Tuesday Kickoff: FAs wants FIFA election postponed, Scholes retires and more

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The weekend's events have caused the English and Scottish Football Associations to call for a postponement of Wednesday's scheduled FIFA presidential election.

FIFA executive committee members Mohammed Bin Hammam and Jack Warner were suspended after an ethics hearing on Sunday, and Bin Hammam withdrew his candidacy for FIFA president, leaving current president Sepp Blatter as the lone candidate in the race.

Blatter was cleared of any allegations by the ethics committee after charges from Bin Hammam put him in the spotlight; Bin Hammam appealed his suspension in light of the ethics committee's findings; and Warner has revealed an e-mail from FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke that uncovers Valcke's assertion that Bin Hammam, who headed Qatar's 2022 World Cup bid, bought the right to host the tournament.

England and Scotland want Wednesday's election to be postponed to "give credibility to the process" and so an "alternative reforming candidate" can enter the race, said English FA chairman David Bernstein.

Here a couple of other big items from around the soccer world this morning:

SCHOLES RETIRES

Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes has called it a career, retiring after 16 years at Manchester United. He will remain with the club in a different capacity, though, as he will join Sir Alex Ferguson's coaching staff.

Scholes 36, appeared 676 times for the Red Devils and scored 150 times in all competitions while being lauded by teammates and opponents alike. He won 10 Premier League championships and was a part of the 2008 UEFA Champions League title team.

REPORT: HOULLIER OUT AT VILLA

Gerard Houllier's stint as manager of Aston Villa is over after he and the club parted ways mutually, according to the Birmingham Mail.

Houllier's health is the reason for his departure, as his doctors and medical tests showed that it would be too risky for him to carry on as manager, according to the report. He had a heart scare toward the end of this past season that forced him out of action for the final few weeks.

The Birmingham Mail also says that Villa is expected to officially announce his departure on Wednesday.

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What's your stance on the FIFA elections after the weekend's findings? How do you rank Scholes' career? Who do you think would be a good fit as Villa manager, and what do you think Houllier's reported departure means for the Americans currently with the club?

Share your thoughts below.

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50 Responses to Tuesday Kickoff: FAs wants FIFA election postponed, Scholes retires and more

  1. Joe F. says:

    I just wonder, how will Houllier’s departure affect Bradley? He got such little playing time under Houllier, and combined with a possible midsummer midfield departures as well, this could be good for him. Assuming, of course, that Villa works out a deal with Gladbach.
    Also, do you think Lichaj may get more of a chance at a call-up now? Or does that depend on who the new manager is?

  2. Rich says:

    The FIFA not-a-crisis should be resolved by an international “friendly” between the 24 FIFA executives and 24 bid chairmen from failed WC bids.

    Disciplinary action will be performed by the referee handing the player a plain brown envelope. The player must return to the bench to open it in secret, and decide whether to report it to their team.

  3. georg says:

    Any chance of this latest FIFA flap resulting in re-opening the bid process for 2022? Qutar looks to have benifited from some very shaddy FIFA dealings.

  4. Mike in Long Island says:

    Any truth to the Bob Bradley to Aston Villa rumor?

  5. Johnny Thunder says:

    Hahahahahahaha!

  6. DC Josh says:

    Blatter out, Wahl in.

    Ives – General Secretary.

    Me – Treasurer.

  7. OmarVizquel says:

    There are two separate issues here. One is that evidence has been presented by Chuck Blazer alleging that Qatari Mohammed Bin Hamman and CONCACAF honcho Jack Warner bribed Caribbean officials with $40K each, in exchange for votes for Bin Hamman as FIFA President.

    That has nothing to do with the Qatar bid for the WC. There had been allegations centering around vote exchanges for 2018/2022, but there is no evidence. There is no inquiry into 2022. Those people hoping that somehow the stink from the FIFA Presidency bribery scandal will somehow open an investigation into the 2022 bid process are dreaming. Unless evidence comes forward (and none has come forward or even been suggested), nothing will be done.

  8. Jerry Nolan says:

    Johnny, long time no see

  9. This Guy says:

    You got your facts wrong. The e-mail states that there are hard facts that Qatar bought their bid for 2022. This has been confirmed by FIFA. There will be an investigation into this now. So, dreaming about the US hosting the 2022 WC is not dreams but seems more likely than not to happen at this point. You need to read around today and watch as it unfolds.

  10. Annelid Gustator says:

    Villa also released 10 players not long ago. They’re really cleaning house.

  11. OmarVizquel says:

    Incorrect. The email from Jerome Valcke stated that Bin Hamman thought he could buy the election like Qatar “bought” the bid. This is simply rhetoric…Valcke stated he meant that Qatar used their immense bid budget to back their bid. Every nation — including the US — had a bid budget that they used in various ways (marketing, presentations, bid ambassadors, etc.). Qatar spent millions and millions (far more than the other countries), but there has been zero evidence that any money was in the form of an illegal “bribe” (we can debate what forms bribes can take, but those are the facts).

    It was an ambiguous email and a pretty underwhelming bit of “evidence” against Qatar, if you ask me.

    I’m not defending Qatar’s bid in any way, I’m simply saying that there is no investigation into their practices (yet), so the re-vote cheering section needs to calm down. Unless big-time evidence comes forward, there ain’t gonna be a re-vote.

  12. This Guy says:

    I have a feeling that a disgruntled Jack Warner is going to blow the roof off this mutha! He’s angry that he has been sanctioned and isn’t going down alone. He’s gonna turn from most corrupt FIFA exec to hero amongst soccer fans in the next 30 days. He knows way too much to piss off.

  13. This Guy says:

    “Or he thought you can buy FIFA as they bought the WC” – from the e-mail
    I’m telling you but you may not listen that Warner is going to start a “FIFA tsunami” as he stated. Everything is gonna crumble. I’m not saying your wrong; I just have a different interpretation.

  14. chavftw says:

    So, they’re separate just because Blatter makes a statement saying they’re separate? Of course he’d say that, so that he can tourniquet the bleeding and stop any investigation that would yield evidence of 2022 tampering.

    I’m not a conspiracy kind of guy, but I think Bin Hamman cut a deal and said he’d step down from race if Qatar keeps 2022. Acknowledged I have no evidence for that either, but do you really think you couldn’t find any if you tried?

  15. Rich says:

    Agreed, the amount of evidence at this point seems to be really small. All it serves is to fuel our suspicions that something was rotten in Qatar.

    The way I see it, I feel like the 2022 cup is tainted no matter the outcome. The likely scenario is that Qatar remains the hosts. Everyone will have the feeling that it was bought through unscrupulous means. Maybe they will call it the W’oiled cup.

    But if the USA (or any other country winning a hypothetical revote) were to host, I feel it would also have a slimy feel, like we somehow stole it back – costing Qatar a large amount of wasted economical power for whatever preparations they’ve undergone.

  16. I call Press Secretary. Or Chief of Staff.

  17. OmarVizquel says:

    “So, they’re separate just because Blatter makes a statement saying they’re separate?”

    They’re separate because there is EVIDENCE that Bin Hamman bribed officials with Jack Warner’s help (well, enough evidence to suspend them and open an investigation). There has been no EVIDENCE that the Qatar bid gave illegal bribes. There is innuendo of impropriety, but no investigation by the ethics committee and no evidence brought forward.

    It should also be pointed out that Bin Hamman wasn’t even on the Qatar bid committee (of course he supported it, but other people conducted it). So Bin Hamman bribing Caribbean officials won’t open up an investigation about the Qatar bid committee.

    (Again, I’m just trying to look at things from a legal point of view. Of course the Qatar vote seemed dirty and I would have loved to have the WC in the USA, but I don’t see any way a re-vote will come out of this bribery stuff…)

  18. Ian says:

    I think you’re right. It’s clear he has no principles. If he goes down, he’s taking as many with him as possible. But then there’s the question of credibility. He’s not an honest fellow.

  19. Chris says:

    “costing Qatar a large amount of wasted economical power for whatever preparations they’ve undergone.”
    I’m sorry, but if they did in fact win the bid through dishonest means, (which, at this point, I’m not saying they did,) and were stripped of the ’22 W.C, than that’s their own fault, play by the rules next time.

  20. Judging Amy says:

    Do you know what the oversight procedures in FIFA consist of? Who is on the ethics committee?

  21. aaronsinger says:

    The chief of CONMEBOL wanted the FA Cup named after him in exchange for a vote for England?

    Hilarious.

    link to espn.go.com

  22. OmarVizquel says:

    I don’t know. I’m sure I don’t trust them, however!

  23. chavftw says:

    Not disputing that. I’m disputing that the better thing to do is roll over and die on a vote postponement. Of course it’s innocent until proven guilty with evidence. But you can investigate all you want without evidence. That’s the whole point, to find out what’s going on. As a fan it’s entirely reasonable to want a postponement to see what connections are out there, official or otherwise, before we let the same guy run keep running the organization.

  24. SP says:

    farewell paul scholes, my all-time favorite player

  25. RK says:

    Is this in addition to his wanting knighthood?

  26. Matt S says:

    I thought Bradley was only a loan? Or did I miss them signing him?

  27. Matt S says:

    And suddenly United’s yellow and red card count drop by as many games Scholes would have played for them next season.

  28. chavftw says:

    BTW, politically, I do think the vote will go on as planned. Apparently, Warner just told CFU nations to vote for Blatter. So much for the sh*tstorm.

  29. BradAR says:

    For those of you hoping Warner is going to change into an ally, Reuters is reporting that Warner has told the Caribbean Football Union that their delegates must vote for Sepp Blatter in tomorrows presidential election/coronation.

  30. fischy says:

    “More likely than not”??

    Are you kidding? I guess I wouldn’t eliminate the possibility that FIFA will reconsider replaying the 2022 vote, but it’s hardly more likely than not. More like a one-in-a-hundred-thousand chance..

  31. fischy says:

    Did you just make up that ‘rumor’?

  32. Adam says:

    Well done Paul Scholes. What a great career.

  33. DC Josh says:

    Omar – I agree with you about an investigation into the 2022 bid. Without evidence of corruption, allegations are simply allegations. Just because Bin Hamman is corrupt doesn’t mean every Asian country is corrupt. Jack Warner is a greedy slime ball, but the USSF put together a fair bid -Gulati publicly stated after the results that the US was not going to stoop down to the shady tactics other federations were employing.

    However, the laws that govern FIFA are so obscure that the bidding and election processes are open to “gifts” and other financial transactions benefiting individuals.

    But if this stuff is going on for a Presidential campaign, it must have occurred during the bidding process. There is no coincidence that two of the richest oil-countries won the next two World Cups. There is evidence somewhere, and I am simply waiting for someone to come out with it. But for now, Qatar is still hosting the 2022 World Cup.

  34. baquito alyeska says:

    I’m starting to believe the rumor that Game of Thrones is based on the inner workings of the FIFA Executive Committee.

  35. vik says:

    Yea. AVFC fans were saying that reo-coker and petrov were probably on the way out. Pires is out. So Villa could definitely use some depth in central midfield. I guess it depends on who replaces Houllier, as Bradley was making the bench under the assistant coach as well.

    Not sure if it helps or hurts Guzan. The FO could push to pick up another keeper before a new coach has a chance to fully evaluate existing options. Guess we’ll see.

  36. vik says:

    they have an option to buy him.

  37. chavftw says:

    That rumor is totally true. People think it’s BB’s nepotism that makes MB an automatic USMNT starter, when it’s really the other way around: mean Michael forces Sunil to keep BB. Now that MB will stay at Villa, he’s pulling the same nepotistic power play. BB head coach at Villa announcement as soon as MB deal is done.

  38. Big Chil says:

    Executive Committee Vice President – the perfect sinecure.

  39. Big Chil says:

    Yes!

  40. bryan says:

    dude, that rumor died awhile ago.

  41. bryan says:

    hahaha absolutely

  42. Smash Famous says:

    Mr. Scholes,

    Thank you for such a fantastic career with Manchester United.
    I’ve had the pleasure of watching you play year in and year out
    since I was a young lad.
    You are a true testament to a top professional. May you have
    great success in a management role in the future.

    Best,

    SF

  43. Jamie Z. says:

    I’m not sure anybody has any idea how any of the Bradley situation is going to pan out. I don’t have the slightest idea how a player whose loan is expiring is even affected by a regime change at the close of the season. As a Villa fan, nothing would make me happier than to see Bradley stay and carve out a niche with the club, but I stopped conjecturing about it weeks ago.

    I do know, however, that I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing a manager like David Moyes at the club to replace Houllier.

  44. Al says:

    Know we need ryan giggs to retire. I have respect for them but there were too old and slow againts barca midfield.

  45. Jamie Z. says:

    I don’t think not being able to keep up with Barcelona’s midfield is necessarily an indictment against one’s ability to play professional soccer.

    Using your logic, 99% of the world’s professional footballers need to hang up their boots immediately.

  46. Spectra says:

    I hope he goes down like Jose Conseco

  47. RNG says:

    Wasn’t today the last day for AV to finalize a Bradley deal?
    Any info on that?

  48. Rob says:

    Per Reuters, “Concacaf general secretary Chuck Blazer sacked with immediate effect, says acting Concacaf president”

    Sucks to do the right thing in a corrupt organization like FIFA…

  49. Rob says:

    Per NBC News/ AP “Lisle Austin says Blazer’s conduct was “inexcusable and a gross misconduct of duty and judgment,” and the American is no longer fit to be CONCACAF’s secretary general..”

  50. mike in long island says:

    Just as I suspected. That Mike Bradley is a one slick customer… And yes I did make this up.