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Thursday Kickoff: Blazer investigated, Chelsea releases two players and more

Blazer getty


The turmoil in CONCACAF has spread and Chuck Blazer may be in trouble.

The USA representative on the FIFA Executive Committee has been accused of overseeing financial irregularities and is also considering a lawsuit against FIFA over unpaid TV commissions. CONCACAF is still under heavy scrutiny following the scandal that saw former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner resign in disgrace over bribery allegations.

CONCACAF is facing financial penalties after failing to filed tax returns since 2007. This led to allegations of tax fraud but Warner said CONCACAF, a non-profit organization, had made no profits inside the United States so no tax returns were required.

Blazer is also considering litigation against the confederation after failing to be paid upwards of $5 million last year from television commissions and sponsorship deals. Blazer attributes this to retaliation over exposing Warner. No lawsuit has been filed as of yet.

Here are some more stories to kick off your Thursday.


It's been less than a week since Chelsea lifted the UEFA Champions League Trophy but the summer clear out at Stamford Bridge continues.

Midfielder Salomon Kalou and left-back Jose Bosingwa have been released by Chelsea despite starting in Saturday's win over Bayern Munich. This comes just days after Chelsea declined to offer striker Didier Drogba a new contract. Several other players, including Frank Lampard, have a year remaining on their contract but have not yet agreed to an extension.

The extensions will largely depend on who Roman Abramovich selects as manager and how successful Chelsea's pursuit of Lille midfielder Eden Hazard turns out to be.


FIFA could begin testing referees for performance enhancing drugs, FIFA's chief medical officer said.

Jiri Dvorake admitted that there is no evidence of widespread doping with referees but asserted they should be held to the same standards as players. FIFA will also reevaluate a current rule that says players who are banned for performance enhancing drugs are not allowed to train with their team for the duration of the suspension.


Bayern Munich will retain manager Jupp Heynckes despite finishing runners-up in all three competitions this season.

Bayern president Uli Hoeness told a German tabloid that Heynckes has one year left on his contract and he will stay "whatever happens." Heynckes, 67, said he has no plans on stepping down after Bayern's 3-2 loss to The Netherlands wrapped up their club season.


What do you think of today's stories? See Blazer getting into serious trouble? Surprised to see Kalou and Bosingwa let go? Is FIFA drug-testing referees a good move or do you see it as pointless?

Share your thoughts below. 


  1. I’m all for the ‘enforcer’ look in refs these days.

    I have to think that it’s less about nailing them for ‘roids, though, and more about trying to make sure they aren’t taking anything that will affect their in-game decision making skills.

  2. Agreed, is there ONE guy out there that thinks the “reforms” and rule changes the FIFA are working on will accomplish ANYTHING different ?

    One person, anything positive. That is a pretty low bar.

  3. FIFA house-cleanings remind me of the old Soviet Union. Today’s anointed leaders are tomorrow’s disgraced miscreants. The fact that individuals running the confederation can reap personal financial benefits from deals they strike in (or because of) their official capacity — and are proud of it — is enough to make one’s head spin. A corrupt system will not be corrected by the ouster of corrupt individuals.

  4. The North and Central American nations should break away from CONCACAF, clean house, and restructure.

    Invite Jamaica, the nations on Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, and possibly Cuba. That leaves:







    El Salvador


    Costa Rica




    Dominican Republic


    This conference maintains relative geographic proximity. Aside from a few whipping boys, membership would include all of the strongest CONCACAF nations aside from Trinidad/Tobago and Antigua/Barbuda. Plus, quality of intra-conference matches goes up on average. Smaller federations like Cuba and Belize would likely benefit from not having to share as much money with the bottom feeders in the CFU, also.

    The remaining 15 in the confederation should be strong enough to justify keeping 3 out of the 3-1/2 WC slots awarded to CONCACAF. Let the CFU nations fight with Oceania (*cough* New Zealand *cough*) for the final WC berth.

  5. Agreed. It’s disgraceful. Don’t even want to think about how much money Warner stole. Its criminal that guys like that get into the position they’re in.

  6. Most of the MLS refs look like they are juicing with the exception of old man Toledo, “I’m the Star” Marrufo, and Mark Geiger.

  7. i guess it puts other referees who try and forward their career at a disadvantage to genetic freaks who can pace the ball for 90 minutes on roids.

  8. So this Blazer dude can get up to 5 million in money from sponsorship and tv deals??

    What kind of a joke is this? Why not spend that money growing the game in some of the under developed areas that need help?

    FIFA sounds a bit like the government – take take take, but always have plenty to enrich yourself.

  9. Ok, what can possibly be the rationale for drug testing referees other than for the standard recreationals? If a ref is on HGH, EPO, stearoids, etc., who cares? I’m willing to be convinced but really, what is the point?

    On a happier note, the Chelsea makeover will be interesting to watch. That’s a lot of salary they’ve already got rid of.


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