FIFA Bans Brazilian Soccer Official

On April 15, 2019, Jose Maria Marin, a Brazilian soccer official, was officially banned for life by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). In August 2018, the 86-year-old Marin was sentenced to four years in United States prison for racketeering, money laundering, and wire fraud. According to FIFA, Marin was also guilty of taking bribes linked to media and marketing rights for South American and Brazilian soccer competitions. During his 2017 trial, federal prosecutors said that Marin received $6.6 million in bribes and was…
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Court Rejects Televisa’s Motion to Dismiss FIFA Bribery Class Action

On Monday, March 25, a New York judge ruled that Mexico’s Televisa Group will not be let off the hook for allegations of participation in a FIFA bribery scheme of over $15 million. The scheme was allegedly an attempt by the mass media company to obtain the broadcasting rights to FIFA World Cup soccer games. U.S. District Court Judge Louis L. Stanton determined that Televisa’s shareholders had described their allegations with necessary specificity, ruling that Televisa must face its investors’ claims of securities fraud. Originally…
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MLS Joins eSports Phenomenon

On January 12, 2018, Major League Soccer (MLS) announced that it partnered with Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) to create an eSports league, eMLS. The league will feature the best EA Sports FIFA 18 players in the United States and Canada. eSports is a form of competitive video gaming where gamers participate in  tournaments such as the International, the League of Legends World Championship, the Evolution Championship Series, and the Intel Extreme Masters, in order to win cash prizes. Nineteen of the 23 MLS teams will
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Professional Soccer Expansion in North Carolina

Soccer in North Carolina is growing. On December 6, 2016, the Carolina Railhawks, currently part of the North American Soccer League, rebranded to North Carolina FC and announced their plans to potentially move into MLS within 18 months. On January 31, 2017, North Carolina FC officially submitted their bid to join MLS. The Raleigh-Durham area is one of 10 finalist markets for MLS expansion. In order to facilitate a successful transition to MLS, Steve Malik, the owner of North Carolina FC, has been…
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St. Louis Soccer Stadium Proposal Stays Alive but Faces Uphill Battle to Make Ballot

After it looked like the St. Louis soccer stadium proposal for an MLS franchise was dead, a last-ditch effort has revived the proposed legislation. On January 26, 2017, the MLS bill was voted down by the Aldermanic Ways and Means Committee 6-2. After the vote, the parties quickly negotiated to amend the bill and bout an hour later, the parties presented the amended bill. The new proposal was slightly different: The main change included an amount of $12.5-$17 million dollars in projected revenue be…
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The Road for MLS Expansion in St. Louis Takes a Wild Turn

On November 17, 2016, an ownership group known as SC STL revealed an official plan to build a 20,000 seat stadium to lure an expansion MLS franchise to St. Louis. The proposed $200 million stadium would be built west of Union Station and have the capability to expand to 28,000 seats if demand dictated. Per SC STL’s plan, private investors would pay at least 60 percent of the stadium costs. The remaining 40 percent, or around $80 million, would be funded with public money subject…
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Harvard Men’s Soccer Gets the ‘Red Card;’ Season Cancelled in Wake of Sexual Ratings of Female Recruits

Harvard University suspended the remainder of the men’s soccer team’s season after it was revealed that members of the team, both past and present, compiled a yearly ‘scouting report’ of the women’s soccer team. The document, originally reported by The Crimson, Harvard University’s student-run newspaper, described the sexual attractiveness of the female soccer recruits. While the document was originally from 2012, the tradition of producing similar “reports” appears to be an annual occurrence through this season. In this particular document, the author ranked the…
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US Women’s Soccer Denied Right to Strike at 2016 Olympics in Brazil

The women’s national soccer team lost its match against the U.S. Soccer Federation on June 3, 2016. An Illinois federal district court in Chicago ruled the U.S. Women’s Soccer players cannot go on strike prior to the Olympics. The Federation initiated the suit after the players’ union lawyer denied the validity of the “no strike, no lockout” provision after the collective bargaining agreement was extended through 2016. The women’s team alleges that its players are paid less than the players on the men’s national team.…
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FIFA Investigation Finds Top Execs Awarded Themselves Nearly $80 Million

Fédération Internationale de Football Association’s (FIFA) troubles are far from over. Last year, U.S. authorities indicted more than twenty four FIFA executives. Currently, Swiss authorities are investigating alleged bribes paid to FIFA executives. Ethics investigations are ongoing. FIFA has been forced to remove top officials from their positions. Most recently, an internal investigation revealed even profounder problems in the FIFA organization. FIFA hired U.S. law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan to investigate corruption allegations during the past year. According to partner Bill Burck, “evidence…
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Soccer Superstar Lionel Messi Goes on Trial for Alleged Tax Fraud in Spain

In what has become a scandalous recent trend in the world of sports, Lionel Messi has become the latest high-profile soccer superstar to deal with Spain’s tough tax system and its legal enforcement. Messi’s tax trial began earlier this week in Barcelona, but the soccer legend finally had his day in court on Thursday, June 2, 2016. On the stand Messi reiterated the theme his attorneys have been illustrating over the course of the week — that he had zero knowledge of the financial transactions…
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