Thursday Kickoff: UEFA backs winter World Cup; Influential match-fixer reportedly arrested; and more

Thursday Kickoff: UEFA backs winter World Cup; Influential match-fixer reportedly arrested; and more

FIFA

Thursday Kickoff: UEFA backs winter World Cup; Influential match-fixer reportedly arrested; and more

JimBoyceFIFAVP1 (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

After a meeting of the member nations of UEFA in Croatia this week, the European footballing body has officially agreed to back a move to a winter World Cup in 2022.

“There were certain reservations regarding the World Cup in Qatar but everyone agreed that it would be impossible to play in the severe heat of Qatar in the summer,” FIFA Vice-President Jim Boyce of Northern Ireland said to Sky Sports News. “What the member associations want to see at the FIFA ExCo in October is that a task force is set up for everyone involved in Qatar to sit around the table and come up with the best solution with the minimum disruption.

Boyce lamented the fact that the World Cup is set for Qatar, however he conceded that it’s not going to be moved and that FIFA and it’s constituents will have to make the best of the situation.

Here are some more stories to get your Thursday started:

INTERPOL REPORTEDLY HAVE MATCH-FIXING LYNCHPIN DAN TAN IN CUSTODY

A man who is allegedly at the heart many match-fixing scandals across the world has reportedly been arrested by Singaporean authorities.

Interpol, the international crime police organization, announced on Wednesday evening that 14 people were arrested by Singaporean police, with an anonymous source in Interpol telling the AP that Tan Seet Eng, also known as Dan Tan, is one of those arrested.

“Singapore is now taking serious action. It’s really pleasing,” former FIFA head of security Chris Eaton told the AP. “These people bridge the match fixers and the betting fraud.”

Tan is wanted in a number of countries including Italy, who reportedly believe that Tan was at the head of a crime syndicate that made millions of dollars fixing matches in Italy between 2008-2011.

MARTINEZ AND GÖTZE RETURN TO BAYERN TRAINING

Building off their Champions League matchday one success, Bayern Munich have received some more good news over a number of players currently rehabbing injuries.

Both Mario Götze and Javi Martinez are a few days away from first-team training and are likely one week away from a return to the field. Götze, acquired from Borussia Dortmund this summer, hasn’t played since the UEFA Super Cup on August 30, while Javi Martinez has missed time since the international break, when he had a minor operation on his groin to repair a recurring problem.

Thiago, who is still sidelined for another three weeks, is wearing a special boot on his foot as he recovers from torn ankle ligaments, but is back working out in the gym, while Holger Badstuber’s recovery from a second torn ACL is continuing in the United States.

QUICK KICKS

UEFA will approve the bid candidates for the 2020 European Champions on Thursday or Friday. (REPORT)

Juventus forward Carlos Tevez has denied criticizing teammate Fernando Llorente over his soccer ability. (REPORT)

A day after a big Champions League victory, Atletico Madrid announced that midfielder Arda Turan has signed a new and improved deal with the club through 2017. (REPORT)

Australia will take on Canada in a friendly match on October 15 at Craven Cottage in London. (REPORT)

Former Stoke City defender Danny Higginbotham has made himself available for selection for the Gibraltar National Team. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you agree with UEFA’s decision? Happy to see Dan Tan arrested? Do you see Martinez and Götze returning to the starting lineup next week?

Share your thoughts below.

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