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SoccerexPro (Print) - ISSN 2056-3604 Issue 7

Issue 7 |


West Ham United prepare for life at the Olympic Stadium THE WOMEN’S WORLD CUP ARRIVES



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10 THE BIG PICTURE - Barcelona rise again - Europe’s ups and downs - Gallery: Soccerex Asian Forum

16 BEYOND THE TOUCHLINE Alex Vaidya, the chief executive of digital content company StoryStream, looks at the implications of the changing ways in which young people use social media to generate their own content.

18 FOOTBALL IN... ARGENTINA As the national team, Fifa World Cup runnersup in 2014, head to the Copa América in Chile as favourites, SoccerexPro takes a closer look at football in Argentina.

20 IN DEVELOPMENT For more than ten years now Football for All in Vietnam (FFAV) has been actively developing non-competitive grassroots football in primary and secondary schools in the central Vietnamese Province of Thua ThienHue. As vice director Nguyen Hoang Phuong reveals, the focus is now very much on FFAV’s wider expansion within Vietnam.

22 FLOATING ON West Ham United will inherit the legacy of London 2012 next year when they make the move from Upton Park to the Olympic Stadium. Managing director Angus Kinnear talks about about the biggest opportunity, and the biggest challenge, in the Premier League club’s history.


32 WOMAN’S HOUR The seventh edition of the quadrennial Fifa Women’s World Cup kicked off in Canada at the start of June and looks certain to be the biggest tournament so far. It is a showpiece that has become a vital and vibrant event in women’s football.

38 BUILDING A LEGACY The projected spend for stadium construction ahead of the 2014 Fifa World Cup in Brazil was R$6 billion. Ultimately, the country spent over R$8.5 billion on building new arenas, and renovating old ones. One year on from world football’s flagship event, SoccerexPro investigates how much each stadium cost, and how they are now being used.

40 FEELING THE HEAT The Copa América is one of world football’s most compelling spectacles, bringing together all the talent and aggression of South America’s finest players with all the passionate colour of the continent’s supporters. But the US Department of Justice’s ongoing investigation has sent shockwaves across the global game and this year’s tournament in Chile has felt the tremors.

4 |

46 A NEW PITCH Ramon Vega went from a career as a central defender for Switzerland, Tottenham Hotspur and Celtic to a life in finance as founder of Vega Swiss Asset Management. He is now combining his experiences in a new venture, professional training company From Pitch to Boardroom. But he still has ambitions of getting back into football.

50 PLAYERS’ LOUNGE Over ten years after her retirement, Mia Hamm remains probably the best known footballer the US has yet produced. On the eve of the 2015 Fifa Women’s World Cup, SoccerexPro got in touch with the two-time world champion and Olympic gold medallist to ask about her life on the pitch and her moves into the business of the game.

55 THE UPDATE - The Score: Blatter steps down - Global news - Signings: football deals and appointments

70 REPLAY Sepp Blatter becomes Fifa president in 1998


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ver get the feeling you’ve been cheated? It has been impossible to escape the biggest news in football in recent weeks and it would be inexcusable for me not to use this forum to address it. Even before the dramatic events of 26th May in Zurich and the US – events whose consequences will take many months yet to unravel – it would have been naïve to think that all of those working in football, at such close proximity to so much money, would always have been acting with the widest interests at heart. Nevertheless, the scale of the larceny alleged at the highest echelons of the international game is astonishing. If proven, the charges against some of the most powerful people in the world’s most popular game must be DSSODXGHGDVGLIÀFXOWDVLWLVWRDFFHSWWKH state of the sport they would represent. It has to be said, still, that football has encountered such episodes in the past and it has endured. Already there have been reminders of those things in the game that cannot be tainted. At the time of writing, Barcelona have just retained the Uefa Champions League after a typically sumptuous performance in an enthralling ÀQDODJDLQVW-XYHQWXV,WLVQRWHDV\WRSXW a price on the feeling of watching Lionel


0HVVLà RDWDQGÀ]]DFURVVWKHSOD\LQJ surface, or spotting Andrea Pirlo drift into spaces that no one has noticed and kiss away passes that no one has seen. In Canada, over 50,000 people gathered to watch the opening game of the Fifa Women’s World Cup. This is what football can be: one of those rare things that can stir personal emotions and still allow them to become part of something greater. No one present at the Soccerex Asian Forum, at the start of May, would not have been struck by the magnetising effect Diego Maradona had on the entire event. It was like little I had seen at any public gathering before, never mind the comparatively sober surrounds of a sports industry conference. Maradona drew a swarm of photographers, reporters and guests around the H[KLELWLRQà RRUOLNHWKH\ZHUHEHHVDQG he was waving a half-eaten toffee apple from the end of a long stick. It was a mesmerising sight and many will have felt just a little childlike in the Argentinian’s presence. For all his many PLVGHHGVRQDQGRII WKHÀHOG²DQGE\ his own admission, that is many, many misdeeds – the genius and the joy that he transmitted through a unique career will always precede him.

PHOTOGRAPHIC AGENCIES Action Images Press Association MANAGING DIRECTOR Nick Meacham

ART DIRECTOR Daniel Brown CONTRIBUTORS Michael Long, Mike Kennedy, Adam Nelson


BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGERS Jon Abraham, Bobby Hare, Sam Renshaw



6 |



That is how football affects the people who love it. The fact that those affections have, allegedly, been VREUD]HQO\H[SORLWHGKDVWXUQHGWKH stomach as readily as it has caused readers to turn the pages of newspapers around the world. But the strength of that reaction has its own lessons: these are feelings worth enjoying, and this is a game worth saving.

Eoin Connolly Editor

SoccerexPro magazine is a joint venture between Soccerex and SportsPro Media. SportsPro Media Ltd 5 Prescot Street, London E1 8PA, UK Tel: +44 (0) 207 549 3250 Email: Web: (SportsPro Media Ltd is part of the Henley Media Group Ltd

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SoccerexPro (Print) - ISSN 2056-3604 | SoccerexPro (Online) - ISSN 2056-3612 PRINTER: Buxton Press Limited NOTICE: SoccerexPro magazine is published quarterly. Printed in the EU. EDITORIAL COPYRIGHT: The contents of this magazine, both words and statistics, are strictly copyright and the intellectual property of SoccerexPro. Copying or reproduction may only be carried out with written permission of the publishers, which will normally not be withheld on payment of a fee. Article reprints: Most articles published in SoccerexPro magazine are available as reprints by prior arrangement from the publishers. Normal minimum print run for reprints is 400 copies, although larger and smaller runs are possible. Please contact us at:


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s I write this, the future of football governance is very much in the spotlight following the Fifa elections, Joseph Blatter’s subsequent resignation from the presidency and the ongoing investigations of the FBI and the Swiss authorities. I cannot remember a more dramatic period in football politics or indeed a more seismic series of events related to the running of any sport. I hope that, for the good of football, a positive solution can be reached for the future governance of the game. In whatever shape changes comes, a footballing world without Blatter will be new territory for many of you reading this, with his tenure in the upper echelons of Fifa dating back to 1981 when he was appointed general secretary. Indeed, as we at Soccerex celebrate 20 years of bringing the world of football together, I am conscious that Mr Blatter has been a key part of our business landscape since day one. Whilst Blatter may have been a SHUPDQHQWÀ[WXUHGXULQJWKH\HDUV of Soccerex, much else in the world of football has changed. Technology has had a massive impact, from bringing the game to new audiences to increasing both the demands of the fan and the ULJKWVKROGHUV·DELOLW\WRIXOÀOWKHP As a result, the values of sponsorships and broadcast deals have soared, vastly increasing the coffers of the clubs, leagues and federations involved and, in turn the size of the industry as a whole. One thing that has remained constant through Soccerex’s 20 years are the principles upon which we build our events and I wanted to share with you two experiences from our recent Asian Forum which for me sum up the Soccerex experience in a nutshell. The Soccerex Asian Forum 2015 took place in Jordan on the banks of the Dead Sea in partnership with the Asian Football Development Programme and we were deeply honoured that our schedule of business content and 8 |

networking opportunities was bookended by two huge names – our host, HRH Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein opened proceedings with an insightful interview just weeks before the Fifa Congress and the event was brought to a close with a rare interview with the one and only Diego Armando Maradona. Maradona remains arguably football’s biggest star, with the fame created by his UDUHWDOHQWVRQWKHSLWFKDPSOLÀHGE\KLV rock and roll lifestyle off it. This was my ÀUVWHQFRXQWHUZLWK¶(O'LHJR·DQGKH did not fail to deliver with his presence at the event, causing pandemonium amongst the global media in attendance, and his passionate and unabashed interview with Sky Sports Guillem Balague was handled with aplomb – it is a spectacle that will live long in the memory all in attendance, with Peter Reid also called on stage to re-enact his supposed marking of Maradona for his wonder goal in 1986. Whilst Maradona undoubtedly represents the glamour I want our events to be synonymous with, Soccerex will always primarily be a business platform. Providing a wide range of networking platforms – both formal, via our networking tool that allows you to organise face to face meetings with the forum’s delegates and exhibitors, and informal, through our social evenings and conference Happy Hours – we pride ourselves on the opportunities we provide to meet the industry’s elite, and what better setting than at sunset, overlooking the Dead Sea? One series of events, in particular, stands out as summing up my Soccerex vision perfectly. Having risen early on Sunday morning to watch Pacquiao v Mayweather, I entered the Soccerex EUHDNIDVWKDOOWRÀQGP\JRRGIULHQG David Dein, the former Arsenal and FA vice chairman and a founder member of the Premier League, sporting bright red boxing gloves, discussing with some of our stadia industry delegates the detailed

FRQVWUXFWLRQRI WKH(PLUDWHV6WDGLXP Only a few hours later, I found myself enjoying face to face conversations with La Liga and the French and Italian football federations, before hearing from the Jordan Football Association, who had already signed partnerships with IMG and Adidas at the forum. They had also agreed a new deal with exhibitors 9.15 Fair Play, to use their vanishing spray across the nation’s football platforms, a ÀUVWIRUWKHUHJLRQ This combination of unique football experiences with a thriving atmosphere for business is what Soccerex is all about and I am proud that after 20 years of Soccerex we are still delivering these values. I hope to see you all in Manchester this September for the Soccerex Global Convention where I can promise you more of the same football glamour and most importantly of all, the same unique business opportunities. Love & Kisses Duncan.


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panish giants Barcelona made it four Uefa Champions League wins in nine years, and five in total, after a 3-1 win over Italian champions Juventus at Berlin’s Olympiastadion on 6th May. The Catalan side raced into an early lead through Ivan Rakitic and looked set for a comfortable night’s work after dominating the first half. But Alvaro Morata (1) scored in the opening minutes of the second period to inspire a brilliant spell of end-to-end football from both sides. Juventus were at their boldest as the second half wore on, only to be stunned by a second Barcelona goal with 20 minutes to go. Luis Suarez (2) was the scorer, converting a chance on the rebound after Gianluigi Buffon parried a shot from Lionel Messi. The Italians strived vainly in the closing stages but could produce few opportunities of note before Neymar (3), who had earlier had a header ruled out for handball, settled matters with the last kick of the game. That prompted a weekend of celebrations in the stadium and at home (4) as Barcelona, already league champions and cup winners in Spain, completed a historic second treble.

10 |

Michael Probst/AP/Press Association Images

2 Michael Sohn/AP/Press Association Images


Emilio Morenatti/AP/Press Association Images

Martin Meissner/AP/Press Association Images




Michael Sohn/AP/Press Association Images




amburg left it late to retain their place in Germany’s Bundesliga at the end of 2014/15, preserving a unique ever-present record in the league that stretches back to 1963. The 1983 European champions had trailed in both legs of their relegation play-off against 2. Bundesliga side Karlsruhe. In the second leg they were 1-0 down in injury time before Marcelo Díaz equalised with a free-kick. Nicolai Müller (1) then put them ahead for the first time in the tie, four minutes from the end of extra-time, before René Adler saved a Rouwen Hennings penalty. Elsewhere in Europe, Rangers’ exile from Scotland’s top flight continued as they lost a two-legged play-off 6-1 to Scottish Premiership side Motherwell. The second leg ended in ugly scenes (2), with three players sent off after Rangers’ Bilel Mohsni punched and kicked opponent Lee Erwin. In Italy, tiny Carpi FC won the secondtier title to advance to Serie A for the first time. AFC Bournemouth matched that feat in England (3) and will make their Premier League debut in 2015/16. Meanwhile, Norwich City (4) won what might be club football’s richest game, beating Middlesbrough back to the Premier League in the Championship play-off final.

2 Michael Probst/AP/Press Association Images


12 |

Stephen Pond/EMPICS Sport

John Walton/PA Wire/Press Association Images







fter a successful debut last year, the Soccerex Asian Forum was back at the Dead Sea in Jordan for

its 2015 edition on 3rd and 4th May. Almost 1,000 delegates made the trip to the the King Hussein Bin Talal Convention Centre.

The event was hosted in partnership with the Asian Football Development Project, with the great Diego Maradona the undoubted star attraction.

Diego Maradona watches on with interest

Retired Spanish international Gaizka Mendieta

Jordan FA president and AFDP founder Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein

David Dein, the former Arsenal vice chairman, talks Premier League

FFA’s Mark Falvo, Sportradar’s Alex Inglot, Chris Eaton of the ICSS and Inside World Football’s Andrew Warshaw discuss match-fixing and corruption 14 |

Maradona in full flow in his on-stage appearance

Jordan 2016 chief executive Samar Nassar

Another Argentinian World Cup winner, Ossie Ardiles

The brand for next year’s U17 Women’s World Cup was launched

La Liga sponsored the VIP lounge

Prince Ali opens the conference with Keir Radnedge

El Diego was happy to be the centre of attention SOCCEREXPRO | 15

BEYOND THE TOUCHLINE Alex Vaidya, the chief executive of digital content company StoryStream, looks at the implications of the changing ways in which young people use social media to generate their own content.


port is the perfect real-time storytelling medium. So it’s no surprise that the sports sector is leading the way, with sponsors shifting activation budgets toward social media, the perfect live engagement platform. Every week sees a tranche of new sport sponsorship activations with a strong social element. Some of the work being done is highly creative, entertaining and fun. But how effective is it? Some interesting answers can be found in a recent piece of Forrester research. This contained several nuggets that could help rights holders and sponsors increase ROI by thinking slightly differently about the interplay between social media channels and ‘owned’ brand channels. The report’s author, Nate Elliot, argues that brands need to rethink the role of social media in customer relationships. The paper, ‘Social Relationship Strategies that Work’, combines analysis of the organic reach brands have on platforms like Facebook and compares to the sources FXVWRPHUVDFWXDOO\XVHWRĂ€QGLQIRUPDWLRQ about brands and their products. The paper is quite thought-provoking and asks some big questions about the nature of brand marketing, particularly around the use of owned channels. Aspects of the research are very close to what we believe StoryStream offers as a solution, so detailed below are our thoughts on the research and what it means for brands. The changing nature of social networks

2YHUWKHSDVWÀYH\HDUVRUVREUDQGV have invested heavily in social media channels, believing that they offer a way to get their message out to a large audience. The research from Forrester highlights that in reality this is no longer the case. Of the top brands on Facebook – those who post regularly – only two 16 |

per cent are seen by their followers and an even smaller 0.073 per cent interact. 7KHVHDUHĂ€JXUHVFRPSDUDEOHZLWKGLVSOD\ banner advertising. The reason for this is logical as the role of the social networks is changing. Far from being a ‘free’ medium for mass broadcast, marketers must now pay a premium that in return gives a highly targeted way to reach the right audience. This is not surprising and is of course a very fair development from the social network’s point of view: they have to make money at the end of the day. However, it does pose a challenge to those brands who have invested heavily on community development and regular content production but don’t necessarily have the associated advertising budgets. Making owned channels more social

What is particularly interesting from WKHUHVHDUFKLVWKHĂ€QGLQJVDERXWZKHUH customers actually go when researching and buying. Customers do not go to a social network to learn about or buy from a brand, they go directly to the brand website or physical store. In other words, they go to destinations completely LQEUDQGFRQWURODQGLQĂ XHQFH This is not to say being active in social conversations, particularly around customer VHUYLFHGRHVQRWKDYHVLJQLĂ€FDQWYDOXH,W does. The reality is the role social networks play in the customer journey is different to what marketers generally expect. Overall this presents a huge opportunity for brands, and one that Nate Elliot summarises as follows: ‘US online adults who want to stay in touch with your company are almost three times more likely to visit your website than to engage you on Facebook. So smart marketing leaders are using their own brand sites as the centre of their

social-relationship strategies. Branded communities, blogs and social hubs all give fans a chance to engage.’ People-powered marketing

What we have learned from social networks is how people consume, share and engage with content. Heavily produced marketing content, while it has its place, gets lost in the noise. Content that is live, visual, relevant and has context resonates in a completely different way. It is particularly powerful if produced by a brand’s customers. According to a 2014 Ipsos study on Millennials, ‘user-generated content is 20 per cent more effective on purchase consideration than any other form of media’. What brands need to be doing is taking the learnings from a social network environment and offering similar social experiences on their owned channels, providing customers, fans and prospects with content that helps to build advocacy and ultimately sell. A great example of this is GoPro, now a media company in its own right which produces hundreds of videos a week. GoPro leads with user-generated and brand-created video content all produced using its products and featuring heavily across its website. Having recently bought a GoPro, I now regularly visit the website for inspiration and ideas of ZKDWWRĂ€OPQH[W7KHUHJXODUPL[RI  fresh content keeps me engaged with the brand and in all likelihood I will buy more from them in the future. This is certainly going to be a trend that is not going to go away. The best brand websites are moving from being static destinations to dynamic streams of fan, customer and brand content that ultimately make the experience far more social.


ARGENTINA As the national team, Fifa World Cup runners-up in 2014, head to the Copa AmĂŠrica in Chile as favourites, SoccerexPro takes a closer look at football in Argentina.


Natacha Pisarenko/AP/Press Association Images

rgentinian football began with a Scotsman: Alexander Watson Hutton, an expat teacher known as ‘the father of Argentinian football’, founded the AsociaciĂłn del FĂştbol Argentino (AFA) in 1893, two years after Argentina EHFDPHWKHĂ€UVWFRXQWU\RXWVLGHWKH8. to establish a competitive soccer division. The AFA is now recognised as the oldest football association outside Europe, and fourth-oldest in the world after those of England, Scotland and the Netherlands. The current president of the AFA is Luis Segura, who took over from longstanding president Julio Grondona after the latter’s death in 2014. The colourful Grondona had been president since 1979. 8QVXUSULVLQJO\IRUDFRXQWU\ZKLFK has produced such talents as Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi, football remains the most played and most watched sport in Argentina, with WKHFRXQWU\¡VWRSĂ LJKWWKH3ULPHUD DivisiĂłn, drawing the biggest crowds. Over seven million tickets were sold WR3ULPHUD'LYLVLyQJDPHVDFURVV the 2013/14 season, with its average

Boca vs River is the country’s biggest game 18 |

attendance per game of around 19,000 being one of the highest for a football division outside Europe. 7KHVWUXFWXUHRI WKHWRSà LJKWLV complex, with each season divided into two round-robin tournaments – the Torneo Inicial and the Torneo Final – and relegation based on a three-year rolling average system. Four changes in IRUPDWDUHGXHDFURVVWKHQH[WÀYH\HDUV as the AFA aims to reduce gradually the number of teams, from a bloated 30 in the current edition to a more manageable 22 in the 2019/20 season. )LYHWHDPVIURPWKH3ULPHUD'LYLVLyQ qualify for the following season’s Copa Libertadores, South America’s equivalent RI WKH8HID&KDPSLRQV/HDJXHDQG six enter the Copa Sudamericana, the secondary continental competition. In 2004, The Observer named the Buenos Aires derby between the country’s two most successful teams, the %RFD-XQLRUVYV5LYHU3ODWHsuperclåsico, as the number one sporting event in the world to attend before you die. The two teams dominate the Argentinian football landscape: between them, River and Boca have won nearly half (56) of all the top-division titles ever contested in the country. The Argentinian men’s national team is among the most successful in world football, their crowning achievements being Fifa World Cup wins in 1978 and 1986, and 15 Copa America titles – only 8UXJXD\ZLWKKDYHZRQPRUH$IWHU their runner-up appearance at last year’s World Cup, they are currently ranked second in Fifa’s world rankings. Their youth teams have won a record six Fifa 8:RUOG&XSWLWOHV On the continental stage, Argentinian clubs have claimed both more Copa Libertadores (23) and more Copa Sudamericana (5) trophies than teams from any other nation.

Broadcast Since 2009, the Primera DivisiĂłn has been shown domestically on TV PĂşblica Digital, Argentina’s state-controlled television channel, which holds the rights to every top-ight game. The rights were acquired by the government for US$67 million after the league voted to cancel the deal with previous holder TSC due to its failure to make payments. The Primera DivisiĂłn is still shown on other channels – including TyC Sports, run by TSC’s parent company – but rights are sold jointly by the AFA and the state on a per-game basis. TV PĂşblica Digital also shows Copa Libertadores ďŹ xtures between Argentinian teams, while all other games in the competition are shown on payTV channel Fox Sports.

Sponsorship Argentina’s status as one of the world’s footballing superpowers – and most marketable national teams – is reected in its big-name sponsorship deals. Coca-Cola, Claro and Volkswagen are among the AFA’s top-tier partners, along with Adidas, who have supplied the national team’s kit since 1974. This deal was extended in 2011 until at least 2022, and is valued at US$11 million a year. Surprisingly for a country in which even the street signs carry a brand name, the AFA has so far not sold the naming rights to any of its domestic competitions.





2014 finish

Key sponsors



Estadio José María Minella


5th, Primera B Zone A

Kappa, Coopertiva Batan, Gatorade, Plusmar



Estadio Julio H. Grondona



Lotto, La Nueva Seguros, CBSé, ESCO

Atlético de Rafaela


Estadio Nuevo Monumental



Reusch, Sancar, ATILRA, Sancor Seguros



Estadio Florencio Solá



Penalty, Banco Provincia, Plan Chevrolet



Estadio Mario Alberto Kempes



Lotto, Provincia Net, Tersuave, Inverco

Boca Juniors


Estadio Alberto J. Armando (La Bombonera)



Nike, BBVA, Citroen, Pepsi, EXO



Estadio B.G. Estanislao López


1st, Primera B Zone A

Umbro, Sinteplast, SpeedAgro, FlechaBus

Crucero del Norte


Andrés Guacurarí


2nd, Primera B Zone B

Penalty, Rosamonte, Macro, Chevrolet, Esso

Defensa y Justicia


Norberto Tomaghello



Lyon, Roca, Dacomat, Rápida Tata



Estadio Único



Adidas, DirecTV, Powerade, Banco Provincia

Gimnasia y Esgrima


Estadio Juan Carmelo Zerillo



Penalty, Banco Provincia, Plusmar, Liderar, Lotería de la Provincia

Godoy Cruz


Estadio Malvinas Argentinas



Lotto, Cata Internacional, Grupo Amano



Tomás A. Ducó


6th, Primera B Zone B

TBS, Coca-Cola, Chevallier, El Noble



Estadio Libertadores de América,



Puma, OCA, Banco Ciudad, Plusmar, Multiled



Estadio Ciudad de Lanús



KDY, Yamaha, Ciudad Moto, Coca-Cola

Newell’s Old Boys


Estadio Marcelo Bielsa



Topper, Banco Ciudad, Autocredito, Orbis

Nueva Chicago


Estadio Nueva Chicago


4th, Primera B Zone A

Joma, La Nueva Seguros, Zuccarella



Estadio Roberto Natalio Carminatti



Kappa, Bingo Bahia, Chevrolet, Multiled



Estadio Centenario Dr. José Luis Meiszner



Lotto, Quilmes, NEC, Chevallier, ProvinciaNet



Estadio Juan Domingo Perón



Topper, Dueño, Banco Hipotecario, Telecom

River Plate


Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti



Adidas, BBVA, Coca-Cola, Netshoes

Rosario Central


Estadio Gigante de Arroyito



Nike, Banco Provincial, Autocrédito

San Lorenzo


Estadio Pedro Bidegain



Nike, Banco Ciudad, Multiled, ProvinciaNET

San Martín


Estadio Ingeniero Hilario Sánchez


2nd, Primera B Zone A

Mitre, San Juan Mineiro, Banco San Juan



Estadio Eva Perón


4th, Primera B Zone B

Joma, La Pequena Familia, Banco Provincia



Estadio Alfredo Beranger


3rd, Primera B Zone B

OhCan, Scienza, Bingo Temperley



Coliseo de Victoria



Kappa, Macro, Chevallier



Estadio 15 de Abril


1st, Primera B Zone B

TSD, FlechaBus, Coca-Cola, Spat, Vidalac

Vélez Sarsfield


Estadio José Amalfitani



Topper, Coca-Cola, Samsung, Chevallier

Argentinos Juniors


Diego A. Maradona


3rd, Primera B Zone A

Joma, Coca-Cola, ProvinciaNet, Liderar




FOR THE LOVE OF THE GAME For more than ten years now Football for All in Vietnam (FFAV) has been actively developing non-competitive grassroots football in primary and secondary schools in the central Vietnamese Province of Thua ThienHue. As vice director Nguyen Hoang Phuong tells Mike Kennedy, the focus is now very much on FFAV’s wider expansion within Vietnam.




FFAV is using non-competitive football as a tool to help children develop important life skills 20 |


FFAV has helped rapidly expand participation in grassroots football in Vietnam, with over 16,000 players in the Thua ThienHue province alone



FFAV is hoping to establish itself across Vietnam


FLOATING ON West Ham United will inherit the legacy of London 2012 next year when they make the move from Upton Park to the Olympic Stadium. Managing director Angus Kinnear tells James Emmett about the biggest opportunity, and the biggest challenge, in the Premier League club’s history.

Angus Kinnear, managing director of West Ham United, pictured at the club’s Reservation Centre in Stratford, London on Monday 27th April

“There’s a word we use a lot at the moment within West Ham and that’s ‘trajectory’,� says Angus Kinnear, managing director of Premier League club West Ham United, speaking to SoccerexPro at the end of April. Kinnear is the man charged with ensuring that trajectory hits the right pitch over the two most important years in the east London side’s recent history. The Hammers, whose warmly cherished history features a World Cup-winning trio of 60s legends and the ‘Academy’ tradition of passing football played by youthful locals, are about to inherit a legacy. At the start of the 2015/16 season they will move out of the 22 |

Boleyn Ground, their home since 1904, and into London’s refurbished Olympic Stadium. It is a relocation that comes at the end of many years of legal wrangling and public recriminations that are still not quite at an end. They will only be renting their new accommodation but it promises to completely change their commercial outlook. In time, that could transform their prospects on the pitch. The East End of the British capital is enjoying a decade at the bleeding edge of culture, from the City’s fringes at Shoreditch through newly trendy neighbourhoods to Stratford, an area completely UHMXYHQDWHGE\/RQGRQ7KHUHÀWWHG

stadium promises radically improved offerings for sponsors and corporate hospitality, but the club are also using its far greater capacity as an opportunity to offer some of the cheapest tickets of English football’s Premier League era. 7UDMHFWRU\RQWKHÀHOGKDVWDNHQRQRWKHU connotations. It evokes the long-ball style of play with which outgoing manager Sam Allardyce, fairly or unfairly, has become indelibly linked, but also recalls the rise the side made under his leadership. Allardyce took over West Ham in 2011 with the team playing in England’s second tier and already facing the prospect of being away from the elite at the time of their big move.

To his credit, he not only restored West Ham to the Premier League, he properly reestablished WKHPWKHUH²DWKSODFHGĂ€QLVKKLVOHJDF\LQ KLVĂ€QDOVHDVRQWKLV\HDU He will not be taking his place on the bench for West Ham’s Olympic debut, or for their 8SWRQ3DUNIDUHZHOO$IWHUWKHĂ€QDOJDPHRI  2015/16, the club announced a parting of the ways. The identity of the new head coach was not known at the time of writing but, with a Uefa Europa League place the Hammers’ reward for topping England’s Fair Play League, the most likely candidates will be those who can deliver eyecatching football to an international audience. For Kinnear, who joined the club in June 2013, all of that is secondary to ensuring that WKH:HVW+DPEXEEOHĂ RDWVKDSSLO\LQWRWKH Olympic Stadium, rather than bursting on LPSDFW$VDVLJQLĂ€FDQWSDUWRI WKHWHDPWKDW successfully moved Arsenal, another of London’s grand old clubs, from Highbury to the Emirates Stadium in 2006, he is well aware of what is involved – and what can be achieved. What were your ďŹ rst steps on taking the role, and then the commercial journey up to this point?

I think the key has been to align the organisation behind some very clear FRPPHUFLDOREMHFWLYHV7KHÀUVWRQHLV that the stadium has to sell out. If we sell out the stadium, then I think everything else will follow. It doesn’t mean that we’re not working on other work streams simultaneously, but building a model where the stadium sells out, and it looks and feels like the home of West Ham United, is the platform that we then found everything else on. 6RWKHÀUVWSLHFHZDVDERXWEXLOGLQJ relationships with the London Legacy Development Corporation [LLDC] and E20, and now the operator Vinci

Concessions who have come on board, and understanding how we were going to deliver the stadium in an environment where we’re the anchor tenant rather than the stadium owner, which holds some unique challenges as well as some unique opportunities. The second was building the migration ticketing strategy to ensure we had a plan that would allow us to sell the stadium out. And the third piece has been in looking at the commercial revenue streams which we think we can stepchange on the basis of the new stadium. We’ve already shown some huge growth in partnership revenue off the back of what’s about to happen, but that will also apply to membership and to retail and WRLQWHUQDWLRQDOWRXULQJDVWKHSURÀOHRI  West Ham changes. $ORQJVLGHWKDWWKHUH¡VEHHQVLJQLÀFDQW change in the team; the organisation has added to the fantastic team already in place, scaling up to meet the challenge. We’ve hired a new commercial director who ran Arsenal’s Asian operation – Felicity Croft. We’re in a place now where we have the sales capability to deliver from a ticketing perspective and from a partnership perspective as well. We have 18 full-time staff in the reservation centre, which is a facility and a team which didn’t exist before. It was very important that this site was near the Olympic Park, and for our customers WREHDEOHWRVHHWKHÀUVWSK\VLFDO manifestation of the new West Ham. From a partnership perspective, which has been the second key area of growth, we have taken on a new partnership sales team and a new partnership servicing team as well. We’ve also seen huge growth in digital.

The new website that we launched in )HEUXDU\GRXEOHGWUDIÀFLQ0DUFK6R the digital team has also grown. It was time to capitalise with the huge growth of interest in West Ham more generally. The biggest difference between Arsenal’s journey and our journey is that Arsenal built a stadium to meet existing demand; we’re building a stadium to grow demand. So the process at Arsenal was focused on migrating supporters and then tapping into a huge waiting list to ÀOOUHPDLQLQJVHDWV+HUHDW:HVW+DP we’re going to have to grow our seasonWLFNHWEDVHVLJQLÀFDQWO\WREHVXFFHVVIXO So digital engagement is obviously critical to that. Talk me through what the team here is doing at the reservation centre.

7KHÀUVWMREKDVEHHQWRIRFXVRQRXU premium seats. West Ham has a very solid premium customer base but we needed to double it to take it to the Olympic Stadium. The fantastic thing about that proposition is that it’s really helped us keep general admission prices low. The reservation centre opened in October and until today it’s been focused on the 3,600 corporate seats. From a club perspective, what has been interesting is that not only have we been able to grow the customer base, but we’ve been able to expand the customer base into corporates which aren’t just West Ham supporters. The corporate supporter base that we’re going to have at the Olympic Stadium is going to be much more like Arsenal’s, which is the great and the good of companies in the city and blue chip and FTSE 100 companies who want to have West Ham as part of their hospitality

Upton Park (left) has been West Ham’s home for over 100 years, but the revamped Olympic Stadium promises to help take the club to the next level SOCCEREXPRO | 23

portfolio. That’s been hugely successful and has exceeded all of our projections. There are only 16 executive boxes and they’re all sold. All our corporates have agreed to three-year commitments, which provides us surety of income right up to 2020. We’ve already sold out the vast majority of lounges, and there’s heavy demand for more, even though we’re still 18 months away from the stadium opening. The strategy was always to be able to sell our premium and then move on to general season ticket sales. So across the next 18 months we’re going to have 40,000 supporters coming through the reservation centre. It opens at 9 in the morning and goes to 9 at night, and it’s a seven-day-a-week operation, with appointments all the way through the day. The idea is that every supporter will get to come in here and has an hour to make what’s effectively going to be a very big decision. The reservation centre has always had a great buzz about it because people are making a very big emotional decision. We’ve invested heavily in virtual reality technology: we have a virtual venue system where you can view the pitch from every single seat in the stadium, to work out where you want to be. There’s a number of ways in which we’re going to be able to grow the fanbase, but people re-engaging the people closest to them is going to be key. It’s about people’s brothers who don’t come anymore being told, ‘Come on, let’s get back on this.’ It’s DERXWSHRSOHZLWKĂ€YH\HDUROGVZKRIHHO that they need to get a season ticket next year. This is your one chance.’ We launched our pricing, which means our supporters have the opportunity to make a saving. Every band is cheaper than the bands at Upton Park – up to 25 per cent cheaper in some cases. Plus we KDYHDQHZEDQGĂ€YHZKLFKLV8.Â… which currently makes it the cheapest season ticket in the Premier League. And then one thing we’ve been really focused on for two reasons – one, our owners have always had a commitment to making football affordable for young people; ‘kids for a quid’ has always been an important part of the two Davids’ [Gold and Sullivan, the joint chairmen] DQG.DUUHQ¡V>%UDG\WKHYLFHFKDLUPDQ@ strategy, and we’ve grown our young supporter base at West Ham by 23 per cent over the last three or four years. 24 |

“The people we’re interested in are the supporters, and the supporters have really embraced it. â€? And then the second thing is as part of the responsibility of carrying the Olympic legacy forward, and the commitment to access to sport for \RXQJSHRSOHZH¡YHODXQFKHGD8.Â… season ticket, which is available in every area of the ground bar the corporates, so it’s pretty much the market-leading concessions policy. That’s for under-16s. ,WZRUNVRXWDWMXVWRYHU8.Â…SHUJDPH :LWKWKHDGXOWVHDVRQWLFNHWDW8.Â… it means a family of four can attend for DERXW8.Â…DKHDGIRUWKHIXOOVHDVRQ Are you pleased with the reaction to the ticket pricing?

I think the people we’re interested in are the supporters, and the supporters have really embraced it. We’ve had lots of correspondence from supporters saying they’d previously been priced out. We’ve got lots of supporters saying their affection for West Ham has perhaps lapsed, partly to do with price. And we’ve got lots of new supporters saying, ‘Actually, I’m not a West Ham fan but I FDQFRPHWRJDPHVDVHDVRQIRU… Why wouldn’t I? And actually I want to take my son, daughter, family to Premier League football. I want to take them to a fantastic venue and now I can.’ Have you thought about when you might raise ticket prices?

There’s no view to raise ticket prices at the moment. We think we’ve built a ÀQDQFLDOPRGHOIRUWKHFOXEZKLFKKDV been hugely helped by the new TV deal and being able to reinvest some proceeds IURPWKDW:H¡YHHYHQEXLOWDÀQDQFLDO model which is sustainable for the future, so this isn’t a trial strategy where you go ORZLQWKHÀUVW\HDU We don’t believe we need to do that. Rather than have peaks and troughs in pricing, driven by demand and team performance, we want to have everyday low pricing.

It’s a 54,000-capacity stadium, and your target for season tickets is 40,000?

Yes, that’s our current target as things VWDQG7RKDYHDJRRGFKDQFHRI ÀOOLQJ it, we need to move from where we are now, which is 24,000, to late 30s to 40. Leyton Orient have already mounted a legal challenge to the move. Clearly this ticketing strategy is going to have an impact on their business. What would you say to acknowledge the concerns that they might have?

I think that lower ticket pricing across all of football is a good thing, and I think everybody recognises that. I think the argument that we should maintain high ticket prices to protect lower-league clubs isn’t a valid one. I think we need to give supporters choice, and the lower ticket prices, the more choice the supporters have got. We’re very much focused on the supporter, rather than a competitive situation. The deal to move into the stadium is now widely acknowledged as a very good piece of business for West Ham. A UKÂŁ15 million upfront payment, and then UKÂŁ2.5 million a year lease for 99 years – those are the ďŹ gures going round‌

The deal has been widely discussed without the precise details ever being FRQĂ€UPHG,WKLQNWKHGHDOKDVEHHQ struck as a great deal for all parties. Clearly we’re delighted with the opportunity it presents to West Ham. People’s concerns are: ‘Does it represent a good deal for the taxpayers?’ And we’re convinced it does. I’m not sure there were many other alternatives to making the stadium work for the taxpayer without putting a Premier League football club in it.



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Kinnear pictured outside West Ham’s future home at the Olympic Stadium in Stratford, London

West Ham United vice chairman Karren Brady

West Ham are going to be generating revenues for the taxpayer for the next 99 years. And then the other thing which has been questioned is the process. We entered a competitive tender, which has been reviewed on numerous occasions and deemed to be fair. So I think both the LLDC and West Ham are very comfortable that the deal represents good value for everybody.

to be undertaking; it’s core to the digital wrap, which is going to be a fantastic canvas for the multi-use stakeholders to activate their partners’ brands. It’s outside the stadium in the area between the turnstiles and the roof line. It covers the area of the wrap Dow put in for the Olympics, but this will be digital, like the Piccadilly sign. All of our premium hospitality areas have West Ham’s heritage and story written through them, so our bars are the Forge, where the club was founded, the Arnold Hills, the founder of our stadium. Those bar areas will remain constant. And then we have a number of lease spaces as part of the deal, so WKHVKRSLVRXUVWKHER[RIÀFHLVRXUV WKHVWDII RIÀFHVDUHRXUVDVZHOODOORI  which will be another representation of West Ham. For West Ham fans, they’ll be under no doubt when they arrive that they’ve turned up to West Ham’s home ground. Clearly there are complexities with it being multi-use, one of which is the retractable seating, which will slide into and out of the athletics track to bring our supporters as close to the pitch as they possibly can be. The vision is very clear; the stadium has to be perfectly operational on a matchday, the pitch has to be perfect, but we’re also very enthused by the fact that there are going to be a whole load of really interesting and eclectic events in the stadium, which ZLOOEHEHQHÀFLDOWR:HVW+DP

Anyone can raise a complaint to the European Commission within eight years, and then West Ham could be stung for the cost of the reďŹ tting. Communication is clearly important for you – and it’s crucial that everyone knows that everyone involved believes that it was a fair process – but have you got a plan in place to deal with that situation if it happens?

The European Commission have been asked to look into it and they have said there is no case to answer and it’s not something they want to pursue. Obviously we have discussions with the //'&DQGHYHU\RQHLVYHU\FRQÀGHQW about the robustness of the decision. It’s something that in the short term will probably continue to be questioned from a media perspective, but if you look at what the potential challenges are, we just don’t believe they stand up. 7KHGHÀQLWLRQRI VWDWHDLGUHOLHVRQD bending of competition process, whereas the competition that we went into was 26 |

incredibly stringent, incredibly diligent. I don’t think many clubs have to go through what we had to get through to establish a winning tender. And it’s got to be remembered that the stadium isn’t West Ham’s. We spend a lot of time working with Vinci and the LLDC and E20 to play our part in making sure this stadium is going to be a fantastic multi-use arena, and the key to it being a multi-use arena is that it has an anchor tenant who’s going to give it certainty of revenue streams and certainty of an event calendar. But already, before West Ham even move in, it’s got a Diamond League meeting, LW¡VJRWĂ€YH5XJE\:RUOG&XSJDPHVLW¡V got a rugby league Test, and the event FDOHQGDUIROORZLQJWKDWLVĂ€OOLQJXS That’s great for the Olympic legacy. It’s great for Newham and the LLDC and it will be great for West Ham fans to have our home being the centre of so many other great sporting and cultural events. What are the beneďŹ ts and the challenges of only having this stadium for 25 days a year, and how will it work in terms of dressing and reďŹ tting the stadium for other events?

Key to West Ham was the fact that on a day to day basis the stadium looks and feels like the home of West Ham United. That has gone from changing the seat colours to claret and blue, which is something that West Ham are going







An artist’s rendering of the revamped Olympic Stadium in east London, showing West Ham’s colours and logo on the external digital wrap

Aside from Twickenham, it was the quickest-selling Rugby World Cup stadium, so it still contains some of that 2O\PSLFPDJLFWKDWZHZDQWWREHQHÀW from, and I think having a range of events there will help that. As part of the deal, E20 maintain revenue streams that would normally fall within the remit of a football club. However we think the relationship we KDYHZLWK(ZH¡UHYHU\FRQÀGHQWWKDW we can help them commercialise the venue in a similar way that Arsenal have commercialised the Emirates. It doesn’t shut off our ability to use the stadium outside of just the matchdays. The rights sit with E20, but we sit with Vinci and E20’s commercial teams on a weekly basis looking at how we can drive revenues together. 28 |

What can you tell me about anticipated revenue generation and how much extra will you be getting as a club from moving into this stadium?

We haven’t released our revenue targets. I know supporters out there have done simple extrapolations of what the extra 19,000 seats mean. Premium is a key driver to that. If you’re going to build a football stadium anywhere in the world at the moment, you build it in the Olympic Park. You’d want to be in the UK so you can play in the Premier League; you’d want to be in London because it’s the world’s most visited city; you’d probably want to be on the doorstep of the ZRUOG¡VÀQDQFLDOFDSLWDODQG\RX¡GZDQW fantastic travel infrastructure – and here there’s nine direct rail links. It’s amazingly

easy to get to and from. I go to park dinners with the stakeholders that are there, and there are people from community groups, sport, culture, the head of UK Athletics, but you’ve also got the dean of the university which is going to be there, someone from the Smithsonian Institute, Sadler’s Wells are going to have a theatre, the V&A are relocating part of their collection here, there’s the whole technology hub. It’s an exciting place to be. That’s where we’ll tap into the corporate revenues. Our seating capacity for corporates has pretty much doubled but the revenues will be VLJQLÀFDQWO\PRUHWKDQGRXEOH To give you a sense of that, our boxes at Upton Park sell for UK£40,000, and the most expensive box here at the Olympic Stadium sold for UK£120,000

for the year. What we’ve done in the premium areas is segmented pretty WLJKWO\6RUDWKHUWKDQRQHVL]HÀWV all, we’ve got executive boxes for big corporates, but then we know we have a lot of fans who want a premium matchday experience. So we have a bar called the Boleyn, which is 1,000 seats; it’s paid for on monthly direct debits – it’s UK£140 a month – and a whole lot of our fans have upgraded to that. There are lots of learnings from Arsenal there. Do you have much involvement in the Upton Park sale?

The location was actually bought by Galliard Homes, who were key partner in the Arsenal relocation. But interestingly the board turned down more lucrative offers to go with a partner who they felt

was going to treat the Upton Park legacy appropriately, so accommodating West Ham’s heritage into how the place is redeveloped, and giving a commitment to working with the community, a commitment to delivering a development which meets the need of all stakeholders in that area.

year. All our partners I think see that in two or three years time they’ll probably be able to look very smart for seeing the direction that West Ham is going in and being able to get in early.

How much extra can you anticipate in new partnerships, and what extra service or value are you able to provide?

,W¡VGLIÀFXOWWRSXWDÀJXUHRQLWEXW, think the transformation between the partnership revenue of a team in the bottom third of the Premier League, and the partnership revenue of a team in the top third of the Premier League is pretty transformational.

I think the proposition has changed dramatically for our partners and there are two things that are key to that. One is that, if there’s two years to be associated with West Ham United Football Club, WKHĂ€QDO\HDUDW8SWRQ3DUNDQGWKHĂ€UVW year at the Olympic Stadium are probably going to be the most exciting ever. Brands get that and it’s an activation platform where the story just writes itself. There are themes around that story which brands are really buying into. One is around provenance. That fact that West Ham has been the heart and soul of London football for 100 years, and now it’s moving to a London icon – association with the power of London is really valuable, not just with domestic brands but internationally, and people are seeing that mix of being the true East End club, and moving to somewhere which has made London famous on an international stage. The other thing is this thing of West Ham being known as ‘The Academy’, for its ability to develop players and that commitment to youth. It’s interesting from a football perspective, but now we are talking to partners about what that’s going to mean from a fan perspective as well, and this concept of being the academy of fans. There are so many youth focused brands out there that we are going to put ourselves in an ownership position of bringing young supporters back to football, and brands are going to like that as well. There’s a fantastic heritage meets future story there. But the other thing which is really important as well is trajectory on the pitch. The revenues which we project to generate at the new stadium mean the club is going to move from being known for being lower mid-table, to upper mid-table and in a position where we can challenge for a European place every

You’re increasing corporate hospitality yield by at least three; a similar goal for sponsorship?

What about naming rights? How is that process working?

We’re working in partnership with E20. LLDC and Newham are basically 50 per cent joint owners in E20, so we’re working with them to identify a naming rights partner. Clearly the West Ham brand is going to be central to anyone who wants to get involved with that. 7KHUHDUHDORWRI DQFLOODU\EHQHÀWVDQG other events that they get but I think it’s important for all parties that we get a partner who buys into the potential of West Ham. It’s at an early stage. There’s clearly a lot of interest and I don’t think it’s perceived as being a problem. What are some of the differences and similarities between this and your Arsenal role?

In terms of similarities, the vision and stability of the ownership has been something which is common between them both, which is absolutely critical to be able to deliver anything meaningful. I think the biggest difference is that the transformation for West Ham should be so much more VLJQLÀFDQW7U\LQJWRFRPPXQLFDWHWKDW to fans, to partners, and premium seat holders has been the challenge. When I joined Arsenal they’d just gone DVHDVRQXQEHDWHQ,QP\ÀUVW\HDUWKH\ SOD\HGLQWKH&KDPSLRQV/HDJXHÀQDO against Barcelona. So whilst Emirates Stadium provided a platform, it was absolutely key to maintaining their position in global football. Here, we have the opportunity to transform things. Communicating our belief in that vision is the biggest challenge and the biggest opportunity if we get it right. SOCCEREXPRO | 29

WOMAN’S HOUR The seventh edition of the quadrennial Fifa Women’s World Cup kicked off in Canada at the start of June and looks certain to be the biggest tournament so far. Eoin Connolly finds out more about a vital and vibrant event in women’s football.




The Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton is one of six venues for the Fifa Women’s World Cup 32 |


Canada’s players reap the adulation of a national record crowd of 53,058 after their 1-0 victory over China in the opening game of this year’s competition




Jordan welcomes the world


ext year, Jordan will host its ďŹ rst global Fifa tournament: the U17 Women’s World Cup. Set to be held across four venues in three host cities from 30th September to 21st October, the event will be a landmark in the development of football in general and women’s football in particular in the country and across the Middle East. SoccerexPro met up with Jordan 2016 chief executive Samar Nassar at the Soccerex Asian Forum at the Dead Sea to ďŹ nd out more. How are things progressing with the U17 Women’s World Cup? I think they’re moving forward. We’ve been working closely with our key stakeholders and partners to execute the infrastructural renovation plan that was rolled out last year. We’re having a major overhaul of our stadiums, from new pitches to full-seater stadiums, entertainment screens, new security technologies – we’re all very excited about having our stadiums ready in 2016 with a new look. In addition, we’re constructing 17 training sites. Progress is underway but we still have another year and a half.

What’s the structure of the team putting this together? We have a very small local organising team. We’re about ten people for now but this will obviously grow exponentially towards 2016. By 2016 we’ll have around 36 staff members at the headquarters and around 100 with the venue staff during the competition. Our team is comprised entirely of Jordanians and


that’s part of the legacy we want to leave behind, and part of the capacity-building of staff to hopefully host other mega sporting events in the future. What’s your relationship with the Jordan FA? Are you a spin-off of that or an independent team? We have a certain degree of autonomy but we are under the umbrella of the Jordan Football Association. We have our own board and our own executive committee, but it is the umbrella organisation for this committee. Where is the funding coming from? I think it’s a combination. Fifa does subsidise part of the organisation expenses of this competition but it barely covers part of it. There is funding coming from the government but that’s strictly for infrastructure and to cover the demands and the requirements of this competition. We also have the added task of raising capital from national supporters. We are in the process of looking for sponsors but it’s not an easy task with all the restrictions that are imposed by Fifa with regards to marketing. Is there a headline budget ďŹ gure you can share? Well, I can give you an estimated budget but that, deďŹ nitely, will exponentially grow. You can put the budget forecast but I think the actual budget is always much more. I can tell you from previous events, I think US$9 million to US$10 million is what they’ve previously spent on events, just for organisational expenses.

Japan celebrate their triumph in the 2011 event

Do you expect to recoup much of that? Or is a lot of it realistically going to be looked at as spending on developing the game in Jordan? Well, this is mostly to meet the organisational demands of Fifa, but we are, anyway, initiating several projects with the JFA, with so many NGOs, as part of the legacy – from the public schools programmes that we’re about to initiate, as well as our collaboration with UN Women and the AFDP, and the projects that we’re going to start for girls in the Syrian refugee camps. There are different projects that we’re doing. We’ve already done two Live Your Goals festivals in collaboration with Fifa so there are plenty of exciting projects coming along in addition to the usual Fifa events. How big an opportunity is this not just to develop the women’s game but also the concept of sport for girls in this part of the world? DeďŹ nitely, it’s not just football, it’s sport in the wider context, and to get girls active and on to the pitch. In addition to developing football on the technical level it is also a way to empower women through sport, using it as a vehicle, and all the social aspects that come with that. It’s not just the performance on the pitch but, as well, getting women out there and getting them active and involved in sports. Is football a big mover in that space? Does it have a reach that other sports don’t have? Sport is deďŹ nitely a vehicle for social change and football is the most popular


sport â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and I think not just in Jordan but around the world â&#x20AC;&#x201C; so itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s deďŹ nitely the perfect platform to introduce all these projects and to make the desired change and impact. How signiďŹ cant a milestone is the senior Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s World Cup this summer for you? Will you send a team out there? Is there any other kind of knowledge transfer planned? Yes, we do have a team going to the Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s World Cup in Canada. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an opportunity to build capacity, to learn from countries that have done it before, instead of reinventing the wheel. We only have two years so transfer of knowledge is the best way to learn. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s deďŹ nitely going to be exciting. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a bigger scale event than the U17 but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the perfect opportunity to learn. And will it be an opportunity to grow awareness of this competition? It could be. We hope to get international spectators, raising awareness â&#x20AC;&#x201C; telling people, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Hello! The U17 is coming to the Arab world!â&#x20AC;&#x2122; And as you know, for an overall spectator experience itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not just the venues of a tournament, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the backdrop as well and Jordan would really be an ultimate destination for football fans. So we hope to be able to get as many people interested in the game to come and join us in 2016. How have you found the experience, personally, coming into football from an Olympic background? Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all sport. When youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re talking about


managerial or administrative, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s more of the business side of it so as long as you have a passion for sport itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all the same, I think. You quickly adapt and you learn new things â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and the learning curve is unbelievable when youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re hosting the World Cup because from the minute you get the hosting rights, you hit the ďŹ&#x201A;oor running. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s so many things to do and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve learned a lot over the past year already. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re one a growing number of women heading up major organisations in sport but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s still less common than it is in other industries to see that â&#x20AC;&#x201C; not just in the Middle East but around the world. Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s your take on that? Well, Jordan is a very liberal and progressive country. I myself am the CEO of the U17 Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s World Cup; the secretary general of the Jordan Olympic Committee, which is an umbrella organisation for all sport in Jordan, is also a lady. And itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not just in sport, in many other sectors I have to say Jordan is deďŹ nitely leading in this region with regards to women in the working sector. So I hope this sets an example for the region.

now as an example of that, and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re making it a point to employ as many women as possible and to give them the opportunity because maybe in a menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s World Cup they wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get as many opportunities as they would at a womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s. And weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re talking about it across everything, from women coaches to paramedics and security guards to staff at the local organising committee. So across the board weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re trying to give opportunities to women to participate in this event.

Sure, but more internationally â&#x20AC;&#x201C; in the UK, in Europe, and beyond â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the representation of women is not as strong as it is in other industries. Is that something that you feel is changing, or needs to change? Well, having a Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s World Cup also promotes women in sports administrative positions, and here I am

Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the long-term target? What can this accomplish as a legacy? When you talk about legacy, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re focusing on ďŹ ve legacy pillars. We deďŹ nitely want to build for the future of the sport and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to leave infrastructure behind. We want to grow the womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s game on so many fronts, from the grassroots level to the competitive level, and to be able to do this you need to partner with the right organisations and to build that stakeholder framework to ensure sustainability after the games, because the local organising committee will only exist for the next year and a half. So to ensure sustainability weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re looking for partnerships. And if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re talking about changing cultural mindsets, you deďŹ nitely have to think about engaging the community. Community buy-in is essential if you want more girls and women to play football. You have to have the whole community involved. And capacitybuilding, which weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re working on. Five legacy pillars.

Over 920,000 tickets have been sold in Canada


Thorns in their side


quickly. The National Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Soccer League (NWSL) was founded in 2012 in the hope that the right lessons had been learned. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been built on poor foundations,â&#x20AC;? says Merritt Paulson, owner of the NWSLâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Portland Thorns, of previous efforts at establishing professional womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s club soccer in the US. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The economic model of the prior leagues was wrong. I mean, you had independent folks with no infrastructure who were spending at unsustainable levels and the leagues were built on unrealistic projections in terms of what the gate would be. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d sort of been a euphoria following Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s World Cups and people get out over their skis, and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what happened with each of the prior leagues here. This time itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been much more conservative. The ďŹ nancial model is prudent, and I do think that youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to have more clubs who have got the infrastructure and more operators who have got the infrastructure that can make it work.â&#x20AC;?




Don Ryan/AP/Press Association Images

ith Canada expecting to host the biggest Fifa Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s World Cup yet this summer, the womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s game can be forgiven for indulging in some self-congratulation about just how far it has come. For all that, though, there will be few people with womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s football in their hearts who are unaware of just how much work lies ahead to make it sustainable away from its showpiece. In the past few years, professional club leagues have emerged in a handful of countries across the world, including England and Germany. But in womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s footballâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s biggest market â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the US â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the latest attempt to establish a regular competition is already laden with high stakes. There have been two previous iterations of professional leagues in the US and both fared poorly. The Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s United Soccer Association (WUSA) collapsed after three years, losing around US$100 million, while Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Professional Soccer (WPS) also failed

Fundamentally, the differentiating factor between the WNSL and previous leagues is that US Soccer, Canada Soccer and the Mexican Football Federation (FMF) have agreed to underwrite the salaries of national team players to cut costs. There is a seriousness in outlook from all sides. Paulson is also the owner of Major League Soccerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Portland Timbers, and was approached by US Soccer president Sunil Gulati to tie a WNSL team to that operation. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s soccer canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t succeed in Portland, it canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t succeed anywhere, as far as Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m concerned,â&#x20AC;? Paulson says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is bar none the best market. You look at the support that exists for the Portland Pilots at the college level â&#x20AC;&#x201C; thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s soccer team thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been supported the way the Pilots have been supported. You look at how Portlanders come out for womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s national team games that have come here, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unprecedented.â&#x20AC;? The signs so far are that womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s football is succeeding in Portland. Buoyed by the presence of US superstar Alex Morgan, the Thorns have become perhaps the best-supported womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s team in the world. The 2014 average attendance at Providence Park of 13,320 was 9,000 higher than the rest of the league. The Thorns have beneďŹ ted from their attachment to the Timbers in terms of the use of infrastructure and staff, something that Paulson believes is crucial and holds lessons for the rest of the league. But he also notes that there has been â&#x20AC;&#x153;less of a crossover with the Timbers supporters than you might expectâ&#x20AC;? and that the womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s team have been â&#x20AC;&#x153;a great thing culturally, hereâ&#x20AC;?. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It surpassed our wildest expectations,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;And itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been a lot of fun.â&#x20AC;?

The Portland Thornsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; average attendance of 13,320 in 2014 was way above the rest of the NWSL

36 |


Fifa’s Tatjana Haenni (right) with Sepp Blatter and members of the Swiss national women’s team

KEVORK DJANSEZIAN/AP/Press Association Images


The US win a memorable World Cup in 1999


BUILDING A LEGACY The projected spend for stadium construction ahead of the 2014 Fifa World Cup in Brazil was R$6 billion. Ultimately, the country spent over R$8.5 billion on building new arenas, and renovating old ones. One year on from world football’s flagship event, SoccerexPro investigates how much each stadium cost, and how they are now being used.







38 |

Arena Amazonia/Manaus New build Projected spend: R$499 million Actual spend: R$669.5 million Percentage of budget spent: 134.17% Capacity: 40,549 Funding source: Public funds Current ownership: Regional government but looking for buyer Current tenancy: Nacional, though rarely, due to high rental costs Upcoming events: Olympic football in 2016 Estadio Castelao/Forteleza Renovated Projected spend: R$519 million Actual spend: R$519 million Percentage of budget spent: 100.00% Capacity: 60,348 Funding source: Public funds/private investment/BNDES (Brazilian Development Fund, loan to be repaid) Current ownership: State of Ceará


Estadio das Dunas/Natal New build Projected spend: R$400 million Actual spend: R$423 million Percentage of budget spent: 105.75% Capacity: 39,971 Funding source: Public funds/private investment/BNDES Current ownership: Public/private partnership Current tenancy: America de Natal/hosting weddings and parties Arena Pernambuco/Recife New build Projected spend: R$532 million Actual spend: R$650 million Percentage of budget spent: 122.18% Capacity: 42,583 Funding source: Public funds/private investment/BNDES Current ownership: Part-owed by Clube Náutico Capibaribe



Arena Pantanal/Cuiaba New build Projected spend: R$342 million Actual spend: R$646 million Percentage of budget spent: 188.89% Capacity: 41,112 Funding source: Public funds Estádio Nacional Mané Garrincha/Brasilia Renovated Projected spend: R$696 million Actual spend: R$1400 million Percentage of budget spent: 201.15% Capacity: 69,432 Funding source: Public funds Current ownership: State government Current tenancy: Reportedly being used as a bus depot Upcoming events: Olympic football





Arena Fonte Nova/Salvador New build Projected spend: R$400 million Actual spend: R$592 million Percentage of budget spent: 148.00% Capacity: 51,708 Funding source: Public funds/private investment/BNDES Current ownership: Bahia state government Current tenancy: EC Bahia Upcoming events: Olympic football



2 3 4


7 11

8 11


Estádio Mineirão/Belo Horizonte Renovated Projected spend: R$750 million Actual spend: R$695 million Percentage of budget spent: 92.67% Capacity: 58,259 Funding source: Public funds/private investment/BNDES Current ownership: Minas Arena Current tenancy: Cruzeiro Upcoming events: Olympic football Arena da Baixada/Curitiba Renovated Projected spend: R$184.6 million Actual spend: R$360 million Percentage of budget spent: 195.02% Capacity: 39,631 Funding source: Atletico Paranaense Current ownership: Atletico Paranaense Current tenancy: Atletico Paranaense Arena de São Paulo/São Paulo New build Projected spend: R$820 million Actual spend: R$1200 million Percentage of budget spent: 146.34% Capacity: 63,321 Funding source: Corinthians/BNDES/rumoured $400m public funds Current ownership: Corinthians Current tenancy: Corinthians Upcoming events: Olympic football Estádio do Maracanã/Rio de Janeiro Renovated Projected spend: R$706 million Actual spend: R$1050 million Percentage of budget spent: 148.73% Capacity: 74,738 Funding source: Public funds Current ownership: Complexo Maracanã Entretenimento S.A: Odebrecht (90%) IMX (5%), AEG (5%) Cost of purchase: R$5.5 million per year; R$192.5 million over the 35 year period Current tenancy: Fluminense and Flamengo’officially’, though reports suggest they frequently play elsewhere to avoid high rental fees Upcoming events: Olympic opening and closing ceremonies, Olympic football Estádio Beira-Rio/Porto Alegre Renovated Projected spend: R$200 million Actual spend: R$330 million Percentage of budget spent: 165.00% Capacity: 43,394 Funding source: SC Internacional/private funding/BNDES Current ownership: SC Internacional Current tenancy: SC Internacional SOCCEREXPRO | 39

FEELING THE HEAT The Copa AmĂŠrica is one of world footballâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most compelling spectacles, bringing together all the talent and aggression of South Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ďŹ nest players with all the passionate colour of the continentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s supporters. But as Michael Long reports, the US Department of Justiceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ongoing investigation has sent shockwaves across the global game and this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tournament in Chile has felt the tremors.


he Copa AmĂŠrica rarely lacks for attention. South Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s premier national team competition is one of the oldest football tournaments on the planet, combining some of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most passionate and colourful VXSSRUWHUVZLWKPXFKRI LWVĂ&#x20AC;QHVWRQ Ă&#x20AC;HOGWDOHQW+HOGHYHU\IRXU\HDUVLWLV as keenly anticipated as any continental FKDPSLRQVKLSZLWKIDQVHDJHUWRĂ&#x20AC;QG out how their team will fare after the SHUVRQQHOFKDQJHVWKDWLQYDULDEO\IROORZ WKHSUHYLRXV\HDU¡V)LID:RUOG&XS )RU&KLOHWKRXJKWKLV\HDU¡V WRXUQDPHQWKDVDGGHGVLJQLĂ&#x20AC;FDQFH+RVWV RI WKH&RSD$PpULFDIRUDVHYHQWKWLPH the country was charged with staging WKHHYHQWLQ0D\DIWHUWKHIRRWEDOO association of original host Brazil GHIHUUHGXQWLOGXHWRWKHFRXQWU\¡V existing commitment to organising last VXPPHU¡V:RUOG&XSDQGQH[W\HDU¡V Rio Olympics. Preparation time was therefore limited for the Chileans but, as it transpired, the tournament could not KDYHFRPHDWDEHWWHUWLPH Chilean football, at least at LQWHUQDWLRQDOOHYHOLVHQMR\LQJVRPHWKLQJ RI DJROGHQHUD+DYLQJLPSUHVVHGLQ ZLQVRYHU6SDLQDQG$XVWUDOLDEHIRUH HYHQWXDOO\ERZLQJRXWWR%UD]LORQ SHQDOWLHVLQWKHURXQGRI ODVWVXPPHU -RUJH6DPSDROL¡VHYHULPSURYLQJVTXDG emboldened by the brilliance of star forward Alexis Sanchez, now harbour genuine hopes of winning their maiden Copa AmĂŠrica title on home soil. Victory would be no mean feat for La Roja â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the likes of Uruguay, champions RI 6RXWK$PHULFDDUHFRUGWLPHV and the current Copa AmĂŠrica holders, Colombia, and the continentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s traditional powerhouses of Brazil and Argentina, ZLOOSURYLGHVWHUQRSSRVLWLRQ²EXWZLWKLQ the host nation optimism abounds. 40 |

$V0D\WXUQHGWR-XQHKRZHYHU HYHQWVHOVHZKHUHWKUHDWHQHGWR RYHUVKDGRZDQGXQGHUPLQHWKH entire tournament. -XVWWZRZHHNVRXWIURPNLFNRIIWKH Copa AmĂŠrica was plunged into the heart of one of the most astonishing FRUUXSWLRQLQYHVWLJDWLRQVLQWKHKLVWRU\ of world football; a probe that came to light when the US Department of Justice released a damning indictment detailing bribes and kickbacks paid by marketing H[HFXWLYHVVHHNLQJWRVHFXUHOXFUDWLYH contracts to sell the commercial rights to 6RXWK$PHULFD¡VEHORYHGVKRZSLHFH 3XEOLVKHGWKHGD\EHIRUH0D\¡V)LID &RQJUHVVLQ=XULFKWKHSDJH GRFXPHQWDOOHJHGWKDW-RVp+DZLOOD WKHRZQHUDQGIRXQGHURI WKH7UDIĂ&#x20AC;F Group, a multinational sports marketing company based in Brazil, paid tens of millions of dollars in bribes to senior 6RXWK$PHULFDQIRRWEDOORIĂ&#x20AC;FLDOVRYHU a period of more than two decades. $FFRUGLQJWRWKHLQGLFWPHQW+DZLOOD and his accomplices used â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;sophisticated PRQH\ODXQGHULQJWHFKQLTXHV¡WR transfer funds in exchange for contracts, LQFOXGLQJWKHDJUHHPHQW7UDIĂ&#x20AC;F¡V %UD]LOLDQGLYLVLRQVLJQHGZLWK&RQPHERO South Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s football authority, WRREWDLQWKHH[FOXVLYHZRUOGZLGH commercial rights to the Copa AmĂŠricas RI DQG 7KDWGHDODQGDOOVXEVHTXHQWUHQHZDOV LWLVDOOHJHGLQYROYHGEULEHVZLWK1LFROiV Leoz, the president of Conmebol EHWZHHQDQGUHFHLYLQJ SD\PHQWVRI XSWRVHYHQĂ&#x20AC;JXUHVHDFK time the tournament was played up until WKHHGLWLRQLQ$UJHQWLQD But it doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t end there. Around the time Leoz was replaced at the helm RI &RQPHEROE\(XJHQLR)LJXHUHGR LQ$SULO86SURVHFXWRUVDOOHJH WKDWH[HFXWLYHVIURP7UDIĂ&#x20AC;FDQGULYDO

FRPSDQLHV)XOO3OD\*URXSDQG7RUQHRV y Competencias SA then plotted a VFKHPHWRREWDLQOXFUDWLYHULJKWVIURP &RQPHERODQGLWV1RUWK&HQWUDODQG &DULEEHDQHTXLYDOHQW&RQFDFDI$V part of the scheme the three companies IRUPHGDQHZĂ&#x20AC;UPFDOOHG'DWLVDWKURXJK which they secured, from Conmebol, D86PLOOLRQFRQWUDFWIRUWKH H[FOXVLYHZRUOGZLGHULJKWVWRWKH DQG&RSD$PpULFDVDQG DVHSDUDWH86PLOOLRQGHDOZLWK Concacaf for the media rights to the &RSD$PpULFD&HQWHQDULRDRQH off tournament that will be held to mark WKHWKDQQLYHUVDU\RI LWVĂ&#x20AC;UVWHGLWLRQ According to US prosecutors, in return for those contracts it was agreed that EULEHVWRWDOOLQJDQDVWRQLVKLQJ86 PLOOLRQZRXOGEHVSOLWEHWZHHQ)LJXHUHGR &RQFDFDI SUHVLGHQW-HIIUH\:HEEDQG RWKHUVHQLRURIĂ&#x20AC;FLDOVZLWKDWOHDVW86 PLOOLRQKDYLQJEHHQSDLGWRGDWH ,QWRWDOIRRWEDOORIĂ&#x20AC;FLDOVDQG PDUNHWLQJH[HFXWLYHVZHUHQDPHGLQ the US indictment, including Leoz, )LJXHUHGRDQG:HEE$OOWKUHHZHUH arrested and charged with racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering following dawn raids at Zurichâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s luxury %DXUDX/DFKRWHORQWK0D\+DZLOOD for his part, had already pleaded guilty DQGDJUHHGWRIRUIHLWRYHU86 PLOOLRQ86PLOOLRQRI ZKLFKZDVSDLG at the time of his plea last December. Adding to the sense of disarray, in early June Brazilian police reportedly sought the indictment of Ricardo Teixeira â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the former president of South Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ULFKHVWIRRWEDOOIHGHUDWLRQ%UD]LO¡V&%) â&#x20AC;&#x201C; on charges including money laundering DQGWD[HYDVLRQ+LVVXFFHVVRU-RVp0DULD 0DULQZDVDPRQJWKRVHDUUHVWHGLQ=XULFK $VWKHEXLOGXSWRWKLV\HDU¡V&RSD AmĂŠrica continued amid the troubling allegations, Sergio Jadue, the president

Tim Ireland/AP/Press Association Images

Brazilâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Neymar and Chileâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Alexis Sanchez, two European-based stars of the Copa AmĂŠrica

of Chileâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s national football association $1)3 ZKRKDVRYHUVHHQSUHSDUDWLRQV for the tournament as chief of the ORFDORUJDQLVLQJFRPPLWWHH&$ sought to distance himself from 'DWLVD¡V&RSD$PpULFDVFKHPH:LWKRXW identifying them by name, the US Justice Department indictment alleged that the presidents of the ten Conmebol national DVVRFLDWLRQVZHUHWRUHFHLYHEULEHVIURP Datisa in exchange for broadcast rights to this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tournament. In light of that SDUWLFXODUDOOHJDWLRQ-DGXHZDVTXLFNWR GHQ\VXJJHVWLRQVWKDWD86PLOOLRQ SD\PHQWWKH$1)3UHFHLYHGODVW\HDUZDV in fact a bribe tied to the Copa AmĂŠrica scheme. ´,GRQ¡WHYHQKDYHWREHZRUULHGÂľ Jadue, who was not directly named in the indictment, told La Tercera newspaper DWWKHHQGRI 0D\´7KLV>LQYHVWLJDWLRQ@ wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t affect at all the work of the IHGHUDWLRQRULWVSUHVLGHQWÂľ -DGXHGLGKRZHYHUH[SUHVV disappointment at the timing of the US LQYHVWLJDWLRQFRPLQJDVLWGLGMXVWWZR ZHHNVDKHDGRI KLVFRXQWU\¡VĂ&#x20AC;UVW&RSD $PpULFDVLQFH´8QIRUWXQDWHO\ instead of talking about football, we are WDONLQJDERXWWKLVLVVXHÂľKHVDLG´7KDW¡V because of a particular situation of some RIĂ&#x20AC;FLDOVZKRZLOOKDYHWRDQVZHUIRUWKHLU DFWLRQVÂľ Though this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Copa AmĂŠrica, the WKHGLWLRQRI WKHWRXUQDPHQWEHJDQLQ HDUQHVWRQWK-XQHWKHEULEHU\VFDQGDO that has rocked the footballing world FRXOG\HWKDYHSURIRXQGFRQVHTXHQFHV IRUWKH&RSD$PpULFD&HQWHQDULR set to be held in the United States. That tournament was created in celebration of the centenary of Conmebol and the Copa AmĂŠrica, bringing together teams from both confederations in a single WRXUQDPHQWIRUWKHĂ&#x20AC;UVWWLPH <HWZLWK&RQFDFDI ¡V:HEEEHLQJ held by Swiss authorities, Leoz under KRXVHDUUHVWLQKLVQDWLYH3DUDJXD\DQG WKHIRXUPDUNHWLQJH[HFXWLYHVQDPHG LQWKHLQGLFWPHQW²$DURQ'DYLGVRQ WKHSUHVLGHQWRI 7UDIĂ&#x20AC;F6SRUWV86$ ,QF$OHMDQGUR%XU]DFRWKHFRQWUROOLQJ principal of Torneos y Competencias; DQG+XJRDQG0DULDQR-LQNLVWKH FRQWUROOLQJSULQFLSDOVDW)XOO3OD\*URXS ²EHLQJTXHVWLRQHGLQWKH86&RQPHERO VHFUHWDU\JHQHUDO-RVH/XLV0HLV]QHU H[SUHVVHGGRXEWVRYHUWKHKLVWRULF WRXUQDPHQW¡VYLDELOLW\LQHDUO\-XQH SOCCEREXPRO | 41

Chile 2015: meet the partners


ssembled by WeMatch â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the trade name of TrafďŹ c Sports, Full Play and Torneos y Competenciasâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Datisa enterprise â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the sponsorship portfolio for this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Copa AmĂŠrica is split into ďŹ ve categories. At the top sit three platinum sponsors in Santander, MasterCard and Kia, with each thought to be paying around US$5 million. On the second rung there is Claro, the sole gold sponsor of the tournament, whilst DHL, Kelloggâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and Coca-Cola are a further level down as third-tier silver sponsors. Making up the portfolio are ofďŹ cial suppliers Latam Airlines and Canon,

and local sponsor AirBnB. The latter, a web portal which allows private homeowners to rent rooms to tourists on a nightly basis, has created a dedicated hub on its website for the Copa AmĂŠrica. Its activities in Chile come ahead of a similar sponsorship of next yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Contracts with broadcasters of this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tournament have also been negotiated by WeMatch on behalf of Conmebol and the organisers of the tournament, CA2015. In Chile, Canal 13 agreed to pay in the region of US$12 million when it secured the domestic TV rights to the

Defending champions Uruguay will be without banned striker Luis Suarez (left, second row) in Chile


Spanish title and a Uefa Champions /HDJXHĂ&#x20AC;QDOZLOODSSHDUIRUIDYRXULWHV $UJHQWLQDDQG%UD]LOUHVSHFWLYHO\/XLV Suarez will miss out for Uruguay as he completes his ban for biting Italyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s *LRUJLR&KLHOOLQLDWODVW\HDU¡V:RUOG Cup but one of the breakout stars of that tournament, Colombiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s James Rodriguez, will be in action after his GHEXWVHDVRQDW5HDO0DGULG 7KRVHDUHMXVWWKHKHDGOLQHUVLQDQ DOOVWDUFDVWDV6RXWK$PHULFDQIRRWEDOO WDNHVDJOREDOVWDJH:KLOHWKH&RSD AmĂŠrica may lack the international reach of the Uefa European Championship,

tournament in April 2012, outbidding rival operators Mega, ChilevisiĂłn, CDF and TVN. Outside the host nation, Rede Globo, SporTV and ESPN Brasil will combine to provide coverage of all 26 matches from the tournament in Brazil, while a similar three-partner setup has been agreed in Uruguay, where Teledoce, Saeta TV and Monte Carlo have secured the rights. Elsewhere, international TV deals have also been struck with the likes of Canal Plus in Spain, Premier Sports in the UK, Indiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Sony Six in south Asia, TVP in Poland, and BeIN Sports in the US, Canada and the Middle East.


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The host venues

Antofagasta The most northern of the nine Copa América venues, Antofagasta’s 20,000-seater stadium, Estadio Regional Calvo y Bascnan de Antofagasta, was originally built in 1964 before being renovated for the 2015 Copa América.

Rancagua El Teniente in the cultural and tourist hub of Rancagua was one of four stadiums used to host the 1962 Fifa World Cup. Opened in 1947, the stadium was renovated in 2014 and expanded to hold 15,600 supporters.

Temuco With a capacity of just under 19,000, Temuco’s stadium was updated in 2008 and now hosts rugby, tennis and swimming, as well as soccer. It is named in honour of Germán Becker Bäechler, Temuco’s mayor who oversaw the venue’s construction in 1965.

Concepción Located in Chile’s second-largest urban centre, the 35,000-seater ‘Esther Roa’ Stadium previously staged Copa América matches in 1991. Today it hosts Concepción’s three club teams: Deportes Concepción, Arturo Fernández Vial and Universidad de Concepción.

Santiago Located in the Providencia district of the Chilean capital Santiago, ‘El Nacional’ was the site of the 1962 World Cup final between Brazil and Czechoslovakia. Built in 1938, the 48,875-seater stadium has been completely renovated in recent years.

Valparaíso Constructed in 1931, Valparaíso’s Estadio Elías Figueroa is the current home of club side Santiago Wanderers. The venue was the subject of a renovation project last year and now holds just shy of 21,000 supporters.

La Serena Built in 1952, La Serena’s Estadio La Portada has been completely revamped ahead of this year’s tournament and the forthcoming Under-17 World Cup.

Five kilometres across town, the Estadio Monumental, home to Chilean giants Colo-Colo, has been in operation since 1975. The venue was reconfigured in 2006 and now has space for 47,347 spectators.

Viña del Mar Opened in 1929, Estadio Sausalito hosted eight matches during both the 1962 World Cup and the 1991 Copa América. It seats over 18,000 after undergoing a significant revamp ahead of this summer’s tournament.

In February, the JFF signed a fouryear kit deal with Dubai-based Romai Sportswear that could, according to the Jamaica Observer, be worth US$4.8 million over four years. Signed after a period

where the Reggae Boyz had gone without a kit supplier, the deal is the biggest in the federation’s history and a strong showing in Chile could add to the sense that Jamaican football is worth taking seriously again.

For all of the teams taking part, however, the events of recent weeks will have left a numbing sense of uncertainty about the future. The focus, for now, will be on three weeks in Chile.

44 |

A NEW PITCH Ramon Vega went from a career as a central defender for Switzerland, Tottenham Hotspur and Celtic to a life in finance as founder of Vega Swiss Asset Management. He is now combining his experiences in a new venture, professional training company From Pitch to Boardroom. But, as he reveals to Mike Kennedy, he still has ambitions of getting back into football.

How was it you worked up the From Pitch to Boardroom concept?

There were two things. In my mind it was always something that I believed, that what I achieved in the football industry, moving across into the business world myself, setting up from scratch, what I was doing day to day in the football industry helped me a lot from a practical point of view, and I used that in the business world. I used that by sharing my own DNA I created and everything else, to add these kinds of skills. Over a period of time and experience – more than 14 years in the business world setting up businesses, etc, and then also the 16 to 17 years in football – that combines well over 30 years of two businesses and experiences that I believe will be very useful for any CEO or leadership group to use some of our techniques, skills, thought process; how to select a quality team. I don’t think the corporate world even goes to that level of thinking. So in short, pretty much that was my focus. And I thought, well, why not? Let’s go for it. What was the process then?

People were asking me already: ‘Your background is football, sports; would you like to come to chat to our corporation and talk about your experience, and the discipline and all the attributes you need to be working under pressure in the football industry as well?’ And I thought, OK, I’ll do the speech, but it has to be more than just motivating. It has to be something tangible where people can use it as a tool. And that process got me thinking about something like that – From Pitch to Boardroom – where it’s not just talking about it, it’s giving somebody a tool who can use it and work out for themselves what they actually need in 46 |

their own corporation, with using some of the football stuff. Then thinking about what kind of content we need in terms of including my partner Stuart Blythe, where people in the football world, running a big team of over 115 people, overseas selecting a team, interviews, all of that etc and he thought, well this is what football managers actually do: to create a team and a winning season, and win the Champions League. ‘Well, how do they do it?’ Under enormous pressure, publicly under pressure, making changes on a daily basis – changes in terms of the players, etc, in a very high pressured industry. ‘Can we use something of that in the boardroom?’ And then both of us together put our minds and experience together and created it. How does the consultation process work? What kind of clients are you looking to approach in the wider football world? Are you looking to approach people, or do you want people to approach you?

I think it works both ways. We’ve created a very unique product. There’s nothing out there like it in the management consulting industry from our experience and research, because its not related in terms of the sports. You almost don’t understand the football because it’s nothing to do with football. We’re using some of the technology and the

football manager’s tricks and process in selecting a team. So from my point of view, it’s anything to do with corporate teams. How to work the team in the best possible way; leaders, chief executives, managing directors – how they give them tools to perform better with that team. How they get a quality team around them to perform for them. That applies to any business, to be honest. What about the consultation process once that happens? Is it a training programme?

,W·VWZRWKLQJV\RXDVVHVVÀUVWLQWHUPV of the business. One thing we don’t do is FRPHLQSRLQWLQJWKHÀQJHUVDQGVD\LQJ we are going to run your business. First it’s not my business, I don’t know about the business, and I don’t want to know about the business. I only want to know about the business to give you some tools so you’re running it. So therefore, we do an assessment period to start with. There’s a Q and A form, where we need to know about the business, the issues, the problems – what they’re trying to resolve within the team. In big corporations they’ve got many different departments, from ten up to 100 people. The bigger the department the more problems there are in terms of how you’re going to run something like that. If you’ve got an MD and there’s 150 under him how the hell are you going to know all of them? What’s my process? How can I really improve

“We’ve created a very unique product. There’s nothing out there like it.”

Former Tottenham Hotspur defender Ramon Vegaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s company From Pitch to Boardroom hopes to apply lessons learned from football to big business

my selecting of these 150 people, ensure they are in the right roles, are they really happy? Are they producing what they are supposed to produce etc? So we will DVVHVVWKDWĂ&#x20AC;UVW And then what we do thereafter is we tailor match their issues. We can tailor match them immediately any issue they have straight away to the corporation to resolve that and we would then, with the board game we created, which is fun to start with and makes the people more relaxed to play, will come in place to help explain and learn about your business. Within that board game is different scenarios. So we created business scenarios where you are going through a process how you are selecting your team. They are completely random scenarios from charity, to IT guys etc so they can LGHQWLI\RNDUHWKHVHJX\VĂ&#x20AC;YH\HDUVLQWKH industry? Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not a great communicator, his salary is out of the budget.

And so the game business scenario is: in your business you need ten people, \RXQHHGWRVHWXSDQRIĂ&#x20AC;FHLQ1HZ York; the budget is US$1 million dollars; here are the people to select within the budget. So youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got the MDs together WU\LQJWRĂ&#x20AC;JXUHRXWZKDWNLQGRI  people they are trying to hire. Are they suitable for New York, ie do we need 50/50 Americans and Brits? So all that conversation goes on in that board game. 6RLWLVUHDOO\EXVLQHVVUHODWHGDQG youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re thinking how youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re modelling that team you really want to have around you. But youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going into greater details, starting to think about the person, the roles the person wants. And you also start to think about the roles people are presently in; that maybe some people are in the wrong roles and so you think about changing the strategy. This is the same with what a football manager does on a daily basis. The

manager has to think, what kind of players do I have? So the striker is like the WRSSHUVRQWKHPLGĂ&#x20AC;HOGHULVWKHEXVLQHVV development, then the defender is the Ă&#x20AC;QDQFH²HDFKRQHKDVKLVUROHWRSOD\DQG in a corporation itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s exactly the same. If you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t identify the roles and the skill set for them then you are just hiring purely by what their CV says of their experience. But it may be that their experience and knowledge can be used in a better way in a different role. What do you see as the potential for this project? What are some of your ambitions for it?

Well the potential, I think, is quite big to be honest with you. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s nothing like this existing in the market now. The beauty of this project is itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not just a RQHSURGXFWWKLQJLWVYHU\GLYHUVLĂ&#x20AC;HG You can get into the seminar side, the application side, the leadership scenario. SOCCEREXPRO | 47

So itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s really a broad product, but using a very simple methodology of what football managers are actually doing on a daily basis under pressure to get a quality team out on the pitch on a Saturday. And I see that, in terms of all the big EXVLQHVVFRQVXOWDQF\Ă&#x20AC;UPVRXWWKHUH they all have to improve their product to their clients, make sure that they get the best up to date product, knowledge, LQWHOOLJHQFH$QG,WKLQNDOOWKHVHELJĂ&#x20AC;UPV will be buying into this and using our services. So we want to build up a good track record of customers and clients, and QRWMXVWIRURQHRII EXWUHSHDWEXVLQHVV as well because we will give them the licence to do this because theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got a big corporation with big departments, each one of which has its issues. So the board game has to change these in a different direction and I think we can give them an enormous help. Not just motivation but educational content for how to run a EXVLQHVVLQDPRUHHIĂ&#x20AC;FLHQWZD\ Taking a step back and looking at the transition you made from your playing career into business, how did you ďŹ nd that and how many lessons have you taken into this project?

:HOOĂ&#x20AC;UVWRI DOOLWZDVYHU\GLIĂ&#x20AC;FXOW 7KHĂ&#x20AC;UVWELJJHVWZDOOWRFOLPEWKDW¡V for any sports â&#x20AC;&#x201C; football, whatever sports background you come from SURIHVVLRQDOO\²LVĂ&#x20AC;UVWRI DOO\RXZHUH living in a bubble for a long time. I was very lucky. I was doing my dream job, my hobby, for a long time, and everything is done for you. At the same time there was the perception of the football player in WHUPVRI TXDOLĂ&#x20AC;FDWLRQHGXFDWLRQ perceived intelligence. That came up the ZKROHWLPHVRDFWXDOO\,Ă&#x20AC;QGLWPRUH about the perception than that they actually want to know what I actually really know about the industry. So I was Ă&#x20AC;JKWLQJIRUDORQJORQJWLPHWKHĂ&#x20AC;UVW two years, that actually you need to be way better than the guy who just came out with an MBA and had no clue about DQ\Ă&#x20AC;QDQFHH[SHULHQFH%XWKHKDGDQ MBA from Oxford or whatever so he ZDVDOUHDG\VXSHULRUE\TXDOLĂ&#x20AC;FDWLRQ,W doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t mean he knows the industry. So therefore they I thought well I need to know more than him, in details. So when you sit in front of these guys you really can actually have a conversation beyond 48 |

You can see it over a period of time even more because you start to experience the lingo, the way theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re talking. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s very important to have that because otherwise itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s like a sharp razor that will kill you in two seconds. And they wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t like it because theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re jealous, since you were the football player and youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve done a career already and theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d love to be on my side. So they will make sure that you look a fool if itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s possible in WKDWERDUGURRP6RWKDWZDVWKHGLIĂ&#x20AC;FXOW SDUWWKHĂ&#x20AC;UVWWZR\HDUV Is that something youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re still ďŹ nding today, or is your reputation in ďŹ nance outstripping what you did as a footballer? Vega celebrates Spursâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; League Cup win in 1999

what he would expect. And I needed to do that because the credibility and perception was just there and they would not take you seriously to start with. So that was the toughest part. At the same time, when you play football or any sport the work ethics and discipline was very valuable in that time because if you heed the rules all the time people just donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t take you seriously. From the football industry you can really learn a lot because there you have it all the time. Every day, you have pressure. Every day, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s: â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re good; youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re bad; youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re good; next time youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re transferred!â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re pretty much on the edge all the time, so for me it was a natural instinct coming from that. I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to work on that. Other people might struggle and give up. But from that I learned a lot, from the football side I took the discipline, the persistence point of view, in terms of really learning about yourself then you can sit down and give details beyond whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s normal to the client. I was sitting with bankers, investment managers, etc, and you can feel that within the room already, or when asking questions. They think they know more than you because youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got the football, but then youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re responding back with three questions going into more depth than him, and he struggles to answer. And you know, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s like a football game: defending verbally this time, not with your feet. Very technical, very articulate. And you can see the verbal Ă&#x20AC;JKWLQWKDWURRP

Well I hope notâ&#x20AC;ŚI donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think so today. I feel actually more respect starting to come into place now. Of course there are a few always, if they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know what youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve done and all they see is the footballer, then you still have that. But Ă&#x20AC;YHWHQPLQXWHVRI FRQYHUVDWLRQDQG their opinion changes very quickly. But I GRQ¡WWKLQNVR,QWKHĂ&#x20AC;QDQFHZRUOGDQG in the business world I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m just the football player anymore. So you took a step completely out of the football world when you transitioned into business â&#x20AC;&#x201C; now would you like to step back into the football world, is there a passion to get back involved in that side of things?

Yeah, love to, love to. If you asked me about six years ago my mission was to not be in the football industry as a manager, or running a football club or whatever, then no â&#x20AC;&#x201C; not ready. Couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be ready. Didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have the experience. And my mission was: â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;I want to be in the business industry and try to prove myself to people.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; And I think Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve done that now. But in the same time I gathered a lot of experience in the business world in terms of dealing and running in different VHFWRUV²LI \RX¡UHLQWKHĂ&#x20AC;QDQFHZRUOG where itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a very sharp, very fast growing market and very competitive as well compared to any other business â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and you manage to create a credible business there, then I think I was ready to say maybe now Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m ready to go back to where I was coming from and put all my experience in the business world and the football industry together and

merge these two businesses and bring something to the plate in running it.

that you do that you got to the basics, the foundation. What do you have? What do \RXWU\WREXLOGXSĂ&#x20AC;UVWDQGKRZTXLFNO\ do you change it? Some things you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t change overnight. But itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not a product you can just take off a shelf: youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got human beings to deal with so you need to calculate that cost and time. 9DOXLQJWKDWLVDYHU\GLIĂ&#x20AC;FXOWWKLQJ Once you realise that you can start to work around that infrastructure and scenarios.

Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s your take on how clubs are run at a corporate level?

The reason I see an opportunity to get back into the football world is because I can see there is a big gap still in various ZD\VWKDWWKHFOXEVVKRXOGEHHIĂ&#x20AC;FLHQWO\ run. The Premier League is the best paid, best watched league in the world at the moment. So thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a big positive. From a negative point of view, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a lot of money being thrown in but the clubs are still not up to date in their infrastructure, so theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not maximising what is coming in. So that gap commercially is enormous. And the infrastructure from the academy and philosophy point of view is still XQLGHQWLĂ&#x20AC;HGIRUDORWRI 3UHPLHU/HDJXH FOXEV<RXORRNDWWKHĂ&#x20AC;UVWWHDPDQG\RX never talk about the infrastructure in the same way that you do with Ajax or Bayern Munich, where you talk about their unbelievable grassroots academy. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s various other clubs where you can pick lots of good stuff from. You QHHGWRKDYHDSKLORVRSK\IURPWKHĂ&#x20AC;UVW team down to the bottom so that when a player comes to the club they know what is going to be expected of him to be in WKHĂ&#x20AC;UVWWHDP6RWKHJUDVVURRWVV\VWHP in this country is way behind other countries. And they are trying to address that with St Georgeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Park, etc. In Germany ten or 15 years ago they were at that level, but they put their minds and heads together in the federation and put a system in place. In the German Bundesliga you see teams making money whereas in the Premier League some are nearly bankrupt, and the TV rights are far bigger in England. So itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not balanced. People say you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t make money in football. Well if you go into it with an emotional mentality, as a fan, then of course youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to lose money because your emotions get in the way. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a business and you have to run it like a business. And itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not something you can take off a shelf, change your product and put back the next day. Football is a process. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s about creating an infrastructure where, over a period of time, it will pay out. Financially it needs to be run HIĂ&#x20AC;FLHQWO\$QGZKHQWKDWSURFHVVWKHUH you start to make money. A lot of people are coming in not from football

Do you have an idea of what kind of club youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d be interested in?

Vega left football to begin a career in ďŹ nance

backgrounds and still running clubs badly. There are a few exceptions like Tottenham and Arsenal, but the majority in England are badly run. Do you think some of that is down to the size of the organisations now?

I think it has to be that because if you see the English culture in terms of football there was a load of businessmen who put money into a club, like a members club. That was ten or 15 years ago. Then the commercial arm came into it and a lot of money but theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re still running it that way. The clubs arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t ready to receive that kind of money because the infrastructure isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t there. The people ZLWKLQWKHĂ&#x20AC;QDQFHVLGHGRQ¡WXQGHUVWDQG the football industry. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a different attitude to running the business thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s needed. And I would like to do it and try to build a signature way of how to run a football club. Maybe I will run LWEDGO\EXW,KDYHWKHFRQĂ&#x20AC;GHQFHDQG knowledge and experience to think I can do it well. If you put certain foundations in place, WKHQWKHFOXEKDVDORQJWHUPYLHZRI  EHLQJKHDOWK\DQGHYHQWXDOO\SURĂ&#x20AC;WDEOH So if you were to go into club ownership you would already have a model in mind?

Most likely. A gross model. Each club LVLQDGLIIHUHQWĂ&#x20AC;QDQFLDOSRVLWLRQDQGLW all depends on the budget and what you have but its key with any business model

I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t really think about it in terms of what kind of club. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been doing my coaching badges. If you want to be a director of football or a manager you need that. I think in football you need the whole scenario, not just at the board level or running the commercial VLGHRUĂ&#x20AC;QDQFLDOVLGH,WKLQN\RXQHHG to know your business from the top down. From the guys running the academy, etc. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s something that will be easy for me as I know both sides of it. I can talk that language in the team and in the management. So for me itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s important to have those badges so that I am equipped to whatever opportunity comes in. So Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m equipped from football manager, to boardroom to academy coach. What about outside of football? What are your plans and ambitions?

Well From Pitch to Boardroom is one of the key start points. Because whatever I do within the football industry as well I will bring it in because I will pitch my own way working out that board game for my team. And I want to expand it and have some good quality clients in place and build that business and hopefully VHOOLWLQWKHQH[WWKUHHWRĂ&#x20AC;YH\HDUVWR ELJEXVLQHVVFRQVXOWDQWĂ&#x20AC;UPV7KDW¡V the goal. And at the same time Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m still running my asset management, on the side. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been 15 years now. The football side is one of the things Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d really like to go back into now. If an opportunity comes up where I can put my input and skills into it then Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m happy to do that; what kind of position that will be is a different question. But you have to start somewhere. SOCCEREXPRO | 49

PLAYERSâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; LOUNGE

MIA HAMM Over ten years after her retirement, Mia Hamm remains probably the best known footballer the US has yet produced. On the eve of the 2015 Fifa Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s World Cup, Eoin Connolly got in touch with the twotime world champion and Olympic gold medallist to ask about her life on the pitch and her moves into the business of the game.

50 |


Looking back now, what mark do you like to think you left on football, both in the US and internationally?


the lack of a powerful men’s football scene gave the women’s game room to develop.

I would like to think that our team showed that you can care about each other, work incredibly hard, be successful RQWKHÀHOGDQGOHDYHWKHJDPHLQD better place than we found it. We always realised that it was our UHVSRQVLELOLW\WRWRDGYDQFHWKHJDPH

Football has made incredible progress in your home country since you retired as a player and a lot of that has been in the men’s game. What do you think has been behind that rise? Do you think the existing popularity of women’s football had any effect?


What inspired you to get into the game in the first place?

You’re on the board now at AS Roma. How did your role there come about?

Do you think it’s different for young girls becoming interested in the sport?


,WKLQNLWZDVGLIIHUHQWDV,ZDVJURZLQJ XSEXWQRZWKHUHDUHVRPDQ\\RXQJJLUOV SOD\LQJVSRUWVLQRXUFRXQWU\WKDWLVKDV become the norm. I realise that this is not the case in many other countries but that is why the Women’s World Cup is so

What effect do you think the changing profile of men’s football in the US is doing to the development of the female side? The impression from overseas had often been that

What are your responsibilities there? What do you think you can contribute to the AS Roma project?




Hamm scored 159 goals for the United States, a record at the time of her retirement in 2004, and made 275 appearances in her international career 52 |

Mia Hamm

Hamm enjoys a Fifa Women’s World Cup win on home soil in 1999 and poses with Ronaldo after taking the Fifa World Player of the Year award in 2002


o a certain generation of fans, the name Mia Hamm will always be synonymous with female football excellence. Born in Alabama in 1972, Hamm spent a peripatetic youth living on bases with her US Air Force officer father and football got her attention early. She debuted for the national team at 15, and her professional career matured along with her sport. At 19, she was part of the US squad that played in the inaugural Fifa Women’s World Cup in China in 1991. She won gold at a home Olympics in Atlanta in 1996, in the first women’s football tournament played at a Games, and was already becoming a mainstream star when the game burst into the public consciousness at the 1999 Women’s World Cup. 90,185 spectators – still a record for a women’s sporting event – packed into the Rose Bowl on 10th July to watch the hosts beat China on penalties after a tense 0-0 draw, producing images which would spread far beyond the sports pages. Hamm went on to become the first winner of the Fifa Women’s World Player of the Year Award in 2001, retaining the title the following year. She retired soon after a second Olympic gold at the Athens Games in 2004, holding the record for the most

goals scored in international football for men or women with 159. That has since been surpassed by compatriot Abby Wambach. Hamm is also the third mostcapped player in international football with 275 appearances. Only Kristine Lilly and Christie Rampone have played more games at the highest level.

Hamm won two Olympic golds in her career

Yet Hamm’s landmark achievements on the pitch only tell part of the story of her impact as a public figure. She was the first female footballer to become a major commercial player, appearing memorably, for US audiences, in a 1997 advertising campaign for Gatorade which saw her take on basketball legend Michael Jordan in a range of sports. Nike backed her throughout the long peak of her career and has named a building in her honour at its Beaverton headquarters. The professional club game emerged only abortively during Hamm’s career, with the US-based Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA) closing after only three seasons. Hamm played for the Washington Freedom, who took on the Bay Area CyberRays in front of 34,148 fans at RFK Stadium in the league’s first game. The WUSA and its successor, Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS), lacked the responsible business models that might have created room for sustainable growth within women’s soccer. It is hoped that the latest attempt to build a professional club league in the US, the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), can succeed where they failed. Yet whatever the future holds for the women’s game, the contribution of a cohort of players cannot be doubted. And Mia Hamm was at their head.


In football after football

Nomar Garciaparra, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Magicâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Johnson and Hamm at the November 2014 launch of Los Angeles FC; Hamm in an executive suite at Italian club AS Roma

s US business interest in professional football spreads across the globe, Mia Hamm now has an involvement in teams on both sides of the Atlantic. In November of last year, Hamm accepted an invitation from former American hedge fund manager James Pallotta to sit on the board of AS Roma, the Serie A side owned by Pallottaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sports investment group Raptor Accelerator. In the same week, she and her husband Nomar Garciaparra â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a former baseball player â&#x20AC;&#x201C; were named


as minority owners of the new Los Angeles FC franchise in Major League Soccer. The two joined the likes of basketball great Earvin â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Magicâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Johnson and Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan in investing in the club, established to replace the now-defunct Chivas USA. In May, LAFC announced plans for a new US$250 million, 22,000-seater stadium in Exposition Park. They are expected to join the league in 2018. Away from the professional game, Hamm joined forces with former US teammates Kristine Lilly and Tisha

Hoch to create the Team First Soccer Academy in 2014. Backed by Nike, it runs training camps for girls and mixed groups at locations across the US. In 1999, two years after the death of her brother Garrett from complications related to aplastic anaemia, Hamm established the Mia Hamm Foundation. It is a non-proďŹ t organisation which raises funds and awareness for those in need of bone marrow and cord blood transplants. Other activities are also dedicated to creating opportunities for young women in sport.


Do you have any ambitions to get further involved on the business side of the game?



What do you make of the extent to which Americans are now investing in football? How much do you think the attitude towards it as a business has changed?


Do you think there is enough female representation at executive or administrative level in football?

Nike named a building after Hamm at its HQ


Tshering Dorji celebrates scoring the winning goal for Bhutan in their 1-0 win over Sri Lanka in the opening preliminary round of Asian qualification games for the 2018 Fifa World Cup. Bhutan had gone into the 12th March fixture 209th and last in the Fifa rankings.

THE UPDATE Eranga Jayawardena/AP/Press Association Images



THE SCORE: BLATTER STEPS DOWN World footballâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s governing body, Fifa, was rocked in May by the arrest of senior administrative and marketing ďŹ gures ahead of its congress in Zurich. Then came another shock as Fifa president Sepp Blatter announced his plans to leave his post within months, just a few days after overcoming controversy to convincingly win re-election for a ďŹ fth term.


epp Blatter is to step down from his role as the president of Fifa, bringing to an end the reign of one of the most powerful men in global sport. The 79-year-old Swiss, head of the global governing body for the past 17 years, announced his decision at a hastily arranged press conference at Fifa headquarters in Zurich on 2nd June, just four days after seeing off the challenge of Jordan Football Association president Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein to secure a Ă&#x20AC;IWKWHUPLQRIĂ&#x20AC;FH ´,KDYHEHHQUHĂ HFWLQJGHHSO\DERXW my presidency and about the 40 years in which my life has been inextricably bound to Fifa and the great sport of football,â&#x20AC;? said Blatter. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I cherish Fifa more than anything and I want to do only what is best for Fifa and for football. I felt compelled to stand for re-election, as I believed that this was the best thing for the organisation. That election is over but Fifaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s challenges are not.â&#x20AC;? On announcing his resignation, Blatter asked the Fifa executive committee to arrange an extraordinary congress to elect his successor â&#x20AC;&#x153;at the earliest opportunityâ&#x20AC;?, adding: â&#x20AC;&#x153;This will need to be done in line with Fifaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s statutes and we must allow enough time for the best candidates to present themselves and to campaign.â&#x20AC;? The next ordinary Fifa Congress is due to take place on 13th May 2016 in Mexico City. However, Fifa audit and compliance committee chair Domenico Scala has said the election could take place anytime from December of this year to March of next year. Prince Ali bin al-Hussein has stated his intention to stand again for the 56 |

Fifa presidency, as has former France international David Ginola, who entered the race this time round but dropped out after failing to garner enough support. Uefa president Michel Platini and Kuwaitâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah have both been mooted as possible contenders, although neither has yet to formally declare his candidature. Following Blatterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s resignation, Fifa is now expected to enact a series of reforms, including the introduction of WHUPOLPLWVIRUHOHFWHGRIĂ&#x20AC;FLDOVDQGWKH publication of salaries. Commenting in his resignation statement, Blatter acknowledged Fifa is in need of â&#x20AC;&#x153;a profound overhaulâ&#x20AC;?. â&#x20AC;&#x153;While I have a mandate from the membership of Fifa, I do not feel that I have a mandate from the entire world of football â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the fans, the players, the clubs, the people who live, breathe and love football as much as we all do at Fifa,â&#x20AC;? Blatter added. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Therefore, I have decided to lay down my mandate at an extraordinary elective congress. I will continue to exercise my functions as Fifa president until that election.â&#x20AC;? Despite his election victory, Blatter had come under increasing pressure following a dramatic sequence of events that began with the arrest of nine Fifa executives, among them current Concacaf president and Fifa vice-president Jeffrey Webb, on the eve of Fifaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 65th congress in Zurich. The arrests were made as part of an investigation led by the US Department of Justice and the FBI into the activities of international football bodies including Fifa and Concacaf, with senior administrators accused of participating in racketeering and bribery schemes worth

US$150 million over 24 years. Announcing the details of the investigation, Loretta Lynch, who became US Attorney General in April, said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;The indictment alleges corruption that is rampant, systemic, and deeprooted both abroad and here in the United States. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It spans at least two generations of VRFFHURIĂ&#x20AC;FLDOVZKRDVDOOHJHGKDYH abused their positions of trust to acquire millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks. â&#x20AC;&#x153;And it has profoundly harmed a multitude of victims, from the youth leagues and developing countries WKDWVKRXOGEHQHĂ&#x20AC;WIURPWKHUHYHQXH generated by the commercial rights these organizations hold, to the fans at home and throughout the world whose support for the game makes those rights valuable.â&#x20AC;? $VHDUO\UHSRUWVRI WKHDUUHVWVĂ&#x20AC;OWHUHG through the global newswires and across social media, Swiss police also announced a separate investigation into the process by which Russia and Qatar were awarded the 2018 and 2022 Fifa World Cups. Uefa president Michel Platini, who had led calls for Blatter to resign when the arrests were made and supported his presidential rival Prince Ali in the election, welcomed Blatterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s decision to VWHSGRZQ´,WZDVDGLIĂ&#x20AC;FXOWGHFLVLRQD brave decision, and the right decision,â&#x20AC;? said the Frenchman. Prominent Fifa sponsors also welcomed the news. In a statement Adidas, one of the organisationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s top-tier partners, said: â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;We welcome Fifaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s commitment to change. As stated before, the Adidas Group is fully committed to creating a culture that promotes the highest standards of ethics and compliance.


Todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s news marks a step in the right direction on Fifaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s path to establish and follow transparent compliance standards in everything they do.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Another party to welcome Blatterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s resignation was FIFPro, the worldwide representative organisation for all professional football players. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;This creates an overdue and unique opportunity to fundamentally reform the governance of football,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; the body said in a statement. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;The worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s professional footballers, through FIFPro, have a pivotal role to play in the structural overhaul of football. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;We are deeply committed to achieving this critical outcome in conjunction with all of the gameâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s key stakeholders. ),)3URLQVLVWVWKDWRQO\Ă DZOHVV governance will be acceptable to protect the wellbeing of the players and the integrity of the game.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Blatterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s resignation came just hours after Fifa general secretary Jerome Valcke was linked in reports to a US$10 million bribe made to secure votes for the 2010 World Cup, held in South Africa. Fifa has rejected the accusation that Valcke had knowledge of or had allowed the transfer of an illicit payment in 2008 from then South African Football Association 6$)$ SUHVLGHQW0ROHĂ&#x20AC;2OLSKDQWWR Trinidad and Tobagoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Fifa vice president Jack Warner through a Fifa bank account. Blatter himself is now reported to be under investigation for corruption in the 86ZLWK86RIĂ&#x20AC;FLDOVTXRWHGLQWKH1HZ York Times saying they hoped to gain

Jack Warner, Eugenio Figueredo and Jeffrey Webb were among those administrators arrested

the co-operation of some of the Fifa RIĂ&#x20AC;FLDOVXQGHULQGLFWPHQWWRWU\WREXLOG a case against the outgoing president. In a separate development, Interpol has also issued a wanted persons alert for six of the )LIDRIĂ&#x20AC;FLDOVDQGPDUNHWLQJH[HFXWLYHV named in the initial US indictment. The FBI investigation, meanwhile, is now said to have expanded to include the 2018 and 2022 bid process, while other reports have indicated misgivings about the award of 1998, 2006 and WRXUQDPHQWV6FDODFRQĂ&#x20AC;UPHG in an interview with Swiss newspaper Sonntagszeitung on 7th June that the award of the next two tournaments could be rescinded in the light of â&#x20AC;&#x153;evidence that the awards to Qatar and Russia came only because of bought votesâ&#x20AC;?. But, he added: â&#x20AC;&#x153;This evidence has not yet been brought forth.â&#x20AC;? In another separate development in the days after Blatterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s announcement John Delaney, the president of the

Fifa audit and compliance committee chair Domenico Scala will set the agenda for reform efforts 58 |

Football Association of Ireland (FAI), revealed that Fifa had paid the FAI a â&#x201A;Ź5 million settlement to prevent legal action over the Republic of Irelandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s defeat in a qualifying play-off for the 2010 World Cup. The Irish were eliminated following a 2-1 defeat to France in Paris with the second goal, scored by William Gallas, coming after a clear handball by French striker Thierry Henry. In the period before he makes way for a successor, Blatter expects to lead the process of reforming Fifa, making WKDWKLVĂ&#x20AC;QDOOHJDF\UDWKHUWKDQWKHFKDRV of recent weeks. In a statement given after a meeting with Scala in Zurich on 4th June, he said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;I am pleased to take advice and guidance from Mr Scala. I want a comprehensive programme of reform and I am very aware that only the Fifa Congress can pass these reforms. Furthermore, the executive committee has a particular duty to share the responsibility of driving this process.â&#x20AC;? An image shared on social media also showed Blatter, pen in hand, revealing that he was â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;working hard on reformsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. He is also still planning to make a trip to the Fifa Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s World Cup in Canada, though Valcke has cancelled a planned visit. Though he has made his decision to step down, support for Blatter remains strong throughout the world of football. In Mayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s election, 133 of Fifaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 209 member associations voted to keep him in power, with the confederations of Asia (AFC) and Africa (CAF) publicly backing him. %ODWWHUZDVĂ&#x20AC;UVWHOHFWHGWRWKH)LID presidency in 1998, when he succeeded JoĂŁo Havelange. Before then, he served as the bodyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s general secretary, a role he took on in 1981 having joined as technical director in 1975.



1 USA Los Angeles FC owners conďŹ rm new stadium plans The owners of incoming Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise Los Angeles Football Club have announced plans for a new US$250 million stadium. The new team are set to play at a VHDWHUVRFFHUVSHFLĂ&#x20AC;FYHQXH at Exposition Park, on a 15-acre site which will include a conference centre, restaurants and a soccer museum. The Sports Arena, which currently sits on the site, will be demolished to make way for the new stadium complex. The construction process will delay LAFCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s entry into MLS by a year to 2018. The new venue would be the most expensive ever built primarily for soccer LQWKH86DQGWKHĂ&#x20AC;UVWQHZRSHQDLU venue in Los Angeles since Dodger Stadium opened in 1962. 60 |

2 FRANCE Paris Saint-Germain paying the highest wages in sport Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain are paying a higher average weekly wage than any other sports team in the world, the annual ESPN/SportingIntelligence Global Salary Survey has revealed. The Qatari-owned average weekly wage of UKÂŁ101,898 puts them top of a football-dominated list. Spanish giants Real Madrid are second on the list with UKÂŁ96,933, while the Premier Leagueâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Manchester City are third, paying on average UKÂŁ96,445 to their players each week. In fourth are another Spanish side, FC Barcelona, who pay an average of UKÂŁ90,675 per week, while Major League Baseballâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (MLB) LA Dodgers are the highest-ranked team outside football, FRPLQJĂ&#x20AC;IWKZLWKDQDYHUDJHZHHNO\ZDJH of UKÂŁ89,999.

3 AUSTRIA Austria Wien unveil new stadium project The Franz Horr Stadium in Vienna, home to Austria Wien, is set to be expanded in a â&#x201A;Ź48-million redevelopment plan unveiled by the club. Known as the Generali Arena as part of the clubâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sponsorship deal with WKHLQVXUDQFHĂ&#x20AC;UPWKHVWDGLXPZLOOEH H[SDQGHGWRVHDWVDVLJQLĂ&#x20AC;FDQW increase on its current 14,000 capacity. Several VIP lounges will also be added, taking the total to 38, in a bid to further increase matchday revenue. The club expect the work to begin at the end of the 2015/16 season, and be completed in time for the 2018/19 season. In the meantime they will play at Austriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s national ground, the Ernst Happel Stadium. $XVWULD:LHQĂ&#x20AC;QLVKHGVHYHQWKLQWKH ten-team Austrian Bundesliga in the 2014/15 season.

6 2

3 4

4 GREECE Greek ďŹ xing crisis lurches on 7KHPDWFKĂ&#x20AC;[LQJFULVLVLQ*UHHNIRRWEDOO escalated as May turned to June with a further six players facing charges, bringing the total number charged â&#x20AC;&#x201C; including players, managers and referees â&#x20AC;&#x201C; to 41. The additional six players were all involved for Veroia FC in a top-tier Greek league game in January 2013 in which one player admitted he was told by his manager to lose 3-0. Earlier in May Christoforos Zografosm, vice president of the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Central Refereeing Committee, resigned from his post following allegations, which he denied, WKDWKHZDVLQYROYHGLQPDWFKĂ&#x20AC;[LQJ Shipping magnate Vangelis Marinakis (below), owner of Olympiakos, has faced SUHOLPLQDU\TXHVWLRQLQJRYHUĂ&#x20AC;YHFULPLQDO charges â&#x20AC;&#x201C; including the establishment of a FULPLQDOJDQJPDWFKĂ&#x20AC;[LQJIUDXGEULEHU\ and perjury â&#x20AC;&#x201C; all of which he denies.

5 TURKEY SĂźper Lig clubs miss Uefa licensing criteria The Turkish Football Federation (TFF) has announced that six of the 18 top-tier SĂźper Lig clubs have failed to meet the requirements to participate in Uefa-organised competitions in the 2015/16 season. 0HUVLQĂšGPDQ\XUGX(VNLĂťHKLUVSRU *D]LDQWHSVSRU.DVĂ&#x2013;PSDĂťD%DOĂ&#x2013;NHVLUVSRU DQG6XDW$OWĂ&#x2013;QĂšQĂťDDW.D\VHUL(UFL\HVVSRU DOOIDLOHGWRSDVVOHJDOĂ&#x20AC;QDQFLDODQG managerial checks in May, with each given 30 days to meet the criteria. Failing to meet the criteria would prohibit the clubâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s from competing in European competition, although only 0HUVLQĂšGPDQ\XUGXZKRĂ&#x20AC;QLVKHG seventh in the SĂźper Lig this season, stood any chance of qualifying. 7))SUHVLGHQW<Ă&#x2013;OGĂ&#x2013;UĂ&#x2013;P'HPLU|UHQ warned that clubs who fail to comply with Uefa standards could also face losing their domestic licences.


6 RUSSIA Russian Football Union president voted out As Russia picks up its preparations ahead of its hosting of the 2018 Fifa World Cup, members of its national football federation, the Russian Football Union (RFU), have voted out president Nikolai Tolstykh (below). Following the 235-196 vote at the RFU congress in late May to remove Tolstykh, his deputy, 88-year-old former Soviet national team player Nikita Simonyan, has taken over as acting president until new elections are held. Tolstykhâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s three-year presidency was characterised by a crackdown on racism in Russian football, but he was criticised for his handling of the federationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Ă&#x20AC;QDQFHVKDYLQJDSSRLQWHG)DELR Capello on a reported â&#x201A;Ź7 million a year national coach contract and allowing the organisation to rack up debts of some US$28 million.


7 HONDURAS Honduras to stage second Concacaf event of 2015 The Concacaf U20 Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Championship will be played in Honduras in December. The tournament, which will decide three of WKHTXDOLĂ&#x20AC;HUVIRUWKH)LID8:RPHQ¡V World Cup in Papua New Guinea in 2016, will be the second regional competition played in the country this year after the Concacaf U17 Boysâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Championship in March. Alfredo Hawit, the Honduran National Football Federation general secretary, said the tournament would â&#x20AC;&#x153;strengthen the friendship between our nations, and foment the specialty of womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s football throughout the worldâ&#x20AC;?. Hawit has since become acting president of Concacaf following the arrest of Jeffrey Webb ahead of the Fifa Congress. Eight teams, including the host nation, will participate in the tournament at San Pedro Sula from 3rd to 13th December.

8 LIBERIA Liberia cleared for return of international football The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has declared Liberia free to host international football matches again, following the World Health Organisationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (WHO) statement that the West African country is now â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Ebola freeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. Liberia had been prevented by CAF from playing international games on home soil since last July, when the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Ebola crisis was at its height. Their last home game was a 1-0 victory over Lesotho in May 2014, part of the QDWLRQDOWHDP¡VIDLOHGTXDOLĂ&#x20AC;FDWLRQELGIRU the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations. The moratorium on international Ă&#x20AC;[WXUHVLQ6LHUUD/HRQHDQG*XLQHD however, remains in place, with Ebola still affecting those countries.

9 EGYPT Court classes â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;ultrasâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; fan groups as â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;terroristsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; An Egyptian court has reportedly ruled that organised supporter groups known as â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;ultrasâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; should be classed as â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;terroristsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; and banned them from attending matches. The ruling was made at the behest of Mourtada Mansour, chairman of Egyptian Premier League club Zamalek, and comes after 20 Zamalek supporters died in March after being tear-gassed by security forces before a match. Cairoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Court of Urgent Matters accused the ultra fan groups of participating in riots and vandalism, while Mansour has branded the groups as â&#x20AC;&#x153;a criminal phenomenon that should be eradicatedâ&#x20AC;?. The courtâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ruling has been rejected by the Zamalekâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own Ultras White Knights fan group, and it is still open to appeal.

7 8

62 |


PALESTINE PFA drops demand for Fifa to ban Israel The Palestinian Football Association (PFA) has dropped its request to have Israel suspended by Fifa. The motion had been included on the agenda at Fifaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s congress in Zurich at the end of May, but the demand was dropped after intervention from outgoing Fifa president Sepp Blatter. The Swiss visited the region earlier in May, and is believed to covet a Nobel Peace Prize for his work bringing Palestine and Israel together through the football. The PFA has accused Israel of hampering its activities and restricting the movement of players between the Gaza Strip and the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Instead of a suspension, it wants a committee formed to ensure free movement of players and goods. PFA president Jibril Rajoub (below) said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;I decided to drop the suspension but it does not mean that I give up the resistance.â&#x20AC;?


11 INDONESIA Fifa suspends PSSI over government interference The Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI) has been suspended by world governing body Fifa due to government interference in football matters. A Fifa statement described state intervention, which resulted in the cancellation of the domestic league, as â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;the effective â&#x20AC;&#x153;take overâ&#x20AC;? of the activities of PSSI by the Indonesian authoritiesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. The move means the Indonesian national team will be unable to participate in the upcoming rounds of TXDOLĂ&#x20AC;HUVIRUWKH)LID:RUOG&XS and the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, although they were permitted to complete the football tournament at the Southeast Asian Games. The Indonesian sports ministry said the ban â&#x20AC;&#x153;need not be mourned excessivelyâ&#x20AC;? and pledged to pursue reform of the national game.

12 AUSTRALIA Wanderers season ends in crowd disturbance Asian champions Western Sydney :DQGHUHUV¡Ă&#x20AC;QDO$/HDJXHJDPHRI D disappointing season ended with crowd disturbances at the Pirtek Stadium. Police used capsicum spray â&#x20AC;&#x201C; or â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;pepper sprayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; â&#x20AC;&#x201C; as they tried to reach a supporter who had OLWDĂ DUHGXULQJWKHĂ&#x20AC;UVWKDOI RI WKHWHDP¡V 2-1 defeat to Perth Glory on 25th April. It is claimed that a group of around 150 supporters then gathered outside one end of the stadium a half-time to throw coins DQGFLJDUHWWHVDWRIĂ&#x20AC;FHUVDWZKLFKSRLQW the spray was used again and a back-up riot squad arrived to disperse the crowd. Wanderers fans have countered by VXJJHVWLQJRIĂ&#x20AC;FHUVKDGDFWHGLQDQRYHUO\ aggressive manner, with the Red And Black Bloc supportersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; group saying they had left the ground at half-time in protest at the police action. Six people were treated for exposure to the spray, while WZRPDOHRIĂ&#x20AC;FHUVVXIIHUHGPLQRULQMXULHV





SIGNINGS A selection of the major deals agreed by the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leading clubs, players and competitions in the past three months. For daily updates visit or follow @SportsPro on Twitter.

AC Milan to launch ofďŹ cial Hello Kitty range AC Milan have launched a new partnership with Sanrio, the company behind the Hello Kitty phenomenon. Club and company have worked together to produce a new collection of clothing and sportswear, which was launched on 20th April at AC Milanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s San Siro stadium. The collection is aimed at the clubâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s female fans and will initially be rolled out across Asia and in particular Japan, the home of Hello Kitty. ´,DPYHU\VDWLVĂ&#x20AC;HGZLWKWKLV collaboration,â&#x20AC;? said Paolo Casarini, Sanrioâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s licensing director. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The idea to associate a female soul to a top-level male sport came a while ago with AC Milan. Today, and with lots of female fans in the sport, the new collection has a natural target. A sports clothing line and accessories to all female fans will be launched from next September.â&#x20AC;? 64 |

Achmad Ibrahim/AP/Press Association Images

Hankook renews Uefa Europa League sponsorship South Korean tyre manufacturer Hankook has signed a new three-year deal with Uefa to sponsor the Europa League, Europeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s secondary continental club competition. According to, the deal is worth â&#x201A;Ź6 million (US$6.5 million) per season until the 2017/18 season, a 50 per cent increase over the amount Hankook paid in the previous period. Hankook will remain in the second tier of Europa League sponsors, behind the competitionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s primary partner FedEx, meaning their branding will be displayed on the pitch-side LED displays and on the dugout areas. 7KHĂ&#x20AC;QDORI WKH(XURSH/HDJXH competition took place on 27th May, ending in a 3-2 victory for Spainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Sevilla over Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk of Ukraine. The title is Sevillaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fourth in just nine years.

Jaap Kalma, Milanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s commercial director, added: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Milan has always associated itself with Italian and international companies that represent excellence in their sectors. For this reason we decided to join forces with a brand like Hello Kitty, a prestigious and important character, and what is more highly adored by young people all over the world. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The collaboration with the Sanrio team has been challenging and has brought

excellent results. In addition, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re thinking about organising other initiatives with Hello Kitty and our club mascot Milanello and we will see them together soon at San Siro with our fans. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re certain that this character will be liked by the Milan fans and from this we will see several other interesting initiatives.â&#x20AC;? AC Milan, champions of Italy on 18 RFFDVLRQVĂ&#x20AC;QLVKHGWHQWKLQ6HULH$ Italyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s top division, in 2014/15.

Andrew Matthews/PA Archive/Press Association Images


The Football League unveils Fiat as new car partner The Football League has announced a new two-year sponsorship deal with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles UK. $VWKHRIĂ&#x20AC;FLDOFDUSDUWQHURI WKH league, which runs the second, third and fourth divisions of English club football, Fiat had a presence at this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Sky Bet Play-off Finals at Wembley through perimeter board, centre circle and giant screen branding. The carmaker will also run a free competition offering fans the chance to ZLQWLFNHWVWRHDFKRI WKHĂ&#x20AC;QDOVDQGD new Fiat 500X. From next season, Fiat will also offer all 72 Football League clubs the chance

Ligue 1 selects GoalControl as GLT provider Franceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Ligue 1 has selected GoalControl GmbH as its goal-line technology (GLT) provider. 7KHFRXQWU\¡VWRSĂ LJKWZLOOLQWURGXFH the German system, which was used at last yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Fifa World Cup, at the start of the 2015/16 season. /LJXHEHFRPHVWKHĂ&#x20AC;UVWWRS European league to opt for GoalControl, with Englandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Premier League, Germanyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bundesliga and Italyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Serie A all having awarded contracts to Britishbased Hawk-Eye. GoalControlâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s appointment was announced following a meeting of the French Professional Leagueâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (LFP) board of directors last week, at which the decision was also taken to revamp the

WRSDUWLFLSDWHLQDQDIĂ&#x20AC;QLW\VFKHPH which will include online campaigns and local dealer promotions. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is a fantastic opportunity for both Fiat Chrysler Automobiles UK and The Football League,â&#x20AC;? said Karl Howkins, the deputy managing director at FCA UK. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are enjoying considerable success with other football and sports cooperation and I am sure this latest partnership with The Football League will bring us similar results.â&#x20AC;? Fiat is already a partner of Premier League club Aston Villa and Championship side Fulham. Financial terms of its Football League deal have not been disclosed.

promotion and relegation system in elite French football. The proposal, which remains subject to approval by the LFPâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Federal Assembly, will mean that from next season, two rather than three teams will be relegated from Ligue 1, with the top two sides from Ligue 2 promoted.

Alex Hayes French soccer club FC Lorient have named Alex Hayes as their new executive vice president. The 41-year-old Englishman, born in Paris, joins the Ligue 1 side after working as an adviser to a number of professional footballers, including former Arsenal players Robert Pirès and JĂŠrĂŠmie Aliadière. Before that, Hayes enjoyed a long career in sports journalism. Carl Schloessman Incoming Major League Soccer (MLS) expansion team Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) have hired Carl Schloessman DVFKLHI RSHUDWLQJRIĂ&#x20AC;FHU Schloessman, who will be responsible for all operations and revenue-generating initiatives, is a key hire ahead of the clubâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s slated MLS debut in 2017 or 2018. He joins from Live Nation Entertainment. Shaun Mielekamp Shaun Mielekamp has been appointed as chief executive of the Central Coast Mariners. Mielekamp, a former Western Sydney Wanderersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; general manager of commercial and consumer business, replaces the departing Bruce Stadler. Martin Glenn The Football Association (FA) has appointed Martin Glenn as its new chief executive, after a search led by Odgers Berndston. The 54-year-old joined English soccerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s governing body on 18th May from United Biscuits. He has extensive experience in the snack foods and meals sector. While working at Walkers in the 1990s, he signed former England captain Gary Lineker to a personal endorsement deal which still runs today. Within football, Glenn served as a non-executive director of Premier League side Leicester City from 2002 to 2006 DQGLVDOVRDQ)$TXDOLĂ&#x20AC;HGFRDFK SOCCEREXPRO | 65

Sony renews Uefa Champions League support Sony has extended its sponsorship of the Uefa Champions League, six months after ending its long-running association with Fifa. Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) and Sony Mobile Communications will serve as global partners of Europeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s elite club competition for the next three seasons. The Japanese electronics giant will use the sponsorship to promote its PlayStation games console, currently WKHRIĂ&#x20AC;FLDOJDPLQJVSRQVRURI WKH Champions League, and Sony Mobileâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Xperia brand. Both brands will be tied to the competition through a mix of marketing, media and digital rights. Financial terms of the deal have not been released, but current Champions League sponsor packages are reported to be worth as much as US$75 million a season. The new agreement also includes sponsorship of the Uefa Super Cup matches in 2015, 2016 and 2017, the Uefa Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Champions League Final and the Uefa Youth League Finals. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our relationship with Uefa and the Uefa Champions League is incredibly

Adidas signs deal with Jordan FA The Jordan Football Association (JFA) has signed a three-year supply deal with Adidas. Under the terms of the agreement, Adidas will supply the Jordanian national WHDPSOD\HUVZLWKRIĂ&#x20AC;FLDOPDWFKNLWDQG training gear. The partnership between the JFA and Adidas was signed during the Soccerex 66 |

important to us and we see it as a very QDWXUDOĂ&#x20AC;WIRURXUEUDQGDQGDXGLHQFHÂľ said Jim Ryan, the president and chief executive of Sony Mobile. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are excited to continue this relationship for another three years and look forward to bringing something new, fun and exciting to our gamers that will be a uniquely PlayStation approach to the Uefa Champions League.â&#x20AC;? The new deal with Uefa comes after Sony opted not to renew its support of

Fifa when its contract expired at the end of December, amid an investigation into reports of corruption within the global governing body. Sony becomes the third Champions League sponsor locked in until 2018, alongside Nissan and Heineken. Adidas LVDOVRVLJQHGXSDVDQRIĂ&#x20AC;FLDOVXSSOLHU In March, Uefa announced a renewal of its partnership with marketing agency Team Marketing until 2021. The contract has an option for extension to 2024.

Asian Forum 2015, where Jordanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, the president of the JFA and a Fifa vice president, was in attendance as a key speaker. Zeina Abou Laban, the general manager of Adidas Group Levant, said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Adidas is proud to announce today its sponsorship of the Jordanian national soccer team. It has a track record of

successes in the football sector, namely in the last World Cup which was held in Brazil last year, during which Germany and Argentina, two of the most important teams sponsored by Adidas, UHDFKHGWKHĂ&#x20AC;QDO â&#x20AC;&#x153;Today Adidas continues on its path with the addition of the Jordanian team to the list of global clubs in the hope that we will achieve together the greatest resultsâ&#x20AC;?. Louay Omeish, a member of the executive board of the JFA, said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;The signing of this agreement was based on the federationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s belief in the quality and high standards of the sports equipment provided by Adidas, which is one of the ODUJHVWLQWHUQDWLRQDOFRPSDQLHVLQWKLVĂ&#x20AC;HOG â&#x20AC;&#x153;Although we received many offers, we picked the Adidas jerseys and shorts DVWKHRIĂ&#x20AC;FLDOFORWKLQJIRUWKH-RUGDQLDQ team and all men and womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s national teams in all international, continental, and Arab competitions.â&#x20AC;? 7KHRIĂ&#x20AC;FLDOPDWFKMHUVH\VDQGVKRUWV will be available at all Adidas concept stores from early June 2015.

APPOINTMENTS Takao Toshishige City Football Group (CFG) has announced the launch of City Football Japan (CFJ) and installed Takao Toshishige as managing director of the new division. Based in Tokyo, the wholly owned subsidiary of CFG will oversee the group’s commercial operations in Japan and work closely with Yokohama F Marinos, the Nissan majorityowned J-League team in which CFG acquired a minority stake last year. Dariusz Marzec Dariusz Marzec has been appointed the new president of Ekstraklasa SA, the supervisory board which oversees the Ekstraklasa – the top professional soccer division in Poland. Marzec will step in to replace the departing Boglusaw Biszof on 1st July.

Bayern renew Adidas deal to 2030 German champions Bayern Munich have extended their kit supply deal with Adidas until 2030. The Bundesliga club and the German sportswear giant have agreed a ten-year extension to their existing deal, which runs until 2020. Adidas will continue to supply Bayern with matchday and training wear, and create replica merchandise for supporters. According to reports, Adidas will commit €900 million (US$990 million) across its new term. The Herzogenrauchbased company holds an 8.33 per cent stake in the club, while outgoing Adidas

chief executive Herbert Hainer is a Bayern vice chairman. Oliver Brüggen, senior director of public relations at Adidas, said: “With this extension of the contract until 2030 Adidas will continue its long partnership with FC Bayern München. “We will focus even more closely in future on partnerships with selected top clubs and associations in international football and with young emerging players.” Bayern Munich clinched a third successive German title this season but ZHUHHOLPLQDWHGLQWKHVHPLÀQDOVRI  the Uefa Champions League and the DFB Pokal.

Jörn Spuida Jörn Spuida has been appointed as the new managing director of Bundesliga side Hamburger SV (HSV). The 38-year-old was selected from a tranche of more than 500 applications for the role. Spuida joined the club in 2005 and has been running HSV’s amateur sport division since 2007. He took up his new role on 1st June, the day Hamburg played the second leg of their relegation play-off against Karlsruhe. Jochen Rotthaus Former ice hockey executive Jochen Rotthaus has been installed as the new director of marketing and communications at Bundesliga club Bayer 04 Leverkusen. Rotthaus was previously the chief executive of German ice hockey team Düsseldorfer EG. His appointment comes as part of a major restructuring at Bayer 04 that has seen the club merge its marketing and communications divisions. SOCCEREXPRO | 67

Qatar National Bank to title sponsor Indonesian league The Indonesia Super League (ISL), the top-tier domestic competition in Indonesia, has signed Qatar National Bank (QNB) as a title sponsor. The three-year deal, which will run until the end of the 2017 season, will see

Pitch perfect for Fifa’s new weekly magazine show Pitch International has been appointed to produce and distribute a new weekly magazine show on behalf of Fifa, world football’s governing body. Fifa Football launched at the start of May, covering the game in all its forms, including the men’s, women’s and youth games, as well as human interest stories and football development projects from around the world. The half-hour show will be distributed to broadcasters across the globe and will replace Fifa’s long-running Fifa Futbol 68 |

the league renamed as the QNB League. 1RÀQDQFLDOGHWDLOVIRUWKHGHDOKDYH been released. The QNB League was founded in 2008 and currently consists of 18 teams from across the country. Qatar National Bank has been active in the Indonesian market since 2011.

Mundial programme, which had been produced by IMG. “Starting a new show is always exciting and Fifa Football is no different,” said Jonathan Rogers, the managing director of Pitch International. “We have a newly formed production team, fresh editorial approach, new graphics, and a host of stars, footage and features to connect with fans. We hope Fifa Football will become a trusted voice for delivering DZHHNO\À[RI WKHEHVWPRPHQWVDQG interesting stories from around the world of football.”

Nike replaces Puma as Chile’s kit supplier Nike has won the right to supply kit and equipment to the Chilean national team. The American sportswear giant replaces Puma as the kit partner of the ANFP, Chile’s football association. According to South American press reports, the brand has committed to paying US$7 million a year to supply the team for the eight years until the Qatar 2022 Fifa World Cup – a fee far exceeding the US$2.3 million annual sum Puma was reported to be paying. Puma has supplied the ANFP since 2010 and its current deal will expire on 31st July. Nike, which reportedly outbid Penalty, Adidas and Puma to land the contract, will begin its tenure on 1st August after this year’s Copa America, which Chile is hosting in June. Chile, currently ranked 16th in Fifa’s world rankings, becomes Nike’s second national team partner in South America, after Brazil. As well as supplying kit to the team, Nike will also provide the ball of Chile’s top domestic league, the Primera División, and the kits worn by referees in the country.

James Rodriguez to promote Huawei in Colombia Real Madrid forward James Rodriguez has been named as a brand ambassador for Huawei. The Colombian will promote the Chinese telecoms companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s premium line of mobiles in his native country for the next two years. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Rodriguez will help Huawei to attract more consumers and we look to the future with optimism and determination,â&#x20AC;? said Maria Fernanda Chinchilla, the director of terminals marketing for Huaweiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Colombian arm. Huawei recorded sales of US$678 million in Colombia last year, an increase of 40 per cent year on year. The company currently has a smartphone market share of 19 per cent in the country, having sold a total of 1.9 million handsets in 2014.


Rodriguez, 23, won the Golden Boot at last yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Fifa World Cup in Brazil after scoring six goals for Colombia. Following the tournament, he moved to Real Madrid from AS Monaco for an undisclosed fee. Huaweiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s signing of Rodriguez further strengthens the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ties in football. In recent months, Huawei has signed partnerships with a host of top clubs around the world, especially in Europe, as it bids to increase awareness of its brand outside China.

Paulo Cesar Verardi Top-tier Brazilian side Santos FC have hired Paulo Cesar Verardi as head of sales and marketing. Verardi has held previous commercial roles at Brazilian soccer sides GrĂŞmio, AtlĂŠtico Paranaense and Coritiba, as well as with the Dass Group, the Brazilian licensor of sportswear brand Umbro. David Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Connor After a six-year stint at Fifa, David Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Connor has begun a new role with GMR Marketing. Based at the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s EMEA headquarters in London, Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Connor will head up GMRâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s international football business. Aileen Trew Football League club Notts County have appointed board member Aileen Trew as their new chief executive. Trew has been a director of the League Two club for the past four years and replaces Jim Rodwell, who has left to join Scunthorpe United. Aileen Trew is the wife of club chairman Ray Trew, who bought Notts County in 2010. The worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s oldest surviving professional club, Notts County were relegated to English footballâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fourth tier in 2014/15.

Emirates Airline adds BenďŹ ca to sponsorship portfolio Emirates Airline has added recently FURZQHG3RUWXJXHVHFKDPSLRQV%HQĂ&#x20AC;FD to its sponsorship portfolio. 7KHQHZGHDOFRQĂ&#x20AC;UPHGRQWK0D\ DIWHU%HQĂ&#x20AC;FDFODLPHGWKHLUWK3ULPHLUD Liga title the previous weekend, will run for three years. As part of the agreement, Fly Emirates branding will feature on the front of WKH%HQĂ&#x20AC;FDVKLUWXQWLOWKHHQGRI WKH 2017/18 season. A special version of the shirt will go on sale from 1st July. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Expanding our connection with %HQĂ&#x20AC;FDWRGD\KLJKOLJKWVRXUFRPPLWPHQW to sports sponsorship around the world, a marketing strategy adopted at an early stage of the airlineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 30 years,â&#x20AC;? said

Emirates Airline president Sir Tim Clark. â&#x20AC;&#x153;As one of the top football clubs in Europe and with a strong international DSSHDO%HQĂ&#x20AC;FDLVZHOOSODFHGWRMRLQWKH Emirates sponsorship portfolio.â&#x20AC;? Emirates already have major sponsorship deals in place with a host of top European sides, including Arsenal, AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid. It is also a prominent supporter of F1, rugby, tennis and golf. 7KH%HQĂ&#x20AC;FDSDUWQHUVKLSFRPHVDV the airline prepares to begin operating a VHFRQGGDLO\Ă LJKWIURP'XEDLWR/LVERQ in early 2016. Emirates replaces mobile phone FRPSDQ\0HRDV%HQĂ&#x20AC;FD¡VPDLQ sponsor. Financial terms of the deal were not released.

Sherman Tan International sports media company MP & Silva has appointed Sherman Tan as head of strategic partnership and business development, Asia. Tan began the newly created role in March, with responsibility for overseeing the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sponsorship projects across Asia. Based DW03 6LOYD¡V$VLD3DFLĂ&#x20AC;F RIĂ&#x20AC;FHLQ6LQJDSRUH7DQZLOO oversee the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s strategic partnership with the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) in areas including commercial opportunities and event management. SOCCEREXPRO | 69


Francois Mori/AP/Press Association Images


Sepp Blatter and his former opponent for the Fifa presidency, Lennart Johansson, hold the World Cup trophy together on 8th June, 1998.

Sepp Blatterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s decision to step down from the Fifa presidency means the end is approaching to one of the PRVWVLJQLĂ&#x20AC;FDQWHUDVLQWKHKLVWRU\ of organised international football. Blatter has been at Fifa since 1975 and before assuming the top role was one RI LWVPRVWLQĂ XHQWLDOH[HFXWLYHVDQGD trusted aide of former president JoĂŁo +DYHODQJHLQDSHULRGRI XQSUHFHGHQWHG LQWHUQDWLRQDOFRPPHUFLDOH[SDQVLRQ %ODWWHUDQQRXQFHGKLVVKRFN resignation just a few days after he was UHHOHFWHGIRUDĂ&#x20AC;IWKWHUPDV)LIDSUHVLGHQW at the world bodyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s congress on 29th 0D\VHHLQJRII WKHFKDOOHQJHRI -RUGDQ Football Association president Prince Ali %LQ$O+XVVHLQ+LVYLFWRU\FDPHGHVSLWH DĂ&#x20AC;UHVWRUPRI FRQWURYHUV\DQGWKHDUUHVW RI VHYHUDOOHDGLQJDGPLQLVWUDWRUVDQG PDUNHWLQJH[HFXWLYHVLQWKHGD\VEHIRUH WKHEDOORWEXWLWKDGQHYHUEHHQLQDQ\ serious doubt. That was not the case in WKH\HDURI KLVĂ&#x20AC;UVWHOHFWLRQ,Q %ODWWHUVWRRGDJDLQVW/HQQDUW-RKDQQVRQ then president of European confederation 8HIDLQDUDFHWKDWIHZREVHUYHUVIHOW DEOHWRFDOOFRQFOXVLYHO\,QWKHHYHQW 70 |

Blatter presented himself as the global FDQGLGDWHVWDQGLQJLQWKHLQWHUHVWVRI  PHPEHUVEH\RQGWKHWUDGLWLRQDOSRZHUV and painted Johannson as the guardian of ZHDOWKDQGHVWDEOLVKPHQW,QPDQ\ZD\V the fault lines drawn during that campaign are still in place. This was how the Associated Press reported the result from the Fifa Congress LQ3DULVRQWK-XQHMXVWEHIRUHWKDW yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Fifa World Cup in France. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Sepp Blatter, a last-minute candidate who waged a globe-trotting campaign, was elected Monday as SUHVLGHQWRI )LIDWKHĂ&#x20AC;UVWFKDQJHDWWKHWRSRI  soccerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s world body in almost a quarter century. In balloting two days before the start of the World Cup, Blatter defeated Lennart Johansson when the Swedish president of Uefa conceded after WKHĂ&#x20AC;UVWURXQG â&#x20AC;&#x153;The game is over,â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Johansson said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I wish Mr. Blatter luck.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Neither man received the two-thirds vote needed IRUDĂ&#x20AC;UVWEDOORWYLFWRU\EXW%ODWWHUSLOHGXSD clear majority, 111-80, and Johansson would have needed a massive defection in the second round, when a simple majority would have won. The vote ended a bitter and expensive campaign

to succeed Joao Havelange, the Brazilian industrialist who has been Fifaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s chief since 1974. Havelange backed Blatterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s candidacy. Johansson and Blatter, general secretary of Fifa, accused each other of being puppets for other interests, and spent more than $1 million combined on very public campaigns that usually are waged quietly and privately. After Johanssonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s concession, Blatter and Havelange appeared before the Fifa Congress. Havelange called Johansson â&#x20AC;&#x153;a gentleman.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Johanssonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s strength was in Europe and Africa, while Blatterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s strongholds were Asia and the Americas. Blatter, who formally joined the race just two and a half months ago, and Johansson, the sole candidate for more than a year before that, both KDGVDLGLQUHFHQWGD\VWKDWWKH\ZHUHFRQĂ&#x20AC;GHQW of victory. Each had surrounded himself with soccer stars of the past, with Pele supporting Johansson and Michel Platini backing Blatter. Each of those endorsements was in keeping with the personal nature of the campaign. Pele has had a long-running feud with Havelange, his Brazilian countryman, while Platini is co-chairman of the French World Cup and has been reluctant to share any stage with Johansson.â&#x20AC;?


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SoccerexPro 07  

Issue 7 of SoccerexPro magazine