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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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.

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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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US Soccer Calls Off National Team Games

The United States Soccer Federation has called off all men’s and women’s national team matches in March and April due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the federation announced Thursday.

The men were scheduled to play two European-based friendlies at the end of this month, against the Netherlands and Wales, while the women had planned to play US-based games against Australia and Brazil in April.

“With the health of our players, coaches, staff and fans as our main priority, U.S. Soccer has decided it was in the best interest to cancel the majority of our upcoming domestic and international camps at all levels, including our senior Men’s and Women’s National Team games in March and April, due to the outbreak of COVID-19,” U.S. Soccer Chief Medical Officer George Chiampas said in a federation statement.

Europe, Tickets, World Cup

France Drawn Alongside Germany And Portugal

Euro 2020 Tickets

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.

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England Get Croatia And Czech Republic In Euro 2020 Draw

Euro 2020 Tickets

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.

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Holland Given Favorable Euro 202 Draw

Virgil van Dijk

After missing the past two major tournaments, Netherlands’ run to the Nations League final, combined with Ajax making the final four of last season’s Champions League, is undoubtedly to the benefit of the Euros. Ukraine were so good in qualifying that they forced their way into the top seeds, dumping France into pot two. Austria are reliant on maverick striker Marko Arnautovic, but have talent elsewhere in Marcel Sabitzer, Valentin Lazaro and David Alaba. Of the playoff teams competing to complete the group, Kosovo were such a joy to watch in qualifying that it’s hard not to root for them to reach their first major tournament.