The walls continue to crumble around Sepp Blatter, but he's still a dog with a bowler hat inside a burning house. Swiss authorities have opened a criminal investigation against the FIFA president, but Blatter insists he never did anything wrong, and he has no plans to resign early. On the issue of Blatter potentially paying a considerable bribe to current UEFA president and potential future FIFA president Michel Platini, his lawyers have insisted everything is above board.
On the Platini matter, President Blatter on Friday shared with the Swiss authorities the fact that Mr. Platini had a valuable employment relationship with FIFA serving as an advisor to the president beginning in 1998. He explained to the prosecutors that the payments were valid compensation and nothing more and were properly accounted for within FIFA including the withholding of Social Security contributions.
Platini is sticking to the same story. He simply received a payment on the up and up that was nine years overdue. Incidentally, Platini once told United States representatives he would vote for their bid on the 2022 World Cup, before he changed his mind and sided with Qatar. FIFA is a juggernaut of god-awfulness.
Watch: U.S. Soccer's hype video for USA vs. Mexico CONCACAF playoff [SI]
We're closing in on a USA-Mexico showdown for a berth in the 2017 Confederations Cup. This video should get you adequately hyped. Is it too much to ask for another #DosACero?
DeKalb County says new Animal Shelter will be complete, operational before old one is demolished [The Chamblee Post]
So one of the not-too-great headlines surrounding Atlanta United FC's deal for a headquarters in DeKalb County was "DeKalb Animal Shelter May Be Demolished For Atlanta United." The large photo of a concerned dog under the headline didn't help, either. In an attempt to calm fears, county press secretary Burke Brennan says, "Until the new facility is complete and operational, there are no plans to close or demolish the current facility."
Watch the trailer for the behind-the-scenes Cristiano Ronaldo movie [SI]
Yes, Cristiano Ronaldo has a biopic coming out on November 9. No, the trailer doesn't feature any scenes of Ronaldo rolling around on the turf, screaming in agony. (Yes, it does make the super-duper-star appear to be pretty likable.)
"A goalkeeper? Are you joking?"
What's happening in The A?
Atlanta Hawks media day was Monday. The biggest highlight: Kyle Korver, Thabo Sefolosha, and Shelvin Mack hope to be fully healthy for the regular season opener on October 27.