INTERNATIONAL FOOTBALL

  • FIFA official says England had best bid for 2018 World Cup 9 hours 21 minutes ago

    London: England's failed bid to host the 2018 World Cup "was by far the strongest contender", FIFA official Harold Mayne-Nicholls was quoted as saying on Sunday. "How could England have only got two votes? It was a big surprise," Mayne-Nicholls was quoted as saying in The Sunday Times. The 53-year-old, a former...
  • FIFA will not reopen 2018 and 2022 World Cup votes 2 days ago

    Marrakech: Defiantly declaring that FIFA is no longer in crisis, Sepp Blatter said Friday the decision to hold the next two World Cups in Russia and Qatar won't be revoked and that the governing body will publish a confidential probe into the process that picked those countries as hosts. The decision...
  • Eric Abidal announces retirement 'for personal reasons' 2 days ago

    Athens: Former France and Barcelona defender Eric Abidal, who returned to playing after undergoing a liver transplant in April 2012, announced on Friday he was ending his career for 'personal reasons'. Abidal, 35, made 67 appearances for France and last featured in a World Cup qualifier against Ukraine in November 2013. He...
  • Pele records message from hospital thanking fans December 5, 2014

    Sao Paulo: Pele has recorded a video message from his hospital room to thank his fans around the world for praying for him while he underwent treatment for a urinary tract infection. Pele said in the video posted on Friday on his Twitter and Facebook accounts that he is "doing fine"...
  • Germany lead FIFA rankings as minnows move up November 27, 2014

    Zurich: Germany still lead the FIFA rankings, while two of Europe's smallest nations made big gains after upset results. World Cup winner Germany stayed ahead of Argentina, Colombia, Belgium and the Netherlands in an unchanged top five. Further down, the Faeroe Islands climbed 82 places to No. 105 after beating Greece 1-0...
  • Cesc Fabregas, Sergio Ramos bury hatchet in Spain commitment spat November 26, 2014

    Cesc Fabregas was "pissed off" with Spain team-mate Sergio Ramos for raising doubts about his commitment to the national team but said the pair had buried the hatchet. Midfielder Fabregas pulled out of Spain's matches against Belarus and Germany this month citing injury, joining Chelsea team-mate Diego Costa on the sidelines. The...
  • Hard to quantify damage done by non publication of report: Jerome Valcke November 26, 2014

    FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke said on Tuesday he did not know how much damage had been done to the organisation by the row over the non-publication of the Garcia report in full. "It's very difficult to say" he told a news conference in Belfast following a two-day annual meeting of...
  • Defending champions Nigeria miss out on African Cup November 20, 2014

    Nigeria won't get the chance to defend their title at the African Cup of Nations next year after drawing 2-2 at home to South Africa on Wednesday to miss out on the finals on the last day of qualifying. Ivory Coast, Ghana and Mali left it late, but managed to qualify...
  • Firmino strike gives Brazil sixth straight win under Dunga November 19, 2014

    Brazil chalked up their sixth successive win since Dunga replaced Luiz Felipe Scolari as coach following the World Cup when they beat Austria 2-1 with a stunning late drive by Roberto Firmino on Tuesday. Germany-based Firmino fired home from 25 metres in the 83rd minute of the friendly to give Brazil...
  • Joachim Loew on a high after Germany sink Spain in Vigo November 19, 2014

    Beating Spain was the perfect way to end a stellar year, Germany coach Joachim Loew said after the world champions recorded a 1-0 victory in a friendly on Tuesday. The European heavyweights were clashing for the first time since Spain's win by the same scoreline in the 2010 World Cup semi-finals...
  • Wayne Rooney's double helps England thump Scotland November 19, 2014

    England captain Wayne Rooney scored twice after Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain headed the opener in a 3-1 win over Scotland as the visitors dominated a typically passionate Auld Enemy friendly at Celtic Park on Tuesday. Rooney took his tally to 46 in his 101st international to move within three goals of Bobby Charlton's...
  • Luis Suarez to miss Uruguay friendly against Chile November 18, 2014

    Montevideo: Uruguay will be without ace striker Luis Suarez during their upcoming friendly against Chile. Suarez, who only recently rejoined the team after serving a four-month ban from all football-related activity, returned to Spain, where he plays for Barcelona, reports Xinhua. For Tuesday's game in Chile, national team coach Oscar Tabarez...
  • Neymar on track to surpass Messi: Romario November 18, 2014

    Rio de Janeiro: Brazilian striker Neymar is on track to surpass Argentine goal-poacher Lionel Messi in football's list of all-time greats, according to former Barcelona and Brazilian star Romario. Now a senator in Brazil, Romario predicted the 22-year-old would remain at the top until at least his mid-30s, reports Xinhua. "He has...
  • Brazil's Thiago Silva hits out at Neymar, coach after losing captaincy November 17, 2014

    Defender Thiago Silva has criticised Brazil coach Dunga and star player Neymar after claiming neither of them told him he was no longer Brazil captain. "He never came to talk to me," Thiago Silva said of Neymar, the Barcelona striker who was made captain by coach Dunga after the World Cup. "I...
  • Get your mind off World Cup ceremonies, Loew tells Germans November 15, 2014

    Germany have seen a dip in form since winning the World Cup in July and a 4-0 Euro 2016 qualifying win over Gibraltar on Friday was proof the players need to get their mind off the awards and start playing again, coach Joachim Loew said. The Germans had pledged a goal...
  • Wayne Rooney 'considered quitting' at 14 November 15, 2014

    Watford: England captain Wayne Rooney has revealed that he considered turning his back on football at the age of 14 after becoming disillusioned with the game. The 29-year-old is due to make his 100th international appearance in a Euro 2016 qualifier at home to Slovenia on Saturday, when he will be...
  • Greek matches suspended after referees official attacked November 15, 2014

    Matches in Greece's professional soccer leagues have been suspended indefinitely after a referees' committee official was admitted to hospital following a violent attack, the Hellenic Football Federation (EPO) announced on Friday. Police said that 45-year-old Christoforos Zografos, assistant director of the Central Refereeing Committee (KED), was beaten with wooden clubs in...
  • Pele 'recovering' after surgery November 14, 2014

    Rio de Janeiro: Football legend Pele is "recovering" in hospital after undergoing surgery to remove kidney stones. The 74-year-old was admitted to Sao Paulo's Albert Einstein hospital Wednesday after the cancellation of an event at the Pele Museum in the coastal city of Santos due to abdominal pain, reports Xinhua. "He had...
  • English FA rejects FIFA ethics report over 2018 bid November 13, 2014

    England's Football Association has rejected the FIFA ethics committee report released on Thursday which said it harmed the image of world soccer's ruling body during the World Cup 2018 and 2022 bidding process. FIFA criticised England's bid for the 2018 tournament and suggested the FA had behaved improperly when trying to...
  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic back on shortlist for best goal award November 13, 2014

    Zlatan Ibrahimovic has once again made the shortlist of for FIFA's goal of the year award, giving him a chance to retain the trophy he won last year. The shortlist featured three goals from the World Cup, including James Rodriguez's astonishing dipping volley for Colombia against Uruguay, and was dominated by...
  • Lionel Messi wide right, Carlos Tevez could be number nine: Gerardo Martino November 12, 2014

    Argentina coach Gerardo Martino kept his cards close to his chest on Tuesday over his lineup for Wednesday's friendly against Croatia and whether Lionel Messi and the recalled Carlos Tevez would start together. Martino, who took charge when Alejandro Sabella stepped down after leading Argentina to the World Cup final in...
  • South Africa withdraws case against suspect in soccer captain's murder November 11, 2014

    South African prosecutors on Tuesday withdrew the case against a suspect in the killing of national soccer team captain Senzo Meyiwa, the latest high-profile murder in which police and prosecutors have struggled to build an air-tight case. Police arrested Zamokuhle Mbatha late last month after witnesses picked him out in an...
  • Former Real Madrid forward Raul joins New York Cosmos October 30, 2014

    New York: Former Real Madrid and Spain forward Raul has joined New York Cosmos for the 2015 season on a "multi-year" contract pending a medical, the North American Soccer League (NASL) club said on Thursday. As part of the deal, the terms of which were not disclosed, Raul, 37, will also...
  • Men's FIFA World Cup could also be played on artificial turf October 30, 2014

    FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke has dismissed allegations of gender discrimination over the decision to play the women's World Cup on artificial turf, saying the surface could also be used for the men's tournament in the future. "It could well be that sooner rather than later the men's World Cup will...
  • Murdered South Africa football captain was trying to save girlfriend October 27, 2014

    South Africa soccer captain Senzo Meyiwa was shot dead by intruders when trying to protect his girlfriend during a robbery at her home near Johannesburg, officials said on Monday. The 27-year-old Orlando Pirates goalkeeper died on Sunday after suffering a single shot through the chest at the home of girlfriend Kelly...
  • South Africa football captain Senzo Meyiwa killed by intruders October 27, 2014

    South Africa's football captain Senzo Meyiwa was shot dead by intruders in a township near Johannesburg on Sunday in what local media reported as a botched robbery. The Orlando Pirates goalkeeper was shot after two men entered a house in Vosloorus where Meyiwa was visiting, at about 8 p.m. local time,...
  • India drop to 159 in FIFA rankings October 24, 2014

    Zurich: The Indian football team dropped one place to be ranked 159th in the latest FIFA rankings released on Friday. The Sunil Chhetri-led side got 119 points and went a place below as Liechtenstein gained 17 points to reach 155th position in the rankings which continue to be headed by World...
  • Baichung Bhutia inducted to Asian Football Confederation's hall of fame October 22, 2014

    New Delhi: Former Indian football team captain Baichung Bhutia has been inducted to the Asian Football Confederation's (AFC) Hall of Fame, the continent's football governing body confirmed on Wednesday. "It is my pleasure to announce that India's legendary player Baichung Bhutia has been selected to be honoured as an inductee to...
  • FIFA rules out full publication of ethics probe October 17, 2014

    FIFA says it is "not legally possible" to publish the full report into alleged corruption in the bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. FIFA ethics chairman Hans-Joachim Eckert says publishing prosecutor Michael Garcia's report in full "would actually put the FIFA ethics committee and FIFA itself in a very...
  • Sepp Blatter is not serving football anymore, says Platini October 17, 2014

    UEFA president Michel Platini hit out at FIFA chief Sepp Blatter on Friday, saying the Swiss has stopped serving the cause of football. "Sepp is not the president of FIFA anymore. He is FIFA," Frenchman Platini, whose book "Let's Talk About Football" was released this week, told sports daily L'Equipe. "Platini, Pele,...