FIFA President Gianni Infantino has announced the 16 finalist host cities from a list of 22 for the 2026 World Cup. “Today is a historic day – for everyone in those cities and states, for FIFA, for Canada, the USA and Mexico who will put on the greatest show on Earth,” he said during his New York live broadcast.
Everton secured their Premier League status with an incredible fightback where they came from two goals down to beat Crystal Palace. The hosts, who will continue their 68-year stay in the top flight, looked like they were heading for defeat after Palace scored twice in the first half through Jean-Philippe Mateta and Jordan Ayew.
Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappé has reportedly agreed personal terms on a move to Real Madrid at the end of the season. According to The Athletic, the PSG forward has agreed to join Real Madrid as a free agaent at the end of the season, although nothing has been signed.
Thousands of residents in the Black Sea province of Trabzon have celebrated on the streets after Trabzonspor, the province’s local football team, won the Süper Lig trophy after some 38 years. Trabzonspor announced its seventh championship three weeks before the end of the season on April 30, when the match against Antalyaspor ended 2-2. The last time the team became a champion was in the 1983-84 season.
Carlo Ancelotti became the first coach to win the league in all five of Europe’s major leagues as Real Madrid beat Espanyol to win La Liga. Two goals from Rodrygo and strikes from Marco Asensio and Karim Benzema confirmed Real’s 35th Spanish title. They are 17 points clear of second-placed Sevilla with four games to play. Ancelotti has also won titles in Italy’s Serie A, France’s Ligue 1, the Premier League in England and the German Bundesliga.
Norwich City were relegated from the Premier League with defeat against Aston Villa at Villa Park. The tame loss, coupled with Burnley’s dramatic comeback win at Watford, left the Canaries bottom of the table and 13 points from safety with four games to play. Their fans continued to support as a relegation that has looked on the cards for some time was confirmed.
Mino Raiola, the agent who represented some of football’s most high-profile players, has died at the age of 54. The Dutch-Italian’s stable of players included Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland, Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba and AC Milan forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Raiola was also president of the Football Forum, which represented leading agents and their players.
It is no longer news that Cote d’Ivoire’s football legend, Didier Drogba, yesterday lost his bid to become the president of the Fédération Ivoirienne de Football (FIF). After the first round of the polls, Drogba had 21 votes. His opponents Yacine Idriss Diallo and Sory Diabate had 59 and 50 votes respectively. The second round of voting saw Diallo squaring up against Diabate and it was Diallo who emerged as FIF president with 63 votes to Diabate’s 61. Drogba had tried in the past to lead FIF but did not receive the required support from clubs, players’ union and coaches’ association whose support he needed to get on the ballot. A FIFA induced change in statues and electoral code enabled Drogba to be on the ballot this time.
The police and some officials of the Canada Soccer Federation and the BC Place Stadium stewards forcefully removed the bands, drums and some Nigerian supporters (especially those playing the drums) from the stadium where they were supporting the Super Falcons of Nigeria during their friendly game against the Canada Women National Team at the BC Place Stadium, Vancouver. In the process, they manhandled one Nigerian-Canadian man who have lived for over 20 years in Canada. We witnessed this before oue eyes and it was so sad. The President of Nigeria Association of BC protested but the officials had their way. The President said they did exactly same thing in 2016 when Nigeria played USA in the Women’s World Cup. I mean, who does not see supporters drumming and singing even in World Cup proper.
English Premier League clubs will be able to make five substitutions each game from next season after shareholders agreed to change the rules. The substitutions can be made on three occasions during a match, plus at half-time, and a total of nine substitutes can be named on the teamsheet.
Chelsea has won their first Club World Cup trophy after an extra-time 2-1 win against Brazilian side Palmeiras. A 117th-minute penalty in Abu Dhabi by Kai Havertz – who also scored their 2021 Champions League winner – means the Blues have now won every possible trophy under the ownership of the Russian billionaire.
The delayed 2021 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament going on in Cameroon has left many fans angered even as most of them have labeled it “African Cup of Red Cards”. Most fans said they have stopped watching the games. Many fans believe that what is happening in Cameroon is bad publicity for African football. Some former players are worried too. “Some of these red card decisions in #AFCON are shocking. Is football getting soft???”, Michael Essien, a former Chelsea midfielder who represented Ghana at past AFCONs twitted.