Asian Football Confederation in corruption probe

May 14, 2015

Under review: AFC general secretary Alex Soosay.

Under review: AFC general secretary Alex Soosay. Photo: Getty Images

SINGAPORE: There are calls for a full and independent investigation into corruption in the Asian Football Confederation after its general secretary was suspended over an alleged cover-up.

Former AFC general secretary Peter Velappan said he was “shocked” by revelations about his friend and successor, Alex Soosay.

He said the Kuala Lumpur-based body needed a thorough investigation by independent experts following various allegations of cover-ups, embezzlement and theft.

“There should be an independent professional investigation into this… it’s in the interests of everybody to do that,” Velappan said.

“I personally feel very concerned with this situation and I think the AFC is obliged to really order an independent investigation and take all those to task if they have done anything wrong,” he added.

Soosay was suspended on Wednesday pending an internal AFC probe after allegations surfaced last month that he tried to hide documents from financial investigators in 2012.

The allegations came from the AFC’s financial director, who gave videotaped testimony in July 2012 that Soosay asked him to “tamper (with) or hide” potentially incriminating documents.

At the time, the AFC was being investigated for financial wrongdoing under its disgraced former president Mohamed bin Hammam, who is banned from football worldwide.

The results of the audit by PricewaterhouseCoopers were never published but leaked details raised concerns over payments worth millions of dollars.

Days after the taped interview, the AFC filed a report with police alleging the theft of financial documents from its headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.

And according to the Malay Mail, which published contents of the taped interview last month, Soosay later claimed in a police report that Hammam had embezzled nearly $US10 million ($A12.33 million).

While there is no evidence that Soosay committed any crime, he is believed to have been fearful about being blamed for authorising payments ordered by bin Hammam.

Velappan said it was time for the AFC, now led by Bahrain’s Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim al Khalifa, to fully investigate the situation and not simply use Soosay as a “scapegoat”.

“I hope the AFC will conduct a really good, professional investigation into all this and if there’s anything (against) any of these top officials that appropriate action will be taken,” he said.

“We have got to protect integrity, we have got to protect good governance.”

However, he said Soosay, the “humble and simple” former coach and Malaysia midfielder who became general secretary in 2009, had some explaining to do.

“He has to explain… if you’re not guilty you don’t go to a guy (the AFC financial director) and tell him all these things,” Velappan said.



The Canberra Times

Hyundai A-League grand final between Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory is a showpiece in every sense of the word

May 15, 2015 – 7:00PM

Michael Cockerill

Football Writer

From small things big things can grow. A grand final restricted by circumstance to 30,000 spectators will still be a window to the world, a celebration of football’s great advantage over rival codes – its diversity.

The most cosmopolitan grand final in history can also lay down a marker, providing Football Federation Australia and the clubs see it that way. Fifty seven countries will take coverage of the championship game (yes, some with more interest than others), presenting real opportunities to make real money. International broadcast rights for the A-League have grown thanks to Alessandro del Piero, but are nowhere near what they could be.

In the meantime, consider this. Senegal, Macedonia, Serbia, Albania, New Zealand, Austria, Brazil, France and Tunisia will all be represented in the shirts of Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC at AAMI Park on Sunday. Only half of the players set to start the match can represent the Socceroos. Some will see that as a weakness. I see it as a strength.

League of nations: Sydney FC's Jacques Faty, Marc Janko, Alex Brosque, Nikola Petkovic and Christopher Naumoff.

League of nations: Sydney FC’s Jacques Faty, Marc Janko, Alex Brosque, Nikola Petkovic and Christopher Naumoff. Photo: Brendan Esposito

So do club owners, who have voted down plans to reduce the foreign quota in the A-League, and let’s not forget they pay the wages. I reckon Ange Postecoglou won’t mind either. He demands his home-based players fight for improvement, not assume it. If Terry Antonis wants to fulfil his potential, his next task is to get past Mikael Tavares. Is that a bad thing for his development?

The value of investing in foreigners is not always immediately apparent. Indeed in many cases it may never reward the club directly. But what it does, and has done over a decade, is build the A-League’s profile, and prestige, abroad. The worth of this should never be underestimated.

It’s been a slow process, not least because of the vagaries of the exchange rate. For the inaugural grand final in 2006, there were just five foreigners on the field. Dwight Yorke was the obvious standout in a contingent which included Terry McFlynn, Stewart Petrie, Andre Gumprecht and Wayne O’Sullivan. Two years later there were just three – two of whom, Gumprecht and Denni Rocha dos Santos, started on the bench.

The quantity, and quality, has improved since then. Last year’s grand final marked the first time a full quota of foreigners (10) was involved, although Jean Carlos Solorzano didn’t get off the bench. Thanks to Daniel Georgievski’s decision to declare his international allegiance to Macedonia, that figure will be surpassed at AAMI Park. More significant is the fact that all 11 foreigners are likely to start.

None of this means the job is done. Far from it. The grand final will still be a marquee occasion without a genuine marquee. Besart Berisha and Marc Janko will disagree – understandably – but Yorke was the last legitimate foreign star to play in a grand final and that, of course, was the first.

The FFA’s challenge is to incentivise the clubs to chase the big names. The best, and most obvious, solution is to make good on the promise to provide prizemoney for the champions. First and foremost, a decent cheque on grand final day is no more than the winner deserves. But it also gives the champions a reason to re-invest.

Sydney FC, for instance, may be back in the market for a marquee on Monday morning. Less than a fortnight later they’ll take the field against a Chelsea side expected to include Didier Drogba, whose own future is up in the air. There wouldn’t be too many fans, sponsors, or broadcasters unhappy if the Sky Blues swapped Janko for Drogba. That’s not to diminish Janko. It’s business.

That business is founded on a broadcast deal which is on the verge of renegotiation.  As it stands, the international rights for the A-League deliver less than seven figures per year to the FFA, although that amount has tripled in the wake of ADP’s involvement. Improving the quality of the foreigners, year-on-year, and topping them off with genuine marquees is smart business if the FFA wants to start making the most of selling the A-League abroad.

Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC’s reward for investing in decent foreigners is a place in the title-decider. Without the goals of Janko or Berisha, the passing of Gui Finkler or Milos Dimitrijevic, the penetration of Fahid Ben Khalfallah or Kosta Barbarouses, would these two clubs have set the standard? I doubt it. Just as importantly, these are the players most fans pay to see.

This grand final not only decides the next champions of Australia, it demonstrates that the clever clubs have begun to understand their place in the world. We have a showpiece game in every sense of the word.


The Canberra Times

Renato Maurício Prado comenta Bayer München 3 – 2 Barcelona com ar de nostalgia


O magnífico jogo entre Bayer de Munique e Barcelona, pela Liga dos Campeões (vitória alemã por 3 a 2 e classificação catalã, graças ao triunfo por 3 a 0, na primeira partida), me deixou nostálgico: há quanto tempo não vemos por aqui um espetáculo com tantos craques em campo? Tive a ventura de assistir a muitos destes shows inesquecíveis. Mas hoje em dia… Só mesmo pela TV.
Já era nascido, mas não cheguei a presenciar os memoráveis confrontos entre o Santos de Pelé e o Botafogo de Mané Garrincha, duas máquinas de jogar bola que, não tenho dúvidas, superavam esse Barça x Bayern no número de jogadores extraordinários em campo.

Duvida? Vamos lá, de um lado, Pelé, Coutinho, Zito, Gilmar, Pepe, Mengálvio etc, do outro Mané, Didi, Nilton Santos, Amarildo, Manga, Zagallo e por aí vai. Alguns gênios da bola. Como apenas Messi é hoje em dia (e Neymar talvez seja no futuro).

Como disse, não tive a ventura de acompanhar esses duelos extraordinários porque era muito pequeno. Mas o primeiro choque de estrelas a que assisti, até hoje permanece na minha memória. Era o ano de 1966 e, diante da TV, meu pai e eu ficamos boquiabertos ao ver o ainda poderoso Santos de Pelé ser espancado no Mineirão por uma equipe infernal de garotos como Tostão, Dirceu Lopes, Zé Carlos, Natal, Piazza, Raul etc. Foi 6 a 2 lá e 3 a 2 (de virada), no Pacaembu. Detalhe: Pelé estava em grande forma e se não tinha mais Coutinho ao lado, fazia par com outro grande artilheiro: Toninho. E ainda havia Edu, infernal, na ponta-esquerda.

Dois esquadrões dos melhores em todos os tempos, que cruzariam os bigodes, nos anos seguintes com mais um timaço, cheio de craques: o Botafogo de Gérson, Jairzinho, Roberto e Paulo César Caju (além de Leônidas, um monstro na zaga).

Bons tempos, que prosseguiram com a Máquina Tricolor, de Francisco Horta (Rivelino, Paulo César Caju, Doval, Pintinho, Edinho etc) duelando com o Internacional de Carpegianni, Falcão e Figueroa; o Flamengo de Zico, Júnior, Leandro, Adílio, Tita, Andrade e cia, enfrentando o fantástico Atlético Mineiro de Reinaldo, Cerezo, Éder, Palhinha etc e o São Paulo (bicampeão do mundo) dirigido por Telê Santana, encarando o Palmeiras da era Parmalat, com Rivaldo, Edmundo, Djalminha e Evair.

Me arrisco a dizer que a partir daí a coisa foi piorando mas até o ano 2000 ainda tivemos alguns duelos, cheios de craques, por aqui. O Vasco, campeão da Copa Mercosul (sobre o Palmeiras) e Brasileiro (sobre o São Caetano) era também galáctico: Romário, Juninho Pernambucano, Juninho Paulista, Euller, Jorginho, Helton, Pedrinho, Felipe etc.

Daí pra frente, confesso, já não me recordo de times fora de série. No máximo, bons. Na seleção campeã do mundo, em 2002, praticamente todos já jogavam no exterior. Mas, pelo menos, eram protagonistas. Agora, nem isso. E fica cada vez maior o contraste entre o que vemos lá fora (principalmente na Premier League, da Inglaterra, e na Liga dos Campeões) e por aqui.

Será que um dia voltaremos a ter craques de verdade atuando nos gramados brasileiro? O último (e solitário) foi Neymar. O resto, quando muito, pode ser considerado bom jogador.


Renato Maurício Prado – O GLOBO – 15/05/2015

TV Globo pede desculpas após estudante reclamar de erro em reportagem

Globo pede desculpas após estudante reclamar de erro em reportagem


Na edição desta sexta-feira (15) do “Bom Dia Brasil“, a Globo corrigiu um erro veiculado anteriormente em uma matéria sobre o Ciência Sem Fronteiras, do Governo Federal.

Ao noticiar o atraso no repasse de verbas para os bolsistas, o jornal enfatizou que alguns estudantes estariam voltando para o Brasil porque não tinham segurança no programa. Entrevistada pela emissora, a estudante de medicina Amanda Oliveira, do Tocantins, voltou no último domingo (10) dos Estados Unidos, após nove meses como bolsista.

Ao contrário do que foi divulgado pela Globo, no entanto, ela não abandonou o curso pela falta de verba, e usou o Facebook para desabafar sobre o erro que foi ao ar.

“Gostaria de dizer que tudo o que foi dito a meu respeito naquela reportagem é MENTIRA! Primeiramente, eu NÃO voltei para o Brasil pela insegurança gerada pela falta do dinheiro. Até porque essa foi a ÚNICA parcela da bolsa que não caiu durante todo o meu intercâmbio. Segundo, eu NÃO abandonei o programa. A repórter da Globo fez o favor de enfatizar que voltar antes do prazo era quebra de contrato e que nesses casos todo o dinheiro deveria ser devolvido. Mas a Globo além de sensacionalista ainda não é capaz de pesquisar as coisas direito antes de falar”, disse na rede social.

Hoje, o âncora Chico Pinheiro esclareceu o assunto e pediu desculpas pelo erro: “Nós apuramos que Amanda não voltou antes da hora. Ela terminou o curso e desistiu de fazer o estágio após o fim das aulas. Foi um erro da reportagem e nós pedimos desculpas a você, nosso telespectador, e para Amanda, que reclamou com toda a razão”.

O programa Ciência Sem Fronteiras permite que, ao fim do curso, o aluno volte ao Brasil sem fazer estágio, desde que apresente uma justificativa, como fez a estudante. Nesse caso, nenhuma penalidade é aplicada.

O fato gerou muita repercussão no Facebook e o post de Amanda, publicado na última terça (12), teve mais de 13 mil compartilhamentos.



Em reunião, Band Minas confirma demissões e ouve reivindicações

Em reunião, Band Minas confirma demissões e ouve reivindicações; entenda


Aconteceu nesta quinta-feira (14), em Belo Horizonte, uma reunião entre os Sindicato dos Jornalistas de Minas Gerais (Sindjor-MG), o Sindicato dos Radialistas e representantes da Band Minas, sobre as demissões que ocorreram no canal no último dia 7 deste mês.

O representante da emissora, João Melo, confirmou as dispensas, mas negou que tenham sido 30 profissionais. Melo afirma que os dispensados foram apenas 13, o que o Sindicato dos Jornalistas não concorda.

Independente do número, o Sindicato disse entender que as dispensas configuram demissão em massa e por isso devem ser negociadas coletivamente, pelas entidades representativas dos jornalistas e radialistas.

Os representantes sindicais solicitaram a reintegração dos dispensados e apresentaram uma lista de reivindicações, caso isso não aconteça. Os pedidos são uma compensação financeira correspondente a um salário por ano de trabalho; plano de saúde pelo período de seis meses; ticket alimentação; e bolsa de estudos para readequação ao mercado de trabalho.

A direção da Band prometeu apreciar os pedidos e deve dar uma resposta para logo.

Uma nova reunião, inclusive, está marcada para o próximo dia 21 de maio, a partir das 16h, na sede do Sindicato dos Radialistas de Minas Gerais.



Fox Sports estreia novo formato do “Fox Gol” na próxima segunda

Fox Sports estreia novo formato do "Fox Gol" na próxima segunda


Procurando reforçar ainda mais sua audiência na faixa do almoço, o Fox Sports estreará na próxima segunda (18), o novo formato do programa “Fox Gol“.

São várias as novidades, dentre elas as vinhetas de abertura da atração, logotipo e também um novo cenário, muito mais dinâmico e moderno, seguindo os padrões de identidade visual do Fox Sports na Argentina e no México.

Quadros novos também estrearão, como o “Gols da Rodada” e “Gol do Gringo”, onde serão apresentados gols narrados na íntegra por locutores de outros países. O “Fox Gol” também exibirá os jogadores narrando seus gols mais bonitos e os narradores vão contar seus melhores momentos.

O programa terá nova equipe de apresentadores no vídeo. A ancoragem será de João Venturi e os comentários serão de Eugênio Leal. O “Fox Gol” vai ao ar de segunda a sexta, a partir das 12h30, finalizando às 13h, quando entraga para o “Fox Sports Rádio”, líder de audiência na faixa entre os esportivos.

Atualmente, o Fox Sports briga pela vice-liderança de audiência entre os canais esportivos com a ESPN Brasil.



VivaAerobus receives first of 52 A320s on order

New A320 marks next step towards fleet renewal for Mexico’s ultra-low-cost carrier


Ultra-low-cost carrier VivaAerobus has taken delivery of its first new A320 following the aircraft handover at the Airbus Delivery Centre in Toulouse. The A320 is the first to be delivered from an order placed in 2013 for 52 aircraft (12 A320ceo and 40 A320neo), which is the largest single deal by a Mexican customer. VivaAerobus already operates six leased A320s and will become an all Airbus operator as it completes its fleet transition from 737-300s by early 2016.

Including the first A320, all VivaAerobus’ A320ceo are powered by IAE engines. The A320neo will be powered by Pratt and Whitney engines. The aircraft will be deployed on the airline’s domestic network and international routes to the United States.

“Our new fleet of A320s will enable VivaAerobus to continue enhancing our operational efficiencies by lowering our costs and fares for our passengers, while offering a significant upgrade with the A320 cabin comfort,” said Juan Carlos Zuazua, CEO of VivaAerobus. “We couldn’t be more pleased to integrate this new aircraft into our growing Airbus fleet and we look forward to expanding our network and allowing even more passengers to fly for the very first time.”

“We are proud that VivaAerobus has chosen the market-leading A320 Family to renew its fleet and expand its network, taking a further step to becoming an all Airbus operator,” said John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer, Customers. “The A320’s unparalleled reliability, best-in-class passenger comfort and unbeatable fuel efficiency complements VivaAerobus’ business model and we are eager to see their success evolve even more with the NEO in the years to come.”

VivaAerobus, jointly owned by IAMSA, Mexico’s largest bus company, and Irelandia, a global low-cost-carrier airline developer group, has based its fleet renewal strategy on the A320 Family.  The A320’s unmatched operating economics and reliability will play a key role as the airline meets the growing demand for cost-efficient air travel in Mexico.

The A320 Family is the world’s best-selling single aisle product line with almost 11,700 orders to date and over 6,500 aircraft delivered to 400 customers and operators worldwide. The newest member of the A320 Family, the A320neo, incorporates many innovations including latest generation engines and Sharklet wing tip devices, which together deliver more than 15 percent in fuel savings from day one and 20 percent by 2020. With nearly 3,800 orders received from 71 customers since its launch in 2010, the A320neo Family has captured almost 60 percent share of the market. To date, the A320neo program has 345 firm orders from six customers in Latin America. With more than 950 aircraft sold and a backlog of nearly 500, more than 550 Airbus aircraft are in operation throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. In the last 10 years, Airbus has tripled its in-service fleet, while delivering more than 60 percent of all aircraft operating in the region.

Airbus Website