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Rediff.com  » Sports » Football Briefs: Uruguay win China Cup with Cavani strike against Wales

Football Briefs: Uruguay win China Cup with Cavani strike against Wales

March 26, 2018 20:37 IST

News of all that's transpired on and off the football field

Edinson Cavani

IMAGE: Edinson Cavani of Uruguay scores a goal. Photograph: Reuters

Uruguay striker Edinson Cavani scored on his 100th international appearance as his World Cup-bound team lifted the China Cup with a 1-0 victory over Wales on Monday.

 

Luis Suarez twice hit the post before Cavani netted from close range three minutes into the second half to give Oscar Tabarez's side a deserved victory.

Suarez saw his second-minute effort come back off the woodwork before another attempt by the Barcelona forward just after the half-hour mark also hit the post following an under-hit back pass by Wales defender Ashley Williams.

Cavani scored the only goal when a long ball out of defence set Cristian Rodriguez free behind the Wales backline and the winger cut his pass into the path of Cavani, who rolled the ball in from close range.

The Paris St Germain forward should have doubled the lead five minutes later from a similar position but mis-hit his shot.

At this year's World Cup, Uruguay will face Saudi Arabia and hosts Russia after kicking off their campaign against Egypt.

Earlier on Monday, there was further embarrassment for China who were thumped 4-1 by the Czech Republic after the tournament hosts were thrashed 6-0 by the Welsh on Friday.

Infantino promises 'fair, transparent' 2026 bidding process

FIFA President Gianni Infantino described the bid process for the 2026 World Cup as 'fair, objective and transparent' after the global soccer body announced it had received bid books from two candidates on Monday.

FIFA, which is due to choose the hosts at its annual congress in Moscow in June, said in a statement it had received one bid from Morocco and a joint bid from the United States, Canada and Mexico.

The two bids will be evaluated by a task force which will visit all the potential host nations, FIFA added.

"I challenge anyone to point out an organisation that conducts a bidding process as fair, objective and transparent as the one that FIFA is carrying out for the 2026 FIFA World Cup," Infantino said in the statement.

"FIFA has been heavily criticised for how it conducted the selection of hosts in the past; it was our obligation to learn from this and leave no room for any doubt or subjectivity," he added.

"This is why the rules of this process... include the highest standards in terms of ethical conduct, participation and commitment to sustainability and human rights."

The last World Cup bidding process, for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments, became embroiled in persistent allegations of illegitimate attempts to influence the 22 voting FIFA executive committee members.

The tournaments were awarded to Russia and Qatar respectively at a single vote in December 2010. A subsequent FIFA investigation made no suggestion that either should lose their hosting rights, despite detailing numerous attempts to influence voting officials.

In light of the allegations, FIFA expanded the right to vote to all its 211 member national associations.

The task force will use a point-scoring system to evaluate the two candidates and a bid which does not meet a minimum score on a number of different points will be disqualified before the final vote.

The FIFA Council, formerly known as the executive committee, also has the power to reject a bid before it reaches the congress.

"Every single step is documented and open to the public: from the submission of the bid books through each round of assessment to the decision-making process," said FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura.

Butland to play in goal for England against Italy

Stoke City's Jack Butland will start in goal for England in their friendly match against Italy on Tuesday as manager Gareth Southgate continues the audition process for this year's World Cup in Russia.

Southgate announced his latest choice during his news conference on Monday ahead of the Wembley clash with the Azzuri.

Joe Hart remains England's most experienced goalkeeping option but Everton's Jordan Pickford was selected in the 1-0 win against the Netherlands in Amsterdam on Friday and now Butland will get his chance to stake his claim.

Burnley's uncapped Nick Pope is also in the squad.

"No (Pickford) didn't (do anything wrong against the Netherlands on Friday)," Southgate said. "At the beginning of the week we decided that's what we were going to do, give them both a game for the experience."

"We have stuck with the plan right the way through and there is no reason to come away from that.

"Lots of positions of the field we have really good options. It's important we have competition for places all over the pitch. That breeds good performance."

Butland made his England debut against Italy in 2012 but has earned only five caps since. He was ruled out of Euro 2016 after fracturing his ankle in March of that year.

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