Saudi Arabia Wants World Cup Tourney Every 2 Years ... FIFA to Decide

You down for a World Cup tournament every 2 years instead of 4?!

That's how Saudi Arabia wants to get down ... with officials formally proposing FIFA change the WC schedule -- for both the men's and women's tourney -- ASAP.

Don't get too excited ... even if the proposal is well-received Friday at FIFA's giant meeting of its 211 member federations, it could take YEARS to implement.

In fact, Saudi Arabia is first requesting FIFA launch a "feasible study" to see how shifting the World Cup to every 2 years would affect players, countries, and major soccer organizations around the globe.

The most compelling argument, it seems, is the money -- with the AP reporting the men's World Cup brings in around $6 BILLION in broadcasting and commercial deals.

Not too shabby!

Look, it's not the first time the 2-year plan has been pitched -- former FIFA president Sepp Blatter brought it up back 1999 ... and FIFA vice president Alejandro Dominguez brought it up again in 2018.

But, money talks ... and FIFA has been open to making significant changes lately.

Remember, FIFA agreed to expand the 2026 World Cup to 48 teams ... a big change from the usual 32.

Stay tuned ... and get your vuvuzelas ready!

Soccer Announcer Jim Beglin Apologizes for Using 'Racial Stereotype' ... Toward Latino Star

Jim Beglin -- one of the top soccer announcers in the world -- is apologizing after making an "inappropriate and unacceptable" remark when describing a Latino player.

Beglin was calling a Champions League semifinals match between Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City on Tuesday when PSG's Angel Di Maria received a red card for kicking an opposing player.

Di Maria -- who is from Argentina -- was being sent off the pitch, Beglin chalked up the player's outburst on his "Latino temperament."

Yeesh.

There was immediate backlash on social media -- and Beglin apologized during the broadcast moments later.

"When Di Maria was sent off, I described it by using the word Latino," Beglin said on-air ... "For anybody that's taken offense, I do apologize -- sincerely apologize."

After the match, Beglin expanded on his apology ...

"I apologise for my culturally insensitive remarks during the Champions League tie between Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain," Beglin posted on Twitter.

"I wrongly used a racial stereotype. This was inappropriate and unacceptable. Words have a strong impact, and I fully understand the severity of what I said when Angel Di Maria was sent off."

"I will learn from this and be better moving forward."

57-year-old Beglin is a former pro soccer player who represented the Republic of Ireland on the international stage back in the '80s. He also played for Liverpool and Leeds United.

Madonna Like a Soccer Mom ... Hey!!!

Madonna's just like any regular soccer mom ... attending a game to cheer on her son, accompanied by her boyfriend, who's a lot closer in age to the players on the field than he is to Madge.

The Material Girl and her family hit up the pitch Sunday in Hidden Hills, CA to support her 15-year-old son, David Banda ... and her 27-year-old beau, Ahlamalik Williams, appeared to revel in the role of soccer "parent."

It was a pretty rare public outing for Madonna, but she arrived in style with a black-and-white getup complete with a cowboy hat with a whale on it ... and it looks like they all had a whale of a good time.

At one point David came over to the sideline and shared a hug with Ahlamalik, so it's pretty clear they're cool too.

If ya didn't know ... Madonna began dating the professional dancer -- 35 years her junior -- about 2 years ago, and hasn't been shy about expressing her affection for him.

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Just a week ago for his 27th bday, Madonna wrote ... "Happy Birthday My Love...... Thank you for opening my eyes. How can I explain how I feel? Let's get Unconscious........" referring to lyrics in her 1994 hit "Bedtime Story."

Strictly for frame of reference, Madonna's oldest daughter, Lourdes, is 24 ...not that it matters. She was not seen at the family soccer outing.

Virginia Tech Women's Soccer Ex-Star Sues Coach ... You Forced Me Off Team For Refusing To Kneel

An ex-Virginia Tech women's soccer star is suing her former coach ... claiming she was benched, berated and ultimately forced off the team because she refused to kneel.

Kiersten Hening -- a 21-year-old midfielder/defender who played for the Hokies from 2018 to 2020 -- spelled it all out in a federal lawsuit filed last month ... saying her former head coach, Charles "Chugger" Adair, straight-up hated her political views.

In the docs, Hening claims at the height of the Black Lives Matter movement last summer ... she had differing opinions on social justice protests than most on her Hokies team.

Hening said in her suit that she "supports social justice and believes that black lives matter," but claimed she "does not support BLM the organization."

In the docs, Hening said she disagrees with BLM's "tactics and core tenets of its mission statement, including defunding the police."

As a result, Hening says she was subject to ridicule from Adair ... which only grew louder after she refused to participate in a pregame kneeling demonstration on Sept. 12, 2020.

Hening claims many of her teammates knelt before their match with Virginia during a reading of a "unity statement" ... but she remained standing, and insists she was ultimately singled out for it.

Hening says at halftime of the game, Adair unloaded on her, claiming he "verbally attacked her."

Hening claims Adair pointed a finger "directly in her face" and denounced her for "'bitching and moaning,' for being selfish and individualistic, and for 'doing her own thing.'"

Hening says Adair continued to target her in the ensuing days with verbal rants, and ultimately benched her. She says things got so "intolerable that she felt compelled" to eventually leave the team.

Hening is now suing for undisclosed damages claiming her constitutional rights have been violated. She also wants the judge to order Adair to get training on the First Amendment and let her back on the team.

Hening had been one of the best players on Virginia Tech's squad ... she started 19 games as a true freshman in 2018 and 18 more as a sophomore in 2019.

She said in her suit she had "played more minutes than any other player on the team" entering the 2020 season.

Soccer Star Chris Smalling Robbed At Gunpoint By Hooded Men ... At Italian Home

Three men in hoods broke into soccer star Chris Smalling's home in Italy on Thursday night ... held him at gunpoint and robbed him of his watches, jewelry and other valuables.

The horrifying incident all went down sometime before 5 AM in Rome, according to multiple reports, when Smalling was jarringly awoken by the assailants.

Per the reports, the men forced Smalling to go to his safe and hand them Rolex watches, cash and a bunch of his other prized possessions.

The men reportedly took off after that ... and Smalling -- who was at the home with his wife and son -- quickly called authorities.

Cops arrived and launched an investigation ... though no arrests have been made yet.

According to reports, Smalling and his family were unharmed during the incident ... though the 31-year-old was obviously emotionally shaken up by it all.

"Thinking about you @ChrisSmalling and your lovely family," Smalling's former teammate, Marcus Rashford, tweeted after learning of the incident on Friday.

"So sorry to wake up to the news this morning. Can’t imagine how you’re feeling but I hope you’re ok."

Smalling's Roma team had played earlier Thursday night ... but the star defender did not participate in the game due to a knee injury.

Smalling -- who played for Manchester United before joining Roma -- is considered one of the best soccer players in the world ... and has logged 31 appearances for England's national team since 2011.

Manchester United Game Naked Streaker Hid 14 Hours In Stadium ... Cops Nailed His Bare Ass

Talk about dedication!!!

The dude you're looking at hid in a soccer stadium for 14 HOURS before streaking BUCK NEKKID at a Manchester United soccer match in Spain!

He was taken into custody by police. And photos are circulating all over the world -- begging the question, WORTH IT?!

The nude dude is 37-year-old Olmo Garcia -- fittingly known as "The Naked Man of Granada" since he NEVER, EVER wears clothes.

He's basically become a local celebrity in Spain thanks to his penchant for public nudity.

So, when Manchester United came to town to play Grenada at Los Carmenes Stadium, Garcia decided he would use the opportunity to showcase his ... uh ... talents (?) to the world.

Roughly 6 minutes into Thursday evening's match, Garcia went sprinting onto the pitch -- with his arms spread wide and his genitals flopping all over the place.

Shocked players, coaches and refs could barely believe their eyes. Garcia looked to be in his element.

What he lacks in shame, Garcia also lacks in cardio ... because he tuckered out pretty quickly and began rolling on the floor.

That's when security swooped in and escorted him off the field.

Officials were left wondering ... how did Garcia manage to sneak into a stadium that's blocked off to the common man due to COVID-19 protocols??

Pretty simple actually ... he got there REALLY early and waited.

Police say Garcia quietly sneaked through a security perimeter and entered the stadium grounds around 7 AM -- 14 hours before kickoff.

Once inside, Garcia spent the entire day hiding under a large canvas ... waiting for his time to shine!

The rest ... is naked history!

As for the game, Man U. came away with the 2-0 victory ... but perhaps Garcia is the real winner.

Megan Rapinoe Rips Draymond Green For Women's Pay Comments ... 'Showed Your Whole Ass'

Megan Rapinoe is firing back at Draymond Green ... ripping the NBA star for his "unacceptable" comments on women's pay, and saying he showed his "whole ass" with the remarks.

Rapinoe went off on the Warriors player during a conference call with reporters Wednesday ... explaining Green's take on the gender pay gap in sports was just "really disappointing."

"It's really unfortunate, in the position [Green's] in," the soccer superstar said, "having all of the resources that he has and the ability to have a much more educated opinion, that he just hasn't."

In a Twitter thread last month, followed by a subsequent double down on the take just days later, Green essentially pinned women's sports' financial problems on women themselves.

LESS COMPLAINING, MORE ACTION
Golden State Warriors

The 31-year-old said professional female athletes need to stop "complaining" ... and think of more effective ways to bring in more revenue to their leagues -- and thus, boost their pay.

Rapinoe had a major issue with all of that ... saying, "You obviously showed your whole ass in not even understanding what we all talk about all the time -- WNBA players and us on the national team."

She continued, "You don't think we asked for more money? I mean, what are we screaming about? Nonstop!"

Rapinoe says it's actually men in power who need to help women and aid in the funneling of funds to women's sports ... telling reporters, "We know all this, about all social movements and all people who are marginalized, whether it's by race or gender, religion, sexuality, whatever it is, it is not just their job to be the ones fighting oppression."

"We need all of the other people as well."

She continued, "So to have someone who does know what it is like to be oppressed, in many ways, to heap that all back on female players, or people who play female sports, it is just really disappointing."

Soccer Star Erling Haaland Signs Yellow Card For Ref After Match ... Bizarre Moment

Can you imagine an NBA ref chasing down Zion Williamson for an autograph after a game??

That's pretty much what happened after a Champions League match on Tuesday ... when a ref ran after 20-year-old Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland -- and got him to sign his yellow card!!

The whole interaction was caught on video after Dortmund's 1-2 loss to Manchester City ... with assistant ref Octavian Sovre tailing the striker as he headed to the locker room.

In the footage, Sovre catches up with Haaland, whips out his card and a pen and asks for a quick John Hancock ... and the BVB star obliges!!

Of course, Haaland is regarded as one of the most promising young talents in the sport ... and all the top soccer clubs are lining up in hopes to sign the guy.

In fact, the Norwegian striker has 10 Champions League goals and 21 more Bundesliga goals.

While a Haaland auto is understandably in high demand, Sovre's move has been criticized as unprofessional ... and some folks are pissed.

But, Man City manager Pep Guardiola defended the ref ... saying, "Maybe he's a fan. Why not? The referees were brilliant, the game was not a problem."

"And after, maybe [the autograph] was for his son or daughter, I don't know," Guardiola continued.

"I've never seen it before but it's happened. Listen, they did a good job so that's it. Nothing happened."

One thing's for sure ... ya can't knock the ref's hustle!!

Cristiano Ronaldo Armband Thrown In Temper Tantrum Sells For $75k ... Funds For Sick Baby

8:34 AM PT -- 4/2 -- Ronaldo's armband officially has a new owner ... with an anonymous buyer shelling out $75,000 for the accessory!!

The auction didn't go off without a hitch, however -- the AP reports there were several large "fake" bids made to throw off the whole process, without success.

Authorities are currently looking for the people responsible for the fake bids and promise to hand down swift punishment.

The $75k winning bid will now go towards 6-month-old baby Gavrilo's treatment.

Awesome!!

Wanna own a piece of Cristiano Ronaldo history AND potentially save a child's life???

Good news ... the armband thrown by the soccer legend in a fit of rage last weekend is hitting the auction block, and the cash it nets will go to helping a 6-month-old who's battling a serious illness.

You'll recall ... Ronaldo threw a temper tantrum last Saturday after his apparent game-winning goal in Portugal's World Cup qualifying match with Serbia was disallowed.

The 36-year-old lost his mind ... he stormed off the field before the game had officially been called -- and spiked his captain's armband to the ground in disgust before he hit the showers.

Well, turns out a stadium worker at Rajko Mitic stadium in Belgrade picked up the piece, gave it to a charity group in Serbia ... and it now can be all yours for the right price.

Bidding on the piece is about $10,000 at the moment ... but the charity group behind the sale is hoping to raise far more than that.

The group says it's trying to come up with $3 million to help a 6-month-old baby get the treatment it needs to battle spinal muscular atrophy.

Here's the caption from the auction site (translated into English)

"The funds are intended for the treatment of a 6-month-old baby Gavrilo Djurdjevic from Kragujevac, Serbia, who was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy and needs 2,500,000 euros for the treatment that can save his life."

With the sports memorabilia market still ON FIRE combined with the fact the item was involved in a high-profile incident, don't rule out a 7-figure haul for the armband!

There are three days left to lock in bids ... good luck!!!

Originally Published -- 3/30 9:23 AM PT

Cristiano Ronaldo THIS IS BS!!! Storms Off Field After Bad Call

Cristiano Ronaldo was enraged after his team was robbed of a win ... and he showed his displeasure by storming off the field during a World Cup qualifying match.

Portugal was playing Serbia and the game was tied 2-2 when -- during a last-buzzer attempt -- Cristiano made what sure looked like a winning goal ... despite the fact the shot was cleared by Serbia's Stefan Mitrovic. The TV cameras caught it, but the ref did not, so the shot was declared a miss.

The Portugal captain was furious ... slamming his armband into the ground and then marching off the field, but not before protesting the call.

Ronaldo was booked for protesting the referee's call.

After the match, Ronaldo said, “I always give and will give everything for my country, that will never change. But there are difficult times to deal with, especially when we feel that an entire nation is being harmed.”

And then, there were these fighting words ... “We will keep our heads up and face the next challenge now.”

Thierry Henry Follows Chrissy's Lead I'm Logging Off Social Media!!!

Another global superstar is saying goodbye to social media -- this time, it's soccer superstar Thierry Henry, who says he's logging off until the platforms do a better job of combating racism and bullying.

Of course, Chrissy Teigen deactivated her Twitter account on Wednesday ... saying, "This no longer serves me as positively as it serves me negatively, and I think that's the right time to call something."

Now, Henry -- who has 2.3 MILLION followers on Twitter and another 2.7 mil on Instagram -- is throwing up the deuce to all his social media platforms, penning one last message on Friday.

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"Hi Guys. From tomorrow morning I will be removing myself from social media until the people in power are able to regulate their platforms with the same vigour and ferocity that they currently do when you infringe copyright," the Arsenal legend said.

"The sheer volume of racism, bullying and resulting mental torture to individuals is too toxic to ignore. There HAS to be some accountability."

He added ... "It is far too easy to create an account, use it to bully and harass without consequence and still remain anonymous.

"Until this changes, I will be disabling my accounts across all social platforms. I'm hoping this happens soon."

Both Twitter and IG have condemned hateful content and have claimed to take measures towards eliminating it from their platforms ... but clearly, Henry wants more.

Megan Rapinoe Calls For Equal Pay During W.H. Speech ... 'So Much Real Work To Be Done'

THE TIME IS NOW

"I've been devalued, I've been disrespected and dismissed because I am a woman and I've been told that I don't deserve any more than less because I am a woman."

U.S. soccer superstar Megan Rapinoe gave a powerful speech demanding equal pay at the White House on Wednesday ... calling out the blatant discrimination women face every day.

Rapinoe's visit to D.C. comes on "Equal Pay Day" ... which is meant to bring awareness to the pay gap that exists between men and women throughout the country -- not just sports.

Rapinoe and fellow USWNT star Margaret Purce spoke alongside President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden minutes ago ... describing what it's like to reach ultimate success in their field, but still make a fraction of what men make.

"I've helped, along with all my teammates virtually here, one teammate literally here today, win 4 World Cup championships and 4 Olympic gold medals for the United States," Rapinoe said.

"Despite all the wins, I'm still paid less than men who do the same job that I do."

She continued ... "I know there are millions of people who are marginalized by gender in the world and experience the same thing in their jobs ... and I and my teammates are here for them."

"We on the U.S. Women's National Team today are here because of them. We also know what it means to not only have allies but to be allies. We know what it means when people kneel, to kneel with them."

POTUS echoed their statements ... calling the players heroes for speaking out against the pay gap and fighting for equality.

"It doesn't matter if you're an electrician, an accountant or part of the best damn soccer team in the world -- the pay gap is real," Biden said.

"This team is living proof that you can be the very best at what you do and still have to fight for equal pay."

White House Tour

Rapinoe and Purce were also able to have some fun at the nation's capital -- they got an awesome tour of 1600 Penn. -- and even snapped some vids in the Oval Office with the Bidens!!

Belize Soccer Team Held Up By Heavily Armed Insurgents In Haiti .. In Terrifying Video

UNFRIENDLY WELCOME

10:30 AM PT -- The team is rebounding well from Monday's terrifying incident ... players and coaches got in an outdoor workout Tuesday, stretching, jogging and getting some cardio in.

BACK TO WORK
Ian Gaynair/Facebook

You can see the guys look to be in good spirits ... with some even rockin' smiles on their faces!

The Belize men's national soccer team was stopped by gunmen in Haiti just minutes after it had arrived in the country for a World Cup qualifier -- and video from the scene is beyond troubling.

The Belize national team officials said in a statement Monday they were making their way from the airport to their hotel 3 days prior to their big soccer match ... when a band of armed insurgents on motorcycles pulled them over at gunpoint.

You can hear the soccer players in the bus describing the demands the insurgents were making -- "They said, 'Pull over or else!'"

The footage shot from inside the team bus shows dozens of men -- some armed with large firearms -- order the driver to pull to the side of the road, despite the team having a 4-man police escort.

Belize officials said cops were forced to "negotiate" with the men in order to leave unharmed -- and, thankfully, they were allowed to move forward with no one getting hurt in the confrontation.

No word on what the team had to give the men in order to leave.

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"The situation is one that the team should have never faced," team officials said after the incident, "but we are pleased to report that our Jaguars, although shaken by the terrible experience, are safely at their hotel."

The team added it's "currently in contact with respective authorities from FIFA and Concacaf and are doing everything possible to get them to safer grounds."

"It is unfortunate that our Jaguars faced such a traumatic experience."

Belize is slated to play Haiti in Port-Au-Prince on March 25 -- a key game for Belize as it attempts to qualify for the World Cup (set for 2022 in Qatar) for the first time ever.

Originally Published-- 7:25 AM PT

David Beckham Gives Surprise Lecture at Florida College ... Here's the Key to Success!!!

DROPPIN' SOME KNOWLEDGE
Florida International University

If you ditched the Tuesday lecture at Florida International University ... YOU MISSED DAVID BECKHAM!!!

The international soccer superstar dropped in as a special guest lecturer at the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management ... and offered up his recipe for success to the students. And, the video is awesome!

The class -- "The David Grutman Experience" -- is led by hospitality guru David Grutman ... where students learn directly from the hospitality icon himself about "how to succeed in a competitive, constantly changing marketplace."

A big part of the course is teaching students about how to build and sustain a successful brand -- and since David Beckham is doing just that as the co-owner of the new Inter Miami CF pro soccer team, Grutman called him in to share his knowledge.

The 45-year-old talked about the importance of hard work and dedication to one's craft -- but also focused on surrounding yourself with a solid team.

"I try to work harder than everyone else," Beckham told the students ... "But, I also surround myself with great people that also are hard workers."

Beckham also spoke about the importance of giving back to the community and working with young kids.

After the lecture, Beckham said he hoped he inspired some of the students ... especially those who braved the cold 70-degree weather (gotta love Miami!).

Oh, one more thing about the class ... NO BOOKS REQUIRED!

The class outline on the official school website says, "This experiential course will take students from the classroom to Grutman’s clubs and restaurants. No books will be required, but students will need to research topics discussed."

Sign us up!!

Soccer Journalist Carlos Orduz Crushed By Falling Wall On TV Set ... Insane Video

A soccer journalist was smashed by a falling wall on the set of a live TV show Tuesday ... but somehow, the guy miraculously escaped without injury.

The analyst's name is Carlos Orduz ... and just seconds into his appearance on ESPN FC Radio -- he was blindsided by a piece of the set that clearly hadn't been secured properly.

In video of the incident, you can see the wall fell on Orduz with so much pace ... his face lurched straight into his desk.

His colleagues, who were trying to move on with the show professionally, expressed immediate concern -- and the network cut straight to commercial to check in on Orduz.

Fortunately, the sports reporter says nothing major happened to him as a result of the accident ... in a video update, he explained, "I want to tell you that I'm fine."

THANKS FOR THE CONCERN
@orduzrubio/Twitter

"They've already checked me, absolutely nothing happened apart from the scare."

Orduz added after further medical checkups Tuesday night, he suffered no fractures and nothing more than bumps and bruises.

"I must tell you that I am fine," Orduz wrote on Twitter. "Thank God."

Amen!

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