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The FIFA Congress met on Friday, and while the election for the next FIFA President will be the main news item to get coverage, another important item was voted on early in the meetings: the sweeping reforms package that has been crafted in the wake of a year of ever-growing scandal.
The reforms package needed a three-quarters majority in order to pass, and it did so with room to spare, with 179 congressional delegates of the 207 present voting to approve the measure. The package will bring major change to FIFA's structure, expanding the size of the executive committee while also greatly expanding the voice of women in world football. Each nation with a major voice in world football was required to have at least one woman in their top-level representation groups.
Also included in the reforms the package will implement, is a refocusing on a number of issues that it is widely felt have gone ignored by FIFA in recent years. These include the plague of racism throughout the sport, the development and protection of youth football and putting more emphasis on the crackdown of PED's and other illegal substances in the game. It will also shift the power structure of FIFA, taking significant authority out of the hands of the president and general secretary and giving it to the executive committee.
Among the 22 "no" votes was Palestinian FA representative Gonzalo Boye Tuset, who spoke at length against the reform measure. Tuset felt that package was poorly conceived, putting more power in the hands of people who should have less and making it "like a corporation," which he felt is a model FIFA should not emulate. He also felt that the other reform measures were short-sighted in their scope, and that the entire reforms process needed more time to be considered and planned before being put into action. Obviously, he was in the minority on that front.
Goal of the day
Put this Karim Bellarabi goal on repeat and bathe in the glory of that swerve.
In the news
England FA chairman Greg Dyke says that FIFA cannot have another "cult leader" as their president like Sepp Blatter. (Telegraph)
Italy national team manager Antonio Conte has reportedly agreed to take over Chelsea at the end of the season. (Guardian)
Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will miss "several weeks" after his injury against Barcelona. (BBC)
Barcelona and Neymar have reportedly agreed to terms on a new contract, though it remains unsigned for now. (ESPN FC)
With AC Milan's plans for a new stadium apparently scuttled, they're reportedly joining forces with Inter Milan to modernize and revitalize the San Siro. (Football Italia)
Bayer Leverkusen manager Roger Schmidt has been given a five-game suspension for refusing to leave the touchline after being sent off against Borussia Dortmund last weekend. (Sky Sports)
You should be reading
James Riach looks at how Marcus Rashford went from 18-year-old academy player to Manchester United's Europa League hero. (Guardian)
Jason Burt wonders if Manchester City have finally figured out how to succeed in the Champions League. (Telegraph)
Ed Alvarez thinks that Real Madrid needs to start planning for a future without Sergio Ramos right now. (ESPN FC)
What happened on Thursday
Lots of Europa League action ...
Liverpool edged Augsburg to advance. (The Liverpool Offside)
Tottenham Hotspur blasted Fiorentina. (Cartilage Free Captain)
Manchester United came back to thrash lowly Midtjylland. (The Busby Babe)
Napoli couldn't hold their lead against Villarreal and crashed out. (The Siren's Song)
Borussia Dortmund easily beat Porto. (Fear The Wall)
What to watch on Friday (click for listings, all times ET)
La Liga: Eibar vs. Las Palmas (2:30 p.m.): Eibar look to strengthen their grip on the last European place in La Liga against one of the teams that looks bound for relegation.
Bundesliga: Köln vs. Hertha BSC (2:30 p.m.): Hertha have only a tenuous grasp on third place in the Bundesliga right now, and Köln won't make their efforts to hold onto it very easy.
Ligue 1: Nice vs. Bastia (2:30 p.m.): Bastia may only be six points clear of the relegation zone, but a win over third-place Nice could also bring them to within four points of a Champions League place in Ligue 1.
Championship: Hull City vs. Sheffield Wednesday (2:45 p.m.): The Championship leaders want to extend their lead, but Sheffield Wednesday want to spoil their party and improve their standing in the playoff places.
Liga MX: Veracruz vs. Pumas (10:30 p.m.): Pumas are in dire need of a win to improve their standings in the Clausura table, and a trip to winless Veracruz might be just the ticket.