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Wednesday Kickoff: Figo, van Praag withdraw from FIFA race; CONMEBOL dismisses Boca Juniors appeal; and more




FIFA’s presidential battle is set to become a two-horse race.

Dutch paper De Volkskrant is reporting that Luis Figo and Michael van Praag will withdraw their candidacy for FIFA president following a meeting in Geneva last week. The two will place their support behind Jordan’s Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein to battle the incumbent Sepp Blatter.

Prince Ali, who declared his intentions to run in January, had collected more support from FIFA’s 209 countries than Figo and van Praag, but is still seen as  a heavy underdog against Blatter. The Confederation of African Football has already revealed that all 54 member nations will vote for the current president, giving Blatter over half of the 105 votes required to stay in office.

The decision on FIFA’s presidency will be revealed on May 29 in Zurich.

Here are some more news and notes to kick off your Wednesday morning:


Following a major incident against rivals River Plate, Boca Juniors will have to face the music.

CONMEBOL has denied the Argentinian club’s appeal following an incident of fan violence that saw River Plate players pepper sprayed at the club’s Copa Libertadores clash. As a result, River was awarded a 3-0 win, while Boca was ordered to pay a $200,000 fine, play four games behind closed doors and four away matches without visiting supporters.

Boca has since found and named the 11 fans responsible for the incident, who could face stadium bans.

River Plate takes on Cruzeiro on Thursday in the Copa Libertadores quarterfinals.


In the past few years, AC Milan has fallen off from the Serie A elite, but CEO Adriano Galliani says that will change soon enough

Galliani says that Milan will splash the cash this summer, hoping to put an end to a drought that has culminated in a season that sees the club currently sitting 11th in Serie A.

“Milan have reached three Champions League finals in 10 years and won it twice. My goal is to help the club return to that level,” Galliani said. “[Club owner Silvio] Berlusconi has a lot of desire to return to the top. We want to return to the top after a year where we have suffered a lot.

“We will have a big transfer campaign. It’s easy to start over again when you have the prestige Milan has. Just look at what [reigning champion] Juventus achieved. We finished 11th in the table in 1998 and then won the Scudetto the year after. We want to repeat that and get back to the top.”


Juventus’ Giorgio Chiellini holds no ill will towards Luis Suarez following the biting incident at last summer’s World Cup. (REPORT)

Liverpool forward Raheem Sterling was booed at the club’s award ceremony after reports stated the forward’s desire to leave the club. (REPORT)

Club America has parted ways with manager Gustavo Matosas after just five months. (REPORT)

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has proposed a “match for peace” between Israel and Palestine. (REPORT)


What do you expect from the FIFA presidential race? What do you think of the Boca punishment? What does the future hold for AC Milan?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. “The two will place their support behind Jordan’s Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein to battle the incumbent Sepp Blatter.” talk about change, from Lucifer to Satan…. same difference.

  2. ….at the risk of being called a classless Mexico fan, since “they all are classless”, Club America wins the CCL and they fire their coach a couple of months latter. Who do they think they are? Real Madrid?

    • well they kinda are the Real Madrid of North America, to Liga MX teams the CCL is a minor trophy like the FA Cup or Copa del Rey, America spent 25m last transfer window and they were humiliated by Pachuca in the QF, any other team in CONCACAF would sell their souls to have that kind of squad and some even could do wonders with less than half of it but Matosas demanded another 3 or 4 signings to get a “competitive team”.

      • Not as moronic as you. Not defending their decision, but their a continental giant with huge expectations every season. What the f*ck are you?

    • I also never said all Mexico fans are classless. Try accurately characterizing my statements before expressing your “outrage” over them. Thanks.

      • Yeah you did. You were banned from making comments two years ago because you called Mexicans, in general, pigs. I remember that distinctly.

      • You are pathetic. It’s not enough that you’ve become my personal troll on this website, now you have to lie about it. What you said is a complete lie and you know it. Let’s see some proof.

      • What proof? You said so much and I stand by it because your everything and above what I’ve already called you.

      • Actually Slow I have to call you out on that one. Just a couple of days ago you responded to a comment I made saying that the majority of Mexican fans are generally classless. If you don’t remember you were responding to the comment I made about Orlando City fans using lasers to blind Jaime Penedo of the Galaxy to illustrate the different/hypocritical response by US fans between when Mexican supporters do it and when American supporters do it.

        So what are you talking about?

      • Yeah I remember. Generally classless is accurate but didn’t say they’re all classless. Big difference. Also, I agreed that Orlando fans are just as classless if they aim laser pointers at players.

      • Also I don’t understand how that’s racist. I’m not saying all Mexicans are classless. I’m saying that Mexico fans that go to the national team’s games and yell obscenities, throw bags of urine, user laser pointers and yell pro osama bin laden chants are classless.

  3. Pretty major error in that first bit, it requires 105 votes to get re-elected not 195. Blatter is unbeatable at this point, anyone who runs against him is committing career suicide in the soccer world. In addition to CAF pledging 54, Oceania has pledged their votes (8 I think) and I believe most of Asia has pledged theirs.

  4. Blatter goes on and on about stopping racism and promoting fair play while at the same time calling for the Palestinian FA to drop its call to a vote to suspend Israel and instead called for a meaningless “peace match”. What a disgrace. It’s hard to get more racist than the equipment and movement restrictions that the palestinian players have imposed upon them. Not to mention the israeli teams that are playing from territories deemed illegal under international law.

      • …..said the guy that won’t miss a chance to pollute this place with his xenophobic views. Please

      • That’s not totally fair. Slow has strong (and strongly criticized) opinions about how to build a national team, and a somewhat fuzzy and perhaps idiosyncratic view of what constitutes a sufficient connection to the US, but I don’t think that “xenophobic” really fits, or that Slow mixes politics and soccer. Not defending (or criticizing) Slow’s views here, just addressing the characterization of those views.

      • Xenophobic, sectarian, bigoted, dogmatic and borderline racist are all “fair” ways to characterize his views based on his history.

        Even though his rhetoric on the national team, American soccer or whatever have softened up over the two years or so since he’s been posting here, I remember when everything that was posted by him was just damn ignorant and he was rightly chastised for by posters.

        Bottom line, he has no right to try and dictate what should or shouldn’t be said on these comment pages if its not hurting anyone when a good amount of people don’t care for his personal opinion anyways.

      • Slowleftarm can say whatever he wants, and you are free to disagree, we have the freedom of speech. However, his post was “politics and soccer message board don’t mix.” On it’s face, his statement does not appear to be xenophobic, bigoted or racist. Am I missing something?

      • You forgot “sectarian.” Honestly, I forget most of what Slow said, but I guess at least some of it was pretty offensive to some people. I have no recollection of sectarian (i.e., religious) remarks, though.

      • I don’t agree with narrow minded obviously but it would have made a lot more sense than xenophobic, racist, or the other scare words you carelessly threw out there.

      • Today’s catchiest buzzwords to make one puff out their chest and feel intellectually/morally superior when they don’t agree with someone and can’t articulate well enough to have a full dialogue: xenophobe, bigot, homophobe. It’s like they were on the word-a-day toilet paper.

      • Or my New England, graduate degree, upper-middle class, Libertarian-eqsue hard-on.

        And here I thought only republicans had a foothold on stereotypes.

      • You guys need a life – I’m not mixing sports and politics when I discuss the selection policy for a soccer team. And your over the top criticisms and attempts to shout me down are both wide of the mark and laughable. After all, I’m discussing a team for which eligibility is determined by nationality – I guess if you disagree it’s easy to just name call in an attempt to make yourselves feel morally superior.

        It’s a far cry from airing your views on Israel on a soccer message board.

      • If i can’t tell you not to post under my comments your no one to say my comments about soccer’s political landscape don’t belong either. Clearly the world doesn’t agree with you because right above this headline is another story entitled “Pair of FIFA sponsors express concern over Qatar’s Human Rights issues”

        I’d say the guy who needs a life is the escapist who’s upset about real world issues colliding with his reality bubble.

      • What are you talking about? I don’t see why an anti-Israel rant has any place on this board. The FIFA sponsors are upset because people are dying building soccer stadiums in Qatar. That’s relevant and would not have resulted in a “sports and politics” don’t mix post from me. If you want to complain about Israel there are about 1 trillion places on the internet where you can do so. This isn’t one of them.

        Equally irrelevant is your complaints about my views on dual nationals. A selection policy of a soccer team is relevant to a soccer board. A discussion of whether Israel should have settlements in the West Bank isn’t.

      • It wasn’t as there wasn’t any precedent.

        His proposed Israeli – Palestine “match for piece” led me to criticize his sincerity on the subject, making it relevant.

        And also, when i would post articles on whats happening in Qatar during the 2014 WC you did say something akin to “politics have no place here”, so I think your the one who doesn’t know what he’s talking about as well as being the laughable one.

    • If he really cared about what’s happening in the Gaza strip he would ban the Israeli national team from European competition until Israel agreed to open talks to a two state solution with Palestine.

      Funny though that FIFA can impose sanctions on national teams in the Balkans whenever sectarian violence occurs in the area.

      This is just political maneuvering to combat all the bad publicity he’s receiving and nothing more.

      Funny though that the most corrupt political nations in the world are his most vehement supporters.


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