Sunday , November 19 2017

FIFA demands visa, work permit and tax exemptions for WC – Olympiakos boss to face trial on charges of fixing

MANCHESTER, England, Nov 8, (Agencies): The United States and other countries hoping to host the 2026 World Cup should provide government guarantees on visa-free travel plus work permit and tax exemptions for their bids to be accepted, according to documents published by FIFA on Tuesday.

The US wants to host the 2026 tournament in a joint bid with Canada and Mexico, who would also have to commit to the government guarantees for their proposal to be accepted by soccer’s world governing body.

Morocco is currently the only other country to have indicated they will bid for the finals, which will be the first to feature an expanded 48-team field.

FIFA wants a visa-free environment, or at least non-discriminatory visa procedures, while the work permit exemptions apply to anyone involved with the World Cup and tax exemptions relate to the soccer governing body and its subsidiaries.

While FIFA has asked for — and received — similar exemptions in the past, their inclusion in a revamped World Cup bid process will mean the current U.S. administration of President Donald Trump will need to sign off on the exemptions.

Sunil Gulati, chairman of the joint US, Mexican and Canadian ‘United Bid Committee’ has previously stated that Trump supports the attempt to bring the World Cup to the United States, which hosted the 1994 finals.

FIFA produced new bidding criteria after the organisation was heavily criticised over the selection process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup finals, won by Russia and Qatar respectively.

Formal submission of the completed bids has to be made by March 16, 2018 and FIFA will decide whether to select one of the candidate bids at their congress in June next year, or re-open the process if none of the bids are accepted.

A Greek court ruled on Wednesday that Olympiakos Piraeus and Nottingham Forest owner Vangelis Marinakis is to face trial on charges of match fixing in Greece.

The 49-year-old shipping magnate is the most prominent among 28 people who will be put on trial on felony charges following a probe on suspect Greek football match outcomes. The three-bench Athens Court of Appeal ruling came after a 2-1 majority vote.

Marinakis denied any wrongdoing during the investigation. His lawyers were not immediately available for comment. Olympiakos, one of Greece’s most popular teams, was also not available for comment.

The Premier League’s all-time leading goalscorer Alan Shearer fears he may be at risk of suffering from dementia due to heading footballs during his playing days, calling for more research on the issue.

The 47-year-old former England captain, who bagged 260 Premier League goals during an 18-year career, has revealed his fears over his long-term health.

“For every goal I scored with a header during a game, I must have practised it 1,000 times in training,” the former Blackburn and Newcastle player told Britain’s Daily Mirror newspaper. “That must put me at risk if there is a link.”

Shearer, who also netted 30 goals in 63 appearances for England, had tests to examine how heading the ball has affected his brain.

England’s FA will trial the video assistant referee (VAR) system when the national side host world champions Germany in a friendly at Wembley on Friday, The Times reported.

Matches between England and Germany have seen several controversial decisions in the past including Frank Lampard’s disallowed goal in the 2010 World Cup and Geoff Hurst’s goal in the 1966 World Cup final.

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