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Argentina face FIFA disciplinary action after players posed with Falklands banner before friendly

14 June 2014 08:49:30 Football | Mail Online

FIFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against the Argentinian Football Association relating to a banner displayed by national-team players prior to last week's friendly against Slovenia.

Vice Football Time14 June 2014 08:49:30


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Argentina face FIFA disciplinary action after players posed with Falklands banner before friendly

14 June 2014 08:18:46 Sport | Mail Online

FIFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against the Argentinian Football Association relating to a banner displayed by national-team players prior to last week's friendly against Slovenia.

Vice Sport Time14 June 2014 08:18:46


Argentina players face FIFA punishment for unfurling Falklands banner ahead of World Cup

10 June 2014 02:00:40 Sport | Mail Online

MATT LAWTON: Argentina's players are now the subject of a FIFA investigation after making a political statement about the Falklands on Saturday night.

Vice Sport Time10 June 2014 02:00:40


Argentina players face FIFA punishment for unfurling Falklands banner ahead of World Cup

10 June 2014 01:32:28 Football | Mail Online

MATT LAWTON: Argentina's players are now the subject of a FIFA investigation after making a political statement about the Falklands on Saturday night.

Vice Football Time10 June 2014 01:32:28


Manchester United legend Ruud van Nistelrooy to come out of retirement (if you've got FIFA 14 on Xbox)

14 February 2014 14:01:36 mirror - Sport

The Holland and Manchester United legend is joining the ranks of FIFA Ultimate Team as one of its legendary players

Vice Sport Time14 February 2014 14:01:36


Sportsmail vs 'The Machine': What happened when we took on the best FIFA 14 player in the world at the Ballon d'Or?

18 January 2014 12:39:22 Sport | Mail Online

To win a World Cup, you need to be at the top of your game. Mentally attuned, focused, determined. Just ask Bruce Grannec, the man who is officially the best FIFA 14 player in the world.

Vice Sport Time18 January 2014 12:39:22


Fifa Ballon d'Or: Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo has a watertight case to win world player award

12 January 2014 23:59:32 Football - Fixtures, results, news, match reports, comment

Despite excellence of Lionel Messi and Franck Ribéry's stellar season, the Real Madrid star has earned the prize        

Vice Football Time12 January 2014 23:59:32


Fifa Ballon d'Or: Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo has a watertight case to win world player award

12 January 2014 23:48:35 Sport

Despite excellence of Lionel Messi and Franck Ribéry's stellar season, the Real Madrid star has earned the prize        

Vice Sport Time12 January 2014 23:48:35


The 10 worst types of FIFA Ultimate Team players you can have the misfortune to meet online

30 December 2013 14:19:00 mirror - Sport

Resident FIFA 14 ace Dan Silver has issues. Lots of them.

Vice Sport Time30 December 2013 14:19:00


The 10 worst types of FIFA Ultimate Team players you can have the misfortune to meet online

30 December 2013 14:03:42 mirror - News

Resident FIFA 14 ace Dan Silver has issues. Lots of them.

Vice All News Time30 December 2013 14:03:42


FIFA president Sepp Blatter dismayed at chants by Real Betis supporters towards their own player

26 November 2013 18:15:37 Football | Mail Online

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has condemned the Real Betis supporters who appeared to aim racist abuse at one of their own players during Sunday’s Primera Division derby with city rivals Sevilla.

Vice Football Time26 November 2013 18:15:37


Xbox One and PS4: FIFA 14 comes 'alive' in next generation console gameplay trailer

27 October 2013 16:15:16 mirror - News

Xbox One and Sony PS4 versions have players who not only move and look like real athletes, but think like them as well

Vice All News Time27 October 2013 16:15:16


Fifa 14 banned by league leaders as footballers use it to research opponents

09 October 2013 12:42:51 mirror - Sport

Players are banned from playing Fifa before matches after playing as themselves against their league opponents

Vice Sport Time09 October 2013 12:42:51


New Fifa 14 cover shows Gareth Bale in Real Madrid shirt

11 September 2013 12:53:36 mirror - Sport

World's most expensive footballer tweets the updated cover of Fifa 14, on which he appears in his Real Madrid shirt

Vice Sport Time11 September 2013 12:53:36


Gareth Bale and Lionel Messi on FIFA 14 front cover

11 September 2013 12:53:04 Sport | Mail Online

As if Gareth Bale's introduction at Real Madrid wasn't hard enough, the Welshman will now have to soothe a few damaged egos after being placed on the front cover of the FIFA 14 computer game.

Vice Sport Time11 September 2013 12:53:04


Fifa 14 demo: Was it any good?

11 September 2013 12:22:26 mirror - Sport

The new Fifa game has been released in demo form, judging from the early signs, it looks like it has promise

Vice Sport Time11 September 2013 12:22:26


Gareth Bale ranked 17th on FIFA 14's list of top 50 players

06 September 2013 15:13:31 Sport | Mail Online

Gareth Bale may be the world's most expensive player but he is only ranked 17th in FIFA 14's list of top footballers. The Welshman has less ability on the popular computer game than the likes of Wayne Rooney, ranked 13th, and Robin Van Persie, ranked sixth - the highest of any Premier League players.

Vice Sport Time06 September 2013 15:13:31


Gareth Bale ranked 17th on FIFA 14's list of top 50 players

06 September 2013 13:41:07 Football | Mail Online

Gareth Bale may be the world's most expensive player but he is only ranked 17th in FIFA 14's list of top footballers. The Welshman has less ability on the popular computer game than the likes of Wayne Rooney, ranked 13th, and Robin Van Persie, ranked sixth - the highest of any Premier League players.

Vice Football Time06 September 2013 13:41:07


Fifa 14 player ratings: Gareth Bale only 17th best player in the game, but Messi is comfortably at the top

05 September 2013 21:05:19 mirror - Sport

Which players made it into Fifa 14's top 50 highest-rated in the world? We have the full list, which has some surprise omissions and inclusions

Vice Sport Time05 September 2013 21:05:19


Gareth Bale FIFA 14: EA Sports features Welshman lining up with Real Madrid in viral video

02 September 2013 19:14:00 Sport | Mail Online

It seems the makers of FIFA 14 have been gearing up for Gareth Bale's huge summer switch to Real Madrid with the rest of us.

Vice Sport Time02 September 2013 19:14:00


Gareth Bale FIFA 14: EA Sports features Welshman lining up with Real Madrid in viral video

02 September 2013 19:13:16 Football | Mail Online

It seems the makers of FIFA 14 have been gearing up for Gareth Bale's huge summer switch to Real Madrid with the rest of us.

Vice Football Time02 September 2013 19:13:16


It just got REAL: Gareth Bale featured lining up for Real Madrid in FIFA 14 viral

02 September 2013 09:28:50 Sport | Mail Online

It seems the makers of FIFA 14 have been gearing up for Gareth Bale's huge summer switch to Real Madrid with the rest of us.

Vice Sport Time02 September 2013 09:28:50


It just got REAL: Gareth Bale featured lining up for Real Madrid in FIFA 14 viral

02 September 2013 03:06:02 Football | Mail Online

It seems the makers of FIFA 14 have been gearing up for Gareth Bale's huge summer switch to Real Madrid with the rest of us.

Vice Football Time02 September 2013 03:06:02


The Fiver | Concerns about the rampant Evertonisation of Manchester United

04 July 2013 17:06:49 Football news, match reports and fixtures | theguardian.com

Click here to have the Fiver sent to your inbox every weekday at 5pm, or if your usual copy has stopped arriving GOODISONFELLAS Having chased off Snowball Meulensteen and packed off Boxer Phelan to the "vets", new Manchester United supremo David Moyes today continued the Old Trafford revolution by elevating Ryan Giggs to the position of player/coach and inviting Phil Neville to audition for the role of first-team coach. Subsequent reports that George Switzer, Colin McKee, Kevin Pilkington, Robbie Savage and Keith Gillespie had also been offered key roles were put down to the Fiver emerging from behind its bush with a carafe of Wickes' finest – it's got his name written on it – and wondering who Moyes was next trying to buddy up with from the LinkedIn group "1992 alumni of The Cliff". "It's a great privilege to be appointed a player/coach," said Carrington's own keep-young-and-beautiful yoga guru, 'Mad Lizzie' Giggs, opting for an official title with a slash rather than a dash in it though not as musical as the Italian version allenatore-giocatore. "I hope I will be able to bring my experience to bear, having been both a player and part of the Manchester United family for so long," he continued, making a stand for the history and traditions of the "Manchester United family" despite the influx of new made men, the Goodisonfellas. "It's no secret that I have been taking my qualifications and I see this as the first step in my future career. I'm really looking forward to working alongside David and the team," he said, oblivious to the fact that he had indeed been working alongside the latter element for the past 22 years. Moyes, too, was delighted to welcome Giggs on board. "His career is an example to any aspiring young player and I'm sure that both he and the players will benefit from his new role," he said, before definitely not adding his relief at erecting a shield against concerns about the rampant Evertonisation of Manchester United, sucking a black and white striped mint and humming the theme to Z Cars. QUOTE OF THE DAY "Fans are encouraged to weigh in with their feedback about the new third kit by connecting on Twitter using the hashtag #RiseUpLFC" – Liverpool's PR team launch their new "iconic, statement-making … strong and dynamic" third kit which "strengthens the club's fashion heritage". Fans weighed in, like this , this and this . FIVER LETTERS "As I read yesterday's Fiver about Wayne Rooney's chat o'crisis, I smiled and then, to my surprise, gave a little snorting chortle. If you were being generous, you'd say I laughed. As I did so, one of the tiny screws holding my specs together gave up the ghost and the frame pinged open, promptly releasing the left lens. This has never happened before. I mean, I've laughed before, but not at the Fiver. But in a bittersweet twist, I now need new specs. I think there should be some sort of warning if you're going to make people laugh. Will I be compensated?" – Paul Leonard [it's unlikely to happen again. Will that do? – Fiver Ed]. "Shocked as I was to hear the £60 price tag of watching Real Madrid play a friendly at Bournemouth, I feel the $15 ticket price to watch Manchester United train for a friendly in Sydney may just top it for bare-faced cheek" – Phil Withall. "If Big Website's visitors could type .com instead of .co.uk, wouldn't that save valuable time that could be better spent STOPPING FOOTBALL? Alternatively, Big Website could auction off those saved seconds as stoppage time, to be used whenever Arsenal need an extra minute to collapse even further" – Seth Kleinschmidt. "Mike Fichtner needn't shudder too long at contemplation of the verb 'to Fiver' (yesterday's letters). He need only revisit the issue dated 15 October 2012 when this exact gag was debated previously. My initial suggestion was related to the oft-maligned punctuality of the Fiver, but I think maybe now should read 'To Fiver: to continually rehash old material in the hope no one will notice'" – James Moseley. • Send your letters to the.boss@guardian.co.uk . Also, if you've nothing better to do you can also tweet the Fiver . Today's winner of our prizeless letter o' the day prize is: James Moseley. JOIN GUARDIAN SOULMATES We keep trying to point out the utter futility of advertising an online dating service "for interesting people" in the Fiver to the naive folk who run Guardian Soulmates, but they still aren't having any of it. So here you go – sign up here to view profiles of the kind of erudite, sociable and friendly romantics who would never dream of going out with you. BITS AND BOBS The former Manchester United goalkeeper and coach Jack Crompton, who made 212 appearances, has died aged 91. French authorities have weighed up Leonardo's appeal against his "unjustified and harsh" nine-month ban for shouldering a match official. He's now banned for 13 months. Roberto Mancini says his Man City sacking was unfair – "I believe I did an extraordinary job … This sacking still does not have a reason" – and says he really misses Mario Balotelli. "I love him, but I have not heard from him since he arrived at Milan." Fifa's world ranking wonks have grown tired of their favourite gag – rating England better than Brazil – and opted to restore some order . Mr Roy's boys have plunged to 15th – their lowest since Shecond-Shoish Shteve's Euro 2008 clanger. What first attracted Fulham to a new sponsors Marathonbet? Is it: a) the club record fee the online bookies offered? Or: b) Marathonbet's status as "a dynamic and inventive brand"? Fulham CEO Alistair Mackintosh: "Marathonbet shares the club's objectives." And 20% of all baby boys born in Bolivian city La Paz are now called Neymar. Registry office spokesman Remigio Condori told La Razon: "By the current trend, in the next 17 years most adult males will be called Neymar. It's the name in fashion." RECOMMENDED VIEWING Open-goal misses are a year-round thing … STILL WANT MORE? Norwegian scout Tor-Kristian Karlsen starts his series analysing the summer's transfers , aiming to spot next season's Michus, and Marins. Classic YouTube digs up a prototype Shearer celebration, plus junior Becks rattling in a screamer for Preston.

Vice All News Time04 July 2013 17:06:49


The Fiver | Concerns about the rampant Evertonisation of Manchester United

04 July 2013 17:04:48 Sport news, comment and results | theguardian.com

Click here to have the Fiver sent to your inbox every weekday at 5pm, or if your usual copy has stopped arriving GOODISONFELLAS Having chased off Snowball Meulensteen and packed off Boxer Phelan to the "vets", new Manchester United supremo David Moyes today continued the Old Trafford revolution by elevating Ryan Giggs to the position of player/coach and inviting Phil Neville to audition for the role of first-team coach. Subsequent reports that George Switzer, Colin McKee, Kevin Pilkington, Robbie Savage and Keith Gillespie had also been offered key roles were put down to the Fiver emerging from behind its bush with a carafe of Wickes' finest – it's got his name written on it – and wondering who Moyes was next trying to buddy up with from the LinkedIn group "1992 alumni of The Cliff". "It's a great privilege to be appointed a player/coach," said Carrington's own keep-young-and-beautiful yoga guru, 'Mad Lizzie' Giggs, opting for an official title with a slash rather than a dash in it though not as musical as the Italian version allenatore-giocatore. "I hope I will be able to bring my experience to bear, having been both a player and part of the Manchester United family for so long," he continued, making a stand for the history and traditions of the "Manchester United family" despite the influx of new made men, the Goodisonfellas. "It's no secret that I have been taking my qualifications and I see this as the first step in my future career. I'm really looking forward to working alongside David and the team," he said, oblivious to the fact that he had indeed been working alongside the latter element for the past 22 years. Moyes, too, was delighted to welcome Giggs on board. "His career is an example to any aspiring young player and I'm sure that both he and the players will benefit from his new role," he said, before definitely not adding his relief at erecting a shield against concerns about the rampant Evertonisation of Manchester United, sucking a black and white striped mint and humming the theme to Z Cars. QUOTE OF THE DAY "Fans are encouraged to weigh in with their feedback about the new third kit by connecting on Twitter using the hashtag #RiseUpLFC" – Liverpool's PR team launch their new "iconic, statement-making … strong and dynamic" third kit which "strengthens the club's fashion heritage". Fans weighed in, like this , this and this . FIVER LETTERS "As I read yesterday's Fiver about Wayne Rooney's chat o'crisis, I smiled and then, to my surprise, gave a little snorting chortle. If you were being generous, you'd say I laughed. As I did so, one of the tiny screws holding my specs together gave up the ghost and the frame pinged open, promptly releasing the left lens. This has never happened before. I mean, I've laughed before, but not at the Fiver. But in a bittersweet twist, I now need new specs. I think there should be some sort of warning if you're going to make people laugh. Will I be compensated?" – Paul Leonard [it's unlikely to happen again. Will that do? – Fiver Ed]. "Shocked as I was to hear the £60 price tag of watching Real Madrid play a friendly at Bournemouth, I feel the $15 ticket price to watch Manchester United train for a friendly in Sydney may just top it for bare-faced cheek" – Phil Withall. "If Big Website's visitors could type .com instead of .co.uk, wouldn't that save valuable time that could be better spent STOPPING FOOTBALL? Alternatively, Big Website could auction off those saved seconds as stoppage time, to be used whenever Arsenal need an extra minute to collapse even further" – Seth Kleinschmidt. "Mike Fichtner needn't shudder too long at contemplation of the verb 'to Fiver' (yesterday's letters). He need only revisit the issue dated 15 October 2012 when this exact gag was debated previously. My initial suggestion was related to the oft-maligned punctuality of the Fiver, but I think maybe now should read 'To Fiver: to continually rehash old material in the hope no one will notice'" – James Moseley. • Send your letters to the.boss@guardian.co.uk . Also, if you've nothing better to do you can also tweet the Fiver . Today's winner of our prizeless letter o' the day prize is: James Moseley. JOIN GUARDIAN SOULMATES We keep trying to point out the utter futility of advertising an online dating service "for interesting people" in the Fiver to the naive folk who run Guardian Soulmates, but they still aren't having any of it. So here you go – sign up here to view profiles of the kind of erudite, sociable and friendly romantics who would never dream of going out with you. BITS AND BOBS The former Manchester United goalkeeper and coach Jack Crompton, who made 212 appearances, has died aged 91. French authorities have weighed up Leonardo's appeal against his "unjustified and harsh" nine-month ban for shouldering a match official. He's now banned for 13 months. Roberto Mancini says his Man City sacking was unfair – "I believe I did an extraordinary job … This sacking still does not have a reason" – and says he really misses Mario Balotelli. "I love him, but I have not heard from him since he arrived at Milan." Fifa's world ranking wonks have grown tired of their favourite gag – rating England better than Brazil – and opted to restore some order . Mr Roy's boys have plunged to 15th – their lowest since Shecond-Shoish Shteve's Euro 2008 clanger. What first attracted Fulham to a new sponsors Marathonbet? Is it: a) the club record fee the online bookies offered? Or: b) Marathonbet's status as "a dynamic and inventive brand"? Fulham CEO Alistair Mackintosh: "Marathonbet shares the club's objectives." And 20% of all baby boys born in Bolivian city La Paz are now called Neymar. Registry office spokesman Remigio Condori told La Razon: "By the current trend, in the next 17 years most adult males will be called Neymar. It's the name in fashion." RECOMMENDED VIEWING Open-goal misses are a year-round thing … STILL WANT MORE? Norwegian scout Tor-Kristian Karlsen starts his series analysing the summer's transfers , aiming to spot next season's Michus, and Marins. Classic YouTube digs up a prototype Shearer celebration, plus junior Becks rattling in a screamer for Preston.

Vice All News Time04 July 2013 17:04:48


Referees to get more power from Fifa

02 May 2013 00:17:21 Football news, match reports and fixtures | theguardian.com

• Referees could lead players from pitch and points be deducted • New anti-racism and discrimination task force to act quickly Referees could be given the power to lead players from the pitch and points could be deducted from offending teams under new Fifa anti-racism proposals. England's top referee, Howard Webb, and the departing Football Association chairman David Bernstein are among those on the 12-strong anti-racism and discrimination task force that will sit for the first time in Zurich on Monday. It is understood that there is a growing consensus among the group around the need for strong new sanctions that will act as a better deterrent against serious racial abuse. Kevin-Prince Boateng, the Milan midfielder who led his team from the pitch during a friendly in January in response to racist abuse and met with Fifa president Sepp Blatter in March, is also on the task force. After years of inaction, the recent conflation of high-profile incidents has led to a concerted push at Fifa's Zurich headquarters to introduce meaningful new sanctions that will heavily punish racism in the stands or on the pitch. Blatter has gone from facing calls for his resignation in November 2011 when he said racist abuse could be solved "with a handshake" to making increasingly strident statements on the matter. He admitted in March that fines "achieve little" and said points deductions may be the way forward. The body, chaired by the Fifa vice-president and Concacaf president Jeffrey Webb, has been asked to come up with concrete proposals immediately. The Caymanian said that he does not believe financial penalties are a sufficient deterrent and advocated harsher sanctions. The main area of debate among the 12-strong Fifa task force is likely to be whether referees should be encouraged to lead teams from the pitch in the face of serious racist abuse or whether points deductions should be applied retrospectively instead. If the former option is taken, the team whose fans forced the postponement would forfeit the match. The task force will be expected to work quickly to draw up the menu of sanctions that will be put to the Fifa Congress in Mauritius at the end of this month. The week before, Uefa is expected to debate its own new anti-racism measures at its congress in London. Last month, the Uefa general secretary Gianni Infantino proposed a minimum 10-game ban for any player found guilty of racist abuse and the closure of stadiums if crowds were found guilty. Uefa has faced a growing chorus of disapproval for punishing racist abuse with a fine and is also keen to be seen to be taking strong action on the issue. After the Milan incident, which led to the Italian fourth tier side Pro Patria being forced to play a match behind closed doors, Blatter said leaving the field "cannot be the solution" but later praised the player's "strong and courageous stand". Bernstein, who will step down as FA chairman in July, will be joined by Theo van Seggelen, the head of the global players' union Fifpro, and Jozy Altidore, the AZ Alkmaar striker and US international who was racially abused during a game against Den Bosch. The Italian journalist Gianni Merlo, chairman of Fifa's disciplinary committee Marcel Mathier, and Claudio Sulser, former chairman of Fifa's ethics committee, are also involved. Football journalist Osasu Obayiuwana, UN high commissioner for human rights Navi Pillay and Piara Powar, head of the European anti-racism body Fare, complete the task force. Webb, who refereed Tuesday's Champions League semi-final tie between Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid, will be expected to give his expert opinion on whether the plan to put more power in the hands of referees is workable. A spate of racist incidents have bedevilled the game at both club and international level in recent months. The fallout from twin cases involving Luis Suárez, who was given an eight-match ban for racially abusing Patrice Evra, and John Terry, who was banned for four matches for insulting QPR's Anton Ferdinand, continues. The Football Association is reviewing its own minimum sanctions for racism on the field of play in the wake of criticism that the sentence received by Terry, in particular, was too lenient. There have been repeated cases of racism in Europe and Serbia was sanctioned by Uefa after the crowd at an Under-21 tie against England were found to have racially abused players from the away side. In San Marino, there were allegations that England fans had sung racist songs about Rio and Anton Ferdinand. With governing bodies at national, continental and global level scrambling to be seen to belatedly beef up their punishments for racism, there is bound to be concern about how consistency can be maintained across the various rule books but Fifa is likely to argue that its rules should be adopted by all confederations. Fifa David Bernstein Howard Webb Race issues Referees Owen Gibson guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds        

Vice All News Time02 May 2013 00:17:21


Salford could face sanctions after fielding 14 players against Castleford

01 May 2013 22:41:19 Sport | Mail Online

Salford are facing possible sanctions after Castleford pointed out they had 14 players on the field for a crucial spell towards the end of Saturday's 34-30 defeat at the Salford City Stadium.

Vice Sport Time01 May 2013 22:41:19


Fifa 14 preview: skill games, career mode and more

18 April 2013 23:53:34 Football news, match reports and fixtures | theguardian.com

In our second look at the latest Fifa, here's a glance at some of the other new features we can expect to see in the update Free kick. Penalty. In the real game these words are likely to be greeted with expectant joy from supporters and players on the right side of the decision. In the Fifa series, though, they often invoke indifference or even dread. That's because, for many, scoring from a set-piece in Fifa is a sort of halcyon moment, as rare, magical and incomprehensible as falling in love at first sight, or viewing a meteor shower. My free kick attempts will tend to go anywhere – row Z, out for a throw in, into another game – rather than the goal. Most of the time, I just opt for a short pass. And penalties? The controls seemed so sensitive I always ended up tapping most of mine limply down the middle, like Gareth Southgate at Euro 96 – over and over again. Last year, however, the Fifa development team at EA Sports finally realised something had to be done, so they introduced Skill Games, a selection of mini-challenges designed to teach you how to use various in-game moves and systems. The shooting and crossing ones were useful, but the set-piece tutorials were a bloody revelation, finally letting average gamers into an arcane world of penalty-taking confidence. Now, at least 68% of my kicks go into one of the corners of the net, rather than into the fuzzy face of a simply animated spectator. And it's great because it doesn't feel like a tutorial mode: in each challenge you can continually improve on your performance so it's like a series of mini-games rather than going to football school and being told you're an idiot. It's little wonder then that this new feature has been a success. According to EA, 2.29bn skill games have been played since the launch of Fifa 13 last autumn. And so for Fifa 14, the mode is to be extended – familiar challenges are going to be tweaked, and new tasks are being added. During a recent demo session, producer Nick Channon showed off a selection of the newcomers. One is a distance shooting exercise with a line of balls just outside the 18-yard area – the player has to run along and belt all of these into the goal. More interesting though are the team mate exercises. In one, your player has to run the length of the pitch making one-two passes with other players en route, before finally shooting. Better still, there's a little group task, where seven players in a small box must one-touch pass the ball between them for as long as possible as defenders run about trying to intercept. This one will be familiar to anyone who's actually played for a team, and brings more of a sense of actual football practise to the mode. Elsewhere, the studio is making some key changes to the Career Mode, which lets you compete as a manager or player over a number of seasons. The user interface is being completely overhauled to make it easier to navigate and more logical – the squad screen, for example, has a nice graphic of your first eleven, with each icon showing a range of stats so you get a visual representation rather than having to drill down into multiple screens. From the brief glimpse I got, there's a slight look of Windows 8 about it all – it has that clean, box-based feel. Apparently, email notifications can also be tailored so you're not constantly interrupted by irrelevant spam as you advance though the season - now, only really important messages will be mandatory reads. Fifa 14 is also adding a new global scouting network, which will allow managers to set up searches for fresh talent based on player traits and tendencies rather than stats. For Channon, this is about creating a much more authentic system. "A manager doesn't go in saying I want a 75 rated player," he says. "Instead, with the new scouting system you say, I want a pacy winger, I want a good holding midfielder, I want a big striker I can play the ball up to. You can then go and scout those players. Clearly if you're after a Messi or an Ibrahimovic, you're not going to have to scout them, but what about a longer term player who's cheaper but has the potential to grow? Instead of searching all the ratings, you can think about the types of players you want and scout based on that." So in Fifa 14, you get a series of putdown menus providing specific wish lists to your scout. You can define that you'd like, say, a tall centre back from South America with good dribbling skills; your scout then packs his sun tan lotion and he's off. Apparently, the longer you leave him out there, the more accurate his report becomes, so there's a long term challenge here, stretching out the transfer system so that it takes in the whole season. "We have a dedicated database team working on all this, which is now quite big thanks to the Match Day feature, says Channon. "They have processes in place for managing player stats and traits. But the game still has to be fun. We have to maintain the entertainment factor." Talking about all the changes, Channon says that part of the challenge is learning from feedback, but not reacting immediately. "We look at what the team thinks, what we've learned, things we couldn't get to - then as soon as the demo hits, we get customer feedback. And then when the game is released we get a massive amount more. But we can't just react to the first couple of days. Look at tactical defending: when we first released the demo, the reaction was 'oh my goodness, this is really different', but actually that quickly went away because everyone got used to it. We know that when we make big changes like first touch control, people initially react negatively, but often they'll say, this makes sense, I can't go back." So. just a few extra snippets from Fifa 14 there, and EA will no doubt be revealing more about multiplayer aspects as we head into summer. And while the release date is likely to be the end of September, the big question is over what formats the game will appear on. At the start of our press demo last week, EA made it clear that they wold only be discussing the PS3, Xbox and PC versions of the game – which of course, pretty much confirmed that next-gen versions will be announced. It's likely we'll get Fifa 14 for current platforms in September, then updated special editions for the new PlayStation and Xbox platforms later. One thing's for sure, we can expect ever closer integration with the real sport and an increasingly pervasive feel to the series. Last year's Match Day feature ripped information and stories from the actual season and put them into the commentary and player form stats. Meanwhile, the EA Sports Football Club smartphone app also allowed Ultimate Team fans to play around with their squads while on the move. EA Sports is keen on expanding these elements – it wants us to be constantly in touch with the game; on phones, tablets and consoles, wherever we are, checking team info, tweaking formations, comparing real-world news to in-game seasons. Of course, some people hate all of this, but it's increasingly where big gaming franchises are going – and it will get much more interesting with the next-gen machines. EA just doesn't want to talk about it. Yet. • You can read our main preview of Fifa 14 here .

Vice All News Time18 April 2013 23:53:34


Fifa 14 – preview

17 April 2013 14:14:56 Football news, match reports and fixtures | theguardian.com

Overhauled ball physics, smarter defending and new sprinting controls are key additions to the latest footie sim from EA In modern football, it is the playmakers we idolise; the magicians who can orchestrate attacks as well as score. Andrés Iniesta, Xavi Hernández, Andrea Pirlo, Lionel Messi … mostly, they are deep-lying forwards or creative midfielders; they don't get in on the end of long, lofted passes, they sculpt goals. This is where Fifa 14 wants to go. Every year, when the latest Fifa is shipped, the team gets together, sifts through feedback, from within the studio and from customers, and works out where to go next. This time there was a rather weighty conclusion: Fifa is too fast. There is something about the system, the physics, the controls, whatever that leads toward end-to-end gameplay. All the action is happening around the 18-yard area. Everything is compressed. "That's not as realistic as we'd like," says series producer Nick Channon as he introduces a roomful of journalists to the latest instalment. "When you look at the modern game, it's much more about building up through the midfield. The best teams move the ball around, switch sides, attack on the wings, they attack from everywhere – that's something we want to bring into Fifa. The exhilaration of scoring great goals isn't just about the shot, it's about how you get there." So for Fifa 14, the big emphasis is on build-up play, on anticipation and on off-the-ball movement; it's about driving through the midfield, rather than lofting balls over it. For a start, the team has completely re-worked how dribbling at speed works. It turns out that in most football simulations, when the gamer hits the sprint button, the onscreen player is limited to a turning circle of just 22.5 degrees – which means you get these long, wide turning arcs. Fifa 14 has done away with that; you'll now be able to turn at any angle while sprinting, leading defenders up the pitch before darting back, or winding through opponents. To ensure this isn't over-powered, however, the movement physics is getting a new addition: momentum. Now, if your player quickly changes direction, or turns completely, you'll get a brief pause as they transfer weight from one foot to the other. Channon runs through early footage of a sharp about turn on screen, and the effect looks immediately more authentic. Beyond that, we didn't get any hands-on time so I've no idea how losing this historic 22.5-degree turning circle is going to affect things, but it should make for much less predictability in the midfield. Which is the whole point, of course. On that note, Fifa 14 is also set to build on last year's first-touch control system, which varies how effectively a player receives the ball depending on his skill, position and the speed and angle of delivery. This time, EA Sports is introducing variable dribble touches, so sprinting players will push the ball forward at differing distances, again based on their skills; a stylish midfielder will keep the ball close to them, but a hulking defender may well push it out further, giving opposing players the chance to steal possession. Whatever, the days of having the ball stick to the runner's feet are over. "It will transform how you think about spiriting," says Channon. What we're getting so far is a shift in balance toward defenders, and that continues into the demo. The next big change is in marking, which Channon feels tended to be loose enough in Fifa 13 for players to turn defenders reasonably easily. Now it's being tightened up, thanks to a change to the AI. Apparently, in previous iterations of the game, computer-controlled players would make their defensive decisions in a single frame of animation, often breaking away from attackers if another forward player was spotted in a threatening position. Now they assess situations over multiple frames which means they're less likely to act on split-second decisions, instead staying focused to track the player on the ball. As a consequence, one cheap route to goal has been closed up. Channon talks about how, in the past, if a ball was cleared from the box, it would almost always fall to an attacking player, allowing the ball to be recycled. Now, however, those players are likely to have tight defensive markers. "It's not about making the game more difficult," insists Channon. "It's about making it more fun." By taking away some of game's repetitive tics, the idea is that the action will feel more authentic, and more representative of the real sport. And to balance things up, there are additions to the attacking intelligence of AI players. They can now make three different types of forward move: spinning out and running in behind defenders; running along the back line to stay onside, and backing in to defenders to create space. Each one is a visual cue to gamers, and as with the variable ball control while sprinting, it adds more personality to individual players – powerful centre forwards will have much more success backing into and tussling with defenders than lighter strikers. "The new runs make a huge difference," says Channon later. "The big one is the backing in to defenders, being able to play the ball in to the feet of a striker is important, you see it a lot in the real game. And being able to turn the defender gives you other opportunities. It's all about balance – with the tightening up of marking, it means the game will be less backwards and forwards. We're not changing the actual game speed at all, but it will slow down naturally, you'll be able to look at different options and vary your game. It won't be about getting cheap goals." Adding to the sense of physicality is a new "protect the ball" move, accessible by pressing the left trigger. Hitting this slows the player down, but allows them to shield the ball while dribbling, sticking out an arm or angling their body to see off opposing players. Gameplay producer Aaron McHardy likens the new control system to a racing sim, with sprint on the right trigger acting as accelerate, and "protect the ball" on the left as brake. The idea is that players can now battle through midfield, dictating and varying pace, while probing for decent passes. Players can also use left trigger to jostle for a loose ball, or to counteract a defender using the B button to pull at his opponent. The most intriguing update, though, is to scoring. In the past, player animations didn't tell the full story about a shooting chance. If you hit the shoot button during an animation sequence, the player would be snapped into the correct position – a slightly awkward process. Now, strikers will adjust their stride and angle realistically and this will signal how truly prepared they are. Channon talks about how EA would get feedback from gamers mystified why a certain shot flew well wide or dribbled pathetically into the keeper's arms – now, a new set of animations will provide visual tells: you'll know if the ball is too close to the attacker's feet, if they're going to have to attempt a rushed shot; and by watching closely, there will be a chance to pull out of a strike and instead pass the ball or feint and set up for a better chance. Defenders will get their own version of this. When going in for a tackle in Fifa 13, the defender is essentially committed for the duration of the fixed animation cycle – time it slightly wrong and your man is left floundering. In Fifa 14, however, the more phased appro

Vice All News Time17 April 2013 14:14:56