World's richest league starts another season

The 2020 edition of the money-spinning league and the second half of the 2021 tournament took place in the United Arab Emirates as India battled the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last year's expanded 10-team event was held mostly in Mumbai and Pune.

The League is now estimated to be worth $16 billion.

Ahmedabad side Gujarat, one of the two expansion teams along with Lucknow, capped a fairytale debut season by defeating inaugural champions Rajasthan Royals in front of around 100,000 fans in the final at home.

British police apologise for Hillsborough failings

On behalf of all 43 forces, police chiefs have promised "cultural change".

They admitted "policing got it badly wrong" in the aftermath of the fatal stadium crush and said a range of key lessons had been learned.

BBC reports ninety-seven Liverpool supporters died as a result of the April 1989 disaster at Sheffield's Hillsborough ground.

The National Police Chiefs Council and the College of Policing published a joint response to a report published in 2017, which consulted the families.

Stranded home based players unlikely to feature in Samoa's OFC Nations Cup quest

Short of game time and fitness because of the impact of Covid-19, they are likely to be overlooked in favour of overseas based players.

"I've not been able to go to Samoa because of the restrictions," said coach Paul Ifill. "And the players from Samoa haven't been able to get out because of lockdowns."

"It's very frustrating. If you're the best player on the island, knowing that it's out of your hands whether you go to a Nations Cup and represent your country must be a nightmare"

England manager embarrassed to be playing behind closed doors

England were ordered to play their next two home games in UEFA competition without supporters present after disturbances during their Euro 2020 final last year.

Southgate's side host Italy in the Nations League on June 11, in a rematch of that final, behind closed doors. The ban on fans attending the second game has been suspended for a probationary period of two years.

"We're on a yellow card and we've got the embarrassment now of playing behind closed doors at home," Southgate said.

Mohamed Salah could face Leicester but Sadio Mane will not

Mane's Senegal beat Salah's Egypt on penalties on Sunday in Cameroon.

Salah is back in Merseyside but Mane is due to fly back on Wednesday night having been allowed to go to Senegal to celebrate their first major trophy.

"Pretty much the first thing Mo told me was 'I'm ready'," said Jurgen Klopp.

"He is an experienced player, he is a physical monster. He had a little recovery session on Tuesday and we will see how he feels on Wednesday."

Oceania Home of Football completed

The complex will house OFC's New Zealand staff and serve as a base for visiting personnel and teams from the confederation's 11 Member Associations and two Associate Members.

In addition to the administration space, it will feature two artificial pitches and dressing rooms suitable for hosting elite matches.

OFC General Secretary Franck Castillo said the complex will play a crucial part in the confederation's goal of seeing two Oceania nations competing at the FIFA World Cup 2026 and the FIFA Women's World Cup 2027.


Upolu Development Centre programme kicks off

Boys and girls from the U-12, U-14 and U-16 age groups were selected from clubs who were involved in the FFS Youth Competition earlier this year. 

They will participate in match training, technical and goal keeping sessions over the seven-week programme.  

FFS Upolu East Technical Development Manager Leti Tamasese said the programme helps develop players, with an eye to progressing them into national team systems in future years.  

Upolu and Savai’i coaches gain MA Senior Coaching Certificate

Existing football coaches, local teachers, parents and volunteers came together for the courses, spending three days improving their knowledge and competency relating to senior football.   

FFS Technical Director Jess Ibrom delivered theory sessions via Zoom with the support of FFS Football Development Managers Tala Salamasina, Desmond Edwards and Leti Tamasese.   

FFS Referee Development Officers Maria Salamasina and Malaetala Salanoa also delivered a Basic Laws of the Game module.  

Solomon Islands thrashed 6-0 by Morocco

The Kurukuru conceded three goals in each half against the African champions.

Soufiane El-Mesrar opened the scoring in just the second minute before Achraf Souad doubled their advantage a minutes later.

Idriss Raiss El-Fenni made it 3-0 close to half-time, while Bilal Bakkali, Otmane Boumezou and Soufiane Borite all found the back of the net in the second spell.

Solomon Islands, who are competing in their fourth consecutive World Cup, are back in action on Friday morning against Portugal, who outclassed Thailand 4-1 in the other Group C clash.


Samoa to host talent identification games

The evening will be an opportunity for both male and females who are eligible to represent Samoa’s national teams in the future.

Games will take place against an Auckland local amateur club opposition.

Both national sides last competed at the 2019 Pacific Games held in Apia which saw Samoa’s women’s team win a silver medal against Papua New Guinea, 3-1.

The Samoan men’s national team have made two appearances in the OFC Nations Cup in 2012 and 2016, while the women last entered the OFC Women’s Nations Cup in 2018.