World Cup

News, commentary, tickets, pre and post match reaction alongside opinion about the World Cup, the best international tournament in world football.

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US Soccer Releases 2022 World Cup Qualifying Schedule

USA World Cup Qualifying Tickets

The U.S. Men’s National Team will begin its road to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in June 2021 away to an undetermined opponent.

We have been developing this group for more than a year to get ready for World Cup Qualifying, and now we know the path ahead,” USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter said.

“This campaign presents some unique challenges, so the message is to be prepared for the unexpected and control what we can control. One thing is certain: this group of players is hungry for the challenge.”

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No Mexico Games In US Until 2021

Mexico Concacaf Winners

The Mexico national team will not be playing in the United States until fans are allowed back into stadiums, meaning El Tri is unlikely to play in the U.S. this year, according to Mexican federation (FMF) president Yon de Luisa.

Mexico usually plays five friendly games per year in the United States through its contract with Soccer United Marketing (SUM), attracting crowds that are regularly over 50,000.

However, the coronavirus pandemic means the immediate future of international football is up in the air.

Europe, Tickets, World Cup

Scotland v Israel In Euro 2020 Play-Off Semi-Finals

Note: The UEFA EURO 2020 play-offs have been rearranged for 8 October and 12 November.

Originally scheduled for the end of the March, the play-offs – which will decide the final four participants at UEFA EURO 2020 – were postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Scotland have found out the route they need to reach Euro 2020 after being drawn to face Israel in the semi-finals of the play-offs.

Steve Clarke’s team flopped in the European Championship qualifiers, but their performance in last season’s Nations League was enough to give them a second chance of reaching next summer’s finals through the play-offs.

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International Champions Cup Cancelled

This summer’s International Champions Cup was supposed to include an El Clasico match between La Liga rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona. But unfortunately, due to the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak in the United States, not aonluy this event, but all international soccer games in USA in 2020 have been cancelled.

Without the lucrative preseason tournament, Real Madrid and Barcelona are expected up lose around €15M in revenue. That is a huge hit for clubs that are all facing the financial implications of the Coronavirus which has halted football across Europe, forcing clubs to lay off non-playing staff and asking players to take hefty pay cuts. Barcelona players for example, took a 70% pay cut.

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FIFA Postpones South American World Cup Qualifiers

World Cup Trophy

FIFA has postponed South American qualifying matches for the 2022 Qatar World Cup after a request from the region’s football federation amid concerns over the spread of coronavirus.

,A statement from the sport’s world governing body read:

“Following consultation with CONMEBOL, FIFA has decided to postpone the upcoming South American qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 as follows:

“Matches originally scheduled to take place during the international window of 23-31 March 2020 are postponed to later dates
Details of the postponed matches will be discussed and announced soon

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France Drawn Alongside Germany And Portugal

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After the draw was announced, France coach Didier Deschamps said: “It’s the most difficult group, but we have to accept it, that’s the way it is. This will require the French team to be ready immediately.”

What Deschamps was talking about was the Euro 2020 draw Group F that includes holders Portugal, and the most recent two world champions in France and Germany, all three of whom reached the semifinals in 2016. Whichever team makes up the numbers via the playoffs, it will be hard to avoid the thought they have simply won the right to finish bottom.

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Germany In Euro 2020 Group Of Death

Didier Deschamps (France) laughed, Joachim Low (Germany) looked ashen-faced and Fernando Santos (Portugal) stared into the distance. Group F, with its six European Championship titles, features holders Portugal and the most recent two world champions in France and Germany, all three of whom reached the semifinals in 2016. Whichever team makes up the numbers via the playoffs, it will be hard to avoid the thought they have simply won the right to finish bottom.

Before the draw, Low said that Germany should not be considered as one of the favorites for the Euro’s:

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Belgium Euro 2020 Draw

Belgium Euro 2020 Tickets

No.1 in the FIFA rankings, Belgium had the best attack and defence in qualification and should not be worried by Russia, having beaten them 7-2 on aggregate during their journey to the finals. The Danes are an altogether different proposition and will fancy their chances. Finland, meanwhile, have nothing to lose after reaching a major tournament for the first time in their history. Teemu Pukki scored 10 goals in qualifying.

X factor: Looking beyond Belgium’s array of stars, Christian Eriksen ended qualifying as Denmark’s top scorer and the qualifying rounds’ second-best chance creator behind Antoine Griezmann. Out of contract in the summer, unless he extends with Tottenham, the playmaker could be playing to attract the calibre of interest he was unable to arouse [Real Madrid] at the end of last season.

Europe, Tickets, World Cup

England Get Croatia And Czech Republic In Euro 2020 Draw

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England avoided a nightmare Euro 2020 draw after being drawn with Croatia and Czech Republic in Group D but could face Germany, France or Portugal in the last-16.

The Three Lions could also face Scotland in their group, if Steve Clarke’s side win their play-off in March, with Israel, Serbia and Norway also vying it out for the final place in Group D.

Gareth Southgate’s side will face Croatia in their opening game of the tournament before they face the Playoff C winners and the finally Czech Republic.

England are also boosted by the huge advantage of hosting all of their group stage games at Wembley.

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Mancini Happy With Italy Euro 2020 Draw

Italy Euro 2020 Tickets

Italy have been drawn Turkey, Wales and Switzerland in the Euro 2020 group stage. The Azzurri previously faced Turkey at Euro 2000, beating them 2-1 with goals from Antonio Conte and Simone Inzaghi.

Italy have never before faced Switzerland or Wales at a Euros, although they have lost just nine of their 66 meetings with the two countries.

They will open the tournament against Turkey in Rome on June 12 and have the advantage of playing all their group games at the Olimpico.

Roberto Mancini’s side host Switzerland on June 17 in their second match, before welcoming Wales four days later.