tariq panja Profile picture
⚽️💰🚓 Co-author Football's Secret Trade| NYT| ✉️tariq.panja@nytimes.com |tariq.panja@protonmail.com| RT⛔️🤙🏾
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Nov 8 4 tweets 1 min read

So FIFA’s own statutes say members of a confederation can’t bid for 2 consecutive World Cups so nothing stopping concacaf bidding for 2034 World Cup and yet FIFA’s council decided just Asia and Oceania can bid. Statutes can only be changed by congress? All roads lead to 🇸🇦 Image Might seem like no big deal, and that after 2026 concacaf should have a break, but the point of the statutes is to give a legal structure to how FIFA operates. If they can be changed to suit FIFA and confederations leaders in the moment, then there’ll likely be further chaos
Aug 23 5 tweets 2 min read
Now several days since this happened at FIFA’s World Cup. Protagonist is UEFA’s vice president. And not a peep, not a word publicly from either organization. All happened on the biggest of public stages and no condemnation or any confirmation of disciplinary investigation.
FifPro, the players union, writing to FIFA to its job and start an ethics investigation into Rubiales’s conduct at Women’s World Cup final.
Mar 16 5 tweets 1 min read
"As a father of four beautiful daughters i know how much attention we need to give women," Gianni says, before highlighting the women's World Cup later this year and says FIFA is on a journey toward equal pay. Says pay for players at World Cup has increased from $15m in 2015 to $150m at 2023 World Cup. Says players in Aus/NZ event will already benefit from exactly the same conditions enjoyed be men's teams at the 2022 World Cup.
Mar 16 10 tweets 3 min read
Infantino has delivered his opening remarks at the FIFA Congress in Rwanda where he will be re-elected to a new term. He described how he came here when he first campaigned in 2016 and almost gave up, likening his refusal to give up to how Rwanda recovered after its genocide The anecdote recalled how African delegates told Infantino they wouldn't back his candidacy when he traveled to Rwanda for a regional tournament in 2015. But a visit to the Genocide museum convinced him to not give up like Rwanda didn't. Quite a thing.
Dec 29, 2022 8 tweets 2 min read
Pele has died aged 82, his manager confirmed. He died in hospital within the last hour. I think it’s hard to overestimate the scale of Pele the athlete and the man. The first genuine global superstar of any description, phenomenal athlete but even more than that he was for many people Brazil. A young country looking for its place in the world found it through Pele.
Nov 23, 2022 4 tweets 2 min read
Poor old bud driver has got lost. Luckily still an hour until the game starts. We’ve done a couple of loops now. And even driven past the stadium once. 🤞 Journalist in a Morocco shirt now has had to get off the bus to ask for directions. Quite a magical mystery tour. Photographers freaking out they won’t be able to shoot the warmup.
Nov 23, 2022 5 tweets 2 min read
#Croatia opens its World Cup. Here’s a story about the two women who’ve been an integral part of its remarkable footballing feats from the beginning, from the days of Boban and Suker to remembering Modric as a teenage refugee turn into a world star. nytimes.com/2022/11/22/spo… And there’s Iva Olivari, team manager for #Croatia. She is in her fourth decade with Croatia, one of the first woman to sit on a national team bench. You can read her story here. 15 mins until Croatia-Morocco kicks off. nytimes.com/2022/11/22/spo… Image
Nov 22, 2022 4 tweets 2 min read
Pound for pound #Croatia has been one of the best teams in world football since independence. These two women have been on the journey since the beginning, from Boksic, Boban and Suker to Modric and Mandzukic, they’ve seen it all.

nytimes.com/2022/11/22/spo… “Olivari explained later that her head had filled with a swirl of memories as she delivered her words. She has known Modric, 37, since he was a teenager, only a few years after he was forced out of his hometown and made a refugee by war.” nytimes.com/2022/11/22/spo…
Nov 18, 2022 6 tweets 2 min read
🚨 Beer is out at the World Cup.

After all that (alcoholic) beer will now not be sold inside the perimeter at all eight of Qatar’s World Cup stadiums.

Big about-face means FIFA now faces contractual nightmare with Budweiser. Official announcement expected shortly but Qatar has now decided there will be no (alcoholic) beer sold within the perimeter at all 8 World Cup stadiums:

Nov 18, 2022 6 tweets 2 min read
Seems to be a complete media shutdown from FIFA and Qatar World Cup organizers on guidance on reports that there will now not be any beer sold around World Cup venues. Started as this crazy situation last week. nytimes.com/2022/11/14/spo… Then yesterday @martynziegler and co at The Times produced this thetimes.co.uk/article/world-…
Nov 16, 2022 16 tweets 7 min read
“Sometimes, I feel very unlucky to be Nepali.”

Nepal sent more workers to Qatar than almost any nation, their people built the World Cup. More than 2,000 returned in coffins. I went to Nepal to see just how unfettered ambition collides with dire poverty

nytimes.com/2022/11/16/spo… The raw facts:

At least 2,100 Nepalis have died in Qatar since 2010, the year it was awarded World Cup rights.

Thousands of Nepalis are shaken down forced to pay recruitment fees 30x more than is legal before they even leave.

Families pay 30% on money borrowed to pay fee
Oct 2, 2022 4 tweets 1 min read
Réal Madrid président Florentino Perez not giving up on Super League. Tells Real Madrid assembly football is sick and needs surgery which in his mind is more games between big clubs, compares how few they are with Nadal and Federer meetings. Will keep pushing new ideas, formats. There are some thought provoking parts to the speech worthy of further debate but use of Forbes valuations to say this feels a little OTT:

« Football used to be the top sport; now it has been widely overtaken by American sport. »
Aug 24, 2022 6 tweets 2 min read
In football some clubs have always been more equal than others. At UEFA, it seems PSG is more equal than just about anyone else.

Story about the curious relationship between PSG, its boss and UEFA, where conflict of interest matter little.

via @NYTimes nytimes.com/2022/08/24/spo… “We would tell the public that they are independent decisions when they really are not.”

Aug 23, 2022 5 tweets 1 min read
Prediction. No big team will ever face a significant sanction from UEFA for an FFP breach. Why?

1. They never have been punished.

2. Sanctions under new policy are completely watered down. Another reason? UEFA is being sued by Super League 3 over conflict of interest at the ECJ. The sensitivity around that means lots of things that should happen are not happening. Good governance all round.
Aug 14, 2022 7 tweets 2 min read
Not defending the Glazers, leeched off the club through LBO. But these executives that are in senior roles are getting an immense amount of cover for decision making. He said they haven’t dealt with recruitment, but then who are these people? skysports.com/football/news/… Perfectly correct to say money being spent in last few years — highest spending in football or thereabouts — is from club’s own balance sheet. But it’s still money that’s been spent and wasted. Included by a succession of coaches who wanted own players in. Total mess.
Aug 12, 2022 6 tweets 2 min read
Barcelona sent new financial documentation to La Liga this morning and it’s currently being analyzed. Once reviewed they’ll let Barça know what the updates squad limit is. They will be able to register players soon after based on those new financial limits. For those interested this is where the players registered will be listed.

Aug 12, 2022 4 tweets 1 min read
Amid all the tumult left wondering if FFP still exists? Fine if it doesn't, but wish someone would have told us. Very little clarity from UEFA about what the current rules are. Given spending profile of some of the usual suspects, very hard to thing the old FFP regulations are in place or even that the new announced ones have kicked in.
Aug 12, 2022 7 tweets 2 min read
Barcelona has sold 24.5 percent of Barca Studios for €100m to Jaume Roures, the television empresario who helped Laporta finance his presidential guarantee and whose rights deal for the French league spectacularly collapsed last year.

fcbarcelona.com/en/news/2736062 Here’s our interview with Jaume Roures from last year. Good luck everyone 🤞🏽

nytimes.com/2021/10/04/spo… nytimes.com/2021/10/04/spo…
Aug 11, 2022 10 tweets 4 min read
Gianni Infantino unveiled a countdown clock to the Qatar World Cup last year, saying he had “never witnessed anything like what is happening here.” He couldn’t have been more right. Welcome to the World Cup where nothing is certain, even the start date.

nytimes.com/2022/08/11/spo… All around London there are now taxi cabs and Routemaster buses potentially emblazoned with the wrong start date for the 2022 World Cup. ImageImage
Jun 15, 2022 13 tweets 3 min read
La Liga has filed a fresh complaint with UEFA alleging PSG and Man City are continually breaching financial fair play regulations. Like howling at the moon at this stage. UEFA has failed to tackle these allegations for best part of a decade. La Liga says it has also hired lawyers in Switzerland and Paris to take legal action against PSG in French courts and through European Union bodies. (ECJ already busy with Super League v UEFA.)
Jun 14, 2022 4 tweets 1 min read
MLS has signed away it’s next 10 years for 2.5x what it got for the last 10 years. Great platform, but that figure for 10 years leaves it trailing behind the biggest football leagues for a decade. Considerably less than say the Premier League makes in a single year. If someone, not the MLS, made a big bet on bringing football to the United States, say someone very deep pocketed, I wonder what it would look like? Amid all this excitement about 🍏, the numbers don’t really move the needle in terms of attracting world class talent to the US.