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Dec 9, 2014

Soccer-Club Cup highlights gulf between Europe and the rest

ZURICH, Dec 9 (Reuters) – The Club World Cup is billed by FIFA as “biggest club title of all” yet this month’s tournament in Morocco is more likely to serve as a reminder of the chasm that separates domestic football in Europe from the rest of the world.

It is difficult to envisage anything other than a win for Real Madrid in the tournament which, bizarrely, has been thrown under a cloud by players at Asian champions Western Sydney Wanderers threatening a boycott over a pay dispute.

Dec 8, 2014

Late drama in store after predictable group stage

BERNE (Reuters) – Five knockout stage places are up for grabs in the Champions League this week, offering enough late drama to stop the final round of group matches from turning into a damp squib.

Eleven teams are already through from a group stage which has produced too many one-sided matches for comfort.

Dec 8, 2014

Soccer-Late drama in store after predictable group stage

BERNE, Dec 8 (Reuters) – Five knockout stage places are up for grabs in the Champions League this week, offering enough late drama to stop the final round of group matches from turning into a damp squib.

Eleven teams are already through from a group stage which has produced too many one-sided matches for comfort.

Dec 5, 2014

Revived Benfica still dreaming of Champions League glory

ZURICH (Reuters) – It is generally accepted in European football that winning the Champions League nowadays is beyond the means of any team from outside the so-called Big Five leagues.

Benfica would beg to differ, however, and last season’s Portuguese treble winners believe that, with a bit of luck and the right draw, they could have what it takes to have a crack at the title in the next few years.

Dec 5, 2014

Soccer-Revived Benfica still dreaming of Champions League glory

ZURICH, Dec 5 (Reuters) – It is generally accepted in European football that winning the Champions League nowadays is beyond the means of any team from outside the so-called Big Five leagues.

Benfica would beg to differ, however, and last season’s Portuguese treble winners believe that, with a bit of luck and the right draw, they could have what it takes to have a crack at the title in the next few years.

Dec 4, 2014

Soccer-UEFA tries to explain the League of Nations

NYON, Switzerland, Dec 4 (Reuters) – UEFA attempted to explain the apparently inexplicable on Thursday as it unveiled the format for the League of Nations, the latest addition to the already crowded international calendar.

The bafflingly complex event will be run before, after and in conjunction with the qualifying competition for Euro 2020, featuring all 54 European national teams who will be divided into four divisions with promotion and relegation between each.

Dec 4, 2014

We’re fed up with FIFA crisis, says UEFA’s Infantino

NYON, Switzerland (Reuters) – European football’s governing body UEFA are fed up with hearing about the continuing crisis at FIFA, secretary general Gianni Infantino said on Thursday.

Infantino said the situation at FIFA had been briefly discussed at an executive committee meeting on Thursday and there was a feeling that there should be a united European position.

Dec 4, 2014

Soccer-We’re fed up with FIFA crisis, says UEFA’s Infantino

NYON, Switzerland, Dec 4 (Reuters) – European soccer’s governing body UEFA are fed up with hearing about the continuing crisis at FIFA, secretary general Gianni Infantino said on Thursday.

Infantino said the situation at FIFA had been briefly discussed at an executive committee meeting on Thursday and there was a feeling that there should be a united European position.

Dec 4, 2014

UEFA bans Crimean clubs from Russian league

NYON, Switzerland (Reuters) – Crimean clubs have been suspended by UEFA from playing in Russian domestic competitions.

“The Russian Football Union (RFU) may not organise any football competition in Crimea, without the consent of UEFA and the Football Federation of Ukraine (FFU),” it said in a statement on Thursday, adding the ban would take effect on Jan. 1.

Dec 4, 2014

Soccer-UEFA bans Crimean clubs from Russian league

NYON, Switzerland, Dec 4 (Reuters) – Crimean clubs have been suspended by UEFA from playing in Russian domestic competitions.

“The Russian Football Union (RFU) may not organise any football competition in Crimea, without the consent of UEFA and the Football Federation of Ukraine (FFU),” it said in a statement on Thursday, adding the ban would take effect on Jan. 1.