2018 World Cup

World Cup

Bundesbanter: Chicago Fire Back Bastian Schweinsteiger As Veteran Midfielder Embarks On ‘Road To Russia’ (Photo)

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Bastian Schweinsteiger's great American adventure got off to a suitably ridiculous start when a befuddled local journalist asked the German midfielder if he was hoping to score at the World Cup with Chicago Fire at his introductory press conference.

Indeed, scholars of the game may note that Chicago Fire aren't technically eligible to compete in World Cups, principally because they are not aninternational side of a recognised FIFA member state.

Russian Politician Suggests Plans To Legalise Hooliganism And Turn It Into Organised Sport Ahead Of 2018 World Cup

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As you may recall, the recent European Championships in France were plagued by outbreaks of hooliganism, not least in Marseille where hordes of Russian yobs staged organisedattacks on groups of England fans.

However, as the rest of the world poured scorn on the perpetrators, one man spoke out in support of the hooligans: that man wasRussian politician Igor Lebedev.

AFP

To Russia with Love? Buoyant Brazil on brink of World Cup

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Montevideo (AFP) – A buoyant Brazil could book their place at the 2018 World Cup on Tuesday while Argentina will attempt to give their qualifying campaign more breathing space with a game at altitude against Bolivia.

After sinking into a protracted depression after the trauma of their humiliating 2014 World Cup exit, Brazil have undergone a transformation since new manager Tite took over last year.

To Russia with Love? Buoyant Brazil on brink of World Cup

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Montevideo (AFP) – A buoyant Brazil could book their place at the 2018 World Cup on Tuesday while Argentina will attempt to give their qualifying campaign more breathing space with a game at altitude against Bolivia.

After sinking into a protracted depression after the trauma of their humiliating 2014 World Cup exit, Brazil have undergone a transformation since new manager Tite took over last year.

England, Germany stay on World Cup course, Dutch axe Blind

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Paris (AFP) – England and defending champions Germany remained on course for the 2018 World Cup on Sunday while Danny Blind was sacked as Dutch coach after his misfiring team faced missing a second straight major finals.

At Wembley, Jermain Defoe marked his international comeback with a goal as England toiled to a 2-0 victory over Lithuania.

Sweden cruise, unbeaten Swiss on track for Russia

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Paris (AFP) – Sweden crushed Belarus 4-0 to keep the pressure on their rivals in qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup as Switzerland remain unbeaten with a 1-0 win over Latvia.

Sweden now have ten points from five games to go provisionally top of Group A ahead of France who travel to Luxembourg later Saturday with little room for manoeuvre for group rivals the Netherlands, third with seven points, who play Bulgaria.

Sweden cruise, unbeaten Swiss on track for Russia

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Paris (AFP) – Sweden crushed Belarus 4-0 to keep the pressure on their rivals in qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup as Switzerland remain unbeaten with a 1-0 win over Latvia.

Sweden now have ten points from five games to go provisionally top of Group A ahead of France who travel to Luxembourg later Saturday with little room for manoeuvre for group rivals the Netherlands, third with seven points, who play Bulgaria.

Iran close in on World Cup as Qatar look doomed

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Doha (AFP) – Iran took a major step towards making the 2018 World Cup finals winning 1-0 in Doha on Thursday, a result which virtually ends Qatar’s hopes of reaching Russia.

A cool Mehdi Taremi finish in the 51st minute after breaking clear of the Qatar defence was the difference between the two sides and leaves Iran four points clear at the top of Group A with just four games to play.

Iran close in on World Cup as Qatar look doomed

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Doha (AFP) – Iran took a major step towards making the 2018 World Cup finals winning 1-0 in Doha on Thursday, a result which virtually ends Qatar’s hopes of reaching Russia.

A cool Mehdi Taremi finish in the 51st minute after breaking clear of the Qatar defence was the difference between the two sides and leaves Iran four points clear at the top of Group A with just four games to play.

Wales coach Coleman delighted to have Aaron Ramse back in squad

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Cardiff (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey being fully fit for the crucial 2018 World Cup qualifier against Ireland in Dublin on Friday is a real filip for the Euro 2016 semi-finalists, manager Chris Coleman said.

Ramsey, instrumental in Wales’s fairytale run to the last four in France last year, has only been involved in one of their four qualifiers so far.

Wales coach Coleman delighted to have Aaron Ramse back in squad

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Cardiff (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey being fully fit for the crucial 2018 World Cup qualifier against Ireland in Dublin on Friday is a real filip for the Euro 2016 semi-finalists, manager Chris Coleman said.

Ramsey, instrumental in Wales’s fairytale run to the last four in France last year, has only been involved in one of their four qualifiers so far.

Defoe sets sights on ‘dream’ 2018 World Cup

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Burton-on-Trent (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Veteran striker Jermain Defoe has his sights on a “dream” place in England’s 2018 World Cup squad after returning to the fold following a near four-year absence, he said on Monday.

The 34-year-old Sunderland player was recalled by manager Gareth Southgate for Wednesday’s friendly against Germany in Dortmund and Sunday’s World Cup qualifier at home to Lithuania.

Marchisio, Chiellini out as Italy ring Albania changes

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Milan (AFP) – Juventus pair Claudio Marchisio and Giorgio Chiellini were left at home as Italy coach Gian Piero Ventura called five new players into an enlarged 27-man squad for upcoming games against Albania and the Netherlands.

Italy host Albania in Palermo in a 2018 World Cup qualifier on Friday before facing the Dutch in Amsterdam on March 28 as Ventura looks further ahead to a possible Group G qualifying decider away to leaders Spain on September 2.

Marchisio, Chiellini out as Italy ring Albania changes

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Milan (AFP) – Juventus pair Claudio Marchisio and Giorgio Chiellini were left at home as Italy coach Gian Piero Ventura called five new players into an enlarged 27-man squad for upcoming games against Albania and the Netherlands.

Italy host Albania in Palermo in a 2018 World Cup qualifier on Friday before facing the Dutch in Amsterdam on March 28 as Ventura looks further ahead to a possible Group G qualifying decider away to leaders Spain on September 2.

FIFA bars Russia’s Mutko after eligibility test failure

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Zurich (AFP) – FIFA has barred Russian deputy prime minister Vitaly Mutko, chief organiser of the 2018 World Cup, from sitting on the world football’s ruling council after he failed an eligibility test.

Mutko, who has also been accused of involvement in Russia’s sports doping scandal, had been a candidate for a European seat on the FIFA Council to be decided in April.

FIFA bars Russia’s Mutko after eligibility test failure

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Zurich (AFP) – FIFA has barred Russian deputy prime minister Vitaly Mutko, chief organiser of the 2018 World Cup, from sitting on the world football’s ruling council after he failed an eligibility test.

Mutko, who has also been accused of involvement in Russia’s sports doping scandal, had been a candidate for a European seat on the FIFA Council to be decided in April.

Rule-makers IFAB to evaluate video assistance for football referees

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London (AFP) – FIFA’s plans to introduce video assistance in time for next year’s World Cup are on the agenda for Friday’s London AGM of rule-making body, the International FA Board (IFAB).

The IFAB will assess various ongoing tests involving video assistant referees (VAR), as well as discussing the possibility of introducing a fourth substitute in games that go to extra time.

Rule-makers IFAB to evaluate video assistance for football referees

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London (AFP) – FIFA’s plans to introduce video assistance in time for next year’s World Cup are on the agenda for Friday’s London AGM of rule-making body, the International FA Board (IFAB).

The IFAB will assess various ongoing tests involving video assistant referees (VAR), as well as discussing the possibility of introducing a fourth substitute in games that go to extra time.

Don’t boycott Russia World Cup, British MPs told

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London (AFP) – British lawmakers should not boycott the 2018 World Cup in protest at Russian leader Vladimir Putin, a parliamentary committee said on Thursday.

Britain’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said last year “all options” were being considered as means of putting pressure on Russia over its role in the ongoing conflict in Syria.

Russian hooligans warn of ‘festival of violence’ at 2018 World Cup

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London (AFP) – Russian hooligans have warned of a “festival of violence” at next year’s World Cup, in a BBC documentary aired on Thursday in which the fans celebrate street fights at Euro 2016.

Hours after FIFA president Gianni Infantino said he was not concerned about violence at the tournament, the BBC’s “Russia’s Hooligan Army” showed fans predicting clashes between supporters.

‘Sane people’ want Russia World Cup – bid chief

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London (AFP) The man behind Russia's 2018 World Cup bid has questioned the sanity of people calling for the country to be stripped of the tournament in a British television interview.

Anti-doping organisations have led the calls after the second McLaren report showed Russia ran a state-sponsored doping programme between 2011 and 2015 involving over 1,000 athletes.

Kremlin to host World Cup finals draw

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Moscow (AFP) The draw for the 2018 World Cup finals hosted by Russia will take place in the Kremlin on December 1, the country's Football Union (RFU) chief Vitaly Mutko said Monday.

Mutko, Russia's deputy prime minister, said that FIFA had approved the plan, which world football's ruling body later confirmed.

Kremlin to host World Cup finals draw

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Moscow (AFP) The draw for the 2018 World Cup finals hosted by Russia will take place in the Kremlin on December 1, the country's Football Union (RFU) chief Vitaly Mutko said Monday.

Mutko, Russia's deputy prime minister, said that FIFA had approved the plan, which world football's ruling body later confirmed.

Setbacks endure as Russia preps for World Cup

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Moscow (AFP) Corruption scandals, extended deadlines and even a wobbly pitch are just a few of the setbacks Russia has faced ahead of the 2018 World Cup, though authorities vow everything will be ready on time.

Putting the final touches on the infrastructure in four host cities Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Kazan and Sochi has become all the more pressing because they will also host the Confederations Cup next year, a dress rehearsal for the 2018 tournament.

Setbacks endure as Russia preps for World Cup

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Moscow (AFP) Corruption scandals, extended deadlines and even a wobbly pitch are just a few of the setbacks Russia has faced ahead of the 2018 World Cup, though authorities vow everything will be ready on time.

Putting the final touches on the infrastructure in four host cities Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Kazan and Sochi has become all the more pressing because they will also host the Confederations Cup next year, a dress rehearsal for the 2018 tournament.

Russia squad fear home World Cup humiliation

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Moscow (AFP) Soul-searching following Russia's miserable performance at the 2016 Euro led to one inescapable conclusion: the squad has a long way to go to avoid humiliation on home turf at the 2018 World Cup.

Russia crashed out of Euro 2016 without a win, its short run at the tournament tarnished by hooliganism among its fans and scandals in its dressing room.

FIFA chief Infantino wants video refs for next World Cup

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Paris (AFP) FIFA president Gianni Infantino says he is in favour of introducing video refereeing for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, after previously expressing fears it would break up games too much.

The head of world football's governing body told Tuesday's Le Parisien newspaper that he was sceptical at first about using video technology to assist referees in crucial decisions.

Norway coach Per-Mathias Hogmo quits over World Cup defeats

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Oslo (AFP) Per-Mathias Hogmo quit as Norway's football coach Wednesday after a series of defeats in qualifying for the 2018 World Cup finals, the Norwegian Football Federation announced.

"Per-Mathias and the NFF have agreed that Hogmo will end his functions as Norwegian manager," the NFF said in a statement.

Norway coach Per-Mathias Hogmo quits over World Cup defeats

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Oslo (AFP) Per-Mathias Hogmo quit as Norway's football coach Wednesday after a series of defeats in qualifying for the 2018 World Cup finals, the Norwegian Football Federation announced.

"Per-Mathias and the NFF have agreed that Hogmo will end his functions as Norwegian manager," the NFF said in a statement.

Ecuador rout Venezuela, Paraguay stunned in World Cup qualifying

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Montevideo (AFP) Ecuador romped to a comfortable 3-0 victory over Venezuela to reignite their 2018 World Cup qualifying challenge on Tuesday as Paraguay's bid suffered a setback with a defeat to struggling Bolivia.

Ecuador, who had taken only a point from their previous two games, proved too strong for a Venezuela side buoyed by a 5-0 win over Bolivia last week.

Klinsmann wants angry US after World Cup blow

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Los Angeles (AFP) United States coach Jurgen Klinsmann has called for his team to harness a sense of anger as they attempt to bounce back from a shattering World Cup defeat to Mexico against Costa Rica on Tuesday.

Klinsmann's men suffered an agonizing last-gasp loss to Mexico in Columbus on Friday, when Rafa Marquez's 89th-minute header secured a dramatic 2-1 win for 'El Tri' at the Mapfre Stadium.

Klinsmann wants angry US after World Cup blow

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Los Angeles (AFP) United States coach Jurgen Klinsmann has called for his team to harness a sense of anger as they attempt to bounce back from a shattering World Cup defeat to Mexico against Costa Rica on Tuesday.

Klinsmann's men suffered an agonizing last-gasp loss to Mexico in Columbus on Friday, when Rafa Marquez's 89th-minute header secured a dramatic 2-1 win for 'El Tri' at the Mapfre Stadium.

Neymar’s Brazil leave Argentina struggling for 2018 place

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Montevideo (AFP) Neymar scored his 50th international goal as Brazil thrashed Argentina 3-0 to tighten their grip on South America's 2018 World Cup qualification campaign and leave their arch-rivals struggling to reach the finals.

Barcelona superstar Neymar outshone club-mate Lionel Messi in Belo Horizonte the venue where Brazil were humiliated 7-1 by Germany in the 2014 World Cup semi-finals.

Brazil, Uruguay march towards 2018, Argentina crash again

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Montevideo (AFP) Brazil thrashed arch-rivals Argentina to tighten their grip on South America's 2018 World Cup qualification campaign as Uruguay maintained their push towards the finals with a hard-fought defeat of Ecuador.

Barcelona superstar Neymar outshone club-mate Lionel Messi with his 50th international goal for Brazil in Belo Horizonte as the five-time World Cup winners romped to a 3-0 win in the Estadio Mineirao.

Costa Rica

Mexico vs. Costa Rica, Trinidad & Tobago vs. Panama 2017: Time, TV schedule and how to watch World Cup qualifying online

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The CONCACAF Hex is back and the road to the 2018 World Cup continues.

World Cup qualifying in the CONCACAF Hexagonal continues this evening, with Mexico hosting Costa Rica and Panama traveling to take on Trinidad & Tobago. Mexico is looking to take over first place in the Hex with a victory over the Ticos, who are currently atop the standings with victories over Trinidad & Tobago and the United States.

US Soccer fires Jurgen Klinsmann

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World Cup Qualifying losses to Mexico and Costa Rica ended the German's five year tenure

US Soccer announced on Monday afternoon that Jurgen Klinsmann, manager and technical director of the US men's national team, has been fired from his positions. Klinsmann, in charge since July 2011, was let go after the USMNT made their worst-ever start in the World Cup Qualifying hexagonal stage, in which they lost their first two games by a combined 6-0.

The Rest

SEBA World Cup projections, qualification, and more projections

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World Cup projections, qualification, gold cup, every kind of cup forecast. Oh, and you will also find complaining about the FIFA rankings algorithm.

Greek Tweak: Belgium Forward Dries Mertens Picks Up Weirdest Yellow Card Of The International Break (Video)

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Saturday night's World Cup qualifier between Belgium and Greece was a feisty old affair, with the away side ultimately finishing the night with nine men on the pitch.

The game also saw a blizzard of yellow cards administered throughout, though you'll have to go some way to find an infringement weirder than the one that landed Dries Mertens in the book.

What Jürgen Klinsmann’s departure and Bruce Arena’s hiring means for the USMNT

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With Klinsmann's era at an end, where does the US go from here under Bruce Arena?

The United States Soccer Federation fired Jurgen Klinsmann Monday from his position as the head coach of the United States Men's National Team in the wake of a humiliating 4-0 loss at Costa Rica last Tuesday in San Jose, and named Bruce Arena as its new manager yesterday until the end of the 2018 World Cup.