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U17 WORLD CUP

Poland U-17 World Cup squad depleted after FIFA rule out replacing banished players

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Poland’s preparations for the under 17 World Cup, which began on Friday in Indonesia, have been severely damaged after four players sent home from their training camp cannot be replaced.

On Monday, the Polish Football Association (PZPN) announced that four players were removed from the squad due to unsportsmanlike behaviour and violation of the regulations.

Poland had hoped to replace the four banished players but have been dealt a serious blow due to FIFA’s rules.

“As per Article 27.3 of the tournament regulations, a player listed on the final list may be replaced by a player from the provisional list only in the event of serious injury or illness up until 24 hours before the kick-off of their team’s first match,” FIFA told Reuters.

The squad now has just 14 outfield players for the tournament, where Poland begin with a game against Japan on Saturday, in a group also containing Argentina and Senegal.

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-Reuters

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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Under-17 World Cups to be held every year, says FIFA

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The FIFA Under-17 World Cup will be held annually instead of biennially, with the next five editions from 2025 to take place in Qatar, world soccer’s governing body said on Thursday.

Like the senior men’s World Cup, the Under-17 tournament will be expanded to 48 teams, FIFA said.

The women’s Under-17 World Cup will also be played annually from 2025, with Morocco hosting an expanded 24-team event until 2029. The 2022 edition had 16 teams.

“This followed a global call for expressions of interest in hosting both competitions, with a focus on leveraging the use of existing footballing infrastructure in the interest of tournament efficiencies and sustainability,” FIFA said.

The last men’s Under-17 World Cup was held in 2023 with Germany winning their first title. Spain won the women’s edition in 2022.

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Qatar hosted the 2022 senior men’s World Cup in winter while Morocco are one of the co-hosts for the 2030 edition.

FIFA also said a record $2.25 billion had been earmarked for the 2023-2026 cycle for investment in football development.

“Thanks to its solid financial governance, FIFA is well on track to exceed its budgetary target of $11 billion for the 2023-2026 cycle,” FIFA President Gianni Infantino said at the FIFA Council meeting.

Infantino also called for the imposition of stricter measures to combat racism. Last month, he called for teams to face automatic defeat if their fans displayed racist behaviour.

“The 74th FIFA Congress will mark a milestone in FIFA’s ongoing efforts to fight racism with new and stricter measures to be applied worldwide in cooperation with all our member associations and the confederations,” Infantino added.

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Under-17 World Cups to be held every year, says FIFA –

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bf5f50d9-fifa.jpg

The FIFA Under-17 World Cup will be held annually instead of biennially, with the next five editions from 2025 to take place in Qatar, world soccer’s governing body said on Thursday.

Like the senior men’s World Cup, the Under-17 tournament will be expanded to 48 teams, FIFA said.

The women’s Under-17 World Cup will also be played annually from 2025, with Morocco hosting an expanded 24-team event until 2029. The 2022 edition had 16 teams.

“This followed a global call for expressions of interest in hosting both competitions, with a focus on leveraging the use of existing footballing infrastructure in the interest of tournament efficiencies and sustainability,” FIFA said.

The last men’s Under-17 World Cup was held in 2023 with Germany winning their first title. Spain won the women’s edition in 2022.

Advertisement

Qatar hosted the 2022 senior men’s World Cup in winter while Morocco are one of the co-hosts for the 2030 edition.

FIFA also said a record $2.25 billion had been earmarked for the 2023-2026 cycle for investment in football development.

“Thanks to its solid financial governance, FIFA is well on track to exceed its budgetary target of $11 billion for the 2023-2026 cycle,” FIFA President Gianni Infantino said at the FIFA Council meeting.

Infantino also called for the imposition of stricter measures to combat racism. Last month, he called for teams to face automatic defeat if their fans displayed racist behaviour.

“The 74th FIFA Congress will mark a milestone in FIFA’s ongoing efforts to fight racism with new and stricter measures to be applied worldwide in cooperation with all our member associations and the confederations,” Infantino added.

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U17 WORLD CUP

Magnificent Mali pummel Argentina to win U17 World Cup bronze

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Hamidou Makalou scored an incredible individual goal as Mali swept aside Argentina to clinch the bronze medal at the FIFA U-17 World Cup.

Ibrahim Diarra and Mamadou Doumbia were also on target for the dominant African side in Surakarta.

The outstanding Diarra – unquestionably one of the stars of Indonesia 2023 – opened the scoring on nine minutes. The Mali captain expertly controlled a lofted pass from Sekou Kone then placed a precision strike into the bottom corner.

Mali continued to control the game and got the second goal their efforts deserved on the stroke of half-time. Makalou was the creator, with his free-kick delivery headed home by Doumbia.

Mali extended their advantage after the break with a quite astonishing goal. Makalou alighted on the ball just inside the box, nutmegged Tobias Palacio and, with one swift body-swerve, side-stepped Dylan Gorosito and goalkeeper Jeremias Florentin before tapping into an empty net.

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Argentina’s Claudio Echeverri – who came on as a half-time substitute – thought he had reduced the deficit with a neat finish shortly after the hour, but he had strayed offside.

Makalou almost scored a spectacular second when his thunderous free-kick smashed off the underside of the crossbar. There were to be no further goals, however, as Mali comfortably saw out a mightily impressive victory.

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