Saturday Ticker: Blazer to leave FIFA ExCo, Drogba scores in Gala debut, and more

Saturday Ticker: Blazer to leave FIFA ExCo, Drogba scores in Gala debut, and more

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Saturday Ticker: Blazer to leave FIFA ExCo, Drogba scores in Gala debut, and more

BY JUSTIN FERGUSON

The top American official in the world of soccer announced Saturday that he will not be seeking re-election to a fifth term on FIFA’s executive committee.

Chuck Blazer, who has served on the committee for the last 16 years, was widely expected to step down after his involvement in the vote-buying scandal over 2011 FIFA presidential candidate Mohammed bin Hammam.

Blazer initiated an investigation into the campaign in May 2011, saying that CONCACAF president Jack Warner and bin Hammam attempted to bribe Caribbean delegates $40,000 to vote for bin Hammam. The 67-year-old American later resigned from his position as general secretary of CONCACAF during the scandal’s fallout.

“It is time for new faces with new energy to take over the responsibility of FIFA’s leadership,” Blazer said in a statement.

American federation president Sunil Gulati is expected to run against Mexican federation president Justino Compean for Blazer’s seat in April. The winner will be officially become a part of the FIFA committee on May 31.

Here are some more stories on this soccer Saturday:

DROGBA SCORES IN GALATASARAY DEBUT

Didier Drogba made an instant impact for new club Galatasaray on Friday, scoring the opening goal in the club’s 2-1 win over Akhisar Belediye.

The former Chelsea striker, who was provisionally cleared by FIFA earlier this week, came on as a substitute in the 63rd minute. Drogba gave Galatasaray the lead just five minutes into his debut, scoring on a header.

He came close to his second goal just two minutes later, but his shot was saved. Teammate Burak Yilmaz was able to score on the follow-up.

The win gives Galatasaray an eight-point lead over Besiktas in the Turkish Super Lig table. Drogba is expected to be in the lineup for Galatasaray’s Champions League match with Schalke on Wednesday.

NANI UNINJURED AFTER CAR ACCIDENT

Manchester United’s Nani is injury-free after his car was struck by an unmarked police car Friday night.

The Portuguese winger was traveling home from training when his luxury Bentley Continental was hit near a stoplight in the Gatley area of Greater Manchester.

The Manchester Evening News reported that Nani was led away from his £180,000 car in a “dazed” state. The police officer has been suspended from driving duties, a standard procedure.

Nani is reportedly available for Manchester United’s FA Cup match against Reading on Monday night.

QUICK KICKS

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers expressed his frustration at the Premier League’s scheduling as his Reds face Swansea on Sunday, their third match in six days. (REPORT)

Celtic will demand answers from UEFA for referee Alberto Undiano Mallenco’s performance during the club’s 3-0 loss to Juventus on Tuesday. (REPORT)

Everton manager David Moyes will wait until the end of the season before deciding on his future with the club. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? What are your thoughts on Blazer’s departure? Who do you think should replace him on the executive committee? Will Drogba make an impact in the Schalke match next week?

Share your thoughts below.

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