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World Cup 2022 in Qatar will go ahead with, or without, you (VIDEO)

FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke says the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will be moved to winter, prompting a second chorus of whining from all corners.
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Arab men sit at a shoemaker's stall with a replica of the FIFA World Cup trophy on October 24, 2011 in Doha, Qatar. Qatar will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. (Sean Gallup/AFP/Getty Images)

Put aside concerns that it’s just too hot during June and July to play soccer in Qatar.

That’s not why so many are furious the second most powerful FIFA executive is talking about moving the tournament to November rather than the traditional June and July.

“To be honest, I think it will be held between Nov. 15 and Jan. 15 at the latest,” FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke told Radio France on Wednesday.


Greg Louganis calls on American athletes to dedicate Sochi to gay friends, family

American Olympic diving legend Greg Louganis tells LGBT panel that boycott of 2014 Winter Games in Sochi would hurt wrong people.
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Former United States Olympian Greg Louganis visits USA House on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Joe Scarnici/AFP/Getty Images)

American athletes should compete at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia for a gay friend or relative rather than boycott the Games, diving legend Greg Louganis told a hearing on LGBT rights Friday.

Louganis told Human Right First and the House LGBT Equality Caucus that he opposes boycotts because they “hurt the wrong people,” USA Today reported.


World Cup 2014 set in Brazil with your choice for 'group of death'

Group G gets early consideration for 'group of death' with Germany, Ghana, Portugal and United States.
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FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke shows the name of Switzerland next to presenter Fernanda Lima during the final draw of the groups for the Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup on December 6, 2013 in , in Costa do Sauipe. (NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)

Intrigue eclipsed confusion as organizers divided the world’s best 32 soccer teams into eight groups Friday in Salvador, Brazil, to decide the final draw for World Cup 2014.

FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke — with eight football legends and super model Fernanda Lima — chose color-coded plastic balls from the many numbered pots in what some called a convoluted process. There was even a "Pot X" to ensure no single continent dominated a group.


World Cup stadiums in Brazil are behind schedule

FIFA has extended the deadline for three World Cup venues ahead of championship next summer in Brazil.
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Brazil's Arena de Sao Paulo in construction, as of Nov. 30. (Friedemann Vogel/Getty Images)
FIFA says three of 12 World Cup venues will be delivered beyond the Dec. 31 deadline โ€” a time the soccer authority had previously insisted was set in stone.

Pope Francis the sportsman praises rugby's 'loyalty, respect'

The pontiff meets IOC boss Bach, FIFA's Blatter and national rugby teams of Italy and Argentina โ€” all in the same day.
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Pope Francis exchanges gifts with Gianluigi Buffon of Italy during an audience at the Vatican on August 13, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. Italy and Argentina played a friendly match the next day in Rome. (Claudio Villa/AFP/Getty Images)

Could we be far from Pope Francis greeting champion athletes at the Vatican much like American presidents do at the White House?

It seems plausible eight months into his papacy, especially after he met with the presidents of the International Olympic Committee and FIFA – and the national rugby teams of Argentina and Italy – on Friday.

“Playing rugby is hard; it’s no walk in the park,” Francis said as he met the teams, who play in Rome on Saturday. “And I think that makes it useful to toughen the spirit, the will.”


Portugal, Ronaldo qualify in dramatic fashion over Sweden's Ibrahimovic

Ronaldo's hat trick better than brace from Ibrahimovic as seven more teams look for invitations to 2014 World Cup in Brazil after qualifiers across the globe.

Before Tuesday’s games in Europe, fans faced the fact one of the world’s great stars would not appear at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil next year.

Sweden and Zlatan Ibrahimovic or Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal, but not both. At least they were treated to a sumptuous display of the beautiful game. 


Iceland closes in on World Cup bid. Wait... Iceland has a soccer team?

Facing long odds and a crumbling economy, Iceland captures global attention in bid for 2014 World Cup Brazil.
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Iceland's striker Kolbeinn Sigthorsson, right, and Croatian defender Vedran Corluka vie for the ball during their World Cup playoff in Reykjavik on November 15, 2013. (AFP/AFP/Getty Images)

Iceland’s recipe for soccer success is risky, but ultimately rewarding. All you need is a total collapse of your currency and economy.

At least that’s the picture painted by those at the center of this unlikely sporting renaissance, which continued Friday night in the capital Reykjavik against seasoned Croatia.

Iceland is now one game away from becoming the smallest nation ever to advance to a World Cup. The team finished second in its group during European qualifying, and has advanced into a do-or-die scenario against Croatia.


Mexico trounces New Zealand 5-1 in World Cup qualifier

Mexico defeated New Zealand in the first of two matches to decide who goes to Brazil next year
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Mexico's midfielder Luis Montes (L) vies for the ball with New Zealand's Michael McGlinchey during their FIFA World Cup intercontinental play-off football match in Mexico City on November 13, 2013. (ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images)

GUADALAJARA, Mexico — Mexico trounced New Zealand 5-1 on Wednesday in the first of two matches to decide who goes to the World Cup. 

The two countries will face off again next week in New Zealand. 

The decisive victory was met with relief in Mexico, where many football fans had almost given up hope of their side making it to Brazil. 


David Beckham to own MLS franchise in Miami, reports say

The Associated Press says former England international David Beckham to own new MLS team in Miami.
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David Beckham will become the owner of an expansion franchise into Major League Soccer for the 2015 season, the Associated Press reported on Oct. 29, 2013. (Lintao Zhang/AFP/Getty Images)

David Beckham has apparently decided on Miami as the future home of his new Major League Soccer franchise, the Associated Press reported on Tuesday.

Citing an unnamed source, the AP said details were still being finalized before an official announcement was made.


In Egypt, political footballs are just that

After Ghana handed Egypt a 6-1 thrashing in World Cup qualifying, the beautiful game takes on ugly political and religious overtones.
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Egyptian supporters react after Egypt lost 6-1 to Ghana during World Cup qualifying on October 15,2013 at the Babayara Sports Stadium in Kumasi, Ghana. (-/AFP/Getty Images)

The fates appear to be conspiring against the Pharaohs.

It seems cruel that Egypt – a nation reeling from two years of political and religious turmoil – suffers once more, this time forced to watch its national soccer team battered and bruised. Egypt’s men – the Pharaohs, as they are nicknamed – suffered a 6-1 loss to Ghana on Tuesday night.