TOKYO (AP) — Japanese referee Yoshimi Yamashita agrees with Pelé or whoever it was decades ago that first described soccer as the “beautiful game.”
Yamashita is one of three women picked by FIFA to be referees at the men's World Cup in Qatar, which opens on Nov.
LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Soccer officials and government authorities from Spain and Portugal met on Monday to discuss a joint bid to stage the 2030 World Cup.
The headquarters of Portugal’s national team was the venue for the presidents of the Portuguese and Spanish soccer federations and government representatives, who finalized details of a bid they said was “entering its final stages.”
They are images from what now seems like a different world, black and white glimpses into what was then the USSR...
WATFORD, England (AP) — Fan groups said they persuaded English soccer club Watford on Monday to cancel a planned preseason game against Qatar over human rights issues.
The supporter groups Proud Hornets, representing LGBT fans, and Women of Watford published a joint statement expressing delight that club officials “listened to our concerns and canceled the game with Qatar.”
LOS ANGELES (AP) — John Thorrington confirmed Sunday that Gareth Bale is joining Los Angeles FC. The timing of when that will happen remains a bit unsettled.
Thorrington, LAFC's co-president and general manager, said after Sunday's match against the New York Red Bulls he is hopeful Bale can arrive stateside in the next week to 10 days once all the immigration paperwork is completed.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles FC has reached a deal with Welsh forward Gareth Bale to move to Major League Soccer after his departure from Real Madrid, a person close to the deal told The Associated Press.
With this year's World Cup in Qatar clouded by labor and human rights issues, there's a push for the North American cities awarded games for the 2026 tournament to commit to livable wages, equitable hiring and worker protection.
GENEVA (AP) — Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser al-Khelaïfi was acquitted in Switzerland on Friday for a second time in a retrial of alleged wrongdoing linked to former FIFA secretary general Jérôme Valcke.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson on Thursday signed a bill that will reduce the cost of World Cup tickets when the soccer tournament comes to Kansas City in 2026.
The bill exempts tickets for the FIFA World Cup games from sales tax.
GENEVA (AP) — FIFA has approved bigger 26-man squads for the World Cup in Qatar, deciding Thursday to extend soccer’s relaxation of rules that help coaches and players during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Briana Scurry’s U.S. national soccer team jersey is at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture in a permanent display that notes the contribution of Title IX to leveling the playing field.
GENEVA (AP) — Russian appeals against bans from international soccer because of the country’s war in Ukraine are set to be heard at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in July.
The court on July 5 will hear the Russian soccer federation's appeal against FIFA and UEFA's joint decision to suspend its national and club teams days after Russia invaded Ukraine in February.
CHICAGO (AP) — The United States will play Japan and Saudia Arabia in its last two World Cup warmups.
The 15th-ranked Americans will play No. 23 Japan in an exhibition on Sept. 23 at a European site that's yet to be announced, the U.S.
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland won't consider defender Maciej Rybus in its plans for the World Cup in Qatar after he signed a new contract with a Russian club.
The Polish soccer federation said on Monday coach Czesław Michniewicz told Rybus that he would be left out of the squad for Nations League games in September and out of Poland's plans for the World Cup because of his “current club situation.”
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Matt Turner sat the bench for his final game with the New England Revolution before his transfer to Arsenal, a 2-1 victory over Minnesota on Sunday.
The 27-year-old, the leading contender to start for the United States in the World Cup, signed with New England in 2016 after he was overlooked in the Major League Soccer draft.
PARIS (AP) — Antoine Griezmann's alarming drop in form means his starting place for France at the World Cup is under threat from Christopher Nkunku.
If Griezmann’s struggles continue in two international matches in September, coach Didier Deschamps could select Leipzig’s Nkunku when France begins its title defense in Qatar two months later.
NEW YORK (AP) — The 16 cities of the first World Cup spread across three nations were revealed, and FIFA President Gianni Infantino made a bold statement summing up the goal of the 2026 tournament, to be played largely in the United States.
Cheers and sighs met FIFA's announcement of the host cities for the 2026 World Cup.
There were a number of no-brainers among the 16 World Cup sites, like the Los Angeles area, Mexico City and Toronto.
NEW YORK (AP) — A look at the 16 venues hosting soccer matches at the 2026 World Cup in the United States, Mexico and Canada:
NEW YORK (AP) — A look at the 23 venues bidding to host soccer matches at the 2026 World Cup in the United States, Mexico and Canada:
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Qatar Airways, one of the Mideast's largest carriers known for on-board comfort and luxury, said Thursday its profits over the past fiscal year topped $1.5 billion, marking the highest ever earnings for the state-owned carrier as it prepares to see a record surge in travelers for the upcoming FIFA World Cup soccer games.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — U.S. cities and states have lined up with tax breaks and millions of dollars in both public and private investments for a chance at hosting 2026 FIFA World Cup games, set to be announced Thursday.
NEW YORK (AP) — As FIFA prepares to announce the 2026 World Cup sites on Thursday — and make high-profile cuts — Alan Rothenberg thought back to when stadiums were picked for the 1994 tournament he headed in the United States.
GENEVA (AP) — Prosecutors in the fraud trial of former FIFA president Sepp Blatter and vice president Michel Platini asked Wednesday for both men to get 20-month suspended prison sentences.
SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) — Entering in the 80th minute on a rain-soaked field that looked like a torn-up recreational park, Jordan Morris thought back to youth soccer in Seattle.
MÖNCHENGLADBACH, Germany (AP) — The German soccer federation will not take any action against people who displayed a banner calling for a boycott of the World Cup in Qatar during the team’s Nations League match against Italy.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Australia’s win over Peru in the intercontinental playoffs this week guaranteed an unprecedented six teams from the Asian confederation at the World Cup, giving the continent an opportunity to repeat the success of 2002 when it first staged soccer’s marquee event.
AL RAYYAN, Qatar (AP) — Costa Rica’s core of stars including Keylor Navas, Joel Campbell and Bryan Ruiz created national soccer history in a memorable run to the 2014 World Cup quarterfinals.
They were all still there Tuesday, all with more than 100 international appearances, and all key to a 1-0 win over New Zealand in a World Cup intercontinental playoff for the final place at Qatar 2022.
Ethan Horvath was in goal for the first international appearance in a year and Haji Wright got his first start when the No. 15 United States played at 74th-ranked El Salvador on Tuesday night in the third-to-last World Cup prep match for the Americans.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro traveled Tuesday to the energy-rich nation of Qatar as part of a Mideast tour.
Maduro was met at Doha International Airport by Qatar's minister of state for foreign affairs, Sultan bin Saad al-Muraikhi, and others, according to the state-run Qatar News Agency.
OSAKA, Japan (AP) — Three World Cup-bound teams won friendly matches in Asia on Tuesday, with Tunisia beating Japan 3-0, Ghana defeating Chile 3-1 on penalties following a 0-0 draw, and South Korea topping Egypt 4-1.
BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — There were two diametrically different ways Andrew Redmayne stood to be remembered after he sprang into a distracting dance routine across the goal-line during the decisive shootout in Australia’s World Cup playoff against Peru.
Government workers in Costa Rica will be given extra time off for lunch to watch their national team take on New Zealand in a playoff to decide the last team to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar.
The edict from President Rodrigo Chaves allowing Costa Rican public sector workers to follow the broadcast in an extended lunch break Tuesday will come as something of a shock to the team from New Zealand, where rugby is the national sporting obsession.
AL RAYYAN, Qatar (AP) — Australia qualified for a fifth straight World Cup after a 5-4 penalty shootout win over Peru in their intercontinental playoff on Monday.
The teams failed to score in regulation and extra time at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, and goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne, sent on as a substitute for captain Mat Ryan in the dying seconds of extra time, proved to be the star for Australia by saving the last penalty from Alex Valera.
Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan have been included on the U.S. roster for next month's CONCACAF W Championship, which will determine four of the region's teams in the 2023 Women's World Cup.
ISTANBUL (AP) — Former Juventus coach and player Andrea Pirlo has been named as the new coach of Turkish top-flight team Fatih Karagümrük.
The 43-year-old Pirlo signed a one-year contract with the Istanbul-based club on Monday.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini has signed with Los Angeles FC after a 17-year career at Juventus.
The Major League Soccer club announced its deal Monday for the 37-year-old Chiellini, who is committed through the 2023 season.
MADRID (AP) — Spain will enter the summer break at the top of its Nations League group, and knowing that teenager Gavi Páez has what it takes to make it to the World Cup.
The 17-year-old Gavi made the most of his chance with the national team this month, helping quiet some of the criticism that surrounded his surprise call-up last September.
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Soccer’s lawmakers on Monday decided against a trial of temporary concussion substitutes, while ratifying the option for teams to make five substitutions per game and to have 15 players on the bench.
This time, it’ll be one or the other. Australia and Peru, which both qualified for the last World Cup via intercontinental playoffs, are ready to play off for a spot in Qatar when soccer’s marquee tournament kicks off in November.
GENEVA (AP) — Portugal left Cristiano Ronaldo at home and lost its unbeaten record in 2022 and the lead of its Nations League group on Sunday.
A goal after 57 seconds by Switzerland forward Haris Seferović was enough for a 1-0 win in Geneva despite late pressure by Portugal including two scoring chances for 39-year-old captain Pepe playing as an emergency forward.
HALLE, Germany (AP) — Bernd Bransch, who captained East Germany at its only World Cup appearance in a symbolic Cold War win over West Germany, has died. He was 77.
Bransch's former club Hallescher FC said in a statement Sunday that he had died on Saturday following “a long, severe illness."
LONDON (AP) — It was a night of stalemates for the big teams in the Nations League on Saturday, including a drab scoreless draw in the rematch of last year's European Championship final.
England was held 0-0 by Italy to leave Gareth Southgate's side without a win in three matches in the top-tier Group 3 this month as it prepares for the World Cup.
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Jesús Ferreira had a night to remember against an overwhelmed opponent in the United States' World Cup sendoff.
The 21-year-old forward tied the U.S. international record with four goals that included a hat trick in a 13-minute span Friday night during a 5-0 rout over Grenada.
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter did not have forward Christian Pulisic and midfielder Tyler Adams dress Friday night for a World Cup warmup against 170th-ranked Grenada in the CONCACAF Nations League, giving a pair of regulars the day off against a relatively weak opponent.
PARIS (AP) — Kylian Mbappe came off the bench to rescue a point for France in a 1-1 draw at Austria in the Nations League on Friday, but the defending champion sits in last place with just two points from three group games.
CARDIFF, Wales (AP) — Gareth Bale said Wales' qualification for the World Cup in Qatar will influence the next stage in his career as he weighs up which team to join after leaving Real Madrid.
GENEVA (AP) — Ecuador kept its place at the World Cup on Friday when a FIFA legal ruling rejected a complaint by Chile about an alleged ineligible player.
FIFA said its disciplinary committee closed the proceedings in the claim that Ecuador defender Byron Castillo, who played in eight qualifying games, was ineligible.