FIFA

AFP

Russian footballers cleared after FIFA doping probe

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Lausanne (AFP) – FIFA has ended a doping investigation into Russian footballers named in the country’s provisional World Cup squad after finding “insufficient evidence” of any wrongdoing, it said on Tuesday.

World football’s governing body launched a probe into “possible anti-doping rule violations” by players “against whom a suspicion had been raised” following the publication of the McLaren report on mass doping in Russia.

Russian footballers cleared after FIFA doping probe

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Lausanne (AFP) – FIFA has ended a doping investigation into Russian footballers named in the country’s provisional World Cup squad after finding “insufficient evidence” of any wrongdoing, it said on Tuesday.

World football’s governing body launched a probe into “possible anti-doping rule violations” by players “against whom a suspicion had been raised” following the publication of the McLaren report on mass doping in Russia.

Guerrero gets FIFPro’s support in doping ban

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Lima (AFP) – Peru striker Paolo Guerrero has received the backing of players’ union FIFPro ahead of a meeting with FIFA’s president to try to overturn a drugs ban that could keep him out of the World Cup.

FIFPro said the 14-month ban for taking cocaine was “unfair and disproportionate” and said its representatives wanted to meet FIFA as well to plead 34-year-old Guerrero’s case.

Guerrero gets FIFPro’s support in doping ban

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Lima (AFP) – Peru striker Paolo Guerrero has received the backing of players’ union FIFPro ahead of a meeting with FIFA’s president to try to overturn a drugs ban that could keep him out of the World Cup.

FIFPro said the 14-month ban for taking cocaine was “unfair and disproportionate” and said its representatives wanted to meet FIFA as well to plead 34-year-old Guerrero’s case.

FIFA reduces ban on former Thai football chief

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Lausanne (AFP) – A five-year ban issued to ex-Thai football chief Worawi Makudi for “forgery and falsification” was cut by 18 months on appeal Wednesday, FIFA said.

Worawi was suspended from all football-related activities in October 2016 following his conviction of forgery in a Thai court and for failing to cooperate with a FIFA investigation.

Saudis suspend World Cup referee over bribery

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Riyadh (AFP) – The Saudi Football Federation have banned referee Fahad al-Mirdasi for life over bribery and urged FIFA to remove him from the pool of referees for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Mirdasi was suspended for offering to take a bribe to influence the outcome of a match, the federation’s disciplinary and ethics committee said late Tuesday.

Saudis suspend World Cup referee over bribery

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Riyadh (AFP) – The Saudi Football Federation have banned referee Fahad al-Mirdasi for life over bribery and urged FIFA to remove him from the pool of referees for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Mirdasi was suspended for offering to take a bribe to influence the outcome of a match, the federation’s disciplinary and ethics committee said late Tuesday.

Russian FA fined 30,000 Swiss francs for racist chants at France match

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Paris (AFP) – Russia’s football association has been fined 30,000 Swiss francs (25,000 euros) following racist chants by supporters during a friendly between the World Cup hosts and France in March, FIFA said on Tuesday.

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba and Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele were the target of monkey chants during the match in Saint Petersburg, a 3-1 victory for France.

Russian FA fined 30,000 Swiss francs for racist chants at France match

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Paris (AFP) – Russia’s football association has been fined 30,000 Swiss francs (25,000 euros) following racist chants by supporters during a friendly between the World Cup hosts and France in March, FIFA said on Tuesday.

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba and Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele were the target of monkey chants during the match in Saint Petersburg, a 3-1 victory for France.

FIFA boss says Russia ‘absolutely ready’ for World Cup

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Moscow (AFP) – FIFA boss Gianni Infantino said Thursday Russia was “absolutely ready” to host the World Cup and thanked President Vladimir Putin for his commitment to the football showpiece.

Infantino met Putin in the Black Sea resort of Sochi as Russia races against the clock to put the finishing touches on preparations for the June 14-July 15 final.

FIFA boss says Russia ‘absolutely ready’ for World Cup

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Moscow (AFP) – FIFA boss Gianni Infantino said Thursday Russia was “absolutely ready” to host the World Cup and thanked President Vladimir Putin for his commitment to the football showpiece.

Infantino met Putin in the Black Sea resort of Sochi as Russia races against the clock to put the finishing touches on preparations for the June 14-July 15 final.

France set to back Morocco for 2026 World Cup

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Paris (AFP) – France is set to back Morocco in the north African country’s bid to host the 2026 World Cup, the president of the French Football Association said on Friday.

“FIFA are visiting Morocco this week to check if the pitches are ready and whether, on a technical level, Morocco can be a candidate.

France set to back Morocco for 2026 World Cup

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Paris (AFP) – France is set to back Morocco in the north African country’s bid to host the 2026 World Cup, the president of the French Football Association said on Friday.

“FIFA are visiting Morocco this week to check if the pitches are ready and whether, on a technical level, Morocco can be a candidate.

FIFA punishes five clubs, and Laos, over player deals

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Lausanne (AFP) – Lisbon clubs Benfica and Sporting, Spanish teams Celta Vigo and Rayo Vallecano, Al Arabi of Qatar and the Lao Football Federation were on Thursday punished by FIFA over player deals.

Football’s world ruling body FIFA ruled the four Iberian clubs broke the rules on third-party ownership (TPO) of players, which is banned.

FIFA punishes five clubs, and Laos, over player deals

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Lausanne (AFP) – Lisbon clubs Benfica and Sporting, Spanish teams Celta Vigo and Rayo Vallecano, Al Arabi of Qatar and the Lao Football Federation were on Thursday punished by FIFA over player deals.

Football’s world ruling body FIFA ruled the four Iberian clubs broke the rules on third-party ownership (TPO) of players, which is banned.

Four VAR officials, giant screen replays at every World Cup match – FIFA

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Coverciano (Italy) (AFP) – Four video assistant referees will be present at every game at the World Cup in Russia with replays to be shown on giant screens inside the stadiums, FIFA said on Wednesday.

“Everything will be centralised in a single location in Moscow and all referees will be based in Moscow,” explained FIFA’s referees’ chief Pierluigi Collina during a training seminar organised at Coverciano, near Florence.

Four VAR officials, giant screen replays at every World Cup match – FIFA

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Coverciano (Italy) (AFP) – Four video assistant referees will be present at every game at the World Cup in Russia with replays to be shown on giant screens inside the stadiums, FIFA said on Wednesday.

“Everything will be centralised in a single location in Moscow and all referees will be based in Moscow,” explained FIFA’s referees’ chief Pierluigi Collina during a training seminar organised at Coverciano, near Florence.

FIFA plans to revamp Club World Cup, scrap Confederations Cup

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Lisbon (AFP) – FIFA has laid out plans to replace the Confederations Cup with an expanded Club World Cup that will only be held every four years from 2021, a source told AFP on Wednesday.

According to a letter Gianni Infantino, the president of world football’s governing body, sent to the heads of the continental confederations, and seen by AFP, the Confederations Cup will cease while the club tournament will no longer be played annually in December.

FIFA plans to revamp Club World Cup, scrap Confederations Cup

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Lisbon (AFP) – FIFA has laid out plans to replace the Confederations Cup with an expanded Club World Cup that will only be held every four years from 2021, a source told AFP on Wednesday.

According to a letter Gianni Infantino, the president of world football’s governing body, sent to the heads of the continental confederations, and seen by AFP, the Confederations Cup will cease while the club tournament will no longer be played annually in December.

Qatar urges FIFA talks before any World Cup expansion

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Doha (Qatar) (AFP) – Qatar World Cup organisers on Saturday told FIFA it was “important” to hold talks before any final decision was taken to expand the 2022 tournament to 48 teams.

In the first response by the Gulf nation since the shock news that FIFA is looking at bringing forward its plan to increase the number of World Cup teams by four years, Qatar also said it was confident it could still deliver a “successful” tournament.

Qatar urges FIFA talks before any World Cup expansion

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Doha (Qatar) (AFP) – Qatar World Cup organisers on Saturday told FIFA it was “important” to hold talks before any final decision was taken to expand the 2022 tournament to 48 teams.

In the first response by the Gulf nation since the shock news that FIFA is looking at bringing forward its plan to increase the number of World Cup teams by four years, Qatar also said it was confident it could still deliver a “successful” tournament.

South American countries urge FIFA to bring in 48-team World Cup for 2022

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Buenos Aires (Argentina) (AFP) – The South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) on Thursday asked FIFA to bring forward plans to expand the World Cup to 48 teams in time for the 2022 tournament in Qatar.

The competition is due to be enlarged from 32 teams to 48 in time for the 2026 finals, which will be awarded either to Morocco or a joint North American bid from the United States, Mexico and Canada.

South American countries urge FIFA to bring in 48-team World Cup for 2022

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Buenos Aires (Argentina) (AFP) – The South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) on Thursday asked FIFA to bring forward plans to expand the World Cup to 48 teams in time for the 2022 tournament in Qatar.

The competition is due to be enlarged from 32 teams to 48 in time for the 2026 finals, which will be awarded either to Morocco or a joint North American bid from the United States, Mexico and Canada.

FIFA corruption concerns prompt Oceania probe

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Wellington (AFP) – The Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) said Monday it will investigate “potential wrongdoings” after a FIFA audit into construction of its lavish new Auckland headquarters raised corruption concerns.

The move comes after the sudden resignation of OFC president David Chung two days before a meeting to discuss the FIFA findings.

FIFA corruption concerns prompt Oceania probe

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Wellington (AFP) – The Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) said Monday it will investigate “potential wrongdoings” after a FIFA audit into construction of its lavish new Auckland headquarters raised corruption concerns.

The move comes after the sudden resignation of OFC president David Chung two days before a meeting to discuss the FIFA findings.

World Cup

Solidarity: National Team Captains Of France, Denmark & Australia Write To FIFA Asking For Banned Striker Paolo Guerrero To Be Allowed To Play At World Cup

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The national team captains of France, Denmark and Australia have all written to FIFA pleading that Peru striker Paolo Guerrero be allowed to play at the upcoming World Cup.

Hugo Lloris, Simon Kjaer and Mile Jedinak have all co-signed an official letter, submitted to FIFA asking that fellow Group C rivals Peru be allowed to include Guerrero, who is currently serving a 14-month drugs ban.

Neymar, Coutinho, Jesus headline Brazil's 23-man World Cup roster

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Brazil have announced their 23-man squad ahead of this summer's FIFA World Cup in Russia, with the Selecao as one of the heavy favorites.

Leading the way for Tite's squad is PSG star Neymar who has been recovering from foot surgery since March. Neymar was recently voted the Ligue 1 player of the year after helping PSG to a domestic treble this season.

‘Forget’ – ITV Football’s New FIFA 2018 World Cup Hype Advert Is Pretty Bloody Decent (Video)

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With the start of the 2018 World Cup now just 31 sleeps away, ITV have sought to wet their prospective audience's whistle with a leading teaser advert.

The ad contains all the usual World Cup tropes which is absolutely fine by Pies as well as a few clever little inventive flourishes to symbolise incidents and occurrences at tournaments past.

Reports: FIFA Would Like To Stage ‘Mini World Cup’ Tournament With Eight Teams, Every Two Years

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FIFA are reportedly giving serious thought to staging a "mini World Cup" every two years, in addition to the 'big World Cup' they already have.

According to Reuters, president Gianni Infantino has proposed holding an eight-team tournament, known as "The Final 8" in between proper World Cups, which would serve as the climax to a proposed 'Nations League' competition part of a grand scale reform of international football.

FIFA quickly pushes ahead with instant replay

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By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON DC (Apr 20, 2018) US Soccer Players - The Video Assistant Referee system, aka instant replay, is coming to the World Cup whether we like it or not. By edict of FIFA, games at the 2018 tournament in Russia will include the controversial review technology that is even now creating waves of confusion and frustration in places like the United States, Germany, and Italy.

FIFA and the Formula 1 model

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The soccer news starts with FIFA reportedly considering a version of the Formula 1 model. Racing's version of FIFA is the FIA that sanctions Formula 1. It's there that the similarities end. The Formula One Group schedules and promotes the races and is responsible for F1's commercial rights.

Report: CONMEBOL asks FIFA to expand 2022 World Cup to 48 teams

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If one confederation gets its way, the expanded 48 team World Cup could be coming sooner than we think.

According to the Associated Press, Alejandro Dominguez, president of CONMEBOL, the South American confederation, has asked FIFA to expand the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to 48 teams.

As it stands, the World Cup is set to expand for the 2026 tournament, which the United States is hoping to host with Mexico and Canada.

International Soccer

Pogba, Griezmann, Mpappe headline France World Cup roster

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International heavyweights France have their 23-man roster for next month's World Cup in Russia.

Didier Deschamps' side was paired with Australia, Denmark, and Peru in Group C and are heavy favorites to advance to the knockout stages.

Headlining the roster is Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann, Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba, and Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele.

Sweden FA rules out World Cup return for Zlatan Ibrahimovic

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Swedish star Zlatan Ibrahimovic will not be joining his nation at this summer's World Cup.

The Swedish Football Association announced on Thursday that Ibrahimovic will not be playing for the national team in Russia.

The 36-year-old who currently plays for the LA Galaxy in MLS, represented Sweden at the World Cups in 2002 and 2006.

USMNT, Mexico move up in latest FIFA world rankings

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The U.S. Men's National Team moved up a spot in the FIFA World Ranking to 24th, but it still sits nine spots behind Mexico.

El Tri jumped to 15th, as Colombia, Croatia and Italy dropped out of the top 15. Costa Rica is the third-best CONCACAF nation in the rankings, as the Ticos sit one spot behind the USMNT in 25th.

Wednesday Ticker: Kane wins goal appeal, PSG to meet with FIFA, and more

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The race for the Golden Boot in the Barclays Premier League looks to be down to two.

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah and Tottenham's Harry Kane have been neck and neck in the race for the EPL's top scorer, with only four goals currently separating them. Salah has had an amazing return to England, with 29 goals in 31 matches for the Reds.

Roma

News Roundup: Le Toux may return, Nguyen to LAFC, and Liverpool to the Champions League Final

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Plus- praise for Ray Gaddis, Western Conference teams spending, Johansson injured (again), and Premier League parity.

News Roundup: Union lose, MLS goal frenzy, and Morocco surprisingly unprepared

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Also- Serie A is interesting, US Soccer tries to fix the NCAA, coaching rumors, and ... Ken Tribbett?

The Rest

FIFA plans for a different soccer world

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The soccer news starts with a problem for how the sport is covered on both sides of the Atlantic. The daily churn of what passes for news can downplay major issues for the sport. Right now, that issue is the countdown not for the decision on who will host the 2026 World Cup or even the start of this summer's World Cup itself.

U.S. assures FIFA that travel discrimination will not impact World Cup 2026

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The United 2026 World Cup bid has faced some questions in recent months due to the potential effects of a travel ban, but leadership recently reached out to FIFA in an effort to ease those concerns.

According to the AP, President Donald Trump and his administration have guaranteed FIFA that there will be no discrimination around entry to the U.