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Michel Platini arrested over suspected corruption of 2022 World Cup

Former UEFA President and worldwide soccer superstar Michel Platini was today arrested for alleged corruption of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

The World Cup, which controversially saw the hosting rights awarded to Qatar in 2010, has come under much scrutiny for this decision leading many to believe that something sinister was going on behind the scenes.

Now seems an unusual time for the story to rise from the ashes back into the limelight. But reports have emerged that there was a meeting between Platini, UEFA officials and Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, Crown Prince of Qatar.

The meeting took place a mere ten days prior to the ballot which saw the Middle Eastern country win the hosting rights.

Something else to take into account, however, was that the meeting was used to oversee the Qatari overtake of French football powerhouse Paris Saint-Germain. The deal was made official only a few months later.

It’s more than possible that the meeting was purely to discuss the deal and nothing else. But the timing seems too much of a coincidence to not think about.

Some on social media seem to be of this belief.

It’s extremely plausible that discussions were held to see Qatar hold the World Cup, in a manner that would not necessarily be legal.

Perhaps it was part of the deal involving PSG. Qatar agrees to purchase the biggest club in France’s capital, in exchange for the hosting rights for the next World Cup.

It’s a win-win. Qatar win as they get to host the largest sporting event in the world and take over a very successful football club. Plus, with the amount of money they make, an investment like that wouldn’t have set them back too much.

France win as they get to see an already strong club become even stronger and they make enough money to retire on. All they need to do is pull a few strings and everything will be in motion.

Regardless of what actually took place in 2010 and whether Platini, Sepp Blatter and co. orchestrated all this, Platini’s arrest is another interesting factor in a story that has garnered so much interest and will continue to do so until the tournament begins.

Corruption. Promises. Broken promises. Human rights. This story has everything. But if one thing’s for certain, up until the first match in 2022, Qatar’s hosting of the World Cup will be questioned like no other tournament before it. Even more so than Russia in 2018.

 

 

Caelum Ferrarese is a Senior journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on micro policy within Australasia and industry disruptions at grassroots level.

England National Teams welcome Xbox as the Official Gaming Partner

Xbox England

The Football Association of England (The FA) have announced a brand-new partnership which will see gaming giants Xbox become the Official Gaming Partner of the England National Teams.

Xbox are now the Official Gaming Partner of the England National Women’s Team, the Men’s Team and the eLions, as well as Wembley Stadium which is connected with EE and St George’s Park.

The partnership between Xbox and The FA is a celebration of the driving principle of inclusivity in play shared by both organisations. This shared vision to welcome all players is expressed in the newly announced partnership’s message: ‘When Everybody Plays, We All Win’.

Xbox has long championed the importance of gaming being inclusive, accessible and safe for all, while The FA have a continued commitment to ensuring that all football participants in England have a great experience regardless of gender, sexuality, ethnicity, ability, faith or age.

Marcos Waltenberg, Director of Global Xbox Partnerships, was excited to see The FA and Xbox joining forces with a mutual ambition driving them both.

“At Xbox we strive to remove barriers and to empower people to experience the joy of play: millions of people around the world find common ground and connect through playing games, as they do with football,” he said.

“In The FA we see a tremendous organisation which has the same drive and ambition to empower people as we do at Xbox. Through our partnership we aim to bring further value to the England Football Teams and power the dreams of players and fans everywhere.”

FA Commercial & Marketing Director Kathryn Swarbrick acknowledged the importance of the alignment between the two organisations.

“We are delighted to be partnering with Xbox, a brand that aligns with The FA’s values. Gaming is loved and embraced by fans across the world and we see this partnership as an opportunity to take that relationship to the next level for all of those connected with English football,” she said.

“’When Everyone Plays, We All Win’ is a message that rings true of what we strive to achieve at The FA and we hope that our inspirational national teams can bring great value to Xbox.

“As a not-for-profit organisation, commercial partnerships are vital in allowing us to continue to invest millions into all levels of the game, so we thank Xbox for that support.”

Canterbury Bankstown Council waives field hire costs

The City of Canterbury Bankstown Council have opted to waive ground hire costs in an effort to support community clubs.

With the ongoing impact of extended COVID-19 enforced lockdowns on NSW, the City of Canterbury Bankstown Council have opted to waive ground hire costs in an effort to support community clubs.

For a second consecutive year, the Canterbury Bankstown Council have assisted both the Bankstown District Amateur Football Association and the Canterbury District Soccer Football Association Clubs who have been heavily affected by COVID.

The impact of COVID-19 has seen Football NSW forced into cancelling the remaining footballing NSW competitions seasons, with players, organisations and clubs state-wide left heavily impacted by the difficult situation.

As the state’s governing football body, Football NSW have hailed the move by the Canterbury Bankstown Council as a much needed and generous decision to aid community football in the area by reducing the financial burden created by the extended lockdown period.

Led by Mayor Khal Asfour, the City of Canterbury Bankstown Council opted to waive ground hire costs for sporting clubs and associations with seasonal bookings at Council managed sports grounds and facilities for the winter 2021 season.

Football NSW CEO Stuart Hodge voiced his support for the supportive actions being taken by the Canterbury Bankstown Council.

“Well done to Canterbury Bankstown Council for pushing its support behind our code in what have been tough times for the sport,” he said

“Decisions and moves such as this from Canterbury Bankstown Council go a long way to assuring our clubs and players are well supported and will continue to provide a positive and significant benefit to the community.”

Both Bankstown District Football Association’s General Manager Leanne Millar and Canterbury District Soccer Football Association CEO Ian Homes were grateful with the backing of the Mayor, elected Councillors and Senior Management of the City of Canterbury Bankstown Council.

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