FIFA has invited football's governing bodies to an online summit to discuss biennial World Cup plans and the international calendar on September 30.

FIFA, led by chief of global football development Arsene Wenger, has been promoting the idea for the World Cup to shift format and take place every two years.

Wenger's proposal would see a major final held every year, the former Arsenal manager previously suggesting players would be playing in another tournament if it was not the World Cup either way.

However, UEFA and CONMEBOL have both rubbished the suggestions due to scheduling concerns, with FIFA now inviting the pair - along with all other member associations and league representatives - to discuss matters further.

"There is a broad consensus within the game that the International Match Calendar should be reformed and improved," FIFA's statement on Monday said.

"Following invitations to stakeholders, including all confederations, at the beginning of September, discussions are being organised in the coming weeks.

"This is one of several opportunities to establish a constructive and open debate, at a global and regional level, over the coming months and FIFA is looking forward to it.

"As this is a football project, in which the global interests of football should come first, this process started with players and coaches from all over the world. The debate will also involve fans from around the globe.

"FIFA is committed to being a forum for meaningful debate by engaging with a wide range of stakeholders including fans and looks forward to discussions on the sustainable growth of football in all regions of the world, at all levels."

The men's World Cup has taken place every four years since 1930, aside from 1942 and 1946 due to the Second World War, while the women's World Cup has followed suit since its 1991 debut.

However, FIFA released results of fan surveys last week, which showed most favoured a two-year gap between World Cups, though in each age category the popular choice was to retain the current format.

Chelsea have been fined £25,000 by the Football Association (FA) for failing to control their players during their 1-1 Premier League draw with Liverpool.

The Blues admitted to two breaches of FA Rule E20.1 in the lively match at Anfield on August 28, both of those incidents occurring after referee Anthony Taylor sent off Reece James and awarded Liverpool a penalty in first-half stoppage time.

James was adjudged to have purposefully used his hand to block a shot on the line, with Mohamed Salah equalising from the penalty spot to cancel out a Kai Havertz opener, but the decision left Chelsea's players incensed.

Defender Antonio Rudiger and goalkeeper Edouard Mendy were booked for their protests, and the fallout continued as the players left the field after Taylor had blown for half-time.

A statement from the FA on Wednesday read: "Chelsea FC has been fined £25,000 for two breaches of FA rule E20.1 which occurred during their Premier League fixture against Liverpool FC on Saturday 28 August 2021.

"The club admitted failing to ensure that its players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion during both the 48th minute of the first half and following the half-time whistle."

The result on Merseyside ensured Chelsea and Liverpool had an identical record from their opening three games to the new Premier League season, with two wins, one draw, six goals scored and one conceded.

Thomas Tuchel and Jurgen Klopp agreed after the game that the decision to both award a penalty and send off James was harsh.

Gareth Southgate again praised his England players for their opposition to racism amid allegations they were abused during Thursday's 4-0 win in Hungary.

England secured a superb victory in Budapest, moving five points clear at the top of Group I in qualifying for the 2022 World Cup.

Second-half goals from Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane, Harry Maguire and Declan Rice helped the Three Lions move on swiftly from their Euro 2020 final heartbreak.

But this latest triumph was marred by the actions of Hungary supporters as their side suffered their heaviest defeat in 118 home World Cup qualifiers.

Objects were thrown at Sterling and his team-mates as they celebrated, while there were also reports of chants aimed at the Manchester City forward.

Southgate, like several of his players, said he had not heard the abuse, although England's decision to take the knee at kick-off was widely jeered.

He added: "It sounds like there have been some incidents and everybody knows what we stand for as a team and that that's completely unacceptable."

A Football Association spokesperson said: "It is extremely disappointing to hear reports of discriminatory actions towards some of our England players.

"We will be asking FIFA to investigate the matter.

"We continue to support the players and staff in our collective determination to highlight and tackle discrimination in all its forms."

Southgate's England have repeatedly taken a stand against racism, although the manager has been keen to highlight the negative responses to these demonstrations from a section of their own support.

"It's still taking us a long, long time to get to where we want to get to, and inevitably if other countries don't have the same level of diversity, it's probably not been in their thinking in the same way it has in our country," he explained.

"We will continue to do what we do. We will continue to set the right example for people in our own country, who will be more influenced by us than perhaps people will be elsewhere."

Little of Southgate's post-match news conference focused on the game – a 25th World Cup qualifier in succession without defeat – but he praised his players throughout.

"I don't think our players can do any more than they have done in the last two or three years in getting the right messages in, making the right stands," he said.

"It's for other people to protect them. It's for me to protect them in the main, but for authorities to protect them as well. They shouldn't have to be subjected to any form of racism."

The Three Lions boss added: "[The players] recognise that the world is changing and, although some people are stuck in their ways of thinking and their prejudices, they're going to be the dinosaurs in the end, because the world is modernising."

He finished his media duties saying: "I'm always conscious that whenever I speak about this, I don't know if I get exactly the right tone or the right words – I never want to be dismissive of it.

"Our intentions are good and we hope that people understand that and respect that."

Chelsea have been charged by the Football Association (FA) with failing to control their players during Saturday's Premier League meeting with Liverpool.

The charge relates to two incidents following referee Anthony Taylor's decision to send off Reece James and award Liverpool a penalty in first-half stoppage time after the defender was adjudged to have purposefully used his hand to block a shot on the line.

Chelsea's players reacted angrily, with defender Antonio Rudiger and goalkeeper Edouard Mendy booked for their protests, and the fallout continued after Taylor blew for half-time.

The Blues have been charged with two breaches of FA Rule E20.1 and have been given until Friday to respond.

Chelsea led at Anfield through a Kai Havertz header when Taylor awarded the penalty following a check of the pitchside monitor, with Mohamed Salah successfully converting to earn Liverpool a 1-1 draw.

Thomas Tuchel and Jurgen Klopp agreed after the game that the decision to both award a penalty and send off James was harsh.

Guidance on heading will be introduced to every level of English football for the 2021-22 campaign, the Football Association (FA) has announced.

The new heading guidance has been agreed between the relevant bodies and will be applicable from the Premier League down to grassroots football and across the England national teams.

The advice will not affect football matches or the rules of the game, but instead the heading that occurs in training sessions, where most heading is performed.

Based on multiple studies by the Professional Football Negotiating and Consultative Committee, the initial focus of the guidance involves high-force headers, which usually follow a long pass (more than 35 metres) or from crosses and set-pieces.

The headers branded 'high force' will be limited to 10 per any training week, with clubs also recommended to develop tailormade player profiles to protect welfare.

While club staff will be encouraged to monitor recovery from heading exposure, further guidance also identifies how to produce lower-force headers – for example, throwing a ball for a header instead of kicking it.

Due to early evidence suggesting neck muscle is important for higher-force heading, a strength and conditioning advisory panel will identify safe ways to improve neck and torso strength.

Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters said: "Our priority is to make the game as safe as possible for all players.

"We have worked collaboratively across football to undertake these initial research projects to help us further understand the impact of heading and inform guidance for all levels of the game.

"This is a long-term piece of work. We will now build on these studies and we remain committed to further research to ensure we have the right approach in place to protect the welfare of all players."

For amateur clubs, the guidance is for heading practice to be limited to one session per week and no more than 10 headers a session, with players expected to monitor themselves.

This guidance aims to reduce overall exposure and improve welfare, while not affecting personal development of heading technique.

At youth level, guidelines have been in place since February 2020, with further updates being published on Wednesday.

FA Chief Executive Mark Bullingham said: "We already have the most comprehensive guidelines in the world for youth football and now we are introducing, in partnership with the other football bodies, the most comprehensive adult football guidelines anywhere.

"Our heading guidance now reaches across all players, at all levels of the game.

"These measures have been developed following studies with coaches and medics and represent a cautious approach while we learn more.

"We are committed to further medical research to gain an understanding of any risks within football, in the meantime this reduces a potential risk factor.

"Overall it is important to remember that the overwhelming medical evidence is that football and other sports have positive impacts on both mental and physical health."

The relevant governing bodies will continue research before another formal review in June 2020 as football attempts to protect players' long-term health.

The Football Association has commissioned an independent review into the "disgraceful scenes" that marred England's Euro 2020 final defeat to Italy at Wembley.

England suffered a 3-2 penalty shoot-out loss on home soil to Italy on July 11 following a 1-1 draw after extra time in their first major tournament final in 55 years.

The showpiece match was overshadowed by a security breach that saw a number of ticketless supporters enter the stadium and clash with fellow fans and stewards.

UEFA last week launched its own investigation and hit the FA with four charges relating to fan disorder, including the throwing of objects and the lighting of fireworks.

The unsavoury scenes prompted Julian Knight MP, the chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee (DCMS), to write to FA CEO Mark Bullingham demanding answers.

And in a statement released on Monday, the FA has vowed to identify those responsible for the trouble before, during and after the game.

"We are determined to fully understand what happened outside and then inside Wembley Stadium at the Euro 2020 final on July 11," the statement read.

"We informed DCMS at the weekend that an independent review led by Baroness Casey of Blackstock has been commissioned to report on the facts and circumstances involved. 

"It will speak to all parties concerned and include external experts.

"A key emphasis of the findings will be to ensure that lessons are learned and such disgraceful scenes are never able to be repeated. 

"We continue to work with the relevant authorities in support of their efforts to identify those responsible and hold them to account."

The FA was also previously fined €30,000 (£25,630) by UEFA for the behaviour of supporters during the semi-final win against Denmark, which included a laser being shone at Denmark goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel.

FA Cup replays will make a comeback in the new season for ties up to and including the fourth round.

Replays were scrapped in 2020-21 in an effort to ease pressure on clubs in a campaign that was condensed due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

However, after it was announced on Tuesday that EFL Cup semi-finals will revert to being played over two legs, the Football Association has confirmed the return of replays in its highest-prestige cup competition.

The 2021-22 FA Cup campaign will be the 150th in the tournament's history, with 729 clubs participating. Premier League and Championship teams will enter from the third round in early January.

The FA also announced on Thursday that the total prize fund for the competition will remain at around £16million, the same level as it was last season.

Leicester City lifted the trophy for the first time in their history in May after beating Chelsea 1-0 in the final at Wembley through a Youri Tielemans strike.

Former Football Association (FA) chairman David Triesman believes the UK government must act to enforce tougher measures to prevent online racial abuse.

England players Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho were all targeted with racial abuse on social media following the Three Lions' penalty shoot-out defeat to Italy in the Euro 2020 final on Sunday.

The FA and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson released statements condemning the abuse, while Gareth Southgate and England captain Harry Kane reiterated the stance of England's squad, who have taken the knee prior to kick-off in every game of Euro 2020.

A mural of Rashford in Manchester was also defaced, though well-wishers covered the graffiti with messages of support for the 23-year-old, whose efforts off the pitch have resulted in a government policy shift over the last year.

But Triesman, a member of the House of Lords who was the FA's chairman from 2008 to 2010, insists now is the time for stricter action.

"Well, it is a way in which people show their beliefs and their solidarity with their colleagues who come from different ethnic backgrounds and that's not a bad thing," Triesman told Stats Perform when asked for his views on England taking the knee.

"The fact that people do something that's visible together, I don't think is a bad thing. But I think what we must get past is politicians saying that they don't like it or saying that it's outrageous, and saying it [racism] cannot be tolerated, and then doing nothing about it, which is tantamount to tolerating it.

"And that's why I think it has to be translated into action. I really, I think it's true in many things in life, it's certainly true in politics, but it's true in football as well. It's not so much what you say, it's what you do. It's when people see what you do, and they can see what you say and what you're doing are the same thing.

"The change will only come if the football authorities and political authorities come together and say they are going to make changes and spell out what those changes are.

"I think that part of this has to be a legislative change in which the people who run the media platforms so often just describe themselves as the postman, they don't know what's under the envelope. I don't buy that at all. That's a recipe for seeing children abused online. It's a recipe for bullying. 

"We've seen all of these things. It's not like they're a mystery to us anymore and I think the media platforms have got to be held to account, even if it means that a very rich source of the material that goes on to them is simply cut off. There's a point at which people have to face their responsibilities."

Triesman added that the onus is also on the FA to take tougher action, as well as lobbying the government.

"If we catch them in grounds being racist and abusive, that should be the last day they get into a ground to see football," he continued.

"Stamp it out. Football can do a lot of this itself. But if it needs extra powers – if I was still at the FA I would be knocking on the door of government today saying, 'Here are the powers I've got, I'm going to use them. If I think they're deficient, I want more powers, because I'm absolutely determined'."

The Football Association (FA) will conduct a review into the "unprecedented level of public disorder" that marred Sunday's Euro 2020 final.

Italy beat England 3-2 on penalties after a 1-1 draw at Wembley, although the hours building up to the game were dominated by scenes of unruly conduct on Wembley Way and in Leicester Square, both of which were left strewn with litter and debris.

That unrest was then wrought upon the match venue itself as supporters without tickets – successfully in some cases – attempted to enter the stadium.

The FA will work in association with the Metropolitan Police, who made 49 arrests in connection with the final.

"We will carry out a full review and investigation into the events that took place at Wembley Stadium before and during the UEFA Euro 2020 Final," an FA statement read.

"This will be done in collaboration with the Police, the Greater London Authority, the Safety Advisory Group and the tournament delivery stakeholders."

Despite footage of security being apparently overwhelmed by people looking to charge the stadium, the FA said security provision "exceeded requirements for the match".

"However, the behaviour of the people who illegally forced their way into the stadium was unacceptable, dangerous and showed total disregard for the safety and security protocols in place," the statement continued.

"No steward or security staff should be subjected to this type of behaviour and we thank them for their support on the night.

"We also apologise to anyone at the match whose experience was affected by this unprecedented level of public disorder.

"We will continue to work with the relevant authorities to identify and take action against these people where possible."

Despite those events, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson told reporters on Monday that his country – along with Ireland – had a "very good case" for hosting the 2030 World Cup.

England players Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka all suffered racist abuse online after missing their penalties during the shoot-out, with a mural of Manchester United forward Rashford defaced in his native Withington.

Gareth Southgate is set to offered a new contract regardless of the outcome in England's Euro 2020 showdown with Germany on Tuesday.

The Three Lions set up a meeting with old rivals Germany in the round of 16 at Wembley after qualifying as Group D winners.

England advanced from the group stage of a major tournament without conceding a goal for only the third time – having also done so at the 1966 World Cup (three matches) and in the second group stage of the 1982 World Cup (two games).

Southgate, who replaced Sam Allardyce in November 2016, is contracted until after the World Cup in Qatar next year but Football Association chief executive Mark Bullingham wants the 50-year-old to sign a new deal.

"Am I enjoying the football? Yes, I am," Bullingham said. "Gareth has done a brilliant job, finishing top of the group, really solid defence, and he's done really well on and off the pitch, in every aspect.

"Our support is unwavering – 100 per cent unwavering. We are 100 per cent behind Gareth. He knows how we feel about him.

"We feel he is brilliant, both on and off the pitch. We want him to carry on. He's doing a great job.

"Regardless of the group stage of the tournament we would have wanted him to carry on, not just in [this] tournament but if you look at the Nations League as well, he did brilliantly in that.

"I remember the Spain game (the 3-2 Nations League win in October 2018) – absolutely great performances."

 

Bullingham added: "Gareth knows exactly how we feel about him. He knows that we think he's doing a great job and we'd like him to carry on.

"We would love him to carry on, for sure, beyond this contract."

England have left "no doubt" in their reasoning for taking the knee and fans booing the team should "reflect on the message [they] are sending", the Football Association (FA) said on the eve of their Euro 2020 opener.

The Three Lions face Croatia at Wembley on Sunday, but it is anticipated that their pre-match anti-racism demonstration will again be met with opposition.

During pre-tournament friendlies against Austria and Romania in Middlesbrough, England took the knee and were booed by sections of their own supporters.

Opponents to the act have suggested it has links to political organisations, although Gareth Southgate and his team have repeatedly made clear their reasons for taking the knee.

It was a point the FA emphasised again as it prepared for the start of the campaign.

In a social media post, the FA said: "Tomorrow, our England senior men's team will begin their Euro 2020 campaign at our home, Wembley Stadium.

"Major tournaments don't come around often and, when they do, it's an opportunity to unite friends, families and the country. This collective support is what spurs our team on during challenging moments, and it gives them the best chance of succeeding.

"As the team has reiterated many times, they will collectively take the knee ahead of their fixtures during the tournament. They are doing this as a mechanism of peacefully protesting against discrimination, injustice and inequality. This is personally important to the players and the values the team collectively represents.

"This gesture of unity and fighting against inequality can be traced back as far as the 18th century. It is not new, and English football has made it very clear that it does not view this as being aligned to a political organisation or ideology. There can be no doubt as to why the players are taking the knee and what it represents in a footballing context.

"We encourage those that oppose this action to reflect on the message you are sending to the players you are supporting.

"Please respect their wishes and remember that we should all be united in the fight to tackle discrimination. Together.

"They will do their best for you. Please do your best for them."

Chelsea and Leicester City have been fined £22,500 each by the Football Association (FA) following a scuffle between both sets of players in last month's Premier League match.

Ricardo Pereira's tackle on former team-mate Ben Chilwell late in the game sparked a melee that also involved some members of the backroom staff. 

Three Leicester players – Pereira, Nampalys Mendy and substitute Daniel Amartey – were booked by referee Mike Dean for their part in the incident.

Chelsea won the match 2-1 on May 18, three days after losing to the same opponents in the FA Cup final.

The FA last month charged Chelsea and Leicester with failing to control their players and both sides have accepted the punishment.

A statement from the FA on Tuesday said: "Chelsea FC and Leicester City have been fined £22,500 each after admitting a breach of FA Rules E20.1 following their Premier League fixture on Tuesday 18 May 2021.

"Both clubs admitted that they failed to ensure their players and club officials conducted themselves in an orderly fashion and refrained from provocative behaviour during the 93rd minute of the fixture."

The victory in the penultimate round of Premier League fixtures proved pivotal for Chelsea as they finished fourth, one point and a place ahead of Leicester.

Chelsea and Leicester City have been charged by the Football Association (FA) following a scuffle between both sets of players during the closing stages of Tuesday's Premier League match.

Tempers flared in added time at Stamford Bridge after Ricardo Pereira caught former team-mate Ben Chilwell with a bad challenge near the touchline, sparking a melee that also involved some members of the coaching staff.

Three Leicester players – Ricardo, Nampalys Mendy and substitute Daniel Amartey – were booked by referee Mike Dean for their part in the incident, which came three days on from Leicester's 1-0 win against Chelsea in the FA Cup final.

Amartey was at the centre of controversy following that triumph at Wembley after footage emerged of the midfielder – again an unused substitute – throwing a Chelsea pennant to the ground.

Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger admitted his side used that perceived act of disrespect as motivation in the midweek league encounter, the Blues coming out on top 2-1 to keep their top-four hopes in their own hands.

The fallout from that latest meeting now continues, with the FA charging both clubs with failing to control their players.

"Chelsea FC and Leicester City FC have both been charged with a breach of FA Rule E20.1 following their Premier League fixture on Tuesday 18 May 2021," a statement from the FA read on Thursday.

"It is alleged that both clubs failed to ensure their players and/or club officials conducted themselves in an orderly fashion and/or refrained from provocative behaviour during the 93rd minute. 

"Chelsea FC and Leicester City FC both have until Tuesday 25 May 2021 to provide their respective responses."

Chelsea are third in the Premier League heading into their final game of the season away at Aston Villa, one point better off than Liverpool in the final Champions League qualification spot.

Leicester are level on points with Liverpool but require a five-goal swing on the final day if they are to finish above the Reds.

'Delicate negotiations' are taking place about moving the Champions League final to the United Kingdom, government minister Michael Gove has said.

Premier League sides Manchester City and Chelsea are scheduled to face off in the showpiece fixture on May 29, with Istanbul the destination for the match.

However, doubts about the Turkish city's ability to host the game were left in serious doubt after the UK placed the nation on its country's travel "red list".

This week, UEFA said it remained committed to staging the game in Istanbul, despite the country being under coronavirus lockdown until May 17.

Europe's chief governing body also said it intended to operate with reduced fans in attendance at the Ataturk Stadium, but the new UK government rules mean City and Chelsea fans travelling for the game would have to quarantine in government-approved hotels when returning to the UK.

There had been suggestions that the UK was ready to step in to play host, although with Wembley also currently scheduled to hold the Championship play-off final the same day it remains to be seen if the national stadium is a viable alternative.

However, reports suggested the EFL is open to moving all three of its play-off finals to allow Wembley to host the Champions League final

Gove confirmed plans are being discussed over moving the destination of the game, telling Sky News: "There are delicate negotiations that are going on at the moment.

"My friend, my colleague, the culture secretary Oliver Dowden, is talking to people about this at the moment, and so I don't want to cut across that. 

"I'm sure that fans in the UK would dearly love to see the final played here in the UK."

Turkey's red list status, which is effective from May 17 and will not be reviewed for three weeks, would also add significant complications for players returning to the UK before linking up with their national teams for Euro 2020 and the Copa America, unless exemptions can be secured.

Both international tournaments begin on June 11, 13 days after the Champions League final.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is unconcerned over where the Champions League final will take place amid fresh doubts over whether the showpiece will take place in Istanbul.

City beat Paris Saint-Germain 2-0 in midweek to close out a 4-1 aggregate triumph and book their place in a maiden Champions League final.

Chelsea ensured it would be an all-English affair as they overcame Real Madrid by the same scoreline on Wednesday at Stamford Bridge to prevail 3-1 on aggregate.

The make-up of the final already led to speculation over whether the match might be moved, given Turkey is currently under lockdown due to spiking COVID-19 rates as the UK loosens restrictions thanks in part to a successful vaccine roll out.

UEFA insisted it was committed to the game remaining at the Ataturk Stadium but the situation became more complicated on Friday when the UK government added Turkey to its travel "red list".

That means anyone travelling to the country – including fans, players and staff from both clubs – must quarantine for 10 days in government-approved hotels upon their return to the UK.

Unless exemptions can be secured for players, this would be particularly problematic given Euro 2020 and the 2021 Copa America start on June 11, 13 days after the Champions League final.

The change in status is effective from May 17, the same day Turkey's own national lockdown is set to end, and will not be reviewed for three weeks, meaning there is no prospect of a change in the UK government stance before the final.

UEFA is in discussions with the Football Association (FA) over the next steps, with Villa Park touted as a potential alternative venue as Wembley is slated to host the Championship play-off final on May 29.

"I'm pretty sure UEFA will decide the best for everyone," Guardiola said, speaking prior to the UK government decision.

"If we go to Istanbul, it will be a pleasure. I think the situation depends on the pandemic there but if they decide to move on or stay here in this country or another place, we'll take the plane or the bus and we will be there."

Stats Perform News understands City will await further guidance from UEFA over the Champions League final venue and will not lobby for the game to be moved to a stadium on home soil.

City host Chelsea on Saturday in a dress rehearsal for the final, knowing victory at the Etihad Stadium will secure a third Premier League crown in four seasons with three games to spare.

However, Guardiola insists that would not be a cue to rest the players who have established themselves as a settled first XI in European matches.

The Catalan's often-repeated mantra of players needing to be in "rhythm" will not be allowed to slide with a defining night on the horizon.

"I want to be honest, the players will not be rested to think about the Champions League final," Guardiola said.

"Now we have a period of six days [between] Chelsea [and the trip to] Newcastle, so now the schedule is a little bit more fresh.

"Now it's time to try to… it's in our hands and we don't depend on other results to win the Premier League as quickly as possible. It won't be easy because of the opponent we have.

"It's not necessary to tell them to be focused on the last game of the season because nobody in the club has been there before apart from Ilkay [Gundogan], who played in the [2013 Champions League] final. The rest, everyone will be so focused to arrive in this final in the best condition possible."

After their trip to St James' Park, City face Brighton and Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium on May 18 before rounding out their Premier League campaign at home to Everton on May 23.

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