FIFA threatens to throw Spain out of 2018 World Cup.

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The governing body of world football (FIFA) confirmed on Friday that it has written to the Spanish federation (RFEF) warning they could be suspended form the 2018 World Cup because of political interference. FIFA Earlier in the day Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said Spain had received “no such letter from FIFA.”

The issue centres on the RFEF presidency. Angel Maria Villar, who was also a senior FIFA and UEFA official, resigned after being arrested in July on suspicion of embezzling funds. Villar was replaced, on an interim basis, by Juan Luis Larrea, another long-time football administrator. Even though he is only a stand-in, Larrea has made clear he wants to see out Villar’s term, which was due to end in 2020. The Spanish National Sports Agency (CSD) has objected and that prompted FIFA’s warning, reported on Friday by the daily El Pais. “We can confirm that FIFA recently sent a letter to the Spanish FA (RFEF) expressing its concern at the current situation in the association and reiterating that, under the FIFA Statutes, all member associations must manage their affairs independently and ensure that there is no interference by third parties in internal matters,” said a FIFA statement. “FIFA is in contact with the RFEF, and a joint FIFA-UEFA delegation will be sent to Madrid shortly to monitor and assess the situation in the association,” the statement continued. The RFEF and the Spanish government insisted on Friday that Spain would go to the World Cup in Russia. “I just can’t see that scenario,” Rajoy said at a press conference in Brussels. “I am absolutely convinced Spain will go to the World Cup, and will win.” Rajoy said Spain’s sports minister had told him the Spanish authorities had “received no official communication from FIFA but only a letter from a member of FIFA requesting a meeting.” He said his government’s attitude was “exemplary.” Villar was re-elected for an eighth term as president last May. He had run the RFEF for 29 years until his arrest on suspicion of creating a network of corruption in Spanish football. Last month, Luis Rubiales, the former head of the players’ union and an ally of Villar’s put forward a motion of censure against Larrea with the objective of becoming president himself. That motion is scheduled for a vote on January 16. At the same time, the Spanish cabinet, acting on requests from the CSD, demanded fresh RFEF elections because of irregularities in the vote last May. FIFA sees this as external political interference.

Mourinho won’t rule out January deals amid Griezmann & Ozil rumours .

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The Manchester United boss isn’t a huge fan of the mid-season transfer window, but is keeping an open mind about signings

Jose Mourinho has not ruled out January transfer activity at Manchester United but refused to be drawn on the prospect of making a move for Antoine Griezmann.

United were heavily linked with Griezmann during the last transfer window, with the 26-year-old hinting he would welcome the switch before committing to Atletico Madrid for the current campaign.

Speaking to L’Equipe, Atleti head coach Diego Simeone said it was natural his star forward would be allowed to move on , citing how Diego Costa and Arda Turan had similarly left the capital club for Chelsea and Barcelona.

Server, Busser, Manager, Spy: Inside the High-Stakes World of Restaurant Oppo Research

Longreads

With the rise of crowdsourced restaurant reviews on Yelp and its many peers, you’d think old-school, print-media critics would be a thing of the past by now. You’d think wrong: as Jessica Sidman shows in her Washingtonian story, restaurant owners go to incredible lengths to identify prominent critics like the Washington Post?s Tom Sietsema, in the hopes of manufacturing a flawless, multiple-star-worthy experience. A lot of the energy is spent preemptively, creating and updating dossiers with blurred photos of critics and detailed notes about their culinary (and other) quirks. But there’s also a field-level aspect to these operations — the intricate choreography that kicks into gear as soon as Sietsema or another top critic enters the house.

To communicate about a critic, some restaurants have their own code words. One Italian joint called Sietsema “Neapolitan,” because it didn’t sound too weird to say out loud in the open…

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This is How a Woman is Erased From Her Job

This is How a Woman is Erased From Her Job

After taking over from George Plimpton, Brigid Hughes was pushed out as the editor of The Paris Review and omitted from the magazine’s history.

Longreads

A.N. Devers | Longreads | December 2017 | 26 minutes (6,577 words)

This is a story about a woman who was erased from her job as the editor of the most famous literary magazine in America.

In 2011, the New York Times ran Julie Bosman’s energetic and gregarious profile of Lorin Stein, the latest head editor of the famous literary magazine The Paris Review — a position for which she declared, “Bacchanalian nights are practically inscribed in the job description.” The profile portrayed Stein as an intellectual bon vivant who loved parties, party-boy banter, and debating literature as if it were the most important thing in the world.

We know now that Stein, by his own admission, abused his power with women writers and staff of the Paris Review. He has resigned from the literary magazine and from his editor-at-large position at Farrar, Straus and Giroux in response to…

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Gossip and News, Strange Bedfellows

Longreads Best of 2017: Investigative Reporting

Longreads

On a recent episode of the Longform podcast, the hosts heaped praised on Jodi Kantor and her reporting for the bombshell Harvey Weinstein exposé. The episode was released the same day the New York Times published a story reported by Kantor, Melena Ryzik, and Cara Buckley in which five women accuse comedian Louis C.K. of sexual harassment and assault, a story that had existed in a similar whisper network among female performers for years.

The praise for Kantor, and for the investigations by the Times in general, reminded some listeners of Longform’s 2016 interview with Leah Finnegan, in which she spoke about her experience as an editor at Gawker. Host Aaron Lammer questioned Finnegan about a post published by Defamerin May of 2015, about Louis C.K.’s predatory behavior.

“Part of the reason I went to Gawker was that spirit of wanting to fuck shit up, being into gossip, wanting to…

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Longreads Best of 2017: Investigative Reporting

Longreads Best of 2017: Investigative Reporting

Longreads

We asked writers and editors to choose some of their favorite stories of the year in various categories. Here is the best in investigative reporting.

Rachel Morris
Executive editor, HuffPost Highline

Harvey Weinstein Paid Off Sexual Harassment Accusers for Decades (Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, The New York Times)

From Aggressive Overtures to Sexual Assault: Harvey Weinstein’s Accusers Tell Their Stories (Ronan Farrow, The New Yorker)

For Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey to expose Harvey Weinstein as a serial sexual predator was a feat in itself, one that reporters had been attempting for years. But the culture-bending force of these stories was their dissection of how sexual harassment works, psychologically and operationally. Ronan Farrow’s raw, complex account of the experiences of women like Annabella Sciorra and Asia Argento, among many others,created a deeper, truer understanding of why women don’t come forward after an assault, or why some…

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