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UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin formally nominated for re-election

GENEVA -- UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin was formally nominated for re-election by his home federation in Slovenia in a coordinated campaign launch Tuesday for his expected win.

The federation said in a statement it sent a formal proposal to UEFA ahead of a Nov. 7 deadline for potential candidates to apply. The election will be on Feb. 7 in Rome.

Eight more of the 55 European federations have also pledged support for the Slovenian lawyer, who could be unopposed to get a second term.

The Italian...

FIFA's legal director Marco Villiger leaves post after Sepp Blatter criticism

FIFA's long-time legal director who was a key link to its American lawyers during federal investigations of corruption has left the sport's governing body.

Marco Villiger, now the deputy secretary general for administrative matters, left the organisation on Monday after more than a decade, FIFA said in a statement announcing the exit of its highest-ranking official to stay in office during recent years of turmoil.

Villiger said in FIFA's statement he was "seeking for new challenges" after a successful...

Adel Ezzat resigns from Saudi Arabia post ahead of AFC presidency bid

Adel Ezzat has resigned from his post as president of the Saudi Arabia Football Federation in a bid to run for Asia's top job in 2019.

The official took the Riyadh post in December 2016 but now has his eyes on becoming president of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) in next year's elections.

"I presented to [Saudi sports chief] Turki al-Sheikh my resignation from my position as of today," Ezzat, who will be temporarily replaced by deputy of the federation Nawaf Al-Temyat until new elections...

FIFA fines four clubs over late payments to players and could dock points

FIFA has fined four clubs -- two in Qatar, one in the United Arab Emirates and one in Iran -- and threatened them with points deductions for ignoring orders to pay "overdue" amounts to players.

World football's governing body said Qatar Sports Club and Al-Shamal Sports Club, both in Qatar, Shabab Al Ahli Dubai (United Arab Emirates) and Saba Qom (Iran) had been given deadlines of between 30 and 90 days to pay.

Any club that fails to meet its deadline would be deducted six points in its domestic...

Madonna planning to open football academy in Malawi

BLANTYRE, Malawi -- Madonna has plans to open a football academy in Malawi, a move inspired by her adopted son David Banda, who has ambitions to be a professional player and is at Portuguese club Benfica's youth academy.

Madonna follows 12-year-old David's progress in Portugal closely, living in Lisbon and often posting photos and videos from the sidelines of his games.

"It is actually David's idea that we should build a football academy," Madonna said on a recent visit to Malawi, where she adopted...

Germany down 14 places in FIFA world rankings; France up to No. 1

Manuel Neuer insists despite the stressing nature of Germany's World Cup exit, the playing group must move on.
Former West Germany striker Karl-Heinz Rummenigge believes Germany's preparation was not up to scratch ahead of the World Cup.

Germany's exit in the group stage of the World Cup has seen them plummet to 15th in FIFA's world rankings -- their lowest position in more than a decade.

The defending World Cup champions entered the competition No. 1 in the rankings, but they failed to reach the knockout rounds and made their earliest exit from the tournament in 80 years. They were ranked No. 22 in March 2006 but finished the year ranked No. 6 after finishing third at the World Cup.

France are top of the rankings after winning...