February 2020 - Soccer Wiretap

FIFA Seeks $1 Billion To Fund 2021 Club World Cup

Feb 24, 2020 5:19 PM

FIFA has hired the Raine Group to help finance the 2021 Club World Cup, which was awarded to China last year. 

There will be 24 clubs participating in the Club World Cup.

FIFA is seeking $1 billion with much of the money needed to secure the participation of the top European clubs, which are seeking privileged status and would essentially become joint owners of the event.

By hiring Raine to manage the process, FIFA is enlisting an organization well versed in securing deals for sports entities, and one with a presence in China.

Tariq Panja/New York Times

Herculez Gomez: Gio Reyna Should Start For USMNT

Feb 24, 2020 1:11 PM

Herculez Gomez praised 17-year-old Borussia Dortmund midfielder Gio Reyna, saying that he should start for the USMNT.

Reyna recently became the youngest player in US history to play in a Champions League match, making a substitution appearance against PSG.

"Gio is a playmaker and if he keeps improving as a player Gregg Berhalter needs to call him up to the national team. A player like that needs to be a starter because of his talent. Times have changed and Berhalter needs to see what this wonderkid can do for him. I think it would make the USMNT better," said Gomez.

Gomez also gave his input for a potential 3-player midfield as the USMNT heads into 2022 World Cup qualifying.

"I think that the fans would love to see Tyler Adams, Christian Pulisic and Weston McKennie together in the midfield."

Rodrigo Serrano/As.com

Tags: IQ

Koke Compliments Joao Felix Following Villarreal Match

Feb 24, 2020 12:14 PM

Koke said that Joao Felix was gaining his form following Atletico Madrid's 3-1 win over Villarreal.

Felix, returning from a lengthy injury spell, came off the bench and scored.

"Everyone can see what is expected of João, he's a young boy and he has lots of room for improvement," said Koke after the match.

"Many great players have had to adapt to Atlético and it's not easy, he's young. If he listens to the boss and his team-mates, he will be the player that everyone wants to see."

Diego Simeone went on to compliment Koke's versatility.

"He knows what we're looking for, a tactical condition that lots of players don't have and a pass that seems slow but he knows where he is.

"He can play on the right, in the middle. He and Saúl are the ones who can play in any position."


Tags: Atlético Madrid, IQ

Serie A Matches Could Be Played Behind Closed Doors Due To Coronavirus

Feb 24, 2020 12:09 PM

There is an increasing likelihood of Serie A, Coppa Italia, and European matches being played behind closed doors due to coronavirus fears.

Four Serie A matches in northern Italy were suspended over the weekend due to the virus.

The Italian government could agree to the league's request to play matches behind closed doors until fears over the virus subsides.

Football Italia

Tags: UEFA Champions League

Mikel Arteta Wants To Extend Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Contract

Feb 24, 2020 12:01 PM

Mikel Arteta is looking to extend Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's contract amid rumored interest from Barcelona.

The 30-year-old's deal expires at the end of next season.

"They're completely right to want him because he's a superb player. It's right that the big teams like him. Hopefully we can convince him this is the right place to be. He is our most important player, no doubt the impact he has in this team. We will have to convince him to stay with us," said of Barcelona's interest in Aubameyang.

Arteta added that it was important for Arsenal to make the Champions League next season.

"He wants to play in the biggest competitions with the best players. We have to help him do that. He needs to feel fulfilled."


Tags: Arsenal, Barcelona, Transfer Rumor

South Korea Suspends Domestic League Over Coronavirus Fears

Feb 24, 2020 11:58 AM

South Korea suspended domestic league play indefinitely due to fears over the coronavirus outbreak.

South Korea reported 833 cases of the disease.

"We have prepared for the season well but the virus is not something to be taken lightly," Gangwon FC coach Kim Byung-soo said.

"We are worried about it spreading around the country and this is more important than preparing for the season and the right decision has been taken. Players and coaching staff all have to be careful."

Asian Champions League matches hosted in Korea will take place in empty stadiums.

The Chinese Super League has also been delayed by the virus.


Tags: IQ

Eden Hazard To Miss Rest Of La Liga Season

Feb 24, 2020 11:45 AM

Eden Hazard will miss the rest of Real Madrid's season, according to Roberto Martinez.

Hazard fractured his right fibula during Real Madrid's 1-0 loss to Levante.

"A footballer like Eden should always be on the pitch. We have an excellent communication with Real Madrid's medical staff and we are anxious about Eden," Martinez.

"It's a shame, because it has also happened before an important game as that of Manchester City."

Hazard only played in 15 matches for Real Madrid this season.

Adriana Garcia/ESPN

Tags: Real Madrid, Injury

Rodrygo Sent Off In Reserve Match, Will Miss El Clasico

Feb 23, 2020 8:00 PM

Rodrygo will miss next week's El Clasico against Barcelona after being sent off in a reserve match.

The 18-year-old striker mocked the keeper for San Sebastian de los Reyes after scoring a goal, leading to the red card.

Real Madrid will also be without Eden Hazard due to a fractured right fibula. 


Tags: Barcelona, Real Madrid, Game Recap

Barcelona Players To Get Checked For Coronavirus Before Napoli Match

Feb 23, 2020 7:53 PM

Barcelona players will be tested for coronavirus when they land in Naples ahead of their Champions League clash against Napoli.

Four Serie A matches were cancelled in northern Italy due to the outbreak.

Barcelona players will have their temperatures checked upon landing, with players showing signs of illness taken to the hospital.

Moises Llorens/ESPN

Tags: Barcelona, Napoli, UEFA Champions League

Eden Hazard To Miss Two Months With Fractured Right Fibula

Feb 23, 2020 11:33 AM

Eden Hazard suffered a fractured right fibula during Real Madrid's 1-0 loss versus Levante.

Hazard is expected to miss two months. 

"Following the tests carried out today on our player, Eden Hazard, he has been diagnosed with a fracture to his right distal fibula. His recovery will continue to be assessed," said Real Madrid in a statement.

The 29-year-old has scored just 1 goal in 9 starts this season. 

Alex Kirkland & Rodrigo Faez/ESPN

Tags: Real Madrid, Injury

Conmebol Threaten To Ban Teams Who Withhold Image Rights

Antonio Strini, Guilherme Sacco, Jean Santos & Rodrigo Guerra/ESPN

Thomas Tuchel Not Happy With Footage Of Partying

Jonathan Johnson/ESPN

N'Golo Kante Out Three Weeks With Muscle Injury


Frank Lampard: Board Backs Decision To Bench Kepa Arrizabalaga


Joao Felix Returns To Atletico Madrid Training

Isaac Suárez & David G. Medina/Marca

Leganes Manager Criticizes Barcelona Over Martin Braithwaite


Martin Braithwaite Included In Barcelona Team For Saturday Match

M. Carmen Torres/Marca

Quique Setien Says Barcelona Players Stand By President


Jordan Henderson Out 3 Weeks With Hamstring Injury


Wilfred Ndidi Ruled Out Of Manchester City Match


Eduardo Camavinga Linked With Real Madrid

Jose Felix Diaz/Marca

Borussia Dortmund Receive 3-Year Ban From Hoffenheim

Stephan Uersfeld/ESPN

Siem De Jong Signs With FC Cincinnati On Free Transfer


Timo Werner Says He's 'Very Proud' Of Liverpool Link

Stephan Uersfeld/ESPN

Barcelona Officially Unveil Martin Braithwaite

Adriana Garcia/ESPN

Lionel Messi: Barcelona Is 'My Home'


Ralf Rangnick Reportedly Signs Contract With Milan

Football Italia

Inter Linked With Dries Mertens, Jan Vertonghen

Football Italia

Barcelona Set To Sign Striker Martin Braithwaite For $19.4 Million

Moises Llorens & Sam Marsden/ESPN

Neymar Blames PSG For Lack Of Recovery From Rib Injury