Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 25th 2015 Contents A50
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, July 25, 2015
ST PETERSBURG---Jerome Val-
cke expects to leave his job as Fifa
secretary general after Sepp Blat-
ter s successor is elected.
Valcke, however, said yesterday
it is not because he is responsible
for any wrongdoing in the crisis
that has shaken the governing
The Frenchman has served for
eight years as the top administrator
at Fifa, which is at the center of
criminal investigations by Amer-
ican and Swiss authorities.
The weight of the corruption
probes and sponsors concerns led
to Blatter announcing June 2 he
will leave Fifa, a move that came
four days after he was re-elected
to serve a fifth, four-year term. A
successor to Blatter, who has head-
ed the governing body since 1998,
is to be elected on February 26.
"Whoever becomes the Fifa
president should have a new sec-
retary general because it s the most
important relationship for the
organisation," Valcke said in St
Petersburg ahead of the 2018 World
Cup qualifying draw. "About my
future, I would say that at least I
can have some privacy in regards
of whatever questions you are ask-
ing, and what I want do with my
life is just a question about me
The questions in recent weeks
have centered on Valcke s direct
links to payments totaling $10 mil-
lion from Fifa accounts which the
US Department of Justice said were
bribes to Fifa executive committee
members to vote for South Africa
as the 2010 World Cup host.
Valcke began his job several
months before the money transfers
in early 2008 to accounts con-
trolled by former Fifa vice president
Fifa and Valcke said the cash
was believed to be for soccer proj-
ects for the African diaspora in the
Caribbean, and was approved by
Julio Grondona of Argentina, the
chairman of Fifa s finance com-
mittee, who died last year.
Valcke has denied wrongdoing
and did not discuss the specifics
of the case yesterday but stressed
he only carries out the orders of
the Fifa congress and the executive
"As the head of the adminis-
tration I can be proud of what
Fifa s administration has done and
Fifa s administration, I don t think,
has ever been part of any of the
stories which are around Fifa,
including all the commercial agree-
ments we have signed from (2007-
15)," Valcke said. "I have not seen
anything which is related to any
wrongdoings by the Fifa admin-
istration regarding any commercial
aspect of Fifa during this period.
"So what you are asking me, if
I am responsible for what has hap-
pened this last time, I don t think
that I am really involved, and I
don t think that I have anything
to do in this case." (AP)
teams in the World Cup draw
will be seeded according to the
latest world rankings.
Fifa s decision yesterday means
Romania and Wales are among
the nine top-seeded nations
despite not playing at a World
Cup since 1998 and 1958, respec-
Former World Cup winners
Italy and France are in the pot of
second-seeded teams who risk
being drawn with either Germany
or Spain, the past two winners.
Only the nine group winners
will automatically advance to the
tournament in Russia. The eight
best runners-up go to a playoff
round to decide the final four
qualifying slots. Fifa says Armenia
and Azerbaijan will again be sep-
arated in today s draw for political
striker Hulk was withdrawn from
his role in this weekend s 2018
World Cup draw, four days after
saying racism was commonplace
at his football games in Russia.
Fifa said Hulk was replaced due
to "club commitments" with Zenit
St Petersburg, which visits Ural
Yekaterinburg in the Russian Pre-
mier League tomorrow, a day after
today s draw.
Alexei Sorokin, chief executive
of Russia s World Cup organising
committee, said the decision was
unrelated to the Brazilian s criticism
of racism in Russian football.
"Hulk was among those who
agreed to participate but very
recently we found out that the
coach of Zenit made a decision
based on purely sporting reasons
to withdraw this player from taking
part in the draw show," Sorokin
"Zenit has a game on Sunday
(tomorrow) in Yekaterinburg, so
the coach made the decision that
they need to leave together, not
leaving anyone behind."
The match has been on the
schedule since at least June 30,
long before Hulk was announced
as a participant in the draw.
Hulk was replaced at the draw
by former Russia midfielder Alexei
Hulk, who joined Zenit from
Porto three years ago, said on
Monday that he feared racism
could mar the World Cup.
"If it happens in the World Cup,
it will be really gross, and really
ugly. Usually it happens when
Russian clubs play, and it doesn t
come out to the world, and the
world doesn t know about this,"
he said through a translator.
"I must say that @ almost every
game, I see this happening. I used
to get angry, but now I see this
doesn t help, so I just send a kiss
to our fans and try not to get
scored one goal and was unlucky not
to have another as Real Madrid beat
Manchester City 4-1 in front of
almost 100,000 fans at the Mel-
bourne Cricket Ground in a friendly
Madrid broke through in the 21st
minute when Karim Benzema volleyed
in a close-range scissor kick off a long
Gareth Bale pass from the right.
Ronaldo doubled the lead two min-
utes later to a deafening roar from the
crowd when he collected a deft Toni
Kroos chip from midfield and poked
in a shot just beyond City goalkeeper
Pepe made it 3-0 nodding in an Isco
corner just before halftime.
City answered in first-half stoppage
time with a Yaya Toure penalty, after
Sergio Ramos was called for a handball
in the box.
Second-half substitute Denis Chery-
shev converted an Isco pass to finish
City midfielder Fabian Delph, signed
from Aston Villa for 8 million pounds
($12.5 million) last week, was carried
from the field in the 20th with an
apparent hamstring injury. He will
have scans today.
"This injury is not the best news
because he was just starting the season
with our team, but we ll see tomorrow,"
City manager Manuel Pellegrini said.
The match marked Rafa Benitez s
first win as Madrid manager.
"I m very pleased," Benitez said.
"When you are working so hard, when
the players are training in double train-
ing sessions and doing so well in every
training session, you can see the com-
Ronaldo had a goal disallowed in
the 57th for offside, but video indicated
the goal should have been granted.
The crowd of 99,382 was the MCG s
largest for soccer, eclipsing the 95,446
in 2013 for a Liverpool-Melbourne Vic-
The match was the last of the three-
game International Champions Cup
that also included Roma.
LIVERPOOL---Liverpool s stadium
expansion has moved to the roof at
Anfield as work began yesterday to
raise a 650-ton truss over the new
The expansion began in December
and Liverpool expects the new stand to
be completed during the 2016-17 Pre-
mier League season. It will have three
tiers, incorporating a widened player
tunnel and new team benches. The work
will raise the capacity of Anfield by
about 8,500 by renovating the stand.
The stadium currently holds 45,522
Liverpool chief executive Ian Ayre
says the redevelopment "gives us a fan-
tastic opportunity to ensure that all the
rich history and traditions that make
this stadium so special can continue."
Liverpool begins construction
on roof at Anfield
...as Madrid beats Man City 4-1
Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid, right, attempts to block a lick from Jason
Denayer, left, of Manchester City during their International Championship Cup
football match in Melbourne, Australia, yesterday. Real Madrid won 4-1.AP PHOTO
Hulk replaced at W Cup draw
after comments on racism
Fifa seeds European qualifying
groups by ranking
Fifa secretary general
Valcke expects to
leave with Blatter
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