December 9 – Russia’s staging of the 2018 World Cup has been plunged back into fresh controversy following today’s damning report that suggests more than 1,000 Russian sportsmen and women – including Olympic medallists – benefited from a state-sponsored programme across 30 sports – including football.
By David Owen
December 8 – Brighton and Hove Albion, pressing hard for a place in the Premier League for a second consecutive season, have highlighted the financial balancing-act facing upwardly mobile clubs with ambitions of top-tier football. The high-flying Seagulls from the English south coast have reported a pre-tax loss for the year to 30 June 2016 so substantial that it outstripped turnover for the same period.
December 9 – The English Football Association has suspended Leeds United’s controversial Italian owner Massimo Cellino (pictured) from all football activities for 18 months and fined the Italian £250,000 for breaking transfer regulations.
By Andrew Warshaw
December 9 – Former South African Football Association (SAFA) president Kirsten Nematandani (pictured) has been banned for five years by FIFA’s ethics committee in connection with a match-fixing scandal involving the national team in the build-up to the 2010 World Cup which it hosted.
December 9 – Premier League Tottenham Hotspur reckon that 3,000 construction jobs will be created by the build of their new 61,000 capacity stadium, many of them going to local people.
December 9 – Premier League clubs’ Facebook growth continues to increase week-on-week for a third week running with a jump of 332,800 this week from 314,000 last week and 301,000 two weeks ago.
December 9 – It is common knowledge that Sepp Blatter and his successor Gianni Infantino were not exactly bosom buddies. But now the ex-FIFA president has laid bare the tensions that pervade their relationship by accusing Infantino of a lack of respect by not returning phone calls.
December 9 – Even the great survivor is now calling it a day. Delia Fischer, almost part of the furniture in FIFA’s media department who worked tirelessly for the organisation for 15 years, often having to balance her commendable loyalty with answering the most sensitive of questions – increasingly during the ongoing corruption scandal – is finally on her way out, the latest stalwart to leave following Gianni Infantino’s election.
By Samindra Kunti
December 9 – French champions Paris Saint-Germain are teetering on the edge of a crisis following a defeat against Montpellier and a draw against Ludogorets in the Champions League. On Sunday, they host league leaders Nice with coach Unai Emery in the pressure seat.
By Andrew Warshaw
December 8 – It will not be formally agreed by the FIFA Council until early January but it now seems likely future World Cup finals after 2022 will feature 16 groups of three in a 48-team tournament if Gianni Infantino obtains sufficient support for the idea.
By Paul Nicholson
December 8 – CONCACAF is holding another extraordinary congress this Saturday, this time to approve the Confederation’s 2015 audited financial statements, remarkably almost a full year after the financial year ended. The positive from this is presumably that they managed to produce a set of accounts.
By Paul Nicholson
December 8 – The US Department of Justice’s attempts to get former CONCACAF president and FIFA vice president Jack Warner to the US to stand trial looks set to suffer further delay.
December 8 – Former Swansea City manager Michael Laudrup and the club itself have denied he was sacked – mysteriously at the time – because of concerns that he and, primarily, his agent stood to profit from player transfers.
December 8 – Julio Rocha, one of the original un-magnificent Zurich Seven, who was responsible for overseeing FIFA’s development programme in Central America, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to his role in the US-led global football bribery investigation.
December 8 – UEFA have opened disciplinary proceedings against Celtic following crowd disturbances and fireworks set off by fans in this week’s Champions league meeting with Manchester City.