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MetLife Stadium in New Jersey to Host 2026 World Cup Final

On 4th February, 2024, FIFA announced the selection of MetLife Stadium in New Jersey as the venue for the 2026 World Cup final, scheduled to take place on July 19.

Key Points

  • Global Celebration in New Jersey: MetLife Stadium, home to the NFL's New York Jets and Giants, will host the grand finale of the 39-day tournament. The selection aligns with the broader theme of celebrating diversity and values.
  • Quarterfinals Onward in the United States: All matches from the quarterfinals onwards will be held in the United States.
  • Expanded World Cup Format: FIFA expanded the World Cup to include 48 nations, with the length of the tournament increasing to 39 days. The decision to include 16 sites for the 2026 World Cup was announced in 2022.
  • Canada and Mexico Hosting Matches: Canada and Mexico will also host matches during the tournament, with Mexico City's Estadio Azteca featuring five matches, and Canada hosting games in Toronto, Vancouver, and B.C. Place.
  • Tournament Growth: The 2026 World Cup will see an increase in the number of teams and matches compared to previous editions, reflecting FIFA's efforts to expand and globalize the prestigious football tournament.

Spain Celebrates FIFA Women's World Cup Title

Recently, Spain has won their first Women’s World Cup title less than a year after a player rebellion, holding off England 1-0 on 20th August after Olga Carmona’s first-half goal.

Key Points

  • Loss for UK: The Lionesses were trying to bring a World Cup back to England for the first time since 1966, but fell just short in front of 75,784 spectators at the final at Stadium Australia.
  • Historic Victory: Spain’s first major international trophy made it the first European team to win the Women’s World Cup since Germany in 2007.
  • Carmona's Remarkable Achievement: Olga Carmona, a 23-year-old Real Madrid player, was named the final's most valuable player and became the first player since American Carli Lloyd in 2015 to score in both a World Cup semifinal and final.

Indian Men's Football Team Achieves Sub-100 FIFA Ranking After 2018

The Indian men's football team has entered the sub-100 FIFA ranking for the first time since 2018, securing the 99th spot in the latest FIFA chart.

Key Points:

  • SAFF Championship Triumph: India's achieved the milestone in FIFA ranking following their remarkable victory in the SAFF Championship.
  • Rising Ranks: As India soared in the FIFA ranking, Lebanon also made progress, moving up two places to secure the 100th spot, while Kuwait climbed four places, reaching the 137th position.
  • FIFA Ranking Update: India's latest FIFA ranking reflects their impressive performance, accumulating a total of 1208.69 points.
  • Previous Milestones: The current achievement adds to India's football history, with the team previously achieving its best FIFA ranking of 94th in 1996 and reaching the 99th spot in 1993 and 96th in 2017 and 2018.
  • Global Standings: At the global level, Argentina maintains its top position in the FIFA ranking, followed by France, Brazil, England, and Belgium.
  • Asian Dominance: Within the Asian region, Japan leads the chart, securing the 20th spot in the FIFA ranking. They are followed by Iran, Australia, Korea, and Saudi Arabia, making up the top five countries in Asia.

Durand Cup 2022

Bengaluru won their first-ever Durand Cup by defeating the debutants – Mumbai City by 2–1.

  • The final match took place at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata.
  • The 131st edition of Durand Cup, the oldest football tournament in Asia, and also the first edition since it got recognised by Asian Football Confederation was held in three venues - West Bengal, Assam and Manipur.
  • Goa was the defending champion, having defeated Mohammedan in the 2021 final, but this time they couldn't progress beyond the group stage.

Major Awards

  • Golden Glove (Best Goalkeeper): Antonio Dylan (Odisha)
  • Golden Boot (Top Goal Scorer): Lallianzuala Chhangte (Mumbai City)
  • Golden Ball (Best Player): Greg Stewart (Mumbai City)

India wins SAFF U-17 Championship 2022

India has won the SAFF U-17 Championship (4th title), defeating Nepal in the Final at the Racecourse International Stadium, in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

  • India was the defending champion. They have won previous season title by beating Nepal in 2019.
  • India’s captain Vanlalpeka Guite was named the Most Valuable Player of the Tournament, while goalkeeper Sahil won the Best Goalkeeper awards.

71st Senior National Basketball Championship

The 71st Senior National Basketball Championship for Men & Women was organized at Nehru Stadium, Chennai by Basketball Federation of India in association with Tamil Nadu Basketball Association from 3rd - 10th April 2022.

Champions

Men’s: Tamil Nadu beat Punjab to win the men’s title.

Women’s: Indian Railways team won the title after defeating Telangana.

FIFA Football Awards 2021

The Best FIFA Football Awards™ 2021 ceremony, held as a virtual TV show from the Home of FIFA in Zurich, Switzerland.

  • It crowned Alexia Putellas (Spain) and Robert Lewandowski (Poland) , as the outstanding players in women’s and men’s football respectively.
  • Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski beat Lionel Messi and Mohamed Salah to win the award.
  • Tottenham's Erik Lamela won the Puskas Prize for his goal against Arsenal, which was an audacious rabona (a technique of kicking the football where the kicking leg is crossed behind the back of the standing leg).

The FIFA Puskás Award is awarded to the male or female judged to have scored the most aesthetically significant, or "most beautiful", goal of the calendar year.

List of Winners

  • The Best FIFA Men's Player: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern)
  • The Best FIFA Men's Goalkeeper: Edouard Mendy (Chelsea)
  • The Best FIFA Men's Coach: Thomas Tuchel (Chelsea)
  • The Best FIFA Women's Player: Alexia Petellas (Barcelona)
  • The Best FIFA Women's Goalkeeper: Chiristiane Endler (PSG)
  • The Best FIFA Women's Coach: Emma Hayes (Chelsea)
  • FIFA Puskas Award: Erik Lamela (Tottenham)
  • FIFA Fair Play Award: Denmark national football team
  • FIFA Fan Award: Denmark and Finland

Special Award to Cristiano Ronaldo

  • There was a special award for Manchester United striker Cristiano Ronaldo in recognition of his achievement in setting a new record for international goals.
  • Ronaldo netted 115 times for Portugal at the time of the ceremony, which is more international goals than anyone in the history of the game.

Ballon d'Or 2021

The annual football awards ‘Ballon d'Or’ were presented by French news magazine France Football.

  • Lionel Messi has won the Ballon d’Or for a seventh time.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo from Portugal won this award five times and holds the record for most (17) nominations for this award.

Awards & Winners

  • Ballon d’Or (Men): Lionel Messi (PSG/Argentina)
  • Club of the Year: Chelsea Football Club
  • Yashin Trophy for Best Goalkeeper: Gianluigi Donnarumma (PSG/Italy)
  • Ballon d’Or (Women): Alexia Putellas (Barcelona/Spain)
  • Striker of the Year: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich/Poland)
  • Kopa Trophy for Best Young Male Player: Pedri (Barcelona/Spain)

India wins SAFF Championship Title for 8th Time

  • India won the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship for eighth time defeating Nepal 3-0 in Male.
  • Indian Captain Sunil Chhetri’s goal in the final game helped him level with Lionel Messi on 80 international goals.
  • This is the Indian football team’s first title victory under head coach Igor Stimac.
  • The SAFF was founded in 1997, with Bangladesh, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. In 2000, they expanded to 7 members, adding Bhutan. In 2005, Afghanistan joined too, but they left in 2015.
  • The seven-member SAFF has its headquarters at Dhaka, Bangladesh.

‘Ibha’: Mascot for FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2022

On 11th October 2021, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) unveiled ‘Ibha’ as the official mascot of FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2022 – to be held in India.

About the Mascot

  • Ibha, an Asiatic lioness, was unveiled on the day coinciding with the International Day of the Girl Child (11 October).
  • It represents “Nari Shakti”, or women power.
  • Ibha is a strong, playful and charming lioness that aims to inspire and encourage women and girls by using teamwork, resilience, kindness and empowering others.
  • In addition to the meaning behind her name, which approximately translates in Khasi language as “one with good vision or judgement”, Ibha also wants to encourage girls in India and around the world to take the right decisions and reach their full potential.
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