Finals Day

July 7, 2019 featured three finals. The 2019 Women’s World Cup, Gold Cup and Copa America played their finals on this Sunday.

In the day’s first final the 2019 Women’s World Cup was decided between the USA and Holland. The latter had reached their first final on the back of solid if unspectacular play and needed a massive game to dethrone the defending champions. The US had won the 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada and was big favorites to repeat. A scoreless first half had given the Dutch some hope but US took control and scored twice to win … Read more

FIFA U-20 World Cup

The FIFA under 20 World Cup takes place every two years. The 2019 edition is the 22nd and will take place in Poland – who beat India’s bid – between May 23rd and 15th June. England are the defending champions. The English beat Venezuela 1-0 in South Korea two years ago but failed to qualify for Poland. Six venues have been chosen for the 2019 tournament with capacities ranging between approximately 15,000 to 20,000.

Twenty three teams from six confederation have qualified and with the hosts’ automatic qualification will play in six groups of four. The qualification process is via … Read more

2019 Women’s World Cup

The 2019 edition of the Women’s World Cup is the eighth of its kind. It will be held in France between June 7th and July 7th in nine cities around France with the smallest venue being Grenoble’s Stade des Alpes and the biggest Lyon’s Parc Olympique Lyonnais. The stadium capacities range from just above 20,000 to 59,000.

One hundred and forty three countries started the qualification tournament and the teams are now whittled down to 24 including France as hosts. Asia has five slots, Africa three, Oceania one, Europe eight plus France and South America 2.5 which became three when … Read more

World Cup 2018 : A Set Of Predictions

The FIFA World Cup is starting in less than 24 hours on June 14, 2018. One of the powerhouses and favorites to win the trophy has just made a coaching change that has the potential to change the status of the team from favorites to perhaps less so. Spain fired Julen Lopetegui with two days to go to Spain’s crucial first match vs Portugal. The coach agreed to take over the vacant Real Madrid head coaching position while in Russia preparing for the month long tournament. It is still somewhat unlikely that Spain’s group stage position is under threat, here … Read more

Referees At World Cup 2018

FIFA has released the names of the referees and assistant referees who will take charge of games at World Cup 2018. The list currently contains 36 referees and 63 assistant referees. The VAR (Video Assistant Referees) will also be chosen from these 99.

FIFA chooses referees based on “skills and personality, as well as his level of understanding of football and ability to read both the game and the various tactics employed by teams” and the final list is chosen after three years of seminars that concentrate on fair game, consistency and protecting players.

There are more workshops and seminars … Read more

France At World Cup 2018

France’s record at the World Cup has been very mixed. The French national team finished third at World Cup 1958 in Sweden. The team featuring Just Fontaine provided France with a golden era that was not repeated until decades later. Michel Platini was the star of the rising French team in the 80s that won the UEFA European Championship in 1984 and was semi finalists at the 1982 and 1986 World Cups in Spain and Mexico respectively. There was another shoter lull but Zinedine Zidane and others, including the current coach Didier Deschamps, made for another golden era that had … Read more

March 2018 Friendly Matches

With less than three months to go World Cup 2018 in Russia teams around the world use the FIFA international dates to prepare for the games. The March international break will be busy with many teams playing two or even games. The next times teams play friendlies will be in May and days before the World Cup starts.

In other news: Te use of VAR (Video Assistant Referee) was given the final seal of approval and it is deemed ready for Russia. Neymar has undergone surgery for a broken metatarsal and will miss three months. He is due to be … Read more

England At World Cup 2018

England, the so called inventor and home of football, have struggled at the international stage. The record of the English national team at the World Cup and European Championship is at best disappointing. The UEFA European Championship has never been won and the World Cup was last won at home in 1966. The best result since has been the being the semi finalists at Italia 90. At Brazil 2014 England finished last in a group featuring Costa Rica, Uruguay and Italy.

The road to Russia 2018 has been smooth on the pitch but anything but off of it. England took … Read more

Germany At World Cup 2018

Germany is of course one of the favourites to win in Russia. Being a world power and World Cup holders are just one of the many reasons for being a top contender for World Cup 2018.

Germany’s national team boasts a large pool of talent who are almost all 30 years or younger. The reset and planning that the German football association (DFB) along with Bundesliga clubs worked on after disappointments between 1998 and 2004 is still producing results at most levels of football. Academies were opened and work on tactical and mental aspects of the game restarted. Money was … Read more

100 Days To World Cup 2018

The countdown to the World Cup is down to 100 days. On June 14th 2018 the World Cup starts in Russia. The 32 qualified teams will have a series of friendlies later in March and later in the Spring as preparations reach the final stage.

In Russia itself a new aspect of the game is set to dominate the discussions before and surely during and after games. The introduction of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) has been made official and it’s use in leagues around the world and last year’s Confederations Cup have been mixed at best. The issue of … Read more