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FIFA Threatens To Ban Breakaway Leagues’ Players From World Cup

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FIFA Threatens To Ban Breakaway Leagues’ Players From World Cup

Football’s biggest names would be banned from the World Cup if they played in a breakaway European Super League, FIFA president, Gianni Infantino confirmed yesterday, reports the Associated Press.

Infantino, speaking to a small group of reporters at FIFA headquarters, said the governing body would punish players at clubs like Barcelona, Manchester City and Bayern Munich if they left their national divisions to form a privately-owned league.

“Either you are in or you are out,” Infantino said, listing the World Cup, European Championship and national leagues as competitions players from breakaway teams could be excluded from. “This includes everything.”

Talk of a long-threatened super league was revived on Friday when Der Spiegel published confidential documents and emails from clubs and football bodies in its ‘Football Leaks’ series.

Real Madrid was revealed to be working with consultants on a 16-team Super League to kick off in 2021 – effectively replacing the Champions League and outside the control of UEFA.

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The plan called for 11 storied clubs from Spain, England, Germany, Italy and France to get ownership stakes and risk-free Super League membership for 20 years, with five more clubs from those countries invited to play.

The breakaway from soccer’s historic hierarchy – FIFA, the six continental bodies and 211 national federations – would allow officials to ban players from major competitions, including the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

“The idea is if you break away, you break away. You don’t keep one foot in and one foot out,” said FIFA legal director, Alasdair Bell. “That would be the general approach we would follow, but of course lawyers can debate this for a long time.”

Both Infantino and Bell were long-time staffers at UEFA, which has steadily changed Champions League prize money and entry rules to favour elite clubs and stall breakaway threats.

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“This is the history of the last 20 years,” said Infantino, who has clashed this year with European football officials and club leaders over FIFA’s proposed Club World Cup project, which is funded by Japanese investor SoftBank.

Infantino said his plan – potentially featuring at least 12 European clubs in a 24-team lineup, and worth a promised £2.28 billion every four years – was a good alternative to a private closed league.

“The Club World Cup is the answer to any attempt to think even about any sort of breakaway leagues,’ he said.
Infantino insisted while the plan would be lucrative for clubs taking part, it also kept money in the football family. FIFA would use 25 per cent of revenue to share globally.

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“If the price to pay is to give proper revenues to a club participating in a Club World Cup but this allows us to … give $1m (£760m) to Haiti who has nothing, or to Mongolia who has three time zones but only two football pitches, well then we should be I think doing that,’ he said.

A FIFA task force will assess a revamp of competitions, including a new event for all national teams played every two years. Infantino said he expects a decision in March when he chairs a FIFA Council meeting in Miami.
He also believes the latest breakaway threat will calm.

“People are still quite reasonable,’ Infantino said. ‘I trust certainly the club owners and presidents to be able to have a discussion.”

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Sports News

Calf Injury Taints Man Utd’s Fellaini’s January Transfer

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Calf Injury Taints Man Utd's Fellaini's January Transfer

Marouane Fellaini has suffered a calf injury and will be out for up to four weeks thereby ruling him out of January move away from Manchester United.

Interim boss, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer disclosed this in a press conference ahead of Saturday’s game against Brighton that the, Fellaini “will be out for at least three or four weeks. He’s got a calf problem and that is sad.”
The 31-year-old was linked with a move to AC Milan and Porto but the injury he suffered during training means he will is staying put at Old Trafford.

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The Belgian midfielder has made just one substitute appearance since the interim manager took over from Jose Mourinho.

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Sports News

Australian Open: Sharapova Defeats Wozniacki To Reach Fourth Round

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Australian Open: Sharapova Defeats Wozniacki To Reach Fourth Round

Defending Champion, Caroline Wozniacki was stunned by Maria Sharapova in a three set game that lasted two hours twenty-four minutes at the Australian Open tournament.

31-years-old, Sharapova, grabbed the last four games to eliminate Wozniacki 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 to reach the fourth round at Melbourne Park.

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Sharapova said “I haven’t played many matches in the last year, especially against top players, and these are the kinds of matches I train for. Experience is priceless but you still have to work for it,” she said after the game. She will now face 15 seeded, Ashleigh Barty, who defeated Maria Sakkari.

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Sharapova won the Australian Open in 2008 which happens to be one of her five Grand Slam trophies but hasn’t been past the quarterfinals since 2015. She was banned in March 2016 for failing drug test, after which she returned after a 15-month suspension.

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Nigerian News

AFCON 2019: Gernot Rohr Rules Out Bench Warmers From Tournament

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AFCON 2019: Gernot Rohr Rules Out Bench Warmers From Tournament

Super Eagles head coach, Gernot Rohr, has ruled out bench warmers from the team that will try to win the 2019 Africa Cup Of Nations for a fourth time.

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Rohr says only exceptionally good players playing regularly for their clubs, would be included in the Super Eagles final list for this year’s tournament in Egypt.

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Rohr says he has a list of at least 50 players that were under consideration and would be monitored by his assistants in the run up to Egypt 2019.

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