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FIFA executive Jerome Valcke relieved of his duties over World Cup ticket accusations

Another FIFA scandal is in the works.

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Well, it's another bad day for FIFA. The world's governing body for football has been rocked again, after Jerome Valcke, FIFA's general secretary and Sepp Blatter's right-hand man, was relieved of his duties on Thursday following accusations of ethics violations.

Valcke has been accused of helping organize a scheme to sell a number of World Cup tickets well above their face value, pocketing a share of the profits in the process. The Frenchman is well-positioned to have a hand in such an undertaking, as he oversees major FIFA events like the World Cup, as well as controlling their commercial contracts.

It's not great news for FIFA, who are in the middle of a "reform" process sparked by a wave of arrests of officials from FIFA and major continental confederations after international corruption probes from the US Justice Department and Swiss authorities. One has to wonder what the next domino to fall in a very bad year for FIFA will be.

Goal of the day

The touch and control on this Adam Lallana goal, nutmegging one defender in the box before bending his shot around another, is just impressive. (r/soccer)

In the news

Serie A are launching their own streaming service, and will start out showing three matches in every round of play. (Football Italia)

Manchester United defender Luke Shaw needs a second operation on his badly-broken right leg. (Guardian)

CONCACAF and CONMEBOL still want the Copa America Centenario to be in the US next summer. Who knows what's actually going to happen, though. (ESPNFC)

Gareth Bale should only be out two weeks, meaning he'll be back for Wales' Euro qualifiers in October. (Telegraph)

Andres Guardado's ankle injury is worse than feared, likely putting him out of Mexico's Confederations Cup playoff with the United States in October. (ESPN Deportes)

Muhamed Besic has been suspended three international matches by UEFA after throwing gum in the face of an opponent during a recent Bosnia & Hezegovina Euro qualifier. (

You should be reading

Sam McGuire interviews a former EPL academy coach to take an in-depth look at how modern tactics play against one another. (These Football Times)

Owen Amos looks at a growing trend for fringe English youths to head to the US to play in college. (BBC)

What happened in Thursday's matches

Tottenham Hotspur came from behind to thump Qarabag 3-1. (Cartilage Free Captain)

Napoli started fast and didn't slow down in a 5-0 pasting of Club Brugge. (The Siren's Song)

Fiorentina weren't so lucky, throwing away a late lead to lost 2-1 at home to Basel. (Viola Nation)

Liverpool tossed away a late lead, too, but still got a 1-1 draw at Bordeaux. (Liverpool Offside)

The rest of the Europa League saw plenty of action, too. (

What to watch on Friday (click for listings, all times ET)

Championship: Ipswich Town vs. Birmingham City (2:45 p.m.): We don't advertise many second-division matches here, but these are two teams fairly high in the Championship table who both score a lot of goals and concede almost as many. This could be lots of fun.

Bundesliga: Mainz 05 vs. Hoffenheim (2:30 p.m.): The European pickings are awfully slim today, but this midtable battle in the Bundesliga offers a pretty good chance of something fun happening.

MLS: Sporting KC vs Dallas (7 p.m.): Sporting are making the playoffs as the MLS Western Conference standings currently sit, but they only have a one-point lead over the first team out of the playoffs. A statement win over the second-placed team in the West would be a nice way to get a little bit of extra security.


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