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Author Archive for David Conn

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Fifa’s ethics investigator does not have skills for job, says damning report

• Council of Europe questions María Claudia Rojas’s experience for role• Fifa’s governance under Gianni Infantino criticised by Anne BrasseurThe suitability of Fifa’s ethics investigator to do the job has been seriously called into question in a severe…

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Fifa removed investigator on trail of Russia World Cup chief Vitaly Mutko

• Cornel Borbély examining doping allegations when tenure terminated• Mutko faces football ban if Fifa was to agree with Wada and IOCCornel Borbély, Fifa’s ethics committee chairman, was investigating the alleged role of Russia’s deputy prime minister …

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After evidence of bullying at Aston Villa’s academy, why has the FA gone silent?

The FA was asked to investigate evidence of bullying by Villa’s youth coach Kevin MacDonald and told of a toxic culture, denied by the club. Months later the key personnel remain in place and a player who suffered ‘hell’ waits for answersIn February th…

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Fifa’s desperate dependence on Russia exposed in flimsy response to IOC ban | David Conn

The governing body’s willingness to let Vitaly Mutko, a man banned from the Olympics over state-sponsored doping, run next year’s World Cup shows how ethically compromised it remainsHow awkward it has been for Fifa and its president, Gianni Infantino, …

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LTA admits child protection failings after coach abused players for years

• LTA: ‘The actions we took were not enough and we apologise sincerely’• Former Wrexham TC head coach Daniel Sanders sentenced to six yearsThe Lawn Tennis Association, the governing body of the sport in Britain, has admitted to child protection failing…

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Fifa urged to press Qatar on conditions for World Cup stadium workers

• Fifa urged to actively use its leverage to engage with host government• Campaigners describe system for employing workers as modern slaveryFifa has been urged by its own advisory board on human rights to press the government in Qatar about the impact…

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Nottingham Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis charged with match-fixing offences in Greece

• Panel of judges order him to stand down as chairman of Olympiakos• Marinakis delares his innocence and insists he will be clearedThe Nottingham Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis has been charged with criminal match-fixing offences in Greece and ordere…

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Blackpool’s demise makes a mockery of football’s fit and proper persons test | David Conn

The Oystons’ stewardship of the club has left so much to be desired and the idea the Football League is powerless because of an outdated rule must be addressedAfter the devastating, 163-page ruling of a high court judge that Owen Oyston and his son Kar…

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Blackpool’s demise makes a mockery of football’s fit and proper persons test | David Conn

The Oystons’ stewardship of the club has left so much to be desired and the idea the Football League is powerless because of an outdated rule must be addressedAfter the devastating, 163-page ruling of a high court judge that Owen Oyston and his son Kar…

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Oystons ordered to buy out Blackpool shareholder for £31m after losing court battle

• High court judge finds Oystons ‘unfairly prejudiced’ Valeri Belokon• Owen Oyston and son Karl paid out £26.77m to companies they ownedA high court judge has ruled that Owen Oyston and his son Karl, the owners of Blackpool football club, ran the club …

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Oystons ordered to buy out Blackpool shareholder for £31m after losing court battle

• High court judge finds Oystons ‘unfairly prejudiced’ Valeri Belokon• Owen Oyston and son Karl paid out £26.77m to companies they ownedA high court judge has ruled that Owen Oyston and his son Karl, the owners of Blackpool football club, ran the club …

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How the FBI won ‘the World Cup of fraud’ as Fifa scandal arrives in court

The trial of three former high-ranking South American football figures starts this week in New York but US authorities have already secured 23 guilty pleasOn Monday in a spartan Brooklyn courtroom, three former South American football chiefs accused of…

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Arsenal and Everton stakeholders’ close ties laid bare in leaked files

Links between Alisher Usmanov and Farhad Moshiri prompt calls for broadening of Premier League ‘dual ownership’ rulesIt is a tale of two major Premier League football clubs. And two billionaires. And how their close relationship and the opaqueness and …

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Arsenal and Everton stakeholders’ close ties laid bare in leaked files

Links between Alisher Usmanov and Farhad Moshiri prompt calls for broadening of Premier League ‘dual ownership’ rulesIt is a tale of two major Premier League football clubs. And two billionaires. And how their close relationship and the opaqueness and …

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Official review backs ‘Hillsborough law’ proposals

Review by former bishop of Liverpool makes 25 recommendations for future inquests where public authorities are represented An official review of the Hillsborough families’ 27-year ordeal since the 1989 disaster has recommended that bereaved families mu…

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Qatar World Cup workers’ rights to improve with end of kafala system, claims union

• System described as modern slavery by trade union body• News greeted cautiously by expert on migrant workers’ issues in the GulfThe International Trade Union Confederation claims to have secured the agreement of the government in Qatar to significant…

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Newcastle United up for sale – but is Mike Ashley asking too high a price?

After 11 years the controversial owner wants out yet he is also seeking a profit of more than £100m for a Premier League club relegated twice during his tenureA guide to how swimmingly Mike Ashley’s sale of Newcastle United has been proceeding is that …

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Wheelchair access at Premier League grounds improved after campaigning

• Fourteen of 20 stadiums now comply with guidelines• Target met after legal action was threatened by fansFourteen of the 20 Premier League clubs have now built enough wheelchair spaces to meet official guidelines, having undertaken substantial develop…

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PSG chairman Nasser al-Khelaifi accused of World Cup bribery by Swiss prosecutor

• Swiss attorney general also opens proceedings against Jérôme Valcke
• Investigation relates to World Cup media rights for 2026 and 2030

The chairman of Qatar-owned Paris Saint-Germain and the sports broadcaster beIN, Nasser al-Khelaifi, has been accused in Switzerland of criminally bribing the former Fifa secretary general, Jérôme Valcke, to buy World Cup TV rights. Khelaifi, now one of the most powerful figures in European and world football, has been implicated in the Fifa corruption scandals for the first time, accused of bribing Valcke in connection with the award of TV rights for the 2026 and 2030 tournaments, whose hosts have not even been decided yet .

In an explosive announcement which revealed a new dimension to the in-depth criminal investigations into alleged corruption at football’s world governing body, the Swiss attorney general’s office (OAG) said it also opened a criminal proceeding against Valcke himself. An unnamed figure in the sports rights business is also accused of having bribed Valcke in connection with the award of media rights for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, 2022 in Qatar, and the 2026 and 2030 tournaments.

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Despite what football clubs say, the support for rejected boys is not there | David Conn

Football club academies are taking in boys as young as five but ‘just throw them on the scrapheap’ further down the line according to one parent
Tell us about your experience of football academies

The response from football people to the Guardian’s report about the industrialised disappointment delivered to young people by the game’s “academy” system has been dispiriting and alarming. Both the Premier League and Football League, whose clubs have 12,000 boys in intensive training from the age of eight, many more in “development centres” from – preposterously – the age of five, pride themselves on providing a “holistic” experience for the children. Undoubtedly the “elite player performance plan” (EPPP) does incorporate child protection procedures, welfare provision and sophisticated coaching policies, and there are many dedicated staff who care and do their best.

Related: ‘Football’s biggest issue’: the struggle facing boys rejected by academies

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