FIFA tells Oceania to step up

“In order to have a chance to qualify for a World Cup, this will grow the game immensely in Oceania. We need to embrace the opportunity but the responsibility is on us to earn the spot. So this is a big year for the women and also the year of the Oceania where we put ‘Ocean’s Eleven’, in the centre of the world,” said Infantino.

O League decider

Hekari with a win under their belt, after taking out the first play off 2-1 in Lae last week will have their work cut out for them, knowing the Lae city boys are on a mission to stop them from advancing.

The match is set to kick off at 3pm today with a bumper crowd expected with tight security provided.

PNGFA National Competition Manager, Ahmjad Tekwie said the game will again go down to the wire wish both teams all the best.

FIFA publishes Global Transfer Report

The transfers involved 21,764 professionals (men and women) plus 49,238 amateurs.

There were 20,209 international transfers in men’s professional football in 2022, representing an increase of 11.6 percent compared to 2021 and even exceeding the levels of 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic.

These transfers – 2,843 of which included transfer fees – involved a new record high of 4,770 clubs from 182 different associations, compared to 4,538 clubs in 2021. A total of 17,291 players representing 183 different nationalities were on the move in 2022.

FIFA Women’s official match ball launched

The ninth successive football produced by adidas for the FIFA Women’s World Cup, OCEAUNZ’s design is inspired by the unique natural landscapes of the two host nations, with visuals nodding to the vast mountains of Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia’s connection with the Indian Ocean.

The ball is a celebration of the cultures of both host countries and features designs by Aboriginal artist, Chern’ee Sutton, and Māori artist, Fiona Collis. Their art is also part of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 brand identity, Beyond Greatness™.

Gareth Bale announces retirement from football: ‘I have realised my dream’

Bale, one of Britain’s most decorated players, has stepped away from the game midway through his contract at Los Angeles FC, which was due to expire this summer.

Bale’s decision comes little more than a month after he vowed to continue playing after Wales’s disappointing group-stage exit at their first World Cup finals tournament for 64 years. Bale captained Wales on his first appearance at a World Cup finals.

Pelé, Brazilian World Cup winner and football great, dies aged 82

In November Pelé entered the Albert Einstein hospital in São Paulo for cancer treatment.

Medical reports state the soccer star died at 3:27am local time due to organ failure caused by colon cancer.

The death of the only man to win the World Cup three times as a player was confirmed by his daughter Kely Nascimento on Instagram.

Pelé's official Instagram account also posted about his death.

Messi vows to keep playing for Argentina

Lionel Messi promised he would play on for Argentina to experience "a few more games being world champion" after inspiring their triumph in Qatar.

The World Cup belongs to Messi and Argentina after Sunday's spectacular final that saw Kylian Mbappe hit a hat-trick for France but still end up on the losing side.

A 4-2 victory on penalties after a 3-3 draw gave Argentina their third World Cup success, after lifting the trophy in 1978 and 1986, and means Messi's final appearance on the biggest stage of all ended in a fairy tale manner.

Lionel Messi's Argentina win the 2022 FIFA World Cup in penalty shootout after thrilling 3-3 draw with France

It was an incredible night of drama and fluctuating fortunes, delivering one of the all-time great finals to cap a wonderful tournament.

Argentina had looked to be cruising to a one-sided victory after Messi's penalty and a brilliant goal by Angel Di Maria in the first half put them in total control, but Mbappe converted an 80th-minute penalty and volleyed in an equaliser a minute later to take the game to extra time.

Croatia claim World Cup third place in 2-1 win against Morocco

Key points:

  • Josko Gvardiol and Mislav Orsic scored for Croatia
  • Their coach said Saturday's bronze-medal game was the tournament highlight
  • Morocco was the first African or Arabic team to reach the last four at a World Cup

Croatia, who were runners-up in 2018, prevailed with goals by Josko Gvardiol and Mislav Orsic to end their World Cup on a high as Luka Modric possibly bid farewell to the soccer extravaganza.

France extinguish Morocco dream to reach World Cup final

  • Theo Hernandez and substitute Randal Kolo Muani score French goals
  • Morocco fall just short of becoming first African nation in World Cup final
  • Didier Deshamps' team will aim to regain Trophy in Argentina clash

France 2-0 Morocco

Goals: France: Hernandez (5), Kolo Muani (79)

Match review