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FIFA wins legal case at Zurich court over Qatar 2022 World Cup

Workers employed on the construction of the al-Wakrah stadium in Qatar.

FIFA has defeated a legal challenge by trade union groups over its decision to pick Qatar as the 2022 World Cup host.

World football's governing body said the Commercial Court in Zurich had rejected a case filed by labour activists in the Netherlands and Bangladesh on behalf of a Bangladeshi construction worker employed on a World Cup project.

The case claimed FIFA acted wrongfully in choosing Qatar without demanding the reform of labour laws, and should be held liable for abuses.

Labour and human...

Barcelona's Rakuten sponsorship includes deal for friendly in Japan

Barcelona's new four-year, €220 million sponsorship deal with Asian e-commerce company Rakuten includes an obligation to play at least one friendly in Japan in the coming years.

At a presentation to confirm the agreement, club vice president Manel Arroyo said there would definitely be one game and possibly two if the calendar permitted it.

That means more long haul flights for Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Neymar and their Barcelona teammates.

As well as the trio's regular flights to South...

FIFA ethics judges ban Qatari election candidate for one year

The FIFA ethics committee has given Saoud Al-Mohannad a one-year ban.

ZURICH -- FIFA's ethics committee has imposed a one-year ban on Qatar's candidate for election to the ruling council of world football's governing body.

The committee ruled that Saoud Al-Mohannadi "did not cooperate with the investigatory chamber in the proceedings against a third party."

The ban blocks Al-Mohannadi, a vice president of the Qatar Football Association and the Asian Football Confederation, from a Feb. 28 FIFA Council election in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The election was scheduled...

Qatar World Cup sites to be inspected by union, details on deaths wanted

ESPN FC's Stuart Holden and Shaka Hislop discuss the latest decision made by FIFA that will see the first winter World Cup final set for Dec. 18 in Qatar.
There's been plenty of bad news surrounding the 2022 FIFA World Cup, with corruption allegations about Qatar's bid to host the event still making the headlines.

LONDON -- Qatar's World Cup sites will be inspected from next year by an international trade union which wants the deaths of all workers assessed by external coroners and for the causes to be published.

Qatar has come under fierce criticism over living and working conditions for workers since being awarded the 2022 World Cup in a contentious vote six years ago.

Qatar says only four stadium workers have died, with just one fatality the result of a work-related accident after a Nepali was hit by a...

 By John Duerden

Marcello Lippi fails to inspire China while Australia draw 2-2 in Thailand

Jason Dasey and Matt Smith break down Thailand's resilient effort in their 2-2 draw against Australia in WCQ.
China coach Marcello Lippi
Marcello Lippi took charge of his first competitive game as China head coach.

Marcello Lippi was unable to inspire China to a win in his first game in charge as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Qatar in a AFC World Cup qualifier in Kunming on Tuesday evening.

The hosts are bottom of Group A in the final round of qualification for the 2018 World Cup with just one point from the first four games, and the result almost certainly ends the slim hopes they had of finishing in the top two in the six-team group and progressing automatically to Russia.

China had plenty of chances but...