South American

Late goal gives Brazil controversial win over Colombia in Copa America

Brazil continued their winning romp through the Copa America on Wednesday, eking out a controversial 2-1 victory against Colombia after struggling most of the match to answer a magnificent bicycle-kick goal by Luis Diaz. The 11th-hour win gave the “Selecao” a perfect nine points from three matches in the South American championships, and extended their current winning streak to 11 matches. However, the victory was steeped in controversy: Brazil’s second-half equalizer, a Roberto Firmino header, was preceded by a Neymar pass that glanced off Argentine referee Nestor Pitana. Colombia heatedly argued afterward that play should have been stopped, but Pitana ruled neither side was hindered and allowed the match to continue. Disgruntled Colombia fans on social media turned the referee’s name int...

Edinson Cavani offered £50K pay rise to stay at Manchester United

Manchester United plan to keep Edinson Cavani at Old Trafford for the 2021-22 season by offering the striker a wage increase of £50,000, according to reports. The Uruguayan has cemented himself as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first-choice striker during the second half of the 2020-21 campaign, playing a pivotal goalscoring role both domestically and in Europe – most notably in the Europa League semi-final tie with AS Roma, against whom he scored four goals over two legs. United do not have the option to extend the 12-month deal Cavani signed last summer, and it has been generally assumed the 34-year-old would return to South America this summer. However, Cavani can choose to add another year to his current deal, and according to The Sun, United plan to give the 34-year-old extra incentive to rem...

Qatar to host FIFA Club World Cup 2020 across three venues

Qatar will host the FIFA Club World Cup 2020 from February 1 to 11, 2021, after it was postponed earlier this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Six continental confederations, as well as the host nation’s league champions, will compete in the tournament, which will be held across three FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 stadiums — Ahmad Bin Ali, Khalifa International and Education City. The Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, inaugurated just last week on December 18, will stage the opening match between Qatari champions Al Duhail and Auckland City of New Zealand on February 1, and the final will be played at Education City Stadium on February 11. Joining the two teams will be European champions and German side FC Bayern Munich, CONCACAF champions Tigres UANL from Mexico, Al Ahly SC, Egyptian side and winners ...

Thiago Silva not at Chelsea to ‘visit tourist sites’

Thiago Silva is eager to point out that he is not at Chelsea to “visit tourist sites” and “go through the motions”, with the Brazilian defender determined “to win” with the Blues. The 36-year-old centre-half has made a habit of doing that throughout his career to date. Stints with AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain delivered Serie A and Ligue 1 titles, while Confederations Cup and Copa America glory has been savoured with his country. Silva is now taking on a new challenge at Stamford Bridge after forming part of a serious squad refresh by Frank Lampard in west London. He is still finding his feet in new surroundings, with a costly error made on his Premier League bow against West Brom, but the intention is to become a commanding presence for the Blues. Silva told Chelsea’s official matchday...

CONCACAF postpones start of World Cup qualifying until 2021 due to pandemic

CONCACAF has confirmed that the body’s member nations will have to wait until 2021 in order to begin qualifying for the 2022 Qatar World Cup. The federatin announced in August that the competition’s first group stage would commence with four rounds of fixtures to be played in the October and November international windows. Six qualifiers would then advance to the second round, from which a further five teams are planned to advance to the final stage alongside top-seeded CONCACAF nations Mexico, United States, Costa Rica, Honduras and Jamaica to determined the region’s 3.5 spots for Qatar. Now, though, the tournament faces further rescheduling as it was deemed that the planned 2020 fixtures will not take place due to the lingering danger of the coronavirus pandemic. “CONCACAF has held recen...

Gary Neville: I hope Lionel Messi doesn’t do very well for Manchester City

Gary Neville cannot see his former employers at Manchester United joining the race for Lionel Messi and hopes the mercurial Argentine “doesn’t do very well” if he ends up leaving Barcelona for Manchester City. A switch to England continues to be mooted for the six-time Ballon d’Or winner. Messi has informed those at Camp Nou of his desire to move on, with further talks set to be held with the Liga club’s board as he mulls over his options during a period of personal frustration. Neville believes a compromise will be reached that keeps the South American in Catalunya, with an all-time great merely “flexing his muscles” and sending warning signals to the Blaugrana. If a stunning switch were to be made, though, then the ex-United defender concedes that the Ethiad Stadium – alongside one-time ...

FIFPRO wants specific measures to protect players from overload

Getty Images The global footballers’ union FIFPRO wants concrete safeguards to protect players from fixture overload and the consequent risk of injury. This demand has come as the sport catches up with a backlog of matches following the novel coronavirus stoppage. FIFPRO general secretary Jonas Baer-Hoffmann told Reuters that the union was talking to European clubs and leagues to find ways of protecting players. The sport is already facing an overcrowded calendar for the next three years. “There is the big question of how we manage the load in a very condensed period,” he said. “We can’t just leave it to the mercy of individual decisions because we know how big the pressure is on the players and nobody is going to benefit from additional injuries.” The new coronavirus halted football for t...