Former Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) president Ricardo Teixeira has been banned from football for life and fined one million Swiss francs by FIFA.

Teixeira, a former FIFA executive committee member and once the son-in-law of ex-president Joao Havelange, was found guilty of bribery by world football's governing body.

FIFA's ethics committee had been investigating the 72-year-old Teixeira over allegations he was involved in "bribery schemes, conducted during the 2006-2012 period, in relation to his role in awarding contracts to companies for the media and marketing rights to CBF, CONMEBOL and CONCACAF competitions".

In a statement released on Friday, FIFA said: "In its decision, the adjudicatory chamber found that Mr Teixeira had breached art. 27 (bribery) of the FIFA code of ethics (2018 edition) and, as a result, sanctioned him with a ban for life on taking part in any football-related activity (administrative, sports or any other) at both national and international level.

"Additionally, a fine in the amount of 1m CHF has been imposed on Mr Teixeira."

The fine equates to £770,000.

Teixeira, who denies wrongdoing, was elected CBF president in 1989 and remained in office until 2012. Brazil twice won the World Cup during that time, in 1994 and 2002.

He was also a member of the CONMEBOL executive committee.

Arsene Wenger has been confirmed as FIFA's chief of global football development.

Wenger, 70, spent 22 years in charge of Arsenal until 2018 and had been linked with the vacant managerial position at Bayern Munich in recent weeks, but instead he will take up a new position with the global governing body. 

During his time with the Gunners, Wenger was widely considered one of the world's greatest managers and among the most influential in Premier League history.

The Frenchman built a strong reputation for his forward-thinking style of play and for developing young players, and in his new position Wenger will be tasked with "driving growth" for men and women across the globe.

China will host a revamped Club World Cup in 2021, FIFA has announced.

The game's governing body made the announcement following a meeting in Shanghai on Thursday.

Although its prestige has often paled against other trophy targets for European sides, a redesigned Club World Cup will expand to 24 teams following the final two iterations of the existing seven-team format in Qatar in 2019 and 2020.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has strongly opposed the move, which is seen by some as an attempt to position the competition as a rival to Europe's Champions League.

Ceferin last year described FIFA as "behaving strangely", but Gianni Infantino, president of the global body, pressed ahead with rolling out plans for the new-look tournament.

It will be played between June and July 2021 and replaces the Confederations Cup, held every four years, on the international calendar.

A FIFA statement added: "The participation model to determine the clubs that qualify from each confederation will be finalised in a consultation process between FIFA and the six confederations."

The 2019 Club World Cup begins in Doha in December.

Meanwhile, FIFA confirmed the host for the 2030 World Cup will be chosen in 2024, at the 74th congress meeting, with the bidding process to be launched in the second quarter of 2022.

FIFPro has hailed the International Football Association Board (IFAB) after an expert group was set up to assess how head injuries are treated.

The football and technical advisory panels of the sport's law-making body have elected to study the possibility of making rule changes, which could include introducing concussion substitutes.

Issues raised with the possibility of using concussion substitutes have been based on sides bending the rules for tactical reasons, with IFAB confirming these concerns would be taken into account by the study group.

IFAB stated in a release: "The panels agreed that any solutions would have to take account of both player welfare and the need to ensure sporting fairness."

FIFPro lauded IFAB for their action in a statement.

It read: "FIFPro is pleased that IFAB has decided to set up an expert group to study rule changes that would better protect the health and safety of professional footballers who may have suffered a concussion.

"FIFPro Chief Medical Officer Dr. Gouttebarge has asked football authorities for six years to take more measures to protect footballers who have suffered a suspected concussion.

"A number of recent cases involving players in the FIFA World Cup, UEFA European Championship qualifying and UEFA Champions League have highlighted how critical this issue is."

FIFPro has also pledged to continue their campaign for FIFA to introduce additional regulations relating head injuries, including the use of independent match doctors to assist team medical staff.

IFAB's action follows on from research commissioned by the Football Association and Professional Footballers' Association which showed players are more than three times likely to die of dementia than the general public.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino has called for "new, stronger and more effective ways to eradicate racism in football" after England players were subjected to abuse in Bulgaria.

UEFA has charged the Bulgarian Football Union over racist behaviour by fans during England's 6-0 Euro 2020 qualifying win.

The game was halted twice before half-time and a group of supporters who made "monkey chants" and Nazi salutes were ejected from the ground.

Tuesday's fallout from those shameful scenes included BFU president Borislav Mihaylov resigning after Prime Minister Boyko Borissov threatened to cut funding if he did not step down.

FIFA pledged to extend any sanctions imposed by UEFA worldwide and Infantino, who previously fronted European football's governing body, suggested now is the time for football to take a harder line against racism, including life bans for any perpetrators.

"So many times we say there is no place for racism in football, but nonetheless we still face challenges to tackle this problem in our sport, as we do in society," he said.

"We will need the support of public authorities to help us identify and punish the culprits but we probably also need to think more broadly on what we can do to fix this. 

"When we proposed the three-step procedure in 2009 when I was at UEFA, and then made the regulations even tougher a few years later, we could not have imagined that so shortly thereafter we would again be having to think of how to combat this obnoxious disease that seems to be getting even worse in some parts of the world."

Infantino added: "I call on all football governing bodies to join us and think together of new, stronger and more effective ways to eradicate racism in football. 

"As a starting point, I suggest that all competition organisers enact regulations which envisage life bans from stadiums for those who are found guilty of racist behaviour at a football match. FIFA can then enforce such bans at a worldwide level."

UEFA's three-step procedure to deal with racist incidents was partially enacted during Monday's match, with the initial stoppage coming after England players reported chants to the referee and an announcement calling for the abuse to cease was made over the stadium's public address system.

After a further complaint, match official Ivan Bebek asked England manager Gareth Southgate and captain Harry Kane whether he wished for them to take the teams from the field – in line with step two.

The close proximity to half-time was a factor in England being minded to play on and Southgate credited Bebek's conduct throughout as being "outstanding".

England debutant Tyrone Mings confirmed the players unanimously agreed to continue playing at half-time. The third step in the UEFA plan after taking the players from the field is an abandonment if abuse persists.

Infantino's UEFA successor Aleksander Ceferin made a strong defence of his organisation's record when it comes to dealing with racism.

"As a governing body, I know we are not going to win any popularity contests. But some of the views expressed about UEFA’s approach to fighting racism have been a long way off the mark," he said.

"UEFA, in close cooperation with the FARE network (Football Against Racism Europe), instituted the three-stage protocol for identifying and tackling racist behaviour during games.

"UEFA's sanctions are among the toughest in sport for clubs and associations whose supporters are racist at our matches."

Thousands of women watched Iran thrash Cambodia 14-0 in a men's 2022 World Cup qualifier on Thursday in a historic move welcomed by FIFA.

Authorities in Iran have enforced a long-standing ban on women entering football grounds, though it was temporarily lifted for the second leg of the AFC Champions League final between Persepolis and Japanese side Kashima Antlers in November 2018.

Iranian woman Sahar Khodayari died last month after setting herself on fire while awaiting a court case following her March arrest for attempting to sneak into Azadi Stadium in Tehran wearing a disguise.

Amnesty International official Philip Luther described the ban as showing "appalling contempt for women's rights" and told FIFA to take action, and female fans were permitted to watch the defeat of Cambodia.

"For the first time in nearly 40 years, several thousand women have been allowed into a stadium in Iran to watch a football match played by men," FIFA president Gianni Infantino said in a statement.

"This is a very positive step forward, and one which FIFA, and especially Iranian girls and women, have been eagerly waiting for.

"The passion, joy and enthusiasm they showed today was remarkable to see and encourages us even more to continue the path we have started. History teaches us that progress comes in stages and this is just the beginning of a journey.

"Consequently, FIFA now looks more than ever towards a future when ALL girls and women wishing to attend football matches in Iran will be free to do so, and in a safe environment.

"There can be no stopping or turning back now.

"I would like to thank both the Iran FA, the AFC and the authorities involved for their efforts and cooperation. FIFA will continue to work closely with them, to help ensure that the right thing is done, which is to allow all fans, irrespective of gender, to have the chance to go to the stadiums and enjoy a game of football. Since I arrived at FIFA, we fight to see this objective fulfilled.

"But, above all, today I want to say a very big thank you and record our utmost respect to all of the Iranian girls and women who courageously stood and are standing up for their rights.

"FIFA fully supports them and will stand by them."

Karim Ansarifard scored four and Serdar Azmoun also hit a hat-trick in a one-sided victory for Marc Wilmots' side, who are top of Group C with six points from two games.

FIFA has banned former CONMEBOL president Eugenio Figueredo from all football activities for life after finding him guilty of bribery.

The 87-year-old Uruguayan headed his nation's football association for nine years from 1997, doubling up as a CONMEBOL vice-president for part of that spell, a post he held for two decades until 2013.

It was at that point he replaced Nicolas Leoz as president of the South American confederation, but he was arrested two years later.

Figueredo was accused of accepting millions of dollars in bribes relating to "awarding contracts to companies for the media and marketing rights to CONMEBOL competitions" between 2004 and 2015, FIFA said.

United States and Uruguay requested his extradition from Switzerland in 2015, and it was his homeland that won the right to prosecute Figueredo as he faced more charges there than in the USA.

He was released in December 2017 after over two-and-a-half years either in prison or under house arrest, but following Wednesday's announcement from FIFA, Figueredo will not be able to work in football again.

"The adjudicatory chamber of the independent ethics committee has found Mr Eugenio Figueredo, a former vice-president and president of the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) and former member of several FIFA committees, guilty of bribery in violation of the FIFA code of ethics," a FIFA statement read.

"In its decision, the adjudicatory chamber found that Mr Figueredo had breached art. 27 (bribery) of the 2018 edition of the FIFA code of ethics and, as a result, sanctioned him with a ban for life on taking part in any football-related activity (administrative, sports or any other) at both national and international level.

"In addition, a fine in the amount of CHF 1,000,000 (€914,266) has been imposed on Mr Figueredo."

FIFA has hit out at "unfair and misleading" reports about votes not being counted towards its The Best awards.

Nominations for Mohamed Salah from Egypt's captain and coach were not included, while Nicaragua captain Juan Barrera claimed on Twitter he did not vote although his name is listed on FIFA's official documentation.

FIFA said this week in a statement released to Omnisport that Egypt's votes were not counted as they seemed "not valid" due to signatures in capital letters and world football's governing body has again moved to clarify the issue.

"FIFA has been disappointed to see a number of reports in the media questioning the integrity of the voting process for The Best FIFA Football Awards," said a statement on Friday. "These reports are unfair and misleading. 

"The voting procedure for each of the awards is supervised and monitored by an independent observer, in this case PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Switzerland.

"FIFA and PwC follow the Rules of Allocation and relevant standard control procedures. As per these procedures, FIFA requested all member associations to submit their voting forms both electronically and in writing.

"The written documents must also be signed by the responsible persons of the association as well as by the persons authorised to vote. Therefore in order for a vote to be valid it must include the respective signatures and the member association's stamp.

"Both FIFA and the independent observer can demonstrate that all the votes submitted in accordance with the rules and within the deadlines were taken into account. Consequently, there is no doubt whatsoever as to the authenticity of the result. 

"Should there have been any case of wrong-doing, and even if this did not affect the result of the vote, FIFA will investigate and apply sanctions where necessary."

Salah appeared to be upset when FIFA's full list of voting was released without his country's selections, reportedly removing a reference to Egypt from his Twitter bio.

He also posted a cryptic message that read: "Whatever they do to try to change my love for Egypt, they will not succeed."

FIFA has explained why some votes for Mohamed Salah to win The Best FIFA Men's Player award was not counted.

Liverpool star Salah did not finish in the top three of the ballot, with his nominations from Egypt's captain and coach not included.

Salah appeared to be upset when FIFA's full list of voting was released without his country's selections.

He reportedly removed a reference to Egypt from his Twitter bio and posted a cryptic message that read: "Whatever they do to try to change my love for Egypt, they will not succeed."

FIFA moved to clarify why those particular votes for Salah were not counted in a statement released to Omnisport on Thursday.

The governing body said: "During the monitoring of the votes submitted by the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) on August 15, it was remarked that the signatures on the voting forms were in capital letters and thus seemed not valid (not authentic). The voting forms were also not signed by the general secretary which is mandatory."

FIFA added the President's Office of the EFA, which has undergone recent structural changes, was contacted about the issue, with no response received in time for the votes to count.

Further questions have been asked of FIFA about the voting process for The Best awards.

Nicaragua captain Juan Barrera claimed on Twitter he did not vote although his name is listed on FIFA's official document, which says he chose Lionel Messi, Sadio Mane and Cristiano Ronaldo as his top three.

"We have checked the voting documents submitted by the Nicaraguan FA and all documents are signed and confirmed with the official stamp of the Nicaraguan FA," FIFA said.

"Having compared with the vote sheets submitted by the federation and the ones we have published on FIFA.com... we confirm that we have the right votes signed by the player.

"We are asking the Nicaraguan Football Federations to inquire on this matter."

FIFA medical committee chairman Michel D'Hooghe confirmed the governing body is awaiting a decision on the proposed changes to the concussion rule, including the introduction of a temporary substitute.

FIFPro has led calls for change to the current three-minute assessment and treatment of head injuries after high-profile incidents since the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

The issue of concussion and head injuries dominated headlines last season – a sickening incident involving Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen in the Champions League semi-finals of particular concern.

Vertonghen required extensive treatment after colliding with the back of Spurs team-mate Toby Alderweireld's head in the first half of a first-leg loss to Ajax in London, where he was initially cleared to return as per the current concussion protocol.

The 32-year-old, however, had to be helped from the field moments later in worrying scenes on the sidelines. While he was cleared of concussion following days of assessment, Vertonghen had been advised to undertake a "brief period of rehabilitation" before returning to training.

It was one of many head-related incidents in 2018-19 amid calls for the introduction of an independent doctor as well as demands for 'temporary concussion substitutions'. Switzerland defender Fabian Schar, Napoli goalkeeper David Ospina, Lyon keeper Anthony Lopes and United Arab Emirates' Fares Juma Al Saadi were cleared to return under the current guidelines.

The International Football Association Board (IFAB) is now set to decide on changes following talks with FIFA, with the main proposal to increase the current three-minute assessment window for a suspected concussion to a mandatory 10-minute test.

"It's an actual problem," D'Hooghe told Omnisport about concussions and head injuries. "In my medical business, it's the number one problem.

"I had a meeting 14 days ago in Zurich with the members of FIFA's medical committee and also with people from the diverse federations. We came to conclusions that have to be confirmed by the FIFA Council and by the IFAB. 

"We think the doctor must be on the top level like players. That means we will introduce a new chapter in the FIFA medical diploma and we propose that each doctor on the bench in an international match would have proved to have followed this chapter of the medical diploma, so we don't have a doctor who isn't completely aware of the medical situations on the bench.

"Secondly, we introduced the team doctor can be approached not only by the second medical person but a neutral doctor, who has also the repetitive view of the incident, so he can also inform the team doctor and fourth official by saying for instance 'I've seen this player has been unconscious'. That is the second new rule. If a player has been unconscious, even for a short moment, then we want absolutely that he leaves the field.

"Then there's the last point. We have received proposals from FIFPro and some associations, asking why don't you let the doctor do the famous necessary 10 minutes for the SCAT5 examination, and why don't you allow a temporary substitute during this 10 minutes?

"First of all, I can tell you one of the mistakes is that people think this 10 minutes would replace the three minutes. That's absolutely not true. The three minutes aren't there to do a complete examination but just to ask if they player can continue or not. Not more than that.

"That last proposal can have consequences for the refereeing and the rules of the game. That's why our medical committee before deciding asks advice to the IFAB about what they think about the proposal before coming to conclusions that we could eventually take into our next medical commission of FIFA."

FIFA has previously had concerns about managers abusing the temporary substitute rule but D'Hooghe added: "I think that since we leave the decision essentially and exclusively to the team doctor, that in fact the manager has no more role in that.

"Of course I'm not naive, I can think that he will put the team doctor under pressure. But that is why the team doctor, if he has any hesitation, can call the neutral doctor who has the direct images to give his advice also. But for me, the responsibility must always remain in the hands of the team doctor because he knows the player better than anyone."

Reports suggest the proposed changes could be implemented next season but D'Hooghe said: "I think we have to wait for the next meeting of the medical committee to receive the answers. So that means that the first decisions could follow in March 2020."

New measures limiting fees paid to footballers' agents and the amount of international loans clubs can be party to have been "endorsed" by FIFA's Football Stakeholders Committee.

It had been proposed that, under new regulations, agents would not be able to receive more than 10 per cent of the transfer fee when working for a selling club, while those acting on behalf of players will be entitled to up to "three per cent of the player's remuneration".

Agents working with "engaging clubs" will also only be able to earn three per cent of the player's fee, while the measures shall limit "multiple representation to avoid conflicts of interest" in transfers as well.

The committee also approved the introduction of international loan limits for players aged 22 and over, with a maximum of eight in and out from 2020-21, with that figure decreasing to six in 2022-23, with no more than three in and three out between the same clubs.

Those measures endorsed are to be put to the FIFA Council at its next meeting on October 24.

The potential rules have been raised following the endorsement of proposals made in 2018, with FIFA already developing the reintroduction of a "mandatory licensing system for agents" and the FIFA Clearing House, a system via which all agent commissions are to be paid.

Former CONCACAF and FIFA vice president Jack Warner is set to take his appeal against extradition to the Privy Council after being granted leave to do.

Warner, the disgraced football official, has been battling to avoid extradition to the United States since 2015.  The ex-football official faces charges of corruption in relation to his time with world football’s governing body.     

Earlier this year, Warner failed to have the extradition appeal dismissed on procedural grounds after a three judges Court of Appeal upheld the original decision to dismiss his judicial review lawsuit, which was made in September 2017.

On Monday, however, three justices set out times frames for the procedural steps that will need to be taken if Warner is to file an appeal.  The terms included paying a fee and settling the record, before final leave can be granted for him to take his case to the court in London.  The extradition proceedings have also been halted in the magistrate's court, pending the hearing and determination of the appeal to the privy council.

Warner is challenging the process by which the extradition proceedings against him are being carried out and seeks to quash the authority to proceed (ATP) which was signed in 2016 by Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi.

Lionel Messi says his rivalry with Cristiano Ronaldo is only on the pitch.

Messi and Ronaldo were seen chatting at August's UEFA awards ceremony as Virgil van Dijk claimed the Men's Player of the Year award.

The same trio were nominated for the Best FIFA Men's Player award with Messi pipping Van Dijk into second and Ronaldo in third at Monday's Milan prizegiving.

Messi and Ronaldo have each won five Ballons d'Or having spent their careers vying for individual honours, as well as for team trophies with Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively.

Released results for the Best FIFA Men's Player award showed Messi put Ronaldo second in his vote while the Portugal superstar did not include the Barcelona captain in his selection.

Asked why people are surprised to see him getting along with Ronaldo, Messi told FIFA's official website: "Because of the big sporting rivalry that's developed between us over the last few years. Because one us played for Barcelona and the other for Madrid, and because we won individual awards.

"People perhaps think the rivalry goes beyond football, but it doesn’t. We both want what’s best for our teams and neither of us like losing. It's something we don't accept.

"That's why there's that competitiveness between us. The important thing is that it stays there, out on the pitch."

Messi is now helping to develop Barcelona's 16-year-old forward Ansu Fati, who has exploded on to the scene in LaLiga this season.

"I really like him and I try to help and support him," the Argentina attacker added. "He's an amazing player and he's got what it takes to succeed.

"But if I look at it through my eyes, I'd like them to bring him on gradually, like they did with me when I started, taking things nice and easy and without putting pressure on him.

"You have to remember that he's only 16. I hope he keeps on enjoying it and that all the fuss around him doesn't have a negative impact on him because he has the quality to become one of the best."

Lionel Messi put Cristiano Ronaldo second in the Best FIFA Men's Player award voting, but the Portugal star did not return the favour to the eventual winner.

Messi claimed the prize, rebranded in 2016, for the first time on Monday, beating Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk and Ronaldo.

But the votes made for interesting reading, with Ronaldo and Portugal coach Fernando Santos snubbing Messi.

Ronaldo voted for Matthijs de Ligt, Frenkie de Jong and Kylian Mbappe, with Santos handing his to the former two and his star international captain.

Messi, though, put Ronaldo second in his voting, in between Liverpool star Sadio Mane and De Jong.

Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni decided on Messi, Mbappe and Mane in that order.

As for Van Dijk, he put Messi first ahead of his team-mates Mohamed Salah and Mane, who helped Liverpool win the Champions League last season.

 

Who voted for who?

Lionel Messi: Sadio Mane, Cristiano Ronaldo, Frenkie de Jong.
Virgil van Dijk: Lionel Messi, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane.
Cristiano Ronaldo: Matthijs de Ligt, Frenkie de Jong, Kylian Mbappe.
Fernando Santos: Cristiano Ronaldo, Frenkie de Jong, Matthijs de Ligt.
Lionel Scaloni: Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe, Sadio Mane.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino has urged football to banish racism once and for all.

Infantino addressed his federation's annual awards ceremony in Milan on Monday, before presenting Lionel Messi with The Best FIFA Men's Player prize.

But first he addressed the disgraceful scenes during Atalanta's game against Fiorentina in Serie A on Sunday.

The 2-2 draw at the Ennio Tardini was stopped for three minutes after Fiorentina defender Dalbert, on loan from Inter, reported racist abuse from the crowd to the referee.

"I want to say this here in Italy, in my country. Yesterday, again, we have witnessed in the Italian championship an example of racism," Infantino said.

"This is not acceptable any more. We have to say this. We have to say no to racism, in whatever form.

"No to racism in football, no to racism in society. But we don't have just to say it. We have to fight against it.

"We have to kick racism out once and for all in Italy and in the rest of the world. Out of football and out of society."

Striker Romelu Lukaku was subjected to monkey chants during Inter's 2-1 win at Cagliari earlier this month, while Hellas Verona denied Franck Kessie was racially abused by their fans during a 1-0 defeat to AC Milan.

Kessie slammed Verona's claims that the referee was the target of whistles as "unacceptable and disgraceful".

In September 2016, seven months after Infantino took office, FIFA disbanded its anti-racism task force, declaring it had "completely fulfilled its temporary mission".

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