Moscow

AFP

World Cup hosts Russia defend anti-racism chief in theft probe

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Moscow (AFP) – Russian football bosses are rallying behind World Cup anti-racism inspector Alexei Smertin in an embezzlement probe unfolding less than two months before kickoff.

The scandal surrounding Moscow police club Dynamo brings together two major problems facing Russia ahead of the June 14-July 15 final: monkey chants and corruption.

Theft probe hits Russian football ahead of World Cup

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Moscow (AFP) – Russia’s World Cup preparations have been hit by an embezzlement probe involving the tournament’s anti-discrimination chief Alexei Smertin.

Moscow’s RBK business news site reported on Sunday that the interior ministry was looking into a complaint filed by Premier League club Dynamo Moscow against its previous leadership.

Theft probe hits Russian football ahead of World Cup

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Moscow (AFP) – Russia’s World Cup preparations have been hit by an embezzlement probe involving the tournament’s anti-discrimination chief Alexei Smertin.

Moscow’s RBK business news site reported on Sunday that the interior ministry was looking into a complaint filed by Premier League club Dynamo Moscow against its previous leadership.

Russia coach dreams big before home World Cup

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Moscow (AFP) – Russia’s World Cup coach Stanislav Cherchesov believes the hosts just have to relax and be themselves if they want to win before expectant fans and Vladimir Putin.

The pressure will be on Russia to perform when they open the football final against Saudi Arabia in Moscow on June 14.

Russia coach dreams big before home World Cup

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Moscow (AFP) – Russia’s World Cup coach Stanislav Cherchesov believes the hosts just have to relax and be themselves if they want to win before expectant fans and Vladimir Putin.

The pressure will be on Russia to perform when they open the football final against Saudi Arabia in Moscow on June 14.

Russians take sceptical view of World Cup

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Moscow (AFP) – Nearly every Russian football fan believes the World Cup hosts will make it out of their group for the time since the Soviet era.

But almost no one gives them a chance to win the trophy and just under half of respondents said they will not be watching any matches.

A study of Russia’s mood ahead of the June 14 kickoff published on Friday showed faith in the national team muted and interest weak.

Russians take sceptical view of World Cup

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Moscow (AFP) – Nearly every Russian football fan believes the World Cup hosts will make it out of their group for the time since the Soviet era.

But almost no one gives them a chance to win the trophy and just under half of respondents said they will not be watching any matches.

A study of Russia’s mood ahead of the June 14 kickoff published on Friday showed faith in the national team muted and interest weak.

Main Moscow airport misses World Cup runway deadline: report

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Moscow (AFP) – Moscow’s busiest airport will not receive a crucial new runway in time for the World Cup, a report said on Thursday, dealing a blow to President Vladimir Putin’s prestige event.

The Rosaviatsiya state aviation agency has informed the transport minister that the Sheremetyevo airport project would not be ready by the June 14 kickoff, the Vedomosti business daily said.

Main Moscow airport misses World Cup runway deadline: report

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Moscow (AFP) – Moscow’s busiest airport will not receive a crucial new runway in time for the World Cup, a report said on Thursday, dealing a blow to President Vladimir Putin’s prestige event.

The Rosaviatsiya state aviation agency has informed the transport minister that the Sheremetyevo airport project would not be ready by the June 14 kickoff, the Vedomosti business daily said.

Russia says spy poisoning, not incomplete stadiums, hurting World Cup

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Moscow (AFP) – Russia World Cup organisers are more worried about Moscow’s latest diplomatic standoff with the West than stadiums being completed on time, said top official Alexei Sorokin.

Sorokin, chief of the Russia 2018 organising committee, told the Kommersant newspaper the poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal was “not helping” preparations.

Russia says spy poisoning, not incomplete stadiums, hurting World Cup

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Moscow (AFP) – Russia World Cup organisers are more worried about Moscow’s latest diplomatic standoff with the West than stadiums being completed on time, said top official Alexei Sorokin.

Sorokin, chief of the Russia 2018 organising committee, told the Kommersant newspaper the poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal was “not helping” preparations.

Russia creates ‘tourist police’ for World Cup

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Moscow (AFP) – Russia is looking for a few good men and women who can shoot a gun and speak a bit of English.

Knowledge of French and Spanish or perhaps even Chinese would also be a plus for joining a new “tourist police” force, launched Monday by Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev.

Russian leaders Lokomotiv play ‘away’ game at home, but lose

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Moscow (AFP) – The controversial decision to allow Lokomotiv Moscow to play their away match against Amkar Perm at home ended in embarrassment for the Russian Premier League leaders after a 2-1 loss.

Amkar’s pitch in Perm has been declared unplayable and their home games are being played at neutral venues, but Lokomotiv president Ilya Gerkus reportedly offered to give Amkar the gate receipts and pay their expenses in exchange for playing the match at his team’s RZD Arena.

Runaway Lokomotiv anxious to stay on Russian title track

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Moscow (AFP) – Leaders Lokomotiv Moscow are taking nothing for granted before looking to extend a nine-match unbeaten run when they visit lowly Amkar Perm in the Russian League on Saturday.

Despite boasting a five-point margin over city rivals Spartak and with a game in hand, coach Yury Semin remains anxious having welcomed 10 of his players back from international duty in recent days.

Racism scandal rocks run-up to Russia’s World Cup

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Moscow (AFP) – A new racism scandal has rocked Russian football in the run-up to the World Cup - and anxious Moscow authorities are taking it seriously.

The idea of fans targeting black players with monkey chants is haunting Russian football chiefs heading into the June 14 to July 15 celebration of the ‘beautiful game’.

Russian coach Cherchesov licks wounds ahead of World Cup

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Moscow (AFP) – World Cup hosts Russia were licking their wounds after successive beatings by Brazil and France exposed dire shortcomings ahead of the June kickoff to the international football extravaganza.

It was a month to forget for coach Stanislav Cherchesov and fans desperate to see their team make it past the World Cup group stage for the first time since the Soviet era.

Russian coach Cherchesov licks wounds ahead of World Cup

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Moscow (AFP) – World Cup hosts Russia were licking their wounds after successive beatings by Brazil and France exposed dire shortcomings ahead of the June kickoff to the international football extravaganza.

It was a month to forget for coach Stanislav Cherchesov and fans desperate to see their team make it past the World Cup group stage for the first time since the Soviet era.

Russia captain Akinfeev seeks World Cup redemption

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Moscow (AFP) – Igor Akinfeev, Russia’s top goalkeeper of his generation and elder statesman, will be seeking redemption when he plays at home in what may be his last World Cup.

The Moscow native is the venerable captain of a ragtag team decimated by injuries and looking for guidance ahead of the June 14 kickoff.

Brazil, missing Neymar, brush World Cup hosts Russia aside

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Moscow (AFP) – Five-time world champions Brazil showed no signs of missing Neymar as they fine-tuned preparations for this year’s World Cup with a confident 3-0 victory over tournament hosts Russia on Friday.

Inter Milan full-back Miranda scored the opener while Barcelona midfielder pair Philippe Coutinho and Paulinho scored one apiece at Moscow’s renovated Luzhniki stadium where the World Cup final will be played.

Fyodor Smolov – Russia’s last best World Cup hope

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Moscow (AFP) – Russia’s World Cup hopes hinge on the right foot of a journeyman forward who plies his trade with a small club from the provinces and is all but unknown abroad.

Fyodor Smolov intends to change that in Friday’s friendly against the superstars of Brazil in Moscow followed by Tuesday’s match with France in Saint Petersburg.

Fyodor Smolov – Russia’s last best World Cup hope

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Moscow (AFP) – Russia’s World Cup hopes hinge on the right foot of a journeyman forward who plies his trade with a small club from the provinces and is all but unknown abroad.

Fyodor Smolov intends to change that in Friday’s friendly against the superstars of Brazil in Moscow followed by Tuesday’s match with France in Saint Petersburg.

Russia test World Cup mettle against Brazil and France

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Moscow (AFP) – World Cup hosts Russia will test their World Cup mettle in two tough friendlies against Brazil and France that just might lift team spirits after a rash of bad injuries.

Coach Stanislav Cherchesov lined up the trophy favourites to brace his men for the pressure of living up to Vladimir Putin’s expectations on home ground.

Russia test World Cup mettle against Brazil and France

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Moscow (AFP) – World Cup hosts Russia will test their World Cup mettle in two tough friendlies against Brazil and France that just might lift team spirits after a rash of bad injuries.

Coach Stanislav Cherchesov lined up the trophy favourites to brace his men for the pressure of living up to Vladimir Putin’s expectations on home ground.

In the snow without Neymar, Brazil brace for Russia

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Moscow (AFP) – Training between mounds of snow without Neymar, Brazil may be forgiven for feeling out of their element as they prepare to face hosts Russia in their penultimate World Cup warmup.

The most expensive football player on the planet is back home, celebrating his sister’s birthday with his famous right foot recovering from surgery in a protective boot.

Russia issues security guarantee to Arsenal fans

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Moscow (AFP) – Russia has issued a security guarantee to Arsenal fans who will visit Moscow for a Europa League clash in the heat of a diplomatic crisis over an ex-double agent’s poisoning.

Moscow on Saturday announced the expulsion of 23 British diplomats in a tit-for-tar response to London’s “provocative” measures over the nerve agent attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter in England.

Russia issues security guarantee to Arsenal fans

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Moscow (AFP) – Russia has issued a security guarantee to Arsenal fans who will visit Moscow for a Europa League clash in the heat of a diplomatic crisis over an ex-double agent’s poisoning.

Moscow on Saturday announced the expulsion of 23 British diplomats in a tit-for-tar response to London’s “provocative” measures over the nerve agent attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter in England.

Lokomotiv regroup for Akhmat after Europa League flop

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Moscow (AFP) – Russian league leaders Lokomotiv Moscow must switch their focus back to domestic league action on Sunday when they face Akhmat Grozny days after crashing out of the Europa League.

The railway-backed side, who lost 5-1 at home to Atletico Madrid on Thursday to crash out of the Europa League 8-1 on aggregate, top the domestic league, eight points clear of city rivals Spartak and CSKA with eight matches to go.

Russia shrugs off World Cup no-show by British ministers, royals

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Moscow (AFP) – Moscow on Tuesday shrugged off London’s decision not to send British ministers and royals to Russia’s World Cup over a nerve agent attack on a former double agent.

The measure was one of a number announced by British Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday in response to the March 4 poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter in England.

Russia shrugs off World Cup no-show by British ministers, royals

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Moscow (AFP) – Moscow on Tuesday shrugged off London’s decision not to send British ministers and royals to Russia’s World Cup over a nerve agent attack on a former double agent.

The measure was one of a number announced by British Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday in response to the March 4 poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter in England.

Russia coach says no need to fight racism in football

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Moscow (AFP) – Russia coach Stanislav Cherchesov has dismissed fears that racism and hooliganism in domestic football are serious enough to mar the World Cup later this year.

“I do not think that we have racism on a scale that needs to be fought,” Cherchesov told Brazil’s Globo TV.

Russia coach says no need to fight racism in football

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Moscow (AFP) – Russia coach Stanislav Cherchesov has dismissed fears that racism and hooliganism in domestic football are serious enough to mar the World Cup later this year.

“I do not think that we have racism on a scale that needs to be fought,” Cherchesov told Brazil’s Globo TV.

Russian football clubs promise peace in Europe after clashes

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Moscow (AFP) – Moscow clubs are promising supporters will behave perfectly on Thursday when they resume European action after clashes involving Russian supporters in Spain in which a policeman died of a heart attack.

The violence between followers of Spartak Moscow and Athletic Bilbao on February 22 revived fears that hooliganism could mar the first World Cup hosted by Russia.

Russian football clubs promise peace in Europe after clashes

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Moscow (AFP) – Moscow clubs are promising supporters will behave perfectly on Thursday when they resume European action after clashes involving Russian supporters in Spain in which a policeman died of a heart attack.

The violence between followers of Spartak Moscow and Athletic Bilbao on February 22 revived fears that hooliganism could mar the first World Cup hosted by Russia.

‘Racist’ Spartak ‘chocolates’ tweet prompts outcry

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Moscow (AFP) – Russian champions Spartak Moscow, already sanctioned by UEFA this season for racist behaviour, sparked further condemnation on Saturday after a club tweet that likened its black players to “chocolates”.

Spartak tweeted a video of Brazilian players Fernando, Luiz Adriano and Pedro Rocha training in sunny conditions at a team camp in Dubai alongside a caption translated to “see how chocolates melt in the sun”.

Mutko suspends Russian football role to fight Olympic lifetime ban

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Moscow (AFP) – Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko, who has been hit with a lifetime ban from the Olympic Games over doping, on Monday said he is suspending his role as president of the Russian Football Union while he contests the ban in the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

“I have decided to file the claim in the CAS tomorrow,” he said.

World Cup draw ‘could have been worse’ for France – Deschamps

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Moscow (AFP) – France coach Didier Deschamps said his side “have to win their group”, after Friday’s World Cup draw in Moscow pitted the 1998 champions against Australia, Peru and Denmark in Group C.

“I’m going to give a classic answer: It could have been worse,” Deschamps, who captained France to World Cup glory 19 years ago on home soil, told BeIN Sport.

Southgate ‘won’t write off’ World Cup foes

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Moscow (AFP) – England manager Gareth Southgate refused to get carried away with what appeared to be a hugely favourable draw on Friday for his team at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The draw in Moscow saw England given games against Belgium, Panama and Tunisia in Group G.

It meant England, who have not won a major men’s international trophy since lifting the 1966 World Cup on home soil, avoided global giants Argentina, Brazil and Germany after Argentina great Diego Maradona picked them out of Pot 2 at the Kremlin’s State Palace.

Southgate ‘won’t write off’ World Cup foes

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Moscow (AFP) – England manager Gareth Southgate refused to get carried away with what appeared to be a hugely favourable draw on Friday for his team at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The draw in Moscow saw England given games against Belgium, Panama and Tunisia in Group G.

It meant England, who have not won a major men’s international trophy since lifting the 1966 World Cup on home soil, avoided global giants Argentina, Brazil and Germany after Argentina great Diego Maradona picked them out of Pot 2 at the Kremlin’s State Palace.

World Cup

Rather Unflattering Cristiano Ronaldo Ice Sculpture Unveiled In Moscow Park Ahead Of Russia World Cup (Photos)

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To help promote the upcoming World Cup in Russia, an exhibition of ice sculptures has been placed in situ at the Park Pobedy in Moscow which features over 40 carvings, all said to be "symbols" of the various competing countries.

Of course, Portugal's entry is a large glacial rendering of Cristiano Ronaldo.

World Cup Draw: England Face Belgium, Tunisia And Panama In Intriguing Group G Selection

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England will play Belgium, Tunisia and Panama in the group stages of next summer's World Cup in Russia.

The typically star-studded draw was made in Moscow on Friday and threw up an intriguing Group G for England.

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Currently fifth in FIFA's rankings, Belgium will provide a big challenge to the Three Lions, with a squad crammed full of world-class stars, from Eden Hazard to Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku to Dries Mertens.