AFC ASIA CUP UAE 2019
By Paul Nicholson in Abu Dhabi
UAE 3 Kyrgyz Republic 2 (AET)
June 21 – Hosts UAE made it through to the quarter finals of the Asian Cup but only after having thrown away a winning position to send the match into extra time against a tenacious Kyrgyz Republic. Sub Ahmed Khalil had been on the pitch just four minutes before stepping up to slot the winning penalty.
December 18 – Wolves are more likely to win maximum league points if Diogo Jota is in the starting line-up than if he isn’t. The same for Chelsea if Ross Barklay and/or Pedro Rodriguez starts.
December 20 – Major League Soccer is revamping its playoff format from next season to include more teams in the post season MLS Cup and end the season nearly a month earlier.
By Paul Nicholson
December 19 – The European Union, China and Canada all spoke out in support of Qatar’s case against Saudi Arabia at a World Trade Organisation (WTO) meeting today discussing the beoutQ piracy of broadcast programming. All three backed the contention that Qatar had the right to pursue protection of the intellectual copyright through the organisation.
By Andrew Warshaw
December 19 – Philip Chiyangwa, one of the most charismatic figures in African football and a key ally of Gianni Infantino, has been sensationally ousted as president of the Zimbabwean FA (Zifa) following elections held on Tuesday.
December 19 – Within days of euphorically picking up the Copa Libertadores title against arch-rivals Boca Juniors, Argentinian giants River Plate were brought embarrassing down to earth on Tuesday when they suffered a shock defeat to hosts Al Ain in the semi-finals of the FIFA Club World Cup in the United Arab Emirates.
December 19 – Europe’s major leagues have called on UEFA to alter their revenue distribution policy to bring about a more level playing field and prevent the gap between the haves and the have-nots from widening.
December 19 – Manchester United have named Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as caretaker manager until the end of the season, a day after sacking Jose Mourinho, but British media have little doubt who United’s long-term target is.
Chelsea are back in the headlines for the conduct of their fans with UEFA confirming it is to investigate the “alleged racist incidents” during the club’s Europa League game at MOL Vidi in Hungary.
December 19 – It is the first incarnation in English football of baseball movie Moneyball’s premise that the use of smart data during the game can win matches. Manchester City will be the first Premier League team to use live data in the dugout during the match to brief players and hone tactics.
December 19 – FC Bayern’s Digital & Media Lab has expanded its business with three new long term partnerships with Swiss club FC Basel, Austria’s FK Austria Wien and Bundesliga 2 club Dynamo Dresden.
By Paul Nicholson in Qatar
December 18 – In exactly four years’ time Qatar will be hosting the final of the 2022 World Cup in the Lusail Stadium in Lusail City. It will be a double celebration for the country, whether they make the final or not, as December 18 is their National Day.
By Andrew Warshaw
December 18 – As FIFA continues to prevaricate over whether to expand the Qatar World Cup in 2022, the Qataris themselves are taking a firm but diplomatic stance.
December 18 – Having stripped Cameroon of the 2019 African Cup of Nations, Confederation of African Football (CAF) boss Ahmad Ahmad has insisted no decision has yet been reached for them to stage 2021 instead and force original hosts Ivory Coast to stage the event two years later.
By Andrew Warshaw
December 18 – He was hired on reputation to restore past glories at the club he always wanted to join. But once again, Jose Mourinho, the self-styled Special One, has found himself on the managerial scrapheap after being ignominiously sacked by Manchester United following the club’s worst start to a Premier league campaign for 28 years.