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Monday Evening Ticker: Blatter discusses U.S.-hosted World Cup; Roma refute Benatia’s claims; and more

SeppBlatterFIFA4 (AFP)


With the unsuccessful bid for the 2022 tournament in the past, FIFA President Sepp Blatter has once again kindled hopes of a U.S.-based World Cup.

Fresh off the news of Blatter’s intent to pursue a fifth term, the FIFA president agreed that the 2026 World Cup should take place on North American soil, with the United States as the top candidate.

“Perhaps there’s a big commercial opportunity arising now in the United States because of the tremendous television audiences that are booming,” Blatter said in an interview with SoccerEx, “and that the World Cup has also encouraged in its domestic game as well. We did well with football when it first went to the United States but the opportunities are bigger now.”

While Blatter is touting the USA as a future World Cup host, U.S. Soccer president and FIFA Executive Committee member Sunil Gulati has repeatedly stated that the U.S. won’t bid on another World Cup until the processes change. The U.S. pulled out all the stops to win either the 2018 or 2022 World Cups, and failed to do so, leaving a sour taste in the mouths of the American bid organizers.

Here are some more of Monday evening’s news and notes from around the soccer world:


The split between AS Roma and defender Mehdi Benatia has taken a turn for the worse.

Despite claims from Benatia that stated the defender was hoping for a Roma stay, club president James Pallotta insists Benatia has put forth a “pattern of outright fabrications” since his move to Bayern Munich.

“He personally said to me that he was happy after I told him flat out with no exceptions that we wanted him to stay,” Palotta said via the club’s website. “Over the following month he lied about wanting to stay and about the details of his compensation to both Rudi Garcia and his teammates.  Lying to me was one thing which I can somewhat handle. Lying to Rudi Garcia and his teammates was completely unacceptable to me.”

Palotta’s statement comes on the heels of Benatia’s claims that he was sold due to Roma’s poor finances, which the Roma president vehemently denies.

“I told Walter Sabatini he was becoming a poison and I wanted him gone, and Rudi and Walter agreed,” Palotta said. “It wasn’t about the money; it was about having character in our locker room. We are in a very sound financial position.”

As owners of Roma, we make difficult decisions all the time.  As a fan of Roma, I am deeply disappointed that one of our players could act this way. ”


After missing out on this summer’s World Cup triumph, Marco Reus is yet to fully put his injury woes behind him.

The Borussia Dortmund midfielder is set to miss another four weeks after reinjuring the same left ankle that kept him out of this summer’s World Cup. Reus’ injury came late in Germany’s 2-1 victory over Scotland, as the 25-year-old was carted off in stoppage time.

“Team doctor Markus Braun on Monday diagnosed a partial tear and stretching of ligaments,” Borussia Dortmund said via the club’s website. “The club expects the player to undergo a rehabilitation program of four weeks.”

Reus’ injury will see the 25-year-old miss out in the German side’s opening Champions League contest against Arsenal, which is scheduled to take place Sept. 16.


With the departures of names such as Mario Balotelli and Mehdi Benatia, Serie A has lost some of it’s top players over the summer transfer window. However, the league has seen a decrease in more than just star power, as salaries are down across the Italian league.

Serie A’s total yearly salaries have fallen yet again, according to reports, with just champions Juventus increasing its wage bill to roughly $152 million heading into the 2014 season.

In contrast to Juve’s spending, both Inter Milan and AC Milan have seen spending drop $32 million and $14 million, respectively.

As for players, Roma’s Daniele De Rossi is set to be the league’s highest earner, with his $8.4 million salary topping Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain’s yearly haul by $1.3 million.


What do you make of Blatter’s comments? How do you feel about how Benatia and Roma have handled their split? How will BVB fare without Reus? What do the salary numbers say about the state of Serie A?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. According to Blatter the other day, Uruguay is too small a country to host the WC, but Qatar is OK and it’s about the size of Connecticut.

    • Geez Brain Guy…of course Uruguay is “too small” while Qatar is “okay.” He wasn’t referring to geographic size, fan base, stadia, or popularity. He was referring to the size of the bribes. Uruguay is just way too small anyone can get that.

  2. If ussf says “we’re not gonna bid until the world cup bidding process is revised to be more transparent and fair,” and gilati replies by saying “ok, you can have 2026” that just proves how corrupt the current system is, how clueless gulatti is, and that we need to refrain from bidding until things are fair.

    • Nope–not a chance. By going to Qatar in 2022, that means it needs to go to South American and Europe for the next two cycles after that. The earliest the USA could host would be 2034. And that would be competing with Asia and the Pacific and Africa as well.

      • North America hasn’t hosted since 1994. South America had 2014, Europe has 2018. I think it’s a stretch to say that it “has” to go to either of those two continents. It will go to the country that bribes the most executive committee members, just like always.

    • Blather trying to recoup & refill the coffers (FIFA’s & the ExCo) after the 2022 WC becomes the lowest grosing in the history of the WC.

      • Doubt it. Us soccer needs to boycott the bid process though. It’s absolutely rigged to benefit the big boys at FIFA and it’s disgraceful.

    • Nope. Did you catch that a month earlier Blatter was talking about Canada as a WC host? If you scan the international press, he’s also mentioned 4 other countries as WC hosts. And he’s also publicly on record in the past two weeks as saying that there’s no way that the WC won’t be held in Russia and Qatar–that those decisions are binding and final and done.

      The man had promised he’d only run a couple of terms. Now he’s going for his 5th term, is on the gravy train. He does it by buying off votes and support. So anyone who’s naive with USSF would be thinking “okay, maybe Blatter would back us for the WC if someone gets stripped of hosting rights.” I bet right now there are Canadian officials who think they should support his candidacy b/c he’ll work to get them a WC. Nah, he has no interest in the US (or Canada) hosting the WC. He has interest in having the US and Canada be his lapdog (or at least not be formal enemies).

  3. what’s with the fall of Italian football and league? The EPL salaries grow more and more. I believe the average at the moment must be like 2.5 million a year. If you remove Man City/Chelsea, maybe it drops a full million.

    currently Serie A is 5th ranked league in Europe. Portuguese league is 4th (and they don’t even pay big wages) and portugal is like poorest country in western europe

    • True but after next season Italy will go back ahead of Portugal because the 10-11 season will no longer factor into the coefficient. In 10-11, Porto and Braga both reached the Europa League final and Benfica reached the semi finals so that was a monster year for the Portuguese league.


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