World Cup News Headlines

FIFA president Sepp Blatter, pictured in Cairo on April 7, 2015, called for American and Caribbean nations to get a fourth World Cup place as he stepped up his re-election drive

Blatter says Americas should have more World Cup places

AFP News - Fri, Apr 17, 2015 FIFA president Sepp Blatter called Thursday for American and Caribbean nations to get a fourth World Cup place as he stepped up his re-election drive. Addressing the CONCACAF Congress, Blatter said he believed that if the World Cup remained a 32-team event, teams from the region should be guaranteed four places. CONCACAF, made up of countries from North and Central A…

  • Steven Gerrard (R) and Fernando Torres (L) played together at Liverpool
    Gerrard the 'best I've ever played with' - Torres AFP News - Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    Atletico Madrid striker Fernando Torres has hailed former Liverpool teammate Steven Gerrard as the best player he has ever played with ahead of a host of Spanish World … More »Gerrard the 'best I've ever played with' - Torres

    Steven Gerrard (R) and Fernando Torres (L) played together at Liverpool

    Atletico Madrid striker Fernando Torres has hailed former Liverpool teammate Steven Gerrard as the best player he has ever played with ahead of a host of Spanish World Cup winners. Torres won back-to-back European Championships as well as the 2010 World Cup with Spain playing alongside the likes of Xavi Hernandez and Andres …

  • Japan's coach Vahid Halilhodzic celebrates a goal with some of the players during a friendly match against Uzbekistan in Tokyo last month
    Japan coach Halilhodzic demands samurai steel AFP News - Thu, Apr 16, 2015

    Japan coach Vahid Halilhodzic promised on Thursday to turn the Blue Samurai into a team who feared no one, but admitted there was plenty of work still to be done. "Like … More »Japan coach Halilhodzic demands samurai steel

    Japan's coach Vahid Halilhodzic celebrates a goal with some of the players during a friendly match against Uzbekistan in Tokyo last month

    Japan coach Vahid Halilhodzic promised on Thursday to turn the Blue Samurai into a team who feared no one, but admitted there was plenty of work still to be done. "Like all teams, this Japan side has its faults and its qualities," the Franco-Bosnian told reporters at the French ambassador's residence in Tokyo. "The team …

  • Hamburg's Dutch midfielder Rafael van der Vaart reacts during the German first division Bundesliga football match Hamburger SV vs VfL Wolfsburg in Hamburg, northern Germany, on April 11, 2015
    Hamburg will go down, say Magath, Beckenbauer AFP News - Wed, Apr 15, 2015

    Former Hamburg greats Franz Beckenbauer and Felix Magath both claimed they expect the Bundesliga's bottom club to be relegated this season. Hamburg's 2-0 defeat at home … More »Hamburg will go down, say Magath, Beckenbauer

    Hamburg's Dutch midfielder Rafael van der Vaart reacts during the German first division Bundesliga football match Hamburger SV vs VfL Wolfsburg in Hamburg, northern Germany, on April 11, 2015

    Former Hamburg greats Franz Beckenbauer and Felix Magath both claimed they expect the Bundesliga's bottom club to be relegated this season. Hamburg's 2-0 defeat at home to Wolfsburg last Saturday left the former German giants last in the table and four points from safety with six games left, having only avoided relegation …

  • Qatar has a big construction programme to provide facilities for the 2022 World Cup
    Future hosts Qatar get tough World Cup draw AFP News - Tue, Apr 14, 2015

    Qatar received a difficult draw for the 2018 World Cup on Tuesday as they embark on their final attempt to qualify for the tournament before hosting it in 2022. The … More »Future hosts Qatar get tough World Cup draw

    Qatar has a big construction programme to provide facilities for the 2022 World Cup

    Qatar received a difficult draw for the 2018 World Cup on Tuesday as they embark on their final attempt to qualify for the tournament before hosting it in 2022. The Gulf state were bracketed with rapidly emerging China, who impressed at this year's Asian Cup, and also face tricky trips to Hong Kong and Bhutan. Qatar have …

  • Barcelona's forward Lionel Messi celebrates a goal during the Spanish league football match against Almeria at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on April 8, 2015
    I tried to forget last year's troubles - Messi AFP News - Tue, Apr 14, 2015

    Four-time World Player of the Year Lionel Messi has admitted that he struggled to overcome injuries in Barcelona's first trophyless campaign for six years last season. … More »I tried to forget last year's troubles - Messi

    Barcelona's forward Lionel Messi celebrates a goal during the Spanish league football match against Almeria at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on April 8, 2015

    Four-time World Player of the Year Lionel Messi has admitted that he struggled to overcome injuries in Barcelona's first trophyless campaign for six years last season. As well as the disappointment at club level, Messi suffered the devastation of losing the World Cup final with Argentina and saw Cristiano Ronaldo oust …

  • Saul Niguez (17) scores for Atletico Madrid against Real Madrid at the Vicente Calderon stadium on February 7, 2015
    Atletico's six-game unbeaten run against Real Madrid AFP News - Mon, Apr 13, 2015

    The champions of Spain and Europe go head-to-head for the seventh time this season when Atletico Madrid host city rivals Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-final, … More »Atletico's six-game unbeaten run against Real Madrid

    Saul Niguez (17) scores for Atletico Madrid against Real Madrid at the Vicente Calderon stadium on February 7, 2015

    The champions of Spain and Europe go head-to-head for the seventh time this season when Atletico Madrid host city rivals Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-final, first leg on Tuesday. Here, AFP sports looks at how Atletico have turned the tide in the Spanish capital with a six-game unbeaten run in the Madrid …

  • Defender Emir Spahic (pictured) is accused of headbutting a steward during an altercation following Bayer's German Cup quarter-final defeat at home to Bayern Munich after a penalty shoot-out
    Spahic's Leverkusen future hangs in balance AFP News - Sun, Apr 12, 2015

    Bayer Leverkusen are considering terminating defender Emir Spahic's contract as the Bosnia international is being investigated by police for allegedly assaulting a club … More »Spahic's Leverkusen future hangs in balance

    Defender Emir Spahic (pictured) is accused of headbutting a steward during an altercation following Bayer's German Cup quarter-final defeat at home to Bayern Munich after a penalty shoot-out

    Bayer Leverkusen are considering terminating defender Emir Spahic's contract as the Bosnia international is being investigated by police for allegedly assaulting a club steward. The 34-year-old, who is currently injured, is accused of headbutting a steward during a stadium altercation following Bayer's German Cup quarter-final …

  • West Ham United's manager Sam Allardyce gestures during an English Premier League match at the Boleyn Ground in Upton Park, east London, on March 21, 2015
    Allardyce looks ahead despite Hammers uncertainty AFP News - Fri, Apr 10, 2015

    West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has started planning for next season even though he has yet to find out if he will still be in charge of the east London club then. Allardyce … More »Allardyce looks ahead despite Hammers uncertainty

    West Ham United's manager Sam Allardyce gestures during an English Premier League match at the Boleyn Ground in Upton Park, east London, on March 21, 2015

    West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has started planning for next season even though he has yet to find out if he will still be in charge of the east London club then. Allardyce is out of contract at the end of the current campaign and although the Hammers are in a comfortable mid-table position, with their Premier League future …

  • France's Eugenie Le Sommer celebrates after scoring a goal during their friendly match against Canada, at the Stade Robert-Bobin in Bondoufle, near Paris, on April 9, 2015
    Le Sommer shines as France edge Canada AFP News - Fri, Apr 10, 2015

    Eugenie Le Sommer's 34th-minute strike handed France a 1-0 win over Canada Thursday in a warm-up match just two months out from the FIFA Women's World Cup. The 25-year-old … More »Le Sommer shines as France edge Canada

    France's Eugenie Le Sommer celebrates after scoring a goal during their friendly match against Canada, at the Stade Robert-Bobin in Bondoufle, near Paris, on April 9, 2015

    Eugenie Le Sommer's 34th-minute strike handed France a 1-0 win over Canada Thursday in a warm-up match just two months out from the FIFA Women's World Cup. The 25-year-old Lyon forward lifted the hosts in a physical encounter between two teams considered title challengers for the June 6-July 5 tournament in Canada. "Even …

  • Brazilian football legend Pele poses with a child during a visit to a low-income neighborhood in Santiago on April 9, 2015
    Pele's Copa challenge to Messi, Neymar AFP News - Fri, Apr 10, 2015

    Brazilian legend Pele is looking forward to a star-studded Copa America tournament this summer -- but has challenged Barcelona stars Lionel Messi and Neymar to reproduce … More »Pele's Copa challenge to Messi, Neymar

    Brazilian football legend Pele poses with a child during a visit to a low-income neighborhood in Santiago on April 9, 2015

    Brazilian legend Pele is looking forward to a star-studded Copa America tournament this summer -- but has challenged Barcelona stars Lionel Messi and Neymar to reproduce their best club form at international level. The three-time World Cup winner said the June 11-July 4 tournament in Chile promised to be a "Copa of Stars" …

  • Barcelona, Chelsea and Manchester United are reported to be interested in signing 26-year-old Dortmund defender Mats Hummels (left)
    Dortmund set to lose another star as Hummels mulls future AFP News - Wed, Apr 8, 2015

    Borussia Dortmund are facing the prospect of losing a star player for the third year running with Germany defender Mats Hummels waxing lyrical about a possible transfer … More »Dortmund set to lose another star as Hummels mulls future

    Barcelona, Chelsea and Manchester United are reported to be interested in signing 26-year-old Dortmund defender Mats Hummels (left)

    Borussia Dortmund are facing the prospect of losing a star player for the third year running with Germany defender Mats Hummels waxing lyrical about a possible transfer abroad. Barcelona, Chelsea and Manchester United are reported to be interested in signing the 26-year-old, who has a market-value of around 35 million …

  • (L to R) Germany's midfielder Melanie Leupolz, goalkeeper Nadine Angerer and goalkeeper Laura Benkarth attend a training session for Germany's women's national football team in Fuerth on April 7, 2015
    No 7-1 talk as injury-hit Germany host Brazil AFP News - Wed, Apr 8, 2015

    Germany play Brazil in a women's friendly on Wednesday, but two months before the World Cup, thoughts of another 7-1 scoreline are far from the injury-hit hosts' minds. … More »No 7-1 talk as injury-hit Germany host Brazil

    (L to R) Germany's midfielder Melanie Leupolz, goalkeeper Nadine Angerer and goalkeeper Laura Benkarth attend a training session for Germany's women's national football team in Fuerth on April 7, 2015

    Germany play Brazil in a women's friendly on Wednesday, but two months before the World Cup, thoughts of another 7-1 scoreline are far from the injury-hit hosts' minds. "Half of our team's gone," said goalkeeper Nadine Angerer after seven of the Germany squad were forced to pull out before the international in Fuerth. …

  • Branko Ivankovic, a Croat, is Persepolis' new coach
    Persepolis bring Croat Ivankovic back to Iran AFP News - Wed, Apr 8, 2015

    Tehran soccer giants Persepolis named former national handler Croat Branko Ivankovic as head coach on Tuesday, after firing Hamid Derakshan due to a string of poor results. … More »Persepolis bring Croat Ivankovic back to Iran

    Branko Ivankovic, a Croat, is Persepolis' new coach

    Tehran soccer giants Persepolis named former national handler Croat Branko Ivankovic as head coach on Tuesday, after firing Hamid Derakshan due to a string of poor results. Runners-up last season, Persepolis currently languish in ninth in the 16-team Iranian league, 23 games into the season. The 61-year-old signed an …

  • Borussia Dortmund's Mats Hummels has admitted that Manchester United would be his "only" choice if he moves abroad
    Hummels to make 'gut decision' on Man United switch AFP News - Sun, Apr 5, 2015

    Manchester United-target Mats Hummels says he expects to make a "gut decision" in the next few weeks with the Red Devils poised to swoop for the Borussia Dortmund defender. … More »Hummels to make 'gut decision' on Man United switch

    Borussia Dortmund's Mats Hummels has admitted that Manchester United would be his "only" choice if he moves abroad

    Manchester United-target Mats Hummels says he expects to make a "gut decision" in the next few weeks with the Red Devils poised to swoop for the Borussia Dortmund defender. Reports in the British media suggest United are set to table a 35-million-euro (£25.7m, US$38.1m) bid for the 2014 World Cup-winning centre-back, who …

  • Real Madrid's James Rodriguez celebrates after scoring during the Spanish league match against Sevilla at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, on February 4, 2015
    James Rodriguez to make Real Madrid comeback AFP News - Sat, Apr 4, 2015

    Colombian World Cup star James Rodriguez will start for Real Madrid against Granada on Sunday after a two month layoff with a foot injury, Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti … More »James Rodriguez to make Real Madrid comeback

    Real Madrid's James Rodriguez celebrates after scoring during the Spanish league match against Sevilla at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, on February 4, 2015

    Colombian World Cup star James Rodriguez will start for Real Madrid against Granada on Sunday after a two month layoff with a foot injury, Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed. Rodriguez fractured the fifth metatarsal in his right foot during a 2-1 win over Sevilla at the start of February and his absence has coincided …

  • Kazakhstan's Yuri Logvinemko (centre) prevents Turkey's Volkan Sen to vie for the ball and allow goalkeeper Alexandr Mokin to grab it during their UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying match at TT Arena stadium in Istanbul on November 16, 2014
    Kazakhstan examine bid for 2026 World Cup AFP News - Tue, Mar 31, 2015

    Kazakhstan are examining a bid to host the 2026 World Cup, the country's football chief Yerlan Kozhagapanov was quoted as saying in Russia's Sport Express daily Tuesday. … More »Kazakhstan examine bid for 2026 World Cup

    Kazakhstan's Yuri Logvinemko (centre) prevents Turkey's Volkan Sen to vie for the ball and allow goalkeeper Alexandr Mokin to grab it during their UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying match at TT Arena stadium in Istanbul on November 16, 2014

    Kazakhstan are examining a bid to host the 2026 World Cup, the country's football chief Yerlan Kozhagapanov was quoted as saying in Russia's Sport Express daily Tuesday. "We're currently consulting with the government and analysing our possibilities," Kozhagapanov, who is also the deputy mayor of Kazakhstan's capital …

  • Newly-appointed anti-racism chief Alexei Tolkachev said that his main goal would be to liaise with the football leagues and fans to prevent any racist incidents that could mar the game nationally
    Russian chiefs appoint anti-racism tsar AFP News - Tue, Mar 31, 2015

    Russian football chiefs have appointed an anti-racism tsar in a bid to tackle the thorny issue plaguing the game in Russia ahead of the 2018 World Cup in the country. … More »Russian chiefs appoint anti-racism tsar

    Newly-appointed anti-racism chief Alexei Tolkachev said that his main goal would be to liaise with the football leagues and fans to prevent any racist incidents that could mar the game nationally

    Russian football chiefs have appointed an anti-racism tsar in a bid to tackle the thorny issue plaguing the game in Russia ahead of the 2018 World Cup in the country. Newly-appointed anti-racism chief Alexei Tolkachev said that his main goal would be to liaise with the football leagues and fans to prevent any racist incidents …

  • Italy's Head coach Antonio Conte during the EURO 2016 Group H football match with Bulgaria on March 28, 2015  in Sofia, Bulgaria
    Embattled Conte wants patience as Italy rebuild AFP News - Tue, Mar 31, 2015

    Italy coach Antonio Conte has called for patience from critics ahead of a friendly against England which he hopes will give him an idea of much work is still required … More »Embattled Conte wants patience as Italy rebuild

    Italy's Head coach Antonio Conte during the EURO 2016 Group H football match with Bulgaria on March 28, 2015  in Sofia, Bulgaria

    Italy coach Antonio Conte has called for patience from critics ahead of a friendly against England which he hopes will give him an idea of much work is still required for his side to be competitive at next year's European Championships. The 45-year-old can at least expect a warm welcome from the Juventus supporters in …

  • Guus Hiddink, head coach of the Dutch national football team, gives a press conference in Noordwijk on March 30, 2015
    Under-fire Hiddink rolls with the punches AFP News - Tue, Mar 31, 2015

    Guus Hiddink joked he needs a bullet-proof vest to deal with the brickbats directed at him after an uninspiring start to life as Netherlands coach. Hiddink took over … More »Under-fire Hiddink rolls with the punches

    Guus Hiddink, head coach of the Dutch national football team, gives a press conference in Noordwijk on March 30, 2015

    Guus Hiddink joked he needs a bullet-proof vest to deal with the brickbats directed at him after an uninspiring start to life as Netherlands coach. Hiddink took over from Louis van Gaal following last year's World Cup but the Dutch have underwhelmed during his tenure. They are languishing in third place in their Euro …