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FOOTBALL

Ramos sets Spain caps record but Norwegians spoil party

Sergio Ramos broke the Spanish international appearances record in Oslo on Saturday as he won his 168th cap in a 1-1 draw against Norway.

Ramos sets Spain caps record but Norwegians spoil party
Photo: AFP

The Spain captain was named in the starting line-up in Oslo for the Euro 2020 qualifier by coach Robert Moreno, 14 years since making his debut in a 3-0 friendly win over China.

Joshua King's 94th-minute penalty snatched Norway a 1-1 draw with Spain in the match, as the three-time champions were made to wait to qualify for Euro 2020.

Victory would have booked Moreno's Spain a spot at next year's finals, to be played at 12 venues across Europe, if Romania had failed to beat the Faroe Islands or Malta had beaten Sweden.

But those results did not transpire, and Spain will need to beat the Swedes in Solna on Tuesday to be sure of qualification with two games to spare.

Norway are still right in contention to finish in the top two and qualify after extending their unbeaten run to six qualifiers, sitting four points behind Sweden ahead of matches against Romania, the Faroes and Malta.

Spain started strongly and almost took the lead inside the first minute as home goalkeeper Rune Jarstein kept out Mikel Oyarzabal's effort.

But Norway, without injured teenage striker Erling Braut Haaland, grew into the contest before King’s dramatic late intervention.

“All that is personal is a little secondary,” said Ramos after the game.

“I would have happily traded this 168th cap for a victory. It was not the case. But this record is a great reward after so many years and it's a great source of huge pride.

“I am emotional every time I put on this shirt. That will not change and I hope to continue doing so for many years.”

Ramos is now only eight caps short of the European record held by Italian stopper Gianluigi Buffon (176) and 16 adrift of Egyptian Ahmed Hassan's world record of 184.

The 33-year-old was part of the Spain sides which lifted the 2010 WorldCup, Euro 2008 and Euro 2012 titles.

He took over the Spain captaincy in 2016 after goalkeeper Casillas' final match.

The centre-back equalled Casillas' previous record of 167 games last month.

READ ALSO: Women's football match draws record crowd in Madrid

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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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