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Volume 10 No. 25

International Football

Brasileiro club Corinthians will see "its coffers even more full" after winning the FIFA Club World Cup, according to IG. After beating Chelsea 1-0 in the final, the club from São Paulo will receive R$10.5M ($5M) from FIFA. After paying the players and coaching staffs' bonuses, the club will "keep close to" R$6M ($2.9M). Corinthians President Mario Gobbi said that each starter during the championship will receive R$180,000 ($86,000). Finalists Chelsea will receive R$8.3M ($4M) from football's governing body while third place finishers Monterrey will go home with R$5.2M ($2.5M) (IG, 12/17). GLOBO reported former Brazil President Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva posted a message on Facebook to congratulate Corinthians. Lula wrote, "Parabéns ao Corinthians pela conquista do bicampeonato do Mundial de Clubes! #vaicorinthians" ("Congratulations to Corinthians for its second Club World Cup title! #gocorinthians") (GLOBO, 12/17).

FIFA Exec Committee member Mohamed bin Hammam "resigned from all football-related positions and was handed a new life ban by FIFA" on Monday, according to the AP. Bin Hammam's resignation "seemingly bringing a close to one of the most damaging corruption scandals to blight the game's world governing body." Bin Hammam, who challenged incumbent Sepp Blatter for the presidency last year, "gave up his long-running dispute with the organization" after being found guilty by FIFA of "repeated violations'' of its code of ethics while head of the Asian Football Confederation (AP, 12/17). In a statement, FIFA said, "In view of the fact that under the new FIFA Code of Ethics, the FIFA Ethics Committee remains competent to render a decision even if a person resigns, the Adjudicatory Chamber decided to ban Mohamed Bin Hammam from all football-related activity for life" (FIFA).

DONE FIGHTING: AFP reported Bin Hammam said in an emailed statement he was tired of “trumped up allegations.” Hammam: “For me, the decision by CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport), the highest independent authority in sports arbitration, that FIFA’s ban was unjustified is enough. I do not want to spend any more of my life fighting trumped up allegations and to focus instead on my family and businesses" (AFP, 12/17).

MARKING THE END: REUTERS reported Bin Hammam's resignation "could bring an end to one of the most unsavoury scandals to have hit the sport." Bin Hammam was originally accused of "trying to buy the presidential votes of Caribbean officials by handing them $40,000 each in brown envelopes" at a meeting in Port of Spain one month before he was due to challenge Blatter in last year's FIFA presidential election. Bin Hammam has "long pleaded his innocence and complained his punishments have come because he challenged Blatter's leadership" (REUTERS, 12/17).

A non-governmental football association will "stage more professional futsal games" over the next five years to help boost Chinese football development, according to Qiu Quanlin of the CHINA DAILY. Guangdong Futsal Association Dir Liu Xiaowu revealed a futsal cup competition between Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao will be launched next year. After being approved by the provincial civil affairs department, the association was inaugurated over the weekend in Guangzhou, becoming China's first football organization without governmental administration. Liu said, "We will also organize competitions between Guangdong and its neighboring provinces of Fujian, Jiangxi, Hunan and Hainan and the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region." Liu added that "more games will be held in neighboring regions." Liu: "We will develop more members in the years ahead. As a non-governmental association, we believe the organization will play a big role in boosting local football development" (CHINA DAILY, 12/17).