Global Business of Soccer Recap

 

Here are some of the top stories from last week in the global soccer industry…

 

Minnesota United ExpansionMinnesota United FC to Play in St. Paul? (Business of Soccer)

March 25th 2015 is a day that will go down in soccer history in Minnesota, the day that Major League Soccer (MLS) announced that they were granting an expansion franchise to the Bill McGuire camp and the city of Minneapolis. McGuire, current owner of NASL club Minnesota United FC, the Pohlad family, owners of the Minnesota Twins, and Glenn Taylor, owner of the Minnesota Timberwolves, collectively made up the ownership group that beat out the Wilf family, owners of the Minnesota Vikings, in winning favor with MLS.

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Copa AmericaDespite FIFA Scandal, The Show Goes on for South American Soccer (Reuters)

When Chile hosts Argentina on Saturday in the final of the quadrennial Copa America tournament, little may seem out of the ordinary unless the home team, which has never won a major soccer competition, pulls off an upset.

Behind the scenes, though, it is a wonder the event came off.

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600px-Fenerbahçe.svgFenerbahce in Talks for First Named Stadium Deal, Official Says (Bloomberg)

Fenerbahce Sports Club is in talks with companies including Qatar National Bank for a sponsorship deal that will include naming rights to its soccer stadium for the first time, according to a senior Fenerbahce executive.

Potential sponsors also include a Dubai-based company as well as companies in Turkey, said the executive, who asked not to be named because the talks are private. Negotiations for stadium naming rights for 10 years and for jerseys are in an advanced stage and a deal could be signed soon, the official said.

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UEFA LogoMastercard Renews Champions League Sponsorship (FC Business)

MasterCard has extended its long-standing UEFA Champions League sponsorship for the next three seasons through to 2018.

The renewal includes sponsorship of the UEFA Super Cup, UEFA Women’s Champions League final and the UEFA Youth League finals. The agreement will also see MasterCard continue as the Official Provider of UEFA Champions League player mascots.

MasterCard has been a supporter of Europe’s most prestigious club football competition for more than 20 years.

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BOS_NWSLNWSL Secures Fox Sports TV Deal (Soccerex)

Fox Sports has signed a TV deal with the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL).

The agreement will see three regular season games from the US professional women’s league screened live on Fox Sports 1, as well as three play-off matches including the final. A further four regular season games will be available on the Fox Sports Go app and on the broadcaster’s website.

The news comes as the US prepare for Sunday’s Fifa Women’s World Cup final against Japan at BC Place in Vancouver, Canada., which will be aired on the main Fox network.

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US SoccerWhy the U.S. has such an amazing women’s soccer team (Chicago Tribune)

The U.S. women’s national soccer team beat Germany 2-0 on Tuesday night, securing a spot for the American women in the 2015 FIFA World Cup final. The U.S. will now play Japan in the final game at 7 p.m. on Sunday.

While the U.S. men’s team has struggled to make it into the top echelons of world soccer, the women’s team has dominated for a quarter century. And the reasons behind this trend seem, in part, to reflect broader social attitudes about women.

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BOS_BlatterFIFA’s Blatter Unwittingly Pinpoints Soccer Governance’s Prime Issues (Huffington Post)

Embattled FIFA president Sepp Blatter unwittingly put his finger on two fundamental issues that underlie a corruption scandal that has rocked world soccer governance, the worst crisis in the sport’s history: the fiction that sports and politics are separate and hypocrisy that distorts legitimate debate about Qatar’s successful but controversial World Cup bid.

Speaking to German newspaper Die Welt am Sonntag, Mr. Blatter asserted that the governments of France and Germany had pressured their national soccer federations to vote in favour of the Qatari bid. His self-serving remarks were likely intended to deflect responsibility as authorities investigate his controversial stewardship of FIFA.

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Confederation_of_African_Football_logoAfrica’s Soccer Strongman a Candidate for FIFA President? (The State)

The son of a sultan from northern Cameroon, Issa Hayatou has ruled African soccer for 27 years and counting, a decade longer than Sepp Blatter has been in charge of FIFA.

Now FIFA’s senior vice president, Hayatou, a 68-year-old former physical education teacher, has played many roles in the quarter of a century he has sat on world soccer’s powerful executive committee, where only Blatter ranks higher.

Of all those roles, Hayatou is best at being a wily survivor.

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BOS_FIFAFIFA’s Webb Charged in Cayman Islands Corruption Case (Reuters)

Suspended FIFA vice-president and CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb, already facing charges in soccer’s global bribery scandal, has now been charged in a healthcare fraud case in his native Cayman Islands, local media reported on Friday.

Cayman authorities have issued an arrest warrant for Webb and are expected to seek his extradition, reported Cayman 27 television.

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David Cannon/Getty Images Platini and Blatter: Public sparringSepp Blatter Makes Claim of ‘Political Interventions’ by France and Germany (ESPN FC)

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has claimed there were “political interventions” from the presidents of France and Germany ahead of the voting for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

Blatter, who has revealed he will not travel to avoid the chance of arrest, alleges former French president Nicolas Sarkozy and his German counterpart Christian Wulff sought to influence vote-makers before the two tournament hosts were announced in December 2010.

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Reporting on the business side of the world's game.