Banned former Federation Internationale de Football Association president Sepp Blatter to attend World Cup in Russia

Who is bidding for the 2026 World Cup and when will the host nation be decided

Who is bidding for the 2026 World Cup and when will the host nation be decided

Reviled by many soccer fans, Blatter remains a popular figure in Russian Federation after backing the country's efforts to stage the World Cup during a controversial bidding process in 2010, which also ended with Qatar's securing the rights to hold the tournament in 2022.

Federation Internationale de Football Association confirmed Pitana's appointment on Tuesday on their official website.

At the end of its technical meeting ahead of the World Cup finals which gets underway this week in Russia, FIFA announced that changes will be made to the way that the world rankings of global teams are calculated, switching to a method that add or subtracts points from a country's total rather than averaging them over a multi-year period.

With the controversial Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system making its World Cup debut, Italy's Massimiliano Irrati is the designated VAR official in Moscow.

Joachim Low's defending champions are expected to be the first side to retain the World Cup since Brazil in 1962 by 38 percent of players.

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The Portuguese believes Gareth Southgate's men would prevail in that clash - but would see their World Cup dreams dashed in the next round against five-time winners Brazil.

Wearing a bright yellow two-piece suit and carrying a World Cup trophy, Mohamed spent Tuesday visiting close to two dozen businesses in Edmonton to offer up metres and metres of national flag-emblazoned bunting and sharing his love of the sport.

The 82-year-old's attendance at the World Cup could put him in close proximity to his successor, Gianni Infantino, who has sought to draw a line under past scandals.

However, there are referees from Algeria, Senegal, Gambia, Egypt, Zambia and Ethiopia who will be in charge of games in Russian Federation.

The other projected group winners are Uruguay (Group A, 85 percent), Spain (B, 83 percent), France (C, 95 percent), Argentina (D, 87 percent), Germany (F, 94 percent), Belgium (G, 69 percent) and Colombia (H, 72 percent).

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