Category Archives: Soccer

FIFA Under Fire: Swiss Authorities To Investigate FIFA President

Joseph “Sepp” Blatter, president of FIFA since 1998, is under criminal investigation. The announcement came on Friday, September 25, 2015 from The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland. According to the announcement, Blatter is being investigated “on suspicion of criminal management as well as—alternatively—on suspicion of misappropriation.” This comes as another development in a series of investigations involving FIFA. Swiss law enforcement officials arrested a number of top soccer officials in May and extradited them to the U.S. on federal corruption charges. The U.S.…

Continue Reading....

Rochester Lancers Disband Over Concerns of Inflated Workers’ Compensation Costs

New York, frequently pointed to as one of the most expensive states for workers’ compensation costs and claims, has recently claimed victim to a professional soccer team due to rising insurance costs.  The Rochester Lancers, an indoor soccer team in the Major Arena Soccer League, disbanded due to a sharp rise in workers’ compensation insurance costs. In an impassioned open letter to fans, Lancers owner Salvatore “SoccerSam” Fantauzzo cited an 800% increase by the New York State Insurance Fund as reason for the team’s folding…

Continue Reading....

Down in a Blaze of Banishment: FIFA Bans Ex-Official Chuck Blazer for Life

On Thursday, July 9, FIFA officials banned Chuck Blazer, the former FIFA executive committee member, for life from soccer-related activities at the national or international level.  Blazer, after pleading guilty to charges of bribery, money laundering, and tax evasion, worked undercover with prosecutors in the United States to help lead to the arrest of several FIFA officials. FIFA’s Ethics Committee had suspended its original investigations into Blazer regarding corrupt financial management in May 2013 after it received written assurances that he was suffering from colon…

Continue Reading....

Worse Than A Penalty Kick: NASL Files Suit Against Oklahoma City Ownership

On Friday, June 5, the North American Soccer League filed suit against Tim McLaughlin, the owner of an Oklahoma City professional soccer franchise, seeking more than $2 million in damages.  This claim arose due to McLaughlin improperly withdrawing from the league, thereby breaching a contract that he signed with the NASL in 2013. In 2013, negotiations began as to the Oklahoma City soccer franchise’s entry into the NASL, which, according to the complaint, included McLaughlin purchasing an interest in the league and signing a payment…

Continue Reading....

Short, Sweet, and Scandalous: FIFA President Blatter Resigns Days After Re-election

On Tuesday, June 2, FIFA President Sepp Blatter announced that he would resign his position at a sudden press conference at FIFA’s headquarters in Zurich.  Blatter, who was just re-elected to a fifth term on Friday, May 29, explained that he would continue to carry out the functions as the head of FIFA until a new election occurs.  With FIFA’s next congress scheduled for May 2016, a special meeting of FIFA’s member nations will be held to elect a new president.  Pursuant to FIFA’s rules,…

Continue Reading....

FIFA Under Fire: United States and Switzerland Each Alleging Corruption

On Wednesday, May 27, more than a dozen Swiss law enforcement officials arrived at the Baur au Lac, a luxury hotel in Zurich, where they proceeded to arrest several top soccer officials and extradite them to the United States on federal corruption charges.  The U.S. Justice Department announced that it had charged nine current and former FIFA officials and five others with racketeering, wire fraud, and money laundering conspiracies, among other offenses, in connection with their participation in a 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through…

Continue Reading....

Sports Litigation Case Law Update March 2015 Part 1 of 2

In this month’s sports litigation case law update, we travel to a soccer stadium in Texas, a softball field in Illinois, a hockey locker room in upstate New York, and then back to Texas to a youth baseball field.  We start, however, with the best sports-related quote in a judicial opinion this past month, which comes from the Court of Appeals of North Carolina which stated “we conclude that the purported conflict described in [defendant’s counsel’s] motion to disqualify looks less like a conflict of…

Continue Reading....

Sports Litigation Case Law Update February 2015

This month’s sports litigation case law update demonstrates how sports can touch a broad variety of areas of law, from environmental challenges to medical malpractice to contract claims to constitutional due process.  The common thread this month – defendants went undefeated.   Sacramento’s Downtown Arena Project Withstands Challenge Under the California Environmental Quality Act  Saltonstall v. City of Sacramento, 2015 WL 708608 (Cal. Ct. of App., Feb. 18, 2015) The California state appellate court faced a challenge under the California Environmental Quality Act to…

Continue Reading....

Former Portland Timbers Soccer Player Files Concussion Lawsuit Against Team

Former Portland Timbers soccer player Eddie Johnson’s lawsuit is the latest development in the ever-evolving arena of concussion lawsuits by amateur and professional athletes.  This is the second concussion suit brought by a player against an MLS club; Bryan Namoff sued DC United in 2012 and that litigation is ongoing. Johnson filed his Complaint in Oregon state court against the team and its medical staff, alleging that his career ended prematurely because they negligently allowed him to play while he was still suffering from concussion-related…

Continue Reading....

Is Brazil’s World Cup in Jeopardy?

With the World Cup just a year away, widespread protests across Brazil have cast a long shadow over the host country’s ability to stage soccer’s biggest event. President Dilma Rouseff called an emergency cabinet meeting today in the wake of protests in 80 cities, involving 1 million Brazilians. The protests initially began peacefully, but a brutal police crackdown of a peaceful protest on June 13 has caused the situation to devolve into chaos, with serious vandalism, looting and arson, and one fatality. These have occurred…

Continue Reading....