• Nobby Stiles, World Cup winner with England in 1966, dies
    The Canadian Press

    Nobby Stiles, World Cup winner with England in 1966, dies

    Nobby Stiles, a tenacious midfielder who won the World Cup with England in 1966 and the European Cup with Manchester United in 1968, has died. He was 78.Stiles' family said Friday that he died following a long illness.“The Stiles family are sad to announce that Nobby Stiles passed away peacefully today surrounded by his family after a long illness," the statement said, according to Britain's Press Association.Stiles will forever be remembered for his jubilant jig on the field at Wembley Stadium — performed while holding the World Cup in one hand and his false teeth in the other — after England beat Germany 4-2 in the 1966 final. It became an iconic image from the greatest day in the history of English soccer.A tough-tackling and determined defensive midfielder, Stiles was crucial for England in its run to the final. His man-marking of Portugal great Eusebio in the semifinals was arguably the best performance in his 28 national team appearances from 1965-70.“He was 5-foot-5, had no teeth, couldn’t see properly and had bad knees. But he was somebody who had the will to win and succeed,” his son, John Stiles, told the Manchester Evening News in 2014.Stiles scored one international goal, a winner against West Germany in a friendly, and also was selected in England’s squad for the 1970 World Cup.“The former Manchester United player was a vital member of England’s World Cup winning team from 1966, when he played in every minute of the campaign on home soil,” the English Football Association said. “Despite his diminutive physique, Stiles’ combative and tough-tackling style of play made him an effective and fearsome player, capable of filling roles in midfield and defence.”Stiles made more than 390 appearances for Manchester United from 1960-71, helping a team that also included George Best and Bobby Charlton to two English league titles and the European Cup in 1968. United beat Benfica 4-1 to become the first English club to win European soccer’s biggest club prize, and Stiles again had the upper hand in his duel with Eusebio.“An integral part of our first-ever European Cup-winning side, Nobby was a titan of the club's history, cherished for his heart and personality on and off the pitch,” United said in a statement Friday. “He will be sorely missed by us all.”Stiles was one of only three Englishmen, along with Charlton and Ian Callaghan, to win both the World Cup and the European Cup.Stiles was born in Collyhurst, north Manchester. He started his career at United before playing for Middlesbrough and Preston.He coached Preston, Canadian team Vancouver Whitecaps and West Bromwich Albion. He then had a stint as United’s youth team coach from 1989-93, helping to bring through future stars David Beckham, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes.“Farewell to the most famous grin in English football,” West Brom wrote on Twitter. “A (at)FIFAWorldCup winning Lion who we are proud to have serve at The Hawthorns as manager for a brief spell in the mid-1980s. Rest in peace, Nobby.”Stiles auctioned his World Cup winner’s medal, England shirt from the final and other cherished memorabilia in 2010 to raise money for his family. United bought the medal.Stiles, who lived near Old Trafford, suffered a mild stroke in 2010 and he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2013.___More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_SportsSteve Douglas, The Associated Press

  • The Canadian Press

    Former FIFA official guilty, PSG head cleared at Swiss trial

    BELLINZONA, Switzerland — A former high-ranking FIFA official was convicted Friday in a corruption case in Switzerland, while the president of Paris Saint-Germain was acquitted. Jérôme Valcke was found guilty of a lesser change of forging documents linked to World Cup broadcasting deals in Italy and Greece. He was acquitted of accepting bribes and criminal mismanagement while he was FIFA secretary general from 2007-15. Valcke was given a 120-day suspended sentence and ordered to pay FIFA 1.75 million euros ($2 million) in restitution. Prosecutors had asked for a three-year sentence. PSG president Nasser al-Khelaïfi, who is also a Qatari soccer and television executive, was cleared of a single charge of inciting Valcke to commit aggravated criminal mismanagement. That charge was linked to Valcke’s use of a vacation home in Italy about six years ago. At the time, FIFA renewed World Cup rights in the Middle East and North Africa for Qatari broadcaster beIN Media Group, which is led by al-Khelaïfi. “Today’s verdict is a total vindication,” al-Khelaïfi said in a statement. “It restores my faith in the rule of law and in due process, after four years of baseless allegations, fictitious charges and constant smears of my reputation.” Al-Khelaïfi, who is a minister in Qatar’s government and a member of the UEFA executive committee, was not linked to the bribery charge against Valcke. A third defendant, Greek marketing agency executive Dinos Deris, was acquitted on charges of active corruption with Valcke and inciting him. Valcke's conviction, albeit on a minor charge, is the first secured by the Swiss prosecutors who began investigating FIFA and international soccer officials six years ago. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press

  • The Canadian Press

    Lisa MacLeod to make announcement about Ontario's World Cup, Commonwealth Games bids

    TORONTO — Ontario's minister of sport is expected to have updates today on bids to host FIFA World Cup games and the Commonwealth Games in the province. Lisa MacLeod will be speaking at the Empire Club of Canada in downtown Toronto this afternoon. She said earlier this month that the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries would be making announcements about those international sporting events by the end of October. Canada is co-hosting the 2026 World Cup along with Mexico and the United States but the venues for the men's soccer tournament have yet to be named. A committee has also been formed to put together a bid for Hamilton to host the Commonwealth Games in 2026. The quadrennial Commonwealth Games features 6,500 elite athletes and coaches from 71 countries competing in summer sport. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 30, 2020. The Canadian Press