Saudi Arabia's last five World Cup matches

Yasser Al-Kahtani celebrates his goal against Tunisia in 2006. (Getty)
Updated 14 June 2018
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Saudi Arabia's last five World Cup matches

  • Green Falcons kick off the tournament today against Russia
  • They are bidding for only their third ever win at the finals

So the big day has arrived as Saudi Arabia get ready to strut their stuff in front of the the glob when they get the World Cup under way against Russia today. Here is how the Green Falcons fared in their past six matches at the tournament.

World Cup 2006 — drew with Tunisia 2-2:

Got their tournament off to a good start with goals from Yasser Al-Qahtani and Sami Al-Jaber grabbing a point in Munich. Al-Jaber, the Al-Hilal legend, scored two minutes after coming on as a substitute. The draw may have felt like a loss, though, as they thought they had all three points in the bag until Radhi Jaïdi struck in injury time for Tunisia. 

World Cup 2006 — lost to Ukraine 4-0:

The good start against Tunisia was undone with this big defeat to the eastern Europeans. This was a good Ukraine side, though, with Andriy Shevchenko and Sergei Rebrov both getting on the scoresheet.

World Cup 2006 — lost to Spain 1-0:

The Green Falcons exited the competition with another defeat, but held their heads high after having a good go against a Spain side featuring Fernando Torres, Andres Iniesta and Raul. Juanito won the tie for Spain with a 36th-minute goal. 


World Cup 2002 — lost to Germany 8-0:

The side’s heaviest defat at the tournament was delivered by a very good side containing Michael Ballack and Miroslav Klose. Klose claimed a hat-trick and ended the tournament as the Golden Boot winner. Germany ended up finishing in third place.

World Cup 2002 — Lost to Cameroon 1-0:

A Samuel Eto’o strike after 66 minutes was enough to get the Africans the win in a tightly-fought clash. Cameron fielded a strong side with Geremi, Rigobert Song, Lauren and the late Marc Vivien Foe.

World Cup 2002 — Lost to Ireland 3-0:

Already out of the tournament the Green Falcons put up little resistance to a Robbie Keane-inspired Ireland. Keane gave Ireland the perfect start with a goal after seven minutes and then Gary Breen (61) and Damien Duff (87) finished things off. 


PSG chief Al-Khelaifi charged with corruption over Qatar worlds athletics champs

Updated 23 May 2019
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PSG chief Al-Khelaifi charged with corruption over Qatar worlds athletics champs

  • BeIN Sports boss Nasser Al-Khelaifi has been under investigation since March
  • Another BeIN executive is also under investigation in France

PARIS: Paris Saint-Germain chief Nasser Al-Khelaifi was on Thursday charged with corruption in connection with the bidding process for this year’s world athletics championships in Doha, judicial sources said.
Al-Khelaifi, who is also the boss of Qatari television channel BeIN Sports, has been under investigation since March in a probe of the bidding process for the 2017 and the 2019 world championships.
Doha lost out to London to stage the 2017 worlds but beat off opposition to host the 2019 event from Eugene in the United States and Barcelona.
Al-Khelaifi was informed by letter of his “mis en examen,” a French legal term that has no direct equivalent in the American or British legal systems but roughly translates as being charged.
The French term does not automatically trigger a trial but means that prosecutors believe there is strong or corroborated evidence of wrongdoing.
Al-Khelaifi was unable to attend questioning by investigators scheduled for May 16 as he was in Qatar for the domestic cup final.
French prosecutors are looking specifically at two payments of $3.5 million in 2011 by Oryx Qatar Sports Investment, a company jointly owned by Al-Khelaifi and his brother Khalid, to a sports marketing firm run by Papa Massata Diack.
Diack’s father Lamine Diack was president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) from 1999 to 2015 and a member of the International Olympic Committee.
As well as probing the world athletics championships the French investigation is also examining circumstances in which the Olympic Games were awarded to Rio de Janeiro for 2016 and Tokyo for 2020.
Prior to the decision to charge him, Al-Khelaifi had been questioned in March as “person of interest” in the case revolving around the 2011 payments by Oryx which were made at a time when Doha was seeking to host the 2017 world athletics championship and the 2020 Olympics.
Investigators were seeking to determine whether, in return for the payments, Lamine Diack used his influence to gain votes for Doha among IAAF members and also to obtain a date change for the competitions to avoid the heat of the Qatar summer.
The world championships take place at the Khalifa International Stadium between September 27 and October 6.
Al-Khelaifi’s lawyer Francis Szpiner denied all wrongdoing on the part of his client saying the Oryx payments were fully transparent and the facts of the case “do not concern him (Al-Khalaifi).”
The head of BeIN Sports “authorized no payment of any kind in relation to the allegations made,” he told AFP.
“Nasser Al-Khelaifi was neither a shareholder, nor a director of Oryx en 2011. He did not intervene either directly or indirectly in the candidature of Doha...”
Another BeIN executive, Yousef Al-Obaidly, a PSG board member and close associate of Al-Khelaifi, is also under investigation in France which claims jurisiction because the IAAF is based in Monaco.
Al-Obaidly has also denied all wrongdoing, saying the allegations were “utterly baseless and unsubstantiated.”
Lamine Diack, meanwhile, was charged with corruption in March in relation to the case while an arrest warrant has been issued for his Senegal-based son, also wanted for corruption and money laundering, according to a source close to the probe.
French prosecutors this week recommended that Diack and his son stand trial in a separate matter, for allegedly obstructing sanctions against Russia for doping in return for payments when he was IAAF president.