FIFA

World Cup

Next Most Logical Rules Change for MLS

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USMNT's Graham Zusi, at World Cup 2014
The soccer world seems a little shaken up after last week's declaration by FIFA's Marco Van Basten, head of the Technical Development department, who said he is overseeing possible rules changes for offsides, amount of playing time, substitutions, how fouls are handled and deciding tie games.

Expanding soccer

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Will we be seeing a bigger Gold Cup in light of the World Cup expansion? It's likely with world soccer in growth mode.

World Cup will suffer for FIFA’s misguided expansion

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Photo credit: AFP.

When the small Caribbean country of Trinidad and Tobago qualified for its first World Cup in November of 2005, the nation's Prime Minister Patrick Manning declared a national holiday.

That same year, when the African country of Cote d'Ivoire qualified for its first finals, the country's Civil War ground to a halt as its President agreed to open peace talks.

Back from travels

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Now that we are back from the lady's first tour of America (and have had a few days to just sleep), I am back on patrol here. I'll drop a few stray opinions on recent soccer happenings now and then kick off a short series of non-soccer top five lists related to food and activities enjoyed during our cross-country jaunt (the already promised L.

FIFA makes World Cup expansion official

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The FIFA Council voted on Tuesday to expand the World Cup from 32 to 48 teams starting with the 2026 tournament.

The World Cup expansion plot thickens

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It's not just the World Cup that might be changing for 2026 with reports linking FIFA with a move to merge CONCACAF and CONMEBOL qualifying.

The Confederations Cup predicts nothing

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FIFA prepares to draw the match-ups for this summer's Confederations Cup in the soccer news, a tournament still in search of an audience.

AFP

Matip given FIFA clearance to return for Liverpool

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London (AFP) Liverpool defender Joel Matip has been cleared to return to action with the Premier League club after FIFA resolved the Cameroon international's status on Friday.

Matip recently claimed he had retired from international football and did not want to play for Cameroon despite their attempts to call him up for the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations.

Matip given FIFA clearance to return for Liverpool

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London (AFP) Liverpool defender Joel Matip has been cleared to return to action with the Premier League club after FIFA resolved the Cameroon international's status on Friday.

Matip recently claimed he had retired from international football and did not want to play for Cameroon despite their attempts to call him up for the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations.

FIFA’s van Basten reveals radical vision

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Berlin (AFP) Time penalties instead of yellow cards, no off-side rule and more substitutions: legendary ex-striker Marco van Basten, FIFA's technical director, has a radical vision of football's future.

"We must keep looking for ways to improve the game, to make it more honest, more dynamic, more interesting, so that what we offer is attractive enough," the 52-year-old Dutchman told German magazine Sport Bild.

FIFA’s van Basten reveals radical vision

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Berlin (AFP) Time penalties instead of yellow cards, no off-side rule and more substitutions: legendary ex-striker Marco van Basten, FIFA's technical director, has a radical vision of football's future.

"We must keep looking for ways to improve the game, to make it more honest, more dynamic, more interesting, so that what we offer is attractive enough," the 52-year-old Dutchman told German magazine Sport Bild.

FIFA warn Liverpool over Matip selection

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Zurich (AFP) FIFA warned Liverpool on Monday they cannot play Joel Matip unless Africa Cup of Nations participants Cameroon give the Premier League title-chasers permission.

The key central defender missed Liverpool's 1-1 draw with Manchester United on Sunday amid a disagreement over his international status and he could be unavailable for the next month.

FIFA warn Liverpool over Matip selection

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Zurich (AFP) FIFA warned Liverpool on Monday they cannot play Joel Matip unless Africa Cup of Nations participants Cameroon give the Premier League title-chasers permission.

The key central defender missed Liverpool's 1-1 draw with Manchester United on Sunday amid a disagreement over his international status and he could be unavailable for the next month.

Matip out for Liverpool amid Cameroon confusion

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Joel Matip missed Liverpool's Premier League game at Manchester United on Sunday because his club are still awaiting clearance from FIFA following his retirement from international football with Cameroon.

Matip, 25, announced he no longer wished to be considered for selection by Cameroon last year and was not named in their Africa Cup of Nations squad.

Expanded World Cup ‘more competitive’ says Portugal coach

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Lisbon (AFP) FIFA's expansion of the World Cup to 48 teams from 2026 will make football's showpiece tournament "more competitive", Portugal coach Fernando Santos said Thursday.

"We must avoid being too dramatic," Santos said. "If this expansion meant an increase in the number of games (played during the tournament) things would be more complicated, but as it's not the case, I'm clearly in favour of it.

A 48-team World Cup, but who can host it?

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Paris (AFP) FIFA's decision to expand the World Cup to 48 teams starting with the 2026 tournament prompted one major question: who can host the global showpiece in its revamped format?

North America is the favourite and in pole position with other former candidates relegated to outsiders.

Argentina, France take FIFA ranking honours

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Zurich (AFP) Lionel Messi's beaten Copa America finalists Argentina end the year top of FIFA's world rankings while France, defeated in the Euro 2016 final, were named "mover of the year".

Argentina finish 2016 out in front of arch rivals Brazil to inherit the 'team of the year' title from Belgium, displaced from the FIFA summit by the Edgardo Bauza-coached Albiceleste in April.

Blatter suffers one last defeat over FIFA misconduct

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Lausanne (AFP) Sport's highest court on Monday rejected the appeal of former FIFA president Sepp Blatter against a six year ban signalling the end of his efforts to clear his name.

The 80-year-old former football powerbroker was ousted over a two million Swiss franc ($2 million/1.8 million euro) payment to UEFA boss Michel Platini which the Court of Arbitration for Sport called an "undue gift" that could not be justified.

Blatter suffers one last defeat over FIFA misconduct

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Lausanne (AFP) Sport's highest court on Monday rejected the appeal of former FIFA president Sepp Blatter against a six year ban signalling the end of his efforts to clear his name.

The 80-year-old former football powerbroker was ousted over a two million Swiss franc ($2 million/1.8 million euro) payment to UEFA boss Michel Platini which the Court of Arbitration for Sport called an "undue gift" that could not be justified.

Malaysia player beats Messi, Neymar to FIFA shortlist

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Kuala Lumpur (AFP) A Malaysian footballer has beaten the likes of Neymar and Messi to score a place in FIFA's shortlist for top three goals of the year.

Midfielder Mohamad Faiz Subri's cracker of a free kick for Penang state in the Malaysian Super League in February was reminiscent of the swerving thunderbolt by Brazil legend Roberto Carlos against France in 1997.

Ronaldo, Messi, Griezmann vie for FIFA best player award

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Paris (AFP) Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann will battle it out for the world player of the year title, FIFA said Friday.

Real Madrid star Ronaldo is favourite for the crown after winning the Champions League and also Euro 2016 with Portugal, even though he exited the final win over France with an early injury.

Ronaldo, Messi, Griezmann vie for FIFA best player award

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Paris (AFP) Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann will battle it out for the world player of the year title, FIFA said Friday.

Real Madrid star Ronaldo is favourite for the crown after winning the Champions League and also Euro 2016 with Portugal, even though he exited the final win over France with an early injury.

Police swoop on ex-FIFA executive in 2006 World Cup probe

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Lausanne (AFP) A Swiss corruption probe into the awarding of the 2006 World Cup to Germany was broadened on Wednesday to include former FIFA general secretary Urs Linsi after police raided homes.

Switzerland's attorney general's office (OAG) opened an investigation last year into fraud and money laundering allegations against four members of the 2006 World Cup organising committee: Germans Franz Beckenbauer, Hans-Rudolf Schmidt, Theo Zwanziger and Wolfgang Niersbach.

Russia’s Putin to meet FIFA chief Infantino

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Moscow (AFP) Russian president Vladimir Putin will meet FIFA chief Gianni Infantino in Moscow on Friday ahead of this weekend's draw for the Confederations Cup, the Kremlin announced on Thursday.

"The head of state will meet the FIFA president in Moscow," read a brief statement from the Kremlin, with Infantino on his way to Kazan for the draw for next year's tournament.

FIFA face lawsuit over ban on transfer of minors

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Zurich (AFP) A complaint has been filed to a court in the Swiss city of Zurich against a FIFA-imposed ban on the transfer of under-age players, lawyers representing the complainant said on Thursday.

The Zurich firm Nater Dallafior Rechtsanwälte launched the lawsuit at a court in the city on Wednesday on behalf of a 17-year-old African player and his parents.

FIFA face lawsuit over ban on transfer of minors

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Zurich (AFP) A complaint has been filed to a court in the Swiss city of Zurich against a FIFA-imposed ban on the transfer of under-age players, lawyers representing the complainant said on Thursday.

The Zurich firm Nater Dallafior Rechtsanwälte launched the lawsuit at a court in the city on Wednesday on behalf of a 17-year-old African player and his parents.

FIFA boss Infantino confronts numbers game in World Cup expansion

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Paris (AFP) FIFA president Gianni Infantino said Wednesday that everyone agrees on the need to expand the World Cup finals but there are divisions on whether there should be 40 or 48 teams.

Infantino campaigned for the FIFA leadership this year on the back of adding to the 32 nations at the current World Cup.

FIFA boss Infantino confronts numbers game in World Cup expansion

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Paris (AFP) FIFA president Gianni Infantino said Wednesday that everyone agrees on the need to expand the World Cup finals but there are divisions on whether there should be 40 or 48 teams.

Infantino campaigned for the FIFA leadership this year on the back of adding to the 32 nations at the current World Cup.

Marco Van Basten

No Offside, American Penalties And Orange Cards – FIFA Technical Director Marco Van Basten Has Some Interesting Plans To Improve Football

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In his role as FIFA technical director, Marco van Basten has cobbled together a list of tweaksthat he believes will help preserve football as the world's number one sport of choice.

Sadly, it appears that Van Basten has been at the strong cheese before bed-time, as some of his suggestions are bordering on the crackpot.

NASL 'Shootouts' Considered for World Cup 2026 Is a Sign of Changing Times

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ESPN's report on FIFA considering a change to how soccer may settle tie games for World Cup 2026 is a bit of a game-changer. The rules change would attempt to manage the additional groupings formed from the increase of 16 more countries competing.

News Update

Another return for the NY Cosmos

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The NY Cosmos are back with a new owner and the NASL moves on with an interim commissioner in the soccer news.

FIFA sticks with Russia for the 2018 World Cup

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FIFA president Gianni Infantino confirms that world soccer's governing body has no plans to reconsider the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Real Madrid

FIFA BEST AWARDS | CRISTIANO RONALDO THE BEST 2016

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FIFA Announce Three-Man Shortlist For Best Player Award

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Interesting move by FIFA who have named their contenders for The Best FIFA Football Awards™. The winners will be crowned in Zurich on 9 January 2017.

The three nominees are Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal/Real Madrid), Antoine Griezmann (France/Atletico Madrid) and Lionel Messi (Argentina/FC Barcelona).

The Rest

Liverpool expecting Joel Matip answer before Swansea game

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Jürgen Klopp on Joel Matip: "I don't have an update yet. FIFA said today would be kind of D-day."#LIVSWA pic.twitter.com/tgPHOV3tRV...

Click the headline to read the full story.

CONCACAF without the Caribbean?

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A report has the Caribbean teams considering a future apart from CONCACAF and USMNT coach Bruce Arena charms the media in the soccer news.

The Americanization of MLS Continues

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When it can, MLS is showing the world that it will do as it pleases for its own league, regardless of FIFA suggested protocol. In the few areas that FIFA does not control about leagues, MLS is blazing an independent path from the status quo of the other major world soccer leagues.

For example, there are other leagues in the world with playoffs after the regular season; Liga MX from Mexico is a prominent country/league to use them.

Against The Odds - Indonesian Football 2016

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As 2016 draws to a close it has clearly been an interesting year for followers of Indonesian football. A year that began with a campur of ad hoc competitions and a FIFA ban ends on time with the national team surprising everyone by reaching the Final of the AFF Suzuki Cup.
We do like a moan once in a while but for once this is going to be an unashamed look back at just what has been achieved this year.

Monday Kickoff: Blatter, Neymar, Chapecoense and more

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Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter had his ban upheld, while one of Barcelona's biggest stars is dealing with some injury issues.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport dismissed Sepp Blatter's appeal of a six-year ban from the game on Monday. (REPORT)

Neymar missed Barcelona training due to muscle fatigue in the groin area.

Carli Lloyd finalist for FIFA Best of 2016 award

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Dash midfielder up for "The Best" FIFA award.

Carli Lloyd has been nominated for The Best FIFA Women's Player Award. She is one of three nominees for the award. Germany's Melanie Behringer and Brazil's Marta are also up for the award.

Lloyd scored 17 goals and 11 assists in her 21 national team games this year.