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FOOTBALL

Ødegaard joins Norway for Euro 2016 qualifier

Norwegian teenage midfielder Martin Ødegaard has been picked to play for Norway in their Euro 2016 qualifier against Croatia this month, the fourth time the footballing prodigy will represent his country.

Ødegaard joins Norway for Euro 2016 qualifier
Ødegaard debuts in the game ebuts in the game Real Madrid Castiila against Bilbao. Photo: Javier Lizon/EFE/NTB scanpix
The the 16-year-old has yet to be fielded in a match by Real Madrid, more than three months after the Spanish club signed him in January. 
 
But Per-Mathias Hogmo, Noway’s coach said on Tuesday that he had travelled to Madrid to watch Ødegaard play last weekend, and, after holding discussions with the club’s manager Carlo Ancelotti and its coach Zinedine Zidane, was confident Ødegaard was ready. 
 
"I had a good meeting with Ancelotti and Zidane," Hogmo said in a press conference on Tuesday.  "I'm glad to see we see things the same way. They have great faith in Martin and they have set a plan for him to continue developing."
 
Ødegaard, a complete unknown only a year ago, became one of football’s hottest properties last year, with Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Arsenal and Liverpool all reported to be racing to sign him. 
 
The teen became the youngest footballer ever to play in the Norwegian national team when he was chosen for the team in August, when he was just 15 years and 253 days old. 
 
The Norwegian squad will travel to Marbella in Spain on Monday for a week’s intense training before they go against Croatia in Zagreb on March 28th. 
 

FOOTBALL

Nordic countries to launch joint bid to host 2027 World Cup

Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland want to jointly host the FIFA Women's World Cup in 2027.

Nordic countries to launch joint bid to host 2027 World Cup
Sweden players during this year's World Cup in France. Photo: Jean-Paul Pelissier/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

The five Nordic nations want to share hosting duties for the 2027 edition of the World Cup finals and are to present the idea to the Nordic Council at a meeting in Stockholm on Tuesday, Danish football association DBU has confirmed.

FIFA is already positively disposed to joint bids for future finals tournaments, which has lent encouragement to the Nordic project, according to DBU's chairman Jesper Møller.

“We can see that support for women's football is here to stay, most recently at the (2019) World Cup in France, where matches were played in front of full stadiums and television viewers' interest was huge,” Møller said.

“A joint Nordic World Cup would not only ensure a fantastic experience for many football fans but will also strengthen important Nordic partnerships and community, and hopefully inspire many football-keen women and girls,” he continued.

“That's why support from the Nordic Council is important,” he added.

The Nordic Council (Nordisk Råd) is the official body for inter-parliamentary co-operation among the five Nordic countries and three territories of the Faroe Islands, Greenland, and the Åland Islands.

DBU is also looking into the possibility of hosting the 2025 European Championships in Denmark.

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