FIFA president Gianni Infantino has said that he is not moved by the threat of hooliganism making the rounds in the media ahead of World Cup 2018 in Russia.
did a documentary that featured a Russia fan saying chaos is “100% guaranteed” at the mundial in Russia.
At the last Euro tournament in France, there were violent clashes between Russian and English fans. Many believe this would reoccur in Russia next year but Infantino is “not all concerned.” He said he has full confidence in the hosts to manage any situation.
“They have been in contact with UEFA and French organizers to learn the lessons from France. As part of this, the Russian government has put in place an ID system which will help us when it comes to any potential trouble,” Infantino said.
The president also spoke about the next editions of the number one football tournament. He said for the sake of travel, multiple host nations for the 2026 World Cup would have to be “ideally” close to one another. The tournament would see an expansion to 48 teams but the bidding for it is yet to begin. (more…)
Chile international Arturo Vidal has expressed his opinion that Chile has what it takes to bring home the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which will take place in Russia.
He also revealed that he has aspirations to go down as Chile’s greatest player of all time.
The current Chile’s national team is one of the countries best so far, with top stars such as Vidal, Claudio Bravo, and Alexis Sanchez. The team has claimed the Copa America crowns back-to-back, and sits fourth in South American, qualifying behind Ecuador on goal difference and above Argentina by a point, with high hopes of reaching three consecutive World Cups for the first time.
Speaking to Radio ADN, he explained that the journey to become world champions is tough, but the team is determined to achieve this goal. He said:
“First we have to qualify well, leave a good impression, and keep growing as a team. And in Russia try to become world champions. We’re very demanding with what we want. It’s very difficult to become world champions, but we can. With effort you can achieve a lot. If we unite you can expect something big.” (more…)
Chris Brunt has returned to the Northern Ireland squad after an injury layoff to give the national team a huge boost in the World Cup 2018 qualification. Brunt is expected to feature in the game against Azerbaijan.
The West Brom defender has not been amongst the first team squad since March after suffering a major knee injury. As a result, he missed the Euro 2016 tournament which would rank as one of his biggest disappointments of his career. Brunt has been a major player for Ireland since 2004 and he has made 54 appearances to date.
At 31 years of age, the Euro 2016 was probably his greatest chance of featuring at a major international tournament before the end of his career. Missing out on this tournament seems to have given Brunt a lot of motivation to appear at the World Cup 2018. After having taken four points from the opening three matches, Ireland are sitting pretty in their group. (more…)
After repeated failures in recent World Cup tournaments, Brazil are fast losing theirstatus as one of the celebrated teams in world football.
The five-time winners are in desperate need of a trophy that would go a long way into the collecting the efforts at the 2002 World Cup. Brazil have not been successful in this major tournament since it was held in South Korea and Japan more than a decade ago. The 2018 World Cup will be held closer to this region in Russia. Hopes are once again fly high within the Brazil camp as they have just begun qualification for the tournament.
After having managed victories against Ecuador and Colombia in the opening two games of qualification, Brazil are sitting comfortable in the table. Since the appointment of Tite, the national team has been expected to undergo major revisions in terms of the way they play. This has helped Brazil keep the goals conceded to just one in the last two games. It does look that this Brazil team will be hard to beat, but upcoming games against the likes of Argentina and Venezuela could help come to a conclusion. Douglas Costa, though, strongly thinks that Brazil are now at their strongest and will be capable of winning the World Cup 2018.
Wales manager Chris Coleman says that he will not consider renewing his contract when it expires at the end of the World Cup 2018 campaign.
He says that his decision will not change even if Wales manage to qualify and do well at the World Cup. Coleman has completely revolutionised to the national team since taking over in 2012. They come on the back of an impressive campaign at Euro 2016 where they reached the semi-finals in unexpected circumstances. Prior to the Euro 2016, Wales had struggled to even qualify for a major tournament let alone think about reaching the semifinals.
Coleman has also been helped by a new generation of extremely talented players coming through to the national team. The likes of Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey have added to the gritty players like Ashley Williams . The team now has more talent than ever before. Even though Wales did enjoy players like Ryan Giggs, the former Manchester United winger was not helped by quality elsewhere on the pitch. The scenario is different from Bale and Ramsey, who can seek the help of other quality names on the pitch. Coleman started out with four defeats in his first four games and it remains the worst record of any new Wales manager. However, he is now one of the most in demand international managers around.
South Africa managed to beat Lesotho by 4-2 on penalties to move to the COSAFA Cup semifinals on Saturday.
The match ended 1-1 following the normal time, and the game went on to the penalties.
The match started well for the South African team where they created a number of occasions. However, they will fail to take their chances and will allow Lesotho back into the game. The South African team will get a good occasion in the 14th minute when they will be awarded a free-kick. Unfortunately, for them, Modiba will miss the target by putting the ball over the crossbar.
It is Lesotho that will open the score on their first occasion of the match in the 19th minute. The goal will come from a solo effort of Jane Thaba-Ntso. The latter will find his way into the box after an amazing run and will unleash a fierce box that will give the South Africa keeper, ReyaadPieterse no chance.
South Africa will attempt to come back into the game, but they will be let off by poor passing and great defending by Lesotho. The match reached half-time 1-0 for Lesotho. (more…)