By Paul Nicholson
January 2 – Saudi Arabia’s controversial Turki Al-Sheikh who as president of the General Sports Authority has involved himself in the international football market and its politics, has had his ministerial position re-organised with a move to chairman of the Entertainment Authority.
January 2 – FIFA has been hit with a Swiss Supreme Court ruling ordering it to pay $16.8 million plus interest in compensation to US-based ticket broker JB Sports Marketing (JBSM), for World Cup tickets it never received.
December 27 – With Real Madrid having claimed a third successive Club World Cup title – and a fourth in the past five years – one Los Blancos star also made history.
December 21 – Former FIFA General Secretary Urs Linsi is back in the spotlight after a Swiss Federal Court ruled against his complaint that a house search by police investigators was conducted illegally and that documents taken should be returned.
December 21 – A record audience of more than 3.5 billion people watched this year’s World Cup in Russia, with the final between France and Croatia attracting 1.12 billion viewers, according to FIFA.
By Andrew Warshaw
December 20 – German football boss and FIFA Council member Reinhard Grindel has renewed his attack on the FIFA leadership and Gianni Infantino in person saying Infantino is fuelling international prejudice against his own organisation over his controversial plans to reshape the landscape of world football,
December 19 – Within days of euphorically picking up the Copa Libertadores title against arch-rivals Boca Juniors, Argentinian giants River Plate were brought embarrassing down to earth on Tuesday when they suffered a shock defeat to hosts Al Ain in the semi-finals of the FIFA Club World Cup in the United Arab Emirates.
December 18 – Seedy by name, seedy by nature? FIFA ethics judges have banned former Gambia Football Federation chief Seedy Kinteh for four years for taking cash gifts from one-time FIFA presidential candidate Mohamed bin Hammam.
FIFA says its ethics committee found Kinteh guilty on charges of bribery and corruption, and accepting gifts. He was also fined CHF200,000 ($202,000).
Kinteh was named in a 2014 investigation report by FIFA’s then-ethics prosecutor Michael Garcia for taking payments totalling $69,396 from Bin Hammam from February 2010 to April 2011 when Qatar’s former Asian football confederation boss was bidding to unseat Sepp Blatter.
By Paul Nicholson in Doha
December 14 – FIFA President Gianni Infantino concluded the FIFA Summits in Doha, Qatar, yesterday with what is becoming his trademark battle cry for an expansion of the 2022 World Cup to 48 teams and another reference to his being just another “citizen of the world”.
December 12 – Qatar’s hosting of the 2022 World Cup is reported to be one of the key discussion points at the latest FIFA executive summit currently taking place in in Qatar and involving over 50 FIFA federations from five continents, including 18 from Asia.
By Andrew Warshaw
December 11 – Gianni Infantino’s closest technical advisor, Zvonimir Boban, has publicly ruled out the Qatar World Cup in 2022 being expanded to 48 teams – unless it definitely shares the tournament with its neighbours.
December 12 – World champions the United States have another mouth-watering clash with old rivals Sweden at next year’s women’s World Cup in France following the draw held at the weekend.
December 10 – Gianni Infantino’s $25 billion ambition to reshape the entire landscape of world football has taken a decisive step after FIFA confirmed that a task force set up to examine plans for an expanded Club World Cup and a global version of the Nations League held its first meeting on Sunday to look at possible formats, dates and slot allocations.
December 10 – FIFA is to send a delegation to observe the forthcoming and increasingly bitter Zimbabwe football federation elections pencilled in for December 16.