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Football Briefs: Giroud treble boosts France in friendly win

Last updated on: June 03, 2017 19:25 IST

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France's Olivier Giroud celebrates on scoring his hat-trick during the international friendly against Paraguay in Roazhon Park, Rennes, France, on Friday

IMAGE: France's Olivier Giroud celebrates on scoring his hat-trick during the international friendly against Paraguay in Roazhon Park, Rennes, France, on Friday. Photograph: Stephane Mahe/Reuters

Olivier Giroud's hat-trick inspired France to a 5-0 friendly victory over Paraguay on Friday, boosting Les Bleus' confidence ahead of a potentially decisive World Cup qualifier against Sweden next week.

Arsenal striker Giroud, playing in his favoured central forward position, struck twice before the interval and once in the second half to lead France to an emphatic victory in Rennes.

Moussa Sissoko and Antoine Griezmann added goals in the last 15 minutes.

France are top of World Cup qualifying Group A and three points ahead of Sweden before they travel to Stockholm next Friday.

Giroud volleyed home from Ousmane Dembele's volley in the sixth minute.

He doubled the tally seven minutes later with a diving header after being perfectly set up by Dimitry Payet and he made it 3-0 in the 69th to become the first France player to score a hat-trick since David Trezeguet in 2000.

Giroud was replaced in the 73rd minute by Alexandre Lacazette and the Olympique Lyonnais forward had an immediate impact, finding Sissoko who tapped in from close range.

Griezmann completed the rout after a blunder by the Paraguay defence.

Mohun Bagan confirm ISL participation

Mohun Bagan on Saturday said they will be sending one of its top officials to the Indian football stakeholders' meeting in Kuala Lumpur next week, signalling that its intent to be a part of the ISL remains intact.

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) will have a meeting with its stakeholders in the Malaysian capital on June 7 to discuss the roadmap for Indian football under the aegis of the Asian Football Confederation.

After AIFF president Praful Patel responded to Indian Football Association secretary Utpal Ganguli's letter, which raised issues pertaining to Mohun Bagan and East Bengal's participation in the Indian Super League, both clubs contemplated attending the meeting.

"This is to inform that Mr. Debasish Dutta, Director, United Mohun Bagan Football Team Pvt Ltd will attend the meeting of all stakeholders of Indian football scheduled at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Wednesday, 7th June 2017 convened by Asian Football Confederation," the club said in a statement.

East Bengal had earlier confirmed its participation in the stakeholders meeting at AFC headquarters.

Maintaining their demand to waive franchise fee and seeking fund from central pool, the two traditional clubs on May 27 had echoed "no Mohun Bagan, East Bengal no ISL", and had threatened to boycott the meeting.

Guatemalan judge pleads guilty in FIFA bribery scandal

A Guatemalan judge who once served as general secretary of Guatemala's soccer federation pleaded guilty on Friday to wire fraud and conspiracy charges in the worldwide scandal engulfing the sport.

Hector Trujillo, 63, entered his plea before US District Judge Pamela Chen in Brooklyn, New York, in connection with the US probe into bribery involving the world soccer governing body FIFA.

Trujillo also agreed to give up $ 175,000 in kickbacks, according to an order of forfeiture.

The defendant had been arrested in December 2015 on a Disney cruise ship docked in Port Canaveral, Florida, and was released the following month on $ 4 million bond.

He is among at least 42 people and entities charged in a US probe into the payment of more than $ 200 million of bribes and kickbacks to soccer officials, in exchange for marketing and broadcast rights.

Prosecutors said Trujillo accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars of bribes, to be split with other Guatemalan soccer officials, in exchange for help in providing media and marketing rights for qualifier matches for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

One of those officials was Brayan Jimenez, who had served as president of Guatemala's soccer federation, prosecutors said.

Jimenez pleaded guilty last July to racketeering conspiracy and wire fraud conspiracy charges.

FIFA suspended Guatemala's soccer federation in October.

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