FIFA bans former top official Markus Kattner for 10 years


Soccer’s world governing body FIFA has banned Markus Kattner, a former leading official in the Zurich organisation, for 10 years and has fined him one million Swiss francs ($1.5 million) after a probe into bonus payments.

“The adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee has found Markus Kattner, former FIFA Deputy Secretary General and Acting Secretary General, guilty of conflicts of interest and having abused his position, in violation of the FIFA Code of Ethics,” FIFA said in a statement on Tuesday.

Markus Kattner was found to have abused his position.

Markus Kattner was found to have abused his position.Credit:AP

“The investigation into Mr Kattner covered various charges concerning bonus payments in relation to FIFA competitions that were paid to top FIFA management officials (including Mr Kattner), various amendments to and extensions of employment contracts, reimbursement of private legal costs, and Mr Kattner’s duties as an official.”

FIFA said in June 2016 that an internal investigation revealed that Kattner, FIFA’s former Secretary General Jerome Valcke and the organisation’s ex-President Sepp Blatter had received 79 million Swiss francs in compensation over five years, calling them “massive payouts”.



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How this ‘true pioneer’ helped bring the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup to Australia


As celebrations continue on soon after Australia and New Zealand gained its joint bid to host the 2023 FIFA Women’s Globe Cup on Friday, several men and women are happier than Ann Odong.

Ms Odong was not only element of the team that helped safe the occasion but has a long heritage of advocating for women’s football in Australia.

“This is not a second that just took place early Friday early morning, this is a instant that has been creating for a seriously very long time,” she advised SBS News.

Ms Odong worked as a marketing campaign coordinator for the bid from January 2018 to December 2019, prior to going into a communications role with Football Federation Australia (FFA).

“A large amount of the perform we did was about telling the tale and marketing the eyesight of what a Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand would be equipped to do for the full sport,” she mentioned. 

She said hearing the outcome with fellow staff members and gamers at FFA’s headquarters in the early hours of Friday was a moment of “pure, pure elation”.

“There were so many fantastic individuals in that place who actually treatment about soccer and genuinely care about women’s soccer … I will never overlook that minute, ever.”

But Ms Odong’s operate ahead of she joined the marketing campaign was perhaps just as essential in Australia’s successful bid for the tournament.

Women’s sport has extended been underreported in Australia and in 2008, Ms Odong determined to do a little something about it.

“I received truly worn out of on the lookout for information all around the spot so I assumed, ‘why do not I get started a place where you can obtain women’s football info all alongside one another?’,” she explained.

And with that, she started The Women’s Sport web site.

“I did it solo for a few decades, then in 2011, I moved to Sydney from Perth mainly because I realized if I required to deal with the Matildas, I might will need to be in Sydney … and I finished up with a 17-strong team.”

From these humble beginnings, The Women’s Recreation now statements to be the country’s major system dedicated to covering women’s activity.

SBS News talks to Ann Odong in the days following the announcement.

SBS Information

These efforts have observed Ms Odong attract praise from across the soccer group, with previous Matildas midfielder Sally Shipard at the time contacting her “a real pioneer in media coverage for women’s football”.

It was a level echoed by SBS presenter Lucy Zelic after Friday’s announcement.

“Ann has given a damn about women’s soccer from day a single, back when media coverage was almost non-existent and almost everything we realized about the women’s activity arrived through her,” she tweeted.

Uganda escape

Ms Odong was born in Uganda but her spouse and children fled as the country descended into a bloody civil war all through the 1980s.

They escaped to Kenya right before settling in Perth in 1990 by means of the United Nations refugee program.

“[Australia] was a absolutely diverse environment. It was the 1990s in Perth, there were not that several refugees, there were not that many African people and so we went to college and we have been diverse.”

“I generally say it … For us, soccer was so essential to experience Australian, feeling section of the tradition.”

She reported she has been a football admirer considering the fact that getting to start with launched to the match, but “truly fell in like with it” when looking at the 1998 men’s Globe Cup.

“Looking at the French nationwide team and so quite a few of the fantastic gamers who experienced backgrounds from the African diaspora, like Thierry Henry, an all-time favourite, and Lilian Thuram.”

“That just opened up the game to me.”

A ‘game changer’

As Australia commences its preparations for the event, Ms Odong will do the job as tricky as at any time to encourage women’s football.

She claimed the significance of hosting a Women’s World Cup cannot be underestimated.

“For women’s football, it truly is the option to occur into the limelight, which has gradually been going on around the past pair of several years,” she said.

“[This will] change perceptions … and open up it up so that ladies don’t experience ashamed to engage in.”

Ms Odong stated Australia now has an prospect “to condition the activity for the future 20, 30 or 40 decades”.

“I definitely imagine this is a sport changer,” she explained.





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Australia and New Zealand win bid to host 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup


Australia and New Zealand will host the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

In the early several hours of Friday, FIFA introduced the Australia-Kiwi joint bid beat Colombia.

The Sydney Opera Property and Auckland’s Sky Tower have been lit up to rejoice.

The Sydney Opera Residence just ahead of the announcement.

AAP

“You desire as a very little lady to play in a environment cup but to do that on your dwelling soil in front of your relatives and pals, in a packed-out stadium of environmentally friendly and gold, you are not able to seriously question for a better event,” Matildas participant Kyah Simon advised SBS Information before the outcome was introduced.

It will be the initially 32-staff women’s earth cup, an enhance from 24 groups at the previous match in 2019.

Australia to begin with planned to bid for the 2023 tournament alone, before combining forces with New Zealand to formally submit a joint bid in December 2019.

The Matildas celebrate a Emily van Egmond goal earlier this year.

The Matildas celebrate a Emily van Egmond purpose earlier this calendar year.

Getty

The Japan Football Association on Monday announced that it was pulling out of the race to go away the joint bid from down less than to duke it out with Colombia.

Australia and New Zealand acquired the highest score in FIFA’s complex analysis – earning 4.1 out of five in the report in comparison to Colombia’s 2.8.

There have been 37 FIFA Council associates but only 35 could vote, as New Zealand’s Johanna Wood and Colombia’s Ramon Jesurun have been ineligible.

The Women's World Cup trophy.

The Women’s Environment Cup trophy.

AAP

Australia and the Kiwis have been operating on the bid until eventually just prior to the announcement.

“We proceed to do the job the phones, you can find however a bit of operate to do, it is really limited in my see. So we will carry on to function appropriate right up until the conclusion,” FFA chairman Chris Nikou told SBS News late Thursday.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was also individually hitting the phones on Thursday in an attempt to secure the match.

It will come 10 a long time after Australia unsuccessful in its bid to host the FIFA Men’s Planet Cup.



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Australia and New Zealand win bid to to host 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup

Australia and New Zealand have been productive in their historic joint bid to host the 2023 FIFA Women’s Earth Cup.

The trans-Tasman bit conquer out that of ultimate rival Colombia at the FIFA council assembly in Zurich early this early morning.

The event will be the to start with-ever co-Confederation hosted FIFA World Cup (Australia, currently being section of the Asian football confederation and New Zealand a member of the Oceanic branch), as well as the very first-at any time FIFA Women’s Earth Cup to be held in the Asia-Pacific location.

Much more to come.



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Australia 2023 FIFA World Cup host hopes hurt by UEFA backing Colombia


This is starting to feel like the Socceroos v Iran in 1997 all over again.

Australia’s joint bid with New Zealand to host the 2023 Women’s World Cup looked home and hosed after Japan pulled out this week leaving Colombia as our only competition.

FIFA’s technical evaluation of both bids made it a one-sided contest with our superior score of 4.1 to Colombia’s 2.8 surely enough to convince voters to do the right thing.

But as we found out in 1998 World Cup qualification at the MCG a 2-0 lead is the most dangerous score in football — and as we found out while bidding for the men’s 2022 World Cup, never trust FIFA. Never.

Which bring us to a report from The Guardian today which claims UEFA, the powerful ruling body of European football, is encouraging its members to back the South Americans.

The Guardian reports UEFA has rubbished the technical reports in a recent meeting and argued the Women’s World Cup is a “development tournament” and should go to a country with a poor track record in women’s football that could leverage hosting rights as a catalyst for change. UEFA has nine of the 35 votes in tonight’s election, which is being done by video conference.

There’s still hope though.

UEFA traditionally sides with fellow world football power CONMEBOL (South America), so the Aussies and Kiwis wouldn’t have been banking on getting much support from them in the first place.

With Asia and Oceania (nine combined votes) certain to side with a trans-Tasman tournament, the key blocs will be Africa (seven votes) and North America (five votes).

Japan, whose bid had received the second highest score of 3.9, followed Brazil, Argentina, South Africa and a joint Korean bid in falling by the wayside as the Asian nation focused all its energy on the postponed Olympics.

FIFA’s evaluation report gave Colombia a score of just 2.8 out of five as it raised doubts about the ability to provide investment required to carry out “necessary improvements”.

In contrast, the Australia/New Zealand bid “provides a variety of very good options in terms of sporting and general infrastructure. It would also appear to present the most commercially favourable proposition”.

The joint proposal would see games played in 13 venues across 12 cities, with the opening match at Eden Park in Auckland and the final in Sydney. Seven cities in Australia would host games, and five in New Zealand.

“When you look at our bid, we think it ticks a lot of the boxes,” Football Federation Australia chairman Chris Nikou told AFP in an interview this week.

Colombia plans to use 10 venues with the opening match and final in Bogota. All are existing stadiums, but one — in Cucuta in the north of the country by the Venezuelan border — requires “significant renovation work”.

The FIFA report also highlighted security worries. “Although there has been a significant reduction in domestic terrorism, some concerns remain in terms of the potential impact of crime on tournament stakeholders,” the FIFA report states.

The 2023 tournament is set to be the first 32-team women’s World Cup, up from the 24 nations who competed at last year’s finals in France, won by the United States.

— with AFP



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What you need to know about Australia-New Zealand’s women’s FIFA 2023 World Cup bid


In the early hours of the morning on Friday, Australia and New Zealand will find out if they have been successful in their joint bid to host the 2023 Women’s World Cup.

Is the bid likely to be successful? Who are the competing bids? What will happen if Australia-New Zealand gets the nod?

We seek to answer all your questions below.

Why is Australia’s bid special?

There’s a lot to like about Australia-New Zealand 2023 — not least because it means a senior FIFA tournament will be played on our doorstep for the first time.

The bid is unique in that it will be the first time an effort split over two Confederations (Asia and Oceania) will have successfully tendered to host a major FIFA tournament.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the bid has “historic” this week, highlighting the cross-confederation aspect.

Australia and New Zealand are both pulling in the same direction when it comes to hosting the World Cup.(AAP: Brendon Thorne)

She also mentioned how the OFC (Oceania Football Confederation) has never hosted a FIFA tournament at the senior level, which would provide a huge boost to football in the region.

Australia has twice hosted FIFA’s U20 men’s tournament and NZ has hosted the U17s men’s world championships.

Who else is in the race?

Originally, there were four bidders.

Now, after Brazil dropped out due to a lack of government support and Japan dropped out just three days before the announcement was due, there are just two.

Previous to this, Australia topped FIFA’s recent technical report audit, scoring 4.1 out of 5, just pipping Japan, which scored 3.9.

Colombia’s bid scored 2.8, but their team have since argued they were victims of “erroneous and discriminatory conclusions” about the domestic security situation and sub-standard health facilities in the country.

Alanna Kennedyholds her arms up and yells in celebration
The Matildas had good support in France. At home it would be off the scale.(Reuters: Jean-Paul Pelissier)

Does that mean we’re favourites?

The head of Australia’s bid team, Jane Fernandez, told the ABC that coming out on top in the technical report was a big deal.

“It buoys our confidence, it means we that we know that we are on the right track,” Ms Fernandez said.

“It means that the technical evaluation team that came here in February, what they saw here was really pleasing to them.”

However, getting a good rating from the technical committee does not necessarily translate into votes.

Sepp Blatter announces Qatar as host for the 2022 World Cup
Remember when Qatar was successful? Us too.(REUTERS: Christian Hartmann)

What does fall in Australia-New Zealand’s favour is that FIFA rated it as the most commercially sound of all the bids.

How do they decide?

FIFA’s congress will meet in Zurich on Thursday and vote to decide who will earn hosting rights, with FIFA saying it will make an announcement from 2:00am AEST on Friday morning.

Thirty-five of the 37 congress members will vote, publicly, on who they think should earn the rights.

Why only 35? Colombia and New Zealand both have seats on FIFA’s Congress (unlike Australia), so are not eligible to vote, for obvious reasons.

If we win, where will the games be played?

The bid proposes 13 stadiums in 12 cities across Australia and New Zealand, telling FIFA it would prefer a minimum of 10 to be used — five in each country.

FIFA has the final say, but noted that all the proposed stadiums performed strongly against the required criteria.

Selfie with Samantha Kerr
Matildas fans will have a golden opportunity to see a World Cup on home soil.(Australian Story: Jennifer Feller)

Eden Park in Auckland is down to host the opening game, with Stadium Australia in Sydney pencilled in for the final.

The planned redevelopment of Sydney Olympic stadium into a 70,000-seat, rectangular facility was recently put on ice, but FIFA demands the World Cup final is played in a venue with a minimum capacity of 55,000 — and Homebush is the only place that fulfils that criteria, redeveloped or not.

Stadium City Capacity
Stadium Australia Sydney 70,000*
Eden Park Auckland 48,276
Hindmarsh stadium Adelaide 18,435
Lang Park Brisbane 52,263
Christchurch stadium Christchurch 22,556
Dunedin stadium Dunedin 28,744
Waikato stadium Hamilton 25,111
York Park Launceston 22,065
AAMI Park Melbourne 30,052
Newcastle stadium Newcastle 25,945
Perth Oval Perth 22,225
Sydney Football Stadium Sydney 42,512
Wellington Regional Stadium Wellington 39,000

*Redeveloped capacity. Current capacity is 82,500.

The bid team is banking on welcoming 1.5 million fans through the gates across those venues for an average of 24,000 spectators per game, making it the most well-supported women’s World Cup in history.

Will our time zone hurt us?

Not according to FIFA’s evaluation report.

In relation to TV potential, FIFA said although “a relative fall in audiences could be experienced in Europe” its analysis of the time zones meant the games “would be expected to appeal quite strongly to the Asian markets”.

When will the tournament take place?

The dates FIFA has nominated for the tournament to take place are between July 10 to August 10, 2023.

This, being the southern hemisphere winter, would make playing conditions perfect across the two host countries.

Sam Kerr celebrates a goal by giving a high five to a teammate as she runs away from the camera
Playing conditions will be perfect during the Australia-New Zealand winter.(AP: Laurent Cipriani)

There is no clash with either the A-League or W-League, but the grass-roots state-based competitions will be running at the same time in both countries — considered a bonus for the bid team to drive engagement.

When it comes to potential clashes, the elephants in the room are the NRL and AFL competitions in Australia, and provincial rugby union competition in New Zealand.

However, the bid team state they have “secured the support and commitment of other sports to collaborate on the delivery of the tournament” — which was not the case for the ill-fated 2022 bid.

How many teams will there be?

The 2023 Women’s World Cup will feature 32 teams, up from the 24 that competed in France in 2019.

US women's soccer team celebrate winning 2019 world cup
The reigning champions, the USA, will likely be one of 32 teams at the World Cup.(AP: Alessandra Tarantino)

There will be eight groups of four teams in the initial stages, split evenly between Australia and New Zealand.

Qualification will start next year — contingent on an easing of the global coronavirus pandemic.

As with the men’s tournament, the hosts would qualify automatically. In the instance of a joint bid, both teams would get the nod.

The breakdown of how many teams will be able to qualify from each confederation will be determined in due course.

Australia bid for the 2022 World Cup — how did that work out?

Not great, if we’re being honest.

Australia received just one vote during a secret ballot back in 2010, and was knocked out in the first round.

The bid was backed by a $46 million of Federal Government funds, but never had a real chance of being successful, according to then FIFA president Sepp Blatter (now serving a six-year ban from FIFA activities).

Qatar, somewhat controversially, was chosen instead.

The controversy around that bidding process had major impacts on the footballing political landscape, with FBI raids on FIFA’s offices and a slew of arrests.

This time, things should be different given the vote will be public.

When will we find out the result?

Set your alarms for 2:00am AEST for the news out of Switzerland.

Win or lose, we’ll bring you all the reaction right here.



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Australia-New Zealand is bidding for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. This is why it’s different this time


Again in 2010, Australia was stunned to understand that for all its political lobbying and a $46 million expense, all it got was a one vote in its bid to host the 2022 FIFA Men’s Earth Cup

Australia was up against Japan, South Korea, Usa, joint bids from Spain-Portugal and Holland-Belgium, as effectively as the profitable bid from Qatar.

Relying on who you talk to the whole procedure again then ranged from filthy to downright prison.

Of the 22-member FIFA govt committee who voted, 10 have possibly served or are serving bans for ethical breaches — which include then-FIFA president, Sepp Blatter 4 of that 10 furthermore four others have possibly been convicted, or stand accused, of criminal corruption and from those 14, 5 have been named in the several years-prolonged FBI investigation into money laundering and racketeering in the United states.

The executive committee has been replaced with a 37-member FIFA Council, chaired by FIFA president Gianni Infantino.

It is these council customers who will vote to identify who will host the 2023 Women’s Environment Cup, while two will abstain simply because they are customers from bid nations.

Gianni Infantino chairs the FIFA Council.(Reuters: Maxim Zmeyev)

Only a single member who voted in the election for the 2022 Globe Cup will be voting once again — the member from Egypt, Hany Abo Rida, who was not a person of the 14 disgraced former co-associates.

This time close to, the Australian Federal government cautiously invested $1 million to initially ascertain whether or not Australia had any likelihood of achievements, before handing in excess of a further $4 million to mount the bid.

Australia’s joint bid with New Zealand is the clear favourite up towards only Colombia just after the withdrawal of Japan only 3 times right before the vote.

FIFA’s very own analysis has the Trans-Tasman bid sitting in prime position soon after scoring 4.1 out of a attainable 5.

Colombia scored 2.8.

The Matildas huddle in celebration in front of a roaring crowd
The Australia-New Zealand bid is the most commercially practical bid, so claims FIFA.(Reuters: Jean-Paul Pelissier)

Australia was “the most commercially viable” bid, according to the FIFA Analysis Report, and available the chance to develop the sport across the Asia-Pacific region.

The only prospective crimson flag was the complexity of the cross-border components — an concern that has turn into a lot more common in a planet continue to confused by COVID-19 and its ongoing issues.

SBS Television main soccer host Lucy Zelic advised The Ticket a get for the trans-Tasman bid would be massive.

“It can not be underestimated what hosting a match of this measurement would imply for this state, what it would necessarily mean for women’s activity.

“When you take into consideration the modifications that have been designed at FIFA considering that the 2010 shame, in which both equally Russia and Qatar have been awarded internet hosting legal rights, there’s much a lot more transparency.”

Votes are no more time mystery. After every single spherical it will be announced which users voted for which bids.

FIFA 2. is the globe governing body’s approach to “expand the recreation of football, defend its integrity and convey the activity to all”.

Central to it is the ‘Women’s Soccer Strategy’ printed in 2018.

Just one of the aims is to double the variety of feminine gamers to 60 million by 2026.

There is no doubt that with a billion people or far more in China, and the same once more in India, an aim on Asia is paramount to FIFA attaining its objective.

Australia’s relations in the region could be the essential FIFA can count on to unlock football’s possible.

A footballer with her back to camera celebrates a goal with teammates in Olympic football qualifier.
Australia’s relationship with the Asian and Oceania confederations are critical.(AAP: Darren Pateman)

Australia’s soft-ability technique is presently shelling out dividends for football in the Pacific.

At the FIFA 2019 Women’s Entire world Cup in France — with more than a million spectators and a billion people viewing on tv sets all-around the world — historical past was made by a group of three gals from Oceania who travelled to France to give commentary from New Zealand’s matches in the commonly comprehended Bislama language.

It was element of the WINS (Girls in News and Activity) Plan funded by Australia’s Department of International Affairs and run by the ABC’s International Improvement Device.

The Fijian member of that team was Lavenia Yalovi, a previous nationwide soccer consultant who is now manager of the Just Engage in software for the Fiji Soccer Association.

“I feel it can be an superb go to set in a joint bid to co-host the Women’s Entire world Cup in New Zealand and Australia,” she mentioned.

“Not only will it profit the football fraternity — the gamers, officials and everyone — it will reward the nations around the world in the Pacific as a full in conditions of the financial state and marketing our cultural identification.

In 2017 the Australian football gamers affiliation, the PFA, produced a blueprint for women’s football in the region.

At the time, deputy chief government of the PFA and previous Matildas Captain Kate Gill built a daring prediction.

“If Australia is to host a FIFA Environment Cup any time in the near foreseeable future, it will be the women’s Environment Cup if an Australian group is to earn a FIFA World Cup any time in the in close proximity to foreseeable future, it will be the women’s team — the Matildas,” she stated.

In the early hours of Friday early morning, Australian time, the initially component of that prediction may possibly appear true.

It will then be up to the Matildas — now rated seventh in the earth and continuously ranked as the workforce most beloved by Australian sporting followers — to make the rest a reality.



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WA football centre to be built in Perth ahead of FIFA Women’s World Cup


The West Australian Government has announced a multi-million-dollar soccer centre will be built in Perth’s south-east, amid hopes Australia will win its bid for the 2023 Women’s World Cup.

The $32.5 million State Football Centre, to be jointly and equally funded by the State and Federal Governments, will be located in Queens Park.

Described by the Government as a “centre of excellence”, the facility will contain two soccer pitches for high-performance, junior and community football programs, with the capacity to host training camps for national and international teams.

The centre will include permanent seating for up to 700 people, with extra seating available for up to 4,000 spectators.

The piece of land in Queens Park, in Perth’s south-east, where WA’s State Football Centre will be built.(ABC News: Nicolas Perpitch)

Premier Mark McGowan said the centre was expected to be completed by mid-2023.

“If the FIFA Women’s World Cup comes to Australia in 2023, this will be an opportunity for a training facility and potentially a place for our Australian team to be based when they’re here in Perth,” Mr McGowan said.

The project would create jobs for local contractors and builders, Mr McGowan added.

The centre will be built on a site north of the Queens Park Open Space, with a masterplan for the redevelopment of the area to be designed with input from the City of Canning.

No decision on stadium

As the Government considers stage four of its plan to ease coronavirus restrictions, Mr McGowan says there is a reluctance to reopen nightclubs due to a South Korean outbreak which stemmed from nightspots.

“That [nightclubs] might be one that has to wait a bit longer,” he said.

“We’ll have further discussion about what more can be relaxed over the coming week.”

Mr McGowan indicated eased restrictions were being considered for the casino and at major events.

They may include crowds being allowed to returning to the 60,000-seat Perth stadium, but the Premier would not say whether that was part of stage-four restrictions taking effect.

On Friday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the states were working towards allowing crowds of up to 10,000 people in venues with a 40,000-person capacity.

Mr McGowan said he would work with local authorities to determine how those restrictions could be applied in WA.

“Whilst we work cooperatively as part of the federation and part of the National Cabinet, at times we make decisions that meet the needs of our state as an isolated state with low rates of infection,” he said.

Border to remain closed

On the issue of the closed interstate border Mr McGowan remained firm, despite increased pressure from Prime Minister Scott Morrison and state leaders who have set dates for reopening their borders.

Mr McGowan said WA had been able to ease restrictions due to its hard border closure.

WA Premier Mark McGowan addresses a media conference wearing a suit with no tie
Premier Mark McGowan has held firm on the issue of WA’s interstate border.(ABC News: James Carmody)

“We’ve done things right in Western Australia and the Commonwealth should let us continue to do so,” he said.

Pressure over the border issue has increased, with Attorney-General Christian Porter intervening in three High Court cases — two involving businessman Clive Palmer — which have challenged the WA and Queensland border closures.

In a statement, Mr Porter said the cases had raised significant questions about the constitutional freedom to cross state borders.

“The purpose of the Commonwealth intervention is to make constitutional arguments in support of the reopening of the borders,” Mr Porter said.

“It is usual for the Attorney-General to intervene in such cases.”

But Mr McGowan said the Commonwealth’s intervention was unnecessary.

“I think they’re not reflecting the wishes and will of the people of Western Australia who know that we will bring down the border in good time,” Mr McGowan said.

“Our economy is far more active and vibrant than any other state in Australia and we’re getting back to normal far more quickly.”

No arrests at Perth protest

Meanwhile, Mr McGowan confirmed there were no arrests made at Saturday’s Black Lives Matter rally.

A close up image of a sign saying Black Lives Matter using the design of the Aboriginal flag.
No arrests were made at the Langley Park rally on Saturday, despite the event proceeding without a permit.(ABC News: Andrew O’Connor)

Organisers had sought to secure a permit to hold the event, but the request was declined by the City of Perth, meaning the event was in breach of restrictions on large gatherings.

“The Police Commissioner tells me this morning that there was no violence, there were no arrests, the event went along relatively smoothly,” he said.

Up to 10,000 people are estimated to have attended the event in Langley Park before marching along St George’s Terrace in the CBD.

No new COVID-19 cases

WA did not record any new coronavirus cases over the weekend. The state’s overall number of cases stands at 602.

Eleven cases remain active, including five West Australians and six crew members from the Al Kuwait livestock carrier.

A total of 582 people have recovered from COVID-19 in WA, with almost 142,000 tests conducted.



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FIFA president Gianni Infantino says players protesting over George Floyd’s death deserve ‘applause, not punishment’


FIFA president Gianni Infantino has stepped into the debate about Bundesliga players who protested during matches against the death of George Floyd, saying they should be applauded and not punished.

Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho was shown a yellow card for taking off his jersey during a Bundesliga match so he could display a T-shirt emblazoned with “Justice for George Floyd”.

Dortmund teammate Achraf Hakimi and Schalke midfielder Weston McKennie carried the same messages on their body at the weekend, in a technical breach of the game’s laws that led to Germany’s football federation saying it was considering a disciplinary case despite expressing pride in their actions.

Mr Floyd, a black man and former community college basketball player, died after a white police officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for several minutes even after he stopped moving and stopped pleading for air. His death has sparked protests across the United States and in other countries.

Infantino said the players should be congratulated for their stance.

“For the avoidance of doubt, in a FIFA competition the recent demonstrations of players in Bundesliga matches would deserve an applause and not a punishment,” Infantino said.

Infantino’s comments were published in a statement by FIFA and were set to feature in a letter to all 211 member associations. The statement also urged leagues to apply “common sense and have in consideration the context surrounding the events”.

Gianni Infantino wants leagues to show support to protesters.(AFP: Fabrice Coffrini)

The laws of the game prohibit “any political, religious or personal slogans, statements or images” on equipment.

European football’s governing body will also overlook that rule to allow Mr Floyd tributes in continental competitions it oversees.

“Football is a sport which encourages tolerance, inclusion and justice,” UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin said.

UEFA is hoping to resume the Champions League and Europa League in August after being suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“If a player in our competitions were to display a message or act symbolically to ask for equality for human beings, the circumstances around the event should be taken into account in line with UEFA’s zero tolerance against racism,” Cerefin said.

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The English Football Association has already said it will adopt the stance urged by FIFA.

The Premier League is due to resume on June 17 and clubs have been showing solidarity with Mr Floyd.

Players from Chelsea, Liverpool and Newcastle have been pictured this week in training taking a knee as part of anti-racism gestures.

“Where any behaviours or gestures on the pitch that may constitute a breach of the laws of the game have to be assessed, they would be reviewed on a case by case basis with a common sense approach and understanding of their context,” the FA said earlier in a statement when asked about players’ tributes to Mr Floyd.

AP



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