Germany examining legal action against FIFA

DOHA: Germany’s football association (DFB) said on Tuesday it was examining if FIFA’s threat to impose disciplinary action against players who wear the “OneLove” armband at the World Cup tournament is legal.

The armbands had been viewed as a symbolic protest against laws in World Cup host Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal.

Captains of several European teams had planned to wear the rainbow-themed armband as part of a campaign for diversity during the tournament hosted by Qatar, but they have backed down over the threat of FIFA disciplinary action.

“FIFA banned us from showing a sign for diversity and human rights. They combined this with massive threats of sports sanctions without specifying what these would be,” DFB spokesman Steffen Simon told AFP’s sports subsidiary SID. “The DFB is checking if this action by FIFA is legal,” he added.

German daily Bild said the DFB could bring the case before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

The Lausanne-based international sports court said however that the case should first be put to a FIFA appeal commission.

It added that “there is no precedence at the CAS for this kind of authorisation refusal.”

Earlier Tuesday, major German supermarket chain REWE said it was ending its partnership with the German football association with immediate effect over what it described as FIFA’s “scandalous attitude” in the escalating row over diversity.—AFP

Polish FA board member and former head arrested

WARSAW: Four people have been arrested for defrauding the Polish Football Association (PZPN) out of at least 1 million zlotys ($217,732.10), Poland’s Central Anti-corruption Bureau said on Tuesday.

Among those arrested are PZPN board member Jakub T. and former PZPN secretary general Maciej S., as well as Iwona T. and Gabriela M., who were shareholders and chief executives of a company cooperating with the association.

Under Polish law the surnames of people charged with crimes cannot be published.

Private broadcaster RMF FM reported that Jakub T. and Maciej S. were arrested at an airport, where they were due to fly to the World Cup in Qatar.

Corruption in football has come under increased scrutiny worldwide after US Department of Justice allegations that bribes were paid to secure votes when the hosting rights for the tournament were awarded 12 years ago.

In a statement posted on twitter PZPN said that it took reports of the arrests with “due seriousness”.

“The federation does not know the details of the case and will not comment on it until it receives information,” it said.—Reuters

‘Portugal must focus on World Cup, not Ronaldo’

DOHA: Portugal defender Ruben Dias said Tuesday it was time to focus on the World Cup and move on from the media circus surrounding Cristiano Ronaldo’s explosive interview.

The Manchester City centre-back said despite the distraction, Ronaldo’s comments had not dented the nation’s bid to win the competition for the first time in their history.

Ronaldo, who has been a peripheral figure for Manches­ter United this season, last week lashed out at the club and coach Erik ten Hag in an interview with Britain’s TalkTV.

In the aftermath he appeared to share a frosty greeting with Portugal and United team-mate Bruno Fernandes and was also pictured gripping Joao Cancelo by the head.

But Dias said it was time to move on.

“I don’t think Cristiano’s affairs have put a dent whatsoever into what we are trying to achieve here, so I don’t have much to say about it,” Dias said.

“I think we’ve talked about this enough, there’s not much to add. As a team we will focus on the World Cup now and not other issues.”

The defender is not looking very far ahead and preferred to focus on Portugal’s first opponents, Ghana, whom they face on Thursday before playing Uruguay and South Korea.

“We’re focused on winning against Ghana,” said Dias. “The best way to win is focus on one game at a time and that’s the best way to have a successful path ahead of us.”—AFP

Published in Dawn, November 23rd, 2022

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