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Sepp Blatter Bribery Scandal Probed by FBI

Dec 08, 2015
sepp blatter fbi investigation

In a bit of a jam? (Photo: The Guardian)

The Sepp Blatter bribery scandal grows bigger as more evidence comes to light and an FBI investigation is launched.

In Switzerland gambling news, FIFA president Sepp Blatter is being probed by the FBI over allegations of bribery and corruption. The focal point of the Blatter bribery scandal is the sports marketing company ISL, who paid over $100 million to officials in order to secure lucrative television and marketing rights throughout the 1990s. Blatter denies knowledge of the bribes and continues to take no action, but new evidence from the FBI suggests that his claims are bogus.

A letter has been obtained by the FBI that was written by former FIFA president Joao Havelange. In it Havelange discusses the ISL payments and says that Blatter had “full knowledge of all activities” and was “always apprised” of them. Despite this new proof, Blatter—who says he will step down in 2016—continues to decline to comment on and deny involvement in bribery of any kind.

joao-havelange-fifa-former-president

Havelange speaks out (Photo: Wikipedia)

That said, he is now serving a 90 day suspension from FIFA, and will be taken to court with the sport organization’s ethics judge in mid-December.

Of the Blatter bribery scandal, Damian Collins MP said: “You have to ask yourself why did he seek to protect these people, and not just protect them but allow them to continue to play an active role in some of FIFA’s most important decisions?”

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Wales Better Than England in FIFA Rankings

Sep 04, 2015
Wales better than England in FIFA rankings

The first time in history that the dragon got the upper hand in football

This is the first time ever that the FIFA World Ranking lists Wales better than England, as both teams preparing for their upcoming EURO 2016 qualifiers.

Though nothing happened in August regarding international football, the pointing system of the FIFA rankings is always at work. By dropping coefficient results from old games, the order can be altered even if no matches were played. This occurs all the time, but never occurred before that FIFA ranked Wales better than England.

Wales are 1.75 (3/4) favourites against Cyprus in their upcoming EURO 2016 qualifier according to Unibet. You should also consider a draw for betting odds of 3.50 (5/2). Especially if you plan to take advantage the 50% risk free bet that Unibet Promotions offer for new customers. Cyprus are 5.15 (83/20) underdogs as hosts against Wales.

BBC: Euro 2016 qualifiers: Wales above England in Fifa rankings

 

Wales are ranked higher than England in the latest FIFA rankings. That is the first time ever that FIFA list Wales better than England. The news came during the buildup to Wales’ Euro 2016 qualifier against Cyprus. Wales are currently ninth according to international football’s governing body. This is their highest ever position in the FIFA rankings. Meanwhile England are tenth after dropping two places since August.

Wales better than England in FIFA rankings

Is really Wales better than England? At FIFA they are (Photo: Wales Online)

Experts of gambling facts might know that if the Welsh national team would be able to beat Cyprus in Nicosia, they would be three points from qualifying to the Euro 2016 tournament. With games still left against Israel, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Andorra, they would have massive chances.

National team manager Chris Coleman considers the fact that the FIFA list Wales better than England as a major “confidence boost”. However, he hinted that missing out on qualification would mean an unsuccessful campaign for his team. It might be interesting but the fact is that both Wales and England are above Spain and Netherlands, listed as 11th and 12th respectively. The current FIFA rankings are led by Argentina.

The Guardian: Wales move above England in Fifa rankings for first time

 

After the Three Lions lost two places, the FIFA ranks Wales better than England. Chris Coleman’s team is ninth, while Roy Hodgson’s side is tenth in the September issue of the FIFA World Ranking. Wales are currently leading Group B in the 2016 Euro qualification. They have retained their ninth position in the FIFA rankings from August, however England moving backwards meant that they have found themselves above their rivals.

Wales better than England in FIFA rankings Bale

Bale about to lead Wales to a historical success (Getty Images)

The leading countries have also retained their places from August according to the FIFA rankings system. Argentina continue to top the table. Wales’ Euro qualification rivals Belgium are still second, while reigning World Champions Germany remains in third place. Chile is the only team in the top ten that was able to gain places in the last month. The Copa America winners moved two places up to eighth.

Colombia, Brazil and Portugal occupies places between 4th and 6th. Romania, somehow stunning many followers of live sports results, are seventh. Anghel Iordanescu’s team will play a rivalry game against Hungary on Friday night. Romania are 2.65 (17/10) favourites according to Unibet. The hosts are 2.80 (9/5) underdogs, but a draw for online betting odds of 3.00 (2/1) looks like the best business regarding that contest. Especially as their previous meeting was also a draw in last October.

Wales Online: Wales rise above England in FIFA rankings for first time in history to become best of British

 
Wales better than England, according to the September FIFA rankings. That is official, as the monthly issue of international football’s governing body is the only recognized ranking system in world soccer. Wales better than England in football and rugby actually. The Welsh national rugby team also took over their neighbours recently.

A 1-0 victory over Euro 2016 qualification group rivals Belgium jump-started Gareth Bale and co’s new climb. They managed to take over all of Spain, Italy, France and the Netherlands in the summer. England were also successful with their qualies, so they were able to remain ahead of Wales then.

However, thanks to the complicated FIFA ranking system, England lost a significant chunk of points without playing a game. That is because of loosing the coefficient points from old games that were dropped from the sample. The current system counts results from the last four years, as many of those who follow gambling news might now. But many of those might be actually surprised seeing Wales better than England.

This is the first time that Wales are recognized as the leading force in British football since the introduction of the FIFA World Rankings in 1992. England were dropped to second in Britain for the second time. The first disgrace came in 1995, when Scotland managed to overtake the Three Lions.

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The week in pictures: June 30- July 07, 2015

Jul 08, 2015

Weekly news in pictures

With numerous massive news stories hitting the headlines last week we spend a few moments going over some of the most important

Beijing took steps last week to halt the sliding share prices in its two major trading markets. With the Shanghai Composite Index having lost 30% of its value in the last three weeks the government has banned IPOs and set up a stabilization fund, 19 billion dollars of which was pledged by senior brokers, fund managers and mutual funds who will invest in the local market. With more than 3 trillion dollars already wiped off value Beijing has to hope this will stop the rot, but it may well not.

61.3% of Greek voters rejected the package of austerity measures that were to be imposed by the nation’s Eurozone creditors in a referendum held on Sunday. In the first such vote since the mid-1970s the government of Alexis Tsipras’ Syriza party gained support for its position of not acquiescing to the continued fiscal hardship set upon it from Brussels. The vote marks a turning point in negotiations between the Euro Elite and Greece, with a compete breakdown of the process and a Greek exit still likely.

Website Reddit faced a massive backlash to its sacking of Victoria Taylor last week with 300 of its subreddits closed down by unpaid moderators protesting at the decision. With Mz. Taylor viewed by many as trustworthy, and the rest of the Reddit employee roster being seen as disinterested corporate scum, the site’s chief executive Ellen Pao has already apologized for letting down users and promised to find a solution to fix the problem, but it is a promise few of the regulars believe she can keep.

In sport the FIFA scandal continued to rumble on with two leading officials with Croatia’s leading football club, Dinamo Zagreb, arrested on suspicion of tax evasion, bribery, corruption and numerous other offenses. Some 1.8 million dollars is said to have been defrauded from the state by the detained. Will this be a pattern repeated across the world as FIFA’s slide into infamy continues? You’ll have to read our daily news pages to find out, but in the meantime here’s the big stories we covered last week.

1. Lionel Messi helped Argentina with three assists in their 6–1 win over Paraguay.

argentina paraguay copa america 2015

Argentina defeated Paraguay (Photo: ca2015)

2. Lewis Hamilton complained about the trophies in Formula One ahead of the 2015 British Grand Prix.

lewis-hamilton-formula1

Hamilton is working for better…looking rewards (Photo: Thisisf1)

3. The United States and Japan were preparing their third showdown against each other in Canada before the 2015 Women’s World Cup final.

womens world cup soccer 2015

USA is the world champion (Photo: FIFA)

4. With Argentina and Chile to fight for the title, everything was ready for a remarkable Copa America showdown before the final.

copa america trophy

Now we know who won… Congrats, Chile! (Photo: ca2015)

5. Russell Wilson mentioned that if he had the opportunity, he would play baseball while he continues his NFL career.

russell wilson 2015

Russell Wilson, great at two great American sports (Photo: sportsblog)

6. Chile won their first ever Copa America title after defeating Argentina on penalties in Santiago de Chile.

copa america champions 2015

When everybody was waiting for the final (Photo: ca2015)

7. Roger Federer demonstrated his skills after Caroline Wozniacki accused the organizers with sexism in the second week of the Wimbledon Championships.

roger federer 2015

Roger Federer (Photo: The Guardian)

Meanwhile Hollywood’s portrayal of aliens as being humanoid has gained some well respected backing from evolutionary biologist Simon Conway Morris who last week claimed it was likely any extraterrestrials would look very similar to humans as the principles convergence gave rise to the same evolutionary development as man has enjoyed here on Earth. With isolated evolutionary structures coming to resemble themselves so it is now thought that the same variety of life will have reached domination on other planets as it has here.

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Maradona to Run for FIFA President

Jun 24, 2015
Diego Armando Maradona aims to be the next FIFA president

Diego Armando Maradona aims to be the next FIFA president

Victor Hugo Morales, a Uruguayan writer, who is a close friend of Diego Maradona, revealed that the Argentinian footballing genius told him that he will run for the FIFA presidency in the next election. Sepp Blatter, who has been leading international football’s governing body since 1998, announced his resignation earlier this month after the FIFA corruption scandal escalated. The FBI and the Swiss authorities are also investigating the organization and several former leaders were arrested in connection of the bribe cases. Maradona, a regular critic of Blatter and his regime, stated recently that he was pretty much enjoying the ongoing FIFA scandal.

 

The Guardian: Diego Maradona to stand as candidate for Fifa presidency, say reports

 

After the FIFA scandal escalated to an extent where even Sepp Blatter had to resign, Diego Maradona, who is known for criticizing international football’s governing body for long, decided to run for the presidency in the next election, online gambling news report.

Maradona told Uruguayan journalist Victor Hugo Morales, who is famous for his commentary of Maradona’s goal against England from 1986, that he was a candidate for the presidency. Maradona also authorized Morales to let the press know about his intentions. Followers of sports scores might recall that Nicolas Maduro, the president of Venezuela recommended the nomination of the 54-year-old former Argentina captain earlier in June.

This is not the first time that a previous world class player from South America applied for the presidency of the FIFA, as the late Zico from Brazil also pursued an interest to lead international football. However he failed to gain support from five national federations, which is a must if someone wants to run for the presidency.

 

Telegraph.co.uk: Diego Maradona ‘ready to stand for Fifa president’

 

Diego Maradona reportedly plans to replace Sepp Blatter as the president of the FIFA. Victor Hugo Morales, a journalist from Uruguay, stated that the previous world class player told him about his intentions on Sunday. Morales initially called the former Argentina captain to check on his sick father’s condition, online mobile news report.

“He told me he was going to run for president of Fifa and authorised me to inform,” Morales posted on his social media account. He also added, “I am a candidate’ were the two words Diego Maradona used to answer me when I consulted him about the nomination for the presidency of Fifa.”

FIFA corruption investigations forced Blatter to resign. (Photo: The Telegraph)

FIFA corruption investigations forced Blatter to resign. (Photo: The Telegraph)

Maradona and Morales hosted a TV show together presenting the 2014 World Cup for a Venezuelan channel last year. Maradona had been criticizing Sepp Blatter long before the FIFA corruption scandal erupted, and he expressed that he was enjoying the torture of the leaders of international football’s governing body.

 

sports.yahoo.com: Maradona’s road to FIFA presidency filled with obstacles

 

Diego Maradona reportedly revealed that he intended to run for the presidency of the FIFA, somehow stunning many followers of live sports results. To become an actual candidate, he needs to be nominated by at least five national associations and to pass an integrity check.

Victor Hugo Morales, a close friend of Maradona stated that the former Argentina captain informed him about his plan to run for the presidency. After Sepp Blatter spoke about his resignation, Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro named Maradona as the ideal person to replace the Swiss sports leader.

Can Maradona get enough support to become the new FIFA president? (Photo: Yahoo)

Can Maradona get enough support to become the new FIFA president? (Photo: Yahoo)

It would be a surprise however if several members of the FIFA opted to back such a controversial person to represent international football just after a scandalous period ended. Maradona probably couldn’t even manage to get the support of his native country as his relationship with the Argentinian federation wasn’t very good recently.

However, Cuba and Venezuela seems to be countries where he is welcomed by leading politicians, though it doesn’t necessarily mean that he will automatically get the nod from their respective national associations.

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The week in pictures: November 11th – November 17th, 2014

Nov 19, 2014

Weekly news in pictures

The world last week was a place of excitement and disaster so lets look back at some of the big stories that hit the headlines

Quatar was cleared of allegations of wrong doing surrounding their being awarded the 2022 World Cup by FIFA the body that oversees international soccer. Despite a huge number of allegations the report supposedly gave the rich nation in which it’s actually too hot to feasibly play football a clean bill of health although the report itself is not to be published in full and has already been criticized by one of the authors for being misrepresented. UEFA are already threatening to quit FIFA over the scandal.And a scandal is perhaps what the Rosetta project could become as the 1.4 billion Euro adventure into the depths of space managed to get 300 million miles from Earth, catch up with a speeding comet and then crash into it, bounce a few times and dive into one of the few places its solar panels couldn’t recharge its batteries. Still hailed as a huge success by the scientific community it remains to be seen just how much real information will be gleaned from the results.

Of course real information is hard to come by these days and Vladimir Putin seemed a tad disingenuous when he cited a long journey home and a need for sleep as being the reasons behind his leaving the G20 Summit in Australia quite as early as he did. Of course many observers would point to the fact just about every other leader had lambasted him for his attitude and behavior over Ukraine, and that Russia was rapidly becoming isolated on the world stage.

In sports a very disappointed Roger Federer was forced to pull out of the ATP World Tour final versus long term rival Novak Djokovic due to a back injury. Apologizing in person at the O2 Arena in London he said sorry for not being match fit in what was a massive PR disaster for the ATP, and an unfortunately tainted default win for Djokovic who admitted this wasn’t the way he wanted to win the trophy. Will Federer recover his fitness or have we seen the last of the six time ATP champion? Find out on our daily news pages but in the meantime lets have a look back at our headlines from last week.

1. One company’s trash is another company’s treasure. With Echo Group hunting VIP gamblers, the Townsville casino was becoming too insignificant in the whole picture, so the company sold it for $70 million to someone willing to fix it up and revive it.
Jupiter Townsville

Townsville’s gem (Photo: Morgan Evan)

2. After remote gambling operators have taken a major financial blow because of the new license fees and taxes imposed in the UK, the Maltese Government is offering to help heal their bleeding wounds.
Parliamentary Secretary José Herrera comes to the rescue (Photo: Times of Malta)

Parliamentary Secretary José Herrera comes to the rescue (Photo: Times of Malta)

3. A trained chef and poker player, Martin Jacobson has surely figured out the secret recipe for success, because he just won $10 million and his very first gold bracelet at the World Series of Poker.
If  the game of poker were a dish...what would it be?  (Photo: Martin  Jacobson blog)

If the game of poker were a dish…what would it be? (Photo: Martin Jacobson blog)

4. It took a long time, but Atlantic City is finally waking up and smelling the coffee. Losing five casinos and leaving thousands of workers unemployed has finally hurt enough to convince officials that it’s time for a change.
Casino Campus

Casino Campus (Photo: Spy Hollywood)

5. One of the largest Asian gambling groups, Genting, is resilient to the general decline on the gambling market.
Genting says VIPs will save the day

Genting says VIPs will save the day (Photo: Genting Casino)

6. The state of Illinois allowed video gaming machines in bars and restaurants and so far the experience has been positive.
Joy of casino: Illinois style (Photo:)

Casino joy: Illinois style (Photo: Chris LaPelusa/Sun Day Photo)

7. New information has been made available in connection to Paul Phua illegal betting ring, which might lead to case dismissal.
Paul Phua: case dismissed? title=

Paul Phua: case dismissed? (Photo: Youtube via The Review Journal )

Meanwhile Boko Haran we accused of being behind the suicide bombing that struck a Nigerian school assembly killing 46 and injuring 79 students, an event that made a mockery of government claims to have signed a ceasefire with the Islamic terrorist group, and elsewhere the Dutch have discovered a new outbreak of an even more contagious, and thus dangerous, strain of bird flu that can be transmitted to humans. Will we all end up tarred and feathered? You’ll have to keep up to date with our daily news pages to find out.

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Police Busts Illegal Betting Operation Taking Wagers on World Cup Sports Scores

Jun 25, 2014

Police Busts Illegal Betting Operation Taking Wagers on World Cup Sports Scores

Despite the fact that both FIFA and gambling authorities across the world warned that they would intensify efforts to combat betting corruption, illegal wagers on World Cup sports scores proved to be too tempting for leaders of underground gambling rings.

The football event of the year has barely started, but the police in Macau already arrested a few punters from Hong Kong after evidence suggested they had placed HK $5 billion in illegal bets, including one staggering wager worth HK $40 million on a single match.

The illegal gambling operation was run from a hotel in Macau, which was raided by the local police. Officers found and removed betting slips and accounts, as well as more than HK $2 million in cash, 17 computers and 10 mobile phones.

Since the beginning of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Hong Kong police officers have also arrested 39 people suspected of unlawful gambling. HK $85 million worth of betting slips were confiscated from the illegal bookmakers.

South China Morning Post: Macau police smash illegal betting ring that took HK$5b in World Cup wagers

The Macau police busted a huge bookmaking operation. It is said that the illegal betting ring took a total of HK $5 billion in World Cup wagers, from rich clients around the world. Punters placed their bets on live sports results via telephone or online.

A raid on a local hotel found that three rooms had been turned into an operation base for the illegal betting syndicate. According to the latest gambling news, 22 people (including two women) aged 23 to 50 were arrested. Among them were four men from Hong Kong, nine Malaysians and nine mainlanders. The ring was lead by two men, one from Malaysia and one from the mainland.

One day later, the police conducted a second raid and arrested four new suspects at the same hotel. Officers are now conducting further investigations to find out who was placing the bets.

Suen Kam-fai, a spokesman for the local police, told reporters: “Information indicates that this syndicate accepted bets before and after the matches kicked off. That’s why they needed a lot of manpower to take bets via the internet and telephone.”

CNN: Macau busts $645 million World Cup betting ring

Police have smashed a gambling ring operating from a hotel located in Macau. The illegal betting syndicate allegedly took the equivalent of US $645 million in World Cup wagers. According to local authorities, this was the biggest ever raid on an unlawful bookmaking racket in the Asian casino capital.

Working from three hotel rooms, the suspects took internet and phone bets from around the world. Authorities discovered that one gambler placed a wager valued at around US $5 million.

The police arrested 22 people from mainland China, Hong Kong and Malaysia, including two suspects believed to be the ringleaders. They also confiscated US $248,000 in cash, 17 computers, at least 10 cell phones and several betting slips.

A few hours later, the police busted a second gambling operating from the same hotel. Four Chinese men allegedly took US$645,000 in illegal bets on World Cup matches in one day.

The raids were part of a cross-border campaign to combat illegal sports betting in Macau, Hong Kong and the southern province of Guangdong, China.

The Guardian: Police bust gambling racket in Macau after huge World Cup bets

A bookmaking racket that allegedly took HK $5 billion ($645 million, or GBP 379 million) in illegal bets was recently uncovered by the police in Macau. The illicit football syndicate operated from a local hotel and allowed punters from all over the world to place World Cup wagers online and via telephone, the South China Morning Post said.

Police have arrested 22 suspects in what is thought to be the biggest unlawful football betting operation in Macau, as initial investigations found evidence of HK $5 billion worth of World Cup wagers, including a single HK$40 million bet on one match.

Since the beginning of the 2014 World Cup, authorities in Macau, Hong Kong and the Guangdong province have been working together in a campaign to put an end to illegal gambling operations. Investigators seized more than HK $2 million in cash, 17 computers, more than 10 mobile phones and betting slips.

During the first week of the World Cup, authorities in the area have arrested 39 people suspected of being involved in illegal betting operations and confiscated HK $85 million worth of betting slips.

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10 facts about the FIFA World Cup you probably didn’t know

May 27, 2010

2010-fifa-world-cup-mascot-zakumi

1. Brazil has appeared in more World Cups (18), won the more matches (64), and won more Cups (5) than any other country.

2. Since the first World Cup in 1930, a total of 31,051,828 fans have attended the Finals.

3. July 31 was declared a national holiday in Uruguay after they won the inaugural World Cup in 1930.

4. Shirt swapping was officially prohibited in 1986 because FIFA did not want players to bare their chests on the soccer field.

5. Europe and South America are the only contents to produce World Cup winners.

6. The youngest World Cup player was 17 year old Norman Whiteside (Ireland) and the oldest was 42 year old Roger Milla (Cameroon).

7. Mexico has lost the most matches in World Cups Finals history (22).

8. During WWII, to prevent the Nazis from stealing the Jules Rimet Trophy, Dr. Ottorino Barassi, an Italian sports official, smuggled the trophy from the bank in Rome and hid it under his bed.

9. The winners of the 2010 World Cup will receive $30,000,000 prize money

10. The official 2010 World Cup Mascot is a green and gold leopard man named Zakumi.

FIFA World Cup Betting Odds

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Top 10 Soccer Players in the FIFA 2010 World Cup in South Africa

May 10, 2010

1. Lionel Messi

Brazil Argentina Wcup SoccerTeam: Argentina

Age: 22

Position: Striker

Current club: Barcelona

2. Cristiano Ronaldo

cristiano_ronaldo

Team: Portugal

Age: 25

Position: Winger

Current club: Real Madrid

3. Wayne Rooney

Wayne-Rooney

Team: England

Age: 24

Position: Striker

Current club: Manchester

4. Kaka

kaka

Team: Brazil

Age: 28

Position: Midfielder

Current club: Real Madrid

5. Xavi

Xavi

Team: Spain

Age: 30

Position: Midfielder

Current club: Barcelona

6. Didier Drogba

drogba

Team: Ivory Coast

Age: 32

Position: Striker

Current club: Chelsea

7. Andres Iniesta

andres-iniesta

Team: Spain

Age: 25

Position: Winger

Current club: Barcelona

8. Fernando Torres

torres

Team: Spain

Age: 26

Position: Striker

Current club: Liverpool

9. Steven Gerrard

4153392

Team: England

Age: 29

Position: Midfielder

Current club: Liverpool

10. Michael Essien

michael-essien

Team: Ghana

Age: 27

Position: Midfielder

Current club: Chelsea

2010_FIFA_World_CupSee FIFA World Cup betting odds and 2010 football FIFA World Cup Betting Odds

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