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Football Extras: Incumbent Infantino is sole candidate for president

Last updated on: February 06, 2019 19:05 IST

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IMAGE: Gianni Infantino. Photograph: Valeriano Di Domenico/Getty Images

FIFA says incumbent Infantino is sole candidate for president

FIFA president Gianni Infantino will not face a challenger in June's elections to the head of world soccer's governing body, the organisation said on Wednesday.

"Following the call for election issued by the FIFA Council on 10 June 2018, FIFA's member associations have proposed, in due time and form, the following candidate for the presidential election to take place at the 69th FIFA Congress in Paris on 5 June 2019: Mr Gianni Infantino," it said in a statement.


Infantino's plans for a new expanded Club World Cup and a global Nations League tournament have put him at loggerheads with European confederation UEFA and club organisations.

However, no candidate from Europe emerged to challenge Infantino, the former UEFA General Secretary, who was elected in February, 2016, replacing the banned Sepp Blatter.

The Swiss official beat Asian Football Confederation President Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa of Bahrain in the final round of that election after Jordan's Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein and Frenchman Jerome Champagne had been eliminated.

Infantino owed his candidacy to the fact that Europe’s preferred candidate, his former boss and UEFA president Michel Platini, was banned from football along with Blatter for ethics violations. Both men have denied wrongdoing.

UEFA will hold their own elections at their congress in Rome on Thursday where incumbent, Slovenian lawyer, Aleksander Ceferin is unopposed.

Rooney still wants to compete in Premier League

Rooney, join DC United last July and helped them to a huge midseason turnaround, scoring 12 goals and adding seven assists in 20 appearances as United went from last place to a playoff berth

IMAGE: Rooney, join DC United last July and helped them to a huge midseason turnaround, scoring 12 goals and adding seven assists in 20 appearances as United went from last place to a playoff berth. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Former England captain Wayne Rooney, who helped revitalise one of Major League Soccer's original superpowers when he joined DC United last year, still feels he possesses the quality to compete in the Premier League.

The 33-year-old former Manchester United and Everton captain, speaking in an interview with CNN World Sport released on Tuesday, said he was not a fading force and he could still compete against some of the world's best players.

"If I'm being honest, quality wise I can still play in the Premier League. I know that, I've always been a confident person, so I have high expectations of myself," said Rooney.

"I came here expecting to do well, I think there was a surprise from people who had their opinions which is fair enough but I never doubted myself."

Rooney, joined DC United last July and helped them to a huge midseason turnaround, scoring 12 goals and adding seven assists in 20 appearances as United went from last place to a playoff berth. He was named a finalist for the MLS Most Valuable Player Award.

It was a remarkable turnaround for a club that won three of the first four MLS Cups after the league launched in 1996 but had fallen on tough times in recent years.

Newport stun 'Boro to set up dream Man City FA Cup tie

Fourth-tierNewportCounty pulled off another FA Cup shock by beating Championship side Middlesbrough 2-0 in a fourth-round replay on Tuesday to set up a dream tie with ManchesterCity.

Premier League Wolverhampton Wanderers saw off a determined ShrewsburyTown to win 3-2 at home and will be joined in the fifth round by Queens Park Rangers, who overcame Portsmouth 2-0.

Non-league Barnet's adventure in the competition came to an end as they lost 3-1 at fellow Londoners Brentford.

Newport had knocked out 2016 Premier League champions Leicester City in the third round and were set on their way to another giant-killing when Robbie Wilmott struck two minutes into the second half on a soggy Welsh pitch.

Irish striker Padraig Amond doubled the lead 20 minutes later with a magnificent goal as he swiveled to meet a corner and curled the ball high into the net with one touch.

The goal sparked wild celebrations as Newport, 14th in League 2, reached the fifth round for the first time since 1949.

It was an unforgettable night for their goalkeeper Joe Day, whose wife went into labour during the game.

Wolves took an early lead against third-tier Shrewsbury through Matt Doherty but then fell 2-1 behind before Doherty levelled just before the interval.

Portuguese Ivan Cavaleiro struck in the second half to win the tie and set up a fifth-round game at BristolCity.

QPR will next host fellow London side Watford, while Bretntford visit Swansea.

Dortmund lose Cup shootout to Bremen after 3-3 thriller

Borussia Dortmund were knocked out of the German Cup 4-2 on penalties by visitors Werder Bremen in the last 16 on Tuesday after a thrilling 3-3 draw, with the Bundesliga leaders twice throwing away the lead in extra time.

Max Kruse netted the decisive spot kick for Bremen whose goalkeeper Jiri Pavlenka had saved penalties from Dortmund's Paco Alcacer and Maximilian Philipp.

Achraf Hakimi's 113th minute strike appeared to have clinched Dortmund's place in the quarter-finals but Bremen's Martin Harnik netted six minutes later to force the shootout.

Bremen, who are 10th in the league standings, took a fifth minute lead through Milot Rashica but Dortmund captain Marco Reus levelled in first-half stoppage time from a free kick. Reus had to be substituted due to injury after the interval.

USinternational Christian Pulisic put the hosts 2-1 ahead at the end of the first half of extra time but Claudio Pizarro levelled for Bremen after the second interval, leaving Hakimi and Harnik to trade blows for each side before the shootout.

Marseille beat 10-man Bordeaux in empty Stade Velodrome

Olympique de Marseille boosted their hopes of qualifying for European football by beating Girondins Bordeaux 1-0 at home in an empty stadium in Ligue 1 on Tuesday, benefiting from Samuel Kalu being sent off midway through the first half.

Teenage defender Boubacar Kamara scored shortly before halftime, nudging the ball in from close range for his first Ligue 1 goal, after Bordeaux winger Kalu had been dismissed for a two-footed lunge on Lucas Ocampos.

The game was played in near silence as Marseille have been ordered to play all games at their Stade de Velodrome behind closed doors until further notice as a punishment for fans throwing firecrackers on to the pitch in a 2-1 home defeat by Lille last month.

Mario Balotelli was forced to watch from an empty stand as he was ineligible from playing in the rescheduled game. The original tie was due to take place in December when Balotelli was still a Nice player, but was called off for security reasons due to a demonstration by 'Yellow Vest' protesters.

Marseille's Morgan Sanson nearly doubled their lead right before the interval when he struck a post while Bordeaux substitute Francois Kamano hit the crossbar in the second half.

Winger Bouna Sarr looked to have made sure of victory for the home side when he netted in stoppage time but the goal was ruled out for offside after a lengthy video assistant referee (VAR) review.

But the fulltime whistle soon followed, confirming a result which rarely looked in doubt and took Marseille up to seventh in the standings on 34 points, leaving Bordeaux in 12th.

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