The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) sacked head coach Julen Lopetegui two days before Spain’s opening match in the World Cup against Portugal. One day earlier Lopetegui agreed to succeed Zinedine Zidane as the new Real Madrid boss after the World Cup. This decision was made without the knowledge of RFEF.
The FIFA World Cup, the biggest sporting carnival on the planet, is all set to kick-start on Thursday. As Russia gets dressed to host the much-awaited event, fans from all over the world are set to see their favorite superstars in action. Brazilian great Ronaldo and British pop star Robbie Williams will be present at the opening ceremony.
Argentine President Mauricio Macri and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, signed on Tuesday a declaration aimed at strengthening bilateral cooperation during a press conference at the Kremlin. Macri told Putin that he hoped this marked the first of many visits to the Russian capital and highlighted their countries’ mutual interests.
The building up to the South American qualifier for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, between Argentina and Peru, which was played in Buenos Aires on Thursday evening, resurfaced the strong political and military alliance of the two countries, particularly referred to recent events such as the Falklands war in 1982.
Argentina's hopes of reaching next year’s World Cup were given a huge boost on Friday after FIFA overturned Lionel Messi’s four-game ban for swearing at an assistant referee, but is not good news for Uruguay and Ecuador, Argentina's next rivals and with chances of qualifying.
Fifa hit Chile with a two-match stadium ban and a 30,000 Swiss franc (US$29,000) fine on Monday for a fresh bout of homophobic chanting by their fans. The Copa America champions are barred from playing at their Santiago home stadium for matches against Paraguay and Ecuador next year.
A strong social media push propelled a wolf named Zabivaka to victory in the mascot race for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Zabivaka, or ‘the one who scores’ in Russian, received more than 530,000 votes, nearly doubling the second-place finisher the tiger. A cat received the fewest votes in the three-mascot race.
Le Floc’h, UEFA’s former marketing director until 2010, leaves Dubai-based Customised Solution FZ to take up the role of FIFA’s chief commercial officer on Oct. 11. The position was created as part of the restructuring of world football’s governing body in the wake of the corruption scandals that brought the federation to its knees.
Head of FIFA’s audit and compliance committee says World Cup hosts could change as a result of ongoing investigation. Domenico Scala says if any evidence of wrongdoing is found by the ongoing criminal investigations into the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, the rights to host the tournament could be stripped.
Russian president Vladimir Putin waded into the FIFA scandal by accusing the United States of interfering in FIFA affairs after the US Justice Department ordered Swiss police to arrest seven senior FIFA officials on Wednesday. They were among nine current and former FIFA officials indicted.