Friday, April 20

Stories Of the Day: FIFA museum; Hejduk retires; Goal-Line tech; UEFA contracts

International news…

FIFA museum: With their $1.2 billion announced cash reserves, FIFA thought it would be a good idea to spend some of it and decided that an underground museum next to its Zurich headquarters was a good way to use up nearly $200 million of it. According to the organization’s site, it will include animations, games and trophies.

The weird thing to me is that the sport, played in fantastic open-aired stadiums (for the most part) is going to have a claustrophobic-feeling museum underground – makes no sense to me. Now, I guess this is where we make jokes about FIFA possibly being a museum itself with of its archaic dedication to the rules and advancement of the game. Or, will the museum have a section for corruption?  -

Hejduk hangs ‘em up: Longtime US international and Columbus Crew player called it quits officially today. After an acclaimed career it came to kind of a sad end where nobody really wanted him other than LA, who grabbed his rights after everyone else passed – but they were unable to agree to terms. He returned to Columbus to take a front office position as brand ambassador.

Over the course of his storied career in Columbus (2003-10), Hejduk was a part of four major trophies – the 2008 MLS Cup title and three Supporters’ Shields (2004, 2008, 2009) – while becoming one of the most popular figures in club history. He won a second MLS Cup with the Galaxy in 2011 and was on 1996 and 2011 Supporters’ Shield winning teams with Tampa Bay and LA, respectively.

There will no doubt be a number of pieces online about his career over the next week, but I am working on an Open Cup specific piece for for Friday. 

Goal-Line tech in MLS?: Apparently Don Garber wants MLS to be one of the competitions testing goal-line technology once the go-ahead is given by IFAB, the governing body for the rules of the game.

I think it is great MLS wants to take it on, but I hope others will too. MLS has made great strides, but I think the outside reaction to any results gathered from here would be that ‘the US needed the technology for our inferior referees, and that the world’s best would never make those same kind of mistakes.’ That being said, this advancement is long overdue, especially since everyone is so opposed to additional referees as well. Let’s face it the players are so much quicker these days, and shoot with more pace from further distances than the past, leaving referees well out of position to see if the ball crosses the line. Nevermind the obstructed views on corners and goal-mouth scrambles.

Europe catches up: It is not often we can say that Europe is behind the times, but UEFA and FIFPro, the organization that represents players, came to an agreement that forces clubs to clearly outline pay structures (amounts and times), other contract benefits and minimum standards. The move is primarily in reply to the fact a lot of eastern European clubs in economically challenged nations had been vastly neglectful and disrespectful of their players for a number of years.

Basically, UEFA told all those clubs to “get your s**t together.”

Unfortunately, the story does not outline any potential disciplinary actions clubs could face if they fail to comply.

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