya but it could cost him an international ban.

The 28-year-old risks being frozen out of Malaysia’s national side by opting to stay in the breakaway Indonesian Super League (ISL).

Safee’s agent dismissed the threat of sanctions, claiming his client had a “foolproof contract” despite the fact FIFA does not recognise the rebel league.

“The report that the ISL has been banned is not true,” Zakaria Rahim told The Star newspaper. “His playing career is not under threat.

“In a worst-case scenario, if the ISL is banned, Safee has the option to join Pelita Jaya’s sister clubs (in Indonesia) and abroad.”

Safee has signed a two-year extension with the team for a salary of $657,500, earning him a reported $30,000 a month, not including match bonuses.

The Football Association of Malaysia, backed by FIFA,  had asked Safee to leave Pelita Jaya to avoid being banned for national duty.

Tevez plays dumb

Either Carlos Tevez is more stupid than he looks (unlikely), or he is highly skilled in the art of being disingenuous. The AWOL striker has expressed his frustration at his current predicament – conveniently overlooking the fact that he is the architect of it.

“The situation is very strange for me,” Tevez told Kicker. “I wanted to go and had offers from other leagues, from Spain and Italy. But it did not work out in the end because City did not accept any of the offers.”

“There were offers from [AC] Milan, Inter and PSG. But something always wasn’t right,” Tevez stated.

The Argentinian also could not understand why he had an image problem after walking out on City.

“I cannot understand that but I cannot do much against it,” Tevez said. “People may think what they want.”

Maybe he actually is more stupid than he looks.


The football world is still reeling from news of the deaths of 79 supporters following the Egyptian Premier League match between Al-Masry and Al-Ahly.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter expressed his sorrow at the tragedy.

“I am very shocked and saddened to learn this evening that a large number of football supporters have died or been injured following a match in Port Said, Egypt,” Blatter said in a statement on FIFA’s website

“My thoughts are with the families of those who have lost their lives this evening. This is a black day for football. Such a catastrophic situation is unimaginable and should not happen.”

There have been calls for FIFA to investigate the events that led to the horrific scenes in Port Said, and although these will be heeded, it is unlikely that the football authorities can do much about the current volatility besetting Egypt. From a distance, this appears to be very much a political problem and not a football one.

What is clear is that thousands of Al-Masry supporters invaded the pitch and attacked players and supporters of Al-Ahly, while security forces stood by, apparently unmoved by the ensuing carnage.

But for the swift escape made by the Al-Ahly players, the death toll could have been even higher.

Goalkeeper for Al-Ahly, Sharif Ikram was attacked by the invading fans, but managed to reach the safety of the dressing room, which he said had been turned into a makeshift morgue for the dead.

“There were people dying in front of us,” he said.

“It’s over. We’ve all made a decision that we won’t play soccer any more. How will we play soccer after 70 people died? We can’t think about it.”

Team-mate Mohammed Abu Trika criticised police for standing by and doing nothing to prevent the violence.

“People here are dying and no one is doing a thing. It’s like a war,” he told the team TV station.

He also posed the question: “Is life this cheap?”