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FOOTBALL - FIFA & World Cups News
Auckland to host the Draw for the FIFA World Cup 2023 for Women
Sports Bulletin Report Auckland (New Zealand):-FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura and New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson have announced that Auckland/Tamaki Makaurau will host the Draw for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™ on Saturday, 22 October 2022. Taking place in Aotea Centre, the Draw will reveal the match fixtures for the 32 teams competing in the ninth edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand in just over a year. The globally televised draw show will include cultural performances and insights into the five Australian and four New Zealand Host Cities that will welcome teams and football fans, as well as many surprises. Speaking at today’s announcement in Auckland/Tamaki Makaurau, Minister Robertson – who is also the tournament’s lead minister – said it would be a real privilege to have the Draw for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 in Aotearoa. “Auckland/Tamaki Makaurau will not only host the tournament’s opening ceremony and opening match featuring the Football Ferns on 20 July 2023, but will now also host the draw. “The draw is an internationally significant event in its own right. It provides an opportunity for New Zealand and Auckland/Tamaki Makaurau to showcase our culture and traditions to a global audience. “Today’s announcement also starts to create excitement as the draw reveals which teams we’ll be hosting in New Zealand.” FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura stated: “Preparations are well underway in Australia and New Zealand to welcome the world’s largest women’s single-sport event. The official draw in October marks an important milestone for teams and fans in the countdown to the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023. “We are excited about the influence and potential of this tournament to inspire and encourage more girls and women to get involved in football and we look forward to the draw setting the stage for the FIFA Women’s World Cup to reach Beyond Greatness.” An exciting few months of qualifiers lie ahead for fans before the draw takes place. Teams from across Africa, Central and North America, South America and Oceania will secure qualification berths for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 through several confederation tournaments taking place from July to October.
FIFA diversifies its gaming rights and launches new non-sim football games
Sports Bulletin Report ISLAMABAD:-For the first time, FIFA will launch new football video games developed with third-party studios and publishers, providing more choice for football and gaming fans in the lead-up to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ and FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023™. A number of new non-simulation games are already under production and will launch during the third quarter of this year. The first is a tailored gaming experience featuring the biggest event on earth, the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, which will bring new, interactive experiences to fans across the globe. Following this initial unveiling, FIFA will launch further games and virtual experiences around this year’s FIFA World Cup. Additional projects are also under discussion with publishers ahead of next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup™. Gianni Infantino, FIFA President, said: "I can assure you that the only authentic, real game that has the FIFA name will be the best one available for gamers and football fans. The FIFA name is the only global, original title. FIFA 23, FIFA 24, FIFA 25 and FIFA 26, and so on - the constant is the FIFA name and it will remain forever and remain THE BEST." “The interactive gaming and esports sector is on a path of unrivalled growth and diversification. FIFA’s strategy is to ensure we can make the most of all future options and ensure a wide range of products and opportunities for gamers, fans, member associations and partners.” Alongside the new games, FIFA has granted a new short-term extension to existing publisher EA SPORTS to launch a new FIFA 23 title later this year, which will feature the men’s and women’s FIFA World Cup competitions in one edition for the first time. The recently confirmed extension with EA SPORTS is a new arrangement that grants rights for the simulation football category only, freeing up broader gaming rights for FIFA and different gaming publishers to launch new games and more deeply immersive experiences for fans and football stakeholders. This new, non-exclusive licensing model follows on from an extended period of discussions between the parties relating to FIFA’s future gaming vision. As announced in October 2021, FIFA intends to work with a range of partners rather than lock up all gaming and esports rights exclusively with one publisher for the long term. As well as launching a portfolio of new games during 2022 and 2023, FIFA is currently engaging with leading game publishers, media companies and investors in regard to the development of a major new FIFA simulation football game title for 2024.
FIFA launches FIFA+ to bring free football entertainment to fans
Sports Bulletin Report ISLAMABAD:-Over 29,000 men’s matches and over 11,000 women’s matches will be streamed on FIFA+ in 2022, totalling over 40,000 matches. The first slate of FIFA+ Originals will feature Ronaldinho, Dani Alves, Ronaldo Nazário, Romelu Lukaku, Lucy Bronze and Carli Lloyd, among others. Launching today, FIFA+ will provide access to live football matches from every corner of the world, interactive games, news, tournament information, ground-breaking, unrivalled video content delivering truly global storytelling around the men’s and women’s game and much more.  FIFA is the first sports federation ever to offer such an extensive streaming and content experience to its fans. “FIFA+ represents the next step in our vision to make football truly global and inclusive, and it underpins FIFA’s core mission of expanding and developing football globally,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino. “This project represents a cultural shift in the way different types of football fans want to connect with and explore the global game and has been a fundamental part of my Vision 2020-2023. It will accelerate the democratisation of football and we are delighted to share it with fans.” By the end of 2022, FIFA+ will be streaming the equivalent of 40,000 live games per year from 100 Member Associations across all six confederations, including 11,000 women’s matches. FIFA+ offers live coverage from Europe’s topflight leagues to previously unserved competitions from around the world in men’s, women’s and youth football.  From launch, 1,400 matches will be live streamed monthly on FIFA+, rising rapidly. Ahead of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, FIFA+ will be home to every FIFA World Cup and FIFA Women’s World Cup™ match ever recorded on camera, totalling more than 2,000 hours of archive content. For the first time ever, this entire archive will be available to fans. Fans will have the ability to watch full-match replays, highlights, goals and magical moments all in one place. The FIFA+ Archive will launch with more than 2,500 videos dating back to the 1950s, with many more to come throughout the year. The Match Centre will allow football fans to immerse themselves in rich football data across 400 men's competitions and 65 women's competitions. A daily feed of news from around the world of men’s and women’s football will also complement and offer additional updates. Throughout the year, fans will enjoy interactive games including votes, quizzes, fantasy games and predictors. FIFA+ will also provide unrivalled content delivering global storytelling around the men’s and women’s game. It will feature full-length documentaries, docuseries, talk shows and shorts - localised into 11 languages, telling stories from local grassroots to national teams and footballing heroes past and present from more than 40 countries.
FIFA: Xero named as FIFA Football Partner for Women
Sports Bulletin Report ISLAMABAD:-The multi-year agreement, commencing, covers the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™ as well as the 2024 and 2026 editions of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup™ and FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup™. Through its partnership with FIFA, Xero will champion women’s football and women in small businesses through various initiatives Xero, the global small business management platform, has been named as a FIFA Women’s Football Partner under FIFA’s new commercial partnership structure that will come into effect in 2023. The global partnership will cover the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023™, as well as the 2024 and 2026 editions of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup™ and the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup™. Xero will use the partnership to champion women’s football and to further empower women working in small businesses and their communities around the world. As part of the agreement, Xero will also support two FIFA women’s football development programmes: Capacity-Building for Administrators, and Coach Education Scholarships. Sarai Bareman, FIFA’s Chief Women’s Football Officer, said: “We are thrilled to officially welcome Xero on board as a global FIFA Women’s Football Partner under our new commercial partnership structure, which will allow us to maximise support for the women’s game. “Not only is this a momentous day for women’s football globally, but as a proud New Zealander, I am so excited that FIFA is partnering with a company that was founded in New Zealand. This is a partnership that will accelerate the growing momentum behind women’s football and our ambition to make the game truly global. To have a brand on board that is so passionate about empowering women – and especially one from a co-host of the next FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023 – is wonderful to see.” Rachael Powell, Xero’s Chief Customer Officer, said: “We’re very excited to announce this partnership with FIFA and are proud to be a new Women’s Football Partner. Having two great brands come together to champion women in football from the community level through to the world stage is a powerful proposition. “For women’s football to thrive, the financial viability of clubs at all levels is essential to attract, develop and nurture talent. Put simply, we believe that better numbers off the field will deliver better numbers on the field. “Together, Xero and FIFA share many goals and important values, driven by a passion and purpose to foster participation and community connections. This global partnership not only gives us a platform for brand visibility around the world, it also provides a fabulous opportunity to create deeper relationships with small businesses and communities that support the growth of the women’s game,” Powell added. Xero, which was founded in New Zealand in 2006, has more than three million subscribers globally, offering small businesses and their advisers access to real-time financial data anytime, anywhere and on any device. Xero offers an ecosystem of over 1,000 third-party apps and 300-plus connections to banks and other financial partners.    Xero’s partnership category will include small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) business management software, accounting and bookkeeping (AB) practice management software, and SME and AB software app stores. The first tournament covered under the partnership will be the expanded FIFA Women’s World Cup™ in 2023 that will see 32 teams compete across nine cities in Australia and New Zealand.
Brazil new leaders of FIFA World Ranking
Sports Bulletin Report ISLAMABAD:-Having already spent the longest time at the top of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking (4,731 days), Brazil (1st, +1) returned to the summit in March 2022, five years after they were last there. Recent wins for the Seleçao over Chile (4-0 at home) and Bolivia (4-0 away) in the qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ enabled them to overtake Belgium, who had been in first place for the past three years but who failed to get the better of Republic of Ireland on 26 March, drawing 2-2 in a friendly. The March 2022 table is therefore a new chapter in rankings history, but more than that, it will be used to calculate the seeds for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. Pot 1: Qatar (host nation), Brazil, Belgium, France, Argentina, England, Spain, Portugal Pot 2: Mexico, Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Uruguay, Switzerland, USA, Croatia Pot 3: Senegal, Iran, Japan, Morocco, Serbia, Poland, Korea Republic, Tunisia Pot 4: Cameroon, Canada, Ecuador, Saudi Arabia, Ghana, winner of intercontinental play-off 1, winner of intercontinental play-off 2, winner of European play-off Belgium (2nd, -1) are now on the second step of the podium, ahead of France (3rd) who remain unchanged. Behind this top three, Argentina (4th), England (5th), Spain (7th) and Portugal (8th) are the next best placed teams with regard to the Draw, keeping in mind that Italy (6th) will be absent following their defeat in the play-off semi-final. Mexico (9th, +3) and Uruguay (13th, +3) are the biggest movers inside the top 20, while overall, it is Costa Rica (31st, +11) and then New Zealand (101st, +10) who have made the most progress. Also of note is the fact that Kosovo (107th, +2) have achieved their highest ever ranking to date.
USA still in front, Philippines on the march
Sports Bulletin Report ISLAMABAD:-The first edition of the FIFA Women‘s World Ranking of 2022 has seen some notable movement, in part due to the traditional friendly tournaments in this period, but also because of the AFC Women‘s Asian Cup. All told, 146 women‘s internationals have been played over the last three months. Hosts and winners of the recent She-Believes Cup, United States (1st, -) continue to lead the way, even if the North Americans missed out on some ranking points in a surprising draw with Czech Republic. Sweden (2nd, -) took advantage of that slip and, on the back of their success at the Algarve Cup, closed the gap on the leaders to just over 22 points. France (3rd, +1) complete the podium after displacing Germany (4th, -1), thanks to Les Blues’ triumph at the Tournoi de France and the Nationalmannschaft inability to win a single game in the first edition of the Arnold Clark Cup in England. In the only other changes in the top 10, Spain (7th, +2) find themselves at an all-time high after taking second place in the latter competition, swapping places with Brazil (9th, -2), who failed to win any of their three games at the aforementioned Tournoi de France. However, this edition’s biggest story comes from Asia, where the top sides battled it out for the continental title and qualifying spots at the FIFA Women‘s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023™. Victory for China PR (16th, +3) secured a ninth Asian crown, a World Cup ticket and a rise of three places in the global standings. Nevertheless, the most remarkable performance was that of Philippines (54th, +10) who, by reaching the semi-finals, ensured an historic maiden appearance on the world stage, their highest ever ranking and the distinction of being the most-improved side in terms of points (+53) and places (+10). As well as Spain and Philippines, another side making strides are Slovenia, who have also reached an all-time high (47th, +1). Last but not least, three teams - Togo (115th), Cayman Islands (163rd) and Anguilla (175th) - rejoined the World Ranking, while Afghanistan lost their place due to inactivity.
Global Soccer Ventures launches football development drive in Pakistan
Abdul Jabbar Faisal ISLAMABAD (January 17, 2022):-Rawalpindi Express Shoaib Akhtar started a life changing career opportunity for 20 super talented Pakistani football players, as a program has been launched under the banner of Global Soccer Ventures (GSV) in collaboration with Kamyab Jawan Sports Drive. While addressing in a press conference at a local hotel on Monday along with other officials, fastest bowler of the world said that the road to UK and Ireland has now become unstoppable. “Including me and other top cricketer played football at the earlier stage of the life. I played football at the age of 16. Pakistan has tremendous talent of sports and I wish Pakistan should a multiple sports country instead of only cricket. We should focus on national game hockey, football and other sports and Pakistani can ink history in the top sports of the world, “he added. “The trials are being heavily invested into by GSV in Pakistan offering the very first UEFA scouting assessment on a national level in Pakistan to talent ID in 10 cities across 11 venues to subsequently offer life changing careers through professional football contracts in Ireland. The tour also includes 4 master-classes in Karachi, Islamabad, Quetta, and Lahore to develop local football coaching expertise to European standards under St. Patrick’s Football Club development program. At least 15-25 coaches have been selected on merit to attend master-classes to help up-skill their football coaching methods and transfer skills so they become certified train-the-trainers in Pakistan leaving a sustainable roll-out plan under Kamyab Jawan Sports Drive, “said an official. Yasir Mahmood, Chairman of GSV said on this occasion, “Football is here to stay for the right reasons to develop and provide an opportunity for Pakistani players. With Akhtar as an iconic cricket legend well regarded around the world will help play a transitional role in making football become on top of the minds of our nation”. Allison Blackburne, British Deputy High Commissioner said: “Football is not just a sport, for many in the UK it’s a way of life, and it would be great to see it become more popular in sport-loving Pakistan. I’m delighted that talented young players here in Pakistan will have this opportunity provided by GSV to learn from some of the best UEFA coaches through St Patrick’s Athletic Football Club” Karel Freaye, Belgian UEFA licensed coach said, “Football is for everyone and I am looking for talent with potential to develop and grow into professional players in Europe.  I am really excited to see what football technical excellence Pakistan has to offer with football as I see trial registrations rising by the hour”. Usman Dar, SAPM on Youth Affairs and Chairman Kamyab Jawan Program said, “The revival of sports is the top priority of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Government. I welcome GSV in their efforts for reviving football in Pakistan. PM’s Kamyab Jawan Program together with GSV will ensure that through football talent hunt we will produce the next football Kamyab Jawan heroes who will represent Pakistan nationally and internationally”. Garret Kelleher, President of St. Patrick’s Football Club said: ‘It is simply wonderful that the resources are now being put in place in Pakistan to allow football inspiring those with a passion for the game to fulfil their dreams and aspirations just like Shoaib Akhtar has in the world of cricket representing Pakistan at the highest level”.
Solidarity and dialogue crucial in 2022
Islamabad (Sports Desk):-FIFA President looks forward to “celebration of football and social inclusion” in Qatar: Infantino calls for solidarity to protect football’s future. Wherever you are in the world and whatever your relationship with our beautiful game, I would like to wish you and your loved ones a very happy new year and that all your hopes and dreams are realised in 2022: a FIFA World Cup year. Global attention will be on Qatar in November and December as the tournament is held for the 22nd time and the ground-breaking first edition in the Middle East. The finals will take place in a world that is very different from the one in which France lifted the trophy in Moscow four years ago and we know that the biggest stage of all will offer hope and inspiration to people around the world who have suffered difficult times through the pandemic. The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will be a truly unique occasion to re-unite the World again in a celebration of football and social inclusion. We all need it! Whether in the United Arab Emirates for the FIFA Club World Cup, Costa Rica for the FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup, India for the FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup or indeed Qatar, FIFA tournaments will continue to operate with the consideration. At the same time, we also continue to pledge solidarity with the whole football community in our daily action, as we are doing with our “COVID-19 Relief Plan” which was crucial to the survival of football in many of our Member Associations. Football has many different levels but in its magical essence it is the same game: the people’s game. For everyone. In every continent, every region, every country. FIFA is the only governing body that looks after and cares about the entire world. We will continue working hard to live up to the mission of not forgetting the ones who need most and who have no voice, while also protecting the healthy growth of everyone else and the global football movement. We continue to strive towards making football truly global through football and corporate governance, through competitions and events and through the development of our sport, widening its impact on the youth and wider society. For women and men, for girls and boys. 2022 will be a year of action, but it will also be a year of dialogue. The new FIFA is a democratic body and together with our stakeholders, we will design the path for football’s future, making the game fit for purpose in the modern era and ensuring that we can boost global competitiveness. To do that, we count on the collective unity and strength among the football community in order to ensure that the future of our sport is globally sustainable. We count on the vast majority who is looking forward to new exciting opportunities to dream, to develop the game, to feel truly part of the global football community. And we count also on those at the top to show solidarity - without which, even football at its most elite would not exist. We thank them for their valuable contribution to the popularity of the game and we count on their support, respect and strategic vision as we strive to successfully conclude the discussions around reform of the international match calendar. We will work together for unity and the ultimate benefit of everyone. 2022 will be a special and memorable year and I would like to wish you all the very best.
Belgium and Canada take 2021 honours
Islamabad (Sports Desk):-Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, only 352 full internationals were played in 2020. Not since 1987 (323 matches) had so few games been played in a calendar year. By contrast, planet football made up for lost time in 2021 with a record breaking 1116 matches played. And while the quantity of games changed radically from one year to the next, the top ranked team in the FIFA/ Coca-Cola World Ranking has remained the same! For the fourth year in a row, Belgium (1st) ends the calendar year in pole position, albeit only just ahead of Brazil (2nd) by 2.1 points. France was (3rd) to complete the podium for 2021. For their part, Canada (40th) are the year’s ‘Most Improved Side’ having picked up no fewer than 130.32 points over the last 12 months. Their journey to the semi-finals of the 2021 Gold Cup, as well as the impressive results in FIFA World Cup Qatr 2022™ qualifying, have been major factors in their rise. Winners of UEFA EURO 2020 and the Copa America 2021 respectively, Italy (6th + 115.77 points compared to December 2020) and Argentina (5th +108.51 points compared to December 2020), have also seen their points tally increase dramatically this year. The same goes for the USA (11th + 103.51 points compared to December 2020) and England (4th + 85.52 points compared to December 2020). Equatorial Guinea (114th + 59.78 points compared to December 2020) made the most impressive progress among African teams, while Saudi Arabia (51st + 81.71 points compared to December 2020) did the same in Asia. However, just in terms of last month, the most improved Asian team are Indonesia (164th + 11.13 points). Winners of the FIFA Arab Cup 2021™, Algeria (29th +3) jointly made the best progress in terms of places, along with Qatar (48th + 3), who finished third at the tournament, and Thailand (115th +3).   
Arabic proposed as fifth official FIFA language
Islamabad (Sports Desk):-Today marks the UN’s World Arabic Language Day, and the culmination of the inaugural FIFA Arab Cup Qatar 2021™. In recognition of the importance of the Arabic language, which is spoken not only by the 450 million people that live in the more than 20 Arabic-speaking countries but also by millions of Arabs worldwide, the FIFA President will propose that Arabic becomes an official language of FIFA. The FIFA President’s proposal stems from long-term discussions with stakeholders in Qatar and those across the MENA region, and coincides with the conclusion of the FIFA Arab Cup, which successfully brought together 23 national teams in a celebration of football and unity across the Middle East and Arab world. Currently, the four FIFA languages are English, French, German and Spanish.