World Cup

FIFA

FIFA Ask Russian Fans To Vote For 2018 World Cup Mascot From Three Equally Uninspiring Options

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FIFA have opened the onlineballotfor the 2018 World Cup mascot, with the good people of Russia now able to vote which anthropomorphic animal they want to represent their home tournament.

The field is hardly what you might call diverse, with fans able to vote for, A) a cutesy cartoon tiger, B) a cutesy cartoon cat, or,C) a cutesy cartoon wolf.

FIFA: Where enough is never enough

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Men's World Cup expansion to 40 teams for '26 (8 groups of 5 teams) "likely" to be approved in Oct. Your preference? — Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) September 15, 2016 Competitively, this is lame. No explanation required there. From a fan standpoint, good luck to everyone battling with people from eight more countries for tickets, which will surely see their prices bumped further into the

Havelange was the Greatest Dictator

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THERE WERE FEW MOURNERS AS THE KING OF CORRUPTION DIED 100 NOT OUT

It almost passed unnoticed during the Rio Olympics that Joao Havelange, the Brazilian former FIFA President, had died, aged 100.

The major figure in post-war football governance is no more, and on immediate inspection, what a dark legacy he leaves.

FIFA Proudly Announce The Cheapest Ticket For 2018 World Cup Will Cost A Mere £80

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As part oftheir ongoing commitment to keepfootball accessible to all, FIFA have proudly announced that the cheapest match ticket at the 2018 World Cup in Russia will cost a mere $105 (roughly £80).

FIFA have rolled out their pricing structure for the 2018 tournament today, with the following ticket prices applying to overseas fans.

AFP

Beckenbauer rejects claims he was ‘paid millions’ as World Cup chair

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Berlin (AFP) Lawyers for football legend Franz Beckenbauer on Wednesday rejected claims he was paid millions as chairman of Germany's World Cup organising committee and sought to hide the sum from tax authorities.

News website Spiegel Online had reported that Beckenbauer drew a fee of more than five million euros ($5.

Beckenbauer rejects claims he was ‘paid millions’ as World Cup chair

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Berlin (AFP) Lawyers for football legend Franz Beckenbauer on Wednesday rejected claims he was paid millions as chairman of Germany's World Cup organising committee and sought to hide the sum from tax authorities.

News website Spiegel Online had reported that Beckenbauer drew a fee of more than five million euros ($5.

Beckenbauer ‘paid millions’ as chair of WC2006 committee

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Berlin (AFP) Franz Beckenbauer, who said he worked for free as chairman of Germany's World Cup organising committee, actually drew a fee of more than five million euros, news website Spiegel Online reported Wednesday.

The German football legend also sought to hide the sum from tax authorities, the magazine said, in the latest embarrassment for Beckenbauer, who is being investigated by Swiss authorities in relation to corruption allegations over the awarding of the 2006 World Cup to Germany.

Beckenbauer ‘paid millions’ as chair of WC2006 committee

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Berlin (AFP) Franz Beckenbauer, who said he worked for free as chairman of Germany's World Cup organising committee, actually drew a fee of more than five million euros, news website Spiegel Online reported Wednesday.

The German football legend also sought to hide the sum from tax authorities, the magazine said, in the latest embarrassment for Beckenbauer, who is being investigated by Swiss authorities in relation to corruption allegations over the awarding of the 2006 World Cup to Germany.

FIFA head to delay-hit Worl Cup 2018 stadium

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Moscow (AFP) FIFA on Wednesday said work on Moscow's flagship Luzhniki stadium for the 2018 World Cup appeared to be on course, ahead of a visit to the delay-hit arena in Saint Petersburg.

"We're very pleased with the progress here in Luzhniki," the major stadium for the World Cup," Colin Smith, the FIFA chief competitions and events officer, said after checking up on construction.

China make their point as Korea slip up

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Shenyang (China) (AFP) China's World Cup hopes brightened on Tuesday when they held heavyweights Iran 0-0 and group rivals South Korea slipped up in an embarrassing stalemate against war-ravaged Syria.

Defeat to Asia's top-ranked side would have dented China's hopes of reaching only their second World Cup but in the end it was a close game in Shenyang.

China hold Iran to earn first point in World Cup qualifying

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Shenyang (China) (AFP) China held heavyweights Iran to a gritty 0-0 draw to lift their hopes of reaching just their second World Cup in Asian qualifying on Tuesday.

Asia's sleeping giants lacked ambition in the first half but they went for broke in the second in a performance that was good enough to earn their first point of the third round.

China hold Iran to earn first point in World Cup qualifying

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Shenyang (China) (AFP) China held heavyweights Iran to a gritty 0-0 draw to lift their hopes of reaching just their second World Cup in Asian qualifying on Tuesday.

Asia's sleeping giants lacked ambition in the first half but they went for broke in the second in a performance that was good enough to earn their first point of the third round.

Gibraltar eye surprise on long-awaited World Cup bow

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Madrid (AFP) With a population of just 33,000 and barely any professional players, Gibraltar would need a miracle to qualify for the World Cup in Russia, but FIFA's newest member is still dreaming big.

Gibraltar finally won a long battle with FIFA in June when they were accepted alongside Kosovo to join the European qualification stages for the World Cup, starting with Tuesday's home clash with Euro 2004 winners Greece.

Beckenbauer investigated over World Cup corruption allegations

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Geneva (AFP) Swiss federal prosecutors on Thursday announced that they had opened criminal proceedings against German legend Franz Beckenbauer amid corruption allegations in the awarding of the 2006 World Cup to Germany.

Beckenbauer, 70, is under investigation with three other members of the 2006 World Cup organising committee Hans-Rudolf Schmidt, Theo Zwanziger and Wolfgang Niersbach said the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland in Bern.

Swiss open criminal proceedings against Beckenbauer over 2006 World Cup

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Geneva (AFP) Swiss federal prosecutors said Thursday they have opened criminal proceedings against German football legend Franz Beckenbauer over allegations of corruption in the awarding of the 2006 World Cup to Germany.

Beckenbauer, 70, is under investigation with three other members of the 2006 World Cup organising committee Hans-Rudolf Schmidt, Theo Zwanziger and Wolfgang Niersbach said the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland.

Videos

Video: Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka sent-off for Switzerland vs Portugal

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Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka was shown a red card while playing for Switzerland against Portugal on Tuesday evening. The Gunners' summer...

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World Cup: Serbia’s Filip Kostic Wins Penalty With Dismal Dive But Republic Of Ireland Battle To 2-2 Draw In Belgrade (Video)

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The Republic of Ireland got their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign off to a reasonable start after a hard-fought 2-2 draw in a very wet Belgrade.

However, Martin O'Neill and co. will no doubt still be furious with the officials after Hamburg winger Filip Kostic won a penalty courtesy of an appalling dive, right under the nose of refereeViktor Kassai.

World Cup: Israel’s Tal Ben Haim Nets Glorious Chipped Effort Against Italy (Video)

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Italy got their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign off to a winning start on Monday night, courtesy of a deserved 3-1 win in Israel. However, it was the hosts who netted the goal of the game, with striker Tal Ben Haim (not the ex-Chelsea and Bolton one) produced an exquisite chip which left Gigi Buffon helpless.

The People's Elbow (and Headlock): Watch Bayern's star tangling with Kazakhastan players

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Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski’s aggression raised eyebrows last night when Poland took on Kazakhstan in their opening game of the World Cup 2018 qualifiers.

Usually, a calm and collected presence on the field, Robert Lewandowski’s swinging elbow caught the Kazakhstan defender Yeldos Ahmetov and left him with a bloody nose.

Lionel Messi Scores Winning Goal For Argentina Several Weeks After Retiring From International Football (Photos & Video)

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Lionel Messi pulled off another neat trick last night when he scored Argentina's winning goal against Uruguay despite having retired from international football some weeks ago now.

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Indeed, despite not actually being on the pitch, Messi settled the 2018World Cup qualifier in the 43rd minute with a piece of excellent back-heeled control and a massively deflected finish.

England

‘I’ve Had A Good Laugh At It’ – New FA Chairman Calls Clock Counting Down To England Winning 2022 World Cup ‘A Joke’

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Photo: Paul Thomas /The FA/Getty Images

Newly-appointed FA chairman Greg Clarke has branded the clock at St George's Park that is set to count down to England's miraculous World Cup win in 2022 as "a joke".

The clock was installedin 2013by Clarke's predecessor, Greg Dyke, who put it in place in the coaching suite at England's training headquarters as a visual reminder of the FA's tedious, ingrained hubris long-term targets.

Spurs stars react to England beating Slovakia

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Buzzing to start the campaign with a win! Important 3 points! Safe travels home to our supporters! #threelions #WorldCupQualifiers Harry Kane...

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Video: Liverpool’s Adam Lallana scores late winner for England in Slovakia

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What a time to score your first England goal! https://t.co/TCscyt677G ITV Football (@itvfootball) September 4, 2016 England secured three...

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Slovakia 0-1 England: Sam Allardyce Starts With Win As Adam Lallana Bags Last-Gasp Winner (Photos & Highlights)

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Sam Allardyce started his reign as England boss with a victory away to Slovakia, albeit via a late winner from Liverpool's Adam Lallana.

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There were no surprises in Big Sam's first starting 11, with Wayne Rooney earning his 116th cap, a record for an England outfield player (and one more than David Beckham).

Slovakia vs England Predictions, Betting Tips and Preview

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Slovakia v England predictions, betting tips, team news and stats ahead of this weekend’s World Cup qualifying fixture.

Fixture: Slovakia vs England
Competition: World Cup qualifying
Kick-off Time: 17:00, Sunday 4th September 2016
Venue: City Arena, Trnava

England Team News & Preview

England begin their World Cup qualification campaign against Slovakia on Sunday and new manager Sam Allardyce will be hoping for a strong start.

England: Wayne Rooney Promises To Retire From International Football After 2018 World Cup

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Wayne Rooney has promised usthat he will retire from international football after the culmination of England's participation in the 2018 World Cup.

Well, not 'promised' exactly, but he did reveal that he's given it some serious thought, telling the assembled mediahe feels the end of the 2018 group stage will probably be the right time to bow out.

Germans still disputing England 1966 World Cup final goal

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Hamburg (AFP) Fifty years after THAT goal at Wembley, West Germany captain Uwe Seeler still insists England's Geoff Hurst's controversial shot never crossed the line in the 1966 World Cup final.

Hurst's second goal in the 101st minute of extra time which put England 3-2 ahead after the match had finished 2-2 over 90 minutes is arguably the most controversial goal in international football history.

Germans still disputing England 1966 World Cup final goal

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Hamburg (AFP) Fifty years after THAT goal at Wembley, West Germany captain Uwe Seeler still insists England's Geoff Hurst's controversial shot never crossed the line in the 1966 World Cup final.

Hurst's second goal in the 101st minute of extra time which put England 3-2 ahead after the match had finished 2-2 over 90 minutes is arguably the most controversial goal in international football history.

CONCACAF

El Salvador Players Call Extraordinary Press Conference, Claim They Were Offered ‘$30 Per Minute’ To Fix World Cup Qualifying Game

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The El Salvador national team held a press conference yesterday to announce that they had been offered a bribe to fiddle tonight's 2018 World Cup qualifying game against Canada.

The team also played an audio recording of the conversation duringwhich they allegeRicardo Padilla, a businessman and former Salvadorian football club president, offered them cash to fix the outcome of the match on behalf of an unnamed Honduran man.

Traitor Jack

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This is some crazy stuff, even if you think you know about the bottomless soul pit that is Jack Warner. We all like to talk about "The Shot Heard 'Round The World' from 1990 World Cup qualifying - but have any of us heard of this aspect of that famous game before now? Check it. - Greg Seltzer

The schedule continues for the USMNT and the rest of world soccer

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Another summer of international soccer raises the recurring question of fixture congestion and competitive edge.

Football Interviews

From Argentina: Lionel Messi reverses decision to retire from international football

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Argentine star striker Lionel Messi has reversed his decision to retire from international football for the ‘love’ of his country.

The 29-year-old announced his shocking retirement from international football in the wake of Argentina’s defeat in the final of Copa America in June. Despite participating in four major finals with his country, the Barcelona star man has failed to win a single international trophy.

From Argentina: 'Lionel Messi will return to play in international football'

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President of Argentina Mauricio Macari has claimed that the country’s star footballer Lionel Messi will return to play on international level to lead the national team for the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia.

Messi announced his shocking retirement from international football in the wake of Argentina’s defeat in the grand final of Copa America in June.

Materazzi: I spoke about Zidane's sister, not his mother

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Former Italian defender Marco Materazzi has undisclosed what he said to his opponent Zidedine Zindane which caused the infamous headbutt incident in the 2006 World Cup final.

In the 110th minute of the mega International finale, France midfielder Zidane produced one of the most controversial moments in the history of the game as he was sent off for headbutting Materazzi after the duo confronted each other during a heated encounter.

EURO 2016

Euro 2016 violence and what it means for the 2018 World Cup in Russia

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Euro 2016 in France has seen a return of football hooliganism which had been largely absent from recent international competitions. Hooliganism and football is a phrase everyone is familiar with, but it has been largely absent from recent international competitions. However, Euro 2016 in France saw a return of this ill-affair.

From Berlin to Balotelli through gloom and glory: The 10-year evolution of the Italy national team

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by Franco Ficetola What were you doing ten years ago today? If you're reading thisthen the chances are you probably love football. And if you love the beautiful game, it's more than...

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The Rest

Wednesday Kickoff: 2026 World Cup, Chicharito, Messi and more

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The 2026 World Cup could be coming to North America, while two stars have returned to training with their club teams.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino hinted thathe is open to a40-team 2026 World Cup co-hosted by the U.S., Mexico and Canada. (REPORT)

Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez has returned to Bayer Leverkusen training after breaking his hand falling down the stairs.

USWNT World Cup Winner Lauren Holiday faces brain surgery, yet she is still defined as a WAG

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28-year-old Lauren Holiday is a midfielder who retired from the US soccer team in 2015. She is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and FIFA Women’s World Cup champion. One would think that her sparkling CV would be enough to get her respect during a particularly tough time in her life.

Holiday has unfortunately been diagnosed with a brain tumour while eight months pregnant.

El Salvador football team share recording of a man offering money to fix match

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El Salvador football players shocked the football world as they claimed at a Monday night press conference at their Vancouver hotel that they had been offered money if they manage one of three specific results in Tuesday’s World Cup qualification match vs. Canada at BC Place Stadium.

Tuesday’s game between Canada and El Salvador is being played simultaneously along with Mexico vs.

Germany: DFB Produce Strange (But Apt) Description Of Thomas Muller’s Match-Winning Performance Against Norway

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Defending WeltmeistersGermany got their qualification for the 2018 World Cup off to a winning start with a comprehensive 3-0 win over Norway in Oslo on Sunday evening.

Thomas Muller played a starring role in the routine victory, scoring twice and laying on a third for Joshua Kimmich with all the silken finesseand ballet dancer's poise we've come to expect from the Bayern Munich forward i.