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FOOTBALL - FIFA News News
USA Women remain in front, Germany up to second in FIFA Ranking
Sports Bulletin Report ISLAMABAD:-July 2022 was a busy month for women’s football, with five major tournaments taking place across the globe. In addition to the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022, continental championships were held in Africa, South America, North America and Oceania, all serving as qualifying events for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™. Since 17 June 2022, when the FIFA/Coca-Cola Women’s World Ranking was last published, no fewer than 221 matches have been played, generating considerable movement in the standings. And while USA (1st), recent winners of the CONCACAF Women’s Championship, remained the team to catch, the Stars and Stripes have a new pursuer in the shape of Germany (2nd, plus 3). The EURO 2022 runners-up move ahead of Sweden (3rd, minus 1), whose own European title ambitions came to an end in the semi-finals. Freshly crowned continental champions, England (4th, plus 4) moved up four places ahead of France (5th, minus 2). Drops for the Netherlands (6th, minus 2), Canada (7th, minus 1), and Spain (8th, minus 1) are the other significant changes in this edition’s Top 10. Like the Lionesses, South Africa (54th, plus 4) also moved up four places on the back of their title triumph at the 2022 CAF Women’s Africa Cup of Nations. Semi-finalists at that tournament, Zambia (80th, plus 23) are this edition’s most-improved side after surging 23 places. Nigeria (46th, minus 7), who surprisingly went down 1-0 to the She-polopolo in the match for third place, registered the biggest decline in terms of points (minus 69.33). Another notable improver in this edition is Jamaica, who achieved their highest-ever placing (42nd, plus 9), following their third-place at the Concacaf Championship. Also enjoying all-time highs are Iceland (14th, plus 3), the Republic of Ireland (26th, plus 1), Portugal (27th, plus 3) and Zambia. Four new teams have joined the Ranking since June 2022: Cambodia (120th, -), Turkmenistan (137th, -) Timor-Leste (152nd, -) and Guinea-Bissau (169th, -), giving the August 2022 edition a record-breaking 185 FIFA member associations. Leader    USA (unchanged) Moves out of top 10: Matches played in total    221 Most matches played    England, Philippines, Senegal (9 each) Biggest move by points    Zambia (plus 89.78) Biggest move by ranks    Zambia (plus 23 places) Biggest drop by points    Nigeria (minus 69.33) Biggest drop by ranks    Mexico (minus 10 places) Newly ranked teams    Cambodia, Turkmenistan, Timor-Leste , Guinea-Bissau Teams that are no longer ranked    None
Spectacular Unity Lights unveiled to mark One Year to Go Women FIFA World Cup 2023
Sports Bulletin Report Sydney (Australia):-FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura launched a series of lights across the Sydney Gadigal skyline on Wednesday evening, as part of celebrations marking “One Year to Go” until the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, with a display of the tournament’s colours on the iconic Sydney Harbor Bridge. Joined by former USA international, two-time FIFA Women’s World Cup winner and FIFA Legend Carla Overbeck, tournament CEO Dave Beeche and Chief Operating Officer (Australia) Jane Fernandez, the FIFA Secretary General ceremoniously switched on the lights to mark One Year to Go until the FIFA Women’s World Cup kicks off in Australia and New Zealand. The FIFA Women’s World Cup will take place in nine host cities in Australia and New Zealand in July 2023 and this evening each of the Host Cities joined a spectacular coordinated light show. FIFA Secretary General said: “It’s been a fantastic day of celebration across both Australia and New Zealand and I’m so happy I was able to be here and play a part in the wonderful celebration that is women’s football. I’m now honoured to help close out the day with a very special and spectacular duty…lighting up the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge in honour of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023! We are ready to go Beyond Greatness in one year’s time.”
FIFA Women World Cup: New Zealand to host first ever Play-Off Tournament
Sports Bulletin Report Hamilton (New Zealand):-Waikato Stadium in Hamilton North Harbour Stadium in Auckland been announced, as the host cities for the first ever Play-Off Tournament for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023. The tournament, which will be hosted in New Zealand from 17-23 February 2023, will involve 10 teams competing for the final three qualifying spots before the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand next year. Speaking of the announcement, FIFA Chief Women’s Football Officer Sarai Bareman says the new competition will provide an opportunity for more teams to play at the top level. “The decision in 2019 to expand the FIFA Women’s World Cup from 24 to 32 teams, has already had a significant impact on the wider growth and development of the women’s game. More nations now have the chance to play on the world’s biggest stage and this all starts with the Play-Off Tournament. “I cannot wait for fans to get their first taste of what to expect later next year when the Play-Off commences before the biggest women’s sporting event in the world kicks-off in Australia and New Zealand on 20 July 2023.” And in a bonus for fans, New Zealand’s Football Ferns will play three friendly matches around the event against the top-seeded team in the tournament and another high-profile guest team which is still to be confirmed. “The Play-Off Tournament and the friendlies will provide fans of all ages the opportunity to watch nations from around the world vie for the final three qualification spots as the excitement continues to build towards FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.” Patterson added that the Play-Off Tournament would be a key test event for hosting the FIFA Women’s World Cup five months later.  Tournament will come from Asia (two), Africa (two), North and Central America and the Caribbean (two), South America (two), Europe (one) and Oceania (one). Two nations from Asia – Thailand and Chinese Taipei – have already confirmed their participation with the remaining eight teams to qualify for the Play-off Tournament through their continental tournaments.
FIFA lifts suspension of Pakistan Football Federation
Sports Bulletin Report ISLAMABAD:-The Bureau of the FIFA Council decided to lift the suspension that was imposed on the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) in April 2021 due to undue third-party interference. The decision was taken after FIFA received confirmation that the normalisation committee of the PFF had regained full control of the PFF’s premises and was in a position to manage its finances. The PFF was also informed that any undue interference in its affairs or action that could hinder the fulfilment of the mandate of the normalisation committee might lead to the PFF being suspended again and/or the imposition of other sanctions provided for in the FIFA Statutes. As the deadline by which the normalisation committee was required to fulfil its mandate (30 June 2022) is now no longer realistic, the Bureau has also decided to extend the committee‘s mandate until 30 June 2023 at the latest. This will enable the latter to finally carry out the tasks assigned to it in full.
Brazil still on top, Argentina on the podium in FIFA World Ranking
Sports Bulletin Report ISLAMABAD:-Between the final qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, the UEFA and Concacaf Nations Leagues fixtures, the qualifiers for continental championships in Asia and Africa, and a host of friendly matches, there has been no shortage of international football since the last edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola Ranking in March. A total of 280 international fixtures took place during this period with significant ramifications in the Ranking: of the 211 countries listed in the global standings, 177 experienced movement. Three months after taking top spot in the FIFA/Coca-Cola Ranking from Belgium (2nd, -), Brazil (1st, -) have widened the gap on their nearest pursuer. Argentina (3rd, plus 1) take the last of the podium places at the expense of France (4th, minus 1), who have paid the price for four games without a win in the UEFA Nations League. Making progress among the Top 10 are Spain (6th, plus 1), the Netherlands (8th, plus 2) and Denmark (10th, plus 1), while Italy (7th, minus 1) and Portugal (9th, minus 1) head in the opposite direction. For their part, Mexico (12th, minus 3) drop out of the Top 10 completely. With a surge of 11 places, Kazakhstan (114th, plus 11) made the most progress in this edition. Cuba (167th, plus 10), Greece (48th, plus 7), and Malaysia (147th, plus7) also made notable gains. Kosovo (106th, plus 1) and Comoros (126th, plus 2) continue their ascents to once again achieve all-time Ranking highs. The next FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking will be published on 25 August 2022.
FIFA and FIFPRO join forces to combat social media hate speech
Sports Bulletin Report ISLAMABAD:-With FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ beginning in exactly five months’ time, FIFA will work with FIFPRO – the worldwide representative organisation for professional footballers – to coordinate and implement a plan on how to protect participating teams, players, officials, and supporters from abuse on social media during its international tournaments. The newly-released report, which used artificial intelligence to track over 400,000 posts on social media platforms during the semi-finals and finals stage of two international competitions (UEFA EURO 2020 and African Cup of Nations 2021), has identified that over 50% of players received some form of discriminatory abuse, with much of that abuse coming from the players’ home nation. Homophobic (40%) and racist (38%) comments provided the majority of the abuse, much of which remains published to the accounts in which it was originally directed. In response, FIFA and FIFPRO will launch a dedicated in-tournament moderation service across men’s and women’s football that will scan recognised hate speech terms published to identified social media accounts, and once detected, prevent that comment from being seen by the recipient and their followers. Although the offending message remains visible to the person who originally made the comment, its visibility and reach will be significantly reduced. The report also highlights that 90% of accounts flagged by the study as having published these abusive comments have a high probability of identification, and as hidden comments will remain privately visible to FIFA and FIFPRO, it also means that such account activity could be escalated to the relevant social platform(s) and law enforcement authorities so further action could be taken. “Our duty is to protect football, and that starts with the players who bring so much joy and happiness to all of us by their exploits on the field of play,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino. “Unfortunately, there is a trend developing where a percentage of posts on social media channels directed towards players, coaches, match officials and the teams themselves is not acceptable, and this form of discrimination – like any form of discrimination – has no place in football.” The FIFA President added: “With the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and FIFA World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023 are on the horizon, FIFA and FIFPRO recognise it is important to make a stand and to include what is monitored on social media with what is already being monitored in the stadiums. We want our actions to speak louder than our words and that is why we are taking concrete measures to tackle the problem directly. “This detection is not only there to protect football and to avoid the damaging effects that these posts can cause, but also to educate current and future generations who engage with our sport on social media as well as on the field of play. We expect that, by standing together on this problem, social media platforms will do the same and will actively support us in being part of the solution.” “This collaboration recognises football’s responsibility to protect the players and other affected groups against the abuse they increasingly face in and around their workplace. This type of abuse has a profound impact on their personalities, their families, performance as well as on their overall well-being and mental health,” said FIFPRO President David Aganzo. The FIFPRO President added: “Online abuse is a societal issue and as an industry we cannot accept that this new form of abuse and discrimination affects so many people including our players. Several player unions have carried out very good work on this topic which, connected to our recent report launched in conjunction with other player unions, gives us many insights when approaching this matter going forward. Research such as these reports is critical, but it must lead to action to provide prevention and remedy. We are glad that this cooperation with FIFA is a constructive step in this direction.” Through this partnership, FIFA and FIFPRO will also develop educational support - including best practice advice for managing social media accounts - and mental health advice for all participating players at FIFA tournaments during 2022 and 2023 and will implement the moderation service while these competitions are taking place
Qatar Stars League partners with FIFA to deliver new era of club professionalism
Sports Bulletin Report Doha (Qatar):-Sheikh Hamad Al Thani, President of the Qatar Stars League (QSL), and Gianni Infantino, President of FIFA, have announced a strategic partnership designed to raise standards of professional club management and administration across all QSL first and second division clubs. The partnership was sealed by both Presidents signing a Memorandum of Understanding, which follows an independent review of the QSL that identified strategic initiatives to improve the competitiveness and entertainment level of the league. At the announcement Sheikh Hamad said: “Post the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022ä we are looking at the next era of Qatari football. We have an ambitious plan to transform our club game and critical to our success will be for every QSL club to aspire to become a model professional club on and off the pitch. To help the QSL and all member clubs on this journey, FIFA is the perfect partner. Through this agreement we can collectively access huge experience, insight, and practical knowledge and turn it to our advantage.” Gianni Infantino said: “FIFA is delighted to support the development of the Qatar Stars League, as part of FIFA‘s vision to make football truly global and create a more competitive and sustainable global eco-system, where more clubs, leagues and players from all around the world can compete at the highest level. Therefore, FIFA stands ready to support the Qatar Stars League in its ground-breaking and exciting development and transformation plan, and we are looking forward to playing our part in helping talented individuals and progressive clubs to achieve their goals and bring Qatar football to the next level on and off the pitch.”
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.
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