STOCKHOLM (AP) — Lennart Johansson, who oversaw the introduction of the Champions League during a 17-year reign as president of European soccer's governing body, has died. He was 89.
PARIS (AP) — Ahead of his re-election as FIFA president on Wednesday, Gianni Infantino said he has banished scandals and corruption from the soccer body despite losing members of his council for...
PARIS (AP) — After years of turmoil for FIFA, Gianni Infantino this week will get a fresh four-year presidential term to lead world soccer in relative calm.
LONDON (AP) — FIFA's cash reserves soared to a record $2.74 billion and revenue climbed to $6.4 billion in the four-year period covering the 2018 World Cup, The Associated Press has...
LONDON (AP) — FIFA's cash reserves soared to a record $2.74 billion and revenue climbed to $6.4 billion in the four-year period covering the 2018 World Cup, The Associated Press has...
ABERDEEN, Scotland (AP) — Striving to improve behavior at soccer matches, FIFA President Gianni Infantino sees women as role models for male players.
CONCACAF says it will support Infantino for re-election
The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football says it will support Gianni Infantino for re-election as FIFA president when soccer's world governing body holds a congress in Paris on June 5 ahead of the Women's World Cup.
CONCACAF announced the decision following its council meeting Thursday in San Jose, Costa Rica.
Southern African bloc backs Infantino for FIFA re-election
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Southern African soccer countries have backed Gianni Infantino for re-election as FIFA president.
The southern African union COSAFA says Infantino has the unanimous backing of its 14 FIFA member countries.
FIFA cuts ban for Zambia official who took cash payments
ZURICH (AP) — FIFA says a former African player of the year and Confederation of African Football executive committee member had his ban for taking cash payments cut on appeal.
FIFA's appeal panel reduced Kalusha Bwalya's ban from soccer to the time he already served. His fine was reduced to 10,000 Swiss francs ($10,090) from 100,000 Swiss francs ($100,900).
FIFA president gets votes pledge from Caribbean
ZURICH (AP) — FIFA President Gianni Infantino still looks set to be re-elected unopposed, with a pledge of 25 votes from Caribbean soccer federations.
The Caribbean Football Union says its executive committee agreed unanimous support for Infantino for the June 5 vote in Paris.
The CFU says all its members "already provided individual letters of support."
FIFA bans African soccer official for taking Bin Hammam cash
ZURICH (AP) — FIFA ethics judges have imposed a four-year ban on African soccer official Seedy Kinteh for taking cash gifts from former FIFA presidential candidate Mohamed bin Hammam of Qatar.
FIFA says its ethics committee found Kinteh guilty on charges of bribery and corruption, and accepting gifts. He was fined 200,000 Swiss francs ($202,000).
FIFA leader Infantino wins SE Asia support for re-election
HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — FIFA President Gianni Infantino has received another pledge of support in his campaign for re-election next year.
The ASEAN group of national soccer federations in southeast Asia says its members "unanimously declared their support for Mr. Infantino."
FIFA’s Infantino gets election support from CONMEBOL
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — The 10-member South American soccer governing body says it is backing FIFA President Gianni Infantino for re-election.
The CONMEBOL executive committee unanimously agreed on Friday to ratify its support for Infantino for the 2019 election.
Infantino was present during CONMEBOL's meeting in Buenos Aires. He will also attend the Copa Libertadores final between Boca Juniors and River Plate on Saturday.
FIFA’s Infantino gets election backing from 11-voter Oceania
AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) — The 11-member Oceania Football Confederation says it is backing FIFA President Gianni Infantino for re-election.
The Oceania group says its executive committee — comprising 11 member federation presidents in New Zealand and the Pacific islands — voted unanimously to support the FIFA leader.
Swiss attorney general defends his FIFA investigation
BERN, Switzerland (AP) — Switzerland's attorney general defended his team's handling of its four-year FIFA investigation on Wednesday, a week after the lead prosecutor was removed from duty.
Federal prosecutors have come "under attack every day by the lawyers" in a case comprising 25 different investigations, Michael Lauber said at a news conference.
"We have to follow the Swiss (penal) code," said Lauber, who confirmed he will seek another four-year term as attorney general in June.
Prosecutor cleared of misconduct in FIFA case, leaves job
GENEVA (AP) — A Swiss prosecutor who led a four-year corruption investigation into FIFA and international soccer officials is out of the job.
Although federal prosecutor Olivier Thormann was cleared of possible misconduct in the FIFA investigation, he has left work, the office of Switzerland's attorney general said Friday.
FIFA boss says he doesn’t know why prosecutor was suspended
MIAMI (AP) — FIFA President Gianni Infantino says he doesn't know why the lead investigator into corruption within the organization was suspended from that role.
Infantino is a friend of the federal prosecutor, Olivier Thormann, who also teaches law at the same university in Switzerland where the FIFA president studied law.
The FIFA president on Wednesday said he had no contact with Thormann that might have led to the suspension by the Swiss attorney general's office.
Swiss prosecutor suspended while leading FIFA investigation
GENEVA (AP) — Switzerland's chief economic crimes prosecutor was suspended last week while leading an investigation into corruption linked to FIFA, the federal prosecutor's office said Friday.
It was unclear how Olivier Thormann's suspension will affect the integrity of ongoing criminal proceedings.
FIFA bans Dominican Republic official in bribery case
ZURICH (AP) — FIFA ethics committee judges have banned the former president of Dominican Republic's soccer federation for 10 years in a bribery case.
FIFA says Osiris Guzman was also found guilty of charges of accepting gifts and conflicts of interest.
Guzman was fined 150,000 Swiss francs ($151,000), though it is unclear how the fine can be enforced.
During the investigation, he served an interim ban barring him from World Cup games and the 2026 World Cup hosting vote in Russia.
Michel Platini files lawsuit in France in FIFA case
PARIS (AP) — Convinced he was the victim of a plot, former UEFA president Michel Platini has filed a lawsuit in France in a bid to prove that former FIFA officials conspired to get him banned from soccer.
Platini's communications team told The Associated Press on Friday that the former France great has filed the suit. The Le Monde newspaper reported that Platini filed a complaint for "slanderous denunciation" and "criminal conspiracy to commit the offense of slanderous denunciation."
FIFA announces exit of longtime legal director Villiger
GENEVA (AP) — FIFA's long-time legal director who was a key link to its American lawyers during federal investigations of corruption has left soccer's world body.
Marco Villiger, now the deputy secretary general for administrative matters, left the organization on Monday, FIFA said in a statement announcing the exit of its highest-ranking official to stay in office during recent years of turmoil.
CAS upholds ex-FIFA Valcke’s 10-year ban from soccer
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Jerome Valcke's 10-year ban from football was upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport on Friday.
The secretary general at FIFA for eight years during Sepp Blatter's presidency was fired in 2016 and banned from all football-related activity for 10 years by the FIFA ethics committee.
His appeal was heard in October, and on Friday it was dismissed by CAS.
MOSCOW (AP) — Sepp Blatter came to Moscow and saw Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin, defying FIFA's wish that its suspended former president's visit to the World Cup would attract little attention.
Blatter says he went to see Russia's president after watching Portugal's 1-0 win over Morocco in Moscow on Wednesday — wearing the laminate fan ID card required for all people attending World Cup games in Russia.
MOSCOW (AP) — Banned by FIFA, Sepp Blatter was back at the World Cup on Tuesday expecting to see two games and hopefully Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The former FIFA president landed in Moscow to fulfil a two-year-old invitation from the host nation's leader. Both did essential work to help ensure Russia won the tournament hosting rights eight years ago.
MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on the FIFA meetings ahead of the World Cup in Russia (all times local):
The FIFA presidential election period formally starts this week in Moscow.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino has chaired a council meeting which confirmed a timetable leading to the election in Paris on June 5, 2019.
The formal election period opens Wednesday at the annual meeting of FIFA member federations.
ZURICH (AP) — The FIFA ethics committee has suspended Dominican Republic soccer president Osiris Guzman for 90 days, barring him from attending the World Cup and meetings in Moscow next week.
FIFA says the interim order applies while Guzman is under investigation.
Details of the case were not published Monday, though Guzman reportedly allowed FIFA-funded facilities to be used for a political meeting. FIFA rules require soccer federations to stay neutral from politics.
PARIS (AP) — Banned former UEFA President and FIFA vice president Michel Platini says he is planning to return to soccer after Swiss federal prosecutors confirmed he was not being charged in an investigation into possible financial wrongdoing.
Platini says in a statement it's "the end of a long nightmare for my family and those close to me."
GENEVA (AP) — France soccer great Michel Platini insists "a little trickery" in the 1998 World Cup draw ensured his home country would avoid playing Brazil until the final which it won in Paris.
Not so, according to Sepp Blatter, who as FIFA's then CEO-like general secretary conducted the draw in Marseille in December 1997.
GENEVA (AP) — Before the World Cup kicks off in Russia, expect a hectic month of football politics that could transform the face of the game.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino is driving his agenda of adding new and bigger competitions, even as FIFA prepares a June 13 vote in Moscow to pick a 2026 World Cup host: Morocco or the United States-led North American bid.
It is FIFA's most intense pre-World Cup period since a financial crisis ahead of the 2002 edition.
NEUCHATEL, Switzerland (AP) — Swiss team Neuchatel Xamax is back in the top division six years after disbanding midseason amid bankruptcy under a Chechen owner later convicted of criminal mismanagement.
Xamax was promoted Sunday when second-place Schaffhouse lost, making its 20-point lead unassailable.
BERN, Switzerland (AP) — Switzerland's attorney general has a message for his foreign counterparts as his office pores over reams of seized documents and dozens of criminal cases linked to FIFA: "Come to us."
Michael Lauber said Friday the investigations require both quick action and patience, and noted "good developments" like how growing cooperation has led to 45 requests for legal assistance from Switzerland with regard to soccer.
ZURICH (AP) — The North American bid to host the 2026 World Cup now seems "afraid" of losing to Morocco, former FIFA president Sepp Blatter said Thursday.
FIFA is still waiting for Iran to allow women into soccer matches, and still resisting sanctioning the country.
Just like predecessor Sepp Blatter five years ago, FIFA President Gianni Infantino has returned from a trip to Tehran with a reassurance from Iranian President Hassan Rouhani that women won't be shut out of stadiums for much longer.
Banned ex-FIFA head Blatter backs Morocco 2026 World Cup bid
Former FIFA President Sepp Blatter has endorsed Morocco's 2026 World Cup bid while banned from soccer roles for financial misconduct.
Blatter tweeted on Thursday that "Morocco would be the logical host! And it is time for Africa again!"
Former FIFA vice president Chung wins appeal at CAS
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Former FIFA vice president Chung Mong-joon has won his appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport to be allowed to work again in soccer.
The court says it reduced the South Korean official's five-year sanction for "improper lobbying" during the 2022 World Cup bidding process, and not fully cooperating in a subsequent investigation of all candidates, to 15 months.
CAS says Chung's ban effectively expired last month.
Blatter hints at new evidence to challenge 6-year FIFA ban
GENEVA (AP) — Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter claims to have "new facts" and wants to re-open the financial misconduct case that led to his six-year ban.
"As new facts have appeared it's time to question the decision of the Fifa Ethics-Committee — my suspension of 6 years!" Blatter said Friday on his reactivated Twitter account.
Asked by The Associated Press for details of potential evidence, Blatter spokesman Thomas Renggli replied in a message: "We are working on it."
Banned Platini appealing to European Court of Human Rights
PARIS (AP) — Still trying to clear his name, Michel Platini has taken his appeal against a ban from soccer to the European Court of Human Rights.
Platini, the former France great who was banned by the FIFA ethics committee for financial wrongdoing while he was running for president of the world soccer body, told The Associated Press in an email that he wants his suspension lifted.
Fired FIFA ethics officials set up advice agency in Zurich
ZURICH (AP) — The judge and prosecutor removed from FIFA's ethics committee in May have set up an agency to advise on integrity in sports.
The new Sports Governance Unit says German judge Hans-Joachim Eckert and Swiss prosecutor Cornel Borbely will lead the Zurich-based firm.
The agency says "fans and sponsors expect more and more transparency and organizational governance standards."
Former FIFA VP Chung testifies in appeal against 5-year ban
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Former FIFA vice president Chung Mong-joon has testified at the Court of Arbitration for Sport to challenge his five-year ban for failing to cooperate with ethics investigators.
The court says a verdict is expected in several weeks.
Hope Solo says Blatter grabbed her; he calls it ‘ridiculous’
Hope Solo says former FIFA President Sepp Blatter grabbed her rear shortly before the two were to appear on stage at a prestigious soccer ceremony four years ago. A representative for Blatter called the allegation "ridiculous."
In an interview published Friday in the Portuguese newspaper Expresso, the former goalkeeper for the U.S. women's national team recounted what happened at the Ballon d'Or awards in 2013 in Zurich.
Solo accuses former FIFA President Blatter of grabbing her
Hope Solo told a Portuguese newspaper that former FIFA President Sepp Blatter sexually assaulted her at the Ballon d'Or awards ceremony in 2013.
In an interview published Friday in the newspaper Expresso, Solo said Blatter grabbed her rear end shortly before the two appeared onstage at the annual soccer awards event.
Russia glad to welcome Blatter, Platini as World Cup guests
MOSCOW (AP) — President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov says Russia "would be glad" to see banned former soccer leaders Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini in Russia next year at the World Cup.
Though banned from soccer duty for six and four years, respectively, Blatter and Platini were the presidents of FIFA and UEFA when Russia won the 2018 hosting contest seven years ago.
FIFA ethics rules allow Blatter and Platini to attend games but not engage in official soccer business.
Former FIFA official Valcke testifies in soccer ban appeal
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Fired by FIFA and banned from soccer for financial wrongdoing and excessive use of private jets, Jerome Valcke defended his record at the Court of Arbitration for Sport on Wednesday.
Valcke, the CEO-like secretary general at FIFA for eight years during Sepp Blatter's presidency, spent more than six hours in a CAS hearing to challenge his 10-year ban.
Former FIFA VP Chung gets date to appeal 5-year ban at CAS
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Former FIFA vice president Chung Mong-joon's appeal against a five-year ban by FIFA will be heard on Nov. 14.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport confirmed the date on Monday. A verdict is likely weeks later.
Chung planned to run in the FIFA presidential election to succeed Sepp Blatter when the FIFA ethics committee announced in 2015 it was investigating him.
More than a year since FIFA declared the end of its corruption turmoil, the optimism has proved misguided. The latest arrest, of a man one heartbeat from the presidency of world soccer, demonstrated that on Tuesday.
Fresh wrongdoing, still reaching into the heart of power in FIFA, undercuts Gianni Infantino's pledge to set the governing body on a new path to probity after the misdemeanors of the Sepp Blatter era.
NEW YORK (AP) — The charade only ended in the final years of Chuck Blazer's life.
Stripped of his extravagances, soccer's gregarious and greedy dealmaker was forced to admit to his years of corruption and confined to a New Jersey hospital.
The eccentric bon vivant who once strode across the global stage being flattered by sport and political leaders eager to capture his World Cup hosting vote died in disgrace on Wednesday at age 72.
NEW YORK (AP) — Chuck Blazer, the disgraced American soccer executive whose admissions of corruption set off a global scandal that ultimately toppled FIFA President Sepp Blatter, died Wednesday. He was 72.
Blazer's death was announced by his lawyers, Eric Corngold and Mary Mulligan. At a November 2013 court hearing during which Blazer entered guilty pleas to 10 federal charges, Blazer said he had rectal cancer, diabetes and coronary artery disease.
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Switzerland's supreme court has dismissed an appeal by former FIFA vice president Michel Platini against his four-year ban for financial wrongdoing.
The Swiss Federal Tribunal says the ban imposed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport "does not appear to be manifestly excessive."
The federal court is the fourth to find Platini was not entitled to $2 million in backdated salary in 2011 for working as Sepp Blatter's presidential adviser from 1998-2002.
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — About 25 separate investigations of suspected corruption linked to FIFA and World Cup bidding are being led by federal prosecutors in Switzerland, the country's office for the attorney general said Friday.
The office of Michael Lauber confirmed the scale of "football-related cases" after securing a first conviction since its FIFA probes began in 2014.
MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) — Regardless of his intentions, Gianni Infantino's rhetoric and actions at his second congress leading world soccer did little to signal a clean break from the discredited Sepp Blatter era.
And that's after having more than a year to re-shape the tainted FIFA presidency in his image and the chance to banish Blatter's acolytes.