The Sunday Euro 2024 qualifying match between Kosovo and Israel was rescheduled by UEFA on Thursday due to the ongoing war in Israel and Gaza.
According to a statement from UEFA, the organization that oversees European football, “Israeli authorities currently do not allow their national team to travel abroad.”
“In due course, a new date for the fixture will be announced.”
Sunday, the day following Hamas’s unexpected onslaught, saw UEFA postpone “all matches scheduled” in Israel for “the next couple of weeks.”
The match between Israel and Switzerland, which was initially slated for this Thursday, has been rescheduled by the governing body for Wednesday, November 15. The location has not yet been decided.
Along with an Under-17 mini-tournament in which Israel was scheduled to compete, Israel’s matches at the European Under-21 Championship have also been postponed.
In Lagos, Nigeria Wins First West African Cricket Trophy
The Yellow-Green, Nigeria’s men’s cricket team, won every one of their ten matches to accomplish a perfect sweep in the first West African Trophy, which was held on Sunday at Tafawa Balewa Square in Lagos.
They defeated Rwanda by 17 runs on Sunday, their fourth victory in the twenty-match series that began on Wednesday, October 4, 2023, over the East African team.
Nigeria has defeated Ghana, Sierra Leone, and Rwanda in her round-robin matches, earning her a spot in the West Africa Trophy finals.
In the tenth round, Nigeria, with eighteen points from four matches, was matched against Rwanda, who had the second-highest point total of eight. Despite having a lower Net Run Rate, Ghana also recorded four victories. Ghana then faced Sierra Leone, who had only won once in nine games for the third and fourth classification rounds, in the match for third place.
On the final day of the West Africa Trophy, Sierra Leone defeated Ghana by six wickets in the opening game. Nigeria then secured the Tournament Trophy with their eleventh victory.
The Nigeria Cricket Federation President declared, “It’s a very successful experiment.” We are happy to have the national team, whose outstanding performance complemented all of our hard work.
He continued by saying that the West Africa Trophy was helpful in that regard. The Federation had planned multiple venues to showcase the national teams, including organizing a significant domestic competition.
We would want to express our gratitude to all of our partners, which include Nigeria Breweries, Dafabet, Sparkle, and the Lagos State government. We hope to involve more of our corporate partners in the initiative to spread cricket throughout Nigeria,” he continued.
With 17 wickets, Isaac Okpe of Nigeria won both the bowler of the tournament and the Most Valuable Player award. With 229 runs in 10 games, Sulaimon Runsewe—another Nigerian—won the batter of the tournament award. In ten games, he won the outfield award as well with nine dismissals.
Turkey, Scotland, and Spain Earn Spots in the 2024 Euro
With a 1-0 victory over Norway on the road, Spain secured their spot at Euro 2024 on Sunday. Scotland advanced from Group A, while Turkey became the latest qualifier.
With two games remaining, Spain advanced to the finals in Germany the following year thanks to a goal scored by Barcelona midfielder Gavi early in the second half in Oslo.
Due to goal differential, they topped Group A, but the outcome also guaranteed Scotland’s place in the tournament, with Norway trailing by five points heading into their final game of the next month.
Although Norway hasn’t advanced to the playoffs since Euro 2000, a squad that includes Erling Haaland and Martin Odegaard still has a chance.
The other match in that group saw Georgia smash Cyprus 4-0.
Turkey turned on the flair in the last minutes to defeat Latvia 4-0 and secure their spot in the finals, capping off a historic week that saw them appointed as co-hosts of Euro 2032 alongside Italy.
The game was won by the leaders of Group D after Kerem Akturkoglu’s goal and two late goals from former Everton forward Cenk Tosun broke the deadlock just before the hour mark.
Wilson Brings Back Wales
They lead Wales by six points, who moved up to second place after Croatia after Harry Wilson scored twice in a 2-1 triumph over the World Cup semifinalists in Cardiff last year.
Shortly after the break, Wilson outran the Croatian defense to loft in the first goal, and he then flicked in a cross from Dan James for the second.
Although Mario Pasalic narrowed the gap, Wales are now in charge of their own fate as they prepare for the final qualifying rounds in November.
Following back-to-back losses, Croatia may miss a major event for the first time since the 2010 World Cup.
Switzerland needed two late goals to salvage a 3-3 draw against Belarus at home, but they lost first position in Group I to Romania.
In St Gallen, Xherdan Shaqiri gave the Swiss the lead before Max Ebong pulled Belarus, who had been defeated 5-0 by the Swiss in March, even.
After Denis Polyakov nodded Belarus ahead from a corner, Dmitri Antilevski’s third goal in the 84th minute appeared to put the visitors on track for an unexpected victory.
The hosts staged a dramatic comeback when Manuel Akanji scored following a Shaqiri free kick. Zeki Amdouni, a substitute, spared Switzerland’s blushes by netting an equalizer in the ninetieth minute.
Romania easily defeated Andorra 4-0 to take the lead, but the Swiss still have a game ahead of them after Thursday’s trip to Tel Aviv was canceled due to the conflict between Israel and Hamas.
The Czech Republic defeated the Faroe Islands 1-0 thanks to a penalty kick in the 76th minute by Tomas Soucek, moving his team up to second place in Group E behind Albania.
In the absence of injured striker Robert Lewandowski, Poland struggled and had to rally late in a 1-1 draw with Moldova at the Warsaw Arena.
Despite having played one more game than the top two, the Poles are ranked third in the section. On November 17, they play a must-win match against the Czechs.
Messi is a doubt for Argentina’s match against Paraguay.
Despite “looking good” in training, Lionel Messi is iffy for Argentina’s South American World Cup qualifier against Paraguay on Thursday, according to coach Lionel Scaloni.
After overcoming an injury, Messi joined forces with the World Cup winners on Saturday in Major League Soccer, coming on as a second-half substitute for Inter Miami.
Messi had only made 37 appearances for his team since September 3 after returning from an injury sustained while serving for his country last month.
“We have one more training session left, and it’s a crucial one for him. I need to discuss it with him and make sure we both agree that he may begin. He appeared well. We shall see the rest of the team based on it,” Scaloni remarked.
The Peruvian team was scheduled to play Argentina in Lima five days later, which the Argentina coach stated he also had to consider.
“The most important thing is that whoever gets out will do just as well if he is not fit to play, which gives us peace of mind,” he stated.
Argentina is tied with Brazil at the top of the table with six points after winning their first two qualifiers.
In the event that Messi is deemed unfit to play, Scaloni may choose to start Lautaro Martinez of Inter Milan and Julian Alvarez of Manchester City together.
As starters, they have already shared the field. I’m amenable to a wide range. Depending on the game, yes. Nothing would be wrong with it. They can play, despite their differences,” he continued.
With one point from their first three games, Paraguay is in sixth place, which is the last spot available for automatic qualification to the 2026 World Cup.
On Thursday, Brazil will play Venezuela in Cuiaba. The “Vinotinto” have three points following a 1-0 victory against Paraguay and a close 1-0 loss to Colombia.
The “Selecao,” according to midfielder Casemiro, won’t undervalue a rival hoping to make their first finals appearance.
“This game is going to be challenging. Venezuela has merits; they have several talented players who play in Europe. Respect is crucial in this situation, the midfielder for Manchester United and former member of Real Madrid stated at a press conference.
One of the rare sports where the favorite does not always prevail is football. and there is no easy game in South America,” he continued.
Brazil’s third game under temporary head coach Fernando Diniz is coming up, and Casemiro stated the team is still getting used to a new strategy.
“We’re working hard to adjust as soon as we can, but it takes time. At the club level, months are typically needed. In order to adhere to that work culture as swiftly as possible and reduce errors, the national team is attempting to do it via films and other materials, he stated.
Tuesday in Montevideo, Brazil will pay a visit to Marcelo Bielsa’s Uruguay following their match against Venezuela. Chile will visit Venezuela.
In the other games on Thursday, Peru will visit Chile, Bolivia will play Ecuador, and Colombia will host Uruguay.
Owner of Napoli requests Super Cup be relocated from Saudi Arabia following war outbreak
Following the commencement of war between Israel and Hamas, Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis stated on Tuesday that he prefers Italy to Saudi Arabia as the venue for the Italian Super Cup.
Along with Lazio, Inter Milan, and Fiorentina, four Serie A teams—including the defending champions of Italy, Napoli—are slated to compete in the redesigned Super Cup in the Gulf state in January.
Napoli and Fiorentina were reportedly planning to skip the competition, but De Laurentiis claimed he just wanted it returned to Italy out of concern that traveling to Saudi Arabia may be unsafe.
“Have you heard about what’s happening in Israel? There might be an air blockade over some places, De Laurentiis suggested at a Rome event, according to news agency ANSA.
“How in the world can you ever consider boarding a plane with 120 players who are paid what they are worth? All that for a few million dollars more in revenue? Let’s just hold it at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico.
“I don’t intend to boycott it. I merely requested that we consider shifting the tournament.
The Serie A champions and Italian Cup winners have traditionally competed in the Super Cup; Inter Milan defeated AC Milan in the most recent edition, which took place in Riyadh in January.
In a move similar to the one made to the Spanish Super Cup, this season’s top two finishers in Serie A as well as the two Italian Cup finalists will compete.
The Super Cup was supposed to take place on the weekend of January 4–8 of the next year, but after a request from the Saudi authorities earlier this month, the event will now take place January 21–25.
The Super Cup’s organizers, Serie A, have not officially announced the new dates, but they have rescheduled four unnamed league games from the previous weekend to January 17–18.
Since Saturday, when hundreds of Hamas terrorists stationed in Gaza launched an unexpected attack on Israel, more than 3,000 people have perished in the conflict.
Eden Hazard announces his retirement from the game of football at the age of 32
Eden Hazard, a former player for Chelsea and Real Madrid, has declared his retirement from the game at the age of 32.
The former captain of Belgium announced his retirement from football on Tuesday via his Instagram page. He had played the game for 16 years.
You must listen to yourself and quit when it is appropriate, he advised.
“I have decided to finish my career as a professional player after 16 years and more than 700 games. I was able to fulfill my dream, and I have enjoyed playing on numerous fields all over the world.
Thank you to everyone for these wonderful moments; I will miss you all. Throughout my career, I had the good fortune to work with excellent management, coaches, and colleagues.
“I also want to thank the teams I’ve played for, including LOSC, Chelsea, and Real Madrid, as well as the RBFA for selecting me for the Belgian national team. A particular thank you to my friends, family, advisors, and those who have stood by me through good and difficult times.
Finally, I want to express my gratitude to all of you, my fans, for supporting me over the years and for your support wherever I have performed. I should spend time with my loved ones and try new things right now. Soon, my friends, I’ll see you off the field.
Despite making only 76 appearances in four seasons with Real Madrid, the winger has been without a club since being released by the club in the summer.