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FIFA puts Club World Cup, Nations League plans on hold

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FIFA President Gianni Infantino has delayed any decision over his plans for a lucrative new Club World Cup and global Nations League amid widespread opposition, instead setting up a taskforce to further look into the proposals.



Speaking at a press conference in the Rwandan capital Kigali, where the FIFA Council has been meeting, Infantino said the taskforce will present its “concrete proposals” at a meeting in Miami next March.

The plans have been harshly criticised by opponents who say the international calendar is already overcrowded and have accused the FIFA president of using the projects to help win votes for re-election in June next year.

The delay will be seen as a way of appeasing the likes of the World Leagues Forum, a grouping of professional leagues, which sent a letter to Infantino demanding that no final decision be taken in Kigali and lamenting the lack of any consultation.

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UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin has also been critical of the plans, and reports this week suggested delegates from European football’s governing body could walk out if their views were not heeded in Kigali.

“I am happy to have contributed to peace in the world today if some were seeing it so dramatic,” Infantino remarked.

“Everyone agrees the Club World Cup needs to be revamped, everyone in the world.

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“There are some who have different interests. We were not going to decide today how to revamp them, there are different options on the table.

“FIFA’s duty is to organise competitions, so I don’t understand why we cannot talk about them.”

Infantino is pushing to revamp the Club World Cup by boosting it from seven clubs to 24 in a four-year format, 12 of them European. Currently the competition, which elicits little interest outside of Latin America, is played every year in December.

The 48-year-old indicated that it would be better for FIFA to organise a tournament that redistributes money around the game than for top European clubs to regularly travel abroad to take part in money-spinning friendly matches.

“Everyone is happy to go around the world and try to cash in as much as possible. The only organisation in the world of football which is doing solidarity and development all over the world is FIFA,” he said.

“There is certainly space for these games, interesting club games, without adding to the international match calendar.”

His other project is to launch a biennial league tournament for nations, the global Nations League, a sort of mini-World Cup with eight national teams competing. UEFA recently launched its own European Nations League.



Infantino says he has an offer of $25 billion over 12 years for the two competitions from a group of investors, which the Financial Times has identified as SoftBank from Japan, backed by Saudi Arabia among others.

That money, he promises, will be redistributed to clubs and continental federations.

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Crime

Ugandan Woman Bags 20 years jail term for killing husband

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A Uganda High Court has sentenced a 27-year-old woman, Jackline Nakku, to 20-years in jail for murdering her husband on Valentine’s Day in 2018.

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The High Court in Mukono District in central Uganda found her guilty of murdering her husband Eric Kiddu after hitting him several times on the head with an iron bar.

After the murder Nakku attempted to make the killing appear to be the result of an attack by unknown people by screaming and running to neighbours to ask for help. His body was later found in a pool of blood with a panga and brick besides it, the Daily Monitor reported.

The couple had quarrelled shortly before the bloody encounter with a misunderstanding leading to Kiddu’s death.

Nakku was advised by the judge to appeal the sentence if she was dissatisfied as relatives of both husband and wife argued outside the court, trading accusations.

-IOL News

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Lampard Agrees to Replace Sarri

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Report says Frank Lampard will take over at Chelsea in the coming days after getting at least two years assurance in the hot-seat at Stamford Bridge.

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The need for Lampard to take over as a coach at the club where he plied his trade as a player for 13 years arose as Maurizio Sarri is on the verge of leaving Chelsea for Juventus.

The Derby boss has been given a major assurance, with the report that Roman Abramovich called him personally last week to tell him he would have at least two transfer windows to demonstrate his worth.

Given that Chelsea are currently serving a two-window transfer ban, that would mean Lampard would definitely stay for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons.

The Blues will need to pay a substantial compensation package to Derby to get Lampard and will use the money they receive from their own compensation package from Juventus.

It has been claimed this week that Derby — in a desperate bid to keep their manager after falling short of securing a place in the Premier League — have offered Lampard a new deal, but he is unlikely to rebuff the advances of his old club.

Chelsea are keen to bring in Lampard, knowing that he is a hugely popular choice with a fanbase who were frustrated last season by Sarri’s management despite winning the Europa League and finishing in the top four of the Premier League.

The Blues have also sold their talisman this summer in Eden Hazard, whose deal could eventually be worth up to £150million.


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