2018 World Cup

Russia

Russian Farmer Builds Football Stadium Out Of Straw In Protest At Spiralling Cost Of New Zenit St Petersburg Arena (Photos)

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Photo: @AP_Sports/Twitter

A farmer from Russia has built an entire stadium using straw in a gentle mockery of the spiralling costs incurred by his football team, Zenit St Petersburg, and their vastly expensive new stadium.

Indeed, Zenit has reportedly spent in the region of £550million building and opening their new eponymous 64,000-capacity arena in time for the 2018 World Cup.

Human Rights Watch says workers have exploited at Russia’s 2018 World Cup venues

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FIFA World Cups have a history of controversies and seemingly, the next one in 2018 is also not devoid of the same. There have been concerns regarding the St. Petersberg stadium, the most expensive stadium in the world, hooliganism and violence in stadiums and now, with the FIFA Confederation Cup just days away, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has now claimed that it has documented cases of the 2018 World Cup workers being left unpaid, made to work in dangerously cold conditions and suffering reprisals for raising concerns.

Russia remains unfit to host World Cup

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FIFA President Gianni Infantino was in the southern Russian city of Krasnodar on Tuesday, visiting the stadium of the city’s Russian Premier League side and surveying the scene in the country ahead of the upcoming Confederations Cup.

It was a polished occasion. Infantino smiled and posed for photos with the Russian president Vladimir Putin, and proceeded to stamp his approval on Russia’s preparations for its hosting role this and next summer.

Russia remains unfit to host World Cup

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FIFA President Gianni Infantino was in the southern Russian city of Krasnodar on Tuesday, visiting the stadium of the city’s Russian Premier League side and surveying the scene in the country ahead of the upcoming Confederations Cup.

It was a polished occasion. Infantino smiled and posed for photos with the Russian president Vladimir Putin, and proceeded to stamp his approval on Russia’s preparations for its hosting role this and next summer.

This Helpful Russian Robot Named ‘AlanTim’ Is Going To Protect England Fans At The 2018 World Cup (Video)

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Image: Moscow Technological Institute (Youtube)

With Russian hooligans promising to turn the 2018 World Cup into a 'festival of violence', there's a good chance that many England fans have been put off the idea of making the trip for fearing of ending up impaled/hung/drawn/quartered.

However, theMoscow Technological Institute are doing their bit fortrepidacious travellers, having designed a robot guide to help fans navigate safely through the tournament.

FIFA struggles to attract sponsors for Russia’s 2018 World Cup

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The next FIFA World Cup kicks off on June 14 in Russia next year, and there has been much anticipation around it. The Volunteer Programme has been a massive success, and 150,000 applications have been received, setting history.

Worryingly enough, however, two-thirds of the sponsorship slots remain unsold.

United States

Updated SEBA international forecasts through July 3

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Ahead of the Gold Cup, check out the tournament's projections for the USMNT. Also includes updated World Cup Qualifying projections.

Updated SEBA international forecasts through July 3

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Ahead of the Gold Cup, check out the tournament's projections for the USMNT. Also includes updated World Cup Qualifying projections.

Updated SEBA international forecasts through June 13

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Updates to USMNT projections after their draw at Azteca; Updates on total world cup picture

Updated SEBA international forecasts through June 8

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How can stats forecast the Hex for the USMNT? Chris Sherman has the latest.

Updated SEBA international forecasts through May 29

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USMNT projections, World Cup/Qualifying projections, Gold Cup projections, all kinds of projections

Alejandro Bedoya called up for United States National Team

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The Philadelphia Union's captain will be with the US as they look to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

The Philadelphia Union's Alejandro Bedoya has been called up to the United States National Team ahead of their three upcoming matches. The United States will face off against Venezuela in a friendly match at Rio Tinto Stadium on June 3rd, then go into the hexagonal qualification for the World Cup.

Roster announced for USMNT’s upcoming World Cup Qualifiers

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Christian Pulisic headlines the team with games against Trinidad and Tobago and Mexico

Bruce Arena named his roster for the United States' upcoming World Cup Qualifiers, and there were no real surprises in the names that he brought in. With four points from their first four qualifying games, the US is currently in 4th place in the Hexagonal, which would put them in a playoff game against an Asian team for a spot in the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

AFP

Germany’s Ginter quits Dortmund to join Moenchengladbach

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Berlin (AFP) – International defender Matthias Ginter, fresh from helping Germany win the Confederations Cup, has quit Borussia Dortmund to join Borussia Moenchengladbach.

“Matthias Ginter came to us and expressed his desire to leave due to the competition for places in defence.

Germany’s Ginter quits Dortmund to join Moenchengladbach

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Berlin (AFP) – International defender Matthias Ginter, fresh from helping Germany win the Confederations Cup, has quit Borussia Dortmund to join Borussia Moenchengladbach.

“Matthias Ginter came to us and expressed his desire to leave due to the competition for places in defence.

FIFA discloses damaging Qatar World Cup bid report

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Lausanne (AFP) – FIFA on Tuesday released a long-witheld report on the decision to award Qatar the 2022 World Cup after more leaks deepened the controversy surrounding the vote.

World football’s governing body had previously declined to publish in full the report into the awarding of the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 edition to Qatar drawn up by US independent investigator Michael Garcia.

Russia set for World Cup stress test in Confed Cup

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Saint Petersburg (AFP) – Russia faces a stress test of its readiness to host the 2018 World Cup as the Confederations Cup kicks off Saturday amid concerns over hooliganism and security.

World Cup holders Germany and the FIFA confederations champions compete in the eight-team tournament which will put Russia’s ability to handle thousands of visiting and home fans under the spotlight.

Loew to blood Germany’s rising stars at Confederations Cup

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Sochi (Russia) (AFP) – World champions Germany head to the Confederations Cup with coach Joachim Loew looking to nurture his next generation of stars after leaving his top names at home.

With a year to go before the World Cup, Loew has given a host of key players the summer off and picked seven newcomers in his squad for Russia, which has a combined total of just 104 international appearances.

Lionel Messi pledges ‘fight’ as Argentina eye World Cup

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Buenos Aires (AFP) – Lionel Messi vowed to “keep fighting” as Argentina attempt to overcome their World Cup qualifying struggles and seal their place in next year’s tournament in Russia.

The two-time world champions are fifth in South American qualifying, with only the top four teams guaranteed a place in the 2018 World Cup.

Lionel Messi pledges ‘fight’ as Argentina eye World Cup

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Buenos Aires (AFP) – Lionel Messi vowed to “keep fighting” as Argentina attempt to overcome their World Cup qualifying struggles and seal their place in next year’s tournament in Russia.

The two-time world champions are fifth in South American qualifying, with only the top four teams guaranteed a place in the 2018 World Cup.

HRW slams ‘abuse’ of Russia World Cup workers

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Moscow (AFP) – Human Rights Watch in a report released on Wednesday highlighted exploitation of workers on 2018 World Cup construction sites and accused FIFA and host Russia of taking insufficient action to halt abuse.

The New York-based group accused world football governing body FIFA of failing to effectively monitor labour conditions ahead of the Confederations Cup starting June 17 and the World Cup that kicks off in a year’s time.

US, Mexico battle to draw after Bradley wonder strike

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Mexico City (AFP) – Michael Bradley scored a spectacular long-range goal as the United States battled to a 1-1 draw with arch-rivals Mexico in their 2018 World Cup qualifier on Sunday.

Mexico’s former Arsenal striker Carlos Vela cancelled out Bradley’s sixth-minute chip to give the hosts a point which saw them extend their lead at the top of the CONCACAF standings to six points.

US, Mexico battle to draw after Bradley wonder strike

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Mexico City (AFP) – Michael Bradley scored a spectacular long-range goal as the United States battled to a 1-1 draw with arch-rivals Mexico in their 2018 World Cup qualifier on Sunday.

Mexico’s former Arsenal striker Carlos Vela cancelled out Bradley’s sixth-minute chip to give the hosts a point which saw them extend their lead at the top of the CONCACAF standings to six points.

Football: Strachan calls for calm heads against England

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Glasgow (AFP) – Scotland manager Gordon Strachan has warned his players not to lose their cool in Saturday’s 2018 World Cup qualifier at home to old enemies England.

Scotland-England encounters have traditionally been blood-and-thunder affairs, but Strachan says the evolution of the sport means players can no longer afford to go clattering into challenges.

Football: Strachan calls for calm heads against England

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Glasgow (AFP) – Scotland manager Gordon Strachan has warned his players not to lose their cool in Saturday’s 2018 World Cup qualifier at home to old enemies England.

Scotland-England encounters have traditionally been blood-and-thunder affairs, but Strachan says the evolution of the sport means players can no longer afford to go clattering into challenges.

US seek breathing space in World Cup push

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Los Angeles (AFP) – The United States will aim to exploit the mile-high mountain air of Colorado on Thursday when they host Trinidad and Tobago in a key 2018 World Cup qualifier in Denver.

After a sluggish start to the final round of CONCACAF qualifiers, the Americans remain just outside the automatic qualifying places with only four points from four games.

US seek breathing space in World Cup push

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Los Angeles (AFP) – The United States will aim to exploit the mile-high mountain air of Colorado on Thursday when they host Trinidad and Tobago in a key 2018 World Cup qualifier in Denver.

After a sluggish start to the final round of CONCACAF qualifiers, the Americans remain just outside the automatic qualifying places with only four points from four games.

Confidence boosting friendly wins for Dutch, Ireland

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Paris (AFP) – The Netherlands warmed up for a vital 2018 World Cup qualifier next week with an emphatic 5-0 friendly win against Ivory Coast on Sunday.

The Dutch are struggling to make it to Russia next year, placed only fourth in Group A on seven points behind leaders France (13) Sweden (10) and Bulgaria (9).

Confidence boosting friendly wins for Dutch, Ireland

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Paris (AFP) – The Netherlands warmed up for a vital 2018 World Cup qualifier next week with an emphatic 5-0 friendly win against Ivory Coast on Sunday.

The Dutch are struggling to make it to Russia next year, placed only fourth in Group A on seven points behind leaders France (13) Sweden (10) and Bulgaria (9).

FIFA admits North Koreans helped build World Cup venue

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Zurich (AFP) – Football’s world governing body FIFA said Friday it had evidence that North Korean workers had been employed on 2018 World Cup venue construction in Russia.

A FIFA inspection tour to Saint Petersburg in November uncovered information that workers from the Stalinist state were engaged on stadium construction, it said.

FIFA admits North Koreans helped build World Cup venue

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Zurich (AFP) – Football’s world governing body FIFA said Friday it had evidence that North Korean workers had been employed on 2018 World Cup venue construction in Russia.

A FIFA inspection tour to Saint Petersburg in November uncovered information that workers from the Stalinist state were engaged on stadium construction, it said.

Russia scrambles to save face with Confed Cup football looming

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Moscow (AFP) – The new World Cup stadium in Saint Petersburg was meant to boast a state-of-the-art pitch and be a showcase for Vladimir Putin’s Russia when it hosts the 2018 football bonanza.

Instead the $800 million venue, which took a decade to build, has caused more embarrassment than pride as Russian authorities scramble to salvage its pitch less than a month before it hosts the opening match of the Confederations Cup, a World Cup warm-up tournament.

Russia scrambles to save face with Confed Cup football looming

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Moscow (AFP) – The new World Cup stadium in Saint Petersburg was meant to boast a state-of-the-art pitch and be a showcase for Vladimir Putin’s Russia when it hosts the 2018 football bonanza.

Instead the $800 million venue, which took a decade to build, has caused more embarrassment than pride as Russian authorities scramble to salvage its pitch less than a month before it hosts the opening match of the Confederations Cup, a World Cup warm-up tournament.

Germany’s Loew wants 2021 Confed Cup scrapped

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Berlin (AFP) – Germany coach Joachim Loew said he would “not be sad” if the Confederations Cup is scrapped for 2021, warning his stars are playing too many international tournaments.

Loew has effectively selected a Germany B team for the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia from June 17 to July 2, naming just three members of the squad which won the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Germany’s Loew wants 2021 Confed Cup scrapped

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Berlin (AFP) – Germany coach Joachim Loew said he would “not be sad” if the Confederations Cup is scrapped for 2021, warning his stars are playing too many international tournaments.

Loew has effectively selected a Germany B team for the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia from June 17 to July 2, naming just three members of the squad which won the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Infantino confirms video refereeing at 2018 World Cup

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Santiago (AFP) – FIFA president Gianni Infantino confirmed Wednesday that video assistant referees will be used at next year’s World Cup in Russia for the first time.

“We will use video refereeing at the 2018 World Cup because we’ve had nothing but positive results so far,” he said at a congress of the South American Football Confederation in Santiago, Chile.

FIFA image damaging search for World Cup sponsors – Russia

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Moscow (AFP) – FIFA’s tarnished image is badly hindering the search for sponsors for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko said on Wednesday.

His comments came after the Financial Times reported that the corruption-tainted world football body was struggling to find new sponsors for the upcoming World Cup, with Russian companies being “the slowest to come on board”.

john brooks

Player ratings for USA’s performance in 2-0 win against Trinidad and Tobago

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Photo credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The United States continued on the path to the 2018 World Cup Finals, beating Trinidad and Tobago 2-0 in Commerce City behind a pair of goals from eighteen-year-old wunderkind Christian Pulisic. Here are the player ratings.

United States

Tim Howard, 6: Wasn’t convincing on the early cross that Kenwyne Jones headed off the crossbar, but was steady from there to collect another qualifying clean sheet.

Player ratings for USA’s performance in 2-0 win against Trinidad and Tobago

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Photo credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The United States continued on the path to the 2018 World Cup Finals, beating Trinidad and Tobago 2-0 in Commerce City behind a pair of goals from eighteen-year-old wunderkind Christian Pulisic. Here are the player ratings.

United States

Tim Howard, 6: Wasn’t convincing on the early cross that Kenwyne Jones headed off the crossbar, but was steady from there to collect another qualifying clean sheet.

The Rest

Haris Medunjanin called up to the Bosnia and Herzegovina National Team

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Medunjanin will be looking to help Bosnia reach the 2018 World Cup with a win over Greece.

The Philadelphia Union's 31-year-old Bosnian midfielder Haris Medunjanin has been called up to the Bosnia and Herzegovina squad for their upcoming World Cup Qualifier against Greece. He joins the likes of Edin Dzeko (AS Roma), Asmir Begovic (Chelsea), and Miralem Pjanic (Juventus) on the 28-man roster.