Why Offside, Yellow Cards Should Be Scrapped From Football

FIFA technical boss Marco van Basten wants to scrap offside and yellow cards, he is advocating for sin-bins to be introduced into football in future.

The former World Player of the Year was employed by FIFA in September to oversee all technical areas ranging from innovations in technology to refereeing.And some of his long-term plans for the game is to scrap some of its most established rules.

“We must keep looking for ways to improve the game,” Van Basten said in an interview with Sport Bild.

“To make it more honest, more dynamic, more interesting, so that what we offer is attractive enough.

“There are lots of variations which need to be tested in the coming years.”

Van Basten said scrapping the offside rule, would mean an end to matches which “resemble handball where nine players, plus the goalkeeper, pack the penalty area and [the defence] is like a wall”.

He also argued that sin-binning players, would prove a greater deterrent than showing yellow cards.

“That would frighten teams,” he said.

“It is hard to play 10 against 11, let alone with eight or nine.”

Some of his other ideas include replacing extra-time and penalty shoot-outs with ice hockey-style shootouts, involving players dribbling towards the goalkeeper from “25 metres out”.

The 52-year-old also suggested a clamp down on time-wasting and players speaking to officials except captains.

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Full Draws for AFCON 2019 Qualifiers Out

The full draws for the qualifying games of the African Cup of Nations 2019 has been released. Nigeria is set to face South Africa.

See full list below;

Group A

Senegal, Equatorial Guinea, Sudan, Sao Tome or Madagascar

Group B

Cameroon, Morocco, Malawi, Comoros or Mauritius

Group C

Mali, Gabon, Burundi, Djibouti or South Sudan

Group D

Algeria, Togo, Benin, Gambia

Group E

Nigeria, South Africa, Libya, Seychelles

Group F

Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sierra Leone

Group G

Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo Brazzaville, Zimbabwe, Liberia

Group H

Ivory Coast, Guinea, Central African Republic, Rwanda

Group I

Burkina Faso, Angola, Botswana, Mauritania

Group J

Tunisia, Egypt, Niger, Swaziland

Group K

Zambia, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, Namibia

Group L

Cape Verde, Uganda, Tanzania, Lesotho

Note: Group winners and best three runners-up qualify for tournament with hosts Cameroon — Cameroon will compete in Group B and points awarded in their matches. If Cameroon win group, the runners-up will qualify; if they finish runners-up, the winners will qualify; if they finish third or fourth, the winners will qualify and the runners-up will compete for one of the three additional places

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See the First Photo Of Mikel Obi and His Teammates from Chinese Club, Tianjin TEDA,

Super Eagles captain, Mikel Obi recently to Chinese club, Tianjin TEDA, where he will reportedly earn £140,000 a week.

Mikel Obi had his first friendly match yesterday with Tianjin TEDA and shared these photos,  it looks like he’s the only black player on the team. See more photo below;See the First Photo Of Mikel Obi and His Teammates from Chinese Club, Tianjin TEDA, 1

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FIFA Gives Approval for Increased Number of Teams Participating in the World Cup

FIFA has voted to expand the World Cup to 48 teams from its current 32, brushing aside concerns that the expansion would lower the overall standard of the tournament, and make it too long and unwieldy.

Soccer’s governing body said on its Twitter feed that the FIFA Council, its decision-making panel, had voted unanimously in favour of the change which will be introduced at the 2026 tournament.

The new format will include a first round of 16 groups of three teams, FIFA said, with further details to be given later.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino, who replaced the disgraced Sepp Blatter in February, had made World Cup expansion one of his promises during his successful electoral campaign.

Infantino had initially suggested a 40-team tournament but then added another eight to that total in October.

FIFA’s 211 member associations each hold one vote in the presidential election and 135 of them have never played at a World Cup, so expansion of the tournament was always likely to appeal.

Those who have never qualified include 41 out of 54 of its African members and 10 out of 11 members in the Oceania region.

Critics, including the powerful European clubs as well as some leading coaches, have said that FIFA is tampering with a winning formula.

The last World Cup in Brazil was widely regarded as one of the best in the competition’s 87-year-old history, featuring shock results, last minute drama and outstanding individual performances.

Another worry with the new format is that there could be a number of matches at the end of the group stage where both teams know exactly which result will send them into the next stage.

The qualifying competition, meanwhile, is likely to become a mere formality for many of the strongest teams.

The inaugural World Cup in Uruguay featured just 13 teams and 17 matches. Sixteen teams took part from 1934, eight more were added from 1982 onwards and, finally, another eight in 1998.

Reuters

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RIP! World Legendary Football Player Dies at 55

Paraguay football legend, Roberto Cabanas has died after suffering a heart attack on Monday aged 55, his brother said.

The striker was a well known figure for top Argentine league side Boca Juniors and played alongside Brazilian legend Pele for the New York Cosmos in the 1980s.

“It is confirmed that my brother has died. He had a heart attack” in the Paraguayan capital Asuncion, Valerio Cabanas told local radio station ABC.

With his voice breaking, Valerio Cabanas said the player’s sudden death took the family by surprise.

“He didn’t have so much as a headache. He didn’t say anything to us” to indicate he was unwell, he said.

Known in his home country as “The Panther,” Cabanas played in the Paraguay side that won the Copa America in 1979.

At the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, he scored two goals against Belgium in a key group stages match.

He started out with Asuncion club Cerro Porteno before moving at the age of 19 to the Cosmos, where he lined up alongside Pele and Franz Beckenbauer.

He later played for America de Cali in Colombia, and for Brest and Lyon in France before arriving at Boca in the 1990s.

There he became a fans’ favourite for his skills and goalscoring and tough encounters with rival players in the Buenos Aires derby against River Plate.

“I have the great satisfaction of having played with two of the greatest footballers in the world,” he once said in an interview with a Paraguayan newspaper.

“When I was very young I arrived in the United States and played alongside Pele, and when I was older I went to Argentina and had the chance to be in the team with Diego Armando” Maradona at Boca, he recalled.

Valerio Cabanas said his brother’s remains would be taken to his native town of Pilar in southern Paraguay to be buried in line with the player’s wishes.

Source: Hindu Times

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11 Years, 11 Trophies – 11 Things Chelsea Fans Will Never Forget About Mikel

Nigeria’s midfielder, John Mikel Obi today announced his move to Chinese club, Tianjin Teda after 11 years at Chelsea.

Below are 11 things Chelsea fans will not forget about him.

1. Transfer saga

Mikel joined Chelsea in 2006 after a controversial transfer from Norwegian side Lyn Oslo. After Manchester United had announced the capture of Mikel on its website, Chelsea came at the last hour to sign the then promising talent.

2. Trophies

The midfielder has made 374 appearances for Chelsea, winning 11 trophies along the way. Premier League: 2009–10, 2014–15, FA Cup: 2006–07, 2008–09, 2009–10, 2011–12, League Cup: 2006-07, 2014-15, FA Community Shield: 2009, UEFA Champions League: 2011–12, UEFA Europa League: 2012–13.

3. Pass accuracy

In his first three years at Chelsea, he had the highest pass completion in the Premier League, boasting an impressive 89.93%. That’s even better than the likes of Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard or Man United’s Paul Scholes.

4. Loyalty

Mikel, before departure is the second-longest serving player at Stamford Bridge. Mikel made just 18 appearances for Chelsea last season and has been used in a substitute role increasingly over the last few years.

5. Red cards

Chelsea fans will not also forget quickly the times Mikel has been sent off the pitch of play. In 2007, Mikel was sent-off for the third time in his one year Chelsea career when referee Mike Dean dismissed him for a tackle on Manchester United defender Patrice Evra.

6. 2011-2012 season opener

Before the start of their league campaign, Mikel’s father was abducted in his native Nigeria on 10 August; despite this, Mikel started in the club’s opening fixture against Stoke City at Britannia Stadium.

7. Threat to referee

In 2012, Mikel was charged with misconduct by the Football Association (FA) on 22 November 2012. He was given a three-match ban and fined £60,000 for threatening referee Mark Clattenburg during a 3–2 defeat to Manchester United.

8. Dreadlock

Just like his African counterpart, Michael Essien, Mikel had been on dreadlocks for a very long time at Chelea.

9. 2016 summer Olympics

This many believed to be the major cause of his inability to break into Antonio Conte’s side. Mikel opted to play for his country Nigeria ahead of playing for Chelsea.

10. On 19th May 2012, in the final in Munich on 19 May, Mikel played the full 120 minutes in a tough defensive battle as Chelsea won its first ever Champions League trophy.

11. As a fan of football, what exactly do you remember about his playing career at Chelsea?

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Mikel Obi receives emotional Chelsea farewell from fan

Nigeria midfielder John Obi Mikel has become the latest big name player to join the Chinese Super League gold rush after leaving Chelsea for Tianjin Teda.

An Ukrainian fan wrote to the Blues midfielder highlighting his best moment while tagging him as one of the symbolic figures from Africa. Read below;
mikel-obi-writes-emotional-farewell-letter-to-all-chelsea-fans

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Full List of Winners at 2016 Glo CAF Awards

Here is the list of all the winners at the prestigious awards ceremony.

Women National Team of the year: Nigeria Falcon

National Team of the year: Cranes of Uganda

Club of the year Award: Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa

Coach of the Year Award: Pitso Mosimane (Mamelodi Sundowns’ head coach)

Most Promising Talent: Kelechi Iheanacho (Manchester City and Nigeria)

Women’s Player of the Year Award: Asisat Oshoala (Nigeria and Arsenal Ladies)

Referee of the Year Award: Bakary Papa GASSAMA (Gambia)

Legend Award: Emilienne Mbango (former Cameroon player) and Laurent Pokou (former player of Côte d’Ivoire)

African Player of the Year (Based in Africa)Denis Onyango (Uganda & Mamelodi Sundowns)

African Player of the Year (2017): Riyad Mahrez (Algeria and Leicester City)

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Alex Iwobi Ranked Among Best 100 Players In The World

Super Eagles and Arsenal FC of England midfielder, Alex I wobi, has been named among the top 100 Best Young Footballers in the World.

 

This is as contained in an in-dept analysis and detailed scout reports by outsidetheboots.com. The research, which was conducted on all players born on or after January 1st 1996, found Alex Iwobi as the only player with Nigerian blood selected among the midfielders.

Describing Iwobi, the report said: “What truly sets Alex Iwobi apart is his footballing intelligence. His vision and inherent ability to read the game has been a major part of his success in moving from the reserves to Wenger’s first team without a loan spell away from Arsenal.”
“Iwobi has combined well with his team-mates in build-up play and has displayed a keen understanding of facets such as which positions to take up on the pitch, when to pass/shoot, as well as which off-ball runs to make.”

Also included in the ranking are players like Marco Asensio, Julian Brandt, Dele Alli, Ousman Dembele, amongst other talented players.

Iwobi was further analyzed to be “a player who has the technical ability and, importantly, football intelligence to make it at the highest levels of the game. Crucially, he has the mentality required to fulfil his potential”.

The Nigerian youngster has already scored a goal for Arsenal F.C. in the year 2017, in the match against Crystal Palace on the New Year campaign.

Worthy of note is that, Iwobi is a nephew to football legend, Austin Jay Jay Okocha.

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Top 7 Most Popular Football Clubs in The World

In a poll conducted by readers of Goal.com, Manchester United have been voted the most popular club in the world.

After a worldwide poll in which over 42,000 people cast votes for their favourite big team, with the Red Devils coming out clear in first place.

See top 7 below:

1. Manchester United

2. Barcelona

3. Real Madrid

4. Chelsea

5. Liverpool

6. AC Milan

7. Juventus

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