Fifa’s VAR bumbling hurt a World Cup in which the women’s game shone | Hope Solo


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The greatest US team I have seen held off opponents who are rapidly closing the gap. Meanwhile, the game’s governing body hit a low

I had to wipe away a few tears as the final whistle blew on Sunday. It was emotional watching friends and former teammates win this World Cup. I understand what it means and I know first-hand the time and effort that every team member put into the end result.

Related: USA carried social and sporting burdens at the World Cup. They won anyway

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Megan Rapinoe attacks Fifa: ‘A terrible idea to put everything on the same day’ – video


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Megan Rapinoe has taken a swipe at Fifa the day before her USA side play in the women’s World Cup final. ‘It is terrible scheduling for everyone.’ the co-captain said. She added: ‘Obviously there are two other finals going on but this is the World Cup final – this is like, cancel everything day. So no, I don’t know how it happened, I read somewhere that they said they just didn’t think about it – that’s a bit of a problem.’

Elsewhere, it is the final of the Copa América and the Gold Cup final, both taking place on the same day. USA play Netherlands in the final on Sunday in Lyon

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Megan Rapinoe attacks Fifa over World Cup schedule clash and prize money


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• ‘Unbelievable’ Copa América and Gold Cup conclude on Sunday
• USA star criticises women’s prize pot of $30m vs men’s $400m

Megan Rapinoe has launched a scathing attack on Fifa, accusing the game’s governing body of “disrespecting” the women’s game by scheduling the Copa América final and the Gold Cup final to take place on the same day as Sunday’s Women’s World Cup final between the USA and the Netherlands.

“It’s terrible scheduling don’t you guys feel disrespected?” said the US co-captain. “It is a terrible idea to put all three on the same day in every way. There are two other finals going on but this is the World Cup final, ‘cancel everything day’. I don’t know how that happened and I heard somewhere they just didn’t think about it, which is the problem. When the World Cup is set so far in advance it’s unbelievable. We Continue reading “Megan Rapinoe attacks Fifa over World Cup schedule clash and prize money”

Fifa’s Gianni Infantino wants 32-team Women’s World Cup finals for 2023


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• President calls for increase from 24 in current tournament
• Infantino also proposes doubling prize money to £48mThe Fifa president, Gianni Infantino, has said he wants to expand the Women’s World Cup finals to 32 teams from 24 for the next edition in 2023 and double the prize money to $60m (£48m).

Before Sunday’s final between the USA and the Netherlands, Infantino said he would take his proposals to the Fifa council and member associations for approval.

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Fifa opens disciplinary proceedings over Cameroon’s behaviour in World Cup loss


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• Fifa will look into ‘alleged breaches’ of disciplinary code
• Incidents occurred during 3-0 defeat to England in last 16Fifa has formally opened disciplinary proceedings against Cameroon over their players’ behaviour in Sunday’s Women’s World Cup defeat to England.

On two occasions during the last-16 contest in Valenciennes, Cameroon players remonstrated with the match officials at length and looked as if they may not play on after VAR decisions went against them.

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Fifa investigating Cameroon behaviour in World Cup defeat against England


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• Fifa could retrospectively sanction Cameroon players
• Referee Qin Liang’s performance given all clear

Fifa is holding a priority investigation, to be concluded within 48 hours, into the behaviour of the Cameroon team during their 3-0 loss to England in the last 16 of the Women’s World Cup on Sunday evening.

Related: England’s Phil Neville accuses Cameroon of ‘shaming football’

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Africa Cup of Nations needs action on field to provide good news | Nick Ames


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The best players have made it to Egypt and some new names should make the tournament tight and competitiveThe blue and orange seats of Cairo International Stadium make an attractive spectacle and the playing surface, at least when set against the ferocious heat, looks verdant. Every tournament eve brings its flutter of anticipation; that moment when reservations take a back seat and the simple joy of a month’s football takes root. It applies to the Africa Cup of Nations as much as any other major event: one glance at the list of names involved suggests that, if everybody is close to their best, a competition that looks impossible to call will be genuinely thrilling.

When Egypt are roared on to the pitch for Friday’s opener against Zimbabwe, the organisers’ sense of escapism may be even more profound. A Cup of Nations that will have few serious rivals in the Continue reading “Africa Cup of Nations needs action on field to provide good news | Nick Ames”

Fifa and Infantino the big beneficiary of new noise around Michel Platini | Marina Hyde


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World football’s governing body does not seem to have got any cleaner, it’s just that everything else has got significantly dirtier

I’m so glad that sporticidal Fifa president Gianni Infantino got to enjoy his second-term victory speech two weeks ago entirely free of spoilers. “Nobody talks about crisis at Fifa any more or rebuilding it from scratch,” he announced from the stage. “Nobody talks about scandals or corruption – we talk about football. We can say that we’ve turned the situation around. This organisation has gone from being toxic, almost criminal, to being what it should be – an organisation that develops football and is now synonymous with transparency, integrity.”

Mmm. Following the detention of former Uefa boss Michel Platini on Tuesday, this now joins the ever-lengthening list of things that Infantino is wrong about. Or does it? Platini is in some way the most disheartening of all the Continue reading “Fifa and Infantino the big beneficiary of new noise around Michel Platini | Marina Hyde”

‘I’m hurt’: Platini says questioning over Qatar World Cup was painful – video


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Former Uefa president Michel Platini said he was hurt by questioning from French authorities after he was detained over the awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar. Platini, who has never denied voting for the Gulf state in December 2010, was questioned by anti-corruption officers in a Paris suburb on Tuesday. He has always rejected claims of wrong doing and was released in the early hours of Wednesday morning. The executive committee of Fifa awarded Qatar the hosting rights over bids from Australia, Japan, South Korea and the United States, but more than half of that 22-person panel have now been accused of receiving bribes. 

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Women’s World Cup hit by empty seats and Fifa’s warped priorities


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Great on-field achievements at France 2019 are undermined by the governing body’s apparent undervaluing of the event

From fans finding pre-tournament that they would be seated separately from friends and family, to exaggerated ticket sales and overzealous stewarding, Fifa has struggled to meet the expectations from supporters that a major international women’s tournament now generates.

This is set to be the most-watched Women’s World Cup. More than 200 broadcasters are in attendance. Viewing figures for England’s Group D opener against Scotland on the BBC peaked at 6.1 million – 37.8% of the available audience – breaking the old UK viewership record of 4 million figure for England’s Euro 2017 semi-final against the Netherlands. A healthy 20,294 were in the stands to watch the Lionesses take on Argentina in Le Havre.

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Michel Platini arrested over award of 2022 World Cup to Qatar


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  • Former Uefa president detained in Paris
  • Platini taken into custody as part of investigation

A justice official in France says the former Uefa president Michel Platini has been arrested in relation to the awarding of the 2022 World Cup.

Confirming a report published by online news publication Mediapart, the official says Platini was taken into custody on Tuesday as part of the investigation into the awarding of the tournament to Qatar. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to discuss an ongoing investigation.

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Solidarity payments still at issue in American soccer


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Women’s World Cup 2019: talking points from the first week of action


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Fifa’s ticket policy, French sarcasm, colourful supporters and teams making their World Cup debut have grabbed attention

The word on the street in Nice and Le Havre – well, mainly from the mouths of taxi drivers but they’re usually a decent barometer – is that many French people are aggrieved that tickets for World Cup matches can only be bought online. The consensus is that, were it possible to buy them from stadium box offices until shortly before kick-off, crowds would rise appreciably. It is an eminently sensible viewpoint, although some say such a late free-for-all could potentially jeopardise the stringent stadium security precautions which are in place across tournament venues. Such logic is hard to fathom though; surely if spectators are body-scanned and searched before taking their seats it doesn’t matter where, or when, they purchased their ticket? Fifa moves in mysterious ways – invariably for commercial gain – Continue reading “Women’s World Cup 2019: talking points from the first week of action”

FIFA’s World


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Pity the poor man who’s had the Women’s World Cup shoved down his throat | Marina Hyde


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From Mr Inferior Product to Mr I Prefer Parks, the tournament has caused a cosmic imbalance that we must redress

Once again I am hugely grateful to the community that will not allow us to forget the great under-reported story of this Women’s World Cup: men. Most specifically, the men who are not watching it. We hear so much about the tournament itself. Too much, it is argued – and at the expense of one of the four great civil rights questions of our era: 1) When are we getting a White History Month? 2) When is International Men’s Day? 3) Isn’t it time we had Straight Pride? and 4) Can you imagine how sexist people would say it was if we had a men’s World Cup?

I could not agree more with the gentlemen who dare to ask these questions – and not just so that I can buy Continue reading “Pity the poor man who’s had the Women’s World Cup shoved down his throat | Marina Hyde”

Soccer’s instant replay problem


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video assistant referee

The soccer news starts with the instant replay problem. The 2019 Gold Cup isn’t using the video assistant referee system, saving us from at least some of the angst now associated with instant replay. As a system, it’s already caused enough issues to make most of us wonder why we ever thought it was a good idea. Call it a global beta test, but the current version is the kind of thing that will only make a game worse.

Every time a referee makes the VAR motion, it’s a safe assumption that we’ll have some time on our hands. The referee considers what happened in real time from a few unrealistic perspectives, makes that motion again, and it seems like more often than not complicates things. The inadvertent handball has become the obvious point of contention. If it takes slow motion replay and multiple angles to decide their might have Continue reading “Soccer’s instant replay problem”

Afghanistan’s football president banned for life for sexual abuse


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• Keramuudin Karim fined a million Swiss dollars
• Fifa says he abused his position of powerThe suspended Afghanistan Football Federation president, Keramuudin Karim, has been banned for life from all football-related activity and fined a million Swiss dollars by Fifa following an investigation finding him guilty of “having abused his position and sexually abused various female players, in violation of the Fifa code of ethics”.

“The investigation into Mr Karim concerned the complaints lodged by at least five Afghani female football players, accusing him of repeated sexual abuse in the period 2013-2018, abusing his function as president of the AFF.

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Chelsea appeal against transfer ban to court of arbitration for sport


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• Club due to be banned from signings for two windows
• Move comes after Fifa rejected Chelsea’s appealChelsea have appealed to the court of arbitration for sport over the two-window transfer ban imposed by Fifa after the club were found guilty of breaching rules regarding their dealings with overseas players under the age of 18.

Related: Real Madrid to sign Eden Hazard after agreeing a fee with Chelsea

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African football president under questioning over corruption allegations


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• Ahmad Ahmad being questioned by French authorities
• Official escorted from Paris hotel on Thursday morning

Fifa has confirmed that the Confederation of African Football president, Ahmad Ahmad, is being questioned by French authorities investigating corruption allegations, following reports that he had been arrested at his hotel in Paris on Thursday morning. Football’s world governing body also suggested that its ethics committee has been investigating allegations made against Ahmad.

The news website jeuneafrique reported on Thursday morning that Ahmad had been escorted from the Berri Hotel by officials from France’s central office for combatting corruption and financial and tax crimes (OCLCIFF).

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Fifa aware of Afghanistan sexual abuse allegations two years ago, according to emails


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• Fifa has said it was told of the claims in early 2018
• Questions raised over Asian Football Confederation account too

Fifa and Asian football’s governing body were made aware of sexual abuse allegations against senior Afghanistan football officials and a coach more than two years ago, according to emails seen by the Guardian.

The Asian Football Confederation said late last year, after Afghanistan women’s national team players made detailed allegations of sexual and physical abuse, that it had received no complaints of abuse.

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