Global Business of Soccer Recap


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

Gio Dos SantosMLS Announces New Roster Rule, Invests $10 Million into Players Over Next 5 Years (Business of Soccer)

Adding Designated Players in Major League Soccer just got a little more interesting.  Wednesday Major League Soccer (MLS) announced a new mechanism called Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) which, according to a league statement, will take effect immediately.

The underlying theme of the new rule is that it gives each team $100,000 each year for the next five years to buy down players contracts that make over the maximum budget charge of $436,250.

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Chuck-BlazerChuck Blazer Banned from Football Related Activities (FC Business)

Chuck Blazer, the former FIFA Ex-Co member turned whistleblower has been banned from all football related activity for life.

Blazer, becomes the second to be banned this week after Harold Mayne-Nicholls, former chairman of the Bid Evaluation Group for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups and former Chilean Football Association President was banned for seven years on Monday.

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USWNT WC 2015After World Cup, Will US Follow Women to Pro Soccer? (New York Post)

The U.S. Women’s National Team won the Women’s World Cup and the hearts and minds of the nation along with it. America fell in love with women’s soccer over the past month and showed that love with Friday’s ticker-tape parade. But will it care today and tomorrow?

A record 27.6 million people watched the championship game victory, and 200,000 watched the parade. But will anybody show up to watch the Americans play for their professional teams in the National Women’s Soccer League? Judging from Sky Blue FC’s 1-0 slump-busting win over Portland on Saturday, the jury still is out.

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mediaworldMiami Company Described in U.S. Soccer Case as Agreeing to Pay Bribes (Reuters)

A Miami-based affiliate of Spanish media giant Imagina group is one of the unidentified sports marketing companies alleged in a U.S. indictment to have agreed to pay a bribe in a global soccer corruption scandal, sources told Reuters.

The company is Media World, a subsidiary of Imagina US, according to two sources familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity. Imagina US is a subsidiary of the Barcelona-based Imagina group.

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FIFAFIFA Bans World Cup Bid Panel Boss Seven Years for Ethics Breach (Bloomberg)

Soccer’s global governing body gave a seven-year ban to Harold Mayne-Nicholls of Chile, who oversaw part of the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

Mayne-Nicholls was chairman of the Bid Evaluation Group for the disputed process and former head of Chile’s Football Association. FIFA said he was suspended for breaking its code of ethics involving confidentiality, without giving details. FIFA announced the ban in an e-mailed statement.

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US SoccerSenate Subcommittee Preparing to Question U.S. Soccer Official Next Week (New York Times)

The United States Soccer Federation is expected to face aggressive scrutiny on Wednesday at a Senate subcommittee hearing related to charges of widespread corruption among leaders of FIFA, the sport’s global governing body.

Senators on the subcommittee overseeing consumer protection, which encompasses sports, said they wanted to determine what involvement or knowledge U.S. Soccer officials had of the possible criminal activity laid out by federal prosecutors in indictments unsealed last month.

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FIFA Women's World Cup: USA - ColombiaSoccer is Still Out of Reach for Half of the World’s Women (Time)

The U.S. women’s soccer team should use their stage to demand that all governments support women in soccer.

Almost 27 million viewers in the U.S. watched the country defeat Japan in a stunning 5-2 victory during the FIFA Women’s World Cup Final Sunday. This was the largest U.S. audience ever to watch a soccer match—a testament to the growing popularity and global power of women’s sports teams. Yet as we watched with our young daughters the game from Turkey, where girls soccer teams are scant and female players face discrimination and harassment, our enthusiasm was tempered by a stark reality: For many of the world’s women, playing soccer is a distant dream.

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BOS_NWSLNational Women’s Soccer League Seeing Signs of Popularity Surge (ESPN)

In an attempt to capitalize off the U.S. women’s soccer team winning the Women’s World Cup, an intern for the Washington Spirit started making cold calls Tuesday.

Sure enough, a person on the other end of the line who claimed to have never attended a women’s pro soccer game agreed to buy 30 tickets.

It hasn’t been that easy to do business, but executives with teams in the National Women’s Soccer League are cautiously optimistic that the win and the exposure given to its players will result in a healthier league.

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Sepp BlatterFIFA Soccer Corruption Scandal: Swiss Prosecutors Say They Have More Evidence Of Money Laundering (International Business Times) 

Further evidence reportedly has surfaced on possible money laundering involving the Fédération Internationale de Football Association’s (FIFA) 2018 and 2022 World Cup bid contests. The Associated Press reported Sunday Swiss federal prosecutors said they now have 81 “suspicious activity reports” filed by Swiss banks.

Attorney General Michael Lauber last month said investigators had 53 suspicious incidents in what he called a “huge and complex case.” This is separate from the U.S. investigation of possible bribery and racketeering involving FIFA officials.

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usa-fans-hermosa-beachAmerica’s New Soccer Fans: Why the Children of Immigrants are Cheering USA (the guardian)

It was October 11 2011, but Mauricio and Denise Izurieta remember it like it was yesterday. The Ecuadorian couple, who moved to the US more than 20 years ago, had bought tickets to watch their nation play a friendly against the United States at Red Bull Arena. “We were so excited because we were going to surprise our son, Alejandro, with the tickets, the night before the game,” says the 37 year-old banker from New York City and passionate soccer fan. “Denise and I were so excited for him and we both knew he was going to be so happy.”

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