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Wednesday Kickoff: England FA chairman backs U.S. to host 2022 World Cup; Real announces Benitez hire; and more



Sepp Blatter’s resignation has led to many questions regarding the future of FIFA, and English FA chairman Greg Dyke thinks that the U.S. may be the answer to one of the more important ones.

Dyke says that the U.S. could host the 2022 World Cup should Qatar be stripped in the aftermath of Blatter’s resignation. Dyke pointed to the fact that FIFA would be unlikely to award two straight World Cups to Europe, opening the door for the U.S. should drastic changes be made.

“The Swiss authorities are now looking at the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups,” Dyke said. “If you’ve read all the journalism around it, you’d certainly have doubts about the Qatar World Cup. If that is shown to be true and they can demonstrate that there was corruption then of course it should be rebid.

“I think it would be pretty certain it wouldn’t come to Europe — you wouldn’t have two successive World Cups in Europe. So I would say it would be most likely to go to America, who were the runners up.”

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



After dismissing Carlo Ancelotti last week, Real Madrid have found their new man.

The club announced the hiring of manager Rafael Benitez on Wednesday. The Spanish manager will take charge on a three-year deal.

Bentiez, who won the 2005 Champions League with Liverpool and 2013 Europa League with Chelsea, has also had spells with Napoli, Inter Milan, Valencia and the Real Madrid U-19s.


Carlo Ancelotti left Real Madrid just over a week ago and the Italian manager is in no rush to jump back into the game.

Ancelotti announced via Twitter that he has denied overtures from former club AC Milan in favor of a rest period. Ancelotti played for Milan from 1987-92 and managed the club from 2001-09, capturing two Champions League crowns in the process.

“Thanks to (AC Milan) for their support interest,” Ancelotti said. “It was hard to say no to such beloved club to me but I need some rest. I wish them the best.”


The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team sealed a spot in the knockout rounds of the U-20 World Cup on Tuesday, and another team did the same just one day later.

Portugal locked up a spot in the knockout stages Wednesday with a 4-0 victory over Qatar. After defeating Senegal, 3-0, in their tournament opener, Portugal were led by a brace from Ivo Rodriguez.

In other action, Colombia drew Senegal, 1-1, to give itself a good chance at advancement from Group C. Meanwhile, Group D remains a four-way tie as Mexico topped Uruguay, 2-1, and Serbia bested Mali, 2-0.


Jordi Alba has signed a new deal with Barcelona. (REPORT)

Sunderland midfielder Adam Johnson has denied the child sex charges levied against him in a court appearance. (REPORT)

Petr Cech is reportedly looking for a move to Arsenal in an effort to keep his family in London. (REPORT)

Argentina defender Martin Demichelis will retire from the international game following the Copa America to focus more on Manchester City. (REPORT)

Liverpool will reportedly keep manager Brendan Rodgers after positive talks were held between him and the club’s leadership. (REPORT)

What do you think of Dyke’s comments? How will Benitez fare with Real? What do you expect from Ancelotti going forward?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. “Ancelotti announced via Twitter that he has denied overtures from former club AC Milan in favor of a rest period.”

    Let’s fire Klinsmann and hire Ancelotti.

  2. It’s going to be hilarious when the re- bid 2022 and Mexico ends up getting it. I know a couple of people here that would lose their mind.

  3. This is very fishy! US & UK are trying to take over FIFA!!
    because they know its a global money maker!!!
    Its the illuminati!!!

    • I do think Gulati has to be careful in how he handles all of this. Anti-colonialism is strong in the majority of these countries and it could very easily come off as US & Britain pushing their weight around to get what they want. Sepp parlayed the small country mis-trust factor into a major part of his power bloc and the next guy to step in Sepp’s shoes could easily take advantage.

  4. I don’t think it’s conspiracy theories, etc that need to be avoided for US to get the 2022 WC, but rather simple revenge from all of the countries that supported Blatter or whose officials end up getting nabbed by further DOJ investigations.

    For all of the big countries that are cheering Blatter’s ouster, there are more (he did just get reelected last week) that wanted him to stay; and that will be tough to overcome for US to win the 2022 cup.

    That said, I think if you get all of UEFA and then most of CONCACAF and CONMEBOL who would love to have it more locally than Qatar or Australia, then there’s a chance. Especially if Russia is brought on board with the promise not to reopen 2018.

    Canada’s a good choice, but that would reopen artificial turf outrage right after the WWC is inexcusably played on plastic…

    • The UEFA president voted for Qatar.

      “Especially if Russia is brought on board with the promise not to reopen 2018”

    • I agree. I think a lot of Americans are viewing this through a myopic lens. To Americans and some Euros this is about a corrupt leader being taken down, but to a lot of other countries, this looks like US meddling and possibly conspiracy. And those are the countries that hold a lot of the cards. Blatter was corrupt, but a lot of the smaller federations genuinely liked him because they saw him as a champion for the little guy.

      • “…a lot of the smaller federations genuinely liked him because they saw him as a champion for the little guy.”

        and also because of that sweet sweet ‘development program’ money that nobody would ever ask about.

      • And also because of that little matter of him not ignoring those little federations like the last European to run FIFA did.

  5. Does anyone have a good feel as to weather or not both Russia and Qatar will be reexamined, it seems all the focus is on Qatar, I wonder what the chances are Russia is given a serious look?

    • There will be gripes about Russia, but I doubt it gets the scrutiny that Qatar gets. Mostly because Russia isn’t asking for the World Cup to be moved to the winter, which will disrupt the European season. Don’t be fooled, none of this is being done for altruistic reasons, there’s money at stake

      • … ok, just like Brazil, they are building new stadiums that will become white elephants. Look at city Sochi that hosted 2014 Olympics, Putin spent $50 Billion in infrastructure that today sits abandoned. Russia is using this event as tool to show their political muscle. The same with china, I’d never give the WC to china.

        Also, Russia is utilizing prison labor for a lot of the work, has bad record on spouse abuse, terrible record on their own minorities and some would say a criminal record on dark-skin immigrants especially on Africans.

        where are the FIFA social-do-gooders?

      • Yeah, but nobody really cares about that in the grand scheme of things. Qatar is problematic for numerous reasons, lack of soccer history, small population, inconsequential in terms of global impact. The bigger soccer countries, especially the European ones, have a huge problem with having to bend over and disrupt their lucrative leagues for a country like Qatar. And that’s not to mention that sponsors were starting to feel increasingly uneasy with the worker deaths associated with the tournament (though it’s important to remember that Brazil also had workers die during construction of their stadia, though nowhere close to that of Qatar).

        I disagree on China. Whether you agree politically with it or not, they’re actually trying to develop soccer in that country. They made it mandatory for schools to have soccer and they’re sending their best young players abroad to academies in the Netherlands and Spain, so there’s an interest to grow the game there. They’ll get the World Cup eventually because the population there and disposable income will be impossible to ignore.

      • I think people don’t realize that FIFA has given World Cups to questionable countries and governments before. This really isn’t anything new. Argentina was under a military dictatorship and knee deep in The Dirty War among its own citizens when it hosted in 1978. Mussolini used the World Cup to promote his government when Italy hosted in 1934. So Putin believe or not seems rather tame in comparison.

    • Agreed, I’m fine with Australia, given they are in the Asian federation, that might protect us from China 2026 and give us a chance to host 2026

    • What conspiracy theories? The vote for these world cups set off a chain of events. There is nothing conspiratorial about what the U.S. and U.S. Soccer did here. They knew corruption occurred in the vote and being the second-place vote getter, were well within their rights to bring to bear whatever influence the could to change it. If there would’ve been no corruption, there would’ve been nothing for the U.S. to do.

      I’m sure UEFA has supported this 100% because they did not want a winter world cup at any price.

    • Australia was the first country eliminated so if for some reason the US shouldn’t be chosen (which I don’t agree with) it should go to Japan. It should actually just be revoted and if we win that vote, there’s no conspiracy. If we lose it fair and square, that’s ok too. Obviously, I’d love to have it here but I would also love to visit Australia, Japan or Korea for a world cup too. I think those countries would all do a good job and deserve it a whole lot more than Qatar.

    • For me the only reason Qatar should lose the World Cup is due to the idea of a winter world cup. That was not a part of the original request for proposals/bids. Had it been there may have been other proposals or those submitted would have been different. A winter WC also affects television and marketing rights that have already been “awarded”. The worker/slave labor conditions, while horrible, are not unique to Qatar. Bad things happened to poor and less fortunate people in the prep for the South African and Brazilian world cups; it’s just a matter of the degree of wrongness. I agree if moved, the WC should go to Austraila. That keeps it in Asia and they have never hosted a World Cup before. I don’t think it looks good if the US gets the 2022 World Cup. The US DOJ was involved in the investigation of bribing for the rights to host the Olympics and yet the 2002 winter olympics remained in Salt Lake even after it was discovered that members of the Salt Lake OC had bribed IOC officials to secure their votes.

      • “The US DOJ was involved in the investigation of bribing for the rights to host the Olympics and yet the 2002 winter olympics remained in Salt Lake even after it was discovered that members of the Salt Lake OC had bribed IOC officials to secure their votes.”

      • “I don’t think it looks good if the US gets the 2022 World Cup.”

        the US wouldn’t just “get” the world cup. it would simply be re-opened for bidding, which is what dyke was proposing. (seems like most people missed that, either due to poor reporting or just not reading.)

        and of course “it’s just a matter of the degree of wrongness.” every country has their dirty laundry–for instance, australia has an extensive history of marginalizing the aboriginal australians. doesn’t mean you just say “f–k it” and give it to anyone. maybe set some guidelines: like, let’s not reward countries who enslave laborers or imprison gay people.

    • +1…

      2026 would be better for US since America will be celebrating its 250th anniversary… we could use that to push us and win the whole thing,.. it’ll be like partying like it is 1999.

      below should be the new WC rotation. This ensure Europe and Americas dont wait more than 12 years to host it.

      2-Conmebol & Concacaf
      3-AFC, CFA, Oceania

  6. The irony in all this is that I recall Blatter said he voted for the US for the 2022. I assume he did this because he knew that Qatar had enough votes without him and he had plausible deniability when it came to bribery issues and the fact that the selection committee gave better scores to the US, including issues concerning player safety due to the heat.

    • This is merely conjecture, but he might have voted for the US because he knew that the world cup going to Qatar was so ridiculous that he knew people would begin looking into it, and not necessarily stop there.

      That Qatar lost the vote could prove that the system in which he helped to mold, giving power and influence to people who have used it trade votes for money and perks, finally moved in a direction he couldn’t control.

      Of course that’s looking at the situation now and working backwards.

    • Doesn’t matter. 2012 Cup won’t be moved because as Shaka Hislop pointed out yesterday, Russia in the same corrupt boat as Qatar. Moving just 2022 will open up FIFA to ugly racism charges. So both 2018 & 2012 would have to be cancelled at the same time. Platini will protect Russia and therefore Qatar will get its cup.


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