Global Business of Soccer Recap

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

BOS_FIFABrazil Soccer Head Pleads for Protection Amid Corruption Inquiry (Bloomberg)

The beleaguered head of Brazil’s soccer federation asked a court for immunity ahead of a possible appearance before a parliamentary committee investigating corruption in the sport.

Marco Polo del Nero has been under a cloud since his predecessor, Jose Maria Marin, was indicted in the U.S., arrested in a dawn raid in Switzerland and extradited to New York.

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Chevy Manchester UnitedManchester United Post Record Quarterly Revenue (FC Business)

Manchester United has today announced total revenue of £123.6m for the 2016 fiscal first quarter ending 30th Sept (2015), an increase of 39.3% on the same period last year (£88.7m – 2014).

The latest quarterly results are another record for the club with the expectation that revenues will rise to £500m to £510m for the fiscal year 2016 and adjusted EBITDA to be £165m to £175m.

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NZ SoccerNew Zealand Says Won’t Appeal Olympic Exclusion (Reuters)

New Zealand will not take the Oceania Football Confederation’s decision to exclude its men’s soccer team from next year’s Rio de Janeiro Olympics to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, New Zealand Football said on Friday.

“Despite legal advice recommending an appeal on a number of grounds on the specific case of the disqualification, we have taken the view not to proceed,” NZF President Deryck Shaw said in a statement.

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GulatiU.S. Soccer Boss Sunil Gulati Addresses Range of Issues (New York Times)

A few hours before the U.S. World Cup qualifying opener in St. Louis on Friday, U.S. Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati met with a group of reporters to discuss Jurgen Klinsmann, the national team, the broader program, FIFA and other matters, including everyone’s favorite, promotion and relegation.

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DiarraCousin of French Soccer Star Lassana Diarra Killed in Paris Terrorist Attacks (Daily News)

French soccer star Lassana Diarra’s beloved cousin was murdered by terrorists in Paris as he played Friday night for the national team.

“It is with a heavy heart that I awake today,” Diarra posted Saturday on his Facebook page. “My cousin Asta Diakite was among the victims of one of the shootings that took place yesterday, as were hundreds of other innocent French people.”

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continental-tiresContinental to Sponsor 2019 Asian Cup (Soccerex)

International tire manufacturer Continental has become the official sponsor of the 2019 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup, which will be staged in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Under the terms of the deal, Continental will also sponsor the qualifiers for the 12 best teams in the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019, the 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup, the final round of Asian qualifiers for the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia, and the AFC 2018 U22 Championship, where the qualifying places for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo will also be awarded.

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US SoccerWhat Does New “No Heading” Rule Mean For Soccer’s Future in USA? (NBC Sports)

It is time to take a step back and try to understand exactly what this week’s substantial ruling from U.S. Soccer means for the future of the sport in the USA.

On Monday it was announced that following 15 months of litigation new initiatives designed to help reduce the number of concussions suffered by youth soccer players will be put in place by the U.S. Soccer Federation.

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qatar-2022Qatar’s Migrant Workers Say They Are Paid to Fill Stadiums Before World Cup (the guardian)

Migrant labourers in Qatar say they are being paid to fill empty seats at football matches featuring the Spanish star Xavi Hernández, who was signed to boost local interest in the game before the Gulf state hosts the 2022 World Cup.

Xavi, 35, is a World Cup winner and former Barcelona captain. At an evening match between his side Al Sadd and rivals Al Ahli last month, groups of “fans” told the Guardian they had been paid about £5 to attend or had been given free tickets.

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BlazerConMen in Blazers Bank on Soccer’s Growth with BlazerCon Event (Yahoo)

They talk soccer, and they wear blazers—usually at the same time. And they’ve been touting soccer as “America’s Sport of the Future, as it has been since 1972.” When Michael Davies and Roger Bennett began their project, the Men in Blazers podcast, it had a smattering of regular listeners (known as GFOPs, or Great Friends of the Pod) and a cult following.

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mls new logoCommissioner Don Garber Certain League Will Become One of the World’s Best (International Business Times)

Commissioner Don Garber has reaffirmed his belief that Major League Soccer will become one of the world’s top leagues, while hinting that a sale of the Houston Dynamo was close. In his annual State of the Union address, this year given as part of the BlazerCon soccer convention, Garber spoke with enthusiasm that MLS’ 20th season had seen the league take a major step forward.

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