Iran police detain top-tier football players in raid at party

DUBAI, Jan 1 (Reuters) – Iranian police briefly detained several unidentified top-tier football players in a raid on a party on New Year’s Eve where alcohol was served in violation of an Islamic ban, Iranian media reported. Mingling between sexes outside marriage and drinking alcohol are banned under Iran’s Islamic laws. Social restrictions are among … Read more

Soccer star Pele, Brazilian legend of the beautiful game, dies at 82

SAO PAULO, Dec 29 (Reuters) – Pele, the legendary Brazilian soccer player who rose from barefoot poverty to become one of the greatest and best-known athletes in modern history, died on Thursday at the age of 82. Sao Paulo’s Albert Einstein hospital, where Pele was undergoing treatment, said he died at 3:27 pm “due to … Read more

Iran reroutes plane carrying soccer star’s wife, blames UK for unrest

DUBAI, Dec 26 (Reuters) – Iranian authorities rerouted a flight bound for Dubai on Monday and prevented the wife and daughter of former national soccer team captain Ali Daei, who has supported anti-government protests, from leaving the country, state media reported. Amid a concerted clampdown, Tehran also said the arrests in Iran of citizens linked … Read more

Zelenskiy says peace message heard despite FIFA broadcast refusal

KYIV, Dec 18 (Reuters) – Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Sunday the world still had heard his call for peace despite soccer governing body FIFA’s decision to decline to allow a video message to be broadcast ahead of the soccer World Cup final in Qatar. Zelenskiy had asked for the video to be broadcast, … Read more

Qatar reiterates denial that its government is involved in the EU corruption case

DOHA, Dec 18 (Reuters) – Qatar reiterated on Sunday that the country denies any involvement in a corruption case being investigated by Belgian authorities involving people linked to the European Parliament. Belgian authorities have charged four people linked to the European Parliament over allegations World Cup host Qatar lavished them with cash and gifts to … Read more

Morocco airline cancels World Cup fan flights, citing Qatar restrictions

RABAT, Dec 14 (Reuters) – Morocco’s national airline said it was canceling all flights it had scheduled for Wednesday to carry fans to Doha for the World Cup semi-final, citing what it said was a decision by Qatari authorities. “Following the latest restrictions imposed by the Qatari authorities, Royal Air Maroc regrets to inform customers … Read more

US sportswriter Wahl dies suddenly while covering the World Cup

WASHINGTON/DOHA, Dec 10 (Reuters) – Well-known US soccer journalist Grant Wahl died suddenly on Friday after collapsing while covering a match at the World Cup in Qatar, his agent said. US Soccer said it was “heartbroken to learn” of Wahl’s death. His wife responded to the US Soccer statement on Twitter, saying she was “in … Read more

Reality ends some Qatari dreams of World Cup rental bonanza

Agency says Qatar hotel group demanded new payments Some rates reduced, but many properties empty Broker says some landlords sought unrealistic rents DOHA, Nov 25 (Reuters) – Qatar has found itself with an unexpected glut of rooms in the World Cup’s busy group stage, with online portals showing rooms in at least 42 hotels and … Read more

Iranian fans savor victory but wrangle over protests

AL RAYYAN, Qatar, Nov 25 (Reuters) – Iran’s national soccer team sang during the playing of their national anthem at their second World Cup match against Wales on Friday having refrained from doing so in their opening game earlier this week in apparent support for protesters back home. Loud jeers were heard from Iranian supporters … Read more

Ronaldo to leave Manchester United after criticism of the club

Nov 22 (Reuters) – Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo will leave with immediate effect, the Premier League team said on Tuesday, marking a bitter end to the Portugal captain’s second spell at Old Trafford after he said he felt betrayed by the club. An explosive interview with TalkTV this month — in which Ronaldo also … Read more