Friday Kickoff: Iniesta not interested in foreign offers; FIFA ethics committee can’t take WC from Qatar; and more

AndresIniestaBarcelona3 (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

Contract negotiations are continuing between Barcelona and Andres Iniesta, but the club is reportedly not worried about rushing to complete a new deal.

The Spanish international’s current deal runs through the end of the 2014/2015 season, when Iniesta will be 31-years old, but according to reports in Spain, Iniesta isn’t interested in leaving Barcelona. Manchester United has recently been reported to have been ramping up their interest in the star midfielder, but it looks like their efforts will come to naught.

The reports state that Barcelona wants to make Iniesta the second-highest paid player in the squad behind Lionel Messi. The Argentine forward is making more than $20 million per season. In recent weeks, it’s been reported that Barcelona is interested in presenting a new contract offer in December.

Iniesta, currently with the Spanish national team in Equatorial Guinea, has made 19 appearances for Barcelona already this season, with no goals but two assists.

Here are some more stories to start your Friday off:

FIFA ETHICS COMMITTEE CAN ONLY SANCTION INDIVIDUALS, NOT QATAR

As FIFA’s independent ethics committee continues its work to determine whether the Qatar and Russian World Cup bids were illegally won, it turns out that the committee’s power is severely limited, according to reports in England.

A report in The Telegraph says that even if attorney Michael Garcia and his investigative team find evidence of wrongdoing, they could only sanction individuals involved, but they can’t take away the decision to award the World Cup to either Russia or Qatar. The Qatari World Cup bid has been under a harsh media spotlight in the last 12 months due to myriad problems, including the weather in summer, workers right’s issues, and other potential problems that could occur in the tiny Gulf nation.

“If Garcia finds something which was wrong, the ethics committee has the right to take sanctions,” an unidentified FIFA official told The Telegraph. “But does he have the right to say ‘based on what I have found the World Cup should not be played in Qatar?’ No, he does not have that right.”

QUICK KICKS

Spain manager Vicente del Bosque has confirmed that he has extended his contract with the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) through 2016. (REPORT)

UEFA has reportedly made the San Siro in Milan the 2016 UEFA Champions League final venue. (REPORT)

Barcelona left back Jordi Alba has returned to Barcelona training after more than one month on the sidelines following a setback suffered in his recovery from a hamstring injury. (REPORT)

Current Inter Milan president Massimo Morati said that new owner Erick Thohir will take over as president as well. (REPORT)

Radamel Falcao was among the goal scorers on Thursday as Colombia defeated Belgium in Brussels, 2-0. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you see Iniesta signing a new contract with Barcelona this winter? Disappointed that the FIFA ethics committee can’t sanction Qatar?

Share your thoughts below.

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10 Responses to Friday Kickoff: Iniesta not interested in foreign offers; FIFA ethics committee can’t take WC from Qatar; and more

  1. David M says:

    Of course they can’t. Too many FIFA functionaries have already spent the money.

  2. Andre Mariner says:

    Wait a second? FIFA’s “independent” ethics committee has no authority to overturn decisions made that violate the ethics clauses guiding decisions? So no matter how big the bribes or even if people were to be murdered (wouldn’t rule that out anyways), the decision goes on with an “oh, guess it’s too late now” attitude?

    Seriously, it’s time for legal entities to step in and indict on racketeering. This is the mob, but codified in the public view.

    • Kingsly Alexander says:

      Powers beyond former soccer players make the decisions about how these things are settled. There not a damn thing ppl can do about it. In any matter where ppl want to the assholes at the top listen, stop buying into their product.

      For instance, boycott the EUROS, the WC. They’d crap their pants and say, “transparency you say? Funny you mention that because we were already I the process of…”

      And Equatorial Guinea, they have like 6 or so players that have been naturalized that hail from Brazil and Colombia without a trace of having anything to do with the country and have been using them since the AFCON, without a word from FIFA. It’s a joke.

      Might as well go watch my local college woman’s team play. At least I know it’s not rigged. For all I know

  3. Andre Mariner says:

    Also,

    “Manchester United have recently been reported to have been ramping up their interest in the star midfielder, but it looks like their efforts will come to naught”

    Really, United? I’m not even getting into how small your last check was, but you think you can afford Iniesta (for one) and that he would even think of coming to your club?

    Who would he play with, Fellaini? Kagawa is rather the closest in playing style and he only plays half the time. Ha.

    • David says:

      Not sure the origins of this “report”, but the chances of Iniesta ever leaving Barcelona have always been nil. It sounds more like an agent trying to get more money for his client.

      • Ben says:

        And really Barca is the best place for him, Iniesta is tiny and sometimes struggles with injuries, so, especially now that he is creeping toward 30, a squad like Barca, with plenty of cover, is the best place for him. One of my favorite players to watch.

  4. evan says:

    is there no online petition to take the WorldCup away from Qatar? seriously. i’d think if thousands of people around the world signed that there’s no way in hell they would travel to a World Cup in Qatar it would ramp up the pressure on FIFA to make a change…

  5. irantandirave says:

    Red Bulls have shown interest in Iniesta…
    You heard it hear first.

  6. Lava Lamp says:

    I amazed that FIFA and ethics are used in the same sentence.