Vitaly Mutko spoke Wednesday. (Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images)

Vitaly Mutko spoke Wednesday saying. ‘”We’ve got nothing to hide.” (Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images)

Adding to the current chaos surrounding FIFA, President Vladimir Putin defended the organization on Thursday, saying the arrests made Wednesday were “another blatant attempt by the United States to extend its jurisdiction to other states.”

Swiss prosecutors had announced a criminal investigation into Russia being awarded the 2018 World Cup and Qatar receiving 2022’s.

“We’ve got nothing to hide,” Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko told The Associated Press. “We’re prepared to show everything. We’ve always acted within the law.”

The Swiss prosecutors invaded FIFA headquarters and seized computers along with records to further look into whether those decisions were rigged.

The U.S. is conducting a separate investigation, but authorities on both the Swiss and U.S. side were working together.

Though corruption rumors have swirled around the organization during Sepp Blatter’s 17 years as president, he was not cited in the investigations.

“We welcome the actions and the investigations by the U.S. and Swiss authorities and believe that it will help to reinforce measures that FIFA has already taken to root out any wrongdoing in football,” Blatter said in a statement.

Diego Maradona told Radio La Red, a Buenos Aires radio station, that he was “treated like a crazy person” when he complained of the corruption in FIFA.

“Now the FBI has told the truth,” he said.

In addition, former Brazilian soccer star Romario said to the AP, “someone had to eventually arrest them one day.”

Acting U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York Kelly T. Currie told the AP that the 161-page, 47-count indictment, which included wire fraud, money laundering and racketeering conspiracy, described decades of “brazen corruption.”

“The ultimate victim is soccer at large: it’s the fans, it’s the organization,” Currie said. “The reason that these people were able to make so much money corruptly is just the love people have for the sport.”

A total of 14 defendants were named in the indictment, including two current FIFA vice presidents in Jeffrey Webb of the Cayman Islands, Eugenio Figueredo of Uruguay and seven officials in total. Of the others indicted, four are sports marketing executives and one works in broadcasting. Another is Jack Warner, a former FIFA vice president from Trinidad and Tobago who turned himself in after police issued an arrest warrant.

Media rights made up a large part of the bribes detailed in the indictment. One in particular, prosecutors said, was when CONMEBOL, South American soccer’s governing body, finalized agreements for Copa America deals worth $352.5 million, the company it made the deal with, Datisa, promised to extend $110 million in bribes to South American soccer officials.

Friday marks FIFA’s election for president and Blatter’s only opposition, Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan, issued a statement regarding the investigations.

“We cannot continue with the crisis in FIFA, a crisis that has been ongoing and is not just relevant to the events of today,” he said. “FIFA needs leadership that governs, guides and protects our national associations. … Leadership that restores confidence in the hundreds of millions of football fans around the world.”

Blog Author: 
Judy Cohen
Now he is not saying it's as bad as Chicken and Beer, but Lou Merloni thinks there are some team chemistry issues in the Red Sox clubhouse. The guys discuss the potential problems and what can be done to fix it.

Boston Business JournalNew disclosures indicate Boston 2024 used rosy assumptions and the promise of public funding to win the U.S. Olympic Committee’s backing to potentially host the 2024 Summer Games.

That’s according to the so-called Bid Book, obtained by the Boston Business Journal through a freedom of information request, arranged by Boston 2024 when it threw its weight behind a formal pitch to host the Games earlier this year. …

Among the new disclosures to come to light:

Public funding will be needed to prepare for the Games: In an excerpt from the Bid Book, Boston 2024 says a public authority will be required to “fund land acquisition and infrastructure costs” …

The report outlines dozens of planned or existing infrastructure improvement projects, most of which are marked as being financed with public money. …

In a Chapter 3 section titled ‘€œTransport Challenges,’€ there’€™s little to no mention of any deficiencies in the commuter rail and T systems: In fact, the MBTA is not mentioned once by name, though “effective traffic detours’€ and ‘€œlane management strategies” are referenced.

This is the report they were talking about on Dennis & Callahan Thursday morning, and while I disagree with the fellas that this is the final nail in Boston 2024’s coffin, I do consider it a victory for us cynics everywhere.

Now I’m not suggesting it’s right to be cynical about all things, but when you’re a cynic when it comes to Massachusetts politics, you’re almost never proven wrong. As that wise philosopher, the great Lloyd Dobler said, “If you start out depressed everything’s kind of a pleasant surprise.” And there is nothing so depressing as the thought of a bunch of unelected, unaccountable, politically connected Massholes getting their noses into the public trough. Because once they do, they gorge themselves until their stomachs explode. That’s less cynicism than it is simply paying attention all these years.

So far Boston 2024 has operated straight out of the Massachusetts white collar criminal playbook. It’s like they scripted the first 15 plays from all the past fiascos. Make a proposal, tell people it will make their lives better, swear it won’t cost them much, invent harmless-sounding euphemisms like “lane management strategies,” ledge “transparency.” Then hide everything you’re up to, disrupt the lives of millions, and once the bank vault is open, overpower the guards, tie them up and steal as much as you can carry before the door is slammed shut.

This time we’re catching these guys early, thanks to reports like the one where ex-politicians were making $7,500 a day schilling for this thing and this one, that took a F.O.I. request to uncover. And the timing could not be better, given that FIFA is seeing its gang of thieves rounded up like johns in a street prostitution sting. FIFA is the Order of the Phoenix compared to the International Olympic Committee. But Boston 2024 wants to give the I.O.C. access to your tax dollars.

Thanks anyway. I’ve seen this gameplan before and I know how it plays out. With people who don’t care if you live or die in a traffic jam – excuse me, an “effective traffic detour” – making off with giant bags with dollar signs on them and telling you it’s for your own good. And by “thanks,” we mean “no, thanks.”


DraftKings Play fantasy baseball every day at DraftKings — official daily fantasy partner of the Boston Red Sox — and win part of $300 million in prizes being paid out this baseball season! FOR FREE ENTRY TO THE $10,000 FANTASY BASEBALL CONTEST, CLICK HERE.

Blog Author: 
Jerry Thornton

I’m as geared up as anyone to see “Black Mass.” But if they ever made this into an actual movie, I’d be like one of those geeks who camps outside the theater for a week to be at the first screening — in full costume. The only way this mashup doesn’t work is that unfortunately Bill Belichick doesn’t have a mole at NFL headquarters passing information to him the way Whitey Bulger did. If he had, he’d never lose another game. Anyway, this is more brilliant work from the geniuses at the Super Bowl XLIX Champions YouTube channel. Take a bow, fellas.


DraftKings Play fantasy baseball every day at DraftKings — official daily fantasy partner of the Boston Red Sox — and win part of $300 million in prizes being paid out this baseball season! FOR FREE ENTRY TO THE $10,000 FANTASY BASEBALL CONTEST, CLICK HERE.

Blog Author: 
Jerry Thornton
The guys discussed Boston 2024 with the Mayor of Boston.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.

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The guys discussed the Red Sox struggles.

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This year’s edition of the HBO documentary series “Hard Knocks” will follow the Texans through training camp.

As a rule, teams can refuse the show if they’ve been in the playoffs the last two seasons, if they have a new head coach or if they have been the show’s subject in the last 10 years. Since Houston fits none of this criteria, one of nine teams that doesn’t, the Texans are set to be featured for 2015.

The show was created in 2001 and since then the Ravens, Chiefs, Jets, Dolphins and Falcons have each been subjects once, while the Cowboys and Bengals have been so twice.

“We’ll use it as an opportunity to show the world what our team is about, the hard working guys we have, some of the great personalities that we have on our team,” J.J. Watt said via team’s website.

“I think it’s something that, as fans of the game, always love to watch, but as a player I don’t know if you ever really advocate for it for your own team because you know what it brings,” he added. “But I think that our team’s going to do a great job avoiding any distractions, and I think we’re going to use it to bring us together as a team. We’re going to use it to help showcase our team to the world and I think that when you’re put in a situation like this, you just have to try and use it your advantage.”

The Texans released a trailer Wednesday, serving as a bit of a sneak peek into what the show will focus on.

“I think it’s a wonderful opportunity for the rest of the country to see that we’ve got a first-class group of players and coaches,” Texans owner Bob McNair told ESPN, “and this is the way we would like to see the game presented and these are the type of participants in the game. I think it’s something that can be very positive, not just for us but for the league. I’m quite proud of our players and the way they do represent us.”

Blog Author: 
Judy Cohen
The guys discussed the latest on the Boston Olympics.

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Boston Mayor Marty Walsh joined Dennis & Callahan Thursday morning to talk about Boston 2024, specifically taxpayers’ money when it relates to the Olympics potentially coming to Boston.