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Loretta Lynch: U.S. investigators continue to pursue football corruption

Loretta Lynch's time as U.S. attorney general is set to end.

BALTIMORE -- American criminal investigators are continuing to pursue corruption in football, according to outgoing Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who initiated the prosecution of fraudulent FIFA executives.

Lynch attracted global attention by jolting the world's most popular sport, launching sprawling criminal cases that burst into view with early morning arrests in May 2015 at a luxury hotel in Zurich ahead of the FIFA presidential election.

The FIFA case, which started when Lynch was a U.S....

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

AFC president Sheikh Salman urges England to bid for 2030 World Cup

Gab Marcotti explains why FIFA's decision to expand the World Cup to 48 teams has its benefits, but not everyone agrees.
Gab Marcotti joins Outside the Lines to discuss the reasons behind moving the World Cup from 32 to 48 teams in 2026.
Shaka Hislop expresses his disapproval at FIFA's decision to expand the World Cup to 48 teams.

The president of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has urged England to bid for the 2030 World Cup.

England lost out in the bidding for the 2006 World Cup to Germany and 2018 World Cup to Russia, and the then FA chairman Greg Dyke said in 2014 that the nation would not seek to host the tournament again while Sepp Blatter remained FIFA president amid corruption allegations over the process.

Dyke, who was replaced as FA chairman by Greg Clarke in August, said after Blatter was banned from football...

Asia 'deserves' more spots in expanded World Cup - AFC president Khalifa

Gab Marcotti joins Outside the Lines to discuss the reasons behind moving the World Cup from 32 to 48 teams in 2026.
Shaka Hislop expresses his disapproval at FIFA's decision to expand the World Cup to 48 teams.
Gab Marcotti explains why FIFA's decision to expand the World Cup to 48 teams has its benefits, but not everyone agrees.

An expanded World Cup will benefit Asian nations, according to Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, the president of the Asian Football Confederation.

The FIFA council meeting decided on Tuesday to increase the number of participating teams from 32 to 48 for the 2026 World Cup onwards.

The 2014 edition in Brazil had only four of the 32 nations from the AFC -- Japan, South Korea, Iran and Australia.

"We believe that Asia, as the biggest continent, deserves more slots compared with the current quota,...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Swiss police probe theft of Hublot watches before FIFA awards gala

ESPN FC's Martin Ainstein recaps the winners and losers from The Best FIFA awards in Zurich.
The FC crew debate whether or not Cristiano Ronaldo was most deserving of the FIFA's Best Men's Player award.
Craig Burley and Ross Dyer assess how long Cristiano Ronaldo will continue to dominate player awards.

FIFA has filed a report with police in Switzerland after six Hublot watches went missing before Monday's The Best gala in Zurich.

The watches, estimated at €93,000 each, were to have been given to Cristiano Ronaldo, Claudio Ranieri and the other winners at FIFA's top award ceremony.

Instead, Hublot representatives were obligated to hand out alternates as police investigate, German news agency dpa reported on Tuesday.

A FIFA spokesman said: "We are looking into what happened to the watches....

 By Nicolas Anil

FIFA Puskas winner Faiz Subri returns home to hero's reception in Malaysia

Faiz Subri has been awarded FIFA's Puskas Award for his physics defying free-kick for Penang in the Malaysian Super League.

Newly crowned FIFA Puskas winner Faiz Subri vowed to continue producing wonder goals after arriving home from Zurich to a raucous welcome on Wednesday afternoon.

The Penang forward's astounding free kick against Pahang last year netted him the best goal of 2016 at the FIFA Football Awards as he won a landslide victory to beat Corinthians' midfielder Marlone and Venezuela female star Daniuska Rodriguez.

"I will continue to practise these free kicks, and perhaps try and emulate that type of goal again....

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Call for Russia to be stripped of World Cup over state-sponsored doping

FIFA president Gianni Infantino expects Russia to stage a successful 2018 World Cup.

Anti-doping organisations have said Russia should be banned from hosting and competing in international sporting events, including the 2018 World Cup, until it can show it is compliant with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code.

The demand comes after the recently-released McLaren report showed the country had run a state-sponsored doping programme affecting more than 1,000 athletes between 2011 and 2015.

After a summit of anti-doping organisations in Dublin on Tuesday, leaders said Russia should...