The tickets for the Africa Cup of Nations to be held in Cameroon next year are set to go on sale from December.
The competition’s Local Organizing Committee said on Wednesday that it has agreed with the Confederation of African Football to sell the tickets online and in established kiosks in the country.
“Tickets shall be sold on the limited number of fans prescribed by the Confederation of African Football across the different stadia. This is in conformity with the anti-COVID-19 measures. We are equally taking the necessary measures to ensure that there exists no black market for tickets though out the African football mass,” the committee said in a statement.
The tournament, which features 24 teams, is set to commence on January 9 with hosts Cameroon taking on Burkina Faso at the 60,000-seat Olembe stadium in the capital Yaounde.
The biennial competition will end on February 6
Eleven teams have qualified for the 2021-2022 Uefa Champions League last 16 with a match to spare. Five more teams will join them on matchday six with giants Barcelona risking elimination when they face Bayern Munich.
Group A – Manchester City (England), Paris Saint-Germain (France)
Group B – Liverpool (England)
Group C – Ajax (Netherlands), Sporting Lisbon (Portugal)
Group D – Real Madrid (Spain), Inter Milan (Italy)
Group E – Bayern Munich (Germany)
Group F – Manchester United (England)
Group H – Chelsea (England), Juventus (Italy)
Uefa Champions League Matchday 6
Tuesday 7 December
Group A: Paris vs Club Brugge (18:45 CET), Leipzig vs Man. City (18:45 CET)
Group B: Porto vs Atlético de Madrid, AC Milan vs Liverpool
Group C: Dortmund vs Beşiktaş, Ajax vs Sporting CP
Group D: Real Madrid vs Inter, Shakhtar Donetsk vs Sheriff
Wednesday 8 December
Group E: Benfica vs Dynamo Kyiv, Bayern vs Barcelona
Group F: Man. United vs Young Boys, Atalanta vs Villarreal
Group G: Salzburg vs Sevilla, Wolfsburg vs LOSC
Group H: Juventus vs Malmö (18:45 CET), Zenit vs Chelsea (18:45 CET)
Fernando Roig: “To grow as a club, we must back the academy and invest in infrastructure, doing so with sustainability and economic balance”
Villarreal CF president Roig took part in a virtual call organised by LaLiga for more than 15 international publications, explaining the overall global growth of the Yellow Submarine.
Villarreal CF president Fernando Roig arrived at the club in 1997, ahead of the campaign in which the team would reach the top division of Spanish football for the first time ever.
This season will mark 25 years since the club started its global growth, not only in a sporting sense but also in terms of its brand and recognition. Roig, in addition to the achievements he has overseen in the world of football, is the owner and president of Pamesa, a global leader in the design, manufacturing and marketing of ceramic products.
The institutional project at Villarreal CF is based on the following parameters: a culture of effort and ambition while remaining a close-knit family club; an organisational structure with clear and stable hierarchies; growth that is based on economic balance (not spending more than is brought in); a backing of the academy; solid foundations and investment in infrastructure; strong values and collaborations with local initiatives; and promotion of the ceramics industry, one of the drivers of the local economy.
Speaking about the club during a video call organised by LaLiga for international media, Roig discussed a number of issues and started by explaining: “We want to keep reinforcing Villarreal CF’s position in the world of football, which means staying for many more years in LaLiga Santander and continuing to appear in European competitions. Through LaLiga, which is the best league in the world, we want to keep growing the club with development that is based on sustainability and balance, with economic control.”
Thanks to Villarreal CF’s responsible and efficient management over the years, the club has now accumulated 22 seasons in LaLiga Santander and 17 participations in European competition. On May 26 of this year, the biggest sporting achievement so far arrived as the club won the Europa League. On that, Roig said: “With the triumph in the Europa League, we experienced a significant boost in our media profile. That success was based on economic control, on sustainability and on belief in the hard work of our academy.”
Backing the academy
During his time as president, the director from the Valencian Community has overseen the construction of two high-performance sporting centres for the men’s and women’s first teams and for the development of the club’s promising talents. This significant backing of the academy is another of the identifying traits of Villarreal CF.
Roig stated: “Since we started the project at Villarreal CF, we have always maintained a plan of working hard on the academy and then signing from outside what we didn’t have here. The secret is that we do as we say. We do believe in the academy and we put that into action. Right now, there are more than 10 players in the first-team squad who have passed through our academy. We have invested in good youth football coaches to reach this point. We also built the two sporting centres, where we can give young players a lot of time and attention and we can also recruit talents to our academy.”
Villarreal CF and internationalisation
The Yellow Submarine are achieving some very positive results when it comes to their internationalisation strategy. The Villarreal CF brand is becoming more and more recognised around the world and Roig spoke about an example in Mexico with the club’s football school there. He said: “We’ve spread the spirit of what Villarreal CF and LaLiga are about and, ultimately, we have made ourselves known and helped young people to think about sport and football. The motivation behind our football school isn’t only to produce footballers, but to also develop people who make this turbulent world a better place. If we can also discover players to bring to Villarreal CF, then even better.”
Providing more details about the internationalisation at the club, the president explained just how important an emerging football market like India can be. He said: “This country has great potential and significant projects are being carried out there. This will be good for football in general and for India. All the investments in India and its football and sport will be beneficial for all, but especially for India. If investments are made in youth football schools then I’m sure some really great players will emerge.”
Asked about the keys to growth and what advise he’d give to smaller clubs around the world that wish to achieve the success of Villarreal CF, Roig replied: “It requires a lot of work. There’s a need for feeling to come before business and for work to go into the academy. It’s important to avoid the temptation to overdo things, as finding economic balance is important. Of course, there’s a need for good sporting installations with gyms, restaurants and good nutrition. Finally, it’s key to have good professionals and to have each of them focused on their specific role.”
Football with feeling
Expanding on the comment about feeling having to come before business, Roig said: “I am the owner of my business, which is Pamesa, but in football there is a different feeling because I feel like the manager and not the owner, because the fans of Villarreal CF are the real owners. If I manage things well, then people will recognise this. A few years ago, we had a relegation to LaLiga SmartBank, but people believed in us because we see this project as a passion more than a business, since this is something we’re doing for our city and our region. I like to speak about football with emotion.”
Finally, Roig, who has overseen various improvements to the Estadio de la Cerámica during his tenure, spoke about the future for the facilities. He said: “You must invest in infrastructure. We are continually improving the stadium and we’ll keep doing so to have a great venue. We recently invested in a restaurant at the stadium called El Ceramista. The stadium needs to be an important part of the story of where our team plays and we should always have a good pitch, good sound system and good lighting, among other things.”
This article originally appeared LaLiga’s Global Futbol newsletter.
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Michael Carrick started his tenure as Manchester United’s interim manager on the right foot by sealing their qualification in the last 16 of the Champions League as Group F winners with a game to spare.
Goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho in the second half gave the Red Devils a crucial win at El Madrigal.
In a game surrounded by uncertainties over who will take charge as manager following Ole Gunnar Solskjaer dismissal on Sunday, all eyes were on Carrick to see if he could conjure up a bounce back after a humiliating 4-1 defeat to struggling Watford at the weekend.
And his start was reflected by bold decisions which saw a first Champions League start for Donny Van de Beek in place of Bruno Fernandes .
Villarreal took the game to Man United with an early shot by Manu Trigueros which was parried away by De Gea in the fourth minute followed by another world class save 22 minutes later.
In the 57th minute, De Gea defied the odds again in a one-hand stop from the same man as signs of frustration began to show. The Yellow Submarine looked threatening as their decisive passing split United’s backline but the custodian remained rock solid.
Second half introductions of Fernandes and Marcus Rashford saw a shift in play with United pressing high and winning the 50/50 challenges which made Villareal sloppy.
A rushed pass from Villarreal goalkeeper Gerónimo Rulli to Étienne René Capoue forced an error from the holding midfielder with the ball falling kindly to Ronaldo who lobbed it home in the 77th minute. It was his sixth goal in five matches making him the first man from an English team to score five games in a row in the Champions League.
Ronaldo had a chance to hit a brace after a misguided header from Juan Foyth fell on his path but he couldn’t direct the ball to the back of the net.
With a minute left on the clock, the Spanish side were caught napping on the break with Ronaldo linking up with Rashford whose dashing pace created space for Bruno Fernandes to tee up Jadon Sancho for his first goal for the club.
United next welcome Young Boys in the last group stage match, a rejuvenated side that beat them in matchday 1 .
In the other Group F match, Young Boys and Atalanta ripped each other apart in a thriller with the game ending 3-3 which sets up another high stakes final match between Villarreal and the Serie A high scorers to determine who will finish runners up and book their spot in the next round.
COVER PHOTO BY XINHUA NEWS
Report focuses on key issues such as good governance, safe sport, inclusiveness and anti‑discrimination; FIFA’s (www.FIFA.com) transfer system reform gains support as part of improving good governance and integrity.
FIFA has welcomed the report on EU sports policy, prepared by Member of the European Parliament (MEP) and former professional football player Tomasz Frankowski, which was adopted today by the European Parliament (EP) plenary. This report will be an important step for the development of EU sports policy in the years to come.
In line with FIFA’s ongoing transfer system reform, the document recalls the need to “regulate the activities of agents” and acknowledges the importance of recent reforms, including “the establishment of a clearing house, licensing requirements for agents and caps on agents’ commissions.”
“The European Parliament report clearly confirms that Fifa’s ongoing efforts in relation to the transfer system reform not only go in the right direction but are essential to shape the football of the future, which should be based on the principles of good governance and solidarity by all those involved,” commented FIFA Chief Legal & Compliance Officer Emilio García Silvero.
“The transfer system reform has gained consistent support by key political actors, which is very much in line with FIFA’s commitment to modernise the regulatory framework, thereby ensuring that transparency and accountability are safeguarded on a global scale.”
Support from political actors on the transfer system reform
The EP report follows the publication of another report by the Council of Europe (https://fifa.fans/3nS6W4F) in June this year that recognised FIFA’s ongoing efforts to reform the transfer system, stressing that the soon‑to‑be‑operational FIFA Clearing House would “represent a milestone in achieving comprehensiveness, transparency and integrity of the transfer system for football players around the world”.
Other entities supporting FIFA’s ongoing efforts in relation to the transfer system reform have been the G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
FIFA tackling “significant imbalance”
As highlighted by FIFA President Gianni Infantino at the 71st FIFA Congress (https://fifa.fans/3qZmdT3), there is still a significant imbalance in world football: the global spend on player transfers (which amounted to USD 7 billion in 2019) is not reflected in the payment of compensation to training clubs (totalling just USD 70 million, also in 2019), which is far less than agents’ fees (USD 700 million in the same year). To remedy this, the FIFA Clearing House will help enforce training compensation and solidarity payments, potentially raising the amount to USD 300 million per year.
Since 2017, and in line with the FIFA President’s blueprint The Vision 2020-2023: Making Football Truly Global (https://fifa.fans/3xi9Z8Z), FIFA has made major steps towards the establishment of a fairer and more transparent transfer system, with the FIFA Council endorsing three reform packages (https://fifa.fans/3DM2OZk). An overview of the main achievements in relation to the reform of the transfer system is available here (https://fifa.fans/3cI7UKk).
On good governance and integrity, the report hails, among others, the “reforms and measures to improve transparency and accountability in the player transfer market across sports,” while stressing the importance of making “further efforts” in the same direction.
The report also calls for all relevant actors to prioritise policies that safeguard children, promote healthy and active lifestyles and ensure safe, inclusive and equal sport.
“We support the principles of the report and in particular, we take note of the European Parliament’s call to safeguard children from any form of abuse in sport,” said Joyce Cook, FIFA Chief Social Responsibility & Education Officer. “We have already launched in 2019 the FIFA Guardians Programme (https://fifa.fans/30Uqn3p), to strengthen child and vulnerable adult safeguarding measures across football, and we are now taking the initiative to establish an independent, multi-sport, multi‑agency, international entity to help sports judicial bodies investigate and appropriately manage cases of abuse. We are ready to work together with EU Institutions to further advance our work in that respect,” she added.
Manchester United sealed their place in the last 16 of the Champions League days the club sacked their manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho saw win 2-0 away in a night United were second best to Villarreal, who dominated the ball only to be frustrated by several great saves from David de Gea.
Caretaker coach Michael Carrick made four changes from the 4-1 defeat at Watford on Saturday that cost Solskjaer his job, with Donny van de Beek, Anthony Martial, Fred and Alex Telles coming into his starting 11.
Meanwhile Danjuma, Pervis Estupinan, Moi Gomez and Yeremy Pino were all back for Villarreal, who started strongly with Gomez drawing a smart save from David de Gea before Yeremy fired into the side netting.
De Gea was called into action again as Villarreal dominated the ball allowing Yeremy to set up Manu Trigueros for a first time shot that the Manchester United keeper again did well to parry.
United came into the game more as the half came to a close with Ronaldo heading Telles’s cross straight at Geronimo Rulli in the Villarreal goal.
The second half got off to a slow start before Villarreal again took control and began passing their way through the United midfield. De Gea did brilliantly to get a hand onto Mio Gomez’s deflected shot before Danjuma fired over.
That was the signal for Carrick to make a double change with Bruno Fernandes and Marcos Rashford on for Van de Beek and Martial, with Jadon Sancho forcing Rulli into a save after exchanging passes with Fernandes.
United improved after the changes and Ronaldo put them ahead 12 minutes from time after Rulli and Capoue made a mess playing the ball out from the back allowing Fred to make a challenge, with the ball falling kindly for Ronaldo to score.
Sancho assured the win with an excellent goal in the last minute, with the winner finishing off a swift break with a powerful shot from the edge of the penalty area to ease the crisis at least in Europe. Enditem
Barcelona could been in for a shocking Champions League elimination after they were held to a 0-0 draw at home to Benfica in a rain-swept Camp Nou stadium on Tuesday night.
The result means that anything less than a win for Barca away to Bayern Munich in the last group game would see them eliminated from the competition if Benfica win at home to Dynamo Kiev, who are assured of finishing last in the group.
With several players out through injury or not being included in the squad for the Champions League, Xavi played a side with three central defenders and two wing-backs to try and use the full width of the pitch.
Once again Barca started brightly and played some of their best football in the past few months, but they had a big let-off in the 35th minute when Nicolas Otamendi scored a spectacular shot for Benfica following a corner, only for the goal to be ruled out as the ball had curled out of play before his strike.
At the other end Yusuf Demir fired against the bar after a ball from the left.
As the game continued without a breakthrough Ousmane Dembele came on as a substitute for Barca. The Frenchman made his first appearance of the season after suffering a serious muscle injury during the European Championships and quickly got into the game, causing problems with his pace.
Ronald Araujo had the ball in the net for Barca, but it was ruled out for offside and to add injury to disappointment Araujo had to leave the game moments afterwards with a muscle injury.
Gerard Pique had half a chance in the 92nd minute, but Barca’s Champions League hopes would have been all but over if Benfica substitute Haris Seferovic had done better than shoot wide when put clean through on goal by Darwin Nunez. The striker had only Ter Stegen to beat but put his shot wide of the post.
Joan Jordan’s 11th-minute goal and Rafa Mir’s effort deep into injury time gave Sevilla a 2-0 win at home to Wolfsburg which keeps their hopes of reaching the last 16 will hinge on their result away to RB Salzburg in the last group game.
In Tuesday’s early kick-off, saves from David de Gea kept Manchester United in the game before late goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho gave the Premier League outfit a 2-0 win in Michael Carrick’s first game in temporary charge after the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Sunday.
The result books United’s place in the last 16 of the competition, while Villarreal will qualify if they draw away to Atalanta in the final group match.
Saudi Arabia is set to host the first edition of the World Taekwondo Women’s Open Championships from November 25 to 27 in Riyadh.
The competition attracts 171 players and 85 officials from 36 countries and regions as well as the refugee team, according to a World Taekwondo release on Wednesday.
The athletes will compete across eight weight categories, namely -46kg, -49kg, -53kg, -57kg, -62kg, -67kg and -73kg in addition to the open weight class. Saudi Arabia will send 10 athletes to compete.
Africa representatives Nigeria and Mali will face China and France in Group B of the 2022 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup qualifying tournaments next February, after the draw was made on Tuesday.
The four World Cup qualifiers will be played in Belgrade, Osaka and Washington D.C. from February 10 to 13, 2022, with Belgrade scheduled to host Group A and B matches.
Group A features Australia, South Korea, Serbia and Brazil. Group C matches, to be staged in Osaka, feature Bosnia and Herzegovina, Japan, Canada and Belarus. In Group D, Russia, the United States, Puerto Rico and Belgium will take each other on in Washington D.C..
The top three finishers from each qualifying tournament will secure their places in the 12-team flagship global women’s basketball competition, which will take place in Sydney, Australia from September 22 to October 1, 2022.
Host nation Australia and the Tokyo Olympic champions the United States have already earned automatic qualification, meaning that the two other best-placed teams will advance from those qualifying tournaments featuring Australia and the USA.