The English seventh division soccer club Ashton United caused amusement and even caused the collapse of their homepage with an unusual suggestion on the Internet. The plan: The club wants to loan Manchester City’s star striker Erling Haaland because the Norwegian is not taking part in the World Cup in Qatar. “Ashton United can confirm that the club have submitted a 28-day loan offer for Manchester City striker Erling Haaland,” the club said in a statement.
The background to the curious idea is the long break from the World Cup: Because the English champions only play again five days after the end of the World Cup on December 23 in the League Cup against Liverpool, Haaland has more than a month after the international match with Norway on Sunday against Finland Break.
“It just makes sense. City don’t play and we want to help by keeping Erling fit, that makes more sense than him playing golf for six weeks. We believe he will be a great fit for us and would fit into our squad dynamic very well,” said Ashton’s manager Michael Clegg. “This is not a joke, we are waiting for an answer,” Ashton United tweeted.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino has proposed a month-long ceasefire in the war between Russia and Ukraine during the World Cup in Qatar. At an appearance at the G-20 summit of the most important industrialized and emerging countries in Bali on Tuesday, Infantino (52) suggested that from the start of the World Cup on Sunday until the final on December 18th the guns would be silent. “We are not naive and think that football can solve the world’s problems,” said the head of the world football association. However, the World Cup could be “an occasion for a positive gesture or a sign”.
He appealed to the participants of the summit – in addition to numerous heads of state and government such as US President Joe Biden and Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz, as well as the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov –: “You are the leaders of the world. You have the opportunity to influence the course of history.” Infantino added: “My request to all of you is to consider a temporary one-month ceasefire for the duration of the World Cup. Or at least the introduction of humanitarian corridors or anything else that will lead to a resumption of dialogue.”
The Dutch national team will auction their World Cup jerseys to benefit migrant workers. This was announced by the KNVB association. “Everyone knows that their circumstances need to get much better,” said Oranje captain Virgil van Dijk. One hopes to be able to contribute at least a small part to this with the action after each game, said the defense chief of Liverpool FC.
The Dutch will also meet with some migrant workers in Qatar on Thursday and exchange views on the current situation. In terms of sport, Bonds coach Louis van Gaal’s team will start against Senegal on Monday.
A few days before the start of the World Cup, hosts Qatar have changed their strategy regarding alcohol serving during matches. According to media reports, the stands that were already set up around the stadiums were dismantled and are now to be set up in other places. As “Bild” reports, the Qataris would continue to push for a ban, but FIFA and their beer sponsor held against it.
For Lothar Matthäus, the new world champion comes from South America. “If I had to choose a team and give a World Cup tip, I would choose Argentina,” wrote the 61-year-old in his Sky column. Matthäus also has Brazilians and French on his bill for the upcoming tournament in Qatar. “But my feeling tends towards Argentina. They have great team spirit and a balanced, strong squad.”
The German team also has Matthäus on the bill. “Of course I wish and I very much hope that it will be Germany. I wish it for me, for all German fans and also for my friend Hansi Flick,” said Matthäus. “It would be nice if the positive run of German football, as is currently the case in the Champions and Europa League, continues at the World Cup and we go home with the trophy. As always, we have a really good chance.”