FIFA Changes World Cup 2018 Draw Criteria To Seed By Ranking 

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FIFA have announced a new format for the 2018 World Cup draw with teams to be grouped by their places in the world rankings rather than by Continent. The 32 finalists will be divided into four pots with the seven top-ranked teams plus hosts Russia in pot one, the next…

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INFANTINO HITS OUT AT ‘FIFA BASHING’ AND ‘FAKE NEWS’

FIFA President Gianni Infantino speaks at the 67th FIFA Congress in Manama, Bahrain May 11, 2017. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

FIFA President Gianni Infantino took aim at critics of world football’s governing body on Thursday, saying the organisation had reformed and was now a victim of “fake news” and “FIFA bashing”. Speaking to the organisation’s 67th congress in the Bahraini capital, Infantino, who replaced Sepp Blatter as head of FIFA…

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#ASEDEYHOT – INFANTINO’S ADRICAN POLITCKING PUTS HIM AND FIFA’S OLD WAYS BACK INTO FOCUS

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FIFA president Gianni Infantino is reported to be under fresh scrutiny over potential ethics breaches – at a particularly sensitive time. The highly respected German news magazine Der Spiegel  claimed at the weekend that Infantino is once again under review, this time for influencing the outcome of last month’s African presidential election that…

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#ASEDEYHOT – FRANCE OPEN CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION INTO AWARD OF 2018 AND 2022 WORLD CUPS

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France has become the third country after the United States and Switzerland to investigate the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.   France’s Parquet National Financier, which is responsible for law enforcement against serious financial crime, has reportedly questioned former FIFA president Sepp Blatter in connection with their probe…

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#ASEDEYHOT – FIFA AND RUSSIANS SAY PRESS ARE FREE TO REPORT CONFED CUP WITHOUT ‘ANY RESTRICTIONS’

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FIFA has rejected German accusations that it is restricting press freedom during this summer’s Confederations Cup in Russia, the traditional World Cup warm-up tournament. FIFA insists media representatives will be able to “work freely on the venues and in the surrounding areas without any restrictions,” in a joint statement with…

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#ASEDEYHOT – QATAR CUTS SPENDING TO BRING IN 2022 WORLD CUP FOR $8-10BN

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Qatar has agreed to heavily slash its budget for hosting the 2022 World Cup and is pressing ahead with eight stadiums, according to organising chief Hassan Al Thawadi. Al-Thawadi told CNN Money the original budget had been reduced by between 40% and 50%.   “We wanted to ensure there is financial…

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#ASEDEYHOT – CONFEDERATIONS CUP TICKETS UNSOLD AS RUSSIAN BROADCASTERS RELUCTANT TO JOIN THE PARTY

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With 71 days left until the kick-off of the 2017 Confederations Cup, less than a third of the event’s tickets have been sold. The domestic TV rights for the tournament and the World Cup finals also remain problematic. On Wednesday FIFA concluded the first-come, first-served sales phase for the Confederations…

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#ASEDEYHOT – MOROCCO 2026 WORLD CUP BID LOOKS DOOMED AS FIFA REGS RULE OUT EURO PARTNERS

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Any attempt by Morocco to link up with Spain and Portugal in a bid to stage the 2026 World Cup seems destined to fall foul of FIFA’s strict hosting regulations. For several weeks, speculation has been rife that Morocco, which has failed four times to try and land the tournament,…

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#ASEDEYHOT – MARADONA MUDDLE. FIFA LEFT IN DARK OVER AMBASSADORIAL TANTRUM

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FIFA say they have received no official confirmation from Diego Maradona since he threatened last week to quit his ambassadorial role. FIFA say their last official contact with the Argentine World Cup icon was when he took part in the draw for the Under 20 World Cup in South Korea on…

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#ASEDEYHOT – INFANTINO’S CHRISTMAS ADDRESS: FIFA HAS REGAINED ‘CREDIBILITY’

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Gianni Infantino insists FIFA is a more financially transparent and credible organisation under his leadership despite the ongoing US-led anti-corruption probe and the stream of negative headlines in the early days of his presidency. In a wide-ranging interview with Spanish sports publication Marca, Infantino says FIFA has learned from its past…

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#ASEDEYHOT – INFANTINO THINKS BIG, OPTING FOR 48-TEAM WORLD CUP EXTRAVAGANZA

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It will not be formally agreed by the FIFA Council until early January but it now seems likely future World Cup finals after 2022 will feature 16 groups of three in a 48-team tournament if Gianni Infantino obtains sufficient support for the idea. Members of the  Council are reported to…

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#ASEDEYHOT – INFANTINO MAKES CASES FOR EXPANDING WORLD CUP AND REDUCING CLUB SQUAD SIZES

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Battered by widespread criticism of his plans to expand the World Cup finals, FIFA president Gianni Infantino has come out fighting by insisting the move will provide a better spectacle for both fans and sponsors. Many observers view Infantino’s pledge to increase the number of finalists from 32 to either…

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#ASEDEYHOT – INFANTINO PROMISES ‘BULLETPROOF’ WORLD CUP WITH EXPANSION VERDICT IN JANUARY

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FIFA will decide in January whether to expand the World Cup finals from 32 to either 40 or 48 teams as part of Gianni Infantino’s detailed blueprint for change after eight months in charge of the scandal-wracked organisation. Stakeholders who take the view that “if it aint broke don’t fix…

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#OYINBOTORCHLIGHT – FIFA APPOINT VAN BASTEN TO TECHNICAL DEVELOPMENT ROLE

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FIFA named Marco van Basten as their chief officer for technical development on Friday, with president Gianni Infantino tasking the 1992 World Player of the Year to help “protect” the sport. In his new role, which he will start this week, the Dutchman will head up all technical areas from…

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#ASEDEYHOT – ECKERT CALLS FOR MORE CRIMINAL PROSECUTION OF SPORTS’ MONEY THIEVES

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Hans-Joachim Eckert, FIFA’s chief ethics judge whose sanctions have ended the careers of a spate of high-ranking powerbrokers including Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini, says he never realised how many cases he would have to handle when he first took on the job. Eckert, whose adjudicatory chamber has come under…

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