Entries in FIFA (3)


Palestinians Host their First International Soccer Match

ABBAS MOMANI/AFP/Getty Images(JERUSALEM) -- The Palestinian national soccer team was accepted into the international FIFA soccer league more than 10 years ago, but due to the Mideast conflict it was never able to host a game in the West Bank. Political changes, better security, and a stronger economy has changed that.

They played a historic game at the Faisal al-Husseini stadium in the West Bank on Wednesday -- not just for soccer fans but for many Palestinians. Their national soccer team hosted an international-level match on its home turf for the very first time, taking on Thailand. Nearly 20,000 fans came out, braving the bitter cold and hail.  Many saw this first home game as another hard-won step in the struggle for an independent Palestinian state.  The soccer team lost to Thailand, but for many it was a political win.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Russia, Qatar to Host 2018 and 2022 World Cups

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(ZURICH) -- FIFA's executive committee announced Thursday that Russia will host the 2018 World Cup and Qatar will host the following tournament in 2022.

Russia beat out England and joint bids by Spain and Portugal, as well as the Netherlands and Belgium. Russia becomes the first Eastern European country to host the World Cup.

Qatar topped bids from the U.S., Australia, Japan and South Korea.  It becomes the smallest country and the first in the Middle East to host the event.

President Obama commented on the decision saying, "I think it was the wrong decision. But I continue to be optimistic that our team -- wherever we're playing -- is gonna make it to the finals the next time."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


FIFA Suspends Nigerian Football Association

Photo Courtesy -- Getty Images(ZURICH) -- On Monday, the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) decided to suspend the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) with immediate effect due to government interference.

FIFA has strict rules about the role government can play in determining or undermining leadership or coaches for football associations. 

"This decision follows the latest events linked to the NFF, such as the court actions against elected members of the NFF Executive Committee preventing them from exercising their functions and duties, the stepping down of the acting NFF General Secretary on the instructions of the National Sports Commission, the decision of the Minister of Sports to have the Nigerian League start without relegation from the previous season, and the fact that the NFF Executive Committee cannot work properly due to this interference," FIFA said in a written release."

The suspension will be maintained until the court actions have ceased and the duly elected NFF Executive Committee is able to work without any interference.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio