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Friday Kickoff: European politicians want a re-do for 2022 bidding process; Mourinho warns Real to stay away from Hazard; and more

Blatter Qatar World Cup 2022 (photo by FIFA)


Politicians in Europe have decided to officially add their names to the list of people unhappy about Qatar being awarded the 2022 World Cup, albeit somewhat late in the game.

Despite FIFA being cleared of any wrongdoing by a corruption investigation, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (Pace) has voted in favor of a resolution demanding that the 2022 World Cup bidding process be re-run. Pace, which is separate from the European Union, has no legal ability to force FIFA to re-do the bidding.

The resolution was drawn up based on a report by British representative of Pace, Michael Connarty. In it, he argues that the entire process of deciding who hosts the 2022 World Cup should be redone since the original bidding was “fundamentally undermined by illegality.”

“My report is recommending that recognition of the breach of law should mean re-running the process of choosing the country for the 2022 event,” Connarty said.

Here are some more news and notes to start off your Friday:


Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has told Real Madrid to forget about any interest in the club’s star attacker Eden Hazard.

Mourinho was responding to reports this week that the Spanish club is interested in securing the Belgian’s services. He told reporters in a press conference that he doesn’t even believe Hazard would be interested in joining the reigning European champions.

“He likes Chelsea, he likes the team, he likes the league,” Mourinho said. “He made a commitment to the future of the team by signing a very good contract. I don’t think he’s interested in going.”

Real coach Zinedine Zidane recently said he is “keeping an eye” on Hazard, and Mourinho responded by saying he doesn’t care about the comments. Hazard has scored 18 goals and recorded 10 assists for Chelsea this season.


A doctor known well by some of Europe’s top players reportedly received a visit from Lionel Messi on Thursday.

Dr. Giuliano Poser told La Gazzetta dello Sport that Messi had paid him a visit, though he was not at liberty to say why. It is believed the doctor may have helped the Barcelona star cure an issue he has had with vomiting during matches.

“Lionel came here for treatment, too, but for professional reasons I cannot say what they were,” Giuliano told reporters. “I’ve been working with sportsmen for 20 years, even from other sports such as cycling and downhill skiing. Messi came here thanks to word of mouth among footballers and agents.”

Giuliano has treated Messi’s Argentine National Team teammate Martin Demichelis in the past, as well as current Villarreal striker Luciano Vietto. The doctor has heavy ties to Argentina, and said he has a good working relationship with national team coach Gerardo Martino.


David Moyes’ name is now being thrown around in the continued speculation over the managerial position at West Ham.

Sam Allardyce’s job at the helm of the East London club is reportedly unsafe, and the West Ham hierarchy has reportedly identified Moyes as the ideal candidate to replace him. Moyes is currently managing Real Sociedad in the Spanish Primera Division.

There is reportedly a statute in his contract, however, that allows him to speak to Premier League clubs regarding a return to the UK. A former colleague from Everton, scout Tony Henry, is now working at West Ham to set up transfer targets, a set-up West Ham hopes to use to convince Moyes of a return to the English Premier League.


Lyon attacker Yoann Gourcuff could recover from injury in time to appear for the club as this season ends. (REPORT)

Sunderland winger Adam Johnson was not suspended despite being charged for sexual activity with a 15-year-old girl, leading to calls for a fan boycott. (REPORT)

Tottenham is considering a retractable synthetic surface for its stadium remodelling plans, with hopes of hosting future NFL games. (REPORT)

What do you think about Real Madrid’s reported interest in Eden Hazard? Is the 2022 World Cup in Qatar beyond fighting at this point?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. In World Cups only two confederations matter, EUFA and CONMEBOL.. you’re delusional if you think concacaf, AFC, etc matter. Financially; US, MX and CAN might matter but it doesnt translate into voting power.

    EUFA is for change, unfortunately, Conmebol is as corrupt as FIFA and top south americans honchos will always support other corrupt entities.

    • Well, I have plenty of issues with the Qatar WC (labor rights, human rights, corruption) but I’m sure it will get a multinational turn out. Because of its location, and helped by the fact that all the games will be in such a tiny location, people from all over Europe, South Asia, the Middle East and Africa will be able to make weekend World Cup trips, if they want.

  2. WC 2022 in Qatar is going to happen no matter what. Too much money and time (slavery and lives) have been invested for it not to. Best case would be for teams, fans, and sponsors to boycott WC so that Fifa and Qatar do not recoup on their investments.

    Sadly, we all know this will never happen. I hope the US Federation does the right thing and sits this one out; maybe the one in Russia too.

      • Other than looking like a spoiled 4 year old that didn’t get his way? Nothing really. I doubt anybody would even notice.

    • It’s about making a statement that we do not support modern day slavery and do not want to take part in a tournament conducted under the most gregarious human rights abuses.

      Of course the spin would be that we are just cry babies that did not get to host the WC.

    • Boycotting the world cup wouldn’t benefit anyone, except maybe making “jaybeezwax” feel good about himself. Just like boycotting the olympics in 1980 didn’t affect the Soviet Union. All it did was spoil the olympic dreams of our athletes, many of whom had trained their whole lives to compete in those games. Sure, Russia and Qatar are terrible choices for the world cup but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t compete.

  3. “FIFA being cleared of any wrongdoing by a corruption investigation…”

    FIFA was cleared? By whom? Itself in a report that it won’t release?

  4. Caption: “And the country that gave the people who voted for it enough money to buy all the gold for this statue is . . .”

  5. How much as Qatar spent on building stadiums so far? How far along the process are they?
    Taking it away would be HUGE risk. Many different types of risk.

    I am reading about countries where fans are are throwing bananas at black players, not wanting an Arab country to host. The only thing I can think is just let it be. If the complaint was human rights, which PACE seems to be involved in, or something like that, I would not be posting this, but it isn’t, it is bribing FIFA?!

  6. Yup, should re-bid it.

    But as we have all wrote on here (and elsewhere) time and again, nothing will happen unless the big time sponsors demand change.

    Next question. Should campaign finance be reformed?

  7. PACE has bigger problems than Qatar. Namely Russia and Ukraine. This is why politicians should never meddle in sports. They always end up looking like asses

    • How do the look like asses? They called for a manifestly corrupt bidding process to be redone. Doubt it’ll happen but the fact that there are other problems in the world doesn’t mean we should ignore it.


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