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FIFA unveils schedules Confederations Cup, World Cup

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On the eve of the Preliminary Draw in Saint Petersburg, the Organising Committee for the FIFA World Cup today unveiled the match schedules for the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 and the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Russia, as the hosts, have been named as the A1 seeds for both competitions. Kick-off times will be confirmed at a later stage, fifa.com reports.

Chaired by Michel Platini, the organising committee also formally approved the procedures for the Preliminary Draw and the qualifiers in each of the six confederations, which have been developed and submitted by the respective confederations. The preliminary competition will span 32 months featuring 851 matches (between March 2015 and November 2017) until it is known who will join the Russian hosts in the 32-team line-up for the 21st edition of the FIFA World Cup.

The fact that no fewer than 17 million fans watched the 820 matches of the 2014 qualifiers live in the stadiums highlights in an impressive manner how tremendous the outreach of the preliminary competition for the FIFA World Cup is.

The Handshake for Peace, a gesture of friendship and solidarity, will feature at all matches during the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers and final competition as part of the pre- and post-match protocol.

The Local Organising Committee, led by chairman VitalyMutko and CEO Alexey Sorokin, provided the organising committee with a comprehensive update on the status of the preparations for the two major football competitions to be staged in 2017 and 2018. The organising committee expressed its satisfaction with the progress made to date and thanked the LOC for the warm welcome and great preparations for the first official 2018 FIFA World Cup event, the Preliminary Draw.

To facilitate fans’ travel to and experience of the host country during the events, Russia has launched a comprehensive tourism portal (welcome2018.com).

The FIFA Confederations Cup, also known as the festival of champions, will be staged from 17 June to July 2, 2017, with eight teams competing for the trophy: Russia (hosts), Germany (reigning world champions), Asian Cup winners Australia, and Copa América champions Chile have already qualified. They will be joined by the CONCACAF representative, which will be decided for the first time by a play-off match between the Gold Cup champions of 2013 (USA) and 2015 (Jamaica or Mexico), as well as the winners of the CAF Africa Cup of Nations 2016, UEFA EURO 2016 and the OFC Nations Cup 2016. The draw will be staged in Kazan in November 2016”.

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Guardiola reacts as Haaland fumes over not scoring hat-trick against West Ham

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Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola, has said Erling Haaland’s anger at not scoring a hat-trick against West Ham, reminded him of Lionel Messi.

Haaland grabbed both goals as the Premier League champions began defence of their title with a 2-0 win at the London Stadium.

The Norway striker converted a first-half penalty, before running onto Kevin De Bruyne’s pass to complete a brace on his City debut.

In a post-match interview, Haaland said it was “a bit s***’” that he was unable to score one more, before being substituted in the closing stages.”

But Guardiola said the player’s reaction was what he would expect from a top player.

“I was fortunate to be with [Lionel] Messi.

“When he scores two, he wants three, when he scores three, he wants four. All the top players are the same.

“They are never satisfied, always hungry, starving for goals, and want more, but at same time, I have to use other players,” Guardiola said.

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Ten Hag to sign two strikers after 2-1 defeat to Brighton

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Manchester United have opened talks to sign Benjamin Sesko and Marko Arnautovic, ESPN reports.

United have contacted Bologna about Arnautovic, who has previously played in the Premier League for Stoke and West Ham.

United manager, Erik ten Hag, has pressed the club to sign an experienced forward who would be content with a back up role off the bench.

Arnautovic is 33 years old and Ten Hag is a fan of the player after working together at FC Twente.

The move for Arnautovic is considered separate from that of Sesko.

Chelsea are also interested in the 19-year-old, although Salzburg would rather keep him until next summer.

Ten Hag was asked after the 2-1 defeat against Brighton on Sunday about the need for new players.

The Dutchman replied: “I don’t go into names and I think in this preseason, 250 players are involved or linked with Man United, so that’s it.

“We have two strikers [Ronaldo and Martial], maybe a third one, [Marcus] Rashford.

“We considered him as a striker, but he had a really good season on the left side and he had two really good chances but the typical nine wasn’t available today.”

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Tobi Amusan wins 100m hurdles gold

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Nigeria’s Tobi Amusan has won the gold medal in the women’s 100m hurdles at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

The world champion successfully defended her title at the Alexander stadium on Sunday.

This is coming days after she won gold and bagged the world record at the World Athletics Championships in the US.

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