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FIFA WWC: Germany beat Nigeria 3-0 to qualify for eighth quarterfinal spot



Germany qualified for an eighth consecutive quarter-final appearance at the FIFA Women’s World Cup by beating the Super Falcons 3-0 at Stade des Alpes in Grenoble on Saturday.

The Germans were favourites to win the Round of 16 clash, and it was further evident with 60 percent possession and 12 shots in total during the game.

The two-times champions duly lived up to their game plan with a 20th minute goal from Alexandra Popp as the striker made her 100th appearance for the German side.

The African champions struggled to keep themselves alive in the game which had 17,988 spectators in attendance.

But a foul by Evelyn Nwabuoku soon resulted in a penalty kick, thanks to the VAR which spotted the foul.

Sara Daebritz scored from the penalty kick spot to record her third goal of the tournament in the 27th minute, with the goal further helping Germany to keep Nigeria at bay.

The Falcons had a chance to appear on the scoresheet five minutes into the second half through a substitute Rasheedat Ajibade cross.

But striker Desire Oparanozie did not in time to place the ball at the back of the empty net.

The Europeans eliminated the chance of a possible comeback for the African side as Lea Schuller benefitted from an error from Halimat Ayinde in the 82nd minute to seal victory.

It was however not altogether a bad day for the Falcons as defender Onome Ebi gained a new African record.

She became the first African player to record 14 appearances at the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Germany will face either Sweden or Canada in the quarter-finals on June 29.

(Edited by Olawale Alabi)


FIFA plans football match for fight against coronavirus



FIFA will organise a charity football match to raise funds for the battle against the coronavirus, the sport’s world governing body said on Monday.

“It is our responsibility to demonstrate solidarity and continue to do everything we can to participate and support the efforts in the combat against the pandemic.

“We have been active in raising awareness via several other campaigns,” FIFA president Gianni Infantino said.

According to him, FIFA has also contributed financially to this cause, “but now we commit ourselves to organise this global fundraising event when the health situation permits, even if this is only in some months’ time.

“Funds raised will support the development, production and equitable global access to new coronavirus essential health technologies, including diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines.”

However, further details of the match were not given.

Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Salif Atojoko (NAN)

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FIFA to select 2023 Women’s World Cup host in June 2020



The world football governing body, FIFA says the host(s) of the 2023 Women’s World Cup will  be announced on June 25, 2020 by the FIFA Council.

According to a statement from the body on Friday, the four bidding member associations will know their fate after the FIFA Council meeting to be held online on June 25.

This is in light of the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic is having around the world and the postponement of the FIFA Council meeting that was foreseen to take place in early June 2020 in Addis Ababa.

FIFA has today confirmed to the bidding member associations that the selection of the host(s) of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 by the FIFA Council will be made at its meeting to be held online on 25 June 2020.

”In the most competitive bidding process in the history of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, four bids are in the race to host this showpiece competition by the following:

”Joint submission by Football Federation Australia and New Zealand Football, the Brazilian Football Association, the Colombian Football Association and the Japan Football Association,” the statement read.

The statement added that FIFA was finalising the evaluation report following inspection visits to all bidding member associations.

”All eligible bids will be presented to the FIFA Council in order for it to select the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 host(s) within the scope of an open voting process, in which the result of each ballot and the related votes by the members of the FIFA Council will be made public on,” the statement read.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that while France 2019 went down in history for setting new standards for women’s football competitions, the 2023 Women’s World Cup 2023 is set to write a new piece of history as it will be the first edition to feature 32 teams instead of the usual 24.

Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

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COVID-19: FIFA postpones U-17, U-20 Women’s World Cup, Futsal World Cup to 2021



The world football governing body, FIFA, has announced the postponement of the FIFA U-17 and U-20 Women’s World Cup and the Futsal World Cup due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

A statement on FIFA website on Tuesday said the decision which was subjected to further monitoring was taken by the Bureau of the FIFA Council.

According to the statement, this followed a thorough assessment of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent recommendations made by the FIFA-Confederations COVID-19 Working Group.

FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Costa Rica/Panama 2020 to hold from Jan. 20 to Feb. 6, 2021 (tournament to keep original eligibility criteria: players born on or after Jan. 1, 2000, and on or before Dec. 31, 2004).

FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup India 2020 to hold from Feb. 17 to March 7, 2021 (tournament to keep original eligibility criteria: players born on or after Jan. 1, 2003, and on or before Dec. 31, 2005).

FIFA Futsal World Cup Lithuania 2020 Sept. 12 to Oct. 3, 2021,” the statement read in part.

It however noted that the 70th FIFA Congress, which was originally due to take place in Addis Ababa, would now hold as an online event on Sept. 18, 2020.

Edited By: Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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FIFA says 5 substitutions per team to be allowed on temporary basis



Teams will now be allowed up to five substitutions per match, instead of the usual three, FIFA said in a statement on Friday.

The world football governing body however said this is a temporary measure to help cope with potential fixture congestion in the aftermath of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The change in the rules will be allowed in all competitions which are due to finish by the end of this year.

However, it will be up to individual competition organisers whether to implement it.

FIFA also said that competitions currently using the video replay system (VAR) would be free to discontinue its use on restarting.

Football’s rule-making body IFAB agreed to make the change to the rules “based on a proposal received from FIFA seeking to protect player welfare”, the statement added.

Edited By: Olawale Alabi) (NAN)

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FIFA vice-president ponders calendar year season in Europe



FIFA Vice-President Victor Montagliani has said that moving the European soccer season to the calendar year is a “possibility to be discussed” in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The pandemic has brought football to a standstill around the world.

In an interview with Italy’s Radio Sportiva, Montagliani, who was seen as a close ally of FIFA President Gianni Infantino, said the move would fit in with the 2022 World Cup being played in Qatar in November and December.

The head of world soccer’s governing body himself had said that football would  be totally different when restarted, and that the current stoppage could be a good chance to overhaul the overloaded calendar due to run until 2024.

“We have the opportunity because the World Cup in Qatar in 2022 will be played in November/December and that could be the idea,” said Montagliani, who is president of the CONCACAF Confederation.

“Here in the Americas, the season is already played according to the calendar year.

“Perhaps, it is a solution that can also be used in Europe and Africa, it is a possibility to be discussed at national and continental levels.

“It is not an idea to be discarded, it can be a solution in view of the next two years and this winter World Cup,” he said.

A number of European leagues, including Italy, Germany and England, still hope to finish their seasons but doing so can force the start of the 2020-21 campaign to be pushed back.

UEFA also wants to finish the Champions League and Europa League.

“We have already started thinking about how to set a new calendar from 2024, now with this crisis, we need immediate answers,” added Montagliani.

The idea of a calendar-year season had been put forward before including by Karl-Heinz Rummenigge when he was Chairman of the European Club Association.

“Everywhere, be it Germany, France or England, summer is the best period of the year. And that is the season we don’t play,” he had told France Football magazine in a 2013 interview.

“In deepest winter, when it is very cold and snowing, we play nearly all the time in conditions that are disagreeable for both players and spectators.

It is not logical.”

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Ijeoma Popoola (NAN)

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FIFA proposes up to 5 substitutions per match on a temporary basis



FIFA has proposed that teams should be allowed to make up to five substitutions per match, instead of the usual three, as a temporary measure to help cope with potential fixture congestion in the aftermath of the novel Coronavirus outbreak.

Football has been at a standstill since mid-March but many leagues and federations are still hoping to complete the season but to do so they would have to cram fixtures into a shorter period than usual once play re-starts.

The proposal for more substitutes would have to be approved by soccer’s rule-making organisation IFAB and the final decision would rest with competition organisers, the sport’s global governing body said in an emailed statement to Reuters.

“One concern in this regard is that the higher-than-normal frequency of matches may increase the risk of potential injuries due to a resulting player overload.

“Each team would now be given the possibility to use up to five substitutions during the match, with the possibility of an additional substitution remaining during extra time, where relevant,” it explained.

FIFA added that the substitutions would have to be made in a maximum of three slots plus the halftime interval.

The measure would apply to this season and next season plus all international matches until Dec. 31 next year.

FIFA said that “football should only resume when the health authorities and governments say it is absolutely safe and non-disruptive of health services being delivered to the populations.”

Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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FIFA chief warns against re-starting football too early



FIFA President, Gianni Infantino, has warned against re-starting football competitions too early amid the Coronavirus pandemic.

Infantino told FIFA’s 211 member associations on Friday that such behaviour would be irresponsible.

It would be recalled that soccer matches around the world has come to a standstill with domestic leagues on hold and major tournaments such as Euro 2020 and the Copa America postponed for one year as a result of Coronavirus pandemic.

“Our first priority, our principle, the one we will use for our competitions and encourage everyone to follow is that health comes first.

“I cannot stress this enough. No match, no competition, no league is worth risking a single human life. Everyone in the world should have this very clear in their mind,” Infantino said in a statement.

Meanwhile, discussions are being held around the world over when and how to re-start the season while some countries have disagreements over whether players should face pay cuts.

“It would be more than irresponsible to force competitions to resume if things are not 100 per cent safe.

“If we have to wait a little longer we must do so. It’s better to wait a little bit longer than to take any risks,” FIFA president said.

Ifantino reiterated that FIFA was assessing the financial impact of the stoppage so it could prepare the right response.

“You have to know that we will be there and we will find solutions together.

“You will never be alone… (and) the world will know where the money goes and, equally important, why the money goes there.

“If football manages to have a discussion where everyone contributes positively, and keeps in mind the global interest over the individual one, I am convinced our future can be better than our past, and we will be better prepared for the times ahead,” Infantino said.

Edited By: Debo Oshundun/Wale Ojetimi

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FIFA bribe allegations raise more questions over 2022 Qatar World Cup



The 2022 World Cup in Qatar has become the focus of fresh FIFA corruption allegations after the release of a new U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) indictment.

The fresh indictment says bribes were paid to football officials to secure their votes for hosting rights.

Suspicion and rumours have long surrounded both the 2010 vote by FIFA’s executive committee to hand the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 tournament to Qatar.

But on Monday, for the first time, prosecutors set direct, formal allegations down in print.

According to the prosecutors, representatives working for Russia and Qatar bribed FIFA executive committee officials to swing votes in the crucial hosting decisions of world football’s governing body.

Qatar World Cup organisers did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Qatar and Russia’s World Cup bids have always denied paying bribes.

FIFA said in a statement it supported all investigations into “alleged acts of criminal wrongdoing” and noted it had been accorded victim status in the U.S. criminal proceedings.

“The FIFA Ethics Committee has already imposed sanctions, including life bans, on football officials mentioned in this process,” said a FIFA spokesman.

“So far as FIFA is concerned, should any acts of criminal wrongdoing by football officials be established, the individuals in question should be subject to penal sanctions.

“As the respective criminal cases are ongoing, we are not in a position to comment further for the time being.”

Although FIFA has reacted to previous media allegations about the Qatar bid process by insisting the tournament will be unaffected, the U.S allegations will lead to further questions.

The tournament is scheduled for November and December of 2022.

The indictment states that the three South American members of FIFA’s 2010 executive committee took bribes to vote for Qatar to host the 2022 tournament.

These are Brazil’s Ricardo Teixeira, the late Nicolas Leoz of Paraguay and an unnamed co-conspirator.

“Ricardo Teixeira, Nicolas Leoz and co-conspirator #1 were offered and received bribe payments in exchange for their votes in favour of Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup,” reads the indictment.

Teixeira, the former son-in-law of long-time FIFA boss Joao Havelange and ex-head of the Brazilian football federation (CBF), was not immediately reachable for comment.

The DOJ also alleges that then FIFA vice-president Jack Warner was paid five million dollars through various shell companies to vote for Russia to host the 2018 World Cup.

Warner has been accused of a number of crimes in the long-running U.S probe and is fighting extradition from his homeland of Trinidad & Tobago.

Warner, who was not immediately reachable for comment, has always denied any wrongdoing.

Alexei Sorokin, CEO of the local organising committee for Russia’s 2018 World Cup, told the Interfax news agency: “This is only the opinion of lawyers. We have repeatedly said that our bid was transparent.

“At the time we answered all questions, including from the investigation branch of FIFA and from the media, we handed over all needed documents. We have nothing to add to this and we will not respond to attempts to cast a shadow on our bid.”

Asked if the Kremlin was aware of the U.S. indictment, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “We read the media reports. We don’t understand what they refer to.

“Russia received the right to host the World Cup completely legally. It is in no way linked to any bribes. We reject this. And Russia hosted the best football World Cup in history, which we are proud of.”

The Qatar World Cup organisers have been fending off allegations of corruption ever since the tiny Gulf state was awarded the 2022 tournament.

In 2014, FIFA, then under the control of former President Sepp Blatter, cleared Russia and Qatar of wrongdoing in their bids to host the World Cup after an investigation.

Blatter was banned from football by FIFA along with scores of other officials following internal ethics investigations.

The investigations were promoted by the arrests of seven FIFA officials on U.S corruption charges in Zurich in May 2015.

Warner and Teixeira have been banned for life from football by FIFA while Leoz died last year under house arrest in his native Paraguay.

Leoz had been fighting extradition to the United States to face corruption charges.


Edited By: Olawale Alabi)

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COVID-19: FIFA, WHO launch ‘BeActive’ campaign for people to keep fit



FIFA has joined forces with the UN and World Health Organisation (WHO) in supporting the ‘BeActive’ campaign to encourage people to keep fit and fight the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The WHO said this in a statement posted on its website.

According to the statement, the campaign is launched on the UN International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP) to encourage people to be HealthyAtHome during the pandemic.

IDSDP is an annual celebration of the power of sport to drive social change, community development and to foster peace and understanding and it is globally celebrated on April 6 annually.

According to the statement, WHO recommends all healthy adults do at least 30 minutes a day of physical activity and children at least 60 minutes per day.

“As part of this, BeActive and remain HealthyAtHome include the following suggestions along with any other form of recreation to stay healthy at home:

“Taking some online exercise classes, dancing, playing active video games, jumping rope, and practising muscle strength and balance training,” said the statement.

It quoted António Guterres Secretary-General of UN, as saying: “We are delighted that football is strongly supporting the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace.

“We are happy that football is strongly supporting the international day by asking everyone to BeActive and to remain healthy at home during this difficult time.

”FIFA has asked the football community, from member associations and clubs, to players and fans, to show their support, to put their rivalries aside and to show a new solidarity so we can overcome the coronavirus.

“This is an important lesson not only for today, but for every day.”

The statement also quoted FIFA President Gianni Infantino as saying: “More than ever, especially now, one thing must be clear to everyone, health comes first.

“FIFA is delighted to support both the UN and the WHO in amplifying the BeActive campaign today.

“We are encouraged that the football community is also playing an active role in ensuring the message is understood globally.

“For the first time ever, we are all on the same team and together, with team spirit and positive energy, we will win,” said Infantino.

According to the Director-General of WHO, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, BeActive campaign supports WHO’s drive to help people be healthy at home.

“WHO is proud to collaborate as part of the UN family with FIFA and football lovers worldwide to promote the importance of being active for both physical and mental health,” Ghebreyesus stated.

The campaign kicks off with Real Madrid CF, FC Barcelona, Liverpool FC and Manchester United FC asking football fans to set aside their rivalries and to come together to BeActive in order to defeat the coronavirus.

Other clubs, include Club América, CD Guadalajara, Beijing Guoan FC, Shanghai Shenhua FC, Mohun Bagan AC, East Bengal FC, Melbourne City FC, Sydney FC and Auckland City FC.

Also to join the initiative in the coming days are Team Wellington FC, CA River Plate, Olympique de Marseille, TP Mazembe, CR Flamengo and SE Palmeiras.

As part of the campaign, world-famous players share the following message: “At this time, even rivals need to stick together.

“We have to keep our distance, but we do not lose our focus. We can show solidarity by being active, and active means following the guidelines from the WHO.”

Edited By: Fela Fashoro/Salif Atojoko

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