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Rashford strikes as Man Utd advances in League Cup

Burnleys Ian Maatsen (right) vies for the ball with Manchester Uniteds Marcus Rashford during a 4th-round match of the English League Cup at Old Trafford in Manchester, England, on Wednesday. (Photo: AP)Marcus Rashford marked his return from World Cup duty with a brilliant solo goal as Manchester United advanced into the quarterfinals of the League Cup on Wednesday with a 2-0 win over Burnley while Premier League rival Brighton was knocked out by third-tier Charlton.Uniteds first game since the World Cup was also its first since Cristiano Ronaldos dramatic departure from Old Trafford and an announcement by owners the Glazer family that they were prepared to sell the soccer giant.The Red Devils went ahead in the 27th minute through a close-range finish from Denmarks Christian Eriksen, who also featured at Qatar 2022.Rashford, who scored three goals for England at the World Cup, doubled Uniteds lead against second-tier Championship leaders Burnley, managed by former Manchester City star Vincent Kompany, just before the hour mark in superb style.The England forward went on a run from inside his own half and into the visitors box before drilling a shot low into the net."There is space in front of you and youre almost waiting for the right time to get a pass off but the gap opened and thankfully it went in," Rashford told Sky Sports.No time to feel sorryThis was Rashfords first match since Englands agonizing World Cup quarterfinal loss to France, with the forward saying: "It was such a disappointing feeling to be knocked out and you have to pick yourselves up."There is no time to feel sorry for yourself. You need to pick up results and thankfully we did that today."United manager Erik ten Hag added: "There is still room for improvement but I am pleased with the win."The players are hungry after the World Cup break."Burnley boss Kompany was proud of his sides performan...

Pele hospitalized as cancer worsens

82-year-old soccer great requires care related to renal, cardiac dysfunction Brazilian soccer legend Pele kisses a ball in this file photo taken on Dec 08, 2005. (File photo: AFP)Brazilian soccer great Pele will spend Christmas in hospital, his medical team and family said on Wednesday, as he receives treatment for worsening cancer as well as kidney and heart problems.The 82-year-old "requires greater care related to renal and cardiac dysfunctions," said the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo.It also reported a "progression "of his cancer, but said Pele was not in intensive care.Considered by many to be the greatest soccer player of all time, Pele was hospitalized in Sao Paulo on Nov 29 for what his medical team called a re-evaluation of his chemotherapy treatments, which he has been receiving since having surgery to remove a colon tumor in September 2021.Doctors have also diagnosed Pele — whose real name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento — with a respiratory infection.Earlier this month, Peles daughters Kely Nascimento and Flavia Arantes sought to reassure fans about his health, denying reports that Pele had been placed in end-of-life care as supporters held a vigil outside the hospital.They said on Wednesday on Instagram that they would be spending Christmas with their father at the hospital."Our Christmas at home has been suspended," they wrote."We decided with the doctors that, for various reasons, it would be better for us to stay here with all the care that this new family at Einstein gives us."Accompanied by a picture of them smiling, the sisters thanked Peles fans for their support and wished them a happy festive season."We are going to turn this room into a Sambodrome (just kidding), we will even make caipirinhas (not kidding!!)," they joked, referencing Brazils famous cocktail.The siblings promised an update next week.The KingPele dazzled from an early age and took the 1958 World C...

Zhao leads by one shot at CLPGA Tour finale in Zhuhai

Zhao Zhimeng set the early pace at the Guowei Centre Plaza Zhuhai Challenge on Wednesday as the Shanxi native carded an opening-round 2-under-par 70 for a one-shot lead in Guangdong Province.With the final tournament of the China LPGA Tour season set to determine the Order of Merit winner, Ren Yue (71) was the only other player to break par in windy conditions at Zhuhai Orient Golf Club. Sui Xiang and Sun Jiaze were equal third on 73.Starting her day on the back nine, Zhao, the runner-up to Pan Yanhong (77) at last years tournament, got her round going when her approach at the 13th hole (her fifth hole) landed three feet from the pin and she converted.The 20-year-old would then make an 18-foot birdie putt at the next, before picking up another stroke at the 15th hole (her seventh hole) to make the turn at 3-under 33. Following six straight par holes on her back nine (the front nine), Zhao found trouble when she carded successive bogeys on holes seven and eight before rebounding for a birdie three on her last hole, the 362-yard ninth."For most of the time this year I havent played well so today is a really good day for me. I would say its a 100 percent satisfactory play. I did what I wanted to do," said Zhao, who won the Zhangjiagang Shuangshan Challenge last year for her maiden title."This year has been a troublesome one. I was always adjusting my swing. Going into this week I was still working on my swing. I lost confidence and patience a little bit. After a good start, I wont raise my expectations. I have done it before, which was not good for me."Ren put herself into the mix when she reeled off three straight birdies from the 14th hole in the hunt for her maiden win. Her round also included another birdie at the 473-yard third hole and three bogeys.Photo: SHINEZhao Zhimeng in action during the first round of the Guowei Centre Plaza Zhuhai Challenge at Zhuhai Orient Golf Club in Zhuhai City, south Chinas Guangdong Provi...

3 admit paying bribes for Tokyo Games sponsorship rights

TOKYO, Dec. 22 (Xinhua) -- A former chairman and two other senior managers of Japanese major business suit retailer Aoki Holdings Inc. admitted in court Thursday to having bribed a former Tokyo Olympic organizing committee executive to win sponsorship rights for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.A man wearing a protective face mask walk past the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games logo displayed on a wall in Tokyo, Japan, March 25, 2020. (File photo: Xinhua)Hironori Aoki, 84, along with two others, has been charged with paying bribes totaling 28 million yen (about 210,000 U.S. dollars) on more than 30 occasions between September 2019 and March this year to a former Tokyo Olympic organizing committee executive, Haruyuki Takahashi, who had influence over the committees marketing division charged with sponsorship selection.The trial of Hironori Aoki, his brother and the firms former vice chairman Takahisa Aoki, 76, and Katsuhisa Ueda, 41, an executive director, is the first to be held in a series of bribery cases related to the Games.According to the indictment, between January 2017 and June 2021, the three officials repeatedly asked favors of Takahashi for six matters, including the selection of their firm as an Olympics sponsor.Aoki Holdings supplied uniforms to Japanese teams athletes after becoming an official supporter of the Games in 2018. It also sold jackets with the Games emblem.Takahashi is suspected of being involved in other bribery cases and has been indicted four times on charges of receiving nearly 200 million yen (about 1.5 million dollars) in bribes from five firms.

Argentina anthem stirs fans' fervor

ArgentinasupportersroarontheirteamduringtheQatarWorldCupmatchagainstPolandinDohaonNov30。

Registrations resume for Asian Games Hangzhou

Registration for the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022, scheduled for Sept 23 to Oct 8, 2023, in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, resumed on Tuesday, its organizing committee announced.

The Chinese boy who met Messi

Hundreds of millions of fans cheered on Lionel Messi as Argentina won the thrilling World Cup final on Sunday. But perhaps one of the loudest cheers of all came from the northwest corner of China, from a 15-year-old boy in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

Hungarian skating federation agrees to Liu brothers' change of country

Profile of Liu Shaolin (L) and Liu Shaoang. (Photo: CFP)The Hungarian National Skating Federation (MOKSZ) accepted the request of Liu Shaoang and Liu Shaolin to relocate and waived the enforcement of their prior financial demands, according to a statement released by the organization on Tuesday.This decision marks a significant moment for the Liu brothers, who are determined to pursue their skating careers.The MOKSZs meeting on Tuesday decided to accept the Liu brothers request to change their country of residence and to waive the earlier decision this year on the enforcement of the claims mentioned in the board resolution.As a result, MOKSZ views the Liu brothers legal relationship as being finished. This implies that they will not be recouping the hundreds of millions of forints that they spent on the two athletes training over the previous three years."We wish Liu Shaoang and Liu Shaolin every success in their future careers," the MOKSZ wrote. "We note with regret the intention of the Liu brothers to change countries and say goodbye with a heavy heart, and at the same time thank Hungarys first Winter Olympic champions, who indelibly wrote themselves into the sports history of our country, for the unforgettable successes achieved together."The Liu brothers, born in Budapest to a Chinese father and a Hungarian mother, would likely skate for China if their applications were granted. In September, Zhang Jing, who had been their long-time mentor on the Hungary team, took over as head coach of the Chinese national team, and the two are eager to keep up their incredibly fruitful working relationship.At the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games in South Korea, the Liu brothers led the Hungarian mens team to its first short track speed skating Olympic gold medal with victory in the 5,000-meter relay final. The younger brother, Liu Shaoang, maintained his winning streak by taking first place in the 500-meter race at the Bei...

From 'forgotten' Federer to hot dog heroics

After the hiatus of the COVID-19 years, the world of sports leaped out of the traps in 2022 to make up for lost time.

Chinese shares open higher Wednesday

BEIJING, Dec. 21 (Xinhua) -- Chinese stocks opened higher on Wednesday, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index up 0.15 percent to open at 3,078.33 points.The Shenzhen Component Index opened 0.16 percent higher at 10,966.31 points.

French fans show their appreciation

Frances Kylian Mbappe waves to the crowd from a hotel balcony in central Paris on Monday night. Fans filled Place de la Concorde to greet the players despite their World Cup final defeat. (Photo: Agencies)Supporters packed a square in central Paris on Monday to give a rousing welcome to the French soccer team despite its loss to Argentina in a nail-biting World Cup final.Fans filled Place de la Concorde in central Paris to welcome the team who were driven straight to the square from the airport after touching down from Qatar.They appeared on the balcony of the Crillon Hotel overlooking the square to a rousing welcome, AFP correspondents said.Despite their disappointment, all 24 French players, including striker Kylian Mbappe whose hat-trick failed to bring France glory, appeared on the balcony in regal style to acknowledge the applause."Frankly, its magnificent, it warms the heart, its a great pleasure to see that we were able to make so many French people proud and happy," forward Marcus Thuram told TF1 TV."We wanted to see them (the fans) on our return from Doha because I think its the least we can do to come and see them and thank them for their support," he added.Goalkeeper and captain Hugo Lloris told TF1 that it was a chance to "greet them (the fans), to thank them for their support and, after yesterdays pain, to seek their consolation".Supporters had been kept guessing for most of the day about whether the disappointed players would travel to central Paris to meet them.Sports Minister Amelie Oudea-Castera had said early on Monday that the team planned to go to Place de la Concorde.Magnificent present Supporters gather to greet Frances national soccer team upon its return from the Qatar World Cup at Place de la Concorde in central Paris on Monday. (Photo: AFP)But within hours, the French Football Federation (FFF) president contradicted the minister, saying the players would head home straig...

Future looks bright for youthful, Mbappe-led France

Didier Deschamps said he would wait before deciding whether to remain as coach of France in the wake of their World Cup final defeat, but the future prospects remain bright for a side brimming with young talent and led by Kylian Mbappe.

Looking back at 2022 World Cup superstars

Now the FIFA World Cup 2022 has finished in Qatar, lets look back at the greatest stars and the best performances.From the most stylish defenders to the difference-makers in attack, our editors pick their own superstars. Whos your superstar?

Huge crowds welcome Argentina team after World Cup victory

Thousands of fans lined up in the middle of the night to try to get a glimpse of the Argentina soccer team that won one of the greatest World Cup finals of all time ahead what is scheduled to be a day of celebrations in Buenos Aires.

FIFA readies 48-team showpiece as eyes turn to 2026

Forty-eight teams, three host countries, and potentially more than 100 games.

World Cup winners Argentina return ahead of welcome home party

Argentinas World Cup winners led by captain Lionel Messi returned home from Qatar in the early hours of Tuesday morning ahead of a welcome home party in the nations capital.Argentinas captain and forward Lionel Messi (L) holds the FIFA World Cup Trophy alongside Argentinas coach Lionel Scaloni as they step off a plane upon arrival at Ezeiza International Airport after winning the Qatar 2022 World Cup tournament in Ezeiza, Buenos Aires province, Argentina on December 20, 2022. (Photo: AFP)Having beaten France in Sundays thrilling final, the players will now spend the night at the Argentine Football Association (AFA) training complex near the Ezeiza airport where they arrived in Buenos Aires and where thousands of supporters were waiting to greet them.They will then begin a tour of the Buenos Aires city center from midday on Tuesday with millions expected out in the streets on what is a public holiday."Crowned with glory," read a banner on a newspaper kiosk in Buenos Aires on Monday, while Clarin and La Prensa dailies both sent a huge "Thank you" to Messi and his team-mates for winning the countrys third world title, and first in 36 years.Argentina won the final in Qatar 4-2 on penalties after a rollercoaster 3-3 draw over 120 minutes of unparallelled drama.Messi, who scored twice in the final, was the first player to emerge from the plane, holding the World Cup aloft, with coach Lionel Scaloni right behind him.Forward Julian Alvarez, a revelation in Qatar with his four goals, was one of the next players to emerge.A picture of Messi was emblazoned on the planes tail with the words: "one team, one country, one dream" on its side.The players made their way from the plane along a red carpet straight to an open top bus as their World Cup theme song "Muchachos" by ska band La Mosca blared out.- Better than 86 -Excitement had been brewing since the party that began after Sundays final ...

Argentina prepares for World Cup winners' welcome home party

A fan is seen wearing a Lionel Messi t-shirt with replica of the world cup trophy outside of the Association of Argentinian Football Headquarters ahead of the team arrival in Buenos Aires, Argentina, December 19, 2022. (Photo: Agencies)Argentines waited eagerly to welcome home their World Cup heroes on Monday as Frances beaten stars arrived back in Paris following the remarkable final drama in Qatar.The South American capital is preparing for a massive street party with the new world champions due to arrive late on Monday night."Crowned with glory," read a banner on a newspaper kiosk in Buenos Aires, while Clarin and La Prensa dailies both sent a huge "Thank you" to Lionel Messi and his team-mates for winning the countrys third world title, and first in 36 years.Argentina won the final in Qatar 4-2 on penalties after a thrilling 3-3 draw over 120 minutes of unparallelled drama.The party that began after Sundays final was briefly on pause as local city workers continued to clean up the debris from the celebrations when millions took to the streets in jubilation.The team is guaranteed a white-hot reception when they land at the Ezeiza airport in Buenos Aires, at 2:25 am (0525 GMT) Tuesday."Im going to greet them at the airport. Now that they have been crowned we have to greet them and thank them," Jose Luis Quinoga, 56, told AFP at the Obelisk memorial in central Buenos Aires, where the night before more than a million people celebrated.A private reception at a VIP suite in the airport has been arranged to greet the returning players and the Argentine football association (AFA) said they will celebrate with fans at the Obelisk on Tuesday."I will leave work and the first thing I will do is come here," Julieta Rosel, 23, told AFP at the monument.Before then they are due to rest at the AFA training complex near the airport where already in the early afternoon on Monday there was a huge police presence surroundin...

Future looks bright for youthful, Mbappe-led France

France forward Kylian Mbappe poses with the Golden Boot award after finishing as the World Cups top scorer with eight goals. (Photo: Agencies)But coach Deschamps yet to decide on next move amid contract uncertaintyDidier Deschamps said he would wait before deciding whether to remain as coach of France in the wake of their World Cup final defeat, but the future prospects remain bright for a side brimming with young talent and led by Kylian Mbappe.Deschamps was hoping to lead the 2018 world champions to back-to-back titles in Qatar, and they came agonizingly close, losing the final to Argentina on penalties following a thrilling 3-3 draw after extra time.The shootout defeat prevented Deschamps — who captained Les Bleus to glory in 1998 — from becoming the first coach to win the World Cup twice since Vittorio Pozzo in the 1930s.The 54-year-old, in charge since 2012, is now out of contract but French Football Federation President Noel Le Graet had said Deschamps would be offered new terms if he reached the semifinals.Asked whether the result of the final would influence a decision on his future, Deschamps said: "Even with a different result I would not have given an answer today.""Obviously I am very sad. I will have a meeting with the president at the start of the new year and you will know after that," he added.Once the dust has settled on a draining campaign, France must turn their attentions to qualifying for Euro 2024, which begins in March against the Netherlands.France will be expected to qualify without too many problems for the tournament in Germany, which is just 18 months away.Their recent record is remarkable, with Deschamps having led them to the Euro 2016 final and then to glory in Russia four years ago. They also won the Nations League last year.Frances campaign in Qatar had appeared cursed before it started with injuries depriving them of Paul Pogba and NGolo Kante while Karim Benzema also withdrew just before the tourn...

FIFA readies 48-team showpiece as eyes turn to 2026

Fireworks light up the sky above Lusail Stadium before the start of the 2022 World Cup final between Argentina and France. [Photo/Agencies]Forty-eight teams, three host countries, and potentially more than 100 games.After successfully staging the most compact World Cup in history, FIFA is now preparing to organize the biggest.The dust had barely settled on Sundays World Cup final before attention turned to the gargantuan figure of 2026 looming on the horizon.For the first time, footballs greatest tournament will be held across three host nations — the United States, Canada and Mexico.The tournament will notably see an expansion to 48 teams, up from the current 32-team format that has been in place since 1998, and double the number of teams that took part in the last World Cup held on US or Mexican soil.The enlarged competition represents a triumph for FIFA president Gianni Infantino, who made expanding the World Cup a priority after taking over as world footballs supremo in 2016.The 16-team increase marks the biggest expansion in the World Cups evolution.From 13 teams at the inaugural tournament in 1930, the finals remained a 16-team event from 1934 to 1978, before increasing to 24 in 1982.The biggest beneficiaries of the expansion to 48 teams will be Africa and Asia.Under the new format, Africa will receive nine qualifying slots for the finals (compared to five previously) while Asia will nearly double to eight (from 4.5 slots).Oceania, traditionally forced to compete for a World Cup place via a playoff, will receive an automatic qualifying berth.Heaven-sent opportunity"For us Africans, its heaven sent," said former Nigeria international Sunday Oliseh."I have always thought (Africa) should send more representatives — the more time you play, the more your chances are."Its a continent of over a billion people. My country is 200 million people."For us its fascinating to see a bigger, larger World ...

Argentine president thanks national soccer team for World Cup win

Argentine President Alberto Fernandez on Sunday thanked the national soccer team for winning the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

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