By Mark GleesonDOHA (Reuters) - Wednesday marks exactly four years to the kickoff of the next World Cup in Qatar, which could yet be an instrument to help end regional tensions and the first 48-team tournament if FIFA president Gianni Infantino gets his way.gi The head of world football's governing body has been pressing in recent weeks for the 2022 finals to expand from the 32 teams in Russia this year to 48, even though it was previously planned that the expansion of the World Cup would happen when Canada, Mexico and the United States jointly host the 2026 finals.“We are looking at it. If it is possible, why not?” Infantino said last month. “We are discussing with our Qatari friends, we are discussing with our many other friends in the region and we hope that this can happen.”Qatar have not yet responded to the idea but previously have sounded cautious about the country’s capacity to go beyond a 32-team tournament.Organisers are building only eight … [Read more...] about Four years to next World Cup but will it be 32 or 48 teams?
Football cup 2017
By Richard MartinBARCELONA (Reuters) - France's two World Cup wins in 1998 and 2018, which were characterised by the diversity of the players' backgrounds, have helped to ease racial tensions in the country and changed attitudes to immigrants, former defender Lilian Thuram has said.gi Thuram, who is France's most capped player, propelled them to their first ever World Cup final 20 years ago with two goals in a semi-final against Croatia, which set his side on their way to a triumph on home soil. Yet the former Monaco, Parma, Juventus and Barcelona defender is also renowned for his political views, famously speaking up for citizens in the marginalized Paris suburbs during riots in 2005 and fiercely criticising then French president Nicolas Sarkozy for labelling the rioters as "scum".Thuram says that the fight against prejudice is far from over, least of all in his own country, but he believes the success of his team and the recapturing of football's biggest prize in Russia by the likes … [Read more...] about France’s World Cup triumphs changed attitudes to immigrants
News / World by Press Association 13/11/2018, 10:36 am FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Send us a story Sign up to our Daily newsletter An Egyptian court has sentenced Mohamed Aboutrika, one of the country’s greatest football players, to a year in prison for tax evasion – or the option to pay a fine of 20,000 Egyptian pounds (£865) to have the sentence suspended. The verdict, handed down by the Cairo misdemeanour court, was delivered in absentia. Aboutrika has lived in exile in Qatar since he retired in 2013, where he works as a sports analyst for the beIN sports network. Under the law, the verdict can be appealed and if Aboutrika returns to Egypt, he would have to stand a new trial. The court said Aboutrika failed to pay 710,000 Egyptian pounds (£30,500) in taxes on income from advertising deals with soft drinks and telecommunications companies in 2008 and 2009. Egypt froze Aboutrika’s assets in 2015 and placed him on a no-fly list in … [Read more...] about Egyptian footballer sentenced over tax evasion
Video PUBLISHED: 12:39 07 November 2018 Andy Warren Jimmy Walker has joined Ipswich Town as goalkeeping coach. Picture: PA PA Archive/PA Images New goalkeeping coach Jimmy Walker says moving to Ipswich Town was an opportunity he couldn’t turn down. Goalkeeping coach Jimmy Walker has joined Pual Lambert's backroom team at Portman Road. Picture: ITFCThe former Walsall and West Ham goalkeeper, who was between the sticks for the Hammers as they beat Ipswich in the 2004/05 Championship play-offs, moved to Portman Road yesterday having started the season with Sunderland.He played under new Blues boss Paul Lambert at Colchester, making 16 appearances in 2008/09 and is delighted to be reunited with the Scot - in a move which also means he is able to be closer to his family.MORE: Can Ipswich Town escape relegation? Here are seven reasons to be positiveWalker, who was clearly a popular figure at the Stadium of Light, took to social media yesterday to … [Read more...] about ‘The chance to join another great football club was one I couldn’t miss’
OUR desert guide gestures across Qatar’s sea of sand to where neighbour and sworn enemy Saudi Arabia wants to dig its giant moat. “Qatar could be an island when the World Cup kicks off,” tour leader Irshad Nawaz, 30, reveals. The Saudis are threatening to excavate a 38-mile long, 220-yards wide canal along the border, cutting off the Qatari peninsula from the mainland. And just to rub sand into the wounds, Riyadh wants to convert part of the border area into a nuclear waste burial site and military base. It’s not exactly something Qatar is boasting about in its 2022 World Cup PR bumpf. In a region riven with rivalries, Qatar has fallen out spectacularly with neighbours including Saudi, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt over its alleged ties to terrorism. In June 2017, its foes started a land, sea and air blockade designed to put the gas-rich land back in its box. Saudi slammed shut Qatar’s only land border and barred state-owned Qatar Airways from its airspace. … [Read more...] about How tiny Qatar fought back against Saudi blockade to keep World Cup bid on track