Cities across Brazil are cancelling carnival celebrations as increasing economic woes hit Latin America's largest economy. Local governments are citing tightened budgets, with lower tax revenues and more important projects in need of funding.
Anti-gay chants by fans have led to fines for six football associations. Match reports revealed that fans of Argentina, Chile, Honduras, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay yelled homophobic remarks during qualifying matches for the 2018 World Cup.
The mayor of 2016 Olympic host city Rio de Janeiro insisted authorities had the finances to avoid disruption to the summer Games despite Brazil’s recession. Latin America's largest economy is suffering from a deep recession and soaring inflation -- a contrast to the boom times of 2009, when Rio won the right to host the Olympics.
“The FIFA Emergency Committee decided on 9 January 2016 to dismiss Jérôme Valcke from the position of FIFA secretary general with immediate effect. Jérôme Valcke is therefore no longer the secretary general of FIFA,” a FIFA statement said on Wednesday.
Lionel Messi reclaimed the FIFA Ballon d'Or award for the world player of the year on Monday, after watching his great rival Cristiano Ronaldo walk off with the prize for the previous two years. The Argentine Barcelona forward finished ahead of Ronaldo and Brazil forward Neymar as he scooped the award for a record fifth time overall, having previously won it four years in a row from 2009 to 2012.
Suspended UEFA chief Michel Platini has withdrawn from the FIFA presidential race as he fights to clear his name following an eight-year ban. Platini was banned by FIFA's ethics judge in December over a “disloyal” $2 million payment he received from Sepp Blatter in 2011. It virtually ended his dreams of succeeding Blatter at the helm of FIFA in the Feb. 26 election.
Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez and Argentine counterpart Mauricio Macri agreed on Thursday that their countries will present a joint bid to host the World Cup in 2030, a century after Uruguay was the site of the first tournament.
FIFA investigators have recommended a nine-year ban from football for suspended secretary general Jerome Valcke for seven alleged ethics violations. Suspended in September over allegations linking him to a 2014 World Cup ticketing scam, Valcke’s provisional 90-day suspension expires on Tuesday.
Swiss authorities have handed over the first round of bank documents seized in their FIFA corruption investigation to U.S. prosecutors on Wednesday. The Federal Office of Justice in Switzerland says the documents relate to “bank accounts allegedly used for bribes connected with the grant of marketing rights to soccer tournaments in Latin America and the USA.”
FIFA has signed its first sponsorship deal since the corruption scandal engulfed world football's governing body. The eight-year agreement with Chinese company Alibaba Group, the world’s largest online and mobile commerce company, is for the Club World Cup spanning 2015 through 2022.