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Discussion in 'FIFA and Tournaments' started by Nico Limmat, Dec 22, 2016.
Why do you hate the CWC. The UEFA Champ needs to prove it is better than the other continental kings
Minutes away from the big final in Cardiff...
It's a re-match of the 1998 final that Real Madrid won 1-0:
Will Real be the first club to win consecutive titles in the Champions League era? It would be their (record) 12th while Juventus are aiming for their third.
Well, Real Madrid did it. 4:1 over Juventus.
They obviously feel threatened by Auckland City in terms of overall confederation titles.
I have to admit I was firmly in the Juventus camp - and not just because of Stephan Lichtsteiner. Oh well, I have yet to see Los Merengues and Ronaldo live.
So, until November we have the following qualifiers:
UEFA: Real Madrid Club de Fútbol (Spain)
CONCACAF: Club de Fútbol Pachuca (Mexico)
OFC: Auckland City Football Club (New Zealand)
Host: Al Jazira Club (UAE)*
*Provisionally qualified in case that Al Ain doesn't win the AFC CL.
In case you missed Mandzukic's fantastic goal...
Tickets for UAE 2017 are now on sale and I have secured my tickets for the final. Will attempt to attend all matches with the possible exception of the opening playoff.
Draw for AFC Quarter-finals...
A bit disappointing to see same-association series in the East. More neutral venue games in the West between Persepolis and Al Ahli. Makes you wonder what will happen if the Qatar political spat carries over into the next ACL. Then every game between Qatar and Saudi/UAE will need a neutral venue. There are so only so many games Oman can host and Kuwait is still suspended.
Semi-serious question: has the AFC considered doing some football evangelism and scheduling these neutral-venue games for countries that don't normally get teams in the Champions League (e.g. Lebanon, Jordan)?
Well, Oman doesn't have teams in the ACL. Jordan could work but given the sectarian undertone of the various regional conflicts I'm not sure Lebanon is a good idea. Once Kuwait are no longer suspended they can host games too.
For the above Persepolis-Al Ahli series Persepolis chose Oman for their home leg while Al Ahli chose Qatar. Al Ahli have now changed their request to the UAE (Abu Dhabi). In spite of what is going on the UAE still has diplomatic ties with Iran. It's a shame that politics has gotten in the way of an intriguing match-up. This series would normally draw a minimum of 110,000 over both legs, up to 140,000 if the Al Ahli fans come out in full force. Now it will struggle to break 20K in total.
Libertadores R-16 Draw
Not exactly related to UAE 2017 but nevertheless interesting as it pertains to club football in the two most populous countries in the world.
China’s FA ushers in transfer tax, doubling cost of imported foreign players
Bengaluru join ISL from next season
So the I-League lost one of its three flagship clubs and the ISL now runs for five months. It's only a matter of time until the ISL becomes the official first division of India. It's a shame they can't find a decent solution for the two Kolkata teams in the I-League. The fact that both of them don't want to pay the ISL entry fee doesn't help and neither does the presence of Atlético de Kolkata.
While the Confederations Cup was being played the CAF group stage has been picking up steam. We are already at Matchday 5. Looks like expanding the group stage was a good decision. The new format shows adequate depth in African club football. After five games the following clubs are at the bottom of their respective groups:
- Al Hilal (Sudan)
- Zamalek (Egypt)
- Vita Club (DR Congo)
- Coton Sport (Cameroon)
These are all big names. Record holders Al Ahly are currently also missing out on the quarterfinals. The biggest surprise to me are Zambia's Zanaco topping their group.
The Libertadores R16 has also begun this week...
Following up the India story from above, the decision has been taken to run the ISL and I-League simultaneously for 2017-2018. The ISL will get a spot in the (secondary) AFC Cup. The I-League holds onto its AFC Champions League spot for now but you basically have a situation where India has two "first divisions" this year. Since both are playing at the same time, where are all the players going to come from? Domestic talent is scarce enough as it is. This is a complete mess that hopefully won't last longer than a season.
Two clubs kicked out of CAF Champions League as FIFA suspends Sudan FA:
Sudan now have to get right with FIFA before March or they'll get kicked out of the 2019 AFCON as well.
The CAF quarter-finals are set. They will be played in September:
Al Ahli (Tripoli, Libya) - Etoile du Sahel (Tunisia)
Al Ahly (Cairo, Egypt) - Esperance de Tunis (Tunisia)
Ferroviário Beira (Mozambique) - USM Alger (Algeria)
Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa) - Wydad Casablanca (Morocco)
Credit to Al Ahli Tripoli for holding off Zamalek. Heartbreaking exit for Zambia's Zanaco who were leading the group going into the last match. Ferroviário Beira get through thanks to Sudan's disqualification.
Wow, no Congo-Kinshasa teams in sight...
So I just now learned that beIn Sports is showing CAF CL games here in the US, so I'll be getting more into it whenever I can wrest/negotiate the remote away from the missus...
I don't know when beIN Sports started showing the CAF CL, but I have seen it. Yesterday I watched a little of a replay of Mamelodi vs. Vita Club. Today at 10:00 A.M. they're replaying Zamalek vs. Al Ahli (Tripoli). On Thursday at 10:00 A.M. they're replaying Wydad vs. Zanaco. On Friday at 10:00 A.M. they're replaying Al Ahly (Cairo) vs. Coton Sport.
BeIn Sports also show the CAF CL games in the UAE...
Pachuca have added some star power in Japanese international Keisuke Honda - most recently at AC Milan. That lessens the sting of losing "Chucky" Lozano. Interesting to see Liga MX add non-Latin American name players like Gignac and now Honda in recent seasons.
The Copa Libertadores quarter-finals are set:
Jorge Wilstermann (Bolivia) - River Plate (Argentina)
Barcelona SC (Ecuador) - Santos (Brazil)
Botafogo (Brazil) - Gremio (Brazil)
San Lorenzo (Argentina) - Lanus (Argentina)
The AFC quarters start next week.
In an unfortunate turn of events it looks like I will be missing most of the 2017 CWC including the final due to a family wedding.
Barcelona SC playing Real Madrid at the CWC would be funny. I'd love to watch some Copa Libertadores, are they on USA TV at all?
I've seen promos on Fox Deportes...
AFC Champions League, quarter-finals
Al-Ain - Al-Hilal 0-0
Persepolis - Al-Ahli 2-2 (neutral venue for both legs)
Shanghai SIPG - Guangzhou Evergrande 4-0
Kawasaki - Urawa 3-1
Al-Hilal and Kawasaki still undefeated (5 wins, 4 draws both).
Return legs to be played on September 11-13.
Dumb question: the away goals rule is still in effect for this series, right?
Clearly written by our own @It's called FOOTBALL :
"European paths set on road to UAE 2018."