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Athena

International Soccer/Football & UEFA Champions League

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Seriously. Qatar. One can at least deal with Russia as a host since there's an infrastructure in place. But come on. No one in that room said, "uh, guys? This might be a smidge much."

 

I'm also wondering if USA thought they were going to get 2022, since the rotation would have been back to this hemisphere by then, so were like, "No, I don't think so."

 

I don't get why USA hasn't gotten another one yet. It's still been the most successful one to date.

 

There's a meme floating around with a gigantic bald eagle face and 'Gets cheated out of 2022 World Cup. Arrests FIFA.'

 

I'd be willing to say that losing out to Qatar is some of the incentive behind the investigation... simply because Qatar getting it at all was fucking ridiculous. But that's kind of the point... it was so ridiculous it couldn't be ignored anymore. And because of that move, now they're pointing out the corruption that granted the tournament to the recent locations for the World Cup as well as other regional tournaments.

 

But it can't stop here... the other regions have to be willing to go forward with this. UEFA needs to get involved and start digging.

 

By the by, Twitter has been delightful I am loving Gary Lineker's tweets.

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I want Jon Oliver to have a follow up story about FIFA just so he can say, "I told you so!"

 

I'm still outraged about Qatar- it's like they WANT the players and crowds to have heatstroke.  I worry that this investigation won't change things and it will be one corrupt group being replacing another corrupt group.  I hope I am wrong, because it would be great to see the sport run and played by honest people.  I also want a pony.

 

 

(Don't get me started about the lack human rights in both Qatar and Russia.  I will rant for days).

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I read this morning that Switzerland is running its own investigation.

 

That's the most remarkable thing to me. The fact that Switzerland - aka  the land where you can hide your ill-gotten gains and they'll look the other way - is launching its own investigation is kind of a big deal.

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I'd be willing to say that losing out to Qatar is some of the incentive behind the investigation... simply because Qatar getting it at all was fucking ridiculous.

My favorite (likely apocryphal) story is that Bill Clinton, who had helped lead the campaign for the US bid for over two years, pitched a *fit* when Qatar was announced as the winner. Like smashing up his hotel room in rage and disbelief.

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It seems really weird to me that FIFA insisted Brazil had to lift the ban on alcohol at stadiums during the World Cup would then award a country with a booze ban as their national law.

 

This is the thing. People in general don't really mind graft and scams. There's a limit though. People don't like bad scams because they insult our intelligence. Russia hosting the World Cup is doable. No one would have objected to just that. 

 

But, that's what does in all criminals in the end; arrogance and overreach. If USA, Mexico, even back to Japan/Korea got it in 2022, this is nothing. 

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It seems really weird to me that FIFA insisted Brazil had to lift the ban on alcohol at stadiums during the World Cup would then award a country with a booze ban as their national law.

 

This is the thing. People in general don't really mind graft and scams. There's a limit though. People don't like bad scams because they insult our intelligence. Russia hosting the World Cup is doable. No one would have objected to just that. 

 

But, that's what does in all criminals in the end; arrogance and overreach. If USA, Mexico, even back to Japan/Korea got it in 2022, this is nothing. 

Even Australia would've been more acceptable.  Yeah, their professional league isn't anywhere near as well established, but at least they have some infrastructure in place and it would've been winter there.  It would've been a new area of the world (the South Pacific) but not unreasonably out of all the beaten paths of world football.  But Qatar was just insane arrogance.

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Sure. Why not? I know it's unfair, but not every country should be eligible for the World Cup. Life isn't fair. A country shouldn't have to be a soccer power, but there's got to be some base level of infrastructure already in place.  

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Seriously. Qatar. One can at least deal with Russia as a host since there's an infrastructure in place. But come on. No one in that room said, "uh, guys? This might be a smidge much."

 

I'm also wondering if USA thought they were going to get 2022, since the rotation would have been back to this hemisphere by then, so were like, "No, I don't think so."

 

I don't get why USA hasn't gotten another one yet. It's still been the most successful one to date.

 

The US and many other countries are as of late refusing to go along with the demands from committees like FIFA and the IOC. Look at the list of countries bidding for the Winter Games. It's down to, like, nothing because of crazy-ass demands from IOC officials.

 

I am all for showcasing new locales and cultures to the world, but Qatar has all the makings of a real disaster if the World Cup stays there. Soccer fans probably aren't keen on following Sharia law including alcohol restrictions (you can get liquor in Qatar, but it ain't free-flowing from the tap at the corner pub where the TVs are blaring all the games). The games will be in December; not only have they pissed off the European leagues, it's also NFL season, so I imagine Fox was none too pleased when they found out about the move.

 

But, I would guess the only way the World Cup moves from Qatar is if FIFA has entirely new leadership -- I mean new everyone in every position, because the minute they take the WC away, the leaks will start coming out about who on the committee was bribed and with how much.

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it's also NFL season, so I imagine Fox was none too pleased when they found out about the move.

As long as the final is not on a Sunday or a Monday night, Fox shouldn't complain.

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Here, some of IOC's demands for hosting the 2022 Olympics (this came to light when Oslo dropped out of bidding):

 


-Cars and drivers for IOC members, with special dedicated highway lanes
-Street lights synchronized to prioritize IOC traffic
-Separate airport entrance for IOC members
-Hotel mini-bars must have only Coca-Cola products
-Samsung phones for all IOC members
-All meeting rooms must be kept at exactly 68 degrees.

-All furniture must have "Olympic appearance."

-"IOC members will be received with a smile on arrival at hotel"

 

I imagine FIFA's demands are quite similar. Or perhaps even more ridiculous.

 

http://deadspin.com/nobody-wants-to-host-the-2022-olympics-1582151092/1641262594

 

As long as the final is not on a Sunday or a Monday night, Fox shouldn't complain.

 

Any Sunday games would be a huge scheduling nightmare for Fox. Not to mention Fox is making a big push for college football as well, which would make Saturday scheduling a headache.

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The USA isn't the only country to watch the WC. Sponsors for the major euro leagues have sunk billions into them, and they're not going to be too happy just having the matches suspended either. How are they going to squeeze 30 something league matches, domestic cups, Europa, and CL in?

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Chuck Blazer spent $6000 a month for an apartment for his cats.

 

Now, see this is my favorite part of the story. It's just so absurd that I laugh and laugh every time I read it, as I imagine what the cat apartment looked like.

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I'm going house shopping next week. I'm bringing my dog. There's no way I'm buying anything she doesn't approve of.

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As long as the final is not on a Sunday or a Monday night, Fox shouldn't complain.

Well, the final is traditionally on Sunday, and the month of games leading up to the final certainly will hit on several NFL days.  But then again, the World Cup traditionally isn't played in the middle of winter either, so . . .

I'm going house shopping next week. I'm bringing my dog. There's no way I'm buying anything she doesn't approve of.

Don't be giving my cats any ideas.

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This wasn't even close to being a surprise, though. Asia and Africa stands with Sepp and that puts him way ahead in numbers. Plus, no one who is benefiting from corruption is going to do a damn thing to change that corruption. It's going to be a long process to change anything going on in FIFA but I hope that when that day comes, Blatter falls hardest of all.

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There's no apparent corruption in the world of chess...only cheating (in games) and allegations of cheating. (in games) 

Edited by ketchuplover

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BLATTER RESIGNED!!

 

Oh man... there must be some sort of deal in place or something. I honestly never thought I'd see the day. HE RESIGNED!!

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Someone check and make sure John Oliver hasn't passed out from drinking all the Bud Light Lime and eating everything on McDonald's dollar menu.

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All I can think is that some serious shit is about to go down. For Blatter to actually, willingly step aside--what, five days after being defiant in re-election--it must be big. (Perhaps he's taking the first private plane he can find to Venezuela where he plans to live out the rest of his days in extradition-free bliss.)

 

I watched John Oliver's segment last night. I'll be sorely disappointed if he doesn't follow up on it this weekend, surrounded by piles of McDonalds & Budweiser empties.

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All I can think is that some serious shit is about to go down. For Blatter to actually, willingly step aside--what, five days after being defiant in re-election--it must be big.

 

Maybe this?

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Ooooh, maybe. I also saw that UEFA announced they were meeting this Friday to consider a boycott of the 2018 World Cup--that would be a massive blow but seems unlikely to be the sole factor behind Blatter's resignation. Story here. I've already seen in a few places that UEFA's leader, Michel Platini, is considered a leading contender to replace Blatter, however.

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I watched John Oliver's segment last night. I'll be sorely disappointed if he doesn't follow up on it this weekend, surrounded by piles of McDonalds & Budweiser empties.

 

Well, he did tweet this.

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Well, there is talk that the DOJ is supposed to be releasing some of the conversations Glazer got while wearing a wire...

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Well, there is talk that the DOJ is supposed to be releasing some of the conversations Glazer got while wearing a wire...

 

Oh dear - the comedy possibilities of this are endless.

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Happy Dance!!!

 

I know this isn't going to make things perfect, but I'm glad that the sonofabitch stepped down. 

 

Now I'm wondering what they had on him, because I am sure he didn't resign out of the goodness of his heart.

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That's what I'd like to know, MostlyC. Because it's a big change from his defiant stance after last Friday's election to today. 

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I think the Valcke letter exposed after they tried to blame it on a dead man told him that lower levels accused weren't going to go quietly--I go down, you go down.  I just wonder who was sitting on that letter after the denial.  It is going to burn, but whether a better house is built from the ashes remains to be seen.

 

Also, this.....people are going to start talking.

Edited by pennben

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I think Blatter should have as little say on the future of FIFA as possible.  Ideally Blatter should cease all connection to FIFA immediately.

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I figured Blatter resigned so he wouldn't have to attend the Women's World Cup in Canada - where they would be no problem expediting him to the US.

I wouldn't mind seeing Figo run again.   https://www.facebook.com/luisfigoofficial

 

 

Tomorrow's Champion League Game will be neutral for me.  I hate both teams equally. 

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Tomorrow's Champion League Game will be neutral for me.  I hate both teams equally.

 

I don't hate Juve, but I cannot stand Barcelona (obviously-lol). I'm just hoping for a good game. A rout will make me go to sleep.

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Well, that was rather pedestrian for me. I never felt that Barca was in trouble. I'm actually shocked that Buffon made such a terrible parry for that second goal. OTOH, holding Barca to two goals isn't that bad, and he made several other big plays. Juve had to have known that it was going to take 2 goals to stay in this game. 

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Well, I love Barca and have ever since Luis Enrique came onto my radar 20 years ago so this was particularly delightful for me.

 

But it was nothing compared to American Pharoah winning the Triple Crown later that day. I wept hysterical tears... not even going to lie. Two triples in one day? Pretty sweet for this fan.

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USA men's team defeated Germany in Germany.  Just following up beating the Netherlands in the Netherlands.  Too bad the World Cup isn't this year.  :)

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Maybe that's why they won? haha. But seriously Netherlands don't seem in the best shape right now and I'm not just speaking about the friendly with the USA. They've been underwhelming in the Euro qualifiers too. At least Germany have been reasonably fine on that front (aside from a few stumbles early on with the loss to Poland and the draw Ireland.)

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I don't think the Netherlands played any of their big guys. Germany did have a few out there though. You're probably not having many 4-3 games in international competition, but there will be plenty of 1-1 and 2-1 games. 

 

Regardless, the good thing I got from it was that USA isn't going to dominate possession, but they can do it for a few minutes here and there. The other was that they're developing a good counterattack; i.e., ending in shots. Bradley really should have gotten that goal, but otherwise you couldn't ask for a better counter. Even if the game had been 1-1, it was a good game. 

 

Looking overall, the WC wasn't great, but it's the first time advancing consecutively out of the group stage, and now they're consistently playing with quality in Europe. Don't forget they beat Italy and Bosnia, and drew France and Russia. It's been a decent year. This is a top, second tier squad. I can live with that. 

 

They really need to win this Gold Cup. 

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Netherlands did have RVP, Hunterlaar (or cheekbones, as I refer to him cuz he has some Benedict Cumberbatch level bone structure), Daley Blind, Jasper Cillessen (though he's the goalkeeper) and Memphis Depay if he counts. Though RVP has been largely ineffective for a while. But you're right, ganesh. Most games aren't Brazil/Germany or even Spain/Netherlands

 

As an American is it wrong that I don't really care for our USMNT? I much prefer watching the european or south american teams. Or even Mexico haha. 

Edited by JustaPerson
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Winning the World Cup could conceivably implode the planet. It is the singular event that could supplant the Miracle on Ice. 

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Winning the World Cup could conceivably implode the planet. It is the singular event that could supplant the Miracle on Ice. 

Good thing we won't have to worry about that for some time to come.  I'm glad that Jurgen has been able to make some serious changes in the program, and it looks like those changes are starting to have a real effect, but the US Men's team won't be winning the 2018 World Cup.  They can hope to go further in the tournament, though.

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It's unlikely. I was speaking in general terms as to what there is to care about the USMNT. I think they will in my life win one though. 

 

One you get into the quarterfinals nearly anything can happen. They almost beat Germany in South Korea. However, the key to success is going to be getting seeded, so these groups of death can be avoided. You can practically pencil in Germany, Brazil, Argentina into the qs every and they earned it, but their path in the group stages is far easier because they're seeded. 

 

That's why winning the Gold Cup and getting into the Confederations Cup is a big deal. The USA needs to bump up in the rankings. 

Edited by ganesh
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Is anyone watching the Euros? I'm rooting for Iceland to qualify. The second half of England was entertaining, but they just don't seem like that good of a team.

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