football

Iran Drops Players from National Team for Playing Against Israeli Club

ANKARA, Aug 11 – Two Iranian soccer players have been dropped from the national team as punishment for playing against an Israeli side for their Greek club, a senior Iranian sports ministry official told state TV on Thursday. Masoud Shojaie and Ehsan Hajsafi played for Panionios against Israel’s Maccabi Tel Aviv on August 3. Iran’s

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Qatar Says FIFA Report Vindicates Integrity of 2022 Bid

DOHA, June 28 – Qatar’s 2022 World Cup organizers have welcomed a long-awaited FIFA report on the race to host the tournament, saying the conclusions represented “a vindication of the integrity” of Doha’s bid. The report, which also investigated the bidding process for the 2018 World Cup, made no suggestion that either Russia or Qatar

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FIFA “In Contact” with Qatar Over 2022 World Cup

ZURICH, June 5 – Soccer’s governing body FIFA said it was in “regular contact” with the organising committee of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar on Monday though it did not comment directly on the diplomatic situation involving the Gulf State. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and others severed ties with Qatar on

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Kuwaiti Sheikh Resigns from FIFA Role Amid Investigation

By Michael Church HONG KONG, May 1 – After almost a decade as one of the game’s main power brokers, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah stepped away from his involvement in world football on Sunday as the U.S Department of Justice probe into FIFA‘s affairs claimed another victim. His decision came after U.S. Court documents

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Emirati Abdulrahman Named Asia Player of the Year

Dec 2 – United Arab Emirates playmaker Omar Abdulrahman’s disappointment at failing to win the Asian Champions League with Al Ain last weekend was tempered when he was named the continent’s best player on Thursday night. Abdulrahman’s club were beaten 3-2 on aggregate by South Korea’s Jeonbuk Motors with the midfielder nonetheless named the tournament’s

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Soccer-Real’s Ramos and Benzema Return for Madrid Derby

By Richard Martin Nov 18 – Injury-hit Real Madrid welcome back influential captain Sergio Ramos and forward Karim Benzema as the league leaders target a first La Liga win in more than three years against Atletico Madrid on Saturday. Ramos, who scored against Atletico in Real’s Champions League final victories in 2014 and 2016, had

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Unidentified Gunman Kills Nine Soccer Fans in South Sudan

JUBA, Nov 7 – At least nine people were killed and 11 wounded in South Sudan’s capital, Juba, when an unidentified gunman opened fire on people watching a football match on television at the weekend, a police spokesman said on Monday. The motive for the attack on Saturday night in Juba’s southwestern suburb of Gure

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Brexit: England’s Own Goal

The business of European football faces an uncertain future post-Brexit BY Bilal Aziz Some say football and politics should never mix. Others say that football is political in its nature, but on English fans in Marseille, Brexit had evidently had an impact. As rowdy England football fans paraded their flags, bruises and scabs through Marseille

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France: Rainbow Dreams

France is holding its Arab, Muslim young to different standards By Nabila Ramdani I was still at school when France’s so-called “Rainbow Team”—a collection of black, white and Arab footballers—won the World Cup in 1998. It was a time of immense optimism and hope for those of us living on the same kind of suburban

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GCC Football: Fair Game

Gulf rivals eye the big prize By Ali Khaled March 29, 2016. Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi had rarely experienced such an eruption of noise. Omar Abdulrahman, the darling of the mostly Emirati crowd, had just scored the UAE’s equalizer against Saudi Arabia, and the home team had just under 40 minutes to

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