Mid-day Ticker: Blatter to be challenged, Davies' crash driver sentenced and more

Bin hammam (Getty) 


For the first time in a decade, Sepp Blatter has a challenger.

Mohammad bin Hammam, president of the Asian Football Confederation, ended months of speculation today when he confirmed that he would stand for president of FIFA in this year’s election. Bin Hammam, 61,  put his odds at winning at around 50/50 and outlined some proposals in a 17-minute speech broadcast over the internet.

Among those proposals was increasing the FIFA Executive Committee from 24 members to 41. The Qatari citizen said FIFA has become to bureaucratic and centralized and that Blatter had been in office too long.

“I also believe there is a time limit for everything and now is the time for new faces, new blood, new air too. This is actually my message and I hope the voters are going to address these things,” bin Hammam said.

The vote will be held June 1 at FIFA headquarters in Zurich.

Here are some more stories to keep your Friday going.


The drunk driver of the car that left one woman dead and United States’ forward Charlie Davies in critical condition in an accident in Washington D.C. in October, 2009 has been sentenced to two years in jail.

Maria Alejandra Espinoza  was legally intoxicated when she was driving Davies and Ashley Roberta back from a night out in D.C. She lost control and the vehicle crashed, leaving Roberta dead and Davies seriously injured. Espinoza pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in November.


Wolfsburg has confirmed the return of manager Felix Magath for the rest of the season following his departure from Schalke earlier this week. Magath led Wolfsburg to a Bundesliga title in 2009 but returns to a club threatened with relegation. Wolfsburg fired English manager Steve McClaren this winter and replacement Pierre Littbarski has had little success. Wolfsburg currently sits second from bottom of the Bundesliga table.


Barcelona defender Eric Abidal has undergone successful surgery to remove a tumor on his liver, doctors confirmed yesterday. Doctors did  not say whether the tumor was benign but said Abidal will remain in the hospital for about a week.


What do you think of today’s stories? Would you vote for bin Hammam over Blatter? Can Magath return Wolfsburg to its former glory? Relieved about Abidal’s improved prognosis?

Share your thoughts below.

  • tnnelson

    what exactly are bin Hamman’s proposals for FIFA reform? is he talking change like Grant Wahl, or is he just another greedy money-grubber who wants to just be the next Blatter? I really just want anyone in office but Blatter, but unless he is talking big change in how FIFA is run, I could care less if he wants to enlarge the Executive Committee. the last thing we need is another corrupt piece of trash taking over for another


  • Goalscorer24

    Blatter has without a doubt been in office too long! I am all for change. How can we the common folk help to push the vote through?


  • spencer

    2 years is pretty soft for manslaughter. You kill one person and almost kill another.
    Hopefully Abidal heals fast and he doesn’t have any lasting effects that would affect his playing ability. My guess is he’s back next year.


  • Josh D

    He wants to take power away from South America and Europe and make it more spread out among the confederations. Can’t see him getting many votes. And sadly those very same people who are going to be voting are the ones who benefit most from the corruption of Blatter so what do they care? The only ones who care were the ones screwed over and there just aren’t enough of them. The little countries will always follow SA and Europe..


  • Josh D

    Have to agree…. I thought 5 was closer to the usual….. Also depends on how much the parents of the girl who passed away tried to press…


  • Colin

    Maybe I’m sour to him because of the whole Qatar 2022 thing, but I don’t know if he’s going to bring the reforms that FIFA needs.

    Maybe FIFA should look at having a rotating presidency, like the UN Security Council. 1 WC cycle max per president.


  • Jason

    Not to turn this into a legal discussion, but federal sentencing guidelines in such a case is 22 months, iirc. Most states are a little stricter, but my educated guess would be that a state average for the crime would be 3-4 years. Since it was pled, and I’m guessing the woman showed strong remorse, two years is not atypical.


  • James

    Just remember Charlie and the other pasenger got into the car willingly with a drunk driver.


  • Big Chil

    I don’t think expanding the bureaucracy from 24 to 41 is good for football. Too many cooks & crooks.


  • JoeW

    Actually, I think your analysis is the opposite of how it plays. The minnows (like most of Asia and Central America and Africa and the Pacific) are more likely to find him appealing. The “one country, one vote” approach takes power away from Europe and South American. A comparison is the UN–the general assembly (where the US is just one vote) vs. the Security Council (where we’re guaranteed a seat and have veto power). By expanding the Exec. Committee, he doesn’t take away a seat from anyone but he effectively gives more clout or power to smaller countries (who will have more representation on it).

    Do I think he’ll make major reforms? No. But I don’t think we’re going to go from major corruption to squeaky clean in one step. I think the process looks like this:
    1. Get Blatter out (who has perfected the art of feeding the culture of corruption and patronage)
    2. Europe, some South Americans, US, maybe Mexico unite to reform FIFA b/c they get PO’ed at seeing their influence reduced and marginalized (as will happen with Bin Hamman).

    #2 can’t happen with Blatter in there. And Bin Hamman is going to end up reducing the power of the traditional powers like England and all of the European FA’s which will get them to unite and rebel.


  • Oranje

    Yeah. I would imagine the pain of killing your friend would be enough. I don’t see the need for the 2 years unless one of the victims pressed for it.


  • guwinster

    You could argue that adding more seats makes vote buying and vote swapping more difficult.


  • Willardo DuPont

    Having a guy from Qatar replace Blatter is akin to having the fox guard the hen house based on the latest bid results for the WC.


  • Kevin

    Uh, legally or ILLegally intoxicated? If she was legally intoxicated, as in under the legal BAC limit, how could they even give her jail time?

    Not that I am trying to defend her for driving after drinking, just asking for clarification. And, as someone above me said, the people who got into the car with her did it willingly.


  • go usa

    Driving “while intoxicated” is against the law and should be punished, but I’m pretty sure the major cause of the accident was GPS distraction trying to find Davies’ Hotel.

    What would the vitriol against the driver be if the she were alcohol-free?


  • Big Smoke

    Legally intoxicated means, as far as the LAW is concerned, she was intoxicated (i.e. over the limit of .08 or whatever it is in the District).


  • Ben

    Kick Sepp out of football…also racism. Even setting aside corruption for a second, does Bin Hammam support things like goal line technology, or maybe, just possibly, acknowledging that the game has changed and putting another ref somewhere? Could it be possible that the FIFA president won’t be an archaic idiot? In any case, Sepp needs to be retired.


  • spencer

    Driving intoxicated is very serious, each time it is done you could possibly kill someone. It should be looked at that way. What you do with your life is your own business but when you risk making others lose their lives than you should be punished. Just because you get lucky and don’t hit someone one day doesn’t mean anything. If you hit someone while alcohol free than its an accident. You didn’t do anything to increase the chances, but when your intoxicated you know you are increasing your chances of injuring or killing someone.


  • Andrew

    I always thought Bin Hammam was pretty much Blatter’s right-hand man. If the choice is between him and Blatter, I’d go with Bin Hammam, but it’s unlikely to be much change at all, beyond the fact that Bin Hammam isn’t known for frequent gaffes.


  • Andrew

    The one thing about that rotating presidency that gives me pause is that Jack Warner would almost certainly end up being FIFA president for a cycle. Think about it.


  • Second City

    Normally the devil you know, is better than the devil you don’t.

    However, I’d like to take our chances as some new blood in the small percentage he is less corrupt than Blatter.

    Additionally, Blatter is a f’ing pri*k anyway, so any position of power revoked available to him (ie booted from office) is a huge satisfying victory, at whatever alternative takes over.


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