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NFF to receive $19m from FIFA every four years

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The Nigeria Football Federation is set for a windfall of $19m every four years from FIFA if the biennial World Cup plans see the light of the day.

The world body on Monday held a virtual global summit to discuss its highly controversial plans to stage the World Cup every two years instead of the current four-year cycle, as part of a new international match calendar for the period beyond 2024.

FIFA, at the meeting, vowed to hand over an extra $19m every four years to each of its 211 member federations, if it succeeded in its attempt to hold the World Cup every two years.

Its economic arguments had not previously been explicitly stated, but FIFA will hope the numbers can at least persuade smaller nations to get behind the plans.

If the World Cup is held every two years, an independent report by market researchers at Nielsen estimated that approximately $4.4bn of additional revenues would be generated over four years.

The report also suggested that income from gate receipts, media rights and sponsorship for a 48-team tournament — as the World Cup is set to become from 2026 — could increase from $7bn to $11.4bn, a rise of more than 60 per cent.

By creating a “Solidarity Fund” of some $3.5bn in the first four years of the reformed calendar, FIFA estimates it could allocate “around $16m” to every federation over that period, it said.

In addition to that, FIFA also plans to increase funding via its FIFA Forward programme by $3m from the current $6m to $9m.

A report commissioned by European football’s governing body UEFA recently estimated a shortfall of between €2.5bn and €3bn over four years for European federations, if FIFA adopts its controversial plan.

Meanwhile, the World Leagues Forum, which represents 42 member leagues across the globe, estimated that domestic competitions stood to lose a combined $8.5bn if FIFA had its way.

According to an independent report by Open Economics, shared by FIFA, “historical revenue trends of the most relevant clubs and national teams final tournaments show no apparent rivalry between the two.”

However, that report did not advance any figures.

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2022 World Cup: FIFA announces new date for kick off

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FIFA has confirmed that the 2022 World Cup will now kick off on Sunday, November 20, rather than the initially scheduled date of Monday, November 21.

The first game will now be between the host nation Qatar and Ecuador instead of Senegal’s match against the Netherlands.

This means the tournament will be extended to 29 days, with the final taking place on Sunday, December 18.

FIFA confirmed this on Thursday, in what was a unanimous decision by a committee comprising FIFA president, Gianni Infantino and presidents of the six continental soccer bodies.

“The change ensures the continuity of a long-standing tradition of marking the start of the FIFA World Cup with an opening ceremony on the occasion of the first match featuring either the hosts or the defending champions.

“The decision followed an assessment of the competition and operational implications, as well as a thorough consultation process and an agreement with key stakeholders and the host country,” FIFA said in a statement.

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Rashford takes decision on joining PSG

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Manchester United striker, Marcus Rashford has decided to rule out any possibility of leaving the club to join Paris Saint-Germain this summer.

PSG are strongly interested in signing Rashford from Man United this summer.

The French Ligue 1 champions have held talks with Rashford’s representatives and want to bring the England international to the Parc des Princes.

But according to Daily Mail, Rashford has now responded to their approach by saying that he is happy at Man United and that his priority is to stay at Old Trafford this summer.

The report added that Man United are relaxed over the situation – despite the fact that Rashford’s contract is set to end on June 30, 2023.

Rashford has scored 93 goals in 304 games for Man United.

The 24-year-old has helped Man United win the FA Cup, League Cup and Europa League since he made his debut back in 2015, having progressed through the club’s youth ranks.

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Aguero warns Guardiola against selling Man City star

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Former Argentina striker, Sergio Aguero, has warned Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City against selling Bernardo Silva this summer.

Aguero said Silva is a great player, adding that he would be surprised if City under Guardiola let the Portugal international leave the Etihad this summer.

Silva has been linked with a move to LaLiga giants, Barcelona, this summer.

“Bernardo is a great player. He carries the ball, he sacrifices, has quality to assist and score goals, and he can play in different positions,” Aguero told Stake.

“It would surprise me if City let him go. He’s a player who contributes a lot every season, but everything is possible.

“If he finally arrives at Barca, then he’ll be someone who can be key to the possession game that Xavi likes.”

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