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Qatar 2022: 2.95 Million World Cup Tickets Sold – FIFA

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Nearly three million World Cup tickets have been sold, FIFA said Sunday, as the governing body’s president revealed the tournament had helped push revenues over the past four years to a record $7.5 billion.

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A FIFA spokesman told AFP that 2.95 million tickets had been sold up to Sunday’s opening day.

The start of the World Cup has led to a surge of interest in the 64 matches over 29 days despite negative publicity over Qatar’s hosting.

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Queues have built up outside the FIFA ticket centre in Doha and fans report long waits to get onto the official online ticket platform.

Qatar has already overtaken Russia 2018, when just over 2.4 million tickets were sold.

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The spokesman said Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United States, Mexico, Britain, United Arab Emirates, Argentina, France, India and Brazil were the top markets.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino told a conference earlier that the world body’s four-year revenues were estimated to hit $7.5 billion by the end of the year.

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Revenues are more than $1 billion higher than predicted four years ago.

Infantino told the 211 member associations that the “amazing figures” came “in spite of Covid, in spite of different crises around the world”.

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Infantino is set to be re-elected unopposed at a congress in March after no rivals came forward in time to force an election.

He said new rules regulating football agents would be announced this year.

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Infantino also said he wanted to see more games between national teams from different regions and a bigger Club World Cup. “We have some good ideas,” he added.

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TRENDING! Watch moment C.Ronaldo removed something from his pants to chew in Qatar

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By Emmanuel Agaji

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Soccer Star C.Ronaldo caught on camera searching his pant to pick something which he immediately dropped into his mouth to chew.

A viral video aptly captured the soccer Star obviously searching for something.

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Watch clip below:

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World Cup: England share points with USA in goalless draw

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England missed a chance to book their place in the World Cup last 16 as Gareth Southgate’s side produced a limp display in their 0-0 draw against the United States on Friday.

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Southgate’s men would have been guaranteed to advance from Group B with a victory in their second game of the tournament, but they rarely troubled a determined US team.

Having thrashed Iran 6-2 on Monday, England lacked the urgency they showed in their opening game and were booed off at full-time.

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They managed just one shot on target and could easily have conceded in the first half when the US were in control for long periods at the Al Bayt Stadium.

For the third time in three World Cup meetings with the US, England failed to live up to their status as favourites.

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After a shocking defeat in the 1950 tournament and a 1-1 draw in 2010, this was another defiant American effort against England, cooling some of the hype around the Three Lions following the Iran rout.

Although it was an extremely underwhelming performance from England, they are still in control of their own destiny.

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A draw in their final group game against Wales on November 29 would ensure England progress to the knockout stages, while a victory would seal first place.

The US, who have drawn their first two games, play Iran on the same day knowing a win would send them into last 16.

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Gregg Berhalter’s group are the second youngest team at the World Cup, but a day after America celebrated Thanksgiving they left sluggish England looking like they were the ones who had indulged in too much turkey.

With Harry Kane and Harry Maguire recovered from an ankle injury and illness respectively, England named an unchanged team for the first time since the 2018 World Cup semi-final defeat against Croatia.

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But, whereas England dominated possession against timid Iran from the opening moments, they found the US far more willing to press higher up the pitch.

– Laboured England –
The US desire to engage England briefly left space in behind them and Jude Bellingham’s buccaneering run and pass freed Bukayo Saka down the right side of the US area.

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Saka’s cross reached Kane, whose goalbound shot was blocked by Walker Zimmerman.

That near-miss proved a mirage in the desert for England as Haji Wright, a surprise selection in place of Josh Sargent, had the Americans’ first sight of goal with a well-timed run into the area for a header that whistled wide.

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It was a warning that the US could trouble England and moments later Weston McKennie should have put them ahead.

Timothy Weah’s cross from wide on the right eluded the flat-footed England defence and the unmarked McKennie pulled the trigger from 10 yards, only to fire just wide of the relieved Pickford’s goal.

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Showing no signs of being intimidated by England, Berhalter’s side were inches away from turning the enterprising display into a stunning lead when Christian Pulisic jinked into space and lashed a rising drive against the crossbar from just inside the area.

Giving the ball away far too easily and laboured in their build-up play, England looked rattled and Pulisic tested their fraying nerves with a header that glanced wide.

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In a rare moment of menace from England, Saka’s pass found Mason Mount and the Chelsea’s midfielder low drive from 20 yards brought a first save from US keeper Matt Turner.

Epitomising the US spirit that was such a contrast to England’s lethargy, Tyler Adams crunched into a tackle on Saka, winning the ball and roaring in delight afterwards.

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England remained stuck in first gear yet Kane nearly snatched an undeserved winner in stoppage time when he headed wide from Luke Shaw’s free-kick.

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Saudi Prince promises players Rolls Royce for Argentina win

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The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, has promised each player in the national team a Rolls Royce Phantom for their win against Argentina in their World Cup opener in Qatar.

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A resilient Saudi Arabian side on Tuesday shockingly defeated the Copa America winners 2-1 with all odds against them.

It is not the first time that a Rolls Royce would be awarded to a Saudi Arabian player. In the 1994 tournament Saeed Al-Owairan receiving one of the luxury cars after scoring the winning goal in a 1-0 victory against Belgium.

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In 2022 however, despite having arguably the best player in the world on their team, seven-time Ballon d’Or winner, Lionel Messi, a struggling Argentina could not get any point out of the match although they were the dominant team for most of the game.

Messi’s penalty in the first 10 minutes of the game saw the middle eastern team go into half time with a bleak finish in sight, however, Saudi Arabia turned the game around immediately after the second half resumed with Saleh Alshehri’s goal, 48′, leveling up with Argentina and Saleh Aldawsari’s 53rd minute winning goal.

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A national holiday had already been announced the day after the win by Saudi King, Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. All employees in public and private sectors as well as students in all phases of education were given the day off to celebrate the stunning victory.

Saudi Arabia are currently top of Group C, being the only team in the group to have won so far in the tournament with Mexico and Poland playing out goalless draws, leaving two-time winners Argentina bottom of the group.

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