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Pinnick: Morocco will launch 2026 World Cup bid

Morocco are still intending to launch a bid to host the 2026 World Cup and will meet next month's FIFA deadline, according to Confederation of African Football official and Nigerian football chief Amaju Pinnick.

Speaking to BBC Sport, the NFF president confirmed that Morocco will receive CAF's backing as they enter the bidding process, looking to become Africa's second World Cup hosts.

"I've been told Morocco wants to put in its bid and CAF will support them 100%," Pinnick began. "I'd be surprised...

 By Paul Murphy

Miroslav Klose backs Antonio Conte to make Antonio Rudiger a better player

Antonio Rudiger cites Antonio Conte as one of the main reasons for his switch from Roma to Chelsea.

SINGAPORE -- Miroslav Klose believes that Chelsea boss Antonio Conte will get the best out of Antonio Rudiger as Germany build towards the 2018 World Cup.

Klose says that Rudiger, signed from Roma this summer, can only benefit from playing under a head coach who knows how to organise a defence.

"One thing that's good for Rudiger at Chelsea is that he is playing under Antonio Conte, who is a phenomenal coach," former Germany striker Klose told ESPN FC. "This will definitely help his development.


 By Chris Wright

Russian farmer builds stadium out of straw to mock $720m World Cup venue

A farmer in Krasnoye, Russia built a football stadium entirely out of straw
Russian farmer Roman Ponomaryov built a stadium made completely from straw.

A Russian farmer has built an entire football stadium out of straw to mock the spiralling cost of the new 64,000-seat arena in St Petersburg that will be used to host the 2018 World Cup.

The straw version, built by farmer Roman Ponomaryov in a field outside the town of Stavropol cost around $675 (£500) to complete, whereas the Zenit Arena quickly burned through a budget of $720 million (£552m).

However, what Ponomaryov's version lacks in clean, sweeping lines and modernist architecture,...

ESPN FC  By Dale Johnson

Poland set to be shock seeds in December's World Cup finals draw

Michael Ballack calls on Germany's young players to step up and replace the team's retired stars ahead of the World Cup.

Poland are set to be one of the eight top seeds in December's group stage draw for the World Cup finals.

They are likely to join hosts Russia, current FIFA Ranking leaders Brazil, world champions Germany, Copa America holders Chile, Argentina and two other nations in pot 1 for the draw.

Head coach Adam Nawalka has led Poland to a six-point lead at the top of qualification Group E, dropping only two points, and they are hot favourites to top their group and book an automatic berth in Russia.


John Brewin profile picture  By John Brewin

Maradona, Escobar, Diana Ross and Brazil - Rewind to the 1994 World Cup

Diana Ross
Diana Ross got things started at the opening ceremony.

A version of this article was first published on ESPN in 2006.

FIFA's decision to choose the United States as hosts of the 1994 World Cup was greeted with scepticism elsewhere across the globe. But despite "soccer" being way down the American sporting popularity list at the time, the tournament saw full houses throughout and it is still the best attended of any finals.

After a Hollywood-style opening ceremony in which soul diva Diana Ross (rather prophetically) missed a penalty, Germany beat Bolivia...