World Cup Buzz

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Updated:
April 29, 2016 01:41 UTC
Added:
August 17, 2008 11:24 UTC

Griffiths bemoans ‘disappointing’ season as title nears

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Glasgow (AFP) Leigh Griffiths says it has been a disappointing season for Celtic, despite the Hoops closing in on the Scottish Premiership title.

The Scotland striker has been in the form of his career and is the country's top scorer with 38 goals.

His goal-scoring exploits and match-winning performances have led to a PFA Scotland Player of the Year nomination alongside Aberdeen's Jonny Hayes and Dundee duo Kane Hemmings and Greg Stewart.

Leicester go from sex-tape to tickertape after Bangkok orgy

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Bangkok (AFP) A sex-tape of a racially charged orgy in a Bangkok hotel was a public relations catastrophe for Thai-owned Leicester City but it proved an unlikely turning point in their journey to the top of the English Premier League.

The offending video featured three young players including James Pearson, son of then manager Nigel Pearson, engaging in explicit acts with group of Thai women in a Bangkok hotel.

Barca await Real, Atletico Champions League hangover

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Madrid (AFP) Barcelona hold the slightest of advantages in a thrilling three-way La Liga title race with just three games remaining ahead of their trip to Real Betis on Saturday.

The Catalans lead Atletico Madrid solely thanks to their better head-to-head record with Real Madrid just a point behind the leaders in third.

No hard feelings for Pardew on Newcastle return

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Newcastle (United Kingdom) (AFP) Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew insists hehas no hard feelings towards Newcastle United as he prepares to return to his struggling former club for the first time on Saturday.

Pardew claims he would love to see current Magpies boss Rafael Benitez lead Newcastle to safety as they battle to avoid relegation from the Premier League.

Quartet scrapping for Champions League berths in France

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Paris (AFP) While Paris Saint-Germain have long since had the Ligue 1 title wrapped up, the battle for Champions League qualification beneath them is only intensifying in the final weeks of the French season.

Just two points separate Lyon in second from Saint-Etienne in fifth with three matches remaining, including a crucial set of fixtures this Saturday.

Fresh Arsenal fan backlash lies in wait for Wenger

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London (AFP) Arsene Wenger will be forced to confront renewed supporter protests at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday as he attempts to stop Arsenal's troubled season imploding in the final weeks.

A number of fans' groups are planning to mark the visit of struggling Norwich by displaying placards during the game demanding change after another frustrating campaign.

Gameiro penalty gives Sevilla edge against Shakhtar

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Lviv (Ukraine) (AFP) Holders Sevilla remain on course to reach yet another Europa League final after escaping from Ukraine with a 2-2 draw against Shakhtar Donetsk in their semi-final first leg on Thursday.

Marlos and Taras Stepanenko scored for Shakhtar after Vitolo had given Sevilla an early lead, but Kevin Gameiro's 82nd-minute penalty ensured the holders have the upper hand ahead of the return in Spain next week.

It’s red Leicester thanks to China’s number one fan

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Beijing (AFP) He has never seen a Premier League match live or even set foot outside China, but Leicester City's fairytale season has made Zhang Tianbo, 16, their most high-profile fan in the country.

For the last two years Zhang has run the most active Chinese social media account devoted to the Foxes, racking up more than 3,000 posts on the Twitter-like Sina Weibo.

Vardy absence won’t stop Leicester title coronation, says Simpson

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London (AFP) Leicester City defender Danny Simpson insists the prolonged absence of star striker Jamie Vardy won't stop the Premier League leaders clinching the most incredible title triumph in English football history at Manchester United on Sunday.

Claudio Ranieri's side have the eyes of the world on them as they head to Old Trafford knowing a victory against United would see the 5,000-1 outsiders crowned champions for the first time in their 132-year history.

Platini prepares for make-or-break CAS hearing

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Paris (AFP) Michel Platini appears before the Court of Arbitration for Sport to appeal his six-year FIFA ban for ethics violations, with his future in football hanging on the outcome.

The stakes could not be higher for the suspended head of European football.

A favourable verdict and the 60-year-old will take his place in the stands at the Stade de France for the Euro 2016 opener between hosts France and Romania on June 10.

Liverpool told to pay Burnley £6.5m for Danny Ings

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Liverpool have been ordered to pay English second-tier club Burnley £6.5 million ($9.5 million, 8.4 million euros) for striker Danny Ings following a tribunal on Thursday.

Ings joined Liverpool last year after his Burnley contract expired, but because he was aged under 23 at the time of the move, Burnley, who rejected an offer of £6 million, were entitled to compensation.

The turf battle for Qatar’s 2022 World Cup

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Watching grass grow is not usually considered exciting but there's currently a buzz of anticipation among Qatar's World Cup organizers about 12 different types of turf gently sprouting on former Doha farmland.

If all goes well, one of these dozen grasses will eventually take centre stage and become the most watched strips of green on the globe, at least for a 28-day period, during the 2022 World Cup.

Three-game ban ends Spurs star Dele Alli’s season

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Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dele Alli will not play again this season after he was given a three-game ban for violent conduct by the Football Association on Thursday.

The 20-year-old, elected England's Young Player of the Year last weekend, was retrospectively punished after punching Claudio Yacob in the stomach during Spurs' 1-1 draw with West Bromwich Albion on Monday.

Villarreal strike late to dent Liverpool Europa League hopes

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Adrian Lopez's stoppage-time winner put Villarreal on the verge of reaching their first ever Cup final with a 1-0 win over Liverpool in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final on Thursday.

A game of few chances was decided by a brilliant goal at the death as Denis Suarez unselfishly squared for substitute Lopez to tap home from close range.

Highlights of combined Copa America and Euro 2016 TV schedules

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The cross-section of Copa America Centenario and Euro 2016 tournaments this summer will bring a combination of 83 live games into homes across the United States. That's 32 Copa America matches and 51 Euro 2016 games between June 3-26 (Copa America) and June 10-July 10 (Euro 2016). Between June 3 to July 10, that's an average of 2.