World Cup

AFP

Africa football boss wants Europe to back Morocco World Cup bid

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Cairo (AFP) – The head of African football, Ahmad Ahmad, has urged Europe to back Morocco’s drive to host the 2026 World Cup, in return for African support for a future European bid.

In an exclusive interview with AFP, Ahmad Ahmad, the Confederation of African Football president, appealed to European self-interest, saying: “Vote for us and we’ll vote for you next time.

Mendy makes Man City return to boost World Cup hopes

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Benjamin Mendy made a winning return to first-team football - and shared the experience with hundreds of Manchester City fans as he celebrated following his team’s 5-0 victory over Swansea City at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

Supporters invaded the pitch on the final whistle, despite appeals from the club not to do so and efforts from stewards and security to stop them encroaching onto the pitch.

Neymar expected back in Paris in mid-May at latest

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Paris (AFP) – Brazilian superstar Neymar is expected back in Paris a month before the World Cup begins in Russia, French media reported on Sunday.

Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar has been recovering in his homeland since undergoing surgery on a broken bone in his foot on March 3.

Neymar expected back in Paris in mid-May at latest

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Paris (AFP) – Brazilian superstar Neymar is expected back in Paris a month before the World Cup begins in Russia, French media reported on Sunday.

Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar has been recovering in his homeland since undergoing surgery on a broken bone in his foot on March 3.

Theft probe hits Russian football ahead of World Cup

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Moscow (AFP) – Russia’s World Cup preparations have been hit by an embezzlement probe involving the tournament’s anti-discrimination chief Alexei Smertin.

Moscow’s RBK business news site reported on Sunday that the interior ministry was looking into a complaint filed by Premier League club Dynamo Moscow against its previous leadership.

Theft probe hits Russian football ahead of World Cup

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Moscow (AFP) – Russia’s World Cup preparations have been hit by an embezzlement probe involving the tournament’s anti-discrimination chief Alexei Smertin.

Moscow’s RBK business news site reported on Sunday that the interior ministry was looking into a complaint filed by Premier League club Dynamo Moscow against its previous leadership.

Aguero’s ‘club season over’, faces World Cup fitness race

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London (AFP) – Argentina international striker Sergio Aguero faces a race against time to be fit for the World Cup in Russia after Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola said Friday his club season was over.

Guardiola, whose side secured the Premier League title last Sunday, said the 29-year-old would be sidelined for four to five weeks following minor knee surgery.

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.

Neymar out until at least May 17, eyes ‘dream’ World Cup 

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Sao Paulo (AFP) – Brazilian superstar Neymar said Tuesday that he won’t be back playing at least until the second half of May, when he is scheduled to have his final medical exam following foot surgery.

“There isn’t an exact date yet. I have the last exam, if I’m not mistaken, I’m not sure, on May 17,” the Paris Saint-Germain and Brazil forward told a press conference in Sao Paulo.

Neymar out until at least May 17, eyes ‘dream’ World Cup 

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Sao Paulo (AFP) – Brazilian superstar Neymar said Tuesday that he won’t be back playing at least until the second half of May, when he is scheduled to have his final medical exam following foot surgery.

“There isn’t an exact date yet. I have the last exam, if I’m not mistaken, I’m not sure, on May 17,” the Paris Saint-Germain and Brazil forward told a press conference in Sao Paulo.

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.

Main Moscow airport misses World Cup runway deadline: report

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Moscow (AFP) – Moscow’s busiest airport will not receive a crucial new runway in time for the World Cup, a report said on Thursday, dealing a blow to President Vladimir Putin’s prestige event.

The Rosaviatsiya state aviation agency has informed the transport minister that the Sheremetyevo airport project would not be ready by the June 14 kickoff, the Vedomosti business daily said.

Main Moscow airport misses World Cup runway deadline: report

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Moscow (AFP) – Moscow’s busiest airport will not receive a crucial new runway in time for the World Cup, a report said on Thursday, dealing a blow to President Vladimir Putin’s prestige event.

The Rosaviatsiya state aviation agency has informed the transport minister that the Sheremetyevo airport project would not be ready by the June 14 kickoff, the Vedomosti business daily said.

North America or North Africa – 2026 World Cup host revealed June 13

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Lausanne (AFP) – Hosting rights for the 2026 World Cup are set to be revealed on June 13, FIFA said Monday as it published bids from Morocco and a joint one from the United States, Mexico and Canada.

The decision will be announced at a FIFA meeting in Moscow on the eve of the 2018 World Cup being held in Russia.

North America or North Africa – 2026 World Cup host revealed June 13

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Lausanne (AFP) – Hosting rights for the 2026 World Cup are set to be revealed on June 13, FIFA said Monday as it published bids from Morocco and a joint one from the United States, Mexico and Canada.

The decision will be announced at a FIFA meeting in Moscow on the eve of the 2018 World Cup being held in Russia.

FIFA

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.

World Cup 2018

FOX Sports adds Derek Rae as World Cup commentator

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Commentator Derek Rae (center)

Accomplished soccer commentator Derek Rae will join the ranks of FOX Sports this summer to announce several World Cup games for the US broadcaster.

Given his experience and world-class commentary, the addition of Rae will be a big boost to FOX Sports’ coverage of the World Cup.

FOX Sports adds Derek Rae as World Cup commentator

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Commentator Derek Rae (center)

Accomplished soccer commentator Derek Rae will join the ranks of FOX Sports this summer to announce several World Cup games for the US broadcaster.

Given his experience and world-class commentary, the addition of Rae will be a big boost to FOX Sports’ coverage of the World Cup.

The case for Jonjo: Why England should take Newcastle star Jonjo Shelvey to the World Cup

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As the end of the Premier League season draws ever closer the spotlight is firmly on those players attempting to make their into the various World Cup 2018 squads. None more so than Jonjo Shelvey,...

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FOX’s World Cup ad compares Ronaldo and Messi to King Kong and Godzilla [VIDEO]

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Better late than never, FOX Sports finally has released a new ad to promote its coverage of this summer’s FIFA World Cup.

Entitled “Epic,” the new ad that will begin being televised nationally this weekend focuses on the rivalry between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Not surprisingly, the footballers are two of the three players that FOX Sports has been featuring the most to promote its exclusive English-language coverage of the World Cup, which will be played in Russia this summer.

FOX’s World Cup ad compares Ronaldo and Messi to King Kong and Godzilla [VIDEO]

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Better late than never, FOX Sports finally has released a new ad to promote its coverage of this summer’s FIFA World Cup.

Entitled “Epic,” the new ad that will begin being televised nationally this weekend focuses on the rivalry between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Not surprisingly, the footballers are two of the three players that FOX Sports has been featuring the most to promote its exclusive English-language coverage of the World Cup, which will be played in Russia this summer.

Predicting ultimate 23-man World Cup squad with one player per country

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The 2018 FIFA World Cup is fast approaching. Coaches must begin to seriously evaluate the 23 players they will take to Russia for the world’s greatest sporting event.

Squad selections are imminent. Let’s get experimental and select a 23-man squad from players who will feature at the tournament.

Predicting ultimate 23-man World Cup squad with one player per country

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The 2018 FIFA World Cup is fast approaching. Coaches must begin to seriously evaluate the 23 players they will take to Russia for the world’s greatest sporting event.

Squad selections are imminent. Let’s get experimental and select a 23-man squad from players who will feature at the tournament.

Russia 2018: FIFA Name List Of World Cup Referees And Assistants, No British Representative For First Time In 80 Years

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FIFA have today released the list of match officials entrusted to oversee the 2018 World Cup and, for the first time in eight decades, not a single British referee or assistant has been included.

The list contains the names of 99 referees and assistants (36 of the former, 63 of the latter), though none hail from England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland for the first time since the 1938 tournament.

World Cup 2018 – All You Need To Know About Fan ID

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The 2018 World Cup is shaping up to be one of the most security-focused events ever. Fans from across the globe are going to have to make certain they follow very strict rules for even getting inside the stadium. Sounds like a bit of a headache? It most assuredly is, but until the ticket registration closes on April 3rd, there’s plenty of time to figure out the rest of the documentation.

Charlie Stillitano

Charlie Stillitano discusses European Super League: World Soccer Talk Podcast

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World Soccer Talk is the weekly soccer podcast on the topic of watching soccer on TV, online and apps.

In the NEW episode, number 69, Kartik Krishnaiyer and Christopher Harris cover a range of topics including:

• An exclusive interview with Charlie Stillitano about the International Champions Cup and the chances of a European Super League,

• Commentator Peter Drury shares his insight regarding his famous Roma-Barca call,

• The latest details about VAR making its World Cup debut this summer,

• News about LaLiga TV launching in the United States,

• The launch of another new soccer streaming service,

• Our thoughts on NBC’s coverage of Man City winning the title,

• And of course we have feedback and questions from you in the Listener Mailbag section.

Charlie Stillitano discusses European Super League: World Soccer Talk Podcast

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World Soccer Talk is the weekly soccer podcast on the topic of watching soccer on TV, online and apps.

In the NEW episode, number 69, Kartik Krishnaiyer and Christopher Harris cover a range of topics including:

• An exclusive interview with Charlie Stillitano about the International Champions Cup and the chances of a European Super League,

• Commentator Peter Drury shares his insight regarding his famous Roma-Barca call,

• The latest details about VAR making its World Cup debut this summer,

• News about LaLiga TV launching in the United States,

• The launch of another new soccer streaming service,

• Our thoughts on NBC’s coverage of Man City winning the title,

• And of course we have feedback and questions from you in the Listener Mailbag section.

General Football News

Video Assistant Referees (VAR) | Football Technology

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Video assistant referee (VAR) technology has already produced plenty of controversy in football, but it is a system that doesn’t look like disappearing any time soon.

VAR will be used at this year’s World Cup in Russia after the International Football Association Board (IFAB), which sets the game’s laws, unanimously approved the use of the technology in matches on a permanent basis.

On This Day in Football: Bolivia crush Argentina

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On this day in 2009, Bolivia beat Argentina 6-1 in a 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifier which matched their record loss in international football.

The Argentines had lost just one game in the CONMEBOL qualifiers, a 1-0 defeat against Chile in October the previous year. The two time World Cup winners had beaten Bolivia 3-0 on home soil the last time they met each other.

Videos

England: Get Peter Crouch And Andy Carroll On That Bloody Plane To 2018 World Cup (And Keep Joe Hart As Far Away As Humanly Possible)

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Embed from Getty Images

Two of the Premier League's preeminent 'big men' came to the fore as West Ham and Stoke produced a 1-1 draw at the London Stadium on Monday night.

The Grand Old Duke of Crouch opened the scoring in the 79th minute, but only after a trademark lapse of technique and concentration from Joe Hart provided the gangly striker with the means to do so.

Classic Moments: Iker Casillas Pulls Off Gutsy Save To Thwart Arjen Robben One-On-One During 2010 World Cup Final (Video)

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Embed from Getty Images

As you probably well remember, the 2010 World Cup final between Spain and the Netherlands was grubby, tense, petulant and nigh-on barbaric at times.

Howard Webb did his best to keep a lid on the hostility, showing admirable restraint to limit the card count to just 14 yellows and one red; Xabi Alonso got kicked in the aorta; elbows were swung, studs were left in; Mark van Bommel was there, inflicting ABH on whomever should cross his path, friend or foe.

Classic Moment: Raheem Sterling Fools Entire Nation Into Thinking He’s Scored 30-Yard Blinder Against Italy, 2014 World Cup (Video)

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Embed from Getty Images

With England set to square off against Italy at Wembley tonight, an exciting crystalline memory suddenly came stampeding back to the fore of Pies' hopelessly addled mind.

Hang on. Raheem Sterling very nearly scored one of the most electrifying goals the nation has ever witnessed when England played Italy at the 2014 World Cup.

The Rest

Sweden coach to Zlatan Ibrahimovic: Call me if you want to play at the World Cup

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic's World Cup hopes appear to rest on a phone call.

Speaking to German outlet Kicker,Sweden coach Janne Andersson says the LA Galaxy star must pick up the phone and give him a call if he hopes to play at this summer's World Cup. Ibrahimovic has repeatedly discussed this summer's tournament after retiring from the international game following Euro 2016.

FIFA: Manuel Negrete’s Sensational Scissor Volley Against Bulgaria In 1986 Voted Best World Cup Goal Ever (Video)

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Photo: Press Association

It's hardly an understatement to say that there have been some truly exquisite goals knocked in at World Cups down through the years.

We've seen all manner of audacious volley, curler and pearler hit the back of the net over the course of 20 tournaments, though thanks to a FIFA vote, we can now officially laud one over all others.

Rafa Marquez still hoping to be part of Mexico's World Cup squad

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Rafa Marquez is 39 and hasn't featured for the Mexican national team since the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, but he's still hoping to join El Tri in Russia for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

"I still have the same dream as always, hope dies at the end, so I'm still hoping, continuing to work with the same desire I've had to be there," Marquez said.

Houston Dynamo add Jared Watts to the team

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Dynamo trade with Colorado Rapids for defender.

There is a new defender in town and his name is Jared Watts. On Wednesday, the Houston Dynamo announced a trade with the Colorado Rapids for Jared Watts. The Dynamo gave the Rapids $100,000 in Targeted Allocation Money for the defender.

Since being drafted in 2014 by the Rapids, Watts has played in 71 games, 61 of which were starts.