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World Cup kickoff date to be changed by FIFA (Details)

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World Cup kickoff date to be changed by FIFA (Details)

The starting date of the 2022 FIFA World Cup is set to be pushed ahead by one day to permit hosts Qatar to be involved in the first match.

The competition had initially been booked to start off on Monday 21 November with African champions Senegal taking on The Netherlands in Group A.

In any case, FIFA presently plans to move have country Qatar’s first game against Ecuador – likewise in Group A – forward to Sunday 20 November as the curtain-raiser.

This presently can’t seem to be confirmed with approval being sought from by the Bureau of the FIFA Council (included FIFA president Gianni Infantino and the heads of each continental confederation) yet it is believed to be a convention, as indicated by various reports. It will imply that the competition will presently be organized from 20 November through to the 18 December last.

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The host nation have participated in the opening game of each of the last four editions of the tournament; Germany beat Costa Rica in 2006, South Africa were held 1-1 by Mexico in 2010, Brazil defeated Croatia in 2014 and Russia eased past Saudi Arabia four years later.

The last tournament in which the hosts did not begin the tournament was in 2002, when Senegal memorably beat defending champions France in the opening game of the tournament held in South Korea and Japan. Tradition in the tournament subsequently changed from the competition holders playing in the first game to the host nation.

England’s scheduled match against Iran in Group on 21 November is not going to change date or time, but that will no longer be the opening day of the tournament.

Football’s most prestigious tournament is traditionally held over the summer months but it is being staged across November and December this year due to the weather in host nation Qatar having excessive heat over summer.

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Source: Mirror

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EPL

Chelsea sign Noni Madueke from PSV Eindhoven

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Chelsea have confirmed the signing of England Under-21 winger Noni Madueke from Eredivisie club PSV Eindhoven as a busy January transfer window continues.

Madueke was born in north London and started his football career in the academies at Crystal Palace and Tottenham, before joining PSV at the age of 16. It was reported at the time that he had turned down offers of professional contracts at both Spurs and Manchester United.

The player has signed a seven and a half year contract at Stamford Bridge until 2030, with the option of an extra 12 months until 2031.

Madueke was 17 when he made his first-team debut for PSV in January 2020 and had been an important first-team for the club since the start of the 2020/21 season.

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He is already Chelsea’s fifth new arrival of the winter window, following Benoit Badiashile, David Datro Fofana, Joao Felix and Mykhailo Mudryk to Stamford Bridge. The Blues have now signed 12 new players since Todd Boehly’s takeover in May 2022.

Madueke is also the second player to swap PSV for the Premier League this month following Liverpool’s recent capture of Netherlands forward Cody Gakpo.

Madueke represents another example of Chelsea’s long-term plan dubbed ‘Vision 2030’, which has seen the club actively target young players it is hoped will develop into future stars.

Listen now to Son of Chelsea, part of the 90min podcast network, as Daniel Childs reacts to Chelsea’s potential clear-out of unwanted players, a new contract for Levi Colwill, more info on Mykhailo Mudryk’s transfer and midfield January plans. If you can’t see this embed, click here to listen to the podcast!

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FIFA

Juventus hit with huge Serie A points deduction

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Juventus have been hit with a 15-point deduction in Serie A that will immediately be applied to the league table, leaving the club closer to the relegation than the Champions League places.

The sanctions have been confirmed by the FIGC and relate to the capital gains investigation that had already seen mass resignations from the Juve board at the end of 2022.

Former Juve sporting director Fabio Paratici has also been banned from football for two and a half years, with ex-president Andrea Agnelli and Maurizio Arrivabene each banned for two years.

Federico Cherubini is banned for 16 months, while Pavel Nedved and six others have been hit with eight-month bans.

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Sampdoria, Pro Vercelli, Genoa, Parma, Pisa, Empoli, Novara and Pescara and their respective directors have all been acquitted over any involvement.

Juventus had struggled by their standards in the first half of the season, but after 18 games sat third. Napoli are well clear at the top, but at least qualifying for the Champions League again was not expected to be a problem for Massimiliano Allegri’s team.

Now, however, losing 15 points would push Juve into the bottom half of the table as it stands. They have finished fourth in Serie A in each of the last two seasons but no lower since 2010/11.

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USMNT announces 24-player roster for January camp

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The U.S. men’s national team has named the 24-player roster for the upcoming January training camp, with 13 figures seeking their first full international cap. 

The training camp will kick off on January 21, before the USMNT faces Serbia on January 25 at Banc of California Stadium and Colombia on January 28 at Dignity Health Sports Park. 

As previously announced, assistant coach Anthony Hudson is set to lead the camp as fellow World Cup assistant B.J. Callaghan and Under-20 Men’s Youth National Team head coach Mikey Varas serve as assistant coaches.

“We are thrilled with the group of players we’ve been able to put together for this camp. The annual January Camp gives us a chance to look at some real high potential young players as well as some dual nationals we have been following,”  Hudson said. 

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“The focus has been on identifying positions within our team that need more depth. We are also leaning on some of our veteran players for their experience on the field as well as to socialize the younger players into the incredible culture we have built within the squad. We know from history that many players who get their first national team opportunity in this window go on to make a World Cup roster, so we want them to make the most of it.”

Notable dual-nationality figures on the roster include FC Cincinnati’s Brandon Vazquez and Club America’s Alejandro Zendejas. The Liga MX player recently made headlines for representing the Mexican national team before completing FIFA’s one time switch.  

The January camp is not during an official FIFA sanctioned window, giving teams the opportunity to not loan a certain player. 

Here’s the complete roster…

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GOALKEEPERS (3):

DEFENDERS (8): 

MIDFIELDERS (6): 

FORWARDS (7): 



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