Switzerland

AFP

Manchester United rocked by Basel late show

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Basel (Switzerland) (AFP) – Manchester United were forced to wait to book a place in the Champions League last 16 as Michael Lang’s last-gasp strike gave Basel a shock 1-0 win St Jakob-Park on Wednesday.

Jose Mourinho’s side were moments away from securing top spot in Group A when Lang pounced on sloppy defending to steal the points for second-placed Basel a minute before the end.

Manchester United rocked by Basel late show

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Basel (Switzerland) (AFP) – Manchester United were forced to wait to book a place in the Champions League last 16 as Michael Lang’s last-gasp strike gave Basel a shock 1-0 win St Jakob-Park on Wednesday.

Jose Mourinho’s side were moments away from securing top spot in Group A when Lang pounced on sloppy defending to steal the points for second-placed Basel a minute before the end.

O’Neill bemoans penalty call after World Cup heartbreak

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Paris (AFP) – Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill bemoaned the controversial first-leg penalty that saw his side’s World Cup dream end with a 1-0 aggregate defeat by Switzerland in their play-off on Sunday.

Ricardo Rodriguez’s spot-kick in Belfast on Thursday proved the difference between the two sides, as the Swiss held off some late pressure from the unfancied Northern Irish in the second leg at Basel in difficult conditions after heavy rain.

Switzerland edge out Northern Ireland to qualify for World Cup

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Basel (Switzerland) (AFP) – Switzerland held off Northern Ireland to seal a place at the 2018 World Cup in Russia with a 0-0 second-leg draw on Sunday that secured a 1-0 aggregate play-off victory.

Vladimir Petkovic’s side wasted numerous first-half chances as the Northern Irish stayed in the tie, but Ricardo Rodriguez’s controversial first-leg penalty in Belfast proved enough for the Swiss to reach their fourth consecutive World Cup.

Switzerland on top after narrow win over Northern Ireland

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Belfast (AFP) – Switzerland took a giant step towards qualifying for Russia 2018 on Thursday but needed a controversial penalty to earn a 1-0 win against Northern Ireland in the first leg of their World Cup play-off.

Vladimir Petkovic’s team dominated the match at Windsor Park in Belfast but squandered a succession of chances as Michael O’Neill’s team held them at bay.

Switzerland on top after narrow win over Northern Ireland

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Belfast (AFP) – Switzerland took a giant step towards qualifying for Russia 2018 on Thursday but needed a controversial penalty to earn a 1-0 win against Northern Ireland in the first leg of their World Cup play-off.

Vladimir Petkovic’s team dominated the match at Windsor Park in Belfast but squandered a succession of chances as Michael O’Neill’s team held them at bay.

PSG boss Khelaifi says has ‘nothing to hide’ in World Cup probe

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Bern (Switzerland) (AFP) – Paris Saint-Germain president and beIN Media chief Nasser al-Khelaifi insisted Wednesday that he had “nothing to hide” after a marathon grilling by Swiss prosecutors investigating claims of World Cup corruption.

Khelaifi, a Qatari with close ties to the Gulf state’s royal family, is under investigation for allegedly bribing disgraced former FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke in exchange for World Cup media rights.

PSG boss Khelaifi says has ‘nothing to hide’ in World Cup probe

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Bern (Switzerland) (AFP) – Paris Saint-Germain president and beIN Media chief Nasser al-Khelaifi insisted Wednesday that he had “nothing to hide” after a marathon grilling by Swiss prosecutors investigating claims of World Cup corruption.

Khelaifi, a Qatari with close ties to the Gulf state’s royal family, is under investigation for allegedly bribing disgraced former FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke in exchange for World Cup media rights.

PSG President Khelaifi faces Swiss prosecutors in World Cup probe

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Bern (Switzerland) (AFP) – Paris Saint-Germain president and beIN Media chief Nasser al-Khelaifi was set to be questioned Wednesday by Swiss prosecutors who have accused him of obtaining World Cup media rights through bribery.

Khelaifi, a Qatari with close ties to the Gulf state’s royal family, is under investigation for allegedly striking illegal deals with disgraced former FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke, who had been Sepp Blatter’s right-hand man.

Swiss probe PSG’s Al-Khelaifi and ex-FIFA executive over corruption

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Geneva (AFP) – Switzerland said Thursday it has opened a criminal corruption probe targeting the head of Paris Saint-Germain football club and BEIN media, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, and disgraced former FIFA executive Jerome Valcke.

The allegations against the powerful Qatari sports executive Al-Khelaifi and Valcke, who was Sepp Blatter’s long-serving right-hand man at FIFA, relate to the sale of media rights for upcoming World Cups.

Swiss probe PSG’s Al-Khelaifi and ex-FIFA executive over corruption

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Geneva (AFP) – Switzerland said Thursday it has opened a criminal corruption probe targeting the head of Paris Saint-Germain football club and BEIN media, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, and disgraced former FIFA executive Jerome Valcke.

The allegations against the powerful Qatari sports executive Al-Khelaifi and Valcke, who was Sepp Blatter’s long-serving right-hand man at FIFA, relate to the sale of media rights for upcoming World Cups.

Swiss open corruption probe against PSG’s Al-Khelaifi, ex-FIFA executive Valcke

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Geneva (AFP) – Switzerland has opened a criminal probe targeting Nasser Al-Khelaifi, the president of Paris Saint-Germain, and FIFA’s former secretary general Jerome Valcke, over alleged corruption in the sale of World Cup media rights.

“The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland has opened a criminal proceeding against the former Secretary General of FIFA and against the Chief Executive Officer of the BEIN MEDIA GROUP LLC in connection with the award of World Cup media rights,” said the statement on Thursday from Swiss prosecutors, referring to Valcke and Al-Khelaifi.

Swiss open corruption probe against PSG’s Al-Khelaifi, ex-FIFA executive Valcke

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Geneva (AFP) – Switzerland has opened a criminal probe targeting Nasser Al-Khelaifi, the president of Paris Saint-Germain, and FIFA’s former secretary general Jerome Valcke, over alleged corruption in the sale of World Cup media rights.

“The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland has opened a criminal proceeding against the former Secretary General of FIFA and against the Chief Executive Officer of the BEIN MEDIA GROUP LLC in connection with the award of World Cup media rights,” said the statement on Thursday from Swiss prosecutors, referring to Valcke and Al-Khelaifi.

Ronaldo, Portugal lock down World Cup berth

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Lisbon (AFP) – Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal defeated Switzerland 2-0 in Lisbon on Tuesday to earn a place at the 2018 World Cup and consign their opponents to next month’s play-offs.

An own goal from Johan Djourou handed the European champions the lead on 41 minutes and Andre Silva netted a second before the hour as Portugal finished top of Group B ahead of Switzerland on goal difference.

Ronaldo, Portugal lock down World Cup spot

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Lisbon (AFP) – Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal defeated Switzerland 2-0 in Lisbon on Tuesday to earn a place at the 2018 World Cup and consign their opponents to next month’s play-offs.

An own goal from Johan Djourou handed Portugal the lead on 41 minutes and Andre Silva netted a second before the hour as the hosts finished top of Group B ahead of Switzerland on goal difference.

Ronaldo, Portugal lock down World Cup spot

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Lisbon (AFP) – Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal defeated Switzerland 2-0 in Lisbon on Tuesday to earn a place at the 2018 World Cup and consign their opponents to next month’s play-offs.

An own goal from Johan Djourou handed Portugal the lead on 41 minutes and Andre Silva netted a second before the hour as the hosts finished top of Group B ahead of Switzerland on goal difference.

‘This time we’ve got Ronaldo’, Pepe warns Swiss

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Lisbon (AFP) – Portugal defender Pepe warned Switzerland that Tuesday’s decisive World Cup qualifying clash in Lisbon would be “completely different” with Cristiano Ronaldo available for the European champions.

Switzerland have won all nine Group B qualifiers so far, including a 2-0 victory over Portugal in their opening match when Ronaldo was out injured, and need just a draw to secure a place in next year’s finals.

‘This time we’ve got Ronaldo’, Pepe warns Swiss

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Lisbon (AFP) – Portugal defender Pepe warned Switzerland that Tuesday’s decisive World Cup qualifying clash in Lisbon would be “completely different” with Cristiano Ronaldo available for the European champions.

Switzerland have won all nine Group B qualifiers so far, including a 2-0 victory over Portugal in their opening match when Ronaldo was out injured, and need just a draw to secure a place in next year’s finals.

Atletico have edge in Champions League semis – Buffon

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Nyon (Switzerland) (AFP) – Real Madrid are defending champions and Monaco the most “feisty” but Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon says that Atletico Madrid are the “trickiest”.

Buffon shut out Lionel Messi and Barcelona over two legs in the quarter-finals but his Juventus side must beat one of the above in the last four to keep alive his dreams of a first Champions League title.

Atletico have edge in Champions League semis – Buffon

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Nyon (Switzerland) (AFP) – Real Madrid are defending champions and Monaco the most “feisty” but Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon says that Atletico Madrid are the “trickiest”.

Buffon shut out Lionel Messi and Barcelona over two legs in the quarter-finals but his Juventus side must beat one of the above in the last four to keep alive his dreams of a first Champions League title.

Lyon, Besiktas handed suspended European bans

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Nyon (Switzerland) (AFP) – Lyon and Besiktas were handed suspended European bans and fined 100,000 euros each on Wednesday after crowd violence scarred their Europa League quarter-final match in France, UEFA said.

The French and Turkish teams were excluded from taking part in the next continental club competition they qualify for but the governing body decided that the suspension will be deferred “for a probationary period of two years”.

Lyon, Besiktas handed suspended European bans

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Nyon (Switzerland) (AFP) – Lyon and Besiktas were handed suspended European bans and fined 100,000 euros each on Wednesday after crowd violence scarred their Europa League quarter-final match in France, UEFA said.

The French and Turkish teams were excluded from taking part in the next continental club competition they qualify for but the governing body decided that the suspension will be deferred “for a probationary period of two years”.

Stage set for ‘classic’ as Real draw Bayern

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Nyon (Switzerland) (AFP) – Holders Real Madrid will face Bayern Munich and a reunion with “master” Carlo Ancelotti after Zinedine Zidane got his wish and avoided Leicester City in Friday’s Champions League quarter-final draw.

Leicester will play Atletico Madrid - “a massive challenge,” said Leicester manager Craig Shakespeare - and the Italian and Spanish champions clash with Juventus drawing the miracle men of Barcelona.

Real draw Bayern in Champions League quarter-final blockbuster

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Nyon (Switzerland) (AFP) – Holders Real Madrid will face their former coach Carlo Ancelotti’s Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals as Juventus were drawn on Friday against comeback kings Barcelona.

English champions Leicester play their first quarter-finals in the top-tier European competition against Atletico Madrid as France’s Monaco clash with Borussia Dortmund over two legs in April.

Real draw Bayern in Champions League quarter-final blockbuster

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Nyon (Switzerland) (AFP) – Holders Real Madrid will face their former coach Carlo Ancelotti’s Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals as Juventus were drawn on Friday against comeback kings Barcelona.

English champions Leicester play their first quarter-finals in the top-tier European competition against Atletico Madrid as France’s Monaco clash with Borussia Dortmund over two legs in April.

Real draw Bayern; Juve faces Barca in Champions League quarters

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Nyon (Switzerland) (AFP) – Holders Real Madrid will face their former coach Carlo Ancelotti’s Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals as Juventus were drawn on Friday against comeback kings Barcelona.

English champions Leicester play their first quarter-finals in the top-tier European competition against Atletico Madrid as France’s Monaco clash with Borussia Dortmund over two legs in April.

Real draw Bayern; Juve faces Barca in Champions League quarters

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Nyon (Switzerland) (AFP) – Holders Real Madrid will face their former coach Carlo Ancelotti’s Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals as Juventus were drawn on Friday against comeback kings Barcelona.

English champions Leicester play their first quarter-finals in the top-tier European competition against Atletico Madrid as France’s Monaco clash with Borussia Dortmund over two legs in April.

Northern Ireland

World Cup Play-Off: Stalemate In Basel As Northern Ireland Miss Out On Final Berth (Video)

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Northern Ireland's quest for a place in next summer's World Cup finally ended on Sunday night, with Michael O'Neill's side losing out 1-0 on aggregate to Switzerland after a goalless draw in a rain-soaked Basel.

The Swiss came into the game one goal up, courtesy of that controversial Ricardo Rodriguez penalty in Belfast.

Xhaka expects Switzerland to finish off Northern Ireland in World Cup Qualifier

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Northern Ireland did extremely well to finish second in their tough Qualifying Group, finishing above the Czech Republic and Norway to end up second only to the unbeaten Germans, but they were then given another difficult task in the Play-Offs against Granit Xhaka's Switzerland side. But the plucky Irish gave as good as they got [.

Where to find Northern Ireland vs. Switzerland World Cup playoff 1st leg on US TV and streaming

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If you’re trying to find out how you can watch Northern Ireland vs. Switzerland in their World Cup qualification playoff, you’ve come to the right place.

Northern Ireland and Switzerland are both two games away from qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup but only one of the teams will advance.

World Cup qualifiers: Preview of final games to determine who will be in World Cup

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In a week’s time, the field for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia will be set. All that’s left to settle are four playoff ties in Europe, two pitting teams from across continental divides, and three groups in Africa.

Drama is guaranteed. The tournament, as we approach the new year, lies just around the corner.

International football

World Cup Play-Off Draw: Republic Of Ireland To Face Off Against Denmark, Northern Ireland To Play Switzerland

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The draw for the 2018 World Cup play-offs has just been completed in Zurich, with Fernando Hierro doing the honours and granting the Republic of Ireland a two-legger against Denmark.

A single goal from James McClean saw Ireland narrowly pipped Wales in their final qualifier to pinch the play-off spot in Group D, ensuring their quest to make it to Russia will roll on, starting with a trip to Copenhagen in early November.

Violent Conduct: Sion President Christian Constantin Beats Living Daylights Out Of Television Pundit Rolf Fringer (Video)

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A minor storm has whipped up over in the Swiss top flight where Sion club president Christian Constantin stands accused of thrashing the living daylights out of a television pundit directly after a match.

Sion lost 2-1 against Lugano in the Super League and, presumable peeved by the result, Constantin took out his frustrations on Rolf Fringer, the former Switzerland national team boss who now works as an analyst for Teleclub.

Old Habits: FC Basel Striker Ricky Van Wolfswinkel Misses Open-Goal Sitter From Three Yards Out (Video)

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Photo: @FC_Basel_en/Twitter

After a couple of fallow years, it's nice to see Ricky van Wolfswinkel is back on the goals trail at his new club, FC Basel.

The wonderfully-named Dutch striker took his tally to four goals in four appearances for the Swiss side by scoring a brace in their 3-2 victory over Grasshoppers in the Super League on Thursday night.

Living The Djream: Cisse Emerges From Retirement To Sign For Swiss Third Division Side (Photo)

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Photo: @yverdonsport/Twitter

Former Liverpool striker Djibril Cisse has come out of retirement to link up with Swiss third division Yverdon-Sport FC.

In a move that has surprised most everybody – perhaps including Cisse himself – the 35-year-old, who won the Champions League with the Reds in 2005, has resumed a career that has seen him go through more clubs than a pack of cards.

Swiss Lower Leagues: Pully Football Defender Scores Inexplicably Brilliant Bicycle Kick Own-Goal (Video)

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Just when you thought you'd seen it all, some beautifully graceful clod down in the Swiss lower leagues goes and redefines the very essence of the spectacular own-goal.

The auto-but we're referencing came in a recent Vaudoise Cup tie between Swiss sixth-tier sides Pully Football and FC Renens.

Xherdan Shaqiri Scores Several Stonking Volleys During Switzerland Training Session (Video)

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Having not featured for Stoke since January, Xherdan Shaqiri was keen to remind folks of his existence and as such posted a couple of highlights mustered during yesterday's Switzerland training session.

With a qualifier against Latvia to limber up for, Shaqiri pulled a fewstunners out of the bag, lashing home threestonking acrobatic volleys over the course of the afternoon.

The Rest

Switzerland, Croatia become latest teams to earn World Cup berths

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Two more teams locked up their spot in the World Cup on Sunday as the field nears completion.

Switzerland and Greece booked their World Cup spots as part of UEFA's qualifying playoff. Now, just four spots remain with those tickets set to be booked within the coming days.

The Swiss locked up their World Cup spot with a goalless draw against Northern Ireland, following up a 1-0 win in the first leg of their qualifying playoff.

Switzerland 2018 World Cup PUMA Home Kit

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Switzerland will debut their 2018 PUMA home kit when they meet Northern Ireland in the second leg of their 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia qualifying playoff series in Basel on Sunday. It will be available atWorld Soccer Shop,UK Soccer Shop,Lovell Soccer,Pro:Direct Soccer, Subside SportsandKitbagalong with the soon to be released Swiss 2018 away shirt.

Jose Mourinho has competition from Juventus and Real Madrid in his pursuit for Swiss striker

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According to The Sun, Manchester United are considering a bid for FC Basel striker Dimitri Oberlin. The Swiss u21 international, who is on loan from RB Salzburg, has impressed in the Champions League this season and finds the likes of Real Madrid battling United for his signature as a result.

Oberlin has scored and created four goals from as many games in the prestigious European competition, netting seven in all competitions so far.