November 9, 2013 |
This wasn't the way it was supposed to end for Bob Bradley's Egyptian team. In a just world, Bradley, who has given Egyptian soccer fans hope during some of the darkest days in the country's recent history, would see his Cinderella team end up in Brazil next summer with a spot in the World Cup, a tournament Egypt has played in once since 1934. Instead, Bradley's Quixotic World Cup qualifying quest figures to end in disappointment next week in the second leg of a two-match African qualifier with Ghana.
November 4, 2013 |
As if FIFA didn't have enough enemies already, now a coalition of winter sports federations is threatening to gang up on the controversial governing body for soccer. The problem is, FIFA awarded the 2022 World Cup to the country of Qatar. When officials realized that the Persian Gulf gets hot in the summer -- really hot -- they began talking about moving the event to wintertime. The International Olympic Committee immediately voiced its concern about the prospect of staging the world's two biggest sporting events at the same time.
October 29, 2013 |
Stop me if you've heard this before, but there's been a delay in the run-up to next summer's World Cup in Brazil. This time it's the ticket-allocation system that's been hit, joining previous snafus that have organizers running behind on everything from stadium construction to transportation infrastructure upgrades. FIFA, soccer's global governing body and the organization that oversees the World Cup, said Tuesday it has had to delay the draw for tickets in order to allow Brazilian authorities to supervise the procedure.
October 25, 2013 |
Ivorian international Yaya Toure has warned World Cup organizers that players could boycott the 2018 tournament in Russia unless that country takes steps to stop the kind of racist actions that plagued Wednesday's UEFA Champions League match between CSKA Moscow and Toure's English Premier League club, Manchester City. Toure said the behavior at Khimki Arena was "unbelievable" during City's 2-1 win, and he urged authorities to impose tougher sanctions on clubs that fail to effectively combat racism.
October 16, 2013 |
MEXICO CITY -- Ouch. That is how chagrined Mexicans were reacting Wednesday to the latest twist in their sometimes-beloved (but not so much lately) national soccer team's torturous efforts to reach the World Cup. First, the humiliation. Mexico lost, 2-1, Tuesday night to tiny Costa Rica, the country without an army. Then, Mexico was saved. But ... Of all the countries to keep Mexico's chances alive, it just had to be the United States. The U.S. victory over Panama, 3-2, also Tuesday night, eliminated the Panamanians and gave Mexico a fourth-place finish in the Americas group and the final berth in next month's playoff against New Zealand.
October 16, 2013 |
The World Cup is less than eight months away, but the name-calling continues with Brazilian congressman and former national team star Romario launching another attack against FIFA, world soccer's governing body, and its president, Sepp Blatter. According to the Associated Press, Romario spoke at a congressional hearing Tuesday and called Blatter a thief and labeled his assistant, FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke, "a blackmailer. " Romario, who has long been critical of both FIFA and the Brazilian organizers of next summer's tournament, continued his attacks online, writing on his website Wednesday that Valcke was not "the best person to do business" with Brazil and calling the Brazilian soccer federation "corrupt.