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FIFA course in coaching futsal underway in Lima – FIFA on GBP Sports

Under the supervision of Argentinian instructor Vicente De Luise, the FIFA futsal coaching course began on 21 May at the Peruvian Football Association’s (FPF) main hall in Lima and will run until 25 May.

The main objective of the course is to broaden the horizons of futsal coaches. It is targeted at professionals, who have not previously taken part in training organised by the FPF or CONMEBOL, including coaches from the Peruvian Sports Institute (IPD) and the Peruvian University Sports Federation (FEDUP), as well as instructors with clubs forming part of the FPF system.

As well as being a FIFA instructor, De Luise is also the head coach of Chile’s national futsal teams.

In marking the start of the course, Guillermo Echevarria, the head of the FPF’s Development Department, thanked FIFA for the support it provides through the FIFA Forward Development Programme.

“The ongoing training and education of coaches is a cornerstone of the strategic plan for the development of futsal,” said Echevarria. “Activities such as these allow us to give qualified coaches a broader perspective, so they can continue to lend their skills and expertise to Peruvian futsal.”

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Ajibade setting her wheels in motion – FIFA on GBP Sports

  • Rasheedat Ajibade is captain of the Nigeria U-20 women’s team
  • She will appear in her fourth FIFA competition at France 2018
  • Capped at senior level, she could also feature at France 2019

Rasheedat Ajibade seems destined for a career at the very top. Still only 18, the FC Robo player is creating a buzz on the Nigerian football scene, having earned her first senior call-up in February after starring for her country’s U-17 and U-20 sides. Named as Nigeria’s young female player of the year shortly after her recent promotion, Ajibade continues to break new ground at a remarkable pace.

Fortunately, the youngster feels right at home when moving quickly. Ajibade is no stranger to ‘getting her skates on’, having earned success in rollerblading before switching sports. “That was my number one hobby,” she explains. “I put a lot of time into it and performed at a very good level. I was even champion of the state of Lagos. Then football entered my life.”

Ajibade was ten years old when she took off her skates and decided to focus on her ball skills. “I found the game fun and a way of bringing people together,” she says. “I missed the whole ‘team spirit’ aspect when I was rollerblading.” Joining FC Robo in search of that shared experience, she soon caught the eye of Emmanuel Osahon Orobosa, who convinced her to dedicate her talents to football.

Player Profile

  • Born: 8 December 1999 in Mushin, Lagos, Nigeria
  • Height: 5’5
  • Position: Attacking midfielder/forward
  • Club: FC Robo
  • Idols: Marta and Cristiano Ronaldo​

He was soon proved right. Ajibade made a stunning impact, as she honed her abilities, breaking into Nigeria’s U-17 team before stepping up to the U-20s – and contesting three FIFA Women’s World Cup finals across those age categories. She also finished top scorer in the African qualifiers for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Papua New Guinea 2016, and promptly repeated the feat on the road to France 2018 by finding the net in all six games.

“We play a very attacking style of football, which suits me perfectly,” she says, explaining away her qualifying record with admirable modesty. Ajibade’s eye for goal seems to know no bounds, however, and after making her senior debut in February, she marked her second cap with a hat-trick against Senegal. “I really didn’t expect to be called up by the Super Falcons,” she recalls. “It was a wonderful surprise, and obviously, it was an experience I really enjoyed.”

Her focus now is on shining once again for the U-20s. The 2018 edition of the U-20 Women’s World Cup is looming on the horizon, and Ajibade is hungry to impress on the global stage. “Every time I take part in this event is another dream come true for me,” she says. “I can’t wait to test myself against the best and to show the world what I can do. There’s no better opportunity.”

Judging by her progress so far, the No10 can expect an even better chance next year – at the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™. “I hope so. If it happens, that would be another dream come true, but one that’s even bigger, more beautiful and more extraordinary.”


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– FIFA on GBP Sports

The most celebrated players in the world of football will be joined in Russia by some of the biggest stars of today’s international music scene. As part of another exciting collaboration between FIFA and Sony Music, Will Smith, Nicky Jam and Era Istrefi will perform “Live It Up”, the Official Song of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ produced by DJ and songwriter Diplo.

Ahead of the final on 15 July, the music stars will warm up the 80,000 spectators at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium and around one billion people watching on TV just a few minutes before the two finalists come out on to the pitch. Until then, fans will have enough time to learn the lyrics as “Live It Up” will be released on multiple streaming platforms this Friday, 25 May. The FIFA World Cup Official Music Video will be available as of 7 June.

“It’s an honour to be asked to perform at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. This global event brings people from all over the world together to cheer, laugh and experience magic. Collaborating with Nicky, Diplo and Era on this track represents harmony, eclectic flavours and genres coming together. At the end of the day, we just want to see the world dance”, said world-renowned Grammy Award-winning actor, songwriter and artist Will Smith. 

“I’ve never made a song this international, so many stars have come together to make a strong vibe”, Diplo added.

“To record the Official Song for the FIFA World Cup is a lifetime achievement. Not many artists have the privilege of being able to say they’ve been part of this. I’m so proud and happy, I can say to my grandkids ‘I’ve made it’,” commented Nicky Jam, one of Latin music’s most iconic names and a Latin Grammy Award winner.

“Being part of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Official Song has been an incredible and exciting experience so far. Working alongside talented artists like Diplo, Will Smith and Nicky Jam, who I all have huge admiration for, has been amazing and so much fun. I’m a huge football fan too, so I can’t wait for the World Cup to begin,” noted rising pop sensation Era Istrefi.

The tradition of an Official Song dates back to the 1966 FIFA World Cup™ in England with a song for the first Official Mascot, “World Cup Willie”. Since then, the Official Music Programme and the Official Mascot have become a more and more significant component of the event, providing an excellent opportunity for more than just football fans to identify with the world’s biggest single-sport event.

“FIFA and Sony Music have enjoyed a successful cooperation on the Official Music Programme for years now. The synergy between football and music is striking, both stirring up fans’ emotions across the globe. This song – with a world -class line-up worthy of the greatest show on Earth – embodies the excitement, the celebration and the unity that people all over the world will share during the 2018 FIFA World Cup,” says Philippe Le Floc’h, FIFA Chief Commercial Officer.

“Sony Music has had a longstanding relationship with FIFA. When discussing the official music for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the objective that both organisations agreed on was a great song supported by an all-star line-up,” added Afo Verde, Chairman & CEO of Sony Music Latin Iberia. “We are very excited that Will Smith, Nicky Jam, Diplo and Era Istrefi are part of the song and working hand in hand with FIFA and our artist community in providing the soundtrack for the biggest event in the world.”

Official Songs at recent FIFA World Cups™ have included “Un’estate italiana” by Edoardo Bennato and Gianna Nannini in 1990, “Gloryland” by Daryl Hall with Sounds of Blackness in 1994, and “La Copa de la Vida” by Ricky Martin in 1998. In 2002, the Official Song was “Boom” by Anastacia, while Vangelis’ vocal official anthem featured typical Korean and Japanese sonic elements. In 2006, “The Time of Our Lives” by the Il Divo quartet was a resounding success. Shakira’s “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)” was the Official Song of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa and, most recently, “We Are One (Ole Ola)” was the Official Song of the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ in Brazil.

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BREAKING: Arsenal Officially Announce Unai Emery As New Manager! | Transfer Talk – Football Daily

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Klopp’s free-scoring Liverpool in numbers – FIFA on GBP Sports

Goals, goals and more goals – it’s been a common theme of Liverpool’s run to the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League final. Jurgen Klopp’s Reds, armed to the teeth with a formidable trident of Mohamed SalahSadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, have dazzled football lovers with their exciting, free-flowing attacking ethos.

The Merseyside club have netted a staggering 46 goals in the competition – including six in the play-offs – thus breaking the all-time scoring record in a single Champions League season.

With Liverpool having notched significant milestones en route to facing Real Madrid in Kiev, takes a look at some noteworthy stats ahead of the finale, where the winner will book a place at the 2018 FIFA Club World Cup UAE.

46 Liverpool have scored 46 goals – with six coming in the play-offs – in this year’s Champions League, the outright most for a team in a single season in European competition. The Reds also became the first side to score 22 away goals, including qualifiers, in a European campaign.

32 goals is the staggering haul that Salah amassed during the 2017/18 English Premier League season, beating the 31-goal record previously achieved by Alan Shearer, Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suarez. The Egyptian star’s ten Champions League goals this campaign is also the most scored by an African player in a single season in the competition.

20 Liverpool are just the second team to have scored at least 20 away goals in a single Champions League campaign. Klopp’s men netted their 19th and 20th away goals against Roma in the semi-final second leg at the Stadio Olimpico, equalling the Champions League record set by Real Madrid in 2013/14.

19 At age 19, Trent Alexander-Arnold could become the youngest Englishman to play in a Champions League final. Should he feature, the right-back – who was selected in England’s provisional FIFA World Cup™ squad for Russia 2018 – would surpass Owen Hargreaves’ record (20) when the former Bayern Munich midfielder played in the 2001 final against Valencia.

13 Thirteen goals scored in Liverpool and Roma’s semi-final meeting is the joint-highest total in a two-legged UEFA Champions League tie. Liverpool 7-6 Roma equalled the aggregate scoring achieved by Real Madrid when they put Sporting Lisbon to the sword with a 12-1 victory over two legs in 2008/09.

10 The number of goals Firmino and Salah have netted in the Champions League this season, ranking them both joint-second ahead of top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo (15) going into the final. Firmino’s haul equalled the Champions League record for most goals scored by a Brazilian player in a single season, matching Mario Jardel (Porto, 1999/00), Rivaldo (Barcelona, 1999/00), Kaka (AC Milan, 2006/07) and Neymar (Barcelona, 2014/15).

9 assists are what Liverpool’s James Milner has registered during the current Champions League campaign, surpassing the record previously held by Wayne Rooney and Neymar. Team-mate Firmino could yet overtake the former England midfielder’s assist haul, with the Brazilian international currently on seven ahead of the final against Los Blancos in Kiev.

8 Saturday’s showdown will be Liverpool’s eighth European Cup/Champions League final, more than any other English club. The Reds, who have lifted the trophy five times to date, last won the competition in 2005, when they pulled off a remarkable comeback after trailing 3-0 at half-time against Italian giants AC Milan in Istanbul. Real Madrid’s last defeat in the finale came in 1981. Their opponents? Liverpool, who ran out 1-0 winners courtesy of an Alan Kennedy goal.

6 While the exploits of Salah, Firmino and Mane have dominated the headlines, the contribution of goalkeeper Loris Karius at the other end of the pitch cannot be overlooked. The German shot-stopper has kept six clean sheets in 12 Champions League games – more than any other goalkeeper during the current European campaign.

3 Salah (10), Firmino (10) and Mane (9) are the highest-scoring trio in Champions League history going into the finale. Liverpool’s goal-hungry front three have so far notched 29 goals between them, surpassing the record of 28 previously set by Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo in 2013/14.

2 Liverpool’s 7-0 win against Spartak Moscow made them only the second club to score seven twice in a UEFA Champions League season, matching the feat of Bayern Munich in 2014/15. Klopp’s men recorded a 7-0 victory in Maribor before ending the group stage with another 7-0 rout against the Russian side. The Reds’ biggest win in the Champions League came in 2007 when they defeated Turkish side Besiktas 8-0. Coincidentally, the only other team to win 8-0 in the Champions League are their final opponents on Saturday: Real Madrid; against Malmo in 2015.

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– FIFA on GBP Sports

The 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ is drawing ever nearer – with just 22 days to go! Between now and the start of the World Cup, we will take a closer look at a different statistic from the history of the tournament each day.

22 – Davor Suker was the 22nd player to claim the adidas Golden Boot as top goalscorer at a FIFA World Cup™, as he helped propel Croatia to a memorable third-placed finish at France 1998.

Even though it was only the 16th edition of the tournament, a whopping six players shared the accolade at Chile 1962, with Hristo Stoichkov and Oleg Salenko both topping the podium at USA 1994, prior to the then Real Madrid forward taking the title. Like the previous pair, six goals were enough for Suker to clinch the trophy – which has been the winning tally at seven of the last ten tournaments.

In Croatia’s debut on the global stage, he wasted little time in opening his account, hitting the third in a 3-1 win over Jamaica in their first game in France. Group rivals Argentina were the only side to deny Suker getting on the scoresheet, as the clinical No9 struck against almost all before him, including the winner against the Netherlands to clinch bronze.

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– FIFA on GBP Sports

  • Roland Nilsson helped Sweden finish third in 1994​
  • The Swedes were the top scorers in USA by some distance
  • Nilsson relives that tournament and discusses Russia 2018 hopes

Roland Nilsson knows both sides of the FIFA World Cup™. He played every minute – all 930 of them – of Sweden’s 1990 and ’94 FIFA World Cup campaigns, and his experiences in those editions could not have contrasted any more starkly.

In Italy, the right-back was part of a team sent packing, bruised and humbled, after failing to collect a single point. Four years later, he returned from the World Cup a national legend, having been a mainstay of a swashbuckling side that outscored everyone en route to finishing third.

“In 1990, it was our first World Cup in 12 years. I think that showed,” he reflected. “There are lots of things you need to get right, on and off the field, at a World Cup, and we got too many of those wrong in Italy.

“But we took those mistakes away, learned from them, had a good EURO in ’92 and, by the time the World Cup rolled around again, we were ready. In USA, it was totally different; all of our preparations were spot-on and that meant the players were able to focus on our football.

“That was a wonderful time for us, and I thought it was a great World Cup. The atmosphere, the stadiums, the pitches – it was all fantastic. I have so many good memories from it.”

Neutrals across the world will also fondly remember a Sweden team that lit up that sun-kissed tournament. Several of USA 1994’s most thrilling matches featured the adventurous, free-scoring Scandinavians, and Nilsson looked back on the pick of them with

Cameroon 2-2 Sweden

Group stageRose Bowl, Los Angeles

“A good start is so important at these tournaments and that game was huge for us. We were 2-1 down well into the second half, and if we hadn’t got that equaliser, you never know how things might have turned out. But we had a lot of attacking talent in that side with players like [Tomas] Brolin, [Kennet] Andersson, [Martin] Dahlin and [Henrik] Larsson. Even when we found ourselves behind in matches, we never worried.”

Saudi Arabia 1-3 Sweden

Round of 16 – Cotton Bowl, Dallas

“The conditions in Dallas were tough. It was so hot and we thought that Saudi Arabia would be more used to that than we were. But we talked to their players afterwards and even they were saying, ‘We never play in this kind of heat’, which tells you something. It was a massive game for both teams and we played some good football, and scored some very good goals.”

Romania 2-2 aet Sweden (4-5 PSO)

Quarter-final – Stanford Stadium, San Francisco

“That was probably the highlight for me. We had been 1-0 up and lost a very late equaliser to take the game to extra time. Then in extra time they went ahead and we had a man sent off, so it wasn’t looking good. But that was when our fighting spirit came through and we got an equaliser through Kennet (set up by a Nilsson cross). Even then, we missed our first penalty in the shoot-out, so we didn’t make life easy for ourselves. But [Thomas] Ravelli saved, we kept on scoring, and then he saved again. The feeling was incredible.”

Sweden 0-1 Brazil

Semi-final – Rose Bowl, Los Angeles

“The Romania game had taken so much out of us, and we also had one day less to recover than Brazil, so they were a bit fresher than us. We had drawn 1-1 against them in the group phase but they were a great side and, realistically, we needed every bit of power in our bodies to beat them. We also had a player sent off and that meant we spent the last half-hour just defending. It’s very difficult to do that against a team like Brazil and a striker as sharp as Romario. All he needed was a moment, and one bit of space.”

Sweden 4-0 Bulgaria

Third-place play-off, 16 July – Rose Bowl, Los Angeles

“After the semi-final, we all felt we hadn’t shown – or been able to show – what we were capable of. So we were motivated and determined not to go home without showing what that team was all about. In the end, we were able to finish the tournament on a big high. All four of our goals came in the first half too – we really meant business. It was a great performance and a fantastic achievement to finish third.”

Expectations are more modest as Sweden approach Russia 2018. While the team of 1994 had the attacking talents of Brolin, Dahlin, Larsson et al, the current side is more functional and relies heavily on organisation and team spirit.

But those attributes did see them through a dramatic qualifying play-off win over Italy, and Nilsson – who these days coaches the nation’s U-21s – believes beating Korea Republic in their opening match could propel Janne Andersson’s side onwards.

“It’s like we found in 1990 and ’94: get a good start, build some momentum and you never know,” he said. “I think that first game will be really vital.

“This Sweden team are a good, hard-working group and they did brilliantly to come through that play-off against Italy. It will be tough for them to match what we did in 94, we all know that. But if they can get the right blend and enjoy a bit of luck and a good start, they can do well.”

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Spain head to World Cup as European champions – FIFA on GBP Sports

Next stop: Uruguay!
The European places at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2018 have been decided. Spain will travel to South America as European champions, while finalists Germany and third-placed side Finland can also start planning for Uruguay.

The line-up for the final of the UEFA Women’s U-17 Championship in Lithuania came as little surprise, as Germany took on Spain, who lost both the 2016 and 2017 finals to the same opponents on penalties. The match marked the fifth tournament decider between these two teams after previous encounters in 2009, 2014, 2016 and 2017. This time, it was the Iberians who came out on top, celebrating their fourth victory in the competition, thanks to a brace from Eva Navarro.

Both teams navigated their way to the final in style. Defending champions Germany won a strong Group A, finishing in first place ahead of Finland, the Netherlands and hosts Lithuania to reach the knockout stages undefeated. Coach Anouschka Bernhard’s side then continued their unrelenting progress, with a resounding 8-0 semi-final win over England.

Spain were also undefeated winners of Group B. After a goalless draw with Italy, they beat England and Poland 2-1 and 5-0 respectively before grinding out a close-fought 1-0 win over the Finns in the last four.

“Although we’re obviously very disappointed, we also have to acknowledge that Spain were the better team today and deserved their victory,” Bernhard later told the German Football Association (DFB) website. “We never found our rhythm and it’s the little things that decide a final. We had a fantastic tournament and can be proud of what we achieved. Reaching our target of World Cup qualification means the team now have another chance to show what they can do.”

Spain’s semi-final opponents Finland secured the third and final European ticket to Uruguay 2018. The UEFA Women’s U-17 Championship debutants began their campaign with a 2-1 defeat to Germany before beating hosts Lithuania 4-0 and recording a 2-1 victory over the Netherlands.

Coach Marko Saloranta’s side ultimately prevailed 2-1 against England in the match for third place. Despite falling behind to a Jessica Park goal, second-half strikes from Annika Huhta and Jenni Kantanen enabled Finland to turn the match around and reach their first-ever U-17 Women’s World Cup.

Three more tickets claimed for Uruguay 2018
Germany, Spain and Finland secured their places at this year’s U-17 Women’s World Cup by ending the UEFA Women’s U-17 Championship as the top three teams.

The European trio will be joined in South America by Ghana, Cameroon, South Africa (CAF); Japan, Korea DPR, Korea Republic (AFC); New Zealand (OFC); Brazil, Colombia and hosts Uruguay (CONMEBOL).

The final three places will be decided at the CONCACAF Women’s U-17 Championship in Bradenton, USA, on 6 to 12 June 2018.

The stat
9 – German U-17 international Shekiera Martinez was the tournament’s top scorer with nine goals. The 16-year-old has played for 1. FFC Frankfurt since 2016.

The final
Germany 0-2 Spain
Goals: 0-1 Eva Navarro (46’), 0-2 Eva Navarro (73’)

The FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Uruguay 2018 will take place in Colonia del Sacramento, Maldonado and Montevideo from 13 November to 1 December.

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– FIFA on GBP Sports

Following the publication of the McLaren reports, FIFA launched investigations into possible anti-doping rule violations by football players, prioritising high-level players against whom a suspicion had been raised, in particular those who might participate in the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ in Russia.

FIFA can today confirm that the investigations concerning all Russian players named for the provisional squad of the FIFA World Cup™ in Russia have been completed, with the result that insufficient evidence was found to assert an anti-doping rule violation. FIFA has informed the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) of its conclusions, and WADA in turn has agreed with FIFA’s decision to close the cases.

FIFA’s investigations included the following:

  • An assessment of all information and evidence contained in the McLaren report, with the support of scientific and legal experts.

  • Contact was made with Professor McLaren to obtain further details from him and discuss the approach that FIFA should take.

  • Samples taken by FIFA and the confederations that had been stored at WADA-accredited laboratories of all players mentioned in the McLaren reports and high-level players, were re-analysed for prohibited substances, and all results were negative.

  • Samples seized by WADA from the Moscow laboratory and stored at the Lausanne laboratory were re-analysed for prohibited substances. All results were negative.

  • Samples seized by WADA from the Moscow laboratory and stored at the Lausanne laboratory were subjected to forensic analysis (for scratches/marks and abnormal salt levels). For this process, FIFA applied the methodology recommended by WADA and used by the International Olympic Committee. None of the samples analysed showed marks that were typical of tampering and the urine did not show any suspect salt values.

  • Questions were sent to Dr Grigory Rodchenkov and his answers assessed with the support of scientific and legal experts.

  • The Laboratory Information Management System data of the Moscow laboratory provided by WADA was assessed with the support of scientific and legal experts.

  • Target tests of players: FIFA performed several unannounced targeted doping controls in the process of the investigations and the Russian squad has been one of the most tested teams prior to the FIFA World Cup™.

In accordance with the FIFA Anti-Doping Regulations and the World Anti-Doping Code, FIFA cannot provide any names of individuals involved in the investigations. Investigations of several players unrelated to the FIFA World Cup™ are still ongoing and FIFA will continue to work on these cases in cooperation with WADA. Further updates will be provided in due course.

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