TIME Soccer

A South Korean Billionaire Wants to Be FIFA’s Next President

FBL-FIFA-SKOREA-CORRUPTION-BLATTER-CHUNG
Ed Jones—AFP/Getty Images Former FIFA vice president Chung Mong-joon speaks during a press conference in Seoul on June 3, 2015

"We cannot leave FIFA in this kind of disgrace," Chung Mong-joon says

Correction appended, July 31

Chung Mong-joon, a 63-year-old South Korean billionaire who has a controlling stake in the shipbuilding company Hyundai Heavy Industries, says he will throw his hat into the race to replace Sepp Blatter as FIFA’s president.

Blatter, who served five terms as president of the embattled global soccer-governing body, will be replaced in an election slated for February 26, 2016, CNN reports.

Chung has told various news outlets that he will formally announce his candidacy by next week.

He’s up against some pretty well-known names already, according to CNN, including French former soccer star Michel Platini and Brazilian footballer Arthur Antunes Coimbra (popularly known as Zico), who have both confirmed their intentions to run.

Chung does have some football chops, though. He is a former FIFA vice president and also the president of the Korea Football Association (KFA). Under his 17-year stewardship, the KFA increased its budget from $3 million to $100 million, CNN reports.

So far, he has pledged to turn scandal-ridden FIFA around. “It’s not easy, but people don’t want to be part of corruption. They want to be part of the solution,” he told Reuters. “We cannot leave FIFA in this kind of disgrace.”

[CNN]

Correction: The original version of this story and the headline incorrectly described Chung Mong-joon. He is the controlling shareholder of the shipbuilding company Hyundai Heavy Industries.

TIME Football

Patriots Open Training Camp Amid Deflategate Drama

NFL: New England Patriots-Training Camp
Winslow Townson—USA Today Sports New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) rolls out during training camp at Gillette Stadium on July 30, 2015.

More than 10,000 fans turned out to to cheer Tom Brady and the Patriots

(FOXBOROUGH, Mass.) — Fans drove to Gillette Stadium past a booth selling “Free Tom Brady” T-shirts.

Then, when they arrived for the New England Patriots’ first training camp practice on Thursday, they let the star quarterback know how they felt.

Brady took the field to a boisterous cheer from the more than 10,000 fans who sat in a sweltering sun to see the Super Bowl champions open the defense of their title.

Team owner Robert Kraft, who lashed out at the NFL a day earlier for upholding Brady’s suspension, also got loud applause when he came out on the field.

Kraft waved to fans when he arrived and then signed autographs for about 20 minutes at the end of practice. Fans were overwhelmingly supportive of the owner, according to an Associated Press photographer who witnessed the exchanges in an area off limits to writers.

Up above, an airplane buzzed the practice field towing a banner that said: “Cheaters Look Up!” and listing the Twitter handle of a New York Jets fan website.

But at ground level, Brady looked sharp in his first football action since the Patriots beat the Seattle Seahawks in February for the franchise’s — and his — fourth NFL title. He even had a one-handed touchdown catch on a pass from Julian Edelman, according to a video posted online by a member of the public. (The Patriots do not allow media to report on formations or trick plays.)

Brady was suspended four games and the team was docked $1 million and two draft picks for what the NFL said was a scheme to provide insufficiently inflated footballs for the AFC championship game against the Indianapolis Colts. Brady appealed, but Commissioner Roger Goodell upheld the punishment on Tuesday.

Both the players union and the NFL filed lawsuits in U.S. District Court seeking support for their position. Before the Patriots took the field on Thursday, a judge in Minnesota rejected the union’s suit and said the case would be heard in New York.

But Brady was a winner again on the field, with fans chanting his name and waving signs in support of the three-time Super Bowl MVP. He was not available to the media on Thursday, slipping away through an inaccessible exit after practice.

Backup Jimmy Garoppolo told reporters that he was not thinking about whether he would have to start for the first four games if Brady’s suspension holds. He said he does not have a preference on whether he likes the football hard or soft.

In response to failed appeal, online gambling site Bovada dropped the Patriots odds of winning the Super Bowl from 9-1 to 12-1. The website said Garoppolo’s over/under for touchdowns in the first four games is 4, and for interceptions it was 3.5.

(The over/under for ways the website spelled Garoppolo in its news release was 2.)

Earlier, coach Bill Belichick declined to answer questions about the deflated footballs scandal for the second straight day, citing Kraft’s admonition that the team shouldn’t discuss it.

His players followed suit.

___

AP Photographer Charles Krupa contributed to this story.

TIME Football

Patriots Owner Robert Kraft Regrets Not Appealing NFL Penalties

"This was never about doing what was fair and just"

(FOXBOROUGH, Mass.) — New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft says he was wrong to trust the NFL in the deflated footballs case and that he regrets not appealing the penalties against the team.

Appearing at team headquarters Wednesday, a day after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell upheld a four-game suspension of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, Kraft angrily targeted the league for its handling of the case.

Kraft said that the league’s claim that Brady trashed his cellphone was just the latest in a series of statements and leaks designed to impugn the integrity of Brady and the team.

Kraft said, “I have come to the conclusion that this was never about doing what was fair and just.”

Brady was suspended four games and the team was docked $1 million and two draft picks after the league found improperly inflated footballs were used in the AFC championship game against the Indianapolis Colts.

TIME NFL

Tom Brady ‘Very Disappointed’ by NFL Suspension: ‘I Did Nothing Wrong’

"To suggest that I destroyed a phone to avoid giving the NFL information it requested is completely wrong"

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady says he is “very disappointed” by the NFL’s decision to uphold his four-game suspension for his alleged involvement in his team’s use of underinflated footballs during January’s AFC championship game against the Indianapolis Colts.

“Despite submitting to hours of testimony over the past 6 months, it is disappointing that the Commissioner [Roger Goodell] upheld my suspension based upon a standard that it was ‘probable’ that I was ‘generally aware’ of misconduct,” Brady wrote in a lengthy Facebook post on Wednesday. “The fact is that neither I, nor any equipment person, did anything of which we have been accused. He dismissed my hours of testimony and it is disappointing that he found it unreliable.”

Brady also tried to set the record straight about why he had his assistant destroy his cellphone around the time investigators contacted him about the football tampering commonly referred to as “Deflategate”:

I also disagree with yesterdays narrative surrounding my cellphone. I replaced my broken Samsung phone with a new iPhone 6 AFTER my attorneys made it clear to the NFL that my actual phone device would not be subjected to investigation under ANY circumstances. As a member of a union, I was under no obligation to set a new precedent going forward, nor was I made aware at any time during Mr. Wells investigation, that failing to subject my cell phone to investigation would result in ANY discipline.

Most importantly, I have never written, texted, emailed to anybody at anytime, anything related to football air pressure before this issue was raised at the AFC Championship game in January. To suggest that I destroyed a phone to avoid giving the NFL information it requested is completely wrong.

… We even contacted the phone company to see if there was any possible way we could retrieve any/all of the actual text messages from my old phone. In short, we exhausted every possibility to give the NFL everything we could and offered to go thru the identity for every text and phone call during the relevant time.

You can read the full post here.

TIME Football

Tom Brady Had His Assistant Destroy His Cellphone After Deflategate

The Patriots quarterback had sent and received more than 10,000 text messages on the phone

Tom Brady told his assistant to destroy a cellphone he had used during the Deflategate scandal around the time investigators interviewed him about his involvement, the NFL found.

The details emerged in an NFL decision released Tuesday, in which NFL commissioner Roger Goodell upheld Brady’s four-game suspension for his role in the Patriots’ use of underinflated footballs during the AFC championship game against the Indianapolis Colts in January.

The report revealed that “on or before March 6 — the very day that he was interviewed by [independent investigator Ted Wells] and his investigative team — Mr. Brady instructed his assistant to destroy the cellphone that he had been using since early November 2014.”

Brady had refused to turn the phone and his emails over during the Deflategate probe, investigators said.

The NFL report found Brady had sent and received more than 10,000 text messages on the phone from November 2014 to March 2015.

Brady said at a recent hearing that he always destroys, or tells his assistant to destroy, his old phones when he gets a new one, according to the report.

TIME Football

NFL Upholds Tom Brady’s 4-Game Suspension

The NFL and the New England Patriots' quarterback will head to court over the star's 4-game suspension

(NEW YORK) — Tom Brady’s four-game suspension for his role in using underinflated footballs during the AFC championship game has been upheld by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

The league announced the decision Tuesday, with Goodell saying that the New England quarterback told an assistant to destroy Brady’s cellphone on or just before March 6. Brady met with independent investigator Ted Wells on that day.

“He did so even though he was aware that the investigators had requested access to text messages and other electronic information that had been stored on that phone,” Goodell said in his decision.

“During the four months that the cellphone was in use, Brady had exchanged nearly 10,000 text messages, none of which can now be retrieved from that device.”

Brady acknowledged in his testimony he was aware of investigators’ request for information from the cellphone before he had it destroyed, the appeal decision said.

Wells’ investigation had no subpoena power and Brady was under no legal obligation to cooperate.

The text messages were critical to Wells’ investigation because they could have shown details of Brady’smessages with equipment managers blamed for deflating footballs.

The four-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback was suspended by NFL executive Troy Vincent in May following the Wells report. The Patriots were fined $1 million and docked a pair of draft picks. The team didn’t appeal its penalty, but Brady and his lawyers made their case during a 10-hour appeal hearing on June 23.

The NFL Players Association has previously said it would challenge the decision in court if Brady’s suspension wasn’t erased. The union said Tuesday afternoon it would have a statement later in the day. The Patriots said they had no comment on the decision.

Moments after announcing Goodell’s decision, the league filed action in U.S. District Court in New York against the union, saying the NFL commissioner has the right under the labor agreement to hand out such discipline “for conduct that he determines is detrimental to the integrity of, or public confidence in, the game of professional football.”

Goodell mentioned exactly that in the conclusion of his appeal decision.

“Especially in light of the new evidence introduced at the hearing — evidence demonstrating that he arranged for the destruction of potentially relevant evidence that had been specifically requested by the investigators — my findings and conclusions have not changed in a manner that would benefit Mr. Brady,” Goodell said.

Brady and the Patriots have denied knowingly using deflated footballs in the AFC title game win over Indianapolis. The Patriots went on to beat Seattle in the Super Bowl and Brady was the MVP.

The NFL announced in late January that Wells would head an investigation into New England’s use of underinflated balls against the Colts. More than three months later, the 243-page Wells report was issued, saying it was “more probable than not” that Brady was “at least generally aware” that footballs he used were improperly deflated by team personnel.

Brady appealed and the union asked Goodell to recuse himself from hearing the appeal because he could not be impartial and might be called as a witness. But Goodell said it was his responsibility to oversee the hearing to protect the integrity of the league.

Scientific arguments were a major part of Brady’s defense. Brady’s lawyers tried to shoot down the findings of an independent firm hired to provide scientific analysis of the air pressure inside the footballs used by the Patriots and Colts.

Brady, who turns 38 on Aug. 3, took nearly every snap last season. But he’ll miss the first four games this season unless the case goes to court. Jimmy Garoppolo, a second-round pick in 2014, would replace Brady, the two-time NFL MVP and three-time Super Bowl MVP.

New England hosts Pittsburgh on Sept. 10 to open the regular season. It then goes to Buffalo, hosts Jacksonville, has a bye, and is at Dallas in the last game of Brady’s suspension. Brady would return against, yes, the Colts on Oct. 18 in Indianapolis.

 

TIME Football

There Is a Female Coach in the NFL for the First Time Ever

Jen Welter will be coaching inside linebackers for the Arizona Cardinals

In a historic move, the Arizona Cardinals have announced that they have hired the first-ever female NFL coach.

According to NFL.com, Jen Welter played rugby at college and then 14 years of professional football in the Women’s Football Alliance. She is currently a member of the Indoor Football League. Welter will complete an internship with the team, coaching inside linebackers during the preseason training camp.

It’s not the first time she’ll be making history in football. At the Indoor Football League, she was the first woman to play in a nonkicking position on an all-male team, NFL.com reports.

Cardinals coach Bruce Arians, who made the decision to hire Welter, said that gender shouldn’t come into play when it comes to coaching. “If you can make me better, I don’t care if you’re the Green Hornet, man, I’ll listen,” he told NFL.com.

[NFL.com]

TIME Football

NFL to Set New Ball-Inspection Rules After Deflategate

Football
Boston Globe/Getty Images After intercepting a second quarter pass by New England quarterback Tom Brady, Indianapolis Colts linebacker D'Qwell Jackson runs with the ball that sparked the controversy over the charges that the Patriots were using under inflated footballs.

The league is considering pressure readings for every ball before the game and then again at halftime

The NFL is preparing to send out instructions to game officials and teams explaining new rules for inspecting footballs.

Two people familiar with the league’s plans tell The Associated Press on Monday that proper inflation of the footballs will be documented as part of the new policy. But those people, speaking on condition of anonymity because the league has not released information on the new policy, say no instructions have been sent out yet.

The first preseason game is Aug. 9.

Among the details being considered for the new policy: having game officials appointed by the referee inspect the 48 footballs for each game more than two hours before kickoff. In the past, the referee inspected the footballs.

Also under consideration is checking pressure readings for every ball before the game and then again at halftime.

These changes stem from the use of underinflated footballs in the AFC championship game, which led to a four-game suspension for New England quarterback Tom Brady, a $1 million fine for the Patriots, and two draft picks.

TIME Football

Buffalo Bills Founder’s Foundation to Give Away $1.2 Billion

Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson gestures during a news conference in Tampa, Fla. on Jan. 31, 2009.
Chris O'Meara—AP Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson gestures during a news conference in Tampa, Fla. on Jan. 31, 2009.

The founder of the Buffalo Bills sold the team in 2014 for $1.4 billion

The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, named after the founder of the Buffalo Bills football franchise, will launch later this year with the goal of giving $1.2 billion to charity, according to trustees of the organization.

Wilson, originally from Detroit, sold the team for $1.4 billion in 2014 and died at the age of 95 in March of this year. Throughout his life, he also owned manufacturing, mining, insurance and other businesses.

The foundation will focus on “five pillars”: healthy lifestyles, youth development, caregivers, community development, and economic growth; the foundation will target Wilson’s hometown of Detroit and surrounding areas along with his adopted town of Buffalo, NY, and its surrounding vicinity, reported The Detroit News.

Over the past 20 years, Wilson had amassed $1.2 billion for the foundation through an irrevocable trust; $60 million in grants will be available in 2015.

“Ralph saw firsthand the impact of his generosity in his lifetime,” Mary Wilson, his widow, said. “Always thinking of others even in his own legacy, his hope with this trust was that the foundation’s work may make a direct impact in the lifetimes of those who knew him best.”

 

TIME Football

‘Deflategate’ Football Sold at Auction for $43,740

deflategate football
Lelands.com Lelands.com auctioned a football used in the AFC Championship Game.

It was forecast to go for more than $100,000

One of the footballs at the center of the “Deflategate” scandal involving New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady sold at an auction Saturday for $43,740.

The football, sold by online auction house Lelands.com, is the first to have been made publicly available following this year’s controversial AFC Championship game between the Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts, during which the balls were found to have been underinflated.

Patriots fan Laura Nichols put the ball up for auction, after it was handed to her during the Patriots-Colts game; she’d believed it had been swapped in during the second half, after the balls were reinflated to normal levels, but discovered it was one of the balls in question after the release of the NFL’s Wells Report.

Despite how expensive it was, the Deflategate ball still failed to meet one lofty prediction: The price tag on this football is lower than Joshua Evans, Lelands.com chairman, forecast when he said it could go for more than $100,000.

[ESPN]

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