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Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay agree on 2030 World Cup bid

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BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay have agreed on 12 cities where they want to host the centenary World Cup in 2030.

The Argentine Football Association said on Monday the plan would grant eight cities to Argentina and two each for Paraguay and Uruguay. The names of the cities were not disclosed.

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Bidding is not due to open for another four years but leaders of all three national bodies say they want to make a joint bid.

The South American nations are expected to face tough competition for the hosting rights of a tournament that will likely feature 48 teams.

Uruguay staged the first World Cup in 1930 and has long been expected to seek hosting rights with Argentina. Paraguay later joined the initiative.

Argentine soccer officials said they met with national captain Lionel Messi during a recent trip to Spain.

“At all times we found (Messi) willing to help us spread the word about the possibility that the three countries organize the World Cup,” Argentina’s Sport Secretary Carlos Mac Allister said. “It’s very important for us to feel that we have the support of players and that it is completely unattached from any political connotation.”

Messi and Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez have already publicly backed the plan. During a recent Argentina-Spain friendly, Messi was expected to wear a bracelet that read “2030 together,” but he was sidelined due to an injury. The bracelet was worn instead by Javier Mascherano.

So far, the co-organizers have not said how much the tournament would cost if they were to win the bid.

“Today, we can’t say what the final costs will be to each of our countries, but it cannot be measured only in the building of infrastructure,” Uruguay Sports Secretary Fernando Caceres said.

“There’s an intangible measure, which is how much a country earns in coexistence, in integration, identity, and the construction of citizenship by hosting an event of this magnitude.”

World Cup 2030: Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay confirm joint bid

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The next two World Cups have their destinations in place, but the voting process for 2026 and 2030 are in full effect.

While the United States prepares for its fate along with its United bid partners, Mexico and Canada, for the 2026 edition of the tournament, Argentina has thrown its name into the ring for the 2030 Centennial World Cup.

On Monday, Argentina, along with South American nations Paraguay and Uruguay, announced their intentions to co-host the 2030 World Cup.

All three countries have agreed to a structure for their hosting bid, with Argentina being granted eight host cities, while Paraguay and Uruguay will each be given two apiece.

Although the United bid and Morocco will battle for the rights to 2026 this June when the voting process begins, bidding for 2030 won’t commence for another four years.

The tournament is expected to expand to 48 teams by the time 2026 comes around, thus allowing more joint bids to take place.

Uruguay hosted the first edition of the World Cup back in 1930, which the CONMEBOL nation won. It was the country’s first of two World Cup victories, while Argentina has also won twice.

Argentina NGO claims alleged sexual abuse at River Plate

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BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) River Plate says it will collaborate with authorities after a local NGO reported minors were allegedly abused in the club’s youth divisions.

The AVIVI Association for Victims of Rape made a formal complaint before a local prosecutor on Monday. AVIVI said the three minors were allegedly abused from 2004-11.

Argentina’s La Nacion newspaper reported the complaint was based on information provided by an unnamed doctor who worked at the club for several years.

Officials at River Plate, the NGO, and the prosecutor’s office could not be immediately reached for comment.

River Plate said in a brief statement that club officials will go before the prosecutor’s office on Tuesday, “to understand the full extent of the complaint and provide authorities and accusers with all elements available to clarify this situation.”

A look at several of the largest international defeats in history

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Lionel Messi may not have played in Argentina’s significant defeat at the hands of Spain on Tuesday, but it got us at Pro Soccer Talk thinking about other historic results in the international game.

Again, Messi’s impact for the Albiceleste cannot be understated, but the Spanish comfortably put up six goals against the South American side, and should have had a seventh goal as well had it not been for a tame foul call on Sergio Ramos’ second-half finish.

[ MORE: Who makes England’s World Cup starting XI? ]

Here’s a look at several of the greatest (or worst) defeats in the history of international soccer.

Brazil 1-7 Germany — 2014 FIFA World Cup

Being a World Cup year, it’s hard not to bring up this historic result, which saw the eventual-World Cup winners thrash a Brazil side that was playing on home soil. Albeit with Neymar, the Brazilians were on the back foot from the opening whistle, and the Germans simply didn’t let up.

Four goals in a six-minute span capped off the performance for Jurgen Low’s side, including Toni Kroos’ quick brace.

Spain 6-1 Argentina — 2018 International Friendly

Isco’s brilliance shone through on Tuesday with a hat-trick against the South American giants, but the best goal of them all came in the 73rd minute when Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea recorded an assist on a long ball to Iago Aspas.

At one point, the television cameras focused on Messi walking away from his sky-box view of the match, and understandably so.

Australia 31-0 American Samoa — 2001 AFC World Cup qualifying

It wasn’t until 2006 that Australia snapped its drought of missing out on the World Cup, but this match currently lives on as the most significant defeat in international soccer history.

The Socceroos came, they saw, and they definitely conquered American Samoa. Unsurprisingly, this was the only meeting between the two nations in their history.

Tahiti 30-0 Cook Islands — 1971 South Pacific Games

Yes, you are reading that score line correct. In fairness to Cook Islands though, the country boasts a population of a whopping 18,000 people (roughly the equivalent of Davison County in South Dakota).

Cook Islands is currently ranked 194 in the latest FIFA World Rankings, and has never made it out of the group stage during the OFC Nations Cup.

Spain 12-1 Malta — 1984 UEFA Euro qualifying

It was one of the biggest turnarounds in history when considering what Spain needed to accomplish in order to qualify for the competition in 1984. The Spanish trailed group leaders Holland by two points in their qualifying group, and needed a victory plus an 110-goal swing in goal difference to overcome the Dutch.

Background: At the time, victories were awarded with two points instead of the modern-day three points.

In an improbable result, Spain finished level on points and aggregate goal difference with Holland, but the Spanish managed to top the Dutch based on superior number of goals scored (24).

Iran 19-0 Guam — 2002 World Cup qualifying

Iranian superstar Ali Daei still holds the record for international goals scored, but the star in this match was Charlton Athletic attacker Karim Bagheri, who netted a crazy six goals for the AFC side.

Meanwhile, the disappointing result for Guam marked the second time in less than a year that the small island nation suffered a defeat of 19-0 (against China PR).

International friendlies: Isco tortures Argentina; VAR at Wembley

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There were some high-profile friendlies across Europe on Tuesday, with a major Messi-less blowout of Argentina and a VAR-inspired controversy at Wembley Stadium.

[ MORE: Pogba stars for France ]

England 1-1 Italy

VAR is in focus after Italy grabbed a late equalizer from the spot following an incident between Burnley’s James Tarkowski and Fiorentina’s Federico Chiesa.

Tarkowski landed on Chiesa’s foot, and the Italian hit the deck. It was a penalty but made far worse by the fact that VAR is what gave the kick and that Chiesa rolled around a bit. Lorenzo Insigne finished his chance.

To be fair, England had gone ahead on a bit of legal trickery, using a quick restart to send Jamie Vardy in on Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Spain 6-1 Argentina

Lionel Messi gets unfair grief from some for his record with Argentina — Messi has played 27 games for Argentina since the start of 2015. They’ve lost three of those, and two were in PKs — and the Atomic Flea’s absence in Spain was glaring for the visitors.

Isco had a hat trick, while Diego Costa, Thiago Alcantara, and Iago Aspas also scored as Spain flummoxed La Albiceleste with the exception of Nicolas Otamendi’s 39th minute goal.

Germany 0-1 Brazil

It’s only a small measure of revenge from 7-0, but Gabriel Jesus‘ goal ended the Germans’ long unbeaten run. Jesus scored a diving header to hand Joachim Low’s side its first loss in 23 matches.

Elsewhere
Russia 1-3 France — RECAP
Switzerland 6-0 Panama
Hungary 0-1 Scotland
Japan 1-2 Ukraine — RECAP
Armenia 0-1 Lithuania