Thursday 20 September 2018

Carrzone: Platini disillusioned as Blatter re-election appears ironclad

UEFA president Michel Platini says financial fair play rules are to be eased
UEFA president Michel Platini says financial fair play rules are to be eased

Michel Platini, president of UEFA, sounds disillusioned. Ahead of Friday's election for the top job in FIFA.

He complains about incumbent president Sepp Blatter's nomination: "He had asked us to support him for what would be his last term and now he's back on again was if nothing had happened."

In the 2011 election, Platini urged the European federations to support Blatter. Now he says, "I would never attack (him)…Maybe I'm too naive but I have the unpleasant feeling that my commitment was based on a lie and that I indirectly lied to the federations."

Blatter (79), FIFA boss since 1998, is favourite to win the election in Zurich. Price Ali bin al Hussein is the other nomination. Portugal legend Luis Figo and Dutch official Michael van Praag both withdrew their nominations last week.

"There has not been a single public debate about each candidate's proposals," Figo protested. Diego Maradona has also blasted Blatter, saying: "Under Blatter, FIFA has become a disgrace.


Russia plans to use prison  labour to keep down costs

In 2010, FIFA selected  Qatar, one of the hottest countries on earth, to host World Cup 2022 where daytime temperatures of 106 degrees forced a switch to a first winter tournament, with a knock-on scheduling impact on most of the world's major domestic leagues.

Overshadowing this controversy has been the estimated deaths of a thousand migrant workers who are working in inhumane and unsafe conditions to build the stadiums and infrastructure necessary to host a World Cup event that's been tarnished by allegations of bribery. Now, in Russia, which hosts the 2018 World Cup tournament, a drop in the local currency has officials planning to put prisoners to work in an attempt to keep costs down.

The plan is for prisoners to work in factories manufacturing the building materials required, a move that's described as "very positive" by Alexander Khinshtein, of the United Russia Party, who is working with the Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) on the proposals.


Verstappen brings youthful exuberance to Grand Prix

Toro Rosso driver Max Verstappen (17), the youngest to line up on an F1 grid, is showing the verve and talent that convinced observers he might one day become the best ever.

He's already scored points and, but for engine difficulties, could have added to them.

However his prang in Monaco on Sunday, when he smashed into the back of Romain Grosjean's Lotus, prompted Felipe Massa (Williams) to accuse him of dangerous driving and question the wisdom of granting an F1 licence to a 17-year-old.

Handed a five-place grid penalty at the Grand Prix in Canada and two penalty points, Verstappen argues: "The lap before, I braked on exactly the same spot but Grosjean in front braked ten or 15 metres earlier than the lap before. Maybe it looked like an overtake but I was just trying to avoid him."


Share your story of George

If you've a story about George Best that you'd like to share, author Pete McKenna would be happy to consider it for his upcoming book Maradona Good; Pele Better; George Best. A memoir of the three days he spent with fans attending Best's funeral, McKenna says:, "We recalled the highlights of his career with Man United. I'd love to hear from people who were touched by his genius." Email Pete at thebelfastboy@gmail.com

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