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French Football Boss, Noel Le Graët Supports Biennial World Cup Idea

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President of the French Football Federation (FFF), Noel Le Graët, has said that he is not against the much-debated biennial World Cup, an idea proposed by FIFA’s Chief of Global Football Development, Arsene Wenger. FIFA and its president, Gianni Infantino, strongly back the idea.

Le Graët, who is one of the few Europeans not against the proposal, was quoted by Le Monde.

“I am very favourable to the project (biennial world cup) with regard to women,” confirms Le Graët to Le Monde. For the boys, I philosophically adhere to the project led by Mr. Infantino: there are a lot of lucrative competitions in Europe, and the competitions must be allocated more equitably between the continents, especially with Africa. I am not a dissident by nature, even though I am the only one in Europe holding this position. At UEFA, they are a lit bit of yes-men; there was no real reflection. ”

This is coming just a day before a scheduled meeting with UEFA’s president, Aleksander Ceferin, in Paris later on Thursday night.

The meeting in Paris is believed to be an opportunity for Le Graët and Ceferin to discuss his decision to tow a different line from the majority of the UEFA Members. However, Le Graët has assured that he is waiting to see the financial model developed by FIFA around the proposal before deciding if it comes to a vote.

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Le Graët went further to say that: “I am waiting for FIFA to present a complete, credible and viable financial plan to make a decision. It’s very clear: if the FIFA project is not economically credible, I will say to Gianni [Infantino]: ‘Withdraw your project.’ He explains that if the FFF loses financially, ‘I will have no reason to vote for this project. It is necessary, as Gianni announced, that everyone finds their account in this new system, that there is more money, that the chains buy the rights of the matches. ”

FIFA is set to review findings at a congress on December 20 to decide if the proposal of a biennial World Cup is viable or not.

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SPORTS

Ex-International, Emmanuel Amunike, Likely To Emerge As Super Eagles Coach

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Amunike

The Nigeria Football Federation may have officially appointed former international Emmanuel Amunike as the new head coach of Nigeria’s national team, the Super Eagles.

He was the coach of the Golden Eaglets before moving on to coach the national U-20 team, the Flying Eagles, and the Tanzania national team.

A communique issued to the media on Wednesday following the NFF executive board meeting in Abuja appears to confirm his new status.

 

 

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Zinedine Zidane May Be Heading To Bayern In The New Season–Report

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Zinedine Zidane is on the “verge of becoming Bayern Munich manager”, claims a report in The Sun.

The Frenchman, who has been out of work since leaving Real Madrid in 2021, is said to have held “successful talks” with Bayern, who are searching for a new manager following the announcement that Thomas Tuchel will leave at the end of the season.

Leading Saturday’s Paper Round is speculation linking former Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane to the Bayern Munich job, which will be vacant this coming summer. Elsewhere, Arsenal have reportedly made a £38 million offer to Eintracht Frankfurt for defender Willian Pacho, and The Gunners will face competition from Manchester United for RB Leipzig striker Benjamin Sesko.

The Frenchman, who has been out of work since leaving Real Madrid in 2021, is said to have held “successful talks” with Bayern, who are searching for a new manager following the announcement that Thomas Tuchel will leave at the end of the season.

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“The 51-year-old is said to be on the brink of returning to the dugout with Bayern,” states the outlet.

“That’s according to Mundo Deportivo, who claim the former Los Blancos player and gaffer has held successful talks with the German giants.

“And the Spanish newspaper claims the 1998 Ballon d’Or winner is ‘one step away’ from taking charge of the Bavarians.

“An official agreement has not yet been reached, although Mundo claims the deal is ‘practically done’.

“Zidane is said to have asked for a war chest to bolster the squad upon his arrival.”

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Arsenal have reportedly made a £38 million offer to Eintracht Frankfurt for defender Willian Pacho.

The Ecuador international has stood out for Frankfurt this season, appearing in all but one Bundesliga game as the club aims for a top-six finish.

“Arsenal have reportedly tabled a bid for defender Willian Pacho, it’s been claimed,” The Sun writes.

“Pacho, 22, has been a shining light for Bundesliga outfit Eintracht Frankfurt this season.

“And the Ecuadorian’s impressive form is said to have caught the attention of Gunners boss Mikel Arteta.

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“It was claimed earlier this week that the North Londoners have “inquired about” potentially signing him in the summer.

“And now Bolavip are claiming the Premier League big boys have tabled a £38 million bid for the centre-back.

“The offer is said to be short of Frankfurt’s valuation of the player, whom they want a minimum of £43m for.”

It looks set to be a busy summer in the market for Arsenal as they are also allegedly interested in signing RB Leipzig striker Benjamin Sesko.

The Mirror claims the north London side have “stepped up their attempts to sign the forward this summer”.

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The 20-year-old has scored nine goals and grabbed two assists in 26 Bundesliga games so far this season.

“The RB Leipzig striker’s representatives have already been present at Stamford Bridge and Old Trafford this season, with the north London side set to face plenty of competition,” reads the article.

“The 20-year-old Slovenian has a £42.7million release clause in his contract that is set to become active in the coming months after joining his German club from Red Bull Salzburg less than a year ago.

“Arsenal have been widely linked to signing a striker this term with Mikel Arteta’s team keen to add greater firepower to their ranks.

“The Arsenal boss is said to be interested in acquiring a dynamic forward, with Sesko on Edu’s shortlist. Competition for the young striker’s signature is set to be rife, however.

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“Manchester United have already missed out in the past, while PSG and AC Milan held an interest in the Leipzig star.

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Martinez To Miss Europa League Semi-Final First Leg After Double Yellow Card

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Emi Martinez made headlines as Aston Villa progressed to the semi-finals of the UEFA Conference League via a dramatic win over Lille on Thursday.

The match went to a penalty shoot-out where Martinez repeated his 2022 World Cup heroics, making two saves to help the Premier League club go through. However, he picked up a yellow card during the shoot-out and will now miss their next game.

Aston Villa goalkeeper Emi Martinez will miss his team’s UEFA Conference League semi-final first leg through suspension.

The Argentina international was the hero for the Premier League side as they advanced into the final four of the competition following a penalty shoot-out win over Lille on Thursday.

Martinez has become renowned for his antics during shoot-outs and he has now won the last five, both at club and international level.

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The goalkeeper made two saves in the shoot-out but there was controversy when he was booked by the official for his behaviour towards the Lille supporters during the spot kicks.

Martinez had already been booked in the game but was not sent off because bookings are not carried into shoot-outs, which allowed the goalkeeper to continue on the pitch.

However, UEFA has now confirmed that he will be suspended for the first leg against Olympiacos after receiving three yellow cards over both legs in the quarter-final tie.

Unai Emery’s side will welcome Olympiacos to Villa Park for the first leg on May 2 before travelling to Greece for the second leg the following week.

Olympiacos advanced to the semi-finals with their penalty shoot-out victory over Fenerbache.

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Speaking to TNT Sports after the game, Martinez said: “It has been a hell of a ride all of my career. I am a believer and a hard worker and it was my destiny today.

“I always say in all my career, I owe my team-mates in those moments, even when we were watching Real Madrid last night the manager was saying we might go to penalties and in those moments I own my box.

“I just have a bad reputation for time-wasting because the other goalie was doing the same thing.

“I get booked after 30 minutes, and we’re losing the game, so I don’t know what the ref wants from me. There was no ball on the penalty spot, and I asked for a ball from a ball boy and then I got booked.

“I don’t understand the rules.”

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Villa return to Premier League action on Sunday when they host Bournemouth as they continue their bid for a place in next season’s UEFA Champions League.

 

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