Winter World Cup in 2022 Confirmed, Well Maybe Not

Blatter_ValckeThe dates of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar continue to be a mystery but more is being said about the potential times to add mystery to the final answer.  On Wednesday, FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke said, “The dates for the World Cup [in Qatar] will not be June-July. To be honest, I think it will be held between November 15 and January 15 at the latest.”  The statement created an immediate reaction within FIFA and from various members of the national federations.  The consensus is that a final decision won’t be made (or maybe we should say officially announced to the public) until after this summer’s World Cup.

Speaking of the World Cup, Brazil continues to juggle problems ahead of the big event in 5 months time.  The latest issue to re-emerge is the poor state of the country’s transport infrastructure.  Brazil has a poor rail system, horrible and overcrowded roads, and an airline industry that many question if it has the resources to handle the surge.  Approximately 500,000 foreign tourist are expected for the World Cup along with 3 million more Brazilians looking to travel from city to city.

If healthy Michael Bradley will be a key part of the USA team in Brazil.  No surprise there.  What is a surprise is that the midfielder may be back in the USA and MLS playing his domestic soccer with Toronto FC.  The balded headed midfielder has long sought to improve his game working his way up the ladder in Europe but appears to be coming home to satisfy his bank.  Rumors indicate Bradley would be making about $6.5 million per season.  His current club would get about a $10 million transfer fee.  USA head coach Jurgen Klinsmann may be shaking his head with the news as he was certainly disappointed that Clint Dempsey made the move back to the U.S. from England last year.

Cristiano Ronaldo is the favorite to win the Ballon d’ Or next week but the Real Madrid forward may not be able to cash in one the award.  The Nike player has a road block as adidas has the exclusive rights for the promotion of FIFA Ballon d’Or merchandise.  What does this mean, in short don’t expect a limited edition cleat (like Lionel Messi – an adidas player – received last year) or widespread officially licensed material.  Not to worry Cristiano, they will let you take home the gold soccer ball trophy.

And on this day in #soccerhistory, January 9, the first match using the new FA rules was played in 1864, Sven Goran Ericksson official resigned from Lazio in 2001 allowing him to take over fulltime the England national team (the first time a foreign coach managed the Three Lions), and Carin Jennings-Gabarra 1 prong of the ‘triple edge sword’ that won the inaugural FIFA Women’s World Cup was born in 1965.

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