Ukraine’s Shakhtar sues FIFA over $42m transfer market case

The chief executive of the Shakhtar club in Donetsk admitted on Friday that Fifa’s $42 million compensation claim would be difficult to win, although taking the case to sports’ top court sent a clear message.

Shakhtar’s Mykhaylo Mudryk, left, run with the ball next to Real Madrid’s Dani Carvajal during the Champions League group F soccer match between Real Madrid and Shakhtar Donetsk at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, on Oct. 5, 2022. Shakhtar Donetsk’s chief executive acknowledges it will be tough to win a $42 million claim for compensation from FIFA at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Shakhtar is determined not to be overturned in the January transfer window.

The move came after the club felt it had lost control of too many players leaving Ukraine this year as other teams benefited from FIFA’s emergency transfer rules amid Russia’s invasion.

“We will not accept that our players should be sold at a discount,” Shakhtar Chief Executive Sergei Palkin told The Associated Press, a day after Shakhtar helped submit the club’s case against FIFA at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland. case.

The Shakhtar team values its most valuable asset at 100 million euros ($106 million), with Premier League leaders Arsenal most closely linked to winger Mykhaylo Mudryk.

“I don’t want European clubs to take advantage of our situation to demean our players,” Parkin said in a phone interview. “That’s the worst case scenario.”

Players who were under Shakhtar’s control when Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 – the day before the national league was due to resume after the winter break – are now playing for clubs in Brazil, England, France and Italy.

The clubs could avoid paying a transfer fee to Shakhtar, whose 2021-22 season was forfeited along with the rest of Ukraine’s domestic football team.

Instead, FIFA allowed players to suspend their contracts in Ukraine – initially until the end of last season in June, then for the entire season – and seek more game and contract stability in another country free of war.

Fifa believes its interim rules protect clubs better than simply terminating all contracts (as the FIFPRO players union has suggested) or letting players seek to cancel deals that would require them to stay in Ukraine.

The club argues that Fifa’s emergency rules ultimately cost Shakhtar tens of millions of euros (dollars) because it has no leverage in the transfer market.

Palkin said the Shakhtar team played against the “biggest and most influential organization” in football at CAS, and it suggested FIFA could help by setting up a compensation fund for Ukraine.

“It’s hard to make positive decisions,” he said. “But it’s important that our views be heard. From my perspective, it’s been good to hear.”

CAS judges are likely to rule by mid-January without full written reasons why. These can take several months to release.

In a similar case with CAS, some Russian clubs have also challenged FIFA’s transfer rules. Players and coaches can suspend their contracts with Russian clubs, which have been banned from participating in European competitions organized by UEFA this season.

The Russia case was heard by a different panel of CAS judges on Nov. 21. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

The legitimate picture should be clearer when Shakhtar’s side return to the arena in the Europa League knockout playoffs on February 16. Shakhtar host Rennes in the first leg in Warsaw, the Polish capital, and the team has played three “home” games in the Champions League group stage.

In March, the Shakhtar team restarted in the Ukrainian Premier League — playing games in empty stadiums, with no ticket sales and often interrupted by air raid sirens.

“They understand where we are and that we need capital,” Palkin said of Shakhtar’s rivals.

Click here to go @Amazon to buy FIFA World Cup 2022 products, and we will get Amazon’s commission rewards. 

French Football Federation Plans Contract Talks with Coach Didier Deschamps

France coach Didier Deschamps will meet French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet next week to discuss a new contract.

France’s head coach Didier Deschamps passes the World Cup trophy after the World Cup final soccer match between Argentina and France at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar, Sunday, Dec. 18, 2022.

Deschamps, who has coached for 10 years, led the Blues to three finals and won the 2018 World Cup.

France’s head coach Didier Deschamps, left, and his players react after receiving their second place medals at the end of the World Cup final soccer match between Argentina and France at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar, Sunday, Dec. 18, 2022. Argentina won 4-2 in a penalty shootout after the match ended tied 3-3.

France suffered a thrilling World Cup final loss to Argentina in Qatar on Sunday and was beaten by Portugal in the European Cup final six years ago.

France’s head coach Didier Deschamps passes the World Cup trophy after losing the World Cup final soccer match against Argentina at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar, Sunday, Dec. 18, 2022.

His contract expires at the end of the year and Le Graet wants Deschamps to stay on.

Le Graët told the Ouest-France newspaper on Thursday that he would meet Deschamps and wanted him to stay.

“He has all the cards,” Le Graët told Ouest-France. “Because I told him that as long as he gets to the (World Cup) semi-finals, then the decision belongs to him.”

Didier Deschamps wants a four-year deal to take him to the 2026 World Cup, according to reports. But he may only be offered for two years, with an option to extend for another two years depending on the outcome.

France’s head coach Didier Deschamps, left, and goalkeeper Hugo Lloris cheer supporters from the balcony of the Hotel Crillon, Monday, Dec. 19, 2022 in Paris. Fans welcomed the France team in central Paris after its World Cup final match loss against Argentina.

“I think we will reach an agreement,” Le Graët said.

The next major event is the European Championships in Germany in 2024.


Click here to go @Amazon to buy FIFA World Cup 2022 products, and we will get Amazon’s commission rewards. 

Kylian Mbappe proves he’s not far behind as Lionel Messi rises to his own level

Lionel Messi begins his journey into football’s golden sunset with teammates weaving across the pitch. He had just scored a Hollywood choreographed goal in the 108th minute of a frenzied World Cup final, his final game on football’s biggest stage. Limbs waved around him. Friends besieged him. The deafening roar resounded through Lusail Stadium. The voice rose again as Messi undercut his right, and louder as he spun around the arena, causing more noise, all in celebration of the would-be winner. It lasted almost two full minutes.

All the while, it was Kylian Mbappé who stood in midfield patiently waiting for the football to pay homage to the king.

For just over three hours at Lusail on Sunday, Mbappe put up with fate. He watched his sport triumph over the greatest sport of all time. Then he devised his own bold alternative script. It co-starred King Leo and the man who would eventually dethrone him as co-leads in the greatest sports story of all time.

Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappé displayed their brilliance in Sunday’s World Cup final in Qatar. 

Argentina 3, France 3, World Cup final “Eternity”, a perfect mashup of Mbappe’s script and Hollywood script. It has too many characters and chapters to recall, too many twists and exciting turns. It’s ridiculous and memorable for many reasons, but most importantly because it features two of the greatest players on the planet.

It crowned Messi as the undisputed greatest player of all time.

In the process, it elevated Mbappe to a stratosphere achieved only by Messi and a few others in football’s multi-century history.

The score remained 2-0 until the 80th minute approached, when Mbappe sent a brilliant pass over the Argentine defense. That led to a penalty, which the 23-year-old converted, setting the scene for the play.

A minute later, it took Mbappe just half a second to put Argentine defender Navier Molina behind him. After he finished, a ball floated towards him at the top of the box and, as it hung in the air, Mbappe’s charming authority rippled through the rafters of the Lusail Stadium in a fleeting moment. Argentine fans huddled in horror as he rolled his hips and announced his intentions. Neutrals are primed for greatness. The French fans erupted, thousands of voices by the millions, almost before Mbappe swept Amy Martinez with a majestic volley. Because greatness has a sense of inevitability.

Kylian Mbappé netted a hat trick Sunday to bring his World Cup goalscoring tally to 12. He’s 23.

Mbappe and Messi are completely different players, but they share a superpower that shocks them almost every time they have the ball. It inspires anticipation and fear. The fan prepares to cast the spell; the opponent braces himself to defend against it, which is usually impossible. From the 82nd minute on Sunday, Mbappe turned the game upside down with every touch. Everyone sent the Argentine defender back, scrambling to protect himself from his stride, just as opponents had long tried to prevent Messi’s passes and dribbles.

However, Mbappe is still terrorizing them. He seemed to grab every loose ball late in the second half and drive it to opposing defenders. They looked petrified by him, hesitant to even attempt a tackle near the box for fear of slowing down for a split second and conceding a clumsy penalty.

He also checked his right foot and curled into a delightful cross that almost grabbed Randal Kolo Muani’s head. He was in and out of defensive dead ends. He creates danger almost from nothing. In the 124th minute of an unfathomably grueling game, he knotted Cristian Romero in the left corner, cut into the box, and then — a billion viewers unanimously agreed: No, he can’t, isn’t it?

When Argentina had the ball, he would stay high and wide, thus putting immediate pressure on the Argentines when they lost the ball. He slammed a right-footed shot towards Martinez and it was ultimately Messi who was delayed into the sunset. Mbappe’s shot hit the Argentine’s hand. Mbappe completed his hat-trick – the first by a losing player in a World Cup final – to send the game to penalties.

Messi finally completed the World Cup lore on the shoulders of his teammates. He ended his unparalleled career with a lost trophy. He ends all rational GOAT debates with his second World Cup Ballon d’Or and his seven Ballon d’Ors. He was a magician, the greatest shooter, creator and dribbler of his generation. He now has the World Cup that Cristiano Ronaldo doesn’t. He already had longevity and consistency that Diego Maradona didn’t have, facing a level of competition that Pelé never faced. He is in a class of his own.

Lionel Messi’s second goal Sunday, and seventh in Qatar, briefly put Argentina ahead 3-2.

But as he romped around the Lusail Field on Sunday night, reveling in what he called his “childhood dream,” sitting there was a grown man who could one day rival him. Mbappe sat there, slumped on the France bench, his jersey pulled over his face. Later he moved to the worn grass and sat there plop watching the festivities he wished were his. French President Emmanuel Macron tried to reassure him, but to no avail. Mbappe spared no effort to stage a World Cup final hat-trick – a World Cup final hat-trick! Earlier in the game, he had said that for him “the World Cup is an obsession”, but he didn’t win it. The Golden Boot was no consolation.

But it is a precursor to the next decade. Messi is not retiring, but it will fade one day. Mbappe, meanwhile, is rising as fast as Messi once did. At 23, he has scored more goals and amassed more assists than 23-year-old Messi. He is on track to break France’s goalscoring record in his 20s.

“He will break all records,” team-mate Olivier Giroud said a few weeks ago. Team-mates and coaches speak of Mbappe’s insatiable drive for team and individual success – which, in the words of France assistant coach Guy Stephán, makes him “a player from beyond the planet”.

Messi too, in a nutshell, that’s the recipe for the greatest World Cup game of all time. These are two very good teams, each with unparalleled catalysts.

“Without a doubt, he is the best in history and he proved it in the game,” Argentine midfielder Rodrigo De Paul said of Messi. “He showed it throughout the game.” Messi didn’t achieve his storybook goals, but he got storybook endings; his quality time with the kids on the pitch; his chance to replicate Diego Mara Doner’s photo; he rides the team bus through Lusail towards Moonlight.

Mbappe, meanwhile, sulked respectfully through the post-match interview area as he made his way back to the dressing room, avoiding the spotlight for now.

But he is coming. Of course, he has come, and has been for many years, but his time is coming. Only the Messiah can stop his rise to the football throne.

Click here to go @Amazon to buy FIFA World Cup 2022 products, and we will get Amazon’s commission rewards. 

Argentina fans adopt ‘Muchachos’ as their World Cup anthem

Fans of Argentina cheer for their team in Souq Waqif market in Doha, Qatar, Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022. Argentina will face France in the World Cup final match on Dec. 18.

“Muchachos” has become a popular unofficial anthem for Argentina fans at the World Cup.

The song, written by a fan, references football greats Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi. It also beat rival Brazil and paid tribute to Argentine soldiers who fought in the Falklands War. Argentina lost a short but bloody war with Britain after Argentine troops invaded the South Atlantic islands in 1982.

A fan of Argentina waves a flag with the image of late Argentinean soccer star Diego Maradona in Souq Waqif market in Doha, Qatar, Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022. Argentina will face France in the World Cup final match on Dec. 18.

“Guys, now we have hope again, I want to win a third title, I want to be world champion,” the chorus of Messi and his team-mates sang on the pitch to celebrate every victory.

The anthem is also sung in the stands and streets of Doha and among millions of devoted fans in its South American homeland.

“We listen to it when we sleep, when we wake up, when we eat, when we make love,” says fan Florencia Moncalvillo, 34. Sky blue and white striped Argentina jersey.

The fair has become a gathering place for thousands of flag-waving Argentine fans.

Known for their creativity when arranging songs to cheer the team on, the creators often remain anonymous. But not in this case.

Argentinian Racing Club fan Fernando Romero played an old song by the popular group La Mosca in support of the national team. Romero said the song came up after Maradona’s death and Argentina’s Copa America victory over Brazil at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

“I feel like Diego is with us, and I like the idea of including him in a song that we can sing with people. That’s where I started writing,” Romero said.

November 2020 The captain of the Argentina team, who died at the age of 60 in November 2020, mourned the captain of the team that won the 1986 World Cup. In July 2021, Lionel Scaloni’s team led by Lionel Messi won the Copa America, Argentina’s first title in 28 years.

In one of the most original parts of the song, Romero writes, “From the sky we can see Diego, and Don Diego and La Tota (Maradona’s parents), cheer for Lionel , and become champions again…”

The song was so popular that Messi has also sung it, and Messi said in an interview that it is his favorite fan song.

“In Argentina, I was born in the land of Diego and Lionel, and I will never forget the people of the Malvinas [Falkland Islands],” another part of the song narrates during the war against the British. Tribute to the fallen.

Fan Alejandro Rubio, 54, said: “We are a country used to suffering, but when we suffer, we bring out the best of ourselves. So, in this World Cup, after a long For a while, we’ll do our best. It’s going to be a great World Cup. “

The song also speaks of the wounded sporting pride that comes with losing several finals under Lionel Messi as captain, and the desire for redemption in Qatar should Argentina beat the defending champions in the final at the Lusail Stadium France, that could become possible on Sunday.

If Messi ends up winning the trophy, “Muchachos” will no longer have a reason to be champions. Romero said it was worth it.

“If we win on Sunday and never sing that song again … I’m fine,” he said. “The important thing is to win on Sunday, I live like any Argentine, very anxious, hopeful and confident in this group of players, we know they will do whatever it takes to keep the flag high.”


Click here to go @Amazon to buy Argentina products, and we will get Amazon’s commission rewards. 

France hit by cold virus ahead of World Cup final

A cold virus is spreading through France’s squad, affecting at least three players ahead of Sunday’s World Cup final against Argentina.

Coach Didier Deschamps said two symptomatic players, defender Dayot Upamecano and midfielder Adrien Rabiot, were in isolation earlier this week and did not play France beat Morocco 2-0 in the semifinals.

Rabiot did not feature for Wednesday’s game at the Al Bayt Stadium. Upamecano was in the lineup as a substitute but did not play. Deschamps says Upamecano is recovering from “three difficult days” in Saturday’s quarter-final against England.

“However, there are still four days until the next game, so he should be available on Sunday,” the coach said, adding that backup winger Kingsley Coman also had a fever.

He insisted he wanted all of his players to be fit for the final against Argentina.

“It’s ‘flu season,’ and in that sense we have to be careful,” he said. “Also, the players have undergone a massive transition and their immune systems may have been a little bit weakened.”

France have been training outdoors in Qatar, with Deschamps pointing out that “the use of air conditioning may also affect” how the virus spreads, echoing comments made by the Brazil camp earlier in the game.

Seven of the eight World Cup stadiums cool the air at the venue level, and Qatar’s buildings and vehicles are often air-conditioned inside.

Switzerland also suffered a severe cold outbreak and was left without two starters for their decisive group-stage match against Serbia.

During the final week of the month-long tournament, daytime temperatures stabilized around 25-27 degrees Celsius (77-81 degrees Fahrenheit), with games starting in the mid-30s (80s).

The first World Cup will be held in November and December, originally scheduled for June and July, when temperatures in Qatar typically rise above 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit)

“The temperature has dropped in recent days and you always need to be careful,” Deschamps said. “With the virus, we’re not worried, really.”

Click here to go @Amazon to buy France National Team products, and we will get Amazon’s commission rewards. 

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a way for websites to earn advertising revenues by advertising and linking to