NBC Sports Premier League 2021-22 schedule: How to watch, stream live, start times

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The 2021-22 Premier League schedule is here, and below are details on how to watch all of the fixtures in the USA with the NBC Sports Premier League schedule across Peacock and our family of channels.

[ VIDEO: Premier League analysis ]

Your weekends between August 2021 and May 2022 are sorted.

As Premier League fans, you’re looking for a few things for your club: opening day, final day, Boxing Day and when your derby games are.

All of that info on the Premier League fixtures is below, plus the full fixture list as you can watch all 380 games live across our platforms here at NBC Sports, while other shows such as Premier League Goal Rush (10am ET on Saturday’s) will also be available on Peacock Premium.

[ WATCH: Premier League on NBC Sports in the USA ]

Can reigning champions Manchester City defend their crown? Or will the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea put up a fight for the title this season? What about Tottenham, Arsenal, Leicester City and West Ham, can they break into the top four?

Also, new boys Norwich City, Watford and Brentford will add plenty to the PL, as there are so many intriguing storylines swirling, plus fans will return to full stadiums for the 2021-22 season.

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Premier League coverage will be available on Peacock Premium. Viewers can sign up at peacocktv.com. Peacock is currently available across devices, details here. Peacock Premium is included at no additional cost for Comcast’s eligible Xfinity X1 and Flex customers and Cox Contour customers.

Premier League games on NBC and NBCSN will be streamed on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app — NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, tablets, and connected TVs.

Coverage will be streamed via “TV Everywhere,” giving consumers additional value for their subscription service, and making high quality content available to MVPD customers both in and out of the home and on multiple platforms. The NBC Sports app is available on the iTunes App Store, Google Play, Roku Channel Store, Apple TV and Amazon Fire.

Below is the schedule in full, with dates and times subject to change as the broadcast schedule in the UK is confirmed in the coming months.


NBC Sports Premier League schedule: Dates, fixtures, how to watch in USA, Peacock

All games kick off at 10am ET unless otherwise stated

Matchweek 13

Saturday 27 November

Arsenal 2-0 Newcastle – NBCSN – FULL MATCH REPLAY
Norwich City 0-0 Wolves – NBCSN – FULL MATCH REPLAY
Liverpool 4-0 Southampton – USA Network – FULL MATCH REPLAY
Crystal Palace 1-2 Aston Villa FULL MATCH REPLAY
Brighton 0-0 Leeds – NBC – FULL MATCH REPLAY

Sunday 28 November

9am: Brentford v Everton –  Watch on Peacock Premium
9am: Burnley v Spurs –  Watch on Peacock Premium
9am: Leicester City v Watford –  Watch on Peacock Premium
9am: Man City v West Ham –  Watch on Peacock Premium
11:30am: Chelsea v Man Utd –  Watch on Peacock Premium


Matchweek 1

Friday 13 August

Brentford 1-1 Arsenal – NBCSN – FULL MATCH REPLAY

Saturday 14 August

Man Utd 5-1 Leeds – NBCSN – FULL MATCH REPLAY
Leicester City 1-0 Wolves – USA Network – FULL MATCH REPLAY
Everton 3-1 Southampton – NBCSN – FULL MATCH REPLAY
Burnley 1-2 BrightonFULL MATCH REPLAY
Chelsea 3-0 Crystal PalaceFULL MATCH REPLAY
Watford 3-2 Aston VillaFULL MATCH REPLAY
Norwich City 0-3 Liverpool – NBC – FULL MATCH REPLAY

Sunday 15 August

Newcastle 2-4 West Ham – NBCSN – FULL MATCH REPLAY
Spurs 1-0 Man City – NBCSN – FULL MATCH REPLAY


Matchweek 2

Saturday 21 August

Liverpool 2-0 BurnleyFULL MATCH REPLAY
Aston Villa 2-0 Newcastle – NBCSN – FULL MATCH REPLAY
Man City 5-0 Norwich City – USA Network – FULL MATCH REPLAY
Crystal Palace 0-0 BrentfordFULL MATCH REPLAY
Leeds 2-2 EvertonFULL MATCH REPLAY
Brighton 2-0 Watford – NBC/Peacock Premium – FULL MATCH REPLAY

Sunday 22 August

Southampton 1-1 Man UtdFULL MATCH REPLAY
Wolves 0-1 Spurs – NBCSN – FULL MATCH REPLAY
Arsenal 0-2 Chelsea – NBCSN – FULL MATCH REPLAY

Monday 23 August

West Ham 4-1 Leicester City – NBCSN – FULL MATCH REPLAY


Matchweek 3

Saturday 28 August

Man City 5-0 ArsenalFULL MATCH REPLAY
Brighton 0-2 Everton – NBCSN – FULL MATCH REPLAY
Aston Villa 1-1 Brentford – CNBC – FULL MATCH REPLAY
Newcastle 2-2 SouthamptonFULL MATCH REPLAY
Norwich City 1-2 Leicester CityFULL MATCH REPLAY
West Ham 2-2 Crystal PalaceFULL MATCH REPLAY
Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea – NBC/Peacock Premium – FULL MATCH REPLAY

Sunday 29 August

Burnley 1-1 Leeds – NBCSN – FULL MATCH REPLAY
Spurs 1-0 WatfordFULL MATCH REPLAY
Wolves 0-1 Man Utd – NBCSN – FULL MATCH REPLAY


Matchweek 4

Saturday 11 September

Crystal Palace 3-0 Spurs – NBCSN – FULL MATCH REPLAY
Arsenal 1-0 Norwich CityFULL MATCH REPLAY
Brentford 0-1 BrightonFULL MATCH REPLAY
Leicester City 0-1 Man CityFULL MATCH REPLAY
Man Utd 4-1 Newcastle – USA Network – FULL MATCH REPLAY
Southampton 0-0 West Ham – NBCSN – FULL MATCH REPLAY
Watford 0-2 WolvesFULL MATCH REPLAY
Chelsea 3-0 Aston Villa – NBC – FULL MATCH REPLAY

Sunday 12 September

Leeds 0-3 Liverpool – NBCSN – FULL MATCH REPLAY

Monday 13 September

Everton 3-1 Burnley – NBCSN – FULL MATCH REPLAY


Matchweek 5

Friday 17 September

Newcastle 1-1 Leeds — NBCSN — FULL MATCH REPLAY

Saturday 18 September

Wolves 0-2 Brentford — NBCSN — FULL MATCH REPLAY
Burnley 0-1 Arsenal — NBCSN — FULL MATCH REPLAY
Liverpool 3-0 Crystal PalaceFULL MATCH REPLAY
Man City 0-0 Southampton — USA Network — FULL MATCH REPLAY
Norwich City 1-3 WatfordFULL MATCH REPLAY
Aston Villa 3-0 Everton — NBC — FULL MATCH REPLAY

Sunday 19 September

West Ham 1-2 Man Utd — NBCSN — FULL MATCH REPLAY
Brighton 2-1 Leicester CityFULL MATCH REPLAY
Spurs 0-3 ChelseaFULL MATCH REPLAY


Matchweek 6

Saturday 25 September

Chelsea 0-1 Man City – NBCSN – FULL MATCH REPLAY
Man Utd 0-1 Aston VillaFULL MATCH REPLAY
Everton 2-2 Norwich CityFULL MATCH REPLAY
Leeds 1-2 West HamFULL MATCH REPLAY
Leicester City 2-2 Burnley – NBCSN – FULL MATCH REPLAY
Watford 1-1 NewcastleFULL MATCH REPLAY
Brentford 3-3 Liverpool – NBCSN – FULL MATCH REPLAY

Sunday 26 September

Southampton 0-1 Wolves – NBCSN – FULL MATCH REPLAY
Arsenal 3-1 Spurs – NBCSN – FULL MATCH REPLAY

Monday 27 September

Crystal Palace 1-1 Brighton – NBCSN – FULL MATCH REPLAY


Matchweek 7

Saturday 2 October

Man Utd 1-1 Everton – NBCSN – FULL MATCH REPLAY
Leeds 1-0 Watford – NBCSN – FULL MATCH REPLAY
Chelsea 3-1 Southampton – USA Network – FULL MATCH REPLAY
Burnley 0-0 Norwich CityFULL MATCH REPLAY
Wolves 2-1 NewcastleFULL MATCH REPLAY
Brighton 0-0 Arsenal – NBC – FULL MATCH REPLAY

Sunday 3 October

Crystal Palace 2-2 Leicester City – NBCSN – FULL MATCH REPLAY
Spurs 2-1 Aston VillaFULL MATCH REPLAY
West Ham 1-2 BrentfordFULL MATCH REPLAY
Liverpool 2-2 Man City – NBCSN – FULL MATCH REPLAY


Matchweek 8

Saturday 16 October

Watford 0-5 LiverpoolFULL MATCH REPLAY
Aston Villa 2-3 Wolves – NBCSN – FULL MATCH REPLAY
Leicester City 4-2 Man Utd – USA Network – FULL MATCH REPLAY
Man City 2-0 BurnleyFULL MATCH REPLAY
Norwich City 0-0 BrightonFULL MATCH REPLAY
Southampton 1-0 LeedsFULL MATCH REPLAY
Brentford 0-1 Chelsea – NBC – FULL MATCH REPLAY

Sunday 17 October

Everton 0-1 West Ham – NBCSN – FULL MATCH REPLAY
Newcastle 2-3 Spurs – NBCSN – FULL MATCH REPLAY

Monday 18 October

Arsenal 2-2 Crystal PalaceFULL MATCH REPLAY


Matchweek 9

Friday 22 October

Arsenal 3-1 Aston Villa – NBCSN – FULL MATCH REPLAY

Saturday 23 October

Chelsea 7-0 Norwich City – NBCSN – FULL MATCH REPLAY
Everton 2-5 Watford – USA Network – FULL MATCH REPLAY
Leeds 1-1 Wolves – NBCSN – FULL MATCH REPLAY
Crystal Palace 1-1 NewcastleFULL MATCH REPLAY
Southampton 2-2 BurnleyFULL MATCH REPLAY
Brighton 1-4 Man City – NBC – FULL MATCH REPLAY

Sunday 24 October

Brentford 1-2 Leicester CityFULL MATCH REPLAY
West Ham 1-0 Spurs – NBCSN – FULL MATCH REPLAY
Man Utd 0-5 Liverpool – NBCSN – FULL MATCH REPLAY


Matchweek 10

Saturday 30 October

Leicester City 0-2 Arsenal – NBCSN – FULL MATCH REPLAY
Liverpool 2-2 Brighton – USA Network – FULL MATCH REPLAY
Man City 0-2 Crystal Palace – NBCSN – FULL MATCH REPLAY
Burnley 3-1 BrentfordFULL MATCH REPLAY
Newcastle 0-3 ChelseaFULL MATCH REPLAY
Watford 0-1 SouthamptonFULL MATCH REPLAY
Spurs 0-3 Man Utd – NBC – FULL MATCH REPLAY

Sunday 31 October

Norwich City 1-2 Leeds – NBCSN – FULL MATCH REPLAY
Aston Villa 1-4 West Ham – NBCSN – FULL MATCH REPLAY

Monday 1 November

Wolves 2-1 Everton – NBCSN – FULL MATCH REPLAY


Matchweek 11

Friday 5 November

Southampton 1-0 Aston VillaFULL MATCH REPLAY

Saturday 6 November

Man Utd 0-2 Man City — NBCSN / FULL MATCH REPLAY
Brentford 1-2 Norwich CityFULL MATCH REPLAY
Chelsea 1-1 BurnleyFULL MATCH REPLAY
Crystal Palace 2-0 Wolves — NBCSN / FULL MATCH REPLAY
Brighton 1-1 Newcastle — NBC / FULL MATCH REPLAY

Sunday 7 November

Arsenal 1-0 WatfordFULL MATCH REPLAY
Everton 0-0 Spurs — NBCSN / NBCSports.com
Leeds 1-1 Leicester CityFULL MATCH REPLAY
West Ham 3-2 Liverpool — NBCSN / FULL MATCH REPLAY


Matchweek 12

Saturday 20 November

Leicester City 0-3 Chelsea — NBCSN – FULL MATCH REPLAY
Aston Villa 2-0 Brighton — NBCSN – FULL MATCH REPLAY
Wolves 1-0 West Ham — USA Network — FULL MATCH REPLAY
Burnley 3-3 Crystal Palace FULL MATCH REPLAY
Newcastle 3-3 Brentford FULL MATCH REPLAY
Norwich City 2-1 Southampton FULL MATCH REPLAY
Watford 4-1 Man Utd FULL MATCH REPLAY
Liverpool 4-0 Arsenal — NBC — FULL MATCH REPLAY

Sunday 21 November

Man City 3-0 Everton — NBCSN — FULL MATCH REPLAY
Spurs 2-1 Leeds — NBCSN — FULL MATCH REPLAY


Matchweek 13

Saturday 27 November

7:30am: Arsenal v Newcastle – NBCSN – WATCH LIVE
Norwich City v Wolves – NBCSN – WATCH LIVE
Liverpool v Southampton – USA Network – WATCH LIVE
Crystal Palace v Aston Villa –  Watch on Peacock Premium
12:30pm: Brighton v Leeds – NBC – WATCH LIVE

Sunday 28 November

9am: Brentford v Everton –  Watch on Peacock Premium
9am: Burnley v Spurs –  Watch on Peacock Premium
9am: Leicester City v Watford –  Watch on Peacock Premium
9am: Man City v West Ham –  Watch on Peacock Premium
11:30am: Chelsea v Man Utd –  Watch on Peacock Premium


Matchweek 14

Tuesday 30 November

2:30pm: Newcastle v Norwich City
3:15pm: Leeds v Crystal Palace

Wednesday 1 December

2:30pm: Southampton v Leicester City
2:30pm: Watford v Chelsea
2:30pm: West Ham v Brighton
2:30pm: Wolves v Burnley
3:15pm: Aston Villa v Man City
3:15pm: Everton v Liverpool

Thursday 2 December

2:30pm: Spurs v Brentford
3:15pm: Man Utd v Arsenal


Matchweek 15

Saturday 4 December

7:30am: West Ham v Chelsea
Newcastle v Burnley
Southampton v Brighton
Wolves v Liverpool
12:30pm: Watford v Man City

Sunday 5 December

9am: Leeds v Brentford
9am: Man Utd v Crystal Palace
9am: Spurs v Norwich City
11:30am: Aston Villa v Leicester City

Monday 6 December

3pm: Everton v Arsenal


Matchweek 16

Friday 10 December

Brentford v Watford

Saturday 11 December

7:30am: Man City v Wolves
Arsenal v Southampton
Chelsea v Leeds
Liverpool v Aston Villa
12:30pm: Norwich City v Man Utd

Sunday 12 December

9am: Brighton v Spurs
9am: Burnley v West Ham
9am: Leicester City v Newcastle
11:30am: Crystal Palace v Everton


Matchweek 17

Tuesday 14 December

2:30pm: Brentford v Man Utd
2:45pm: Norwich City v Aston Villa
3pm: Man City v Leeds

Wednesday 15 December

2:30pm: Brighton v Wolves
2:30pm: Burnley v Watford
2:30pm: Crystal Palace v Southampton
2:45pm: Chelsea v Everton*
3pm: Arsenal v West Ham
*Subject to change for Chelsea’s participation in FIFA Club World Cup

Thursday 16 December

2:30pm: Leicester City v Spurs
3pm: Liverpool v Newcastle


Matchweek 18

Saturday 18 December

7:30am: Man Utd v Brighton
Aston Villa v Burnley
Southampton v Brentford
Watford v Crystal Palace
West Ham v Norwich City
Wolves v Chelsea*
12:30pm: Leeds v Arsenal
*Subject to change for Chelsea’s participation in FIFA Club World Cup

Sunday 19 December

9am: Newcastle v Man City
11:30am: Spurs v Liverpool

Monday 20 December

3pm: Everton v Leicester City
*Should Leicester reach Carabao Cup fifth round, this will move to 7am, Sunday 19 December


Matchweek 19

Sunday 26 December

7:30am: Liverpool v Leeds
7:30am: Wolves v Watford
Burnley v Everton
Man City v Leicester City
Norwich City v Arsenal
Spurs v Crystal Palace
West Ham v Southampton
12:30pm: Aston Villa v Chelsea
3pm: Brighton v Brentford

Monday 27 December

3pm: Newcastle v Man Utd


Matchweek 20

Tuesday 28 December

7:30am: Arsenal v Wolves
10am: Southampton v Spurs
10am: Crystal Palace v Norwich
10am: Watford v West Ham
12:30pm: Leeds v Aston Villa
3pm: Leicester v Liverpool

Wednesday 29 December

2:30pm: Chelsea v Brighton
3:15pm: Brentford v Man City

Thursday 30 December

2:30pm: Everton v Newcastle
3:15pm: Man Utd v Burnley


Matchweek 21

Saturday 1 January

7:30am: Arsenal v Man City
Leicester v Norwich
Man Utd v Wolves
Watford v Spurs
12:30pm: Crystal Palace v West Ham

Sunday 2 January

9am: Brentford v Aston Villa
9am: Everton v Brighton
9am: Leeds v Burnley
9am: Southampton v Newcastle
11:30am: Chelsea v Liverpool


Saturday 15 January

Aston Villa v Man Utd
Brighton v Crystal Palace
Burnley v Leicester
Liverpool v Brentford
Man City v Chelsea
Newcastle v Watford
Norwich v Everton
Spurs v Arsenal
West Ham v Leeds
Wolves v Southampton

Saturday 22 January

Arsenal v Burnley
Brentford v Wolves
Chelsea v Spurs
Crystal Palace v Liverpool
Everton v Aston Villa
Leeds v Newcastle
Leicester v Brighton
Man Utd v West Ham
Southampton v Man City
Watford v Norwich

Tuesday 8 February

Aston Villa v Leeds
Brighton v Chelsea
Burnley v Man Utd
Norwich v Crystal Palace
West Ham v Watford
Wolves v Arsenal

Wednesday 9 February

Newcastle v Everton
Spurs v Southampton
Liverpool v Leicester
Man City v Brentford

Saturday 12 February

Brentford v Crystal Palace
Burnley v Liverpool
Chelsea v Arsenal
Everton v Leeds
Leicester v West Ham
Man Utd v Southampton
Newcastle v Aston Villa
Norwich v Man City
Spurs v Wolves
Watford v Brighton

Saturday 19 February

Arsenal v Brentford
Aston Villa v Watford
Brighton v Burnley
Crystal Palace v Chelsea
Leeds v Man Utd
Liverpool v Norwich
Man City v Spurs
Southampton v Everton
West Ham v Newcastle
Wolves v Leicester

Saturday 26 February

Arsenal v Liverpool
Brentford v Newcastle
Brighton v Aston Villa
Chelsea v Leicester
Crystal Palace v Burnley
Everton v Man City
Leeds v Spurs
Man Utd v Watford
Southampton v Norwich
West Ham v Wolves

Saturday 5 March

Aston Villa v Southampton
Burnley v Chelsea
Leicester v Leeds
Liverpool v West Ham
Man City v Man Utd
Newcastle v Brighton
Norwich v Brentford
Spurs v Everton
Watford v Arsenal
Wolves v Crystal Palace

Saturday 12 March

Arsenal v Leicester
Brentford v Burnley
Brighton v Liverpool
Chelsea v Newcastle
Crystal Palace v Man City
Everton v Wolves
Leeds v Norwich
Man Utd v Spurs
Southampton v Watford
West Ham v Aston Villa

Saturday 19 March

Aston Villa v Arsenal
Burnley v Southampton
Leicester v Brentford
Liverpool v Man Utd
Man City v Brighton
Newcastle v Crystal Palace
Norwich v Chelsea
Spurs v West Ham
Watford v Everton
Wolves v Leeds

Saturday 2 April

Brighton v Norwich
Burnley v Man City
Chelsea v Brentford
Crystal Palace v Arsenal
Leeds v Southampton
Liverpool v Watford
Man Utd v Leicester
Spurs v Newcastle
West Ham v Everton
Wolves v Aston Villa

Saturday 9 April

Arsenal v Brighton
Aston Villa v Spurs
Brentford v West Ham
Everton v Man Utd
Leicester v Crystal Palace
Man City v Liverpool
Newcastle v Wolves
Norwich v Burnley
Southampton v Chelsea
Watford v Leeds

Saturday 16 April

Aston Villa v Liverpool
Everton v Crystal Palace
Leeds v Chelsea
Man Utd v Norwich
Newcastle v Leicester
Southampton v Arsenal
Spurs v Brighton
Watford v Brentford
West Ham v Burnley
Wolves v Man City

Saturday 23 April

Arsenal v Man Utd
Brentford v Spurs
Brighton v Southampton
Burnley v Wolves
Chelsea v West Ham
Crystal Palace v Leeds
Leicester v Aston Villa
Liverpool v Everton
Man City v Watford
Norwich v Newcastle

Saturday 30 April

Aston Villa v Norwich
Everton v Chelsea
Leeds v Man City
Man Utd v Brentford
Newcastle v Liverpool
Southampton v Crystal Palace
Spurs v Leicester
Watford v Burnley
West Ham v Arsenal
Wolves v Brighton

Saturday 7 May

Arsenal v Leeds
Brentford v Southampton
Brighton v Man Utd
Burnley v Aston Villa
Chelsea v Wolves
Crystal Palace v Watford
Leicester v Everton
Liverpool v Spurs
Man City v Newcastle
Norwich v West Ham

Sunday 15 May*

Aston Villa v Crystal Palace
Everton v Brentford
Leeds v Brighton
Man Utd v Chelsea
Newcastle v Arsenal
Southampton v Liverpool
Spurs v Burnley
Watford v Leicester
West Ham v Man City
Wolves v Norwich
* to avoid a clash with the FA Cup Final on 14 May

Sunday 22 May

Arsenal v Everton
Brentford v Leeds
Brighton v West Ham
Burnley v Newcastle
Chelsea v Watford
Crystal Palace v Man Utd
Leicester v Southampton
Liverpool v Wolves
Man City v Aston Villa
Norwich v Spurs

Mikel Arteta gives update on Arsene Wenger return to Arsenal

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A return to Arsenal for Arsene Wenger appears to be moving closer to fruition.

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Mikel Arteta spoke earlier on this week about the possibility of Wenger returning to his beloved Arsenal in some capacity.

Asked about what that role could be following Arsenal’s 2-0 win against Newcastle United on Saturday, Arteta revealed his admiration for the legendary coach.

Could Arsene Wenger return?

“Everybody who works here and everybody at the club, what we feel towards Arsene is gratitude,” Arteta said. “I’m the first one because [if it wasn’t for him] I wouldn’t be sitting here. What I’m saying is that I think he will enjoy to be more around.

“I know he needed his space but just being around and having the feeling of how much people love him, I think that will be great for him. The rest is going to happen. Imagine for me, with somebody who has been here for 22 years. I know him well. Time will tell.”

Wenger, 72, made Arteta his captain during his playing days and the former Arsenal midfielder is a close friend of the French coach.

It seems like Wenger is basically welcome to name his role at Arsenal and Arteta would love having him around for advice and guidance.

Arsenal’s young crop developing nicely

Whatever Wenger’s role is at Arsenal, he will be enjoying this young Gunners side that Arteta is getting a tune out of.

From Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe pulling the strings in attack to Gabriel and Ben White being solid at center back and Aaron Ramsdale sensational in goal, this is an exciting young squad which is improving all the time.

They were in control against Newcastle and are keeping clean sheets and beating the teams they should beat.

What can Wenger help with?

The next step is getting results against the big boys and Arteta will no doubt lean on Wenger’s knowledge to try and do that.

Wenger is a legend at Arsenal but after the last few years of his reign turned toxic, it was the right call to lie low for a years.

He has kept himself busy with a role at FIFA looking at how to develop the global game, but now seems like the right time for him to return as a club president or a similar role.

Arteta is a very young coach and it will only help to have Wenger around to answer any of his questions. This is a smart move from Arteta to be pushing this.

2022 World Cup host Qatar used ex-CIA officer to spy on FIFA

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WASHINGTON — The tiny Arab nation of Qatar has for years employed a former CIA officer to help spy on soccer officials as part of a no-expense-spared effort to win and hold on to the 2022 World Cup tournament, an investigation by The Associated Press has found.

It’s part of a trend of former U.S. intelligence officers going to work for foreign governments with questionable human rights records that is worrying officials in Washington and prompting calls from some members of Congress for greater scrutiny of an opaque and lucrative market.

The World Cup is the planet’s most popular sports tournament. It’s also a chance for Qatar, one of the wealthiest countries in the world, to have a coming-out party on the world stage.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

The AP’s investigation found Qatar sought an edge in securing hosting rights by hiring former CIA officer turned private contractor Kevin Chalker to spy on rival bid teams and key soccer officials who picked the winner in 2010. Chalker also worked for Qatar in the years that followed to keep tabs on the country’s critics in the soccer world, the AP found.

The AP’s investigation is based on interviews with Chalker’s former associates as well as contracts, invoices, emails, and a review of business documents.

The surveillance work included having someone pose as a photojournalist to keep tabs on a rival nation’s bid and deploying a Facebook honeypot, in which someone posed online as an attractive woman, to get close to a target, a review of the records show. Operatives working for Chalker and the Persian Gulf sheikhdom also sought cell phone call logs of at least one top FIFA official ahead of the 2010 vote, a review of the records show.

Chalker also promised he could help the country “maintain dominance” over its large population of foreign workers, an internal document from one of Chalker’s companies reviewed by the AP shows. Qatar – a country with a population of 2.8 million, of whom only 300,000 are citizens – is heavily reliant on foreign-born labor to build the stadiums and other infrastructure needed for the tournament.

Qatari government officials did not respond to requests for comment. FIFA also declined to comment.

Chalker, who opened an office in Doha and had a Qatari government email account, said in a statement provided by a representative that he and his companies would not “ever engage in illegal surveillance.”

Chalker declined requests for an interview or to answer detailed questions about his work for the Qatari government. He also claimed that some of the documents reviewed by the AP were forgeries.

The AP reviewed hundreds of pages of documents from Chalker’s companies, including a 2013 project update report that had several photos of Chalker’s staff meeting with various soccer officials. Multiple sources with authorized access provided documents to the AP. The sources said they were troubled by Chalker’s work for Qatar and requested anonymity because they feared retaliation.

The AP took several steps to verify the documents’ authenticity. That includes confirming details of various documents with different sources, including former Chalker associates and soccer officials; cross-checking contents of documents with contemporaneous news accounts and publicly available business records; and examining electronic documents’ metadata, or digital history, where available, to confirm who made the documents and when. Chalker did not provide to the AP any evidence to support his position that some of the documents in question had been forged.

Many of the documents reviewed by the AP outlining work undertaken by Chalker and his companies on behalf of Qatar are also described in a lawsuit filed by Elliott Broidy, a one-time fundraiser for former U.S. President Donald Trump. Broidy is suing Chalker and has accused him of mounting a widespread hacking and spying campaign at Qatar’s direction that includes using former western intelligence officers to surveil FIFA officials. Broidy’s lawyers did not respond to requests for comment. Chalker’s legal team has argued the lawsuit is meritless.

Former associates say Chalker’s companies have provided a variety of services to Qatar in addition to intelligence work. His company Global Risk Advisors bills itself as “an international strategic consultancy specializing in cybersecurity, military and law enforcement training, and intelligence-based advisory services” and its affiliates have won small contracts with the FBI for a rope-training course and tech consulting work for the Democratic National Committee.

Chalker worked at the CIA as an operations officer for about five years, according to former associates. Operations officers typically work undercover trying to recruit assets to spy on behalf of the United States. The CIA declined to comment and does not usually discuss its former officers.

Chalker’s background in the CIA was attractive to Qatari officials, said former associates.

“That was part of his mystique. All these young wealthy Qataris are playing spy games with this guy and he’s selling them,” said one former associate, who like others interviewed by the AP, spoke on the condition of anonymity because they feared retribution for revealing the spying efforts of Qatar.

The private surveillance business has flourished in the last decade in the Persian Gulf as the region saw the rise of an information war using state-sponsored hacking operations that have coincided with the run-up to the World Cup.

Three former U.S. intelligence and military officials recently admitted to providing hacking services for a UAE-based company, which was called DarkMatter, as part of a deferred prosecution agreement with the Justice Department. A Reuters investigation from 2019 reported that DarkMatter hacked phones and computers of Qatar’s Emir, his brother, and FIFA officials.

Work abroad by ex-U.S. intelligence officials has not always aligned with U.S. interests. The United States was Qatar’s biggest rival to win the 2022 World Cup, and former U.S. President Bill Clinton and other celebrities were part of the bid effort. One Global Risk Advisors document lists the United States as a “threat” to Qatar while Russia, one of the U.S.’s biggest geopolitical rivals and the host of the 2018 World Cup, was listed as an “opportunity.”

The Sunday Times of London previously reported that unnamed ex-CIA agents helped Qatar’s 2010 bid team. But the AP’s investigation is the most detailed to date of Qatar’s use of former U.S. spies and provides a rare look into the world of former Western spies working in the Gulf for autocratic governments.

“This is a problem for U.S. national security,” John Scott-Railton, a senior researcher at Citizen Lab, a watchdog group that tracks cyber-surveillance companies. “It’s a really dangerous thing when people who handle the most sensitive secrets of our country are thinking in the back of their mind, `Man, I could really make a lot more money taking this technical knowledge that I’ve been trained in and putting it in the service of whoever will pay me.”‘

When Qatar was picked as the surprise winner in 2010, there was jubilation in the country. Sheik Youssef al-Qaradawi, a prominent Islamic scholar said he was “filled with joy” at the announcement and said Qatar had humbled the United States.

But Qatar’s successful bid has long been dogged by allegations of corruption. U.S. prosecutors said last year that bribes were paid to FIFA executive committee members to gain their votes for Qatar.

Qatar has denied wrongdoing but has also had to fend off allegations by labor watchdogs of worker abuses, and an effort by neighboring countries to isolate, weaken and embarrass it through an economic boycott and informational warfare.

Chalker has pitched his companies, including Global Risk Advisors, as an aggressive private intelligence and security agency Qatar needs to fulfill its ambitions.

“The time for half-measures is over and serious consideration needs to be given to how important the 2022 World Cup is to Qatar,” one of Global Risk Advisors’ project documents from 2014, which also promised a “full-court press utilizing unique, non-traditional capabilities against a wide-ranging set of targets.”

Chalker also promised the Qataris the use of I.T. and “technical collection specialists” as well as top field operatives with backgrounds in “highly sensitive U.S. intelligence and military operations” who could “spot, assess, develop, recruit, and handle assets with access to persons and topics of interests” on Qatar’s behalf, company materials show.

He also emphasized aggression and discretion, saying his plans included “patsies,” and “lightning rods,” psychological operations, and “persistent and aggressive distractions and disruptions” aimed at Qatar’s enemies all while giving the country “full deniability,” company records show.

“The greatest achievement to date of Project MERCILESS … have come from successful penetration operations targeting vocal critics inside the FIFA organization,” Global Risk Advisors said in one 2014 document describing a project whose minimum proposed budget was listed at $387 million over nine years. It’s unclear how much the Qataris ultimately paid the company.

Records show Chalker sometimes subcontracted with Diligence, a well-known private investigative firm in London founded by former western intelligence officers.

Diligence conducted surveillance in 2010 on the U.S. bid team by having a fake photojournalist secretly report back on what was happening as FIFA officials toured stadiums in the U.S. and met with the officials from the country’s bid team, a review of the records show. Tasked with getting close to one unnamed individual, Diligence use a fake Facebook profile of an attractive young woman to communicate with the target, records show.

Just ahead of the 2010 bid, Chalker tasked Diligence to obtain communications and financial records of FIFA officials Jack Warner and Chuck Blazer, a review of the records show. Blazer, a former top U.S. soccer official who pleaded guilty to FIFA-related corruption charges and worked as an informant for the FBI, died in 2017.

Diligence did not respond to requests for comment. Its Swiss affiliate recently settled a lawsuit with Ghanem Nuseibeh, a London consultant who said his mail was stolen and his emails were hacked after he wrote a report critical of Qatar hosting the World Cup. Diligence previously said in court records that it only conducted lawful surveillance on Nuseibeh.

David Downs, who was the executive director of the U.S. bid effort in 2010, said he’s not surprised to learn that Qatar was spying on its rivals given how weak their bid was compared to others.

“It’s very telling that they would be hiring ex-CIA operatives to get inside information,” Downs said. “A lot of what they did was either bending the rules or outright breaking the rules.”

Global Risk Advisor documents also highlight the company’s efforts to win over Jordan’s Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein, a key figure in the soccer world who ran unsuccessfully to be FIFA’s president in 2015 and 2016. In a 2013 document, GRA recommended the Qataris give money to a soccer development organization run by Ali, saying it would “help solidify Qatar’s reputation as a benevolent presence in world football.”

A representative for Ali said the prince “has always had a direct good personal relationship with Qatar’s rulers. He certainly wouldn’t need consultants to assist with that relationship.”

Qatar has a long history of providing favors and family benefits to key influencers within FIFA and European soccer.

Top European soccer official Karl-Heinz Rummenigge paid a massive fine for failing to declare two Rolex watches on his return to Germany from Qatar in 2013 – two years after he suggested there were “questions about the Qatari World Cup.” And the son of a top FIFA official, Belgium’s Michel D’Hooghe, was offered and accepted a job in Qatar shortly after the 2010 vote. A FIFA ethics investigator did not connect the job offer to Qatar’s winning hosting rights and both Rummenigge, and D’Hooghe have denied any wrongdoing.

Swiss prosecutors are currently pursuing corruption charges against Jerome Valcke – FIFA’s CEO-like secretary-general from 2007 to 2015 – in a case that involves his acquiring use of a Qatari-owned luxury villa on the Italian island of Sardinia.

Valcke, who has denied wrongdoing, oversaw or had input into all aspects of the soccer body’s dealings with Qatar for several years. He was listed as a “potential threat” in GRA documents from 2013.

The Broidy lawsuit also alleges that Valcke was one of several FIFA officials Chalker targeted for hacking and surveillance. Valcke told the AP there “was no reason” for Qatar to identify him in such a way and said he never felt “any direct threats or pressure” in his dealings with the country.

In early 2017, the Qataris sent a request that Chalker submit a proposal to provide staff for a cybersecurity unit, as well as training to protect the royal family, conduct intelligence work and provide security in other areas, emails and other records show.

Chalker signed a master services agreement, a copy of which was reviewed by the AP, with Qatar in August 2017. The signed agreement specified that Chalker’s company could provide consulting on surveillance, counter-surveillance, and other areas to “intelligence collection organizations.”

Publicly available annual reports and balance sheets filed in Gibraltar show Chalker-owned shell companies saw large deposits that year and ended 2017 with about $46 million in funds.

The full scope of his work for Qatar is unclear but the AP reviewed a variety of projects Global Risk Advisors proposed between 2014 and 2017 show proposals not just directly related to the World Cup.

They included “Pickaxe ,” which promised to capture “personal information and biometrics” of migrants working in Qatar. “Falconeye” was described as a plan to use drones to provide surveillance of ports and borders operations, as well as “controlling migrant worker populations centers.”

“By implementing background investigations and vetting program, Qatar will maintain dominance of migrant workers,” one company document said.

Qatar relied heavily on foreign workers to build stadiums and the necessary infrastructure for the tournament. It’s faced criticism for how the workers have been treated and has not provided full details and data on worker deaths .

Another project, “Viper” promised on-site or remote “mobile device exploitation,” which Global Risk Advisors said would deliver “critical intelligence” and enhance national security. The use of such technology provided by private firms is well documented by autocratic countries around the world, including the Gulf.

In July 2017, a month after Qatar’s neighbors cut diplomatic ties and began a years-long boycott of the country, Chalker authored a proposal for “Project Deviant.” It called for Global Risk Advisors to provide a robust spying and hacking training program for employees at Qatar’s Ministry of Interior “based on the elite training undertaken by (Global Risk Advisors) officers from the U.S. military and intelligence agencies. ” Deviant included a 47-week “field operations tradecraft course” that would include training on surveillance, disguises, interrogation techniques, asset recruitment, hand-to-hand combat, and other areas, a GRA proposal shows.

The 26-week “technical operations tradecraft course” promised to teach Qataris with just even just a basic IT background to become world-class hackers with the “necessary knowledge, skills and techniques to use highly restricted, cutting-edge tools to penetrate target systems and devices, collect and analyze bulk signals data, and to track and locate targets to ultra-precise locations,” records show.

The Broidy lawsuit also alleged that Chalker provided similar training to Qatar, noting that former intelligence officers are typically prohibited from sharing such skills with foreign governments.

Specific spying and hacking methods the CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies teach their officers are classified and divulging techniques would be against the law. But there’s no general ban on working for foreign governments, and distinctions are not always clear between what methods are classified and what are not.

“That line can be hard to draw when it comes to tradecraft that is commonly used,” said Bobby Chesney, a professor at the University of Texas School of Law who specializes in national security issues.

Wealthy countries in the Gulf have proven eager to hire ex-U.S. intelligence officials. A private company started by retired Gen. Keith Alexander, who once led the National Security Agency, signed a contract in 2018 with the Prince Mohammed bin Salman College of Cyber Security, Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Technologies. The country’s leader – and the school’s namesake – has been accused of using spyware against critics, journalists and others. Brian Bartlett, a spokesman for Alexander, said the contract has expired and was “focused on the development of the college’s educational efforts and its cybersecurity curriculum.”

The CIA sent a letter to former employees earlier this year warning of a “detrimental trend” of foreign governments hiring former intelligence officers “to build up their spying capabilities,” according to a copy of the letter obtained by the AP and first reported by the New York Times.

“We ask that you protect yourself and the CIA by safeguarding the classified tradecraft that underpins your enterprise,” wrote Sheetal Patel, the agency’s assistant director for counterintelligence.

US lawmakers too, are taking notice. Congress is advancing legislation that would put new reporting requirements on former U.S. intelligence officers working overseas.

Congressman Tom Malinowski, a Democrat from New Jersey, said it was “absurd” that Qatar and the UAE had former U.S. officials working the front lines of their information war and said it’s part of a broader problem about how influential those wealthy countries are in U.S. politics and policymaking.

“There’s so much Gulf money flowing through Washington D.C.,” he said. “The amount of temptation there is immense, and it invariably entangles Americans in stuff we should not be entangled.”

World Cup heat still on Qatar, a year away with stadiums mostly complete

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The eight stadiums – all within a 30-mile radius of Doha – are now largely complete. The 2022 World Cup has been preserved after fending off hostility from neighbors, corruption investigations and concerns about worker abuses. And a clock on the Corniche waterfront in the Qatari capital was unveiled on Sunday to count down one year until kickoff.

Expect another 12 months of pressure from rights groups – fueled by player protests – and indignation from some World Cup organizers.

“Qatar has been unfairly treated and scrutinized for a number of years,” organizing committee CEO Nasser Al Khater said Saturday.

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That scrutiny, though, has produced improvements to labor laws under the weight of criticism of working conditions since a reported $200 billion of upgrades to the country’s infrastructure began after the FIFA vote in December 2010.

“You take it into context of the region,” Al Khater told reporters, “I think Qatar is a trailblazer right now with all the reform that it’s done, whether it’s on worker standards, accommodation standards, the introduction of minimum wage.”

In some cases it was the World Cup organizing committee introducing changes before the country as a whole, but the enforcement of laws and conditions facing workers – particularly in the fierce summer heat – remains a source of concern for groups.

Qatar has not provided full details and data on the deaths of the migrant workers, particularly from South Asia, who are relied on to build the infrastructure across the country. Amnesty International has highlighted the need for deeper investigations into the cause of deaths, the lack of a right to form unions and the need for all companies to comply with newer laws saying workers should be allowed to leave jobs without permission of the employer.

“There’s criticism,” Al Khater said. “There’s work that needs to be done. There is, however, a lot of progress but unfortunately that has not been captured in reports such as Amnesty, Human Rights Watch.”

Twelve countries, as well as Qatar as host, have so far secured qualification for the 32-team event. Denmark has said its training kit in Qatar will feature critical human rights messages, ensuring the tournament will feature player activism.

The building work is starting to wind down.

“All eight stadiums for the World Cup are complete,” Al Khater said.

Seven venues are now ready to stage matches, with Stadium 974 built using that number of shipping containers to be inaugurated later this month at the FIFA Arab Cup that is serving as a test event for the World Cup.

A 40-minute drive north takes fans to the 80,000-capacity Losail Stadium that will stage the final on Dec. 18, 2022 but is not ready for games. Nearby is also the Losail International Circuit where Formula One defending world champion Lewis Hamilton said ahead of Sunday’s inaugural Qatar Grand Prix that the country still has a “long way to go” on ensuring equality.

Hamilton is wearing a rainbow-colored helmet in Qatar to draw attention to the anti-LGBTQ+ laws that World Cup organizers effectively suggest won’t be enforced during the tournament.

“Everybody is welcome to come to Qatar and have an enjoyable time at the World Cup,” Al Khater said. “They can come and enjoy their time here without fear of any sort of repercussions, it makes no difference to people’s (sexual) orientation, religion, creed, race whatsoever.”

Al Khater said any couple could share a hotel room.

“I don’t know if this is a misconception,” he said. “I don’t know where you know, where you get this from. I mean, anybody is free to stay in a hotel, whether with their friend, with their partner.”

The challenge for supporters could still be affording the trip. Even though it’s a World Cup requiring no flights between games, demand for accommodation could be stretched in the tiny Gulf nation. What helps fans is being able to stay in neighboring countries, including the United Arab Emirates, after they lifted an economic, diplomatic and travel boycott of Qatar this year that had been running since 2017.

“The ultimate goal is to have a successful World Cup and you can only have a successful World Cup when you have fans attending,” Al Khater said. “So this has been taken into consideration to make sure that there’s plentiful accommodation and there’s accommodation available for all budgets.”

Fans will be traveling months later than usual for the World Cup. Opening on Nov. 21, 2022, with the final on Dec. 18, remains contentious as the major European leagues finalize the starting dates for a season so significantly disrupted for the first time by the World Cup.

Qatar bid for the World Cup under FIFA’s terms for the usual June-July slot, with the schedule change only decided after the vote. The now largely discredited committee of FIFA executives that voted by a majority for Qatar overlooked concerns about the heat.

That vote has remained under the cloud of corruption.

A FIFA-commissioned probe highlighted the unease of investigators looking into Qatar’s methods to win the vote but concluded there was no “evidence of any improper activity by the bid team.” American attorney Michael Garcia did, however, find that some of Qatar’s conduct “may not have met the standards” required by FIFA.

Fresh allegations of wrongdoing surfaced last year when American prosecutors revealed new details of alleged bribes paid by Qatar for votes. An indictment said Nicolas Leoz, then president of the South American governing body CONMEBOL, and former Brazil federation president Ricardo Teixeira received bribes to vote for Qatar.

“All of these investigations have shown us that Qatar has been vindicated of all the allegations made against it,” Al Khater said when asked about the claims that emerged in the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn. “So whatever you’re referring to, I deny categorically.”

USMNT, Canada climb in latest FIFA world rankings

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The USMNT and Canada have both moved up in the latest FIFA world rankings as their positive displays in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying continue.

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Gregg Berhalter’s USMNT side have move up one place to 12th and they are now the highest-ranked team in CONCACAF after Mexico fell five spots to 14th in the latest rankings.

Following their 10th place ranking in August (their highest since being ranked 8th in 2005), the USMNT are closing in on pushing back into the top 10. After a big win against Mexico at home and a draw at Jamaica, the USMNT continue to head in the right direction.

However, the big climber across the globe was Canada as they surged up eight places to 40th in the world, which equals their best-ever position in the rankings. They were last ranked this high in 1996.

After two-straight wins against Costa Rica and Mexico in the October qualifiers, Canada sit top of the World Cup qualifying table in the CONCACAF region with six games to go.

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Indeed, as recently as May 2021 they were ranked 70th in the world as John Herdman and his talented young group continue to impress and are closing in on a first World Cup qualification since 1986, and just their second-ever appearance at a World Cup.

Europe dominates top 10

In non-CONCACAF news, the Netherlands moved back into the top 10 for the first time since 2014 as Louis van Gaal’s side qualified for the World Cup.

The top three remain the same as Belgium remain in first, Brazil in second and France in third. England move up one spot to fourth, with Argentina moving up one place to fifth.

Italy fall two places to sixth after their failed to qualify for the World Cup automatically and must now go through the playoffs in UEFA. Spain and Portugal remain even in seventh and eighth respectively, while Denmark rise one place to ninth.

That means eight of the top 10 teams in the world, and 13 of the top 20, are from Europe.


Top 20 FIFA world rankings in full (November 19, 2021)

1. Belgium (Even)
2. Brazil (Even)
3. France (Even)
4. England (Up 1)
5. Argentina (up 1)
6. Italy (Down 2)
7. Spain (Even)
8. Portugal (Even)
9. Denmark (Up 1)
10. Netherlands (Up 1)

11. Germany (Up 1)
12. USMNT (Up 1)
13. Switzerland (Up 1)
14. Mexico (Down 5)
15. Croatia (Up 3)
16. Colombia (Even)
17. Uruguay (Down 2)
18. Sweden (Down 1)
19. Wales (Even)
20. Senegal (Even)