Trump’s 2026 Tweet – unpacking a loaded message — The Florida Squeeze


US President Donald Trump waded into the debate over hosting rights for the 2026 FIFA World Cup on Thursday, in a manner than only the current occupant of the White House can. The interpretation of and fallout from this tweet has dominated much of the global (non-US) news cycle the last 48 hours. For example, I was on an Arabic-language TV program based in Doha yesterday for viewers in the Middle East and North Africa where this was basically the sole point of discussion in the half hour program (FYI I don’t speak Arabic- my answers were translated into English).

FIFA quickly responded – this tweet from Reuters Manchester-based reporter Simon Evans (who was based in Miami for nine years recently) summed up FIFA’s feelings.


It’s interesting and revealing that FIFA responded so quickly – the governing body for world football which has been mired in corruption scandals over the last decade and has been the subject of an extensive DOJ and FBI investigation rejects any interference of governmental interference in the sport YET regularly wants to see strong government support for its initiatives especially bids for major competitions, such as this. It can be argued Trump is in an aggressive manner stating the support of the US government for the US-led North American bid. However, in classic Trump style he threatens those who don’t fall in line.

The US-led bid which was considered a slam dunk four months ago has run into trouble in competition with Morocco (who have four times previously bid to host the FIFA World Cup and all four times have been denied) in recent weeks. The Moroccans have cultivated support among sub-Saharan African nations, other Arab nations and French-speaking countries, making their bid very viable from a vote-getting perspective. Meanwhile, the US bid has suffered from a lack of creativity or compelling reasons why the world’s biggest team sporting event should return to North America for the first time in three decades. Much like the failed 2022 FIFA World Cup bid by the US which was fronted by former President Bill Clinton, the US’ logic for being selected is almost entirely based on economics.

The excuse of the US’ diminishing global standing thanks to Donald Trump has been frequently given by those around the sport in North America – a set of people whose politics generally lean sharply to the left anyhow. While Trump’s behavior and presence hasn’t helped the US-led bid in any manner it appears, the effort was already in trouble due to arrogance, entitlement and other problems related to the governance of the sport in the United States. Trump’s ill-advised tweet might just now serve as an excuse to allow those who have let the bid fall into danger of failure off the hook.

The main appeal from American-based supporters of the united North American bid is that FIFA and its member nations can make more money playing in large American stadiums than in smaller Moroccan ones. Also an implicit threat that FIFA will be considered forever corrupt if the US-led bid isn’t chosen has been floated frequently. While the US authorities began investigating FIFA aggressively during the Obama Administration, the governing body for the sport in this country which has been unaffected by these investigations has its own legal problems. The US Soccer Federation currently faces multiple lawsuits including one for alleged antitrust violations as well a filling in the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) that alleges that the US does not follow FIFA statutes with regards to the organization of its professional league structure.

These issues weight heavily on the minds of those around the game not in North America, and have impacted the viability of the US-led bid. But an effort has been made to blame any and all problems on the presence of Donald Trump, and in classic Trump fashion he just gave those looking to make this case a sword to stab him with.

via Trump’s 2026 Tweet – unpacking a loaded message — The Florida Squeeze


Download 2018 World Cup PDF Brochure

News, sports

Download 2018 World Cup PDF Brochure:

Check out: the colorful Russian World Cup  Brochure @




Lionel Messi well ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo on list of top five best paid footballers — Metro

Entertainment, sports

Lionel Messi is raking it in!

Lionel Messi has pocketed nearly £30million more than Cristiano Ronaldo this season, while Gerard Pique is the fifth best paid player in the world, according to research.

France Football is set to publish a list of the best paid players, taking into consideration not only their wages but also bonuses and sponsorship deals.

Messi comes out top, with the Barcelona star raking in an incredible £110million.

His Real Madrid rival Ronaldo earned £82m, while Paris St Germain striker Neymar had an income of £71m.

Ronaldo hates settling for second place (Getty)

The five highest earning footballers of 2017/18

  1. Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona): £110m
  2. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid): £82m
  3. Neymar (Paris SG): £71m
  4. Gareth Bale (Real Madrid): £39m
  5. Gerard Pique (FC Barcelona): £25m

Fourth on the list is Gareth Bale, despite the Real Madrid forward enduring a difficult campaign in which he’s started just 16 La Liga games.

Gerard Pique (Getty)

In fifth is Pique, a surprising inclusion considering he plays in defence. Typically strikers are the best rewarded players, but the Barcelona centre-back has crept in with earnings of £25m during 2017/18.

MORE: FA apologise for tweet mocking Harry Kane after FA Cup semi-final defeat

via Lionel Messi well ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo on list of top five best paid footballers — Metro

Ambode: Lagos can host FIFA Tournament — cheepowersblog

Entertainment, International Finance, News, Nigeria, sports

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode on Monday evening said that the State has the capacity to host international football

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode on Monday evening said that the State has the capacity to host international football tournaments and use sports as a tool to showcase its rich tourism, hospitality and entertainment culture. Governor Ambode, who spoke when he received the President of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), Gianni Infantino and his team on a courtesy visit to the Lagos House in Alausa, Ikeja, said the population, soccer enthusiasm and the tourism potentials that abound in the State are indicators to the fact that the State has the enabling environment to receive any FIFA projects in Nigeria. The Governor, while welcoming the choice of Lagos as the host city of the FIFA Executive Committee Summit, said it would present a great opportunity for the State to showcase its huge investment in football development especially for youths and women.
He also expressed confidence that the FIFA President and his team, after the visit, would consider Lagos favourably to host a FIFA competition, while also pledging support for events by the world’s football governing body. “I want to say that we are so excited that Lagos is playing host to the FIFA Executive Summit, we would be the second African city that would be hosting this kind of meeting and we are excited that you decided that Lagos would host it. “It is very important for us because soccer is big in Lagos and we are able to show you the kind of facilities and things that football can actually do to us as a nation.
I believe strongly that your hosting this meeting in Lagos portends greater potentials for us in Lagos; we are very strong on youth development and youth soccer development and also soccer development for women. “I believe as you decide tomorrow and then days after on where you intend to put your projects, Lagos stands to welcome all the projects of FIFA. We have the population, the enthusiasm and we also have the tourism potentials to actually receive any FIFA projects in Nigeria,” Governor Ambode said. Besides, Governor Ambode thanked Infantino for deeming it fit to select a retired Chief Judge of Lagos, Justice Ayotunde Philips as a member of the Ethics Committee of FIFA, saying that it was a testament to the State’s credibility.
“I want to personally thank you for selecting one of our retired Chief Judges, Justice Philips into the Ethics Committee of FIFA and that happens to be one of the most important committees in FIFA and I believe strongly that for us to have produced one of those members goes to show how credible that we can be in Lagos,” he said. Governor Ambode who also spoke at the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF/Aiteo) Awards held at Eko Hotels and Suites, Lagos, said that partnering with the NFF for the hosting of the award was also a privilege to showcase the Lagos as the emerging sports hub for Africa.
Visit cheepowersblog for the full post

via Ambode: Lagos can host FIFA Tournament — cheepowersblog

50 great World Cup moments: England lose to West Germany on penalties at Italia 90

Entertainment, Facts, sports

50 great World Cup moments: England lose to West Germany on penalties at Italia 90

Relive England’s penalty shootout heartbreak against West Germany at the semi-final of Italia 90, as we reach 47 days to go until the 2018 World Cup begins.

Available to UK users only.

Soccer News

via BBC Sport – Football

April 27, 2018 at 10:21PM

Pique wants Barcelona to sign Marcos Alonso from Chelsea

News, sports

 marco.jpgPique tells Barcelona chiefs to sign Marco Alonso – Real Madrid have also been linked to the Chelsea star – Alonso has been in consistent form for Conte’s side Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has told the club to sign Chelsea defender Marcos Alonso in the summer, Don Balon reports. The 27-year-old has been instrumental for Chelsea following his move from Serie A side Fiorentina in 2016. The Spain international was part of Antonio Conte’s side that won the Premier League title last term and has impressed this season despite Chelsea’s poor title defence.

 Don Balon claimed Pique has urged Barca’s transfer chiefs to complete a deal for the Chelsea defender this summer. The Spanish media outlet also added that Real Madrid have also been linked to land the Stamford Bridge left-back and Pique is desperate for Barca to beat their arch-rivals to Alonso. With current left-back, Jordi Alba the number one choice for Ernesto Valverde, Pique feels Alonso would provide competition for places at the Nou Camp. Alonso will be back in action for Chelsea when the Blues travel to Turf Moore to play Burnley who defeated the Blues at Stamford Bridge earlier in the season. Conte’s men still stand an outside chance of securing Champions League football for next season if Liverpool and Tottenham drop points. Roman Abramovic’s team will play Southampton in the semi finals of the FA Cup and could either meet Manchester United or Tottenham in the finals.



West Brom win at Man Utd – Man City are champions

Jay Rodriguez scored his 11th goal of the season to secure victory for West Brom at Old Trafford

Manchester United lost to bottom side West Brom in a result which saw Manchester City crowned as Premier League champions.

West Brom secured the victory at Old Trafford thanks to a Jay Rodriguez header from Chris Brunt’s corner as United failed to clear their lines.

City now have an unassailable 16-point lead over Jose Mourinho’s side at the top of the table.

United’s best chance of the game was a Romelu Lukaku header, which was superbly saved by Albion goalkeeper Ben Foster.

City manager Pep Guardiola had claimed he would be on the golf course on Sunday afternoon and would not watch the game.

The win was West Brom’s first since a 2-0 success over Brighton on 12 January and only their fourth all season.

However, Premier League survival still looks unlikely for the Baggies, who are nine points adrift of 17th-placed Swansea with four matches to play.

Man Utd leave the handbrake on

Last weekend saw United complete a stunning comeback victory over City as they came from 2-0 down to win 3-2 at the Etihad Stadium.

In that match, Mourinho’s side produced a poor first-half display before they rallied to deny City what would have been the sweetest of coronations as champions.

United should have been surfing the crest of the wave following that victory, but instead they fell flat against West Brom.

At times, there is the unerring sense Mourinho’s United begin matches with the handbrake on, with players shackled by the Portuguese’s tactical straitjacket.

It is almost as if they need a cause to rally against before they deliver the kind of attacking play that Old Trafford yearns for.

With the exception of the chance for Lukaku – and a penalty appeal when Ander Herrera was caught by Craig Dawson – it was a soporific first half for the home fans.

It is hard to imagine United would have approached a home game against the bottom club in such a way under Sir Alex Ferguson’s management.

Ferguson would have trusted United’s players to play with freedom and blow West Brom away, which begs the question of whether Mourinho has the same faith in his squad to deliver.

“Attack, attack, attack” was the call from the Stretford End in the second half and while United were more purposeful with the directness of Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial, they could not find an equaliser.

Perhaps the only comfort for United supporters is that City were denied the kind of thrilling champagne moment that fans crave.

Instead, the title was decided on a wet Sunday afternoon when the new champions were not playing. It is hard to imagine City’s players and Guardiola being too bothered by that, though.

Soccer News

via BBC Sport – Football

FIFA ranking: Nigeria moves up


eaglesNigeria has moved five places up from 52nd  with 609 points to 47th in the world and sixth in Africa with 635 points in the April FIFA/Coca-Cola rankings released on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Tunisia is the highest ranked African team on 14th place with Senegal and DR Congo on 28 and 38 positions respectively.

Germany still retains first place with Brazil following closely while Belgium who was fifth in the March rankings is now third.

The next rankings will be published on May 17, 2018.Super-Eagles-1