We’ve got a few interesting headlines for you today, footy fans. From news on Mohamed bin Hammam’s FIFA ban, to the mystery of Smart Soccer to Chris Pontius’ interesting misunderstanding, we’ve got it all here for you in today’s Daily Kick Around!
One of the biggest stories to come out today is the announcement a court annulled the lifetime ban FIFA placed on former Asian Football Confederation president Mohamed bin Hammam. Bin Hammam was previously banned for bribing nations during his campaign against current FIFA president Sepp Blatter.
The three-man Cas panel, which included the British QC Philippe Sands, emphasised only that it was “case not proven,” because the evidence, compiled following Fifa’s own investigation, was not sufficient to definitively prove Bin Hammam provided the suitcase full of dollar bills.
Very interesting turn, with all the current bribery talk circulating around FIFA these days.
English Premier League
Who better to champion the idea of conservative spending from EPL clubs than Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, who’s very well known for not spending money to bring or keep players int he Gunner kit. Wenger said today there is a need for the Financial Fair Play organization to come in and curb spending from big clubs like Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United.
While the talks continue between MLS, Geoff Cameron and Stoke City, Alexi Lalas is already predicting Cameron will be a “quality” player for Stoke. Hmm, only time will tell! If he ever gets there, we might find out!
Major League Soccer
The other big headline to come out today was from our domestic league – MLS and adidas announced today that Smart Soccer will run rampant in MLS next year, making it the first “smart league” in the world. I gotta say, the concept of all this data from players and games sounds very interesting. But I wonder how long before the fans get bored with it?
The Seattle Sounders may have lost 4-2 to Chelsea in the World Football Challenge last night, but that didn’t reflect Fredy Montero’s performance – he scored both of the goals for the Sounders. After three years in the MLS, however, Montero admitted he’s ready to play in a league like EPL, but only if the opportunity is right.
Finally, on a rather silly and funny note, D.C. United’s Chris Pontius revealed to the Washington Post he’d picked up 50 Shades of Grey, after misunderstanding during a radio interview led him to believe it might be something he wanted to check out. Forty pages in, Pontius realized what the book’s true motives were and said he stopped … after reading 30 more pages, because he was bored. Ha!