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FIFA bans Mutko from election

Blog - FIFA

Russia's World Cup CEO Alexei Sorokin would consider FIFA Council spot

Alexei Sorokin might run for a place on the FIFA Council.

Alexei Sorokin, the man in charge of organising the World Cup in Russia, is considering running for a spot on the FIFA Council after the country's deputy prime minister was barred from standing.

Organising committee CEO Sorokin has told Russian state news agency R-Sport that "it would be a big honour" to be nominated by the Russian Football Union, which is headed by Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko.

Sorokin added that "the main thing for us is that Russia doesn't lose its council place after certain...

 By Nick Ames

France and England cruising to World Cup in Russia, Portugal can't slip up

The ESPN FC crew discuss criticisms of UEFA's World Cup qualifying format.

The UEFA qualifiers for World Cup 2018 reach their halfway stage at the weekend, but who has one foot in the finals already, and who has it all to do?

In the driving seat

France sit three points clear at the top of Group A, and with their nearest rivals facing tougher assignments, they have an excellent chance of improving their position away at Luxembourg. The minnows have improved in recent years and ran both Sweden and the Netherlands close at home for long periods on previous matchdays. All...

Europe lacks countries who could host 48-team World Cup - UEFA president

Gianni Infantino delves into FIFA's 48-team revamp of the World Cup and what it means for football development.

Only a few European countries would be able to host a 48-team World Cup, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has said.

In January, FIFA decided to expand the tournament from 32 to 48 teams for the 2026 tournament.

Speaking during a visit to the Czech football federation's headquarters, Ceferin said it was hard to find many countries capable of providing a dozen suitable stadiums.

''I think maybe two countries, three countries in Europe, not more,'' he said. ''Nobody in Africa, maybe China, maybe U.S....

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Spartak Moscow fans respond to BBC Russian hooligan film with banner

Spartak Moscow fans unveil a banner in their match against rivals Lokomotiv Moscow.

Spartak Moscow fans unfurled a banner in response to the BBC's documentary, Russia's Hooligan Army, in which England fans were warned they are "100 percent guaranteed" to be targeted at the 2018 World Cup.

The banner, which was displayed during Spartak's 1-1 draw at Lokomotiv Moscow on Saturday, branded the BBC the "Blah Blah Channel."

A hooligan, known as Denis and the leader of the "Orel Butchers" group that was at the centre of the Marseille violence, said in the documentary which aired in February:...