You’ve got to hand it to FIFA.
Soccer’s ‘governing’ body has finally admitted that World Cups have been bought with bribes. But only because there might be a buck in it.
In perhaps its most brazen step to date, which is saying something, FIFA is claiming ‘victimised institution’ status and seeking restitution from the US Government.
FIFA victimised? It beggars belief, doesn’t it?
But in a claim filed with the US Attorney’s Office, it’s asking for tens of millions of dollars seized from former FIFA officials which it says belongs to global football.
“These dollars were meant to build football fields, not mansions and pools; to buy football kits, not jewellery and cars; and to fund youth player and coach development, not to underwrite lavish lifestyles for football and sports marketing executives,” says new FIFA boss Gianni Infantino.
Give that man an Oscar.
If FIFA pulls this one off, it’ll be right up there with this Houdini shot from Rafael Nadal.
Or this juggling routine by Bangladesh cricketer Soumya Sarkar in the World Twenty20.
On the subject of which, Pakistan T20 captain Shahid Afridi thought it would be nice to butter up his Indian hosts. A nice gesture given the enmity between the two nations.
“I’ve not enjoyed playing anywhere as much as I have in India,” he said. “I can say that the love I have got in India is something that I will always remember. We’ve not got this much love even from Pakistan.”
In a self-fulfilling prophecy, Afridi’s not getting any love in Pakistan now. One lawyer has served a notice on him accusing him of treason.
English T20 captain Eoin Morgan was trying to put a positive spin on his side’s inexperience. “Having a little bit of naivety with a huge amount of talent isn’t a bad thing,” he said.
That was before West Indian Chris Gayle came along and humbled Morgan’s charges with a quick-fire century from 47 balls.
In his usual understated way, Gayle was straight on Twitter correcting people’s praise of him and calling himself God.
In Russia, it seems everyone’s clamouring to get their hands on the drug that’s fuelled Maria Sharapova for the past 10 years.
Drug manufacturer Grindeks says its meldonium sales could double this month.
Offering better tone, better memory, faster thinking, greater dexterity and a more resilient body, it’s a real performance enhancer. And at just $4 a pack, it’s an absolute steal.
The United Nations is the latest organisation to distance itself from Sharapova, dumping her as its Goodwill Ambassador. Because there’s no goodwill anymore.
At last count, she’s been dropped by Nike, Tag Heuer, Porsche, the UN and Grigor Dimitrov.
But here are two Russian sportsmen who had a good week. These guys doing an impromptu and untidy haka are unseeded badminton pair Vladimir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov. They’re celebrating winning the All England Open. Or not testing positive to meldonium.
Rio was breathing a sigh of relief not to be in the news this week.
Apart from that little protest involving millions of people calling on Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff to resign over corruption allegations.
Tokyo, which will host the 2020 Olympics, also got to share the limelight, showing off its new Olympic stadium designs.
And it was all going so well, until it became apparent there was something pretty important missing.
Big track? Tick. Seating? Lots of it.
And the cauldron? I’m sorry, what? The cauldron. Big 16-day bonfire. You know, for toasting giant marshmallows and drug cheats. Where is it?
Yeah, they’ll come back to us on that one.
I’m A Celebrity finally wound up last weekend, which means no more people rolling around in excrement on national TV, unless it’s Donald Trump making a campaign speech.
Things got a bit awkward though when former AFL player Brendan Fevola announced he was donating half his winnings to the Shane Warne Foundation. Which is closing because it can’t quite account for all its donations.
Released from jungle duties, Warnie himself was not receptive to questions about his charity, saying people who wanted to criticise his efforts could ‘get stuffed’ and calling The Project’s Waleed Aly a ‘dick’ for daring to ask something not related to snakes and spiders.
Finally, there was an unscheduled running of the bulls this week during a junior football match in Queensland.
Fortunately, the substitute player didn’t have much of an impact on the game.
Have a good weekend, everyone. Make your presence felt.