China confirmed as 2021 Club World Cup host

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FIFA selected China as host of the inaugural edition of the expanded Club World Cup in 2021 but delayed a decision on how the 24 slots for the tournament will be distributed.

A proposal on how many teams would qualify from the six confederations was shared with FIFA Council members for approval at a meeting in Shanghai on Thursday, including Europe having eight participants.

But a vote on the participation model was pulled because Oceania’s only way of qualification would be its Champions League winner first defeating the domestic champion of host nation China in a playoff.

Oceania is pushing for a guaranteed place in the group stage in China in June 2021, as FIFA’s task force on the revamped Club World Cup originally proposed in March. That is according to people with knowledge of the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity with The Associated Press to discuss the contents of a private meeting.

FIFA only said the qualification process “will be finalized in a consultation process between FIFA and the six confederations.”

FIFA President Gianni Infantino said the governing body will make “zero” out of the new event because all the profits will be reinvested back into club football.

“I hope China will help FIFA to organize it in financial terms,” Infantino said after the meeting in Shanghai. “It will be the club football event which will generate the highest revenue per match.”

Infantino said FIFA along with the Chinese soccer federation and government will push ahead with planning on the tournament.

Staging the Club World Cup in China will be a test of human rights policies that FIFA now subjects host nations to.

The Chinese government has been accused of cracking down on human rights and pro-democracy activism. President Xi Jinping’s government has also faced criticism over its treatment of Muslims in China’s northwest, where the U.S. government, activists and researchers say as many as 1 million people have been detained.

“I think that we need to reflect on our role,” Infantino said. “Countries all over the world are going through difficult times. It is not the mission of FIFA to solve the problems of the world. The mission is to organize football in all of the countries. … We do that by bringing football to the people, not by criticizing.”

A previous FIFA plan seen by the AP in March proposed the Club World Cup running from June 17 through July 4 in 2021, taking the slot originally set aside for the Confederations Cup competition that is no longer due to be contested.

For some players from Africa and the CONCACAF region it could be a busy summer, with their regional national competitions proposed to start on July 9.

The revamped Club World Cup is due to be staged every four years, replacing the current annual format that features the six champions of continental competitions and the host nation’s domestic title winner. The final two editions of the seven-team annual Club World Cup are being staged in Qatar this December and in December 2020.

Based on FIFA’s proposed qualification procedures seen by the AP ahead of the Shanghai meeting, teams could qualify for the overhauled Club World Cup in 2021 without having to win a regional competition – even at the expense of some champions.

Caps on the number of representatives from a single country in the new format raises the prospect of even winners of continental competitions missing out.

EUROPE

With eight slots, Europe will be the best represented continent at the Club World Cup even after rejecting four additional places, helping FIFA drive ticket sales and broadcast revenue.

All the Champions League and Europa League winners from 2018 to 2021 are set to qualify – although that could be dependent on UEFA determining the maximum number of slots per country. Clubs from England and Spain have dominated those competitions in recent years.

Should a team enjoy multiple wins across the competitions, the free slot is due to go to the most recent Champions League runner-up.

Real Madrid won the Champions League in 2018 when Atletico Madrid triumphed in the Europa League. English clubs swept last season’s trophies, with Liverpool victorious in the Champions League and Chelsea in the second-tier competition.

SOUTH AMERICA

While South America will get six slots, only the process for distributing four of them has been settled. They will go to the 2019 and 2020 winners of CONEMBOL’s two competitions: The Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana.

The document shows no plan for determining the route to securing the remaining two berths or the limits on national representation.

ASIA

The three Asian places will to go the winners of the 2019 and 2020 Asian Champions League and the runners-up will have a playoff for the third entry into the Club World Cup group stage.

Saudi Arabian side Al-Hilal will play Urawa Red Diamonds of Japan in this season’s final next month.

If the title is defended in 2020, the runners-up from both years will complete Asia’s FIFA lineup.

But Asia only wants a maximum of two teams from one country. So, if the winners and runners-up in 2019 and 2020 are all from the same country, the two losing Asian Champions League semifinalists in 2020 would contest a playoff for a route into the global tournament.

NORTH AND CENTRAL AMERICA

The 2021 CONCACAF Champions League finalists will qualify but a process for deciding the third slot was left hanging in the FIFA Council document.

Mexican teams have won all 11 titles since the regional competition was rebooted as the Champions League. Only three of the finals have not been an all-Mexican lineup.

But a cap of two teams per country from this region will exist at the Club World Cup.

AFRICA

The simplest qualification will be from Africa, with the places going to the 2021 Champions League finalists and the winner of a playoff between the two semifinalists.

The plan is complicated by a cap on two teams per country.

OCEANIA

Oceania is the only one of FIFA’s six confederations not guaranteed a place at the Club World Cup. To make one of the eight groups of three, the Oceania Champions League winner would have to face a playoff against the Chinese champions under FIFA plans that are now on hold.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Europa League final, Sevilla vs Roma: How to watch live, team news, updates

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Jose Mourinho will be back in the European spotlight once again, when his Roma side takes on Sevilla in the Europa League final in Budapest, Hungary, on Wednesday (3 pm ET). 

FOLLOW SEVILLA vs ROMA LIVE

It’s a second straight season that Mourinho and Roma will end their campaign in a European final, after winning the inaugural Europa Conference League this time last year. Doing so made Mourinho the first manager to win all three of the UEFA Champions League, Europa League and Conference League.

Sevilla are no strangers to winning European trophies themselves, having won the Europa League an astonishing four times in the last nine seasons, with a chance to make it five in 10. Either way that Wednesday’s final goes, it will simply be another notch in the belt of Sevilla, or the master Mourinho.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Sevilla vs Roma

[ LIVE: Europa League final, Sevilla vs Roma ]


How to watch Europa League final – Sevilla vs Roma live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 10 am ET, Saturday
Stream: Paramount+

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]


Key storylines & star players

For Roma, it was another subpar Serie A campaign this season, as they failed to qualify for the Champions League for a fourth straight season. However, a victory in Budapest would send them back to UEFA’s premier competition for the first time since 2018-19. Typical to form for Mourinho, as they allowed precious few goals (37 in 37 league games) while struggling to score enough (48) to push higher up the table. Paulo Dybala leads the way with 11 Serie A goals (plus four more in the Europa League, joint-most alongside Lorenzo Pellegrini’s four) and former Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham chipping eight (and one) of his own.

Speaking of disappointing domestic campaigns, Sevilla sit 11th in La Liga with one game left to play (they can climb as high as 7th on the final day). Three different managers have guided Sevilla this season, with Julen Lopetegui lasting until early October before his successor, Jorge Sampaoli, was also dismissed in March. Also not unlike Roma, it’s been a struggle for Sevilla to score goals (46) as well as preventing goals (52), which is very much out of character for them.


Sevilla’s Europa League journey

Champions League group stage: finished 3rd (5 of 18 points), behind Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund

Europa League knockouts: def. PSV Eindhoven 3-2; def. Fenerbahce 2-1; def. Manchester United 5-2; def. Juventus 3-2 (AET)

Roma’s Europa League journey

Europa League group stage: finished 2nd (10 of 18 points), behind Real Betis

Europa League knockouts: def. Red Bull Salzburg 2-1; def. Real Sociedad 2-0; def. Feyenoord 4-2 (AET); def. Bayer Leverkusen 1-0

Follow @AndyEdMLS

Premier League preseason schedule: Dates, calendar, summer tours

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The Premier League preseason schedule ahead of the 2023-24 season looks very tasty as there are some intriguing summer tours lined up.

[ LIVE: Watch Premier League Summer Series in the USA ]

Of course, the first-ever Premier League Summer Series is coming to the USA with six teams playing nine games in five cities, and you can watch all of that action across our platforms here at NBC Sports by clicking on the link above.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA

Plenty of PL giants are heading to play elsewhere in the USA, Asia and Australia as the Premier League preseason schedule has now turned into a truly global celebration.

[ TRANSFER NEWS: Arsenal | Liverpool | Chelsea | Tottenham | Man City | Man United ]

Below is the full Premier League preseason schedule, with details via the Premier League, as you can see where teams will be heading off to all over the globe this summer.


Arsenal

19 July v MLS All-Stars (Washington DC)
22 July v Man Utd (New York)
26 July v Barcelona (Los Angeles)


Aston Villa

Premier League Summer Series in USA
23 July v Newcastle (Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia)
26 July v Fulham (Exploria Stadium, Orlando)
30 July v Brentford (FedExField, Landover, Maryland)


Brentford

Premier League Summer Series in USA
23 July v Fulham (Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia)
26 July v Brighton (Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta)
30 July v Aston Villa (FedExField, Landover, Maryland)


Brighton

Premier League Summer Series in USA
22 July v Chelsea (Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia)
26 July v Brentford (Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta)
28 July v Newcastle (Red Bull Arena, Harrison, New Jersey)


Chelsea

19 July v Wrexham (North Carolina)
2 August v Dortmund (Chicago)

Premier League Summer Series in USA
22 July v Brighton (Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia)
26 July v Newcastle (Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta)
30 July v Fulham (FedExField, Landover, Maryland)


Crystal Palace

26 July v Millonarios (Chicago)
30 July v Sevilla (Detroit)


Fulham

Premier League Summer Series in USA
23 July v Brentford (Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia)
26 July v Aston Villa (Exploria Stadium, Orlando)
30 July v Chelsea (FedExField, Landover, Maryland)


Leicester City

23 July v Spurs (Bangkok)
30 July v Liverpool (Singapore)


Liverpool

30 July v Leicester (Singapore)
2 August v Bayern Munich (Singapore)


Manchester City

23 July v Yokohama F Marinos (Tokyo)
26 July v Bayern Munich (Tokyo)
30 July 
v Atletico Madrid (Seoul)


Manchester United

12 July v Leeds (Oslo)
19 July
v Lyon (Edinburgh)
22 July v Arsenal (New York)
25 July v Wrexham (San Diego)
26 July v Real Madrid (Houston)
30 July v Dortmund (Las Vegas)


Newcastle

18 July v Rangers (Ibrox Stadium)

Premier League Summer Series in USA
23 July v Aston Villa (Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia)
26 July v Chelsea (Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta)
28 July v Brighton (Red Bull Arena, Harrison, New Jersey)


Tottenham

18 July v West Ham (Perth)
23 July v Leicester (Bangkok)
26 July v Roma (Singapore)


West Ham

15 July v Perth Glory (Perth)
18 July v Spurs  (Perth)


Wolves

26 July v Celtic (Suwon)
29 July v Roma (Incheon)


U20 World Cup schedule: How to watch live, groups, calendar, dates, times, fixtures

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The U20 World Cup takes place in Argentina from May 20 until June 11 as 24 teams full of the best young players on the planet go head-to-head to be crowned World champs.

[ LIVE: Watch the U20 World Cup en Espanol ]

And of course, the USA have plenty of talented youngsters so all eyes will be on Mikey Varas and his squad as they aim to go better than the quarterfinal spot they’ve reached in each of their last three U20 tournaments (2015, 2017, 2019) and they won Group B with three wins from three to reach the knockout rounds.

England, Brazil and hosts Argentina are among the favorites to win the tournament as Argentina stood in at the last minute to host the event after the tournament was moved from Indonesia.

Below is everything you need for the U20 World Cup.


2023 U20 World Cup schedule, start time, dates, how to watch live

  • When: May 20 to June 11
  • Group stage kick-off times: 2pm ET, 5pm ET
  • Location: Argentina
  • TV channels en Español: Telemundo, Universo
  • Streaming en Español: Telemundo, Online via NBC.com

2023 U20 World Cup schedule

All kicks off times ET

Round of 16

Match 38: Tuesday, May 30: USA vs New Zealand – 1:30pm
Match 37: Tuesday, May 30: Uzbekistan vs Israel – 5pm
Match 40: Wednesday, May 31: Brazil vs Tunisia – 1:30pm
Match 42: Wednesday, May 31: Colombia vs Slovakia – 1:30pm
Match 39: Wednesday, May 31: England vs Italy – 5pm
Match 41: Wednesday, May 31: Argentina vs Nigeria – 5pm
Match 44: Thursday, June 1:  Gambia vs Uruguay – 1:30pm
Match 43: Thursday, June 1: Ecuador vs South Korea – 5pm


Quarterfinals

Match 46: Saturday, June 3: Winner Match 37 vs Winner Match 40 – 1:30pm
Match 47: Saturday, June 3: Winner Match 42 vs Winner Match 39 – 5pm
Match 48: Sunday, June 4: Winner Match 43 vs Winner Match 32 – 1:30pm
Match 45: Sunday, June 4:  Winner Match 38 vs Winner Match 44 – 5pm


Semifinals

Match 49: Thursday, June 8: Winner Match 45 vs Winner Match 46 – 1:30pm
Match 50: Thursday, June 8: Winner Match 47 vs Winner Match 48 – 5pm


Third-place game

Match 51: Sunday, June 11: Loser Match 49 vs Loser match 50 – 1:30pm


Final

Match 52: Sunday, June 11: Winner Match 49 vs Winner mtahc 50 – 5pm


Group stage results

Group A

 

Saturday, May 20: Guatemala 0-1 New Zealand – 2pm
Saturday, May 20: Argentina 2-1 Uzbekistan – 5pm
Tuesday, May 23: Uzbekistan 2-2 New Zealand – 2pm
Tuesday, May 23: Argentina 3-0 Guatemala – 5pm
Friday, May 26: New Zealand 0-5 Argentina – 5pm
Friday, May 26: Uzbekistan 2-0 Guatemala – 5pm


Group B

Saturday, May 20: USA 1-0 Ecuador – 2pm (92nd minute winner from Jonathan Gomez)
Saturday, May 20: Fiji 0-4 Slovakia – 5pm
Tuesday, May 23: USA 3-0 Fiji – 2pm
Tuesday, May 23: Ecuador 2-1 Slovakia – 5pm
Friday, May 26: Slovakia 0-2 USA – 2pm
Friday, May 26: Ecuador 9-0 Fiji – 2pm


Group C

Sunday, May 21: Israel 1-2 Colombia – 2pm
Sunday, May 21: Senegal 0-1 Japan – 5pm
Wednesday, May 24: Senegal 1-1 Israel – 2pm
Wednesday, May 24: Japan 1-2 Colombia – 5pm
Saturday, May 27: Japan 1-2 Israel – 5pm
Saturday, May 27: Colombia 1-1 Senegal – 5pm


Group D

Sunday, May 21: Nigeria 2-1 Dominican Republic – 2pm
Sunday, May 21: Italy 3-2 Brazil – 5pm
Wednesday, May 24: Italy 0-2 Nigeria – 2pm
Wednesday, May 24: Brazil 6-0 Dominican Republic – 5pm
Saturday, May 27: Brazil 2-0 Nigeria – 2pm
Saturday, May 27: Dominican Republic 0-3 Italy – 2pm


Group E

Monday, May 22: England 1-0 Tunisia – 2pm
Monday, May 22: Uruguay 4-0 Iraq – 5pm
Thursday, May 25: Uruguay 2-3 England – 2pm
Thursday, May 25: Iraq 0-3 Tunisia – 5pm
Sunday, May 28: Iraq 0-0 England – 2pm
Sunday, May 28: Tunisia 0-1 Uruguay – 2pm


Group F

Monday, May 22: France 1-2 South Korea – 2pm
Monday, May 22: Gambia 2-1 Honduras – 5pm
Thursday, May 25: France 1-2 Gambia – 2pm
Thursday, May 25: South Korea 2-2 Honduras – 5pm
Sunday, May 28: South Korea 0-0 Gambia – 5pm
Sunday, May 28: Honduras 1-3 France – 5pm


Premier League Summer Series coming to USA in 2023: How to get tickets, watch live, schedule

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The inaugural Premier League Summer Series is heading to the USA in 2023 as teams will square off across multiple American cities in a brand new tournament.

And now you can start to purchase your tickets to the Summer Series.

[ MORE: Buy tickets for the Premier League Summer Series here ]

If you registered for early access you can purchase tickets on pre-sale on Tuesday, April 25 only, while tickets will be available on general sale on Wednesday, April 26 from 10am ET by clicking on the link above.

Six Premier League teams — Aston Villa, Brentford, Brighton, Chelsea, Fulham and Newcastle United — will be playing in nine games across five U.S. cities in July and it will be one heck of a summer party.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA

And you can watch all of the action across our platforms here at NBC Sports.


Alan Shearer: ‘I love the passion of the fans’

The Premier League’s all-time leading goalscorer Alan Shearer spoke to ProSoccerTalk (full interview above) about why this Stateside tournament is going to be special.

“It is fantastic news. I have been lucky enough to spend time with the guys at Premier League Mornings Live and be at seven of the eight Fan Fests that have happened and it is fascinating,” Shearer said. “I love the passion of the fans. I love the friendly rivalry. For them to get up at stupid o’clock and queue for hours and come in and watch their teams and mingle and all get together, I love it. To have six teams coming over to America in the summer, I think it is fantastic and something to look forward to.”

Created by the Premier League, the Summer Series will see games take place in Atlanta, Orlando, Harrison, NJ, Philadelphia and Landover, MD.

“I love how passionate the fans are,” Shearer said about Premier League fans in the USA. “They are obviously very knowledgeable. They obviously love their football very much. I understand it might not be the No. 1 sport in America but soccer is growing and it is growing really fast… The more events like this, the more times that we, the Premier League, come over to America and showcase the Premier League and the trophy at these organized events, it is only going to get bigger.”

“I think this will be the first of many,” Shearer added. “It wouldn’t surprise me at all if this was going to happen every single season. It will be a great tournament and a chance to see some Premier League legends and huge football clubs.”


Aston Villa duo excited to experience the United States

Aston Villa and Brazil star Douglas Luiz, who was just named Villa’s Supporters’ Player and Players’ Player of the Season, is excited to play in front of fans in the USA, making the most of the hot weather and exploring the cities to learn more about their history.

“I am so happy. It is a good weather like it is in Brazil, I am so happy and excited to go to the US,” Luiz said. “It is a very good, very good people and I want to visit and I want to know so much more. I am so excited to go with Aston Villa and I want to enjoy seeing as much as I can.”

Aston Villa and Jamaica winger Leon Bailey is no stranger to playing Stateside and is looking forward to soaking up the atmosphere.

“I like the U.S. a lot, so I’m looking forward to a great time in the USA traveling to different States. It is a nice atmosphere, the people always come out in numbers and the support is brilliant. I’m really looking forward to it and I think it is going to be brilliant… I’ve been to LA, Houston, DC and Orlando, with the last Gold Cup most of our games [with Jamaica] were played in Orlando. It’s great and we always get time to explore. So it is nice and you are playing football and you enjoying it but you are enjoying it in a different in a city, which is great.”


Which teams are playing in the Summer Series?

The teams competing in the Premier League Summer Series in the USA in 2023 are:

Premier League

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters is extremely excited about the league hosting their first-ever preseason tournament in the USA.

“We are delighted to be bringing six clubs to the USA in July for the first-ever Premier League Summer Series,” Masters said. “Our clubs have incredible supporters in the US, who passionately follow their teams throughout the season. We have seen this dedication first-hand from the tens of thousands who have attended our Mornings Live fan events and are excited to be building on this by bringing live Premier League action to five cities this summer.

“We are currently enjoying one of the most competitive Premier League seasons of all time at both ends of the table and I am sure we will see some thrilling matches during the tournament.”

Below are all the details you need on the the tournament.


Premier League Summer Series 2023 schedule, dates, how to watch live

Where: Atlanta, GA, Orlando, FL, Harrison, NJ, Philadelphia, PA, Landover, MD
When: July 22-30
Tickets: Via the Premier League – April 25 (pre-sale), April 26 (general sale)
How to watch: Across the NBC Sports platforms, including Peacock

Saturday July 22

Match 1: Chelsea vs Brighton – 7pm ET at Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia – WATCH LIVE ON PEACOCK

Sunday July 23

Match 2: Fulham vs Brentford – 4pm ET at Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia – WATCH LIVE ON PEACOCK
Match 3: Newcastle vs Aston Villa – 7pm ET at Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia – WATCH LIVE ON PEACOCK


 

Wednesday July 26

Match 4: Brentford vs Brighton – 5:30pm ET at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta – WATCH LIVE ON PEACOCK
Match 5: Chelsea vs Newcastle – 8:15pm ET at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta – WATCH LIVE ON PEACOCK
Match 6: Fulham vs Aston Villa – 7pm ET at Exploria Stadium, Orlando – WATCH LIVE ON PEACOCK


Friday July 28

Match 7: Brighton vs Newcastle – 7:30pm ET at Red Bull Arena, Harrison, New Jersey – WATCH LIVE ON PEACOCK


Sunday July 30

Match 8: Aston Villa vs Brentford – 12pm ET at FedEx Field, Landover, Maryland – WATCH LIVE ON USA NETWORK
Match 9: Chelsea vs Fulham – 2:45pm ET at FedEx Field, Landover, Maryland – WATCH LIVE ON NBC