Alphonso Davies’ crucial penalty miss may be Canada’s pivotal moment at World Cup

Alphonso Davies’ crucial penalty miss may be Canada’s pivotal moment at World Cup

Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois saves a penalty kick from Canada’s Alphonso Davies during a World Cup Group F match at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, in Al Rayyan, Qatar, on Nov. 23.Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press When Canada was awarded a penalty early in its game against Belgium, there was no directive on who should take it. … Read more

For Chinese fans, the World Cup can be a painful reminder of their team’s absence — and China’s continuing COVID-19 controls

For Chinese fans, the World Cup can be a painful reminder of their team’s absence — and China’s continuing COVID-19 controls

People walk by the giant model of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 match ball amid the COVID-19 outbreak in Shanghai, China, Nov. 23, 2022.ALY SONG/Reuters Walking out onto the pitch at Doha’s Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium on Monday, Ma Ning became only the second Chinese national to officiate a World Cup match. The first time … Read more

Lionel Messi reaches crossroads in Qatar

Lionel Messi reaches crossroads in Qatar

Argentina’s Lionel Messi during a news conference at the Main Media Center in Doha, Qatar, on Nov. 21.ALBERT GEA/Reuters The first time Diego Maradona got a good look at Lionel Messi, then 18, at a world youth championship, he liked what he saw. “Messi is a leader and he knows the responsibility he bears,” Maradona … Read more

Armband protest reversal at FIFA World Cup: Get praise for joining the fight – with no intention of taking a punch

Armband protest reversal at FIFA World Cup: Get praise for joining the fight – with no intention of taking a punch

Everyone has those friends who think saying you should get together is as good as getting together. These are the people who don’t make plans. They make plans to make plans, and those plans never seem to work out. The people who do this are often lovely, but they’re also useless. On Monday, Europe’s soccer … Read more

Fans arriving for Qatar World Cup find searing heat, heavy security and a last-minute booze ban

Fans arriving for Qatar World Cup find searing heat, heavy security and a last-minute booze ban

A fan of Mexico walks outside the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center in Doha on Nov. 19, 2022 ahead of the Qatar 2022 World Cup.PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP/Getty Images Twenty-four hours ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, fans are pouring in to the tiny Persian Gulf state of Qatar, though human-rights concerns and questions over … Read more

FIFA President Gianni Infantino scolds World Cup critics in extraordinary diatribe

FIFA President Gianni Infantino scolds World Cup critics in extraordinary diatribe

FIFA President Gianni Infantino speaks at a press conference Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022 in Doha, Qatar.Abbie Parr/The Associated Press Gianni Infantino said he feels gay. That he feels like a woman. That he feels like a migrant worker. He lectured Europeans for criticizing Qatar’s human rights record and defended the host country’s last-minute decision to … Read more

Canada’s blind luck led it to Alphonso Davies – and the 2022 World Cup

Canada’s blind luck led it to Alphonso Davies – and the 2022 World Cup

Illustration by MICHAEL BYERS Right at this moment, as we’re about to begin soccer’s quadrennial sorting, there’s an argument to be made about the Canadian national men’s team. Not that it is finally world class, which is true. Or that it’s the most in-form North American team, which is true as well. But that it … Read more