BBC reports Qatari officials considering legal action over potential 2022 re-vote

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From most fan’s perspectives, FIFA is not moving fast enough on Qatar, but today’s news from England serves as a reminder. Soccer’s world governing body must not only move deliberately but fairly in assessing of the 2022 World Cup host nation, a sad reality considering the expected mortality rate for those working on the event’s infrastructure. Without that process, the controversial hosts could have recourse in court.

According to the BBC, organizers from Qatar are considering legal action should its hosting privileges come up for a re-vote. With FIFA’s president, vice president, and UEFA’s head all expressing varying levels of concern about the 2022 event, momentum is already building toward that end, but in a case that’s likely to be filed in Switzerland, Qatar could force FIFA to show more than uncertainty and speculation caused the process to be re-opened.

Most crucially, perhaps, will be whether a re-vote can even happen without leaving FIFA exposed, all of which depends on the exact legal commitment the body’s made to the host nation. Even if it can authorize a re-vote, the organization may still have to justify its decisions to a judge.

From the BBC:

Qatari officials are believed to be considering all options open to them, including possible legal action, if the vote for the 2022 World Cup is re-run …

Qatari officials claim more than £23bn of investment linked to the 2022 World Cup would be under threat if Fifa, football’s world governing body, strips the Gulf state of its right to stage the showpiece event.

If there’s any question why FIFA, in the face of so much controversy, seems to be acting slowly, this scenario is the answer. Before the governing body acts to move 2022, it needs to solidify its case. It needs to have more than suspicions from fans and questions about timing and temperature. With the organization having already voted to committed to Qatar, it will may need to have a solid case before breaking that agreement.

Thankfully for those who want the World Cup moved, FIFA has a number of years to get this done. If the body isn’t snapping to attention whenever the Times of London publishes something, it’s because the papers aren’t where this battle will be waged. FIFA may eventually need to make its case to a  judge.

West Brom 1-2 Huddersfield Town: Terriers climb

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  • Van la Parra gives Terriers lead
  • Mounie makes it 2-0
  • Dawson pullback not enough

Rajiv Van la Parra and Steve Mounie scored second half goals to boost Huddersfield Town four points clear of the drop zone with a 2-1 win over West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns on Saturday.

Craig Dawson scored to give the Baggies hope of a comeback, but it was deflated and West Brom is now seven points back of safety with 10 matches to play.

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West Brom saw an early chance fall to Salomon Rondon, but the Venezuelan blazed over the bar.

Huddersfield were unlucky with a chance produced by Florent Hadergjonaj, as an Alex Pritchard shot caught a teammate in the face and the Terriers couldn’t clean up the loose ball.

Matt Phillips provided a typical fine cross to James McClean near the halftime whistle, but the Irish attacker belted it high.

Town took the lead after halftime, as Van la Parra’s mishit cross was rescued by Collin Quaner and sent into the goal by the same man who bungled the cross.

And Mounie made West Brom’s short-term and long-term fate look dim by putting down a second Town marker off an assist from club record signing Pritchard.

Hold on, though.

Dawson had an answer for the hosts off a Chris Brunt cross, and it was nearly level when Jonas Lossl denied Brunt late on.

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Burnley 1-1 Southampton: Gabbiadini to the rescue

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  • Burnley without a PL win in 11
  • Saints with just one win in their last 15 games
  • Gabbiadini’s first goal in 17 games

Southampton struck late to grab a 1-1 draw against Burnley at Turf Moor on Saturday.

Ashley Barnes bundled home in the second half to give Burnley the lead but Sean Dyche‘s side succumbed to a predatory finish from Manolo Gabbiadini who jumped off the bench to grab a valuable point for Saints.

With the draw Burnley move on to 37 points and back up to seventh, while Southampton move out of the bottom three and have 27 points.

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Saints had a decent chance on the break early on as Dusan Tadic, making his 150th appearance for the club, drilled a low effort towards the far corner which Nick Pope saved superbly.

Burnley were dangerous when crosses flew into the box but Saints had another chance to go ahead but Nathan Redmond‘s shot from outside the box was saved by Pope.

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The home side improved drastically before half time as they pinned Southampton back but failed to really generate any clear-cut chances.

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In the second half the encounter continued to be a tight, tense affair as Ashley Barnes nodded wide and Southampton struggled to get going in attack.

Burnley took the lead as Barnes bundled home from close range following a cross from Aaron Lennon on the left which initially saw Alex McCarthy save well form Gudmundsson but then Southampton’s defense stood still and allowed Barnes to score.

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Substitute Josh Sims then thought he had equalized as the youngster cut in, smashed on goal but Pope tipped the ball onto the post with a magnificent save.

In the 90th minute Saints did equalize as Sims crossed from the right and Guido Carrillo nodded the ball down to Gabbiadini to swivel and smash home. 1-1.

Bournemouth 2-2 Newcastle United: Cherries fight back

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  • Gayle scores twice
  • Smith with wondergoal for AFCB
  • Magpies unbeaten in four

Adam Smith and Dan Gosling scored second half goals to lead Bournemouth to a come-from-behind 2-2 draw with Newcastle United at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday.

Dwight Gayle scored twice to put Newcastle United ahead, but the Magpies threw away a chance to go 10th. Newcastle instead sits 15th, three points above the drop zone.

The equalizer keeps Bournemouth 10th, with 32 points.

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The hosts started well in possession, and ex-Newcastle man Dan Gosling headed a deflected cross over the cross bar. And last match day’s Magpies hero, Martin Dubravka, stopped Callum Wilson in the first stanza of play.

Newcastle barely had the ball until the 10th minute, and Kenedy missed a volley with his weaker foot within 60 seconds of said possession.

Former Cherries midfielder Matt Ritchie earned a free kick with a mazy dribble in the 13th minute. Kenedy swooped his effort over the wall and bar.

Jonjo Shelvey directed the opener, as he swept a cross over Charlie Daniels onto the path or Ritchie, whose pass was pushed through a diving Asmir Begovic and backheeled into the goal.

And Ritchie curled a left-footed shot just wide of the far post in the 21st.

A Bournemouth corner threatened to let the club back in the door, but Junior Stanislas‘ volley knuckled away from the frame.

Gayle doubled the advantage at the break when he tapped Ayoze Perez’s pass home after the Spaniard passed under Begovic from a Paul Dummett cross.

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Ryan Fraser thought he won a penalty off Jamaal Lascelles, but referee Roger East was unmoved by what easily could’ve been a spot kick and yellow card.

Steve Cook blocked a Christian Atsu bid for 3-0, and Atsu won a free kick from 23 yards (or so) within a minute. Gayle’s free kick bounced through the wall, but Perez popped his in-tight shot over the goal.

Cook had a prime chance to pull Bournemouth back into the game, but Martin Dubravka made an outstanding flying save. Dubravka hit his head on a desperately diving Shelvey and required attention.

An Atsu break off a counterattack should’ve led to 3-0, but Shelvey missed a prime chance with a charging Nathan Ake at his heels.

That’s when Smith smashed his amazing goal past Dubravka, from deep on the left wing off the woodwork at the far post and into the goal.

Mo Diame gave away a very scary free kick to Junior Stanislas in the 86th minute, and the Englishman saw his kick collected by Dubravka.

Liverpool 4-1 West Ham: Reds run Irons ragged

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  • Can opens scoring, 30′
  • Reds build 3-0 lead
  • Antonio scores lone Irons goal
  • Liverpool goes second

Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah all scored second half goals as Liverpool went second with a 4-1 win over visiting West Ham United on Saturday.

Emre Can gave Liverpool the lead en route to a 3-0 start, before Michail Antonio answered for West Ham.

The Reds are a point ahead of Manchester United before the Red Devils play Chelsea on Sunday. West Ham is 13th, four points clear of the drop zone.

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Salah touched a Firmino pass past flat-footed James Collins, and his 15-yard shot was pushed off the far post by Adrian.

It was Marko Arnautovic chipped Loris Karius but not the cross bar as West Ham looked to answer the bell.

The breakthrough came before the half-hour mark, as Salah settled his blocked corner to help win a second. This time, it was Can heading home a back post offering to make it 1-0.

Arnautovic found even more danger before half, but Karius was there to get the job done.

Salah doubled the advantage in the 51st minute, shooting low past a flat-footed Adrian.

Can set up Liverpool’s third, playing a ball over the top for Firmino to push past a charging Begovic and slide into the goal. 3-0.

Cheikhou Kouyate picked Can’s pocket within minutes to play Antonio down the right for the Irons’ opener, but Mane settled the affair soon after the Liverpool concession.

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