30 November 2016

Solidarity with the fallen heroes

World football is still recovering from the terrible tragedy that hit Chapecoense where nearly all first team players have lost their lives in the airplane crash in the mountainous area near Medellin, Colombia. Travelling to their DESERVED final for the Copa Sudamericana and out of 81 people on board, 6 passengers survived. From that number 4 club members were found alive, but later one of them died on the way to hospital
Although it is on another continent, Spanish LaLiga is the first league to express solidarity. All Copa del Rey games, which are playing this week (from Tuesday till Thursday) plus regular championship matches from matchday 14, starting from 03 - 05 December, will observe one minute silence in memory of the victims - in all three competitions: first, second and third league.

National derby matches are always risky

Almost in every state police is having trouble to divide rivalry fans especially from a derby game. And heavy forces were deployed on Sunday night at the Uruguayan Classico between Penarol and Nacional, but because lack of security and not enough safety guarantees at this important event the game was suspended. Even before the duel began everything was thrown from the stands at the officers bellow: from missiles, plastic crates to even big metal canister. The open ground video footage from Estadio Centenario shows that for this violence home fans are to blame. It is believed that trouble began with the arrest of three prominent Penarol supporters outside the stadium.

29 November 2016

Twelve fans has to pay 75.000 euros

Last Friday, the national Spanish commission who is responsible for preventing violence in sports has punished 12 Croatian supporters. Eleven of them were punished with 6.000 euros because they participated in scuffles in Malaga and Seville. The remaining one, which carried machete and mechanical key, is fined with 9.000 euros. All are banned from entering the stadiums in Spain on two years. They were penalized because of the unrest before the match Sevilla - Dinamo Zagreb in the fourth round of the Champions league.

Brazilian deadly tragedy

From 81 people on board (72 passengers and 9 crew members), 76 were killed in a plane crash that was carrying Brazilian players late Monday night. Most of them were from the Chapecoense team, who on 23 November played against Argentina's San Lorenzo in the Copa Sudamericana semifinal game. Three of them reportedly survived the accident, according to authorities: Alan Luciano Ruschel, Marcos Danilo Padilha, Jacson Ragnar Follmann. Club physiotherapist Rafael Correa Gobbato and stewardess Ximena Suarez also survived. The team was travelling to Colombia to play the Copa Sudamericana final against Atletico Nacional from Medellin, but now the event has been cancelled.
After a stop in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, the LAMIA flight was heading to Colombia. According to reports, the plane broke into two parts and did not catch fire. It crashed 50 kilometers from Medellin in the mountainous area called Cerro Gordo due to electrical failure. 'It is a tragedy of huge proportions' said Medellin mayor Federico Gutierrez who was on site where the accident occurred.
Among other things, local radio stated that the same plane transported Argentina's players for the World cup South American qualifying game against Brazil earlier this month.

Tax authorities are no joke

Last week jail news sentences came out just like that, one after another. Two famous footballers could be facing prison for up to 12.6 months. Both of them are charged in the same state and for the same reason - tax evasion.
Neymar Jr. is probably more famous in court from the other so we will start with him first. Spanish prosecutors wants a two year prison sentence for the Brazilian and he is being accused for corruption (transfer irregularities). The 24 year old allegedly wanted to conceal the cost portion of his move from Santos to Barcelona. Besides jail time, prosecutors demand 10 million euros from the footballer. 
Despite Neymar Jr., in trouble could be Neymar Sr. as well for the same charges, ex club president Sandro Rosell and the club, Barcelona who are 'asked' to pay a penalty of 8.4 million euros. In addition of this accusations and before yesterday's game with Real Sociedad, the Barcelona star has crushed his Ferrari on a way to football training. Thankfully he was not injured but the 458 Spider suffered a minor damage. According to media, his car did a 180 degree turn on a slippery exit ramp.

Newest player who also can be in trouble could face an even harsh punishment. Out of the blue, now the Spanish prosecutors are after Samuel Eto'o's money. When he was in Barcelona from 2006 until 2009 the former Cameroonian international did not report income from sponsors, which damaged the state for approximately 3.46 million euros of unpaid taxes. If he is to be found guilty, the 35 year old Antalyaspor striker will be locked up on 10 and a half months with 14 million euros fine.
For fraud also in the list are: Jose Maria Mesalles Mata, Eto'o's agent and the administrator of the company.

28 November 2016

First 2017 tournament for the last Caribbean place

On Thursday the Caribbean football union, part of CONCACAF region, has decided where to play the fifth place play-off for the Caribbean cup. Whoever win this mini-competition will have the right to participate in the Gold cup next summer.
Only three teams will battle it out for that final spot. Second place teams which qualified from the Caribbean qualifying third round are: Suriname (group 1), Haiti (group 2) and Trinidad and Tobago (group 4), while group 3 runner up Antigua and Barbuda has failed to qualify due to bad goal difference. These three will gather in Trinidad and Tobago from 04 until 08 January. And the winner will have the right, along with Jamaica, French Guiana, Curacao and Martinique, to appear at the north American championship or short Gold cup 2017. Ato Boldon stadium in Couva will host all three games which, converted in European times, have to look like this:

05 January, Thursday at 00.00 CET: Trinidad and Tobago - Suriname.

07 January, Saturday at 00.00 CET: Suriname - Haiti.

08 January, Sunday at 22.00 CET: Haiti - Trinidad and Tobago.

Before the main north American competition, we have to see which team will be Caribbean champion and the finals will happen from 22 - 25 June, while next month will be the Gold cup month.
Out from these three, the hosts Trinidad and Tobago wants to reach its tenth Gold cup appearance, Haiti will aim for the seventh, while for Suriname it will be the first. If the South American (tiny) nation is successful in the summer we can easily see two debutants at the major event.

26 November 2016

Killed on duty

Yesterday the Asian continent has lost an outstanding football talent. During Friday's training, Nazeh Nouman has lost his life from a mortar shell. He was a team manager at Al Jaish, who is a defending champion from last season.
The Damascus based club are leaders in Syria with 14 Premier league titles.

Confederation Cup groups draw in Russia

The warm up tournament's draw before the World cup, Confederations Cup, has been held today in Kazan, Russia. The hosts, the world champion and five confederation winners have find out the fate of who is playing who next summer. Sixth and last regional champion was also drawn this afternoon and its name will be known in early February after the completion of the Africa Nations Cup in Gabon.
Lots of familiar sports faces were seen in the hall, while two of them, Yelena Isinbaeva and Sergei Semak, determined that the groups will look like this:

Group A: Russia, New Zealand, Portugal, Mexico.

Group B: the African champion, Chile, Australia, Germany.

These eight teams will entertain us from 17 June until 02 July.

Prize money announced

Just a day before the teams find out who will play who, FIFA has revealed allocation of the prize money in the Confederations cup next year. In total, 8 teams will share 20 million dollars (18.952.300 euros). Teams from fifth to eight place will each get 1.7 million dollars (1.610.950 euros) while 2.5 million dollars (2.369.040 euros) is going to receive the fourth place team. Bronze medalist (third team) will collect 3 million dollars (2.842.850 euros), 'consolation' prize will get the loosing finalist with 3.6 million dollars (3.411.420 euros) and 2017 Confederations cup champion will be 'rich' with 4.1 million dollars (3.885.220 euros). 
From 17 June until 02 July we will find out which continent / country is dominating world football in the next four years. The event will be held in four cities across Russia: St. Petersburg, Kazan, Moscow and Sochi, exactly one year before the main competition - World Cup. There will be two groups with four teams each. So far it is only known that the hosts of the tournament will be positioned as first team in group A. Until now, seven teams are known that will take part in the tournament: hosts Russia, world champion Germany plus five champions of their confederations -  New Zealand (Oceania), Australia (Asia), Portugal (Europe), Mexico (CONCACAF) and Chile (CONMEBOL). The sixth and last regions champion (African traveler) will be known in early February at the African Nations Cup competition.
The draw for the Confederations cup will be held on Saturday in Kazan from 16.00 CET.

25 November 2016

Stunning game at Toto Turner stadium where only Israeli champion can produce the best

Astana - APOEL Nicosia 2:1

Scorers: 0:1 30 Georgios Efrem
              1:1 59 Marin Anicic
              2:1 83 Djordje Despotovic

Fenerbahce - Zorya Luhansk 2:0

Scorers: 1:0 59 Miroslav Stoch
              2:0 67 Simon Kjaer

Qabala - Anderlecht 1:3

Scorers: 0:1 10 Youri Tielemans
              1:1 15-pen Ricardinho
              1:2 89 Massimo Bruno
              1:3 90+3 Lukasz Teodorczyk

Zenit St. Petersburg - Maccabi Tel Aviv 2:0

Scorers: 1:0 44 Aleksandr Kokorin
              2:0 90+1 Aleksandr Kerzhakov

Ajax - Panathinaikos 2:0

Scorers: 1:0 39 Lasse Schone
              2:0 50 Kenny Tete

Celta Vigo - Standard Liege 1:1

Scorers: 1:0 07 Iago Aspas
              1:1 81 Konstantinos Laifis

Gent - Braga 2:2

Scorers: 0:1 14 Nikola Stojiljkovic
              1:1 31 Kalifa Coulibaly
              1:2 35 Ahmed Hassan
              2:2 39 Danijel Milicevic

Hapoel Beer Sheva - Inter 3:2

Scorers: 0:1 13 Mauro Icardi
              0:2 25 Marcelo Brozovic
              1:2 57 Lucio Maranhao
              2:2 70-pen Anthony Nwakaeme
              3:2 90+3 Ben Sahar

Krasnodar - Salzburg 1:1

Scorers: 0:1 36 Munas Dabbur
              1:1 84 Fedor Smolov

Shakhtar Donetsk - Konyaspor 4:0

Scorers: 1:0 10-own goal Abdulkerim Bardakci
              2:0 35 Dentinho
              3:0 66 Eduardo
              4:0 74 Bernard

Slovan Liberec - Qarabag 3:0

Scorers: 1:0 11 Egon Vuch
              2:0 56-pen Nikolay Komlichenko
              3:0 62 Nikolay Komlichenko

Sparta Prague - Southampton 1:0

Scorer: 1:0 11 Nhamoinesu Costa

Steaua - Osmanlispor 2:1

Scorers: 0:1 30 Papa Ndiaye
              1:1 68 Marko Momcilovic
              2:1 86 Gabriel Tamas

Zurich - Villarreal 1:1

Scorers: 0:1 14-pen Bruno Soriano
              1:1 87-pen Roberto Rodriguez

Athletic Bilbao - Sassuolo 3:2

Scorers: 0:1 02-own goal Mikel Balenziaga
              1:1 09 Raul Garcia
              2:1 58 Aritz Aduriz
              3:1 78 Inigo Lekue
              3:2 83 Antonino Ragusa

Austria Vienna - Astra 1:2

Scorers: 1:0 57 Lukas Rotpuller
              1:1 79 Daniel Florea
              1:2 88-pen Constantin Budescu

Dundalk - AZ Alkmaar 0:1

Scorer: 0:1 09 Wout Weghorst

Genk - Rapid Vienna 1:0

Scorer: 1:0 10 Nikolaos Karelis

Olympiacos - Young Boys 1:1

Scorers: 1:0 48 Konstantinos Fortounis
              1:1 57 Guillaume Hoarau

Roma - Viktoria Plzen 4:1

Scorers: 1:0 10 Edin Dzeko
              1:1 18 Martin Zeman
              2:1 61 Edin Dzeko
              3:1 82-own goal Ales Mateju
              4:1 88 Edin Dzeko

23 November 2016

Comeback of the night in Istanbul

Rostov - Bayern 3:2

Scorers: 0:1 35 Douglas Costa
              1:1 44 Sardar Azmoun
              2:1 49-pen Dmitri Poloz
              2:2 52 Juan Bernat
              3:2 66 Christian Noboa

Besiktas - Benfica 3:3

Scorers: 0:1 09 Goncalo Guedes
              0:2 24 Nelson Semedo
              0:3 31 Ljubomir Fejsa
              1:3 58 Cenk Tosun
              2:3 82 Ricardo Quaresma
              3:3 89 Vincent Aboubakar

Atletico Madrid - PSV Eindhoven 2:0

Scorers: 1:0 55 Kevin Gameiro
              2:0 66 Antoine Griezmann

Celtic - Barcelona 0:2

Scorer: 0:1 24 Lionel Messi
            0:2 55-pen Lionel Messi

Ludogorets Razgrad - Basel 0:0

Napoli - Dynamo Kyiv 0:0

Three different time slots

Last games that are played tonight for this month in the Champions league are from groups A to D. One unusual time slot is making a debut this season at the competition in a night on true champions' battle.

- Rostov - Bayern. The night starts with winless Rostov take on giants Bayern, who are already qualified onto the next stage. Many clubs are relaxed after doing the business earlier, but the Germans are determined to finish on top in group D. Bundesliga champions should not have any problems stealing the away victory against a team which is still fighting to get that magical third place. At least they hope to pull this hard battle with a draw, however the powerful visitors would not allow that (if approach at the match is serious enough).
- Besiktas - Benfica. Both teams can join the next stage, so in this direct duel the winner (might) take it all tonight. In this unusual playing time, the only bad thing for Besiktas is that there are no home victories in the campaign so far and Benfica will seek that as an opportunity. Although this is the truly champions' clash (both teams have won titles in their own country), this can look like real derby where one of the traveler can be decided. Hard fighting is expected, lots of action, both can score goals (or none), but at the end a draw will be enough (and postpone the judgement day for the last round).
- Atletico Madrid - PSV Eindhoven. Playing first against last always gives you an impression there will be easy victory for the top team. But Atletico Madrid wants to secure that first place at any cost because at the last matchday in December they will face with much difficult club, so they are determined to win this game. Currently PSV Eindhoven are in fight with Rostov for the Europa league place and it seems that will be decided in their last battle in two weeks time. Tonight Vicente Calderon must keep all three points.
- Celtic - Barcelona. After Besiktas - Benfica, this game is a second genuine champions' battle. If we compare it to the mentioned match, the only difference here is that Celtic is playing with a much tougher opponent (which everything is said about them). There is a slim chance for the hosts to keep playing European competition in the spring and in order to do that the Scots have to win tonight's match. We are not going to mention anything about Barcelona, except they will steal away the win.
- Ludogorets Razgrad - Basel. Game number three where champions of Bulgaria is playing against Switzerland's title holders. In reality Ludogorets Razgrad is a stronger team, but Basel possesses so much strength in them to surprise. As this is also a direct clash of who is going to proceed to the Europa league knockout phase in the spring, it can be also called a second 'low' derby match. Although it smells that it will be another draw between them still the hosts are little bit closer to victory.
- Napoli - Dynamo Kyiv. Napoli will not miss this opportunity to win the match where it will give them chances (maybe it will be decisive one) to qualify for the next stage. Without a victory in previous four games Dynamo Kyiv is out from Europe with, unfortunately, another loss.

Quitting the competition

Last weekend Mexican FA has announced that its clubs will abandon the Copa Libertadores tournament next season. The event will expand to a new format and the clubs have made this decision as there was not enough free space on both sides. If the schedule will be adjusted from CONMEBOL the Mexican teams can be seen in 2018. Until now Mexican teams were only invitees for Copa Libertadores editions. Now the focus will be restructuring CONCACAF Champions league.

Ten nominees - two winners from Africa

In CAF headquarters today there was an announcement of ten candidates who will compete for the Africa's best player of 2016. We will have two winners from the continent as these ten are divided into two subcategories: international and domestic players.
For the international part one of these five are hoping to take the prize: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon and Borussia Dortmund), Riyad Mahrez (Algeria and Leicester), Sadio Mane (Senegal and Liverpool), Mohamed Salah (Egypt and Roma), Islam Slimani (Algeria and Leicester). There was also a domestic list (based in Africa) and one of the following players are hoping to win the award: Khama Billiat (Zimbabwe), Keegan Dolly (South Africa), Hlompho Kekana (South Africa), Denis Onyango (Uganda), Rainford Kalaba (Zambia). The first four are teammates from the South African champions Mamelodi Sundowns while the party was spoiled by the last nominee who is playing in TP Mazembe from Congo.
All 54 member nations' coaches from the confederation are eligible to vote for the winners. The awards will be presented at the gala ceremony 05 January in Abuja, Nigeria.

22 November 2016

All three type of results this evening

CSKA Moscow - Bayer Leverkusen 1:1

Scorers: 0:1 16 Kevin Volland
              1:1 75-pen Bibras Natcho

FC Copenhagen - Porto 0:0

Leicester - Club Brugge 2:1

Scorers: 1:0 05 Shinji Okazaki
              2:0 30-pen Riyad Mahrez
              2:1 51 Jose Izquierdo

Sevilla - Juventus 1:3

Scorers: 1:0 09 Nicolas Pareja
              1:1 45+2 Claudio Marchisio
              1:2 84 Leonardo Bonucci
              1:3 90+4 Mario Mandzukic

Sporting - Real Madrid 1:2

Scorers: 0:1 29 Raphael Varane
              1:1 80-pen Adrien Silva
              1:2 87 Karim Benzema

First matches from matchday five

This month will be the last where Champions league games will be played. The first part, out of two, will be played this evening and starts earlier than expected.

- CSKA Moscow - Bayer Leverkusen. The opening game will see the Russian champions playing against a possible last 16 contender. CSKA Moscow are still winless in four games and the team now is focusing to stay in Europe and snatch that third place that leads to Europa league. To do that the team has to win tonight a difficult opponent, Bayer Leverkusen. The Germans has its own calculations, but from now it smells that both will share points.
- FC Copenhagen - Porto. As Club Brugge are already out, one of these two teams will continue in the spring, however on different sides: one of them will remain here and the other will be 'transferred in the lower' tournament. The real question is who? Thus this game will give us a direct answer. Porto are in a better position and FC Copenhagen needs this urgent win. Although the Danish champions will desperately seek a win, the visitors are going to try to stall them to a draw.
- Leicester - Club Brugge. This pair is probably the only one determined before the match even starts. We are sure that three weeks break did not do anything good to Club Brugge, who have four losses so far. Beside a strong opposition in the group, Belgians do not pose a real threat for Leicester.
- Sevilla - Juventus. Can Sevilla play good and confident game like before the break or the visitors may steal the (surprise) win? The Europa league champions were inviolable at home prior to the internationals and the leaders in group H will try to repeat the same tonight. They are playing the only team in the group who can oppose them, as Juventus will certainly go for three points and snatch that top position. We should expect a tight match, everything smells like sharing the points, but all of them will stay at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium.
- Sporting - Real Madrid. Already out of next stage, Sporting will now do anything to keep that third place. It looks that tonight is not going to be the night for them as Real Madrid from match to match looks stronger and stronger. The Portuguese will not give up without a fight, however their neighbors will be getting all the points.

Sending a (wrong) lawyer that supports a dishonest club

For many, the following story may be comical but unfortunately true. What will you do if your former club is experiencing trouble and you have an 'inside man' to bring it out from greed?
Last week FIFA has given a role to Theodore Giannikos to pull out Olympiacos, who are accused of match fixing. The world football organization previously has concluded an 'extensive and thorough' process before appointing the Court of Arbitration for Sport judge and UEFA club competitions member to defend the perennial Greek champions. 
President of the club, Evangelos Marinakis is awaiting a criminal decision on a charge of match fixing. To make the irony greater: Giannikos was a vice president for nine years of the same team he is going to defend. In other words: sending an own man to extract the club out of trouble.

21 November 2016

Back to club football

After the excitement in the last two weeks on the international scene, next couple of weeks we hope to see same thrills as club football is back into action. European cup tournaments resume next week with the penultimate round of matches. For the first time this season three time slots will be applied for both.

As always Champions league begin first and on the second day one new time slot joins the fun. Groups E to H starts first and the conclusion is from A to D.

Tuesday, 22 November at 18.00 CET: CSKA Moscow - Bayer Leverkusen.

Tuesday, 22 November at 20.45 CET: Borussia Dortmund - Legia.
Tuesday, 22 November at 20.45 CET: Dinamo Zagreb - Lyon.
Tuesday, 22 November at 20.45 CET: FC Copenhagen - Porto.
Tuesday, 22 November at 20.45 CET: Leicester - Club Brugge.
Tuesday, 22 November at 20.45 CET: Monaco - Tottenham.
Tuesday, 22 November at 20.45 CET: Sevilla - Juventus.
Tuesday, 22 November at 20.45 CET: Sporting - Real Madrid.

Wednesday, 23 November at 18.00 CET: Rostov - Bayern.

Wednesday, 23 November at 18.45 CET: Besiktas - Benfica.

Wednesday, 23 November at 20.45 CET: Arsenal - PSG.
Wednesday, 23 November at 20.45 CET: Atletico Madrid - PSV Eindhoven.
Wednesday, 23 November at 20.45 CET: Borussia Moenchengladbach - Manchester City.
Wednesday, 23 November at 20.45 CET: Celtic - Barcelona.
Wednesday, 23 November at 20.45 CET: Ludogorets Razgrad - Basel.
Wednesday, 23 November at 20.45 CET: Napoli - Dynamo Kyiv.

In the all breathtaking second tournament, Europa league, all 24 pairs will be played in one day. Some clubs are already into the next stage, while some are still struggling to get to the knock out phase, so this round may be decisive for them.

Thursday, 24 November at 17.00 CET: Astana - APOEL Nicosia.
Thursday, 24 November at 17.00 CET: Fenerbahce - Zorya Luhansk.
Thursday, 24 November at 17.00 CET: Qabala - Anderlecht.
Thursday, 24 November at 17.00 CET: Zenit St. Petersburg - Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Thursday, 24 November at 19.00 CET: Ajax - Panathinaikos.
Thursday, 24 November at 19.00 CET: Celta Vigo - Standard Liege.
Thursday, 24 November at 19.00 CET: Fiorentina - PAOK.
Thursday, 24 November at 19.00 CET: Gent - Braga.
Thursday, 24 November at 19.00 CET: Hapoel Beer Sheva - Inter.
Thursday, 24 November at 19.00 CET: Krasnodar - Red Bull Salzburg.
Thursday, 24 November at 19.00 CET: Schalke - Nice.
Thursday, 24 November at 19.00 CET: Shakhtar Donetsk - Konyaspor.
Thursday, 24 November at 19.00 CET: Slovan Liberec - Qarabag.
Thursday, 24 November at 19.00 CET: Sparta Prague - Southampton.
Thursday, 24 November at 19.00 CET: Steaua - Osmanlispor.
Thursday, 24 November at 19.00 CET: Zurich - Villarreal.

Thursday, 24 November at 21.05 CET: Athletic Bilbao - Sassuolo.
Thursday, 24 November at 21.05 CET: Austria Vienna - Astra.
Thursday, 24 November at 21.05 CET: Dundalk - AZ Alkmaar.
Thursday, 24 November at 21.05 CET: Genk - Rapid Vienna.
Thursday, 24 November at 21.05 CET: Manchester United - Feyenoord.
Thursday, 24 November at 21.05 CET: Olympiacos - Young Boys.
Thursday, 24 November at 21.05 CET: Roma - Viktoria Plzen.
Thursday, 24 November at 21.05 CET: St. Etienne - Mainz.

20 November 2016

If you remain silenced you are automatically guilty

For defending 'someone greater' this football official has put his candidacy in jeopardy.
This Wednesday FIFA has punished Saoud A. Aziz al-Mohannadi for refusing to collaborate with the investigation as a witness against a third party, without naming the case. Last month the ethics committee recommended two and a half year ban, but in the end he received 'only' one year from all football activities. He was a vice president of Qatar FA and also the Asian football confederation. Likewise, al-Mohannadi was a nominee for the ruling council in FIFA which will be held 28 February in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Because he did not talk, the Qatari official also has to 'deliver' to the world football organization 20.000 Swiss francs (18.635 euros).

19 November 2016

Spanish champions got themselves a new sponsor

For Qatar's air carrier "Qatar Airways" this will be the last season that Barcelona's players will wear on their t-shirts. On Wednesday the club from Catalonia signed a four year deal with the Japanese company "Rakuten". The new deal will start from 01 July, and the Spanish champions will receive 220 million euros or 55 million euros annually, plus title stimulus in the next four seasons. After the end of the contract in 2020/21, the company will have the option of one year extension. Great merit that Japanese giants are in the team have the defender Gerard Pique, who is a friend with the director Hiroshi Mikitani.
Founded 1997 in Japan "Rakuten" is a leading electronic commerce and Internet services company. Because of that, the company's developing product, one application that we all use as a connection, "Viber" will be the official communication channel of the team.

18 November 2016

Is the Club World Cup expansion possible?

Beside the World cup, Gianni Inantino wants to alter the Club World cup also. Currently the competition has 7 participants (six continental champions plus the host national league winner) and the FIFA president wants to increase it to 32. Likewise, he is also proposing change of time for the event - from December for June. If this project goes well we should see a new competition starting from 2019.
But if those 7 clubs are rightly qualified for the tournament, how can we find the other 25?

Couple of famous faces at the draw

Each continent will send its champion to the Confederations cup only to see which region plays best football. The next one will be in Russia (it will be held exactly one year before the main event - the World cup) from 17 June till 02 July in four cities throughout the country: Saint Petersburg, Kazan, Moscow and Sochi. In one of the host town, Kazan, FIFA will conduct the draw for the event. Yesterday it was announced that Sergei Semak, winner of the Russian Premier league five times - now a assistant coach in Zenit St. Peterburg, and two time Olympic gold medalist - an former pole vaulter Yelena Isinbaeva will help with the draw on 26 November.

'You did not listen to us? No problem, now you will be punished'

Days, or even one week before their World cup qualifying clash last Friday, the English and Scottish FA have joined together and announced wearing poppies for the Armistice day, on the day when two of them played. From the other side, the world football association did send a warning in advance for both telling them that that is not allowed as it carries political, religious and commercial message.
Now that all qualifiers for Russia are over for this year, FIFA's disciplinary committee started a process for their controversial decisions. At the organization no one wants to comment of how and what the punishment(s) will be, although the two defiant associations above called the decision 'scandalous'.

17 November 2016

Dark days predicted for the football museum

Opened barely nine months ago, with investment of 140 million Swiss francs (128 million euros at the time), the FIFA museum in Zurich will soon be closed. Sources close to the museum said that financial losses are the main reason for the lockdown (as always) and doors will be closed for public in May. The new museum director has told that FIFA has decided to close the place next summer, but there is no official confirmation from the world football organization.
Since the opening, the place on average has 11.000 visitors on a monthly basis. For 2016 it was predicted that it will have between 130.000 and 150.000 guests a year, and that number should rise to 250.000 until 2018.
FIFA later explained that the director Stefan H. Jost left his duty at the end of October due to future strategies for the museum (maybe they told the truth after all).

Drunk captain

What will you do if a famous uninvited professional player suddenly appears at your wedding and on top of that...drunk? Wayne Rooney humiliate himself like that and after he realized what he has done he apologized later. But will 'I am sorry' be enough for his behavior?
After a World cup qualifying victory last Friday against Scotland, the English captain went on to 'party' himself. After his 'wild fun' and girls beside him, he stormed drunk on the wedding ceremony in a hotel in Watford, where the team also was staying there. First journalists who uncovered his wedding mess was "The Sun". Everybody thought that this was some kind of prank. However, the proof came day later with pictures of the player how he barely stands on his feet.
After this scandal it is more likely that the 31 year old Rooney will be sanctioned by the FA.

Penultimate two teams who entered the Gold Cup 2017 edition

Jamaica - Suriname 1:0

Scorer: 1:0 16 Cory Burke

Saint Kitts and Nevis - Haiti 0:0, 0:2 after extra time

Scorers: 0:1 102 Wilde-Donald Guerrier
              0:2 119 Duckens Nazon

Additional information: Due to devastating hurricane Matthew these two matches were rescheduled from last month. And after Curacao and Martinique, Jamaica and French Guiana (from groups 1 and 2) are the latest that qualified into the Gold cup tournament next summer.
The last Caribbean nation for the event will be decided early next year, where Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname and Haiti will compete in the fifth play off place mini competition from 04 until 08 January.

16 November 2016

Hexagonal's first unpopular result

Honduras - Trinidad and Tobago 3:1

Scorers: 1:0 16 Rommel Quioto
              2:0 19 Emilio Izaguirre
              2:1 51 Carlyle Mitchell
              3:1 80 Eddie Hernandez

Costa Rica - United States of America 4:0

Scorers: 1:0 43 Johan Venegas
              2:0 68 Christian Bolanos
              3:0 74 Joel Campbell
              4:0 77 Joel Campbell

Panama - Mexico 0:0

Courageous Bolivia: victory with ten men!!!

Bolivia - Paraguay 1:0

Scorer: 1:0 78-own goal Gustavo Gomez

Ecuador - Venezuela 3:0

Scorers: 1:0 51 Arturo Rafael Mina Meza
              2:0 82 Miller Bolanos
              3:0 86 Enner Valencia

Argentina - Colombia 3:0

Scorers: 1:0 10 Lionel Messi
              2:0 22 Lucas Pratto
              3:0 84 Angel di Maria

Chile - Uruguay 3:1

Scorers: 0:1 16 Edinson Cavani
              1:1 45+1 Eduardo Vargas
              2:1 60 Alexis Sanchez
              3:1 76 Alexis Sanchez

Peru - Brazil 0:2

Scorers: 0:1 58 Gabriel Jesus
              0:2 79 Renato Augusto

15 November 2016

Long way to go in CONCACAF qualifiers

The hexagonal competition resumes this night and morning with the second day of games. Its not even a proper start for this last round, and out of nothing, the last two pairs will draw many of attention. After an exciting opening first leg last week and all victories for the away teams, can the hosts retaliate this time around?

- Honduras - Trinidad and Tobago. First to open matchday two in the CONCACAF zone is Honduras who surprisingly lost last week, and Trinidad and Tobago which (probably) from now happens to be the worst team in the group. By loosing its composure from the previous stage, where they knew nothing but victories, Trinidad and Tobago suddenly falls into low form. They create chances at the games however players look uninterested in it. On the other hand Honduras, which were very confident at home, suffered schock defeat last week at the very start in this campaign. To be back on old habits 'Los Catrachos' will have to begin winning from this one.
- Costa Rica - United States of America. This match in short can be interpreted like this: surprise winner from previous game against the favorites of the competition...and the only question here is: who will win? Costa Rica is a uncomfortable opponent when they are playing at home, and against this same rival the team is recording only victories. USA has never won (have only one draw) and will be interesting to see how will perform in the morning. From now it looks like that the odds are versus them as the (whole) team lost its composure which it once had. And playing against undefeated team at home means that another loss is going to follow, and negative tradition (unfortunately) will continue. Still, there is a third possibility, and that is a draw. But for that to happen visiting players need to be super focused for 90 plus minutes. However, Costa Rica will not sleep back and write second consecutive victory.
- Panama - Mexico. The mighty visitors travels in Panama for a second win, and it seems like that they will steal this game away. For Mexico everything is said in previous posts and nothing will be repeated. The hosts can go with the other option of draw, however their opponents will not allow that. Mixed results from Panama puts the visitors in the driving seat and a clear way for a (tight) win.

Resuming with last round of qualifiers for this year

Little by little, and after continuous play, we have reached round 12 in South American World cup qualifiers. The derby of the region is behind us and the following morning we have another similar match concerning one of the participating team. Are they recovered enough from last week's match to come and win this crucial game for them?

- Bolivia - Paraguay. We now can say that Bolivia has disappointed once again in the qualifiers. Now 'the green' are playing just for pride and this evening they welcome a team who is fighting for Russia. Many famous teams are having difficult times to adapt in La Paz because of the elevation. One of the highest is in the capital of the country and local players have no problem causing an upset results. Due to that Bolivia is considered favorites to take the game. Paraguay for sure will not give up, but all the points should stay at home.
- Ecuador - Venezuela. After their (surprise) win against Bolivia last week, Venezuela tonight face a tougher opponent. The team is how they are fearing to score an away goals, and with an excellent home record with the hosts, makes Ecuador a winner. With three points the hosts will have morale boost for securing one of the automatic spots for the finals and start 2017 from the upper part of the table.
- Argentina - Colombia. Argentina self complicated its position on the table last week and currently are lying outside qualification for the World cup. After the derby, los Gauchos are playing another tough game in this campaign against a team who will not sit back and 'lend' points easily. Currently third, Colombia are hoping to break their weak defence many times and possibly to stage an upset. There is a possibility that these two will play an exciting draw as both are very excellent.
- Chile - Uruguay. Like the previous pair this is also an interesting match to watch by knowing that Chile is inviolable at home and both teams can create and score goals. Relying primarily on their best players Uruguay is hoping to steal away the victory. As rarely are producing wins against this rival sharing of points is the only solution.
- Peru - Brazil. Question of the qualifiers so far is that who can beat the unstoppable Brazilians. Selecao is in perfect run of victories and it seems like it will continue in the morning also. Peru is a good team but their they are making too many errors at the back. Lacking good defence against the leaders could only lead to a catastrophe. Whatever their mood will be, the Brazilian players would only want to end this year on a high note with writing new victory.

Half draws and home victories

Japan - Saudi Arabia 2:1

Scorers: 1:0 45-pen Hiroshi Kiyotake
              2:0 79 Genki Haraguchi
              2:1 90 Omar Hawsawi

South Korea - Uzbekistan 2:1

Scorers: 0:1 24 Marat Bikmaev
              1:1 67 Nam Tae-Hee
              2:1 85 Koo Ja-Cheol

PR China - Qatar 0:0

Syria - IR Iran 0:0

Thailand - Australia 2:2

Scorers: 0:1 09-pen Mile Jedinak
              1:1 20 Teerasil Dangda
              2:1 57-pen Teerasil Dangda
              2:2 65-pen Mile Jedinak

United Arab Emirates - Iraq 2:0

Scorers: 1:0 26 Ahmed Khalil
              2:0 90+3 Ismail Matar

One round from Asia

Beside Africa, the Asian continent will have only one round to play this month. We reached the half way stage in both groups and after these matches we will see which teams show early signs of World Cup fever.

- Japan - Saudi Arabia. Even though Saudi Arabia did not lost a match so far, Japan is considered to be a strong favorite for the win. The 'Blue Samurai' are not playing as they should, lately they increased the level to very high and now easily are scoring goals. We have to expect a tough match and the visitors are not naive and they want to stay on top in group B and at least Saudi Arabia might stall the game for a point. As two other teams are near them, Japan just have to win this one if they want to stay in contention for the finals.
- South Korea - Uzbekistan. Playing third against second you always think that this game will be hard. South Korea with three points will surely hold the automatic place, escaping the intercontinental play off spot. It might look strange, but the team is playing better matches at home rather than away. Uzbekistan will not miss this opportunity to come back home with a point, but with joyful hosts that might seems difficult to achieve.
- PR China - Qatar. With a new coach China have a big task ahead of them - to do the mission impossible and be placed at least in third place. For their dream to be alive 'The dragons' have to beat 2022 World cup hosts Qatar and with the Italian manager they have the needed strength. Plus playing in  home is a winning combination against a team who has an awful tournament so far. These bottom placed teams in group A have to find something quickly, because whoever lose this match it can say goodbye to the finals. Qatar, who did not impress so far (except in friendly matches) also want to salvage this campaign as win from previous round give some (slim) hope of progressing though. Still, Chinese players are aware of the situation and surely want to repeat previous stage when they beat the same team at home, so there will be no doubt to repeat the same (tough) victory as well.
- Syria - IR Iran. Syria today is playing against the leader in group A. Although the are not playing at home (before their own fans) Syrian game is very positive, compact and promising, just like the team were playing round four. Their rival today may be tougher than expected, did not receive any goal so far and with this play looks like Iran will be in Russia. Excellent play with strong defence, it seems that no one cannot stop the Persian country achieving new three points.
- Thailand - Australia. Today Australia is playing with the weakest rival in the group. New three points will give confidence to the Socceroos, who are struggling with victories and they cannot humiliate themselves with the last team. With four losses from four games Thailand is practically out from the World cup finals. and from now on the team is playing to restore some pride in the following games.
- United Arab Emirates - Iraq. When these two teams are playing its always an interesting game to watch with plenty of goals. Iraq have lost its both away games, but the team can stop that negative record tonight against the UAE. Looks like the host is in desperate need of victory as it will only grow chances of that magical third place. They perfectly know each other very well and it would not be surprise to anyone if these two play an entertaining draw.

Kone saw no goals

New Caledonia - New Zealand 0:0

Oceania will first start the day

This Tuesday is a long day for football lovers as last World Cup elimination matches for Russia will played for 2016. Taking into consideration CET, the Oceania confederation will first have the honor to open the play early in the morning. 
Until recently, New Caledonia were better before home fans as the time recorded only victories. However against this morning's rival it will be tough to achieve a win, as New Zealand is a tough teams. Although the team may look like to have some difficulties, New Caledonia should not pose a real threat for the All whites.

14 November 2016

CONCACAF's early phase

The hexagonal tournament continues with the second leg after the excitements last week. On European soil, last two games are playing at the same time.

15 November, Tuesday at 23.05 CET: Honduras - Trinidad and Tobago.

16 November, Wednesday at 03.05 CET: Costa Rica - United States of America.
16 November, Wednesday at 03.05 CET: Panama - Mexico.

Seven games to go

After the excitement last week, South American best teams resumes its last qualifiers for this year. With this leg there are seven matches left to play and from now some (one or two) nations can book their tickets to the finals. However, the real (and most interesting) struggle is expected to be around the intercontinental play off place.

15 November, Tuesday at 21.00 CET: Bolivia - Paraguay.
15 November, Tuesday at 22.00 CET: Ecuador - Venezuela.

16 November, Wednesday at 00.30 CET: Argentina - Colombia.
16 November, Wednesday at 00.30 CET: Chile - Uruguay.
16 November, Wednesday at 03.15 CET: Peru - Brazil.

Half way from Asia

Together with Africa, the Asian continent will have only one round of play this month. And matchday five is exact the half way at the Asian continent. It is maybe too early to tell, but this leg can be crucial for some teams and some can already confirm their participation in the World Cup finals in Russia 2018.

15 November, Tuesday at 11.35 CET: Japan - Saudi Arabia.
15 November, Tuesday at 12.00 CET: South Korea - Uzbekistan.
15 November, Tuesday at 12.35 CET: PR China - Qatar.
15 November, Tuesday at 13.00 CET: Thailand - Australia.
15 November, Tuesday at 13.00 CET: Syria - IR Iran.
15 November, Tuesday at 16.20 CET: United Arab Emirates - Iraq.

One pair to play

New clash of the 'New' countries. New Caledonia and New Zealand will play the 'return leg' in the group stage next Tuesday, 15 November. The 'All whites' were successful at home, and can their rivals retaliate and have revenge - the answer to that we will find out from 07.00 CET.

Farewell to official qualifiers for this year

Exactly in the middle of the month the last set of World Cup elimination games will be played. As there is a big time difference from one to the other corner of the world, 15 remaining matches from 4 confederations will close 2016 over two days. For the first time one region will have one round this month. In alphabetical order it should look like this:

1. Oceania zone - 1 game.
2. Asian region - 6 matches.
3. CONMEBOL zone - 5 pairs.
4. CONCACAF confederation - 3 matches.

You have to feel sorry for the Estonians

Bulgaria - Belarus 1:0

Scorer: 1:0 09 Ivelin Popov

Cyprus - Gibraltar 3:1

Scorers: 1:0 28 Konsantinos Laifis
              1:1 51 Lee Casciaro
              2:1 65 Pieros Sotiriou
              3:1 87 Valentinos Sielis

Luxembourg - Netherlands 1:3

Scorers: 0:1 36 Arjen Robben
              1:1 44-pen Maxime Chanot
              1:2 58 Memphis Depay
              1:3 83 Memphis Depay

Hungary - Andorra 4:0

Scorers: 1:0 33 Zoltan Gera
              2:0 43 Adam Lang
              3:0 73 Adam Gyurcso
              4:0 88 Adam Szalai

Switzerland - Faroe Islands 2:0

Scorers: 1:0 26 Eren Derdiyok
              2:0 83 Stephan Lichsteiner

Belgium - Estonia 8:1

Scorers: 1:0 08 Thomas Meunier
              2:0 16 Dries Mertens
              3:0 24 Eden Hazard
              3:1 29 Hendri Anier
              4:1 62 Yannick Ferreira-Carrasco
              5:1 64-own goal Ragnar Klavan
              6:1 67 Dries Mertens
              7:1 82 Romelu Lukaku
              8:1 88 Romelu Lukaku

Greece - Bosnia and Herzegovina 1:1

Scorers: 0:1 31-own goal Orestis Karnezis
              1:1 90+5 Giorgios Tzavellas

Portugal - Latvia 4:1

Scorers: 1:0 28-pen Cristiano Ronaldo
              1:1 67 Arturs Zjuzins
              2:1 69 William Carvalho
              3:1 85 Cristiano Ronaldo
              4:1 90+1 Bruno Alves

13 November 2016

One win apiece for the hosts and the guests

Egypt - Ghana 2:0

Scorers: 1:0 43-pen Mohamed Salah
              2:0 86 Abdalla el Said

Guinea - Democratic Republic of Congo 1:2

Scorers: 1:0 23-pen Seydouba Soumah
              1:1 54 Neeskens Kebano
              1:2 56 Yannick Bolasie

Last minute winner

Solomon Islands - Tahiti 1:0

Scorer: 1:0 90+2 Emmanuel Poila

Reverse match from Monday

In the beginning of the week these two teams have met for the first time at this final phase and six days later we are at the return leg. Games between Solomon Islands and Tahiti are tightly contested, the visitors have never been victorious against their opponent and (what is most important of all) goals are scored in every game, so this morning we have to see the same. However, the hosts have fallen under a bad form lately and Tahiti will have to use that and record second consecutive win at this stage.

European penultimate day, leg four results

Austria - Republic of Ireland 0:1

Scorer: 0:1 47 James McClean

Georgia - Moldova 1:1

Scorers: 1:0 16 Valeri Kazaishvili
              1:1 78 Aleksandru Gatcan

Croatia - Iceland 2:0

Scorer: 1:0 15 Marcelo Brozovic
            2:0 90+1 Marcelo Brozovic

Turkey - Kosovo 2:0

Scorers: 1:0 50 Burak Yilmaz
              2:0 55 Volkan Sen

Albania - Israel 0:3

Scorers: 0:1 18-pen Eran Zahavi
              0:2 66 Daniel Einbinder
              0:3 83 Eliran Atar

Liechtenstein - Italy 0:4

Scorers: 0:1 11 Andrea Belotti
              0:2 12 Ciro Immobile
              0:3 32 Antonio Candreva
              0:4 44 Andrea Belotti

Ukraine - Finland 1:0

Scorer: 1:0 24 Artem Kravets

Wales - Serbia 1:1

Scorers: 1:0 30 Gareth Bale
              1:1 85 Aleksandar Mitrovic

12 November 2016

Disappointed play from the African champions

South Africa - Senegal 2:1

Scorers: 1:0 43-pen Thulani Hlatshwayo
              2:0 45+1 Thulani Serero
              2:1 75 Cheik N'Doye

Uganda - Congo 1:0

Scorer: 1:0 18 Farouk Miya

Cameroon - Zambia 1:1

Scorers: 0:1 34 Collins Mbesuma
              1:1 45+4-pen Vincent Aboubakar

Nigeria - Algeria 3:1

Scorers: 1:0 25 Victor Moses
              2:0 41 John Obi Mikel
              2:1 67 Nabil Bentaleb
              3:1 90+2 Victor Moses

Cape Verde - Burkina Faso 0:2

Scorers: 0:1 02 Banou Diawara
              0:2 29 Prejuce Nakoulma

Mali - Gabon 0:0

Morocco - Ivory Coast 0:0

The 'New' battle was won by the hosts

New Zealand - New Caledonia 2:0

Scorer: 1:0 42 Marco Rojas
            2:0 72 Marco Rojas

Fight of the night came from Yerevan

Armenia - Montenegro 3:2

Scorers: 0:1 36 Damir Kojasevic
              0:2 38 Stevan Jovetic
              1:2 50 Artak Grigoryan
              2:2 73 Varazdat Haroyan
              3:2 90+3 Gevorg Ghazaryan

Czech Republic - Norway 2:1

Scorers: 1:0 11 Michael Krmencik
              2:0 47 Jaromir Zmrhal
              2:1 86 Joshua King

Denmark - Kazakhstan 4:1

Scorers: 1:0 15 Andreas Cornelius
              1:1 16 Gafurzhan Suyumbayev
              2:1 36-pen Christian Eriksen
              3:1 78 Peter Ankersen
              4:1 90+2 Christian Eriksen

England - Scotland 3:0

Scorers: 1:0 23 Daniel Sturridge
              2:0 50 Adam Lallana
              3:0 61 Gary Cahill

France - Sweden 2:1

Scorers: 0:1 54 Emil Forsberg
              1:1 58 Paul Pogba
              2:1 65 Dimitri Payet

Malta - Slovenia 0:1

Scorer: 0:1 46 Benjamin Verbic

Northern Ireland - Azerbaijan 4:0

Scorers: 1:0 27 Kyle Lafferty
              2:0 39 Gareth McAuley
              3:0 66 Conor McLaughlin
              4:0 82 Chris Brunt

Slovakia - Lithuania 4:0

Scorers: 1:0 12 Adam Nemec
              2:0 14 Juraj Kucka
              3:0 36 Martin Skrtel
              4:0 86 Marek Hamsik

How can you define a home win?

Honduras - Panama 0:1

Scorer: 0:1 22 Fidel Escobar

Trinidad and Tobago - Costa Rica 0:2

Scorers: 0:1 65 Christian Bolanos
              0:2 90+2 Ronald Matarrita

United States of America - Mexico 1:2

Scorers: 0:1 20 Miguel Layun
              1:1 49 Bobby Shou Wood
              1:2 89 Rafael Marquez

Group A step into action

'New' countries (which appears in their name) - Zealand and Caledonia - opens first group in the last round this morning. After Tahiti, another home victory is expected in this confederation, but lately New Zealand barely scores a goal and in the same situation is New Caledonia as well. At important tournaments like these, whenever when is tough, the hosts will show their real strength and write three points with the help of their own supporters.

11 November 2016

Visitors with the whole prey

Libya - Tunisia 0:1

Scorer: 0:1 50-pen Wahbi Khazri

Start of the six teams tournament

After a month break CONCACAF is back. And what a way to start with the event (who from this round is also known as hexagonal) as right from the start the merciless draw combine the best teams together. Usually these super derby matches starts last in the schedule, but before that two pairs will open the tournament.

- Honduras - Panama. Tricky Panama, who is making Honduras lots of troubles in previous meetings, will have the same rival tonight which is in the best form to date. The team has re-grouped together and are playing matches of their lives. On the other hand Panama cannot tell what is to have a victory as visitors and with this play it surely does not look good for them. Since they are playing like that, Panama will try to return home with a (valuable) point. However, the hosts have other ideas and, regardless of the previous (sloppy) meetings, will show the power when needed the most.
- Trinidad and Tobago - Costa Rica. This pair may look like quite the opposite from the previous one. Until recently Trinidad and Tobago was playing with much confidence, but as time goes by that slowly fade away. In most meetings Costa Rica have beaten the opponent with (only) a goal difference so that is just the conclusion of how tough victories are. It looks like that they will steal this one away however, many efforts have to be from all 11 players.
- United States of America - Mexico. Twenty four hours ago it was in the South and 24 hours later it came to the North. The much spoken derby meets from leg one of the hexagonal event. These two maybe are the best teams in the CONCACAF zone, but that has to be proved on the pitch. Both are capable of playing entertaining matches, so we just have to order popcorn and the show is guaranteed. Currently USA is playing shaky, and are achieving mixed results. However, when it comes to opponent like this they can be shining. Their neighbors, Mexico always is playing good football and no matter who their rival is the team is winning (with some exceptions). This morning in particular it will be very difficult to play against skilled rival, but still they are slightly favorites to take first three points.