A day after the document was leaked to German newspaper Bild, FIFA has released a 430-page-document examining the accusations of corruption in the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, won by Russia and Qatar, respectively. FIFA independent ethics investigator Michael Garcia previously said that he lost confidence in the FIFA ethics committee when it did not release his entire report before, and his work was handed to the Swedish Attorney General when Garcia resigned. The summary of the report in Bild essentially concludes the World Cups were not bought, but does talk about a “two million Swiss franc payment into the account of the 10-year-old daughter of a FIFA official,” and that Qatar's Aspire sports academy was used to "curry favor with executive committee members," but that Qatar’s bid did not compromise the bidding process. There’s a lot going on in this report, so there’s sure to be more details in the coming days.
On Monday, a decision on whether to put public money towards a potential MLS stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, was delayed. A vote is scheduled on August 2nd, but Charlotte’s city government stated no decision would be made on Monday, on the $175 million stadium. Potential owner Marcus Smith said he would pay the full expansion fee for the franchise as well as $87.5 million for the stadium. $43.75 million has already been pledged in public money to pay for the stadium, but a decision has yet to be made on the other $43.75 million needed.
It appears Liverpool will not be punished by the Premier League for tapping-up Virgil van Dijk, or in other words, talking to him to join the club without Southampton’s permission. Southampton allege that no official approach to the club was made from Liverpool, meanwhile Jurgen Klopp convinced the player of the vision of the club moving forward in an attempt to sign him. The Premier League did investigate the events, not in a formal manner, but Southampton has not put forward any incriminating evidence since Liverpool’s apology, so it is unlikely Liverpool will face any punishment.
Barcelona have until Friday to buy back winger Gerard Deulofeu from Everton for his €12 million buy-back clause. Deulofeu is currently in Poland with the U-21 Spanish side, as Barcelona want to bring him back full-time, Everton expect him back for training, and AC Milan, who had his services from January, want to bring him in full-time. There are reports that Deulofeu wants guarantees from Barcelona that he is not being bought just to be sold again, as he was twice sent away by former manager Luis Enrique, while Barcelona appear to be telling him he will be important to the team as a right-sided winger.
PSG Goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu is leaving Paris and returning to Italy to take Joe Hart’s spot as starter at Torino. Sirigu spent last season on loan at Sevilla and Osasuna in La Liga, and came to an agreement to terminate the final year of his contract with PSG. This will be the first season playing in Italy since Sirigu played for Palermo before he joined PSG.
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