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Showing posts with label World Cup. Show all posts
Showing posts with label World Cup. Show all posts

England consider hosting 2030 World Cup

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02/08/2018

England is thinking of bidding to host the 2030 FIFA World Cup. The last major tournament played in England was the 1996 European Championship, 30 years after the country hosted its only World Cup.

England FA chairman, Greg Clarke says the governing body’s board has agreed to start work to see if a bid is feasible.“This work will take place during the new season and no decision will be made until 2019,” added Clarke.

Wembley is already hosting seven games during Euro 2020, and the FA has bid to host the European Women’s Championship in 2021.England failed with a bid – fronted by former captain, David Beckham, Prince William and former Prime Minister David Cameron – to host the 2018 World Cup.

Sepp Blatter, the ex-president of world governing body FIFA, instead announced Russia as hosts.England felt aggrieved by that bidding process but it is thought the FA has been encouraged over 2030 by the greater transparency around the recent vote for the 2026 World Cup, which was won by a joint United States, Canada and Mexico bid.

It will now decide whether to bid to become the potential candidate from Uefa, European football’s governing body.Fifa vice-president, David Gill said in June England should have ‘great confidence.’However, there is expected to be a strong joint bid from Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, with 2030 marking the 100-year anniversary of the first World Cup in Uruguay.

As the World Cup ends, ICC begins exclusively on StarTimes

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18/07/2018

Just when you think the action has ended, the International Champions Cup competition kicks off right away.

Top teams from Europe, Spain and Italy including FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Arsenal, Man City, Liverpool, Bayern Munich, Man United, Chelsea, PSG, Juventus and others will battle it out for the 2018 International Champions Cup from 20th July to 12th August, ONLY on StarTimes Sports Premium & World Football.

Don’t have a StarTimes decoder? No problem, download the StarTimes APP to watch all your favourite stars play in HD right on your mobile phone here - http://bit.ly/2htdztR

Existing StarTimes subscribers can also link their StarTimes subscription on 2 mobile devices to watch.

Follow @startimesng on social media or call 014618888 & 094618888 now for more!

World Cup: Ahmed Musa's goal nominated for goal of the tournament

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16/07/2018

Super Eagles forward Ahmed Musa’s second goal against Iceland has been nominated among 17 other goals for the Goal of the tournament by FIFA.

Musa latched on to a long clearance deep from Kenneth Omeruo before leveraging on his speed to outrun his markers before slotting in the second goal.

Other goals nominated included Lionel Messi’s opening goal against the Eagles when Argentina beat Nigeria 2-1 and Croatia captain Luka Modric’s goal against Argentina.

Fans will choose the overall Goal of the World Cup not later than Monday, July 23. Cast your vote on fifa.com.

Argentina sack coach Sampaoli

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The Argentine Football Association (AFA) has announced the sacking of Jorge Sampaoli after a disappointing outing at the World Cup.

A 3-0 group stage defeat to Croatia following a 1-1 draw with Iceland left Argentina on the brink of a humiliating exit in Russia, before just about squeezing through to the knockout phase thanks to a 2-1 triumph over Nigeria.

That luck failed in the last 16 against France, however, when they were beaten 4-3 by the eventual tournament winners.

Sampaoli got the Argentina job after building a solid reputation in charge of Universidad de Chile, Chile and Sevilla, leaving the Spanish club at the end of the 2016-17 season after guiding them to Champions League football.

But very little has gone well for Sampaoli and Argentina since he took over in May 2017, with the coach's continuous tactical tweaks and strange selection choices baffling many.

Proud Croatia fans celebrate heroes

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Heartbroken but proud Croatian fans in Zagreb cheered and wept as their “heroes” went down 4-2 to France in the World Cup final in Moscow on Sunday.

On the final whistle applause from tens of thousands of Croatian fans rang out through the capital’s main Jelacic square as many lit flares and set off firecrackers.

Fans cheered the players on a big TV screen in the packed square, as car horns began blaring on the streets of the Croatian capital.

“Our boys gave everything on the pitch, till the last drop of energy,” Kristijan Strnic, 22, dressed in a red-and-white chequerboard jersey, told AFP.

“It was a spectacular match, the nation is grateful, we are so proud of our golden team, they fought like lions,” he said.

As a party began in the square to celebrate the team’s performance a distraught supporter Aurora Krnic said with tears in her eyes that the second place was “still fantastic”.

“I am sorry for all the young people, the team made them so happy, but they gave their all, they are heroes to us,” she said.

“Croatia can be proud, we should applaud our boys” said match commentator Drago Cosic on Croatian state TV HRT.

“A big football nation managed to outsmart Croatia with pragmatic albeit dominant football, France remains a puzzle to solve for Croatia”.

“The fairytale of the ‘Fiery Ones’ is over!” proclaimed newspaper Jutarnji List on its website.

“Mbappe and Pogba, with the help of the Argentinian referee and VAR, left Croatia on the threshold of paradise”.

“Croatia was just a step away from football immortality,” said the Index.hr website.

“These boys are world champions for us, they taught us about heart and unity,” said Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic who watched the match with fans in a downtown fan zone.

“We lived through a fantastic and unforgettable period for the whole of Croatia during this month,” he said of the Balkan nation with a population of just over four million people.

France crowned world champions, beat Croatia 4-2

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15/07/2018

France are crowned Champions of the FIFA World Cup after beating Croatia 4-2 in Sunday's final in Moscow.

Le Blues took the lead in the 18th minutes through Mario Mandzukic's own goal before Ivan Perisic levelled the score in the 28th minutes.

However, France extended their lead through Antonio Griezmanne via a penalty before Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe, to hand the Croats a huge task of coming back.

But a Hugo Lloris's howler gifted Mandzukic a simple tap-in to reduce the scoreline to 4-2.

All efforts to equal proved abortive as France lifed their second World Cup in Russia.

The last time they won the World Cup was on home soil in 1998, where they defeated Brazil 3-0.

Lawal Blames Referee for Nigeria's Defeat against Argentina

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10/07/2018

Ex-international, Garba Lawal has heavily criticised Turkish referee, Cuneyt Cakir for Nigeria's 2-1 loss against the Albiceleste of Argentina in the final World Cup Group D match.

The Super Eagles were denied a penalty for Marcos Rojo's handball in the box, only for the Turkish referee not to award it. Some minutes later, Rojo netted the winning goal that ended Nigeria's World Cup dream in Russia.

However, Garba believed that Nigeria would have qualified if the referee had issued Rojo's handball as a penalty.

"It is so sad that the Super Eagles have been eliminated from the World Cup in Russia," Garba told Soccernet.com.ng.

"But what is more painful is the fact that the referee denied us a clear penalty that even the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) captured. But the referee had to use his dubious discretion not to award the penalty to Nigeria.

“Today, the team really impressed everyone, most especially in the second half when they took the game to the Argentina side.

"The good thing is that Nigeria represented Africa well because many thought Argentina will disgrace us."

Ighalo to resume with Changchun Yatai this week

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09/07/2018

Super Eagles forward Odion Jude Ighalo is set to resume training with his Chinese club Changchun Yatai this week after a short stint at the Russia 2018 World Cup.

The former Watford striker has been given a couple of weeks off to recharge his batteries after representing the Super Eagles at the ongoing World Cup in Russia.

Ighalo was involved in all the matches played by the Super Eagles before they were knocked out in the group stages, starting against Croatia and coming off the bench in the games with Iceland and Argentina.

The 29-year-old was in good form for Changchun Yatai before the World Cup, scoring 7 goals in 11 matches, including four in one game against Guizhou Zhicheng.

Changchun Yatai will take on Chongqing Dangdai Lifan in their first game after the two-month World Cup break on Tuesday, July 17, and Ighalo will be available for the match.

Ighalo is presently holidaying with his family and has been undergoing personal training to keep himself in shape before his return to China.

CSKA Moscow wants Musa on permanent deal

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Super Eagles winger, Ahmed Musa may likely not return to Leicester City next season as Russian Club, CSKA Moscow have decided to make his loan move permanent.

The Nigerian international who had a blistering performance at the ongoing World Cup scored a sublime brilliant goal against Iceland in Nigeria's 2-0 win.

Although the team later lost 2-1 to Argentina in their final Group D game that saw them crash out of the tournament, the former Kano Pillars star has made his mark known to the world.

It is to this effect, that CSKA Moscow, are bent on signing him permanently from a Leicester City side that bought him on a club record but couldn't find regular football there before being loan out.

It is yet to be seen whether Leicester City would accept CSKA Moscow's offer even there are possibilities of him returning back to England.

Russia 2018: Deschamps can help France win

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05/07/2018

Last weekend, Didier Deschamps chalked up another significant achievement in a remarkable career.
He became the longest-serving coach of France when he oversaw his 80th game as Les Bleus beat Argentina 4-3 in a thriller to go through to Friday’s World Cup quarter-final against Uruguay, with Hollywoodbets Promo Code helping many fans profit from that game.

Six years have passed since he replaced Laurent Blanc, but how long he carries on could come down to what happens in Nizhny Novgorod on Friday, when France and their fearsome attack come up against the formidable Uruguayan defence.

The French Football Federation set a semi-final place as their target coming to Russia, and a last-eight exit would leave a sense of potential unfulfilled in the Deschamps era.

The FFF have said that the coach, who turns 50 this year, will stay around until 2020, when his contract expires.

Nevertheless, a disappointing exit and his position will look rather fragile at a time when Zinedine Zidane is a free man having left Real Madrid.

Many France fans will have longed for Zidane as they watched their national team’s performances in the group stage, especially in the insipid 0-0 draw with Denmark.

The display against Argentina was what the public had been crying out for, with the explosive Kylian Mbappe eclipsing Lionel Messi as the French tore apart a fragile defence.

“There has been criticism, and there always will be. But the truth comes with what happens on the pitch,” Deschamps told French television after that game.

Diego Godin and co. will not leave the same kind of space to exploit in the quarter-finals, though, as the coach looks to avoid falling at the same hurdle as four years ago, when they lost to Germany.

Since then, France have lost the Euro 2016 final on home soil to Portugal. Despite topping their qualifying group for this World Cup, the lowlights included a 0-0 draw with minnows Luxembourg.

Deschamps has Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele, Olivier Giroud and Nabil Fekir in his squad. Yet he has struggled to settle on the perfect system to accommodate his attacking talents, and get the best out of Paul Pogba.

Observers outside France are especially baffled how a team with such an embarrassment of riches in attack cannot play like they did against Argentina more often.

But as Spain great Xavi Hernandez pointed out in a recent interview with French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche, it is simply that Deschamps has a style more akin to Diego Simeone than Pep Guardiola.

“He has not changed his ideas on becoming a coach: defensive solidity and counter-attack,” Xavi said.

And if anyone doubts the credentials of the coach now, then more fool them.

This is the man from the Basque Country who won everything as a player, including captaining France to glory at the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000. As a coach he took Monaco to the Champions League final in 2004 and ended Marseille’s long wait to win a French title.

“Deschamps is a living legend in France. His record as a player and a manager is astonishing,” says Matthew Spiro, a British football broadcaster for beIN Sports who is based in Paris.

Spiro says he understands “the clamour for more excitement”, but points out that “in six years he has picked the team up from the depths of despair and reached the World Cup quarter-finals as well as the final of the Euro.”

Calls for more flair are inevitable when Deschamps has so many brilliant players at his disposal, and his lack of charisma when he appears before the media can be frustrating.

However, the end will always justify the means, as long as he keeps on winning.

“He is a manager, a leader of men. He is a winner,” says Guy Stephan, his loyal assistant for almost a decade now.

Super Eagles Future Is Bright - Balogun

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Super Eagles defender, Leon Balogun believes the team has what it takes to become a great team with the calibre of young and experienced players.

Having played in the three matches at the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Russia where Nigeria crashed out in the Group stages that consist of Croatia, Argentina, and Iceland, Balogun pointed out that the future is bright for the senior National team if they maintain continuity with this team and a few added to it.

"It will be very important to keep going the way we have started," the new Brighton and Hove Albion signing added.

"We have experienced players, young players, talented players - and there are even more players that are not in the team yet - and we have to keep developing them and investing in their football education.

"We just have to keep working and keep our focus on advancing year after year and then in the next four years, we will have a good team - maybe an even better one."

Super Eagles Will Get Better In Qatar 2022 - Troost-Ekong

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04/07/2018

Super Eagles defender, William Troost-Ekong has said that the team would go beyond the Group stages of the next edition of the World Cup in Qatar with the experience gathered in Russia.

Troost-Ekong played a key role in the team at the World Cup despite Nigeria's ouster in the Group Stages of the competition.

However, he believed that Nigeria would advance beyond the Group stages in Qatar going by the amount of experience the players have gathered in Russia.

"This is what you need as a team," Troost-Ekong, 24, told BBC Sport.

"When you talk about that Argentinian team, that's a team that has experienced all levels, Croatia are the same while Iceland have played the Euros together.

"You need a tournament like this just to learn what it is like to play at this level, under this pressure, in front of the whole world.

"Hopefully by the next time we get to a World Cup, and if we can be part of that with all the players (who played in Russia), it will be nothing new to us and it might be easier for us to perform at a higher level."

My Father's abduction gave me phsycological trauma against Argentina - Mikel

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03/07/2018

Super Eagles captain and midfielder, John Mikel Obi has disclosed that he was psychologically affected upon hearing news that his father was abducted some few hours before the team played Argentina in their last Group D game of the World Cup in Russia.

It will be recalled that Nigeria lost the encounter 2-1  to the Albiceleste, ending their World Cup campaign but more attention was on Mikel as he had to battle psychological trauma for the entire 90 minutes.

This will be the second time the former Chelsea midfielder's father will be kidnapped as he was also kidnapped in 2011.

Mikel told the Guardian that he warned by the abductors never to inform anyone (including the NFF or Nigeria Police) of the incident if he doesn't want his father to be killed.

Although Mikel's father was released on Monday afternoon, he however noted that the incident was an experience he won't forget in a hurry.

“I played while my father was in the hands of bandits,” Mikel told The Guardian.

“I had to suppress the trauma. I took a call four hours before kick-off to tell me what had happened.

“I was emotionally distraught and I had to make the decision about whether I was mentally ready to play. I was confused. I did not know what to do but, in the end, I knew that I could not let 180 million Nigerians down. I had to shut it out of my head and go and represent my country first. I could not even inform the coaches or NFF staff and only a very tight circle of my friends knew.”

He continued: “I was told that they would shoot my dad instantly if I reported to the authorities or told anybody. I also did not want to discuss it with the coach [Gernot Rohr] because I did not want my issue to become a distraction to him or the rest of the team on the day of such an important game. As much as I wanted to discuss it with the coach, I could not.

“Thankfully, my father was safely released on Monday afternoon. I thank the police authorities for their rescue efforts and the support I’ve received from friends and family members. Unfortunately, my dad is now in hospital receiving emergency treatment as a result of the torture he received during his capture."

Cavani misses training, doubtful for Les Bleus clash

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Uruguay striker Edinson Cavani missed Monday’s training and remains a doubt for this week’s World Cup quarterfinal against France.

The Paris Saint-Germain star, who scored a brace in his team’s 2-1 win over Portugal on Saturday, suffered a calf injury in his right leg in an off-the-ball incident and was replaced after 74 minutes.

Uruguay players are hopeful the 31-year-old, who has scored three goals in four World Cup games, can make a quick recovery, despite having to undergo tests on Monday.

“Cavani is well,” Uruguay midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur said in Monday’s news conference.

“He is very happy for our qualification and for his and the team’s performance the other day. Today he worked on his recovery. He is emotionally well and let’s see how his recovery goes. We have to take it a day at a time and see how he feels.”

Edinson Cavani suffered a calf injury after scoring a brace against Portugal. Uruguay have won all of their games in Russia, conceding just one goal in four games, and take on France, who beat Argentina 4-3 in the round of 16.

“France is playing very well, they have proved it throughout the World Cup,” Bentancur said. “Their play and their speed is incredible. It’s going to be another difficult game. We are going to try to play our game, defend together and if each of us does what we know, then we can succeed.”

Kanu surprises winners of Budweiser ‘Don’t Light It Up’ campaign

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02/07/2018


As the official beer of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, Budweiser is focused on amplifying fan energy and delivering unique experiences.

It would be recalled that Budweiser recently unleashed its Red Light Cups that lights up in response to shouting, cheering, or any other form of excitement by fans watching by fans watching games.


In a very interesting and exciting twist to the global campaign tagged, “Light Up the FIFA World Cup”, Budweiser challenged football fans across the globe, including Nigerian football fans to do the impossible to suppress their excitement and not shout and scream in support of their team while watching their first group match during this year’s World Cup, with the “Don’t Light It Up” campaign.

Featuring fans of five national teams at the FIFA 2018 World Cup: Argentina, Nigeria, Brazil, South Korea, and England, “Don’t Light It Up” gave participants once in a lifetime opportunity of experiencing the FIFA 2018 World Cup live in Russia by NOT lighting up Budweiser’s noise activated Red Light Cup. To make things even more difficult, participating fans were placed in a soundproof booth in the middle of a crowded sports bar. Unfortunately, fans from Argentina and Korea could not make it.


For Nigerian fans, who were lucky enough not to shout or scream during the matches, they had a special surprise visit from football legend, Kanu Nwankwo, who handed over to them free tickets to go watch the remaining FIFA 2018 World Cup matches in Russia.

In his remarks, Nwankwo Kanu stated that Nigerian football fans are some of the most passionate and spirited fans in the world. “When they watch a match there is singing, jumping up, praying and doing everything possible to cheer their team on. So, it was crazy to see them watch our team compete in the World Cup without making any noise or lighting up Budweiser’s Red Light Cup.”

He added: “I had such a great time partnering with Budweiser, a brand I enjoy, for ‘Don’t Light It Up.’ Getting to go to the World Cup is special and it means so much to these lucky fans to win a trip from Budweiser. I could see it on their faces. I could see how happy they are, and to be able to see the World Cup live, that’s awesome!”

Watch the video below, and enjoy;

Iniesta bids farewell to country football

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Spain veteran midfielder, Andre Iniesta has retired from the national team after the team were dumped out in the round of 16 stages of the World Cup on Sunday.

La Rojas crashed out via a 4-2 penalty lose to Russia despite controlling a higher percentage of possession throughout 90 minutes.

Iniesta's decision to retire from the national team brings an end to a blistering career that has seen him win the World Cup and European Championship.

"The reality is that this was my last match with the national team," the 34-year-old Iniesta said. "On a personal level, it's the end of a wonderful phase. Sometimes the endings are not how you dreamed them."

Russia stun Spain on penalties

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01/07/2018

Host nation Russia are through to the World Cup quarter-finals after a shock penalty shoot-out victory against Spain.

The match finished 1-1 after extra-time and it was goalkeeper and captain Igor Akinfeev who became the Russian hero with penalty saves from Spain’s Koke and Iago Aspas.

In a very tense match in Moscow Spain took the lead through a Sergei Ignashevich own goal but Russia were level four minutes before half-time when Artem Dzyuba slotted home a penalty after Gerard Pique was penalised for handball.

Despite having the majority of possession Spain could not break down a defensive Russian side in the second-half or during the extra 30 minutes.

The game went to spot kicks and it was Russia who held their nerve to win 4-3 on penalties.

Ahmed Musa's goal nominated for CNN best goal

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American Cable News Network (CNN) Sports has nominated Super Eagles Forward Ahmed Musa’s first goal against Iceland as one of the best scored in the group stage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Similarly, the channel nominated Lionel Messi of Argentina’s goal in group stage goal against Nigeria was also nominated the best in the fiesta holding in Russia.

CNN Sports announced the nomination via its Twitter handle on Friday.

According to it, other two players whose goals are in the shortlist are Portugal’s Ricardo Quaresma (versus Iran), Spain’s Nacho (versus Portugal).

It described the goal scored by Musa against Iceland in a 2-0 win as a delight to watch as he skillfully brought down a cross by Victor Moses before smashing the ball into the roof of the net from inside the box.

It said that fans were expected to cast votes in the poll for the best goal among the four nominated goals while voting would end on Saturday.

FT: Uruguay vs Portugal

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30/06/2018

WORLD CUP
URUGUAY - ARGENTINA
Fisht Stadium Sochi, Russia
7:00pm (WAT)

Uruguay faces Portugal in the second round-of-16 game of the Russia 2018 World Cup. The match which is taking place at the Fisht Stadium Sochi will see both Real Madrid and Barcelona finest, Ronaldo and Suarez, go head to head for a spot at the quarter-finals of the tournament.

Follow the live game below.

Super Eagles were unlucky against Argentina - Obuh

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29/06/2018

Former Golden Eaglets coach, John Obuh has said that the Super Eagles would have qualified to the knockout stages of the World Cup if the players had maintained some level of focus till 90 minutes.

Nigeria crashed out of the Mundial after conceding an 86th minutes goal that was scored by Marcos Rojo to give Argentina the much-needed victory.

However, Obuh told Soccernet.com.ng that though he's impressed with the performance of the Super Eagles, he still believed that the team could have done better against Argentina.

"It really hurt to imagine that the Super Eagles have crashed out of the 2018 World Cup in Russia," Obuh told Soccernet.com.ng

"Sometimes in football, one minute or seconds of lack of concentration could prove dicey to the progress of any team, a situation which cost Nigeria the chance to eliminate as the players switched off when it matters most.

"All the same the players really impressed me and I believe we were just unlucky not to have qualified."
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