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Sunday 5 February 2023 Dublin: -2°C

# FIFA World Cup

Last year
2022
# Criticism
Fifa urged to eject Iran from World Cup over women stadium ban
2,000 women who had bought tickets for Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier against Lebanon were not allowed enter the stadium in Mashhad.
All time
# Appointment
Government seeks applicants to help lead 2030 Fifa World Cup bid
Work on the bid, which will be launched in tandem with the UK, is ‘gathering pace’, says Jack Chambers.
# out the gap
World-Cup winning boss Lippi resigns from China job once again after loss to Syria
Veteran coach Marcello Lippi’s second stint in charge of China lasted just six months.
# On the box
Record audience across the globe as 2019 Women's World Cup watched by over 1 billion people
Fifa have released some interesting data in the wake of this summer’s history-making tournament.
# France
Platini denies wrongdoing as he's released in 2022 World Cup probe
‘A lot, a lot of noise for nothing,’ the former Uefa president’s lawyer said.
# bright idea
Fifa scrap plan to expand World Cup to 48 teams for Qatar 2022
The tournament will still be played between 21 November and 18 December.
# unpleasant memories
Salah: Last season's Champions League anguish 'still hurts'
Having come off injured during last year’s final defeat, the Egyptian will have extra motivation when Liverpool take on Barcelona in their semi this evening.
# Claim
Spain legend Xavi says 48-team World Cup in Qatar 'will not be good'
‘It’s good for football to have 32. That’s more than enough,’ he added.
# Transfer News
France World Cup star denies signing for Bayern Munich
The German club are said to want Benjamin Pavard at the end of the season, but the defender says he has not agreed a move.
# theatrics
Pele on Neymar: 'The God of football gave you the gift. What you do complicates it'
The PSG star was criticised for perceived theatrics at the World Cup and the Brazilian legend thinks he should focus on using his ability more
# Disappointment
'I won a Europa League, a World Cup, what else do I have to do to win the Ballon d'Or?'
Luka Modric claimed the award for 2018.
# bold claim
Fifa president Infantino predicts best ever World Cup in Qatar
FIFA’s decision to award Qatar the 2022 World Cup has been heavily criticised.
# Top Picks
'I do not deserve the Ballon d'Or. I think there are players who have been better than me'
The Chelsea and Belgium star believes Kylian Mbappe deserves to win the award.
# Extension
Southgate: England job 'not something you should give away lightly'
England manager Gareth Southgate, 48, revealed the reasons behind his contract extension.
# var
VAR given green light for Champions League use from next season
The technology will also be used at the 2020 European Championships.
# Top Boss
World Cup-winning boss Deschamps beats Zidane to Fifa's best coach award
Croatia’s Zlatko Dalic was also in the running at Monday’s Fifa Best Awards in London.
# Close Call
Morata considered leaving Chelsea after 'disaster' debut season and World Cup omission
The striker admits he considered going back to Spain or Italy.
# exit door
Ozil criticism 'hypocritical', says Klopp
The animosity directed toward the Germany star has been disproportionate and unbalanced, the Liverpool manager has said
# difference of opinion
Ozil's racism claims nonsense, says Kroos
The 29-year-old Arsenal midfielder retired from internationals following Germany’s shock World Cup group-stage exit.
# dynamic duo
Dutch legends Seedorf and Kluivert take charge of Cameroon national team
The Africa Cup of Nations champions have announced the appointments of the former Netherlands duo as their new coaching team.
# response
'Racism was never an issue in Germany team' - Muller blames 'hypocritical' media for Ozil debacle
Ozil announced his retirement from international football in July.
# New Deal
'We'd like him to stay': England bidding to extend Southgate's contract
England’s impressive showing at the World Cup is set to see Gareth Southgate rewarded with the offer of a new deal.
# Smear campaign
Qatar World Cup organisers deny 'black operations' claim
Allegations of nefarious schemes by the successful bid team for the 2022 World Cup have been strongly denied.
# Poll
More World Cup recognition for France as Goal of the Tournament is announced
Benjamin Pavard’s screamer against Argentina has been voted as the best goal of the 2018 World Cup.
# Juan vision
United's Mata hoping to end his Spanish exile under new boss Luis Enrique
The 30-year-old midfielder was part of the squad that were crowned champions at the 2010 World Cup.
# surprise omission
Sane motivated by Germany snub as he seeks improvement with Man City
Manchester City may benefit from Leroy Sane’s World Cup snub with the Germany international motivated to be even better.
# World Cup champion
'It's about him giving the best he has to give' – Mourinho calls for Pogba focus
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho believes star midfielder Paul Pogba is better suited to the confines of the World Cup.
# Self-Confidence
'Like it or not, I am the second best coach in the world' - Croatia boss Dalic
After leading Croatia to the final of Russia 2018, Zlatko Dalic says he is the second best coach in the world.
# Ease Up
'I want to see these people in Neymar's place... Criticising is a weapon of the weak'
Neymar was a regularly criticised during the World Cup, but Dani Alves feels he was unfairly treated.
# Man Of His Word
Ibrahimovic vows to honour David Beckham bet and wear England shirt at Wembley
The LA Galaxy star lost a bet to Beckham after England beat Sweden in the World Cup quarter-finals.
# Looking Back
Spain sent me World Cup SOS, claims Benitez
The Newcastle manager says there was ‘a chance’ he could have replaced Julen Lopetegui.
# great spell
Iceland manager steps down after World Cup and Euro 2016 successes
Having led the small nation to their first two major tournaments, Heimir Hallgrimsson has decided to resign.
# From Russia With Love
'Putin one of the greatest' - UFC star McGregor praises Russia president after World Cup final
The Dubliner was invited to the Moscow showpiece by Vladimir Putin as France defeated Croatia 4-2 on Sunday.
# Parting ways
Argentina sack manager Sampaoli following chaotic World Cup campaign
Jorge Sampaoli has paid the price for a poor World Cup, with Argentina announcing his departure on Sunday.
# Target man
World Cup winner Giroud ends tournament without a shot on target after 546 minutes
Olivier Giroud’s poor World Cup in front of goal continued in France’s 4-2 win against Croatia.
AS IT HAPPENED
France vs Croatia, World Cup final
We went minute-by-minute as France and Croatia battled it out in Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium for world football’s highest honour.
# hazard warning
'You know my preferred destination': Hazard drops Real Madrid hint
Having starred for Belgium at the World Cup, the playmaker has suggested it might be time to ‘discover something different’.
AS IT HAPPENED
Belgium vs England, World Cup third place play-off
We went minute-by-minute as Belgium and England battled in Saint Petersburg vying for bronze.
# STILL GLEAMING
Southgate: Croatia defeat will live with me forever
He took England to just their third World Cup semi-final, but the Three Lions boss is haunted by his side’s loss to Croatia.
# Journey
How refugee Modric rose to rule Russia 2018
From war-torn Zadar to the World Cup final, Luka Modric has turned making the difficult look easy into a habit of a lifetime.