April 11 – The issue of competitive balance in European competition was brought into political focus recently with UEFA’s new Champions League qualification criteria which sees four teams from the top four nations automatically qualify for the group stages. Not only does this reduce the opportunity of other teams from smaller leagues to challenge but it will likely concentrate more of the revenue towards the biggest teams.
April 11 – Just days after being given the dreaded vote of confidence, Edgardo Bauza has been sacked as Argentina coach, with the team outside the automatic qualifying places for next year’s World Cup.
April 11 – The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) have finally released a statement upholding FIFA’s recruitment ban on Belgian club RFC Seraing for breaching third-party ownership rules – but has confirmed is has reduced the sanction from four transfer windows to three.
April 11 – Claudio Ranieri has finally broken his silence over his controversial sacking at Leicester City by hinting he had been betrayed by an unidentified party – but denied his players contrived to force him out.
April 11 – Brazil’s Santa Catarina state league has signed up with Sportradar’s match-fixing security service to monitor league matches. It is the second of the state leagues, after Sao Paulo, to bring in the company’s Fraud Detection System to monitor betting patterns.
By Andrew Warshaw
April 10 – It’s been an open secret for months but now the United States, Mexico and Canada look set to formally announce a joint bid for the 2026 World Cup later today.
By Paul Nicholson
April 10 – Confederation of African Football (CAF) president Ahmad has said he believes the 12-year deal signed with Lagardère Sports for $1 billion was for too long a term, might have been too cheap and that he is going to revisit this agreement.
April 10 – Russian World Cup chief and deputy prime minister Vitaly Mutko, barred from being a member of FIFA’s ruling Council because of a conflict of his sporting and political interest, has accused the world governing body of overcharging his country for TV rights for next year’s finals.
By David Owen
April 10 – FIFA, the world governing body currently exposed to investigations by the United States Department of Justice and Switzerland’s Office of the Attorney General, is budgeting for a deficit of close to half a billion dollars this year before a sharp rebound in the World Cup year of 2018.
April 10 – CONCACAF, whose corrupt US officials and marketing representatives wrought one half of the storm that has decimated FIFA, held their 32nd Congress on the relative calm of the Caribbean island of Aruba at the weekend. Top of their agenda was the election of representatives to their own Council as well as to the FIFA Council.
April 10 – AC Milan may be struggling to finally get the sale of the club to Chinese investors off the ground, but main sponsor Emirates is having no such problem with its involvement with the club, unveiling an A380 aircraft sporting a special AC Milan livery at Milan Malpensa International Airport.
By Samindra Kunti
April 7 – The Court of Arbitration CAS has dismissed an appeal lodged by Brazil’s Internacional over Vitoria Da Bahia’s problems with the player’s registration of Victor Ramos. The decision confirms Internacional’s relegation to Brazil’s Serie B.
By Andrew Warshaw
April 7 – Saoud Al-Mohannadi, the Qatari official controversially disqualified at the last moment from standing as an Asian member of FIFA’s ruling Council, has won a landmark appeal that could have far-reaching consequences in the region as well as raise questions over the supposedly independent decision-making process of FIFA’s ethics watchdogs.
By Paul Nicholson
April 7 – While the €1 million solidarity payment to each national federation made headlines at the UEFA Congress this week, the real financial story is the €847 million profit the confederation made on its expanded 2016 European Championships, a €500 million increase on the 2012 edition in Poland and Ukraine. The tournament generated a massive €1.92 billion in total revenue.