A series of dramatic announcements at the Zurich-based Fifa, the world football governing body, are putting the organisation’s embattled Swiss head back into the media spotlight, although he will face no official probe.

 

 

"/> A series of dramatic announcements at the Zurich-based Fifa, the world football governing body, are putting the organisation’s embattled Swiss head back into the media spotlight, although he will face no official probe.

 

 

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FOOTBALL

Blatter facing renewed scrutiny amid Fifa turmoil

A series of dramatic announcements at the Zurich-based Fifa, the world football governing body, are putting the organisation’s embattled Swiss head back into the media spotlight, although he will face no official probe.

 

 

Blatter facing renewed scrutiny amid Fifa turmoil

Sepp Blatter, the 75-year-old Swiss who has served as Fifa president since 1998, was cleared of corruption allegations by an internal ethics committee last week, a few days before an election to decide whether Blatter should remain at the helm of the football organisation.

In a last-minute development, the Fifa ethics committee also announced it had temporarily suspended two other top officials, including Mohamed bin Hammam, who until a few days ago was the sole challenger to Blatter in the June 1 vote.

Both bin Hammam, who had withdrawn from the race just hours before the hearing with the ethics panel, and Jack Warner, a Fifa vice president, were placed under internal investigation with accusations of bribing voters during the election campaign, Fifa said. If found guilty, they could face a lifetime ban from football-related activities. Both have denied wrongdoing.

Bin Hammam had asked the ethics committee to investigate Blatter, arguing the Swiss knew of alleged bribe attempts and did not take action. On Sunday, the committee said there was no evidence against the current Fifa president, who is now standing unopposed for re-election for his fourth term at the helm of the organisation.

Fifa and Blatter have both routinely come under scrutiny over the years in a series of alleged bribery cases. In 2006, Andrew Jennings, a Scottish investigative reporter who runs the website Transparency in Sport,  wrote a book detailing a string of misdeeds at the organisation. Various newspaper editorials in Switzerland and abroad have centred criticism on Blatter, who has always denied any wrongdoing. 

Blatter, born in the town of Visp, near the famous Matterhorn, served as a Fifa General Secretary from 1981 to 1998 when he was elected as the eighth president of the organisation. He had already served Fifa in various positions for twenty-three years. An active footballer from 1948 to 1971, he played for the Swiss amateur league in the top division.

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SPORT

The best spots to watch Tour de France in Switzerland

This Saturday and Sunday July 9th and 10th, over 170 cyclists from all over the world will compete in the annual Tour de France competition, part of which will take place in Switzerland. This is where you can watch the event.

The best spots to watch Tour de France in Switzerland

As the previous editions of the annual race have shown, spectators line up and cheer the cyclists almost everywhere along the route, so the “best” spot depends pretty much on where you live in relation to the Swiss route.

Cyclists will arrive from Dole (France) to Lausanne through the Bois d’Amont, La Vallée de Joux, the Col du Mollendruz, Cossonay, and Préverenges.

The start is scheduled for 1:20 p.m. and Lausanne should be reached four hours later, around 5:20 p.m.

For the next stage on July 10th, racers will depart from Aigle at 12:45 pm and cycle toward Vionnaz, Cully, Châtel-St-Denis, Bulle, Les Moulins, Les Mosses, Col de La Croix, and Morzine before crossing back into France.

This link has a map showing the Swiss leg of the tour.

These are some of the good viewing / cheering spots along the route:

In the Vallée de Joux, you can watch the cyclists whizz by in the villages of  Le Brassus, Le Sentier, Le Lieu, Le Séchey, Les Charbonnières, and Le Pont.

Cyclists race in the Vallée de Joux. Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP

Lausanne

You can watch the competitors race by virtually anywhere along the nine-kilometre path — they will arrive from the La Vallée de Joux from the south, climbing up the Avenue d’Ouchy, then cross Place Saint-François and Pont Chauderon, then on to  the Avenue de Beaulieu, and finishing in front of the Pontaise Olympic stadium.

All these streets will provide good viewing opportunity.

Mountains

The first mountain stage will start on the Place du Marché in Aigle, where you can watch cyclists pass by as they climb toward mountain villages (see above), all of which provide good viewing for spectators.

Leaving Aigle, cyclists will climb on winding mountain roads. Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

Access

Unless you actually live in the vicinity of the route, keep in mind that you can’t access it by car as all the roads  be closed to traffic and you will have to park elsewhere.

If you are watching from any of the above mentioned mountain locations (Vionnaz, Cully, Châtel-St-Denis, Bulle, Les Moulins, Les Mosses, Col de La Croix, and Morzine), taking a bus up from Aigle is probably the smartest choice.

Additionally, on Saturday from noon, the Lausanne-Sud motorway, as well as the UNIL-EPFL, Malley and Maladière entrances and exits will be closed to traffic until 6 pm.

However, the A1 / A9 / A12 motorways will remain open in Vaud, Fribourg and Valais.

You can access the route(s) by public transport, which will be “reinforced” during La Tour de France.

For instance, in the Lausanne, the metro will run more frequently, and a temporary line, will link La Riponne to Oiseaux, making it easier to access the last kilometre of the route. More trains will also circulate on the two days as well, especially regional Vaud trains as well as the RegioExpress Genève – St-Maurice.

More information can be found here.

For the Fribourg leg the information is in this link.
 

 
 
 

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