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FIFA World Cup

 By Tony Mabert

Mourinho sparks Matic row, Qatari Christmas, Premier League humbled

The ESPN FC crew give their take as to why some of the top Premier League clubs are struggling in European competition.
ESPN FC's Craig Burley criticises Jose Mourinho's latest comments on a conspiracy against Chelsea.
ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti answers what would happen if clubs fight FIFA and refuse to release their players for a winter World Cup.
Fabio Cannavaro will appeal a 10-month prison sentence for breaching orders to keep out of his house after it was seized by authorities.
Alessandro Lucarelli says that the Parma team will pay the coach and hotel for the away game against Genoa as computers are removed from the training centre in Parma, Italy.

This week's roundup of the biggest news stories features Jose Mourinho starting another row, a potentially unconventional festive season and the Premier League being put in its place.

1. Christmas in Qatar

Another step in the agonising process toward football's first winter World Cup was made on Tuesday when a FIFA task force recommended that the 2022 tournament in Qatar be held in November and December of that year, with some reports suggesting the event would only end two days before Christmas.


 By PA Sport

2022 World Cup final will be on or before Dec. 18, says Sepp Blatter

ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti answers what would happen if clubs fight FIFA and refuse to release their players for a winter World Cup.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has insisted the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will finish no later than Dec. 18 -- a move which could protect English football's traditional Boxing Day games.

UEFA has proposed playing the final at the tournament on Dec. 23, just two days before Christmas, to lessen disruption to its own international matches.

That sparked uproar in Britain as it would threaten the traditional festive club programme.

Blatter, speaking for the first time since a FIFA task force confirmed November/December...

Premier League managers divided on proposed winter World Cup

It's just over 24 hours since a FIFA taskforce recommended shifting the 2022 World Cup to November and December, but the proposed move is already being questioned.
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce discusses how a good result against Crystal Palace on Saturday will get his team back on track to challenge the 'Big Boys' in the top six.

FIFA's move to stage the 2022 World Cup in the winter continued to cause uproar with Premier League managers saying English football will pay the price.

A FIFA task force this week announced a recommendation of late November to late December, the final could be as late as Dec. 23 under a UEFA proposal.

The European Clubs' Association will discuss its next tactics at a board meeting in Geneva on Tuesday after FIFA ruled out paying compensation for the disruption to club competitions.

Sunderland manager...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Sepp Blatter's accusations of racism 'deranged,' say Times reporters

Mustafa Qadri of Amnesty International says the human rights abuses happening in Qatar in relation to the 2022 World Cup can easily be avoided.

Reporters from the Sunday Times have responded to Sepp Blatter's allegations that racism is behind their investigations into the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, calling the FIFA president's comments "deranged."

Last June, Blatter hit out at critics who he said want to destroy football's governing body and blasted reports surrounding Qatar's 2022 bid as being tied to racism.

"There is a sort of storm against FIFA relating to the Qatar World Cup," Blatter said. "Sadly there's a great deal of discrimination...

Sheikh Ahmad seeks seat on FIFA executive committee

KUWAIT CITY -- Olympic power broker Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah is seeking election to the FIFA executive committee.

The Kuwait Football Association said on Thursday it nominated Sheikh Ahmad for Asian Football Confederation elections to the FIFA board, scheduled in Bahrain in April.

Sheikh Ahmad has led the influential Olympic Council of Asia since 1991, and his support ensured Bahrain's Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa won the AFC presidency in 2013.

Sheikh Ahmad is a vocal supporter of...