FIFA Worried Over Russia’s Arrest Of Rights Activist

FIFA President, Gianni Infantino speaks during a press conference prior to the Final Draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup

FIFA President, Gianni Infantino speaks during a press conference prior to the Final Draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup football tournament in Moscow. Photo: Alexander NEMENOV / AFP

 

FIFA said Wednesday they were “deeply concerned” about the detention in Russia of a rights campaigner that drew international condemnation ahead of the World Cup.

Oyub Titiyev was arrested in January on what campaigners believe are trumped up drug charges in the North Caucasus republic of Chechnya.

Titiyev headed the local Grozny office of the award-winning Russian rights organisation Memorial.

The predominantly Muslim republic has turned into a hornets nest of human rights abuses since strongman Ramzan Kadyrov’s rise to power in 2007.

Grozny was also selected as the base camp of World Cup qualifier Egypt.

“FIFA values the important work done by human rights defenders such as Mr. Titiyev,” the world football governing body said in a statement released to AFP.

“Even though we have no indication that the detention of Mr. Titiyev is linked to FIFA’s own operations or the 2018 FIFA World Cup, FIFA is deeply concerned about the situation of Mr. Titiyev.”

FIFA added that it was of “paramount importance that Mr. Titiyev is granted a fair trial in accordance with international standards.”

The statement was issued after Memorial publicised a letter about Titiyev and Egypt it had sent to FIFA boss Gianni Infantino last month.

It was co-signed by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International along with 11 other global rights groups.

“FIFA can make a difference and has a responsibility to do so,” said the letter.

“We call upon FIFA to engage with the Russian authorities on the human rights crisis in Chechnya, in particular on the attack against Titiyev and Memorial.”

FIFA said they had responded to the Memorial letter but did not indicate whether they had raised Chechnya and Titiyev’s case with any Russian officials.

The letter from Memorial said it was concerned “Kadyrov will seek to take advantage of the use of Grozny as a training camp location to boost his credibility and prestige.”

The decision by Egypt to be based in Grozny during the June 14 to July 15 football extravaganza was approved by FIFA a few weeks after Titiyev’s arrest.

Memorial is the last rights organisation to retain a visible presence in Chechnya while remaining critical of Kadyrov.

Its offices in Chechnya and the neighbouring Muslim republic of Ingushetia were also torched in the days following Titiyev’s arrest.

Memorial activists and others who worked in the region say these events are part of a decade-long battle waged by Kadyrov against rights groups.

Such organisations have significantly scaled down their presence in Chechnya since Titiyev’s predecessor Natalia Estemirova was kidnapped and murdered in 2009.

The United States placed Kadyrov on a blacklist of “gross violators of human rights in Russia” in December.

Kadyrov has brushed aside such criticism aside.

“As far as fundamental human rights are concerned, the situation in Chechnya is significantly better than the one in the US,” Russia’s RT news network quoted Kadyrov as saying last month.

AFP

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Rohr Is 24th Best Paid Coach To Russia 2018, Low Highest Paid

Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr will be the 24th highest paid coach at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in

rohr-super eagles-world cup

Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr will be the 24th highest paid coach at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, according to a report published in the Netherlands on Wednesday.

Rohr, who is leading Nigeria for their sixth World Cup finals with the Super Eagles going unbeaten during the qualifying campaign, earns £436,600 per annum, according to Dutch media and entertainment company Zoomin TV.

In Africa, Rohr is the third highest paid coach behind Egypt’s Hector Cuper, who earns £1.30m per annum and Herve Renard of Morocco with a take home pay of £681,000.

Cuper is the 11th highest paid coach while Renard is 21st. Tunisia head coach, Nabil Maaloul, is the fourth best paid coach aming the African coaches. Maloul earns £305,500 per annum.

Senegal’s Aliou Cisse is the lowest-paid of the 32 coaches in Russia this summer, taking home £174,500-a-year.

Germany head coach Joachim Low will be the highest earner in Russia when the Germans defend their title. He earns £3.31million and he is followed by Brazil boss Tite and Didier Deschamps of France, who both clear £3.02million.

Spain’s Julen Lopetegui, Stanislav Cherchesov of Russia and Portugal’s Fernando Santos, Iran’s Carlos Queiroz, Gareth Southgate of England, Jorge Sampaoli of Argentina and Oscar Tabarez complete the top ten.

WORLD CUP COACHES EARNINGS TABLE

1: Joachim Low (Germany) £3.31m

2: Tite (Brazil), Didier Deschamps (France) £3.02m

4: Julian Lopetegui (Spain) £2.58m

5: Stanislav Cherchesov (Russia) £2.21m

6: Fernando Santos (Portugal) £1.91m

=7: Carlos Queiroz (Iran), Gareth Southgate (England) £1.69m

9: Jorge Sampaoli (Argentina) £1.55m

10: Oscar Tabarez (Uruguay) £1.47m

11: Hector Cuper (Egypt), Jose Peckerman (Colombia) £1.30m

13: Juan Pizzi (Saudi Arabia) £1.23m

14: Bert van Marwijk (Australia) £1.03m

15: Ricardo Gareca (Peru) £960,000

16: Juan Osorio (Mexico) £880,000

=17: Age Hareide (Denmark), Akira Nishino (Japan), Roberto Martinez (Belgium) £810,000

20: Vladimir Petkovic (Switzerland) £740,000

21: Herve Renard (Morocco) £681,000

22: Helmir Hallgrimsson (Iceland) £611,000

23: Zlatko Dalic (Croatia) £478,500

24: Gernot Rohr (Nigeria) £436,600

=25: Janne Andersson (Sweden), Shin Tae-yong (South Korea) £392,500

27: Hernan Gomez (Panama) £349,000

=28: Nabil Maaloul (Tunisia), Oscar Ramirez (Costa Rica) £305,500

30: Mladen Krstajic (Serbia) £261,400

31: Adam Nawalka (Poland) £235,600

32: Allou Cisse (Senegal) £174,500

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FIFA Snub Nigerian Refs For FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup

The FIFA Referees Committee have selected 15 referees and 30 assistant referees to officiate at the upcoming FIFA U-20 Women’s

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The FIFA Referees Committee have selected 15 referees and 30 assistant referees to officiate at the upcoming FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup France 2018 with no Nigerian match official making the shortlist.

However, six match officials from Africa will officiate in the tournament to be held in France from 5 to 24 August, according to a statement on CAF’s official website.

Ethiopia’s Lidya Tafesse Abebe and Malawian Gladys Lengwe are the selected referees from Africa, while Bernadettar Kwimbira (Malawi), Mary Njoroge (Kenya), Lidwine Rakotozafinoro (Madagascar) and Victoire Queency are the shortlisted assistant referees.

Ghana and Nigeria are the two African nations that qualified for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.

FIFA had earlier in March ommitted Nigerian referees and assistant referees from the selected 36 referees and 63 assistant referees for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia.

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Blatter Opposes World Cup Multiple Co-Hosting

Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has kicked against the FIFA World Cup co-hosted by multiple nations. United States, Canada and

Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has kicked against the FIFA World Cup co-hosted by multiple nations.

United States, Canada and Mexico have made a joint bid to host the 2026 World Cup while Morocco has also bid to host the event.

“They cannot do that,” Blatter, 82, told the BBC.

“To have three big countries together… they have proven they can host it alone, so why are the three together?”

“Even if one of the candidates is not a good one, they have the right to be at the congress.”

“That’s why I’m advocating that Morocco has to go to the congress. Morocco cannot be kicked out before the congress.”

Blatter who was banned amid a corruption scandal in 2015 also criticised FIFA for introducing a taskforce for the 2026 bidding process which has the power to exclude a bid to host the tournament before the vote at FIFA’s congress.

The hosts of the 2026 World Cup will be announced on 13 June.

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FIFA Sanctions Russia For Racist Chants In Friendly Vs France

FIFA has announced that the Russian Football Union has been sanctioned with a fine of CHF 30,000 for discriminatory chants

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FIFA has announced that the Russian Football Union has been sanctioned with a fine of CHF 30,000 for discriminatory chants by fans during the international friendly match between Russia and France played in Saint Petersburg on 27 March 2018.

 

According to a statement on the official website of FIFA, the Disciplinary Committee chaired by Anin Yeboah, analysed all the specific circumstances of the case and the gravity of the incident which was a breach of art. 58 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code.

 

“FIFA has a zero-tolerance approach to discrimination (see FIFA Statutes, article 4) and has been implementing a series of measures to fight discrimination and promote diversity, including an anti-discrimination monitoring system, which has been active since 2015, to observe and report on all 871 matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers and all matches of the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 and the 2018 FIFA World Cup,” the statement reads. 

 

“At its tournaments, including the 2018 FIFA World Cup, FIFA has also introduced a three-step procedure in case of discriminatory incidents, which allows referees to actively intervene to make the discriminatory behaviour stop.

 

“Furthermore, FIFA has published a Good Practice Guide on Diversity and Anti-Discrimination to support all of its member associations. Speaking in general terms, FIFA calls on all fans to come to the stadiums in a spirit of unity, peace and friendship.”

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Trump Hints The USA Expect Nigeria, Others’ Votes For Joint 2026 World Cup Hosting

President of the United States, Donald Trump, has hinted that the USA will be watching Nigeria and other countries  “very

trump-
President of the United States, Donald Trump, has hinted that the USA will be watching Nigeria and other countries  “very closely” as he called for support around the world to back a joint bid from the United. States, Canada and Mexico to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

 

Trump, earlier last week seemed to have threatened Morocco and countries that will not support the joint bid with tweet on his official Twitter handle. He appeared to have reaffirmed that stance as he met with Nigeria president Muhammadu Buhari at the White House on Monday.

 

Morocco have made a bid to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup and the bid has been backed by several countries from the Gulf region, in Africa and some parts of Europe and this has threatened the chances of a joint bid from the USA, Canada and Mexico.

 

“I hope all African countries and countries throughout the world, that we also will be supporting you and that they will likewise support us in our bid, along with Canada and Mexico, for the 2026 World Cup,” Trump said at the White House while holding a joint press conference with President Muhammadu Buhari after their bilateral meeting.

 

“We will be watching very closely, and any help they can give us in that bid, we would appreciate.”

 

Trump, also revealed he would consider visiting Nigeria someday.

 

“I would very much like to visit Nigeria. It is an amazing country and in certain ways, I hear from the standpoint of the beauty of a country, there is no country more beautiful.”

 

USA, who failed to qualify for Russia 2018, last hosted the World Cup in 1994.

 

Voting to award the 2026 World Cup will hold on June 13 in Moscow at world football governing body, FIFA’s annual congress. 

 

Meanwhile, FIFA, has also agreed to publish the choice of each voting member for transparency. 

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Messi Admits Russia 2018 Is Last Chance To Win World Cup With Argentina Mates

Lionel Messi has admitted that the 2018 World Cup in Russia offers the current Argentina generation led by him a

messi-

Lionel Messi has admitted that the 2018 World Cup in Russia offers the current Argentina generation led by him a final chance to win the title.

 The Barcelona also believes that the Albiceleste star will face an uphill task in their bid to be crowned world champions.

Argentina have won the FIFA World Cup twice in 1978 and 1986, and have been runners three times, in 1930, 1990 and 2014.

Messi who will be making his fourth appearance at  FIFA World Cup in Russia, is desperate to bow out on a high by winning the title having lost in the final of the last edition to Germany.

The five time Ballon d’Or winner rues his missed opportunity at the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals in Brazil.

“It’s now or never for us to win the World Cup, there’s no more,” Messi told Mundo Albiceleste in an interview.

“That World Cup (2014 World Cup in Brazil) where I passed the cup is a hard one to look at. I mean we were that close to winning it, but I passed by it and it was a terrible feeling.

“We have to see this World Cup as our final World Cup and look at it as such and take advantage of the opportunity but it will be tough.

“There are a lot of young players coming up. I hope they, too have a wonderful generation.”.

“I know God wants to give me a World Cup and I hope that he does this time so we can get this thorn out of our side.”

Argentina will kick off their campaign against Iceland on June 16 at the Otkrytiye Arena, the home ground of Spartak Moscow in Moscow.

They will face Croatia on June 21 at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium in Nizhny Novgorod and Nigeria at the Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg on June 26, 2018.

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NFF To Get $2m Advance FIFA Payment For Super Eagles’ World Cup Preparations

The Nigeria Football Federation will receive $2m from the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) towards the Super Eagles preparations

The Nigeria Football Federation will receive $2m from the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) towards the Super Eagles preparations for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.

The payment will be an advance from the total prize money due to the NFF for Super Eagles participation at the mundial.

The four other African representatives, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco and Senegal will also benefit from the gesture.

According to a report on the CAF official website, the decision comes on the heels of negotiations initiated by the president of the continent’s soccer govering body Ahmad Ahmad with the FIFA administration, leading to the exceptional agreement granted on 12 April, 2018.

It follows a decision by the CAF Emergency Committee held on 1 December 2017, and ratified by the CAF Executive Committee on 10 January 2018, to provide exceptional financial support to the five African representatives towards their preparations for the impending tournament in Russia.

“This agreement, for an advance on the financial allocation by FIFA, aims to allow representatives in World Cups to have a harmonious preparation and to settle beforehand the question of bonuses due the players, which in the previous editions of the competitions has led to situations that affected badly the image of African football, with a considerable impact on team performances,” Ahmad stated.

The five teams have thus been directed to contact FIFA.

The Super Eagles are in Group D along with two-time world champions Argentina, debutants Iceland and 1998 semi-finalists Croatia.

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Trump Warns: Don’t Dare To Oppose USA World Cup Hosting Bid

United States of America President Donald Trump has warned countries that will not support a joint bid from the his

United States of America President Donald Trump has warned countries that will not support a joint bid from the his country, Canada and Mexico to host the World Cup in 2026.

The United States last hosted the FIFA World Cup in 1994 but failed to qualify for the 2018 finals in Russia.

Morocco have made a bid to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup just as there is a joint bid from the USA, Canada and Mexico to host the Mundial.

But Morocco’s bid to host the 2026 World Cup has been backed by several countries from the Gulf region, in Africa and some part of Europe which has put the chances of a joint bid from the USA, Canada and Mexico in jeopardy.

“The U.S. has put together a STRONG bid w/ Canada & Mexico for the 2026 World Cup. It would be a shame if countries that we always support were to lobby against the U.S. bid. Why should we be supporting these countries when they don’t support us (including at the United Nations)?” prolific tweeter Trump tweeted on Thursday night.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto also backed Trump’s decision on the joint bid.

“We can have differences but soccer unites us. Together we support the bid of Mexico, Canada and the USA to host the 2026 World Cup. @realDonaldTrump @JustinTrudeau.”

The vote to award the 2026 event takes place on 13 June in Moscow at world governing body FIFA’s annual congress.

FIFA have also agreed to publish the choice of each voting member for transparency.

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FIFA, NFF, Chelsea Celebrate Mikel On 31st Birthday

By Adeboye Amosu: World football governing body FIFA, the Nigeria Football Federation and English Premier League club Chelsea have sent

By Adeboye Amosu:

World football governing body FIFA, the Nigeria Football Federation and English Premier League club Chelsea have sent congratulatory messages to Nigeria captain Mikel Obi on the occasion of his 31st birthday, reports Completesportsnigeria.com.

Mikel was born in Jos, North Central part of Nigeria on April 22, 1987 and has also represented the country at different youth levels (U-17, U-20 and U-23).

He was part of the team that won the Africa Nations Cup title in South Africa in 2013 and captained the U-23 side that won bronze at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.


 #HBD to Ingrid Vidal (27), @JasperCillessen (29), @mikel_john_obi (31), @KAKA (36), Zoltan Gera (39), @MarkvanBommel6 (41) & Adrian Ilie (44),” FIFA tweeted on Sunday, celebrating Mikel and other football personalities including Brazil legend Kaka.

“Happy Birthday @NGSuperEagles captain fantastic. Have a good one Mikel       ,” the NFF wrote on their Twitter handle on Sunday.

Similarly his former club, Chelsea with whom he won 11 major titles in 10 and half seasons, sent the Tiajin Teda of China midfielder birthday wishes.

“We also wish former Blue, John Mikel Obi, a very happy birthday today!  ”, Chelsea tweeted.

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