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Holders France Handed Awkward Draw, England To Face Poland inY 2022 World Cup Qualifying

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England have been drawn in a group with Poland in qualifying for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, while holders France will come up against Ukraine as well as Finland.
Gareth Southgate’s England, semi-finalists at the 2018 tournament in Russia, will also take on Hungary in Group I.
Holders France were handed an awkward draw in qualifying for the 2022 World Cup on Monday, with Ukraine and Bosnia and Herzegovina standing in their way on the road to the finals in Qatar, while England will face Poland in their group.
Gareth Southgate’s England, semi-finalists at the 2018 tournament in Russia, will also take on Hungary and Albania as well as two of the minnows of international football, Andorra and San Marino, in Group I.
France will also face Finland — who recently beat Les Bleus in a friendly in Paris — in Group D, with Kazakhstan completing the group that was drawn in a virtual ceremony at FIFA’s headquarters in Zurich due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Didier Deschamps They are in a group of just five teams because they will be involved in the finals of the UEFA Nations League in Italy in October next year.
The European qualifying competition to reach the finals begins next March, with a total of 13 countries from the continent going through.
Only the winners of each of the 10 groups will qualify automatically for the finals, which are to take place in November and December of 2022.
The 10 runners-up will go into play-offs alongside the two best Nations League group winners who miss out on qualifying via the traditional path.
Those play-offs will produce three more qualifiers in total, with Europe having 13 spots out of the 32 at the finals.
Germany, whose coach Joachim Loew has been under severe pressure after a run of poor recent results for the 2014 World Cup winners, will be expected to come through a group in which Romania and Iceland appear their main threats.

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Super Eagles Defender Balogun Pens Contract Extension

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Super Eagles Defender Leon Balogun has penned a contract extension with Scottish champions Rangers FC till 2022
Balogun played a key role for the Glasgow club in achieving domestic league success, making 28 appearances en route to clinching their 55th SPFL titles ahead of bitter rivals Celtic.
Balogun speaking on his contract extension said: “Today is a very happy day and a very proud day announcing my contract has been extended for another year.
“I am proud to be a part of this amazing club and I felt that pretty early on I had fallen in love with the club and the working environment, the way the players and the management staff work and the way the club is a big family, I am happy and proud that I can call myself a Rangers player.
“I am happy to be a part of the team that won the league, but what we have been saying recently is we are just getting started and I am happy that I can be a part of this. I said a few weeks into one of my family, I wish I had been at a club and an environment like this early on in my career.
“I am very, very happy and proud that this can now be announced. One thing too, I was never going to leave before witnessing a full Ibrox Stadium, and if everyone was happy, I was going to stay.”
A delighted Rangers boss, Steven Gerrard said: “I am delighted to secure the services of Leon for another year. Leon has been a consistent performer for me this season and has played a key role in strengthening our defence.
“His professionalism is obvious both on the field and in the dressing room as well. He is a role model for other players and has been a very positive influence within the squad.
“Although he is now 32, he can clearly continue to have a key influence in our squad for another year. I know that he is still ambitious to become a better version of himself and I know he is hungry for more success.”

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Fifa Bans Chad Indefinitely From Global Football Over Government Interference

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Agency Report

 

The move comes after the minister of youth and sports dissolved the Federation of Chad Football Associations in March.

After the announcement by the Chadian government the Confederation of African Football disqualified the national team from last month’s final two rounds of qualifying for the Africa Cup of Nations.

Chad do not have any upcoming international fixtures having been knocked out of 2022 World Cup qualifying by Sudan in 2019.

An official statement from football world’s governing body said: “the Bureau of the Fifa Council or the Fifa Council may lift this suspension at any time before the next Fifa Congress takes place and we will inform you accordingly.”

The next congress is due to be held online on 21 May.

“The FTFA loses all its membership rights, as defined in article 13 of the Fifa Statutes, with immediate effect and until further notice,” the Fifa statement explained.

“FTFA representative and club teams are therefore no longer entitled to take part in international competitions until the suspension is lifted.

“Moreover, we remind you and your affiliates not to enter into any sporting contact with the FTFA and/or its teams while the FTFA is suspended.”

 

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Racism: Valencia Players Walk Off Pitch Against Cadiz

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Agency Report
Valencia’s players walked off the pitch during their La Liga game against Cadiz on Sunday, after the club said their player Mouctar Diakhaby was racially abused.
After a short delay, the Valencia team returned to resume the match, this time without Diakhaby, who the club said had requested his team-mates continue.
Diakhaby had shared a heated exchange with Cadiz’s Juan Cala at the Ramon de Carranza stadium before indicating to the referee he was leaving the field, with the Frenchman’s team-mates then following him off in the 37th minute.
Valencia posted messages on social media soon after, which read: “The team have held a meeting and decided to continue the game, in order to fight for the honour of the club, but denounce racism of any kind.
“We offer our complete backing to @Diakhaby_5. The player, who had received a racial insult, requested that his teammates return to the pitch. We support you Mouctar.”
Cala was then also substituted at half-time, having earlier scored the opening goal for Cadiz, with Kevin Gameiro equalising for Valencia.
Diakhaby was replaced by Hugo Guillamon and watched the second half sitting in the stands.

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