GENEVA (AP) — FIFA President Gianni Infantino linked his plan for biennial World Cups on Wednesday to giving more hope to Africans who risk their lives crossing the sea to Europe.
In a speech to European lawmakers, Infantino said soccer was being dominated by the few who “have everything” and it needed to be more global and inclusive.
LONDON (AP) — FIFA President Gianni Infantino assured players during talks Thursday that a reshaped international calendar will tackle their workload and fixture congestion concerns, while backing away from heavily pushing biennial World Cups.
GENEVA (AP) — FIFA is finally ready to enforce limits on the number of players clubs can send and take on loan internationally, two years after new rules were delayed by the pandemic.
The plans FIFA outlined on Thursday aim to stop wealthy clubs stockpiling players they have signed, encourage developing their young talent, and promote competitive balance in soccer.
The cost of attending the World Cup final is up to 46% higher in Qatar than the previous tournament in Russia, fans discovered Wednesday as tickets went on sale.
The steep rise in the prices for the FIFA showpiece match since 2018 contrasts with the group stage — apart from the opening game — and round of 16 seeing a reduction in the cost of the cheapest tickets, which fans can apply for online.
MEXICO CITY (AP) —
The Mexican Football Federation says any fan caught screaming a homophobic chant at its matches will face a five-year ban from national team games.
Federation President Yon de Luisa said fans buying tickets will have to register their personal information and present a QR Code and identification at stadium entrances.
Robert Lewandowski was voted the best men’s player in the world on Monday, retaining the FIFA award he won last year despite being left off the ballot paper filed by runner-up Lionel Messi.
The Bayern Munich forward overturned the result last month of the Ballon d’Or prize where he placed second behind Messi, who finally led Argentina to a senior title at the 2021 Copa América.
ZURICH (AP) — An amnesty for yellow cards in European qualifying for the World Cup has lifted the threat of suspension for dozens of players involved in the playoffs in March, FIFA said Monday.
UEFA had asked FIFA to help wipe the disciplinary records of players from the 12 European teams involved in the playoffs who were set to carry over a single yellow card collected in group-stage qualifiers.
ZURICH (AP) — Ivory Coast will be without goalkeeper Sylvain Gbohouo for the African Cup of Nations after he was provisionally suspended by FIFA for doping.
The governing body of soccer confirmed Gbohouo’s suspension on Tuesday, a day before Ivory Coast plays its opening game of the tournament against Equatorial Guinea.
LONDON (AP) — Andrew Jennings, a groundbreaking investigative journalist who exposed the darker corners of the Olympic movement and soccer body FIFA, has died. He was 78.
A post written Monday on his official Twitter account said Jennings died Saturday “after a brief, sudden illness.” No more details were given.
ZURICH (AP) — Cristiano Ronaldo was left off the three-man shortlist Friday for FIFA’s best player award for 2021, with Mohamed Salah on it instead.
Six-time FIFA award winner Lionel Messi and Robert Lewandowski are also candidates to win the award on Jan.
ZURICH (AP) — Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola was joined by the coach who beat him in the 2021 Champions League final, Thomas Tuchel of Chelsea, on the FIFA shortlist Thursday to be named best in the world.
Qatar wants to attract 1.2 million people to the World Cup but will struggle to accommodate many of them.
With ticket sales beginning in January, supporters are in for a shock when they look for somewhere to stay: Qatar already looks sold out.
European clubs were handed a boost when they were allowed to delay the release of players to African Cup of Nations squads until the week the tournament begins after a request from domestic leagues was accepted by the Confederation of African Football.
YAOUNDÉ, Cameroon (AP) — African Cup of Nations organizers insist the tournament will begin as planned in Cameroon despite the fast-spreading omicron variant adding to an extensive list of concerns.
LONDON (AP) — Money talked loudest and clearest when FIFA pitched to more than 200 member countries Monday for its biennial World Cups plan that is opposed by leaders of European and South American soccer plus the Olympics.
Olympic leaders aimed their ire at FIFA’s president over his push for staging more World Cups, during an IOC-hosted meeting that Tibetan students tried to interrupt on Saturday in a protest against the Beijing Winter Games.
ZURICH (AP) — Protests by South Africa and Benin regarding incidents during last month's World Cup qualifying games were dismissed by FIFA on Friday, confirming that Ghana and Congo have advanced to the playoff round.
GENEVA (AP) — The group representing Europe’s top soccer clubs expressed “deep concerns” on Thursday about the health risks to players traveling worldwide in January for national team games like at the African Cup of Nations.
ZURICH (AP) — Patrick Schick’s 45-meter (50-yard) shot for the Czech Republic and Erik Lamela’s rabona flick for Tottenham in a north London derby are among Puskas Award candidates announced by FIFA Monday.
GENEVA (AP) — Opponents of the plan for biennial World Cups seem scared of being toppled from the top of world soccer, FIFA president Gianni Infantino said Friday.
Infantino’s speech to African soccer leaders was a clear criticism of the European and South American countries which have dominated every World Cup and are threatening a boycott of biennial men’s tournaments.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The tiny Arab nation of Qatar has for years employed a former CIA officer to help spy on soccer officials as part of a no-expense-spared effort to win and hold on to the 2022 World Cup tournament, an investigation by The Associated Press has found.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A former CIA officer has spied on top soccer officials for years while working for Qatar, the tiny Arab country hosting next year’s World Cup tournament, an investigation by The Associated Press has found.
ZURICH (AP) — Chelsea won the Champions League and England reached the European Championship final, but no Englishmen are on the nomination lists for FIFA’s annual awards published on Monday.
Jorginho, a double European champion with Chelsea and Italy, was joined by club teammate N’Golo Kanté among 11 candidates to be voted FIFA’s best player in the 2020-21 season.
STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) — Sweden’s top soccer leagues signed an Amnesty International protest on Thursday that gives “a red card to FIFA” and demands that the governing body stand up for the rights of migrant workers in Qatar during next year’s World Cup.
LONDON (AP) — Since capping three decades coaching by lifting a second World Cup with the American women, Jill Ellis has taken time to reflect and embark on a different path, with new career challenges.
ZURICH (AP) — South Africa’s soccer federation has formally complained to FIFA about a referee’s decision to award a penalty kick in a 1-0 loss that ended the team's bid to qualify for the 2022 World Cup.
LONDON (AP) — Premier League clubs united in their opposition to plans for biennial World Cups when they discussed the FIFA overhaul of the international calendar at a meeting on Thursday.
The 20 teams also all opposed a FIFA proposal to reduce the five windows for international men's matches to just two in a year.
GENEVA (AP) — Two Europe-wide fan groups that work with UEFA have teamed with national leagues aiming to lobby more effectively against projects they believe threaten domestic soccer.
Their cooperation deal announced Thursday follows turmoil caused by the club-led Super League project and a fresh FIFA vs.
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The Kenyan soccer federation was disbanded by the government on Thursday just hours before the national team was due to play in a World Cup qualifier.
The move was announced by sports minister Amina Mohamed, who said a preliminary investigation into the soccer federation by her department had shown it was unable to properly account for money given to it by the government.
Taylor Twellman has played in and watched the U.S.-Mexico rivalry: intense, physical matchups in front of frenzied fans who savor the often bruising battles between the top teams in North and Central America and the Caribbean.
ZURICH (AP) — FIFA’s annual awards to honor the world’s best players and coaches in the 2020-21 season will be held on Jan. 17.
A virtual ceremony, held remotely for the second straight year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, will be hosted from FIFA headquarters in Zurich.
NEW YORK (AP) — Fox Sports will be the broadcast home of the next two European Championships after reaching a six-year agreement with UEFA.
Fox takes over the rights from ESPN, which had covered the last four Euros.
GENEVA (AP) — Former FIFA officials Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini were charged with fraud and other offenses by Swiss prosecutors on Tuesday after a six-year investigation into a controversial $2 million payment.
SEATTLE (AP) — FIFA and CONCACAF are inching closer to making the final call on which cities in the U.S., Canada and Mexico will host matches for the 2026 World Cup, with decisions expected sometime next spring.
GENEVA (AP) — Europe’s top soccer leagues cautioned that FIFA’s biennial World Cup plan is still on the table and they vowed Friday to resist the proposed overhauls of the international match schedule.
ZURICH (AP) — The playoff brackets to decide Europe’s final three qualifiers for next year's World Cup will be drawn on Nov. 26, FIFA said Thursday.
The 12-team playoffs will decide who joins the 10 European qualifying group winners at the World Cup in Qatar.
If Gianni Infantino was in any doubt how divisive his rule of world football has become, it was revealed to the FIFA president during an hour-long video call with leaders of European federations.
Trying to convince UEFA members to back his plans for biennial World Cups, Infantino instead faced a torrent of criticism in a recording obtained by The Associated Press.
ZURICH (AP) — FIFA is set to make the 2022 World Cup finals tournament draw in Qatar on April 1 — with two of the qualifying teams still unknown because of match schedule delays in the COVID-19 pandemic.
GENEVA (AP) — FIFA’s drive to get approval in December for holding World Cups every two years stalled Wednesday, one day after its president met with fierce resistance from European soccer leaders.
Alex Morgan said increased investment in the women's game must be part of any plan for a biennial World Cup.
Morgan, a star on the U.S. women's national team, is part of a FIFA technical advisory group announced this week that is looking into a proposal to stage the World Cup every two years.
More than a dozen European nations are considering the option of last resort in the fight to prevent biennial World Cups: quitting FIFA, according to two people with knowledge of the talks.
Plans to double the frequency of World Cups were pitched by FIFA President Gianni Infantino on a private call on Tuesday with many leaders from the 55 European member associations that are resisting the transformation of the global game.
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — FIFA President Gianni Infantino believes the suspended World Cup qualifier between Brazil and Argentina should be decided on the pitch.
The Sept. 5 match in Sao Paulo was suspended after seven minutes due to alleged breaches of COVID-19 protocols.
Former U.S. women's national team coach Jill Ellis is now leading a group that is exploring a biennial Women's World Cup as a way to grow the game, but insists the controversial plan isn't a foregone conclusion.
GENEVA (AP) — FIFA and Qatari organizers of next year's World Cup teamed up with the World Health Organization on Monday to use soccer’s marquee event for promoting public health.
The move follows years of scrutiny on Qatar and criticism of conditions for hundreds of thousands of migrant workers needed for massive projects tied to the tournament.
GENEVA (AP) — The International Olympic Committee said on Saturday it has “concerns” about FIFA’s push for soccer World Cups every two years.
Though IOC President Thomas Bach said last month “we will not interfere in this discussion,” his organization stepped in on Saturday after meeting in Athens to detail objections it shared with soccer stakeholders.
GENEVA (AP) — The six-nation Nordic group of European soccer federations detailed their opposition Friday to FIFA’s push to stage the World Cup every two years.
Increasing the number of World Cups would “cannibalize” existing competitions, make European Championships “obsolete” and marginalize women’s tournaments, the federations wrote in a co-signed statement.
ZURICH (AP) — A request to increase halftime breaks to 25 minutes for Super Bowl-style entertainment shows will be discussed this month, soccer’s lawmaking panel IFAB said Friday.
South American soccer body CONMEBOL made the request last month suggesting it would work for cup finals like its Copa Libertadores competition.
FIFA opened disciplinary proceedings on Wednesday against the Hungarian, English, Albanian and Polish football federations after condemning disorder involving Hungary and Albania fans in separate World Cup qualifiers.
PARIS (AP) — The French football league's board adopted a motion Wednesday to oppose plans to play the men's World Cup every two years, arguing that the tournament is a world heritage that should not be “trivialized" and that such a move would disrupt calendars.