FIFA has suspended the Indonesian FA, as its government has allegedly "meddled in soccer affairs," by barring some Indonesian teams from playing in the Indonesian Super League. Somewhere in the world, Sunil Gulati is wondering to himself: "If that's meddling in soccer affairs, what does arresting ten FIFA officials count as?"
The string of government arrests on evil soccer officials is not quite over though. Prosecutors in Brazil are currently investigating an ex-football confederation leader for charges including money-laundering and fraud.
Andranik Teymourian, an Iranian Armenian who has previously played for Bolton, Fulham, and Barnsley, was recently named as the captain to Iran's national football team. This wouldn't be too big of news, but Teymourian is christian, and in fact the only Christian to ever be named as a permanent captain to Iran's national team. Teymourian's captaincy comes alongside an increased consideration for minorities in Iran.
We worry a lot about racial sensitivity here in the US, but compared to in Italy we probably have things pretty good. Roma fans showed affection for their defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa by appearing in "blackface," a picture of which was then retweeted by the club's official Twitter account.
When Neymar made the move to Europe, many wondered whether he would continue his skill moves and fancy footwork. There has indeed been a noticeable decline since he moved to Barcelona, but many chalked this up to his opposing defenders, not his coach actively rooting against skill.
Due to an incident in last Sunday's Sounders-Red Bulls game, it appears as if Osvaldo Alonso will be suspended this weekend against Kansas City. Brad Evans was called up to the USMNT and Clint Dempsey's wife is expecting, so we could see some interesting tactics from Sigi Schmidt on Saturday.
Hope Solo seemed to be in the news frequently this year, but she's tried to keep that from holding her back on the field. As Solo prepares for the World Cup (that is now just four days away), she says she's had to balance learning from her mistakes with putting them aside to play the best soccer possible.
As fans of Major League Soccer, we like to think that the league is growing on a daily basis. But how much is the league actually improving? We may never have definitive evidence, but this weekend's games pointed to "a lot."
Much has been made of Jordan Morris's decision to not sign with the Sounders and instead stay at Stanford and continue playing there. Regardless of whether you think Morris should have made the move to MLS, his success seems to make a strong argument that college soccer not being the ancient system some make it out to be.
As of late, it has become popular for celebrities or players from other less important sports to purchase part ownership of soccer teams. Continuing this trend, the Knicks' Carmelo Anthony has expressed interest in resurrecting a NASL club in Puerto Rico.
Canadian soccer, on the other hand, does not appear to be interested in purchasing a piece of NASL glory. A report emerged yesterday stating that there will be an entirely Canadian soccer league by 2017.
One of the parties named in the recent Department of Justice allegations was Traffic Sports, a "soccer event management company," which owns (owned) NASL's Carolina RailHawks. When Traffic helped to bring the NASL back into existence in 2009, they did so on a platform of challenging MLS, and that process may in fact have been what got them in trouble with the DOJ.