FIFA Presidential candidate Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein says the accusations that Sepp Blatter's legal adviser altered a key report into reform recommendation are "deeply worrying" and that the Michael Garcia report could also have been interfered with.

Prince Ali, who will stand against Blatter in the upcoming election alongside former Portugal international Luis Figo as well as head of the Royal Dutch Football Association Michael van Praag,claims recent developments provide another indictment of the way the world governing body is currently run.

"There does appear to be evidence of interference in the drafting of the so-called independent Pieth report by FIFA," the Jordanian FA President said.

"This is deeply worrying and suggests something is not right at the heart of FIFA governance.

"Media reports over the weekend are a reminder of why we need Michael Garcia's report into FIFA's World Cup bidding process to be published in full.

"Without publishing the Garcia report in full, FIFA faces the ongoing public suspicion that interference may also have occurred in that case."

The allegations surround a report which Blatter commissioned to Swiss professor Mark Pieth back in 2011 in order to repair some of the damage done by a miasma of corruption allegations during the Swiss' tenure as head of world football's governing body.

The report was supposed to put forward firm proposals of how FIFA can improve its image, but only a few of Pieth's ideas have come to fruition, with German magazine Der Spiegel claiming criticism of Blatter was removed by FIFA's director of legal affairs Marco Villiger.

The magazine is reportedly in possession of e-mails which purport to suggest that Villiger saw a 15-page draft of Pieth's report and then opted to make changes in order to reflect better on Blatter, who will bid to earn a fifth term in office in this year's election.

Der Spiegel allege the main changes came in reference to the ISL bribery scandal, where Brazil's former FIFA President Joao Havelange and other leading FIFA members were paid bribes in exchange for the award of World Cup marketing rights, with Blatter's role being questioned by Pieth.

Pieth wrote that Blatter may have been complicit in the scandal before Villiger returned the report two weeks later having made 37 notes and various other deletions.

Villiger was also at the centre of the Garcia report furore as he persuaded the FIFA Executive Committee not to publish the report into possible corruption involved in the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bid process, won by Russia and Qatar respectively, and one that Prince Ali has constantly campaigned to have published in its entirety.

A redacted version of the American's report is due to be released later this year.

The development has been heavily criticised by UEFA as the gap between football's two main governing bodies continues to widen.

"The latest revelations regarding the Pieth report show that FIFA's independent governance committee was anything but independent," UEFA President Michel Platini's spokesperson Pedro Pinto said.

"UEFA has always wondered why it was criticised by Mr Pieth and wrongly accused of blocking FIFA reforms.

"Now we understand why and where it all came from."

The news may be music to the ears of the rest of the Presidential candidates ahead of the election in Zurich on May 29 as they are all attempting to oust Blatter from a role he has held since 1998.


The potential for a commercially viable Trinidad and Tobago sport industry is huge. However a critical success factor is  strong sport governance systems and procedures.

Many of the existing Constitutions under which national sport organisations and national governing bodies  operate need to be modernized and amended to include basic universal principles of good governance.

The Ministry of Sport, Sport Company of Trinidad and Tobago and the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) must cooperate and work together to foster, facilitate and enable the necessary changes and reform.

We can't sweep the issue of poor sports governance under the carpet . Its not about making cosmetic changes. There is need for reform.

Some sports are operating in an undemocratic manner and aren't conducting their affairs in a transparent and accountable manner.

The ultimate victims are the athletes,children, youth and young people and the best interest and sustainable development of sport.

Constitutional reform is a priority in Trinidad and Tobago Sport.

Edmonton tonight withdrew its bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games because of economic problems caused by the drop in worldwide oil prices, claiming that they wanted to focus on 2026 instead.

Since Edmonton announced its intention to bid the Alberta Government has seen their fiscal programme go from a CAD$500 million (£260 million/$397 million/€351 million) surplus to a CAD$7 billion (£3.5 billion/$5.5 billion/€5 billion) deficit due to world oil prices, Canadian officials said in a statement.

This drop will have significant impact on the economy, affecting most sectors throughout Alberta Province, they added.

The decision leaves Durban in South Africa as the only bidder for the Games, putting them in pole position to become the first city in Africa to host a major multi-sport event.

Edmonton had estimated that it would cost CAD$1 billion (£520 million/$795 million/€702 million) to host the Games, which it had last staged in 1978.

Of that, the City of Edmonton was expected to pay 20 per cent with Alberta making up the remaining $800 million (£417 million/$636 million/€562 million).

The decision to pull the plug was taken following a meeting involving City of Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson and Reg Milley, the President of Edmonton 2022.

They decided they could not continue to justify the bid, which was estimated to have cost CAD$7 million (£3.5 million/$5.5 million/€5 million), with half that amount coming from Alberta.

"In light of this, we determined that we could not in good conscious put forth our bid for the 2022 Commonwealth Games," said Milley.

"We strongly believe in the values of the Commonwealth Games and all that they stand for.

"Which is why this has not been an easy decision for us, as our team has been working tirelessly these last months to put together an extraordinary bid.  

"But we believe that at this time it would not be right to move forward with our bid when cuts are being made in our communities to programmes like in education and health."

Edmonton 2022 notified the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) earlier today it would not be submitting a bid but is instead shifting its focus to 2026.

"We have spoken to the Commonwealth Games Federation CEO David Grevemberg and he expressed his disappointment that we are not proceeding with our bid, noting all the hard work that has gone into the Edmonton 2022 bid," said Richard Powers, President of Commonwealth Games Canada.

"He reaffirmed that the Federation was committed to working closely with us as we refocus our efforts to bring Games back to Canada in 2026."

The decision, which no-one had predicted, means Edmonton certainly lived up to its bid logo of "Expect Extraordinary".

They had been considered the clear front-runner to host the Games due to Durban's lack of activity and organisation since they launched their bid last March.

But, unless another city steps in at the last moment, which appears unlikely, the CGF will now have no choice but to turn to Africa for the first time since the Games was first held in Hamilton, Canada, in 1930.  

"We are obviously disappointed to hear Edmonton will not be part of the host city bidding process for the 2022 Commonwealth Games," said Grevemberg.

"The Edmonton bid team, in collaboration with their partners, has worked hard to lay the foundations of a great bid and we will work closely with them as they focus all efforts on bringing the Commonwealth Games back to Canada - where the Commonwealth Games first began - in 2026.

"We now look forward enthusiastically to working with the Durban 2022 Bid team and their partners through the evaluation process so, together as a Commonwealth sporting movement, we can realise the ambitions of delivering Africa's first Commonwealth Games."

The CGF is due to officially announce the host city for 2022 at its General Assembly in Auckland on September 2.

Edmonton had been in the final stages of putting together its final Bid Book which was due to be presented to the CGF at a special ceremony in London on March 2.

"We are of course very saddened by this decision, but we know that this is the right one for the future of our city, Province and country," said Simon Farbrother, the chief executive of Edmonton 2022.

"The Commonwealth Games have strong roots in Canada and we plan to be able to come back for the 2026 Games should the economic status allow.

"Of course, we are committed to supporting all sport events coming to our wonderful city and especially look forward to welcoming the FIFA Women's World Cup this summer."


The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) announced today DICK'S Sporting Goods as its latest sponsor.

The Pittsburgh-based sports company will provide Team USA athletes with sportswear and will also donate sporting goods to US Olympic Training Centres ahead of the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Perhaps the most innovative part of the deal is the Team USA Store Ambassador Programme, where DICK's will offer employment to budding Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls in one of its more than 550 shops in 46 states.

DICK's, founded in 1948 in Binghamton, New York, will accommodate the needs of the athletes by fitting their working pattern around their training schedules, and they hope the participants will be able to share their passion with customers.

"We believe in the spirit of athletes and the power of their dreams," Lauren Hobart,  senior vice-president and chief marketing officer of DICK's.

"We plan to be there to support the athletes who need it most, in a way that no other sporting goods retailer possibly can."

Kerri Walsh Jennings, the three-time Olympic beach volleyball gold medallist, also heralded the agreement between USOC and DICK's and claimed the deal will be of great benefit to American athletes.

"A lot of us have to work as well as compete so the help DICK's will provide us with is amazing," she said.

"It's great to be here today and I want to welcome DICK's to the team.

"Get ready to win gold."

"I don't think about winning bronze or silver and I know we're going to achieve great things."

The agreement, effective from today, is the first time DICK's have been involved in sponsorship in sport and USOC chief marketing officer Lisa Baird echoed the sentiments of Jennings.

"We are thrilled to welcome DICK'S Sporting Goods to our great family of USOC partners," she added.

"DICK'S support of Team USA athletes, including opportunities for employment in the communities where they live and train, opens up new pathways for America's elite athletes to achieve their dream of competing on the biggest stage in sport."


The Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) has received the news of the passing of the  President of the Pan American Sport Organization (PASO) Mario Vazquez Rana with sadness.

The TTOC extends sincerest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Pan American Sport Organization(PASO) President Mario Vazquez Rana.

President Rana's contribution to the growth and development of the Olympic movement in the Americas is immense , unquestioned and influential .

PASO is in a strong financial position. The organization is highly respected in the global Olympic movement.

Whatever differences of opinions there may have been during his long and illustrious tenure was a reflection of his honesty, integrity, passion , enthusiasm and commitment for the Olympic movement.

The Americas  is preparing to stage its first Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro next year.

The PASO region will also host both the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires and the IOC Session at which the host of the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics will be selected in Lima in 2017.

President of PASO since 1975. He has left a strong,dynamic  and vibrant legacy  one that PASO and its member countries will be able to build on in a positive way. The TTOC is deeply appreciative of his outstanding efforts and contribution.

Its the end of an era. May he rest in Peace.

Brian Lewis



Mario Vázquez Raña, one of the most powerful actors in the Olympic Movement in the latter part of the 20th century, has died at the age of 82.

The Mexican newspaper magnate had been ill for some time and had been unable to attend last month's General Assembly of the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO) in Puerto Vallarta on Mexico's Pacific coast.

He remained PASO President at the time of his death.

His passing is set, accordingly, to trigger a leadership election for the post he had held since 1975, with Brazil's Carlos Nuzman and José Joaquín Puello from the Dominican Republic widely seen as front runners.

In a statement on the Mexican Olympic Committee (COM) website, Carlos Padilla Becerra, COM President, described Vázquez Raña's death as "an irreparable loss".

He added: "The Olympic family in Mexico and the world is in mourning for this loss...

"A man who had the intelligence to raise American sport to its highest level has gone away."

As well as PASO, Vázquez Raña presided over the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) for 33 years before resigning unexpectedly in March 2012.

He also spent 10 years from 2002 in the highly influential post of head of Olympic Solidarity, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) programme that manages the share of IOC broadcasting income, running into hundreds of millions of dollars, belonging to the National Olympic Committees and redistributes these funds via a variety of programmes.

Vázquez Raña's death comes as South America is preparing to stage its first Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro next year.

The PASO region will also host both the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires and the IOC Session at which the host of the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics will be selected in Lima in 2017.