Russia

AFP

England-based pair give Ivory Coast win in Russia

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Moscow (AFP) – England-based pair Jonathan Kodjia of Aston Villa and Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha fired Ivory Coast to a 2-0 win over Russia in a friendly at Krasnodar on Friday.

It was Russia’s third defeat in six matches since Stanislav Cherchesov took over as manager in August - the other two coming against Costa Rica and Qatar last year.

England-based pair give Ivory Coast win in Russia

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Moscow (AFP) – England-based pair Jonathan Kodjia of Aston Villa and Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha fired Ivory Coast to a 2-0 win over Russia in a friendly at Krasnodar on Friday.

It was Russia’s third defeat in six matches since Stanislav Cherchesov took over as manager in August - the other two coming against Costa Rica and Qatar last year.

England-based pair give Ivory Coast football win in Russia

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Moscow (AFP) – England-based pair Jonathan Kodjia of Aston Villa and Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha fired Ivory Coast to a 2-0 win over Russia in a friendly at Krasnodar on Friday.

It was Russia’s third defeat in six matches since Stanislav Cherchesov took over as manager in August - the other two coming against Costa Rica and Qatar last year.

Iran close in on World Cup as Qatar look doomed

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Doha (AFP) – Iran took a major step towards making the 2018 World Cup finals winning 1-0 in Doha on Thursday, a result which virtually ends Qatar’s hopes of reaching Russia.

A cool Mehdi Taremi finish in the 51st minute after breaking clear of the Qatar defence was the difference between the two sides and leaves Iran four points clear at the top of Group A with just four games to play.

Iran close in on World Cup as Qatar look doomed

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Doha (AFP) – Iran took a major step towards making the 2018 World Cup finals winning 1-0 in Doha on Thursday, a result which virtually ends Qatar’s hopes of reaching Russia.

A cool Mehdi Taremi finish in the 51st minute after breaking clear of the Qatar defence was the difference between the two sides and leaves Iran four points clear at the top of Group A with just four games to play.

CSKA keep in touch at top in Russia

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Moscow (AFP) – Brazilian striker Vitinho netted after just 32 seconds as reigning champions CSKA Moscow eased to a 4-0 win over bottom-placed Tomsk on Saturday to narrow the gap on Russian Premier League leaders Spartak Moscow.

The Red Army side are now level on points with Zenit St Petersburg, who visit Amkar Perm on Sunday, and five points behind Spartak, who take on Anzhi Makhachkala also on Sunday.

Russia’s Mutko ‘barred from FIFA post’

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Zurich (AFP) – FIFA has barred Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko, chief organiser of the World Cup to be held in his country next year, from sitting on the world body’s ruling council, a source close to FIFA told AFP on Friday.

Mutko, who has also been accused of involvement in Russia’s sports doping scandal, is one of five European candidates for seats on the FIFA Council to be decided in April.

Mourinho eyes European progress for Manchester United despite Chelsea date

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Rostov-on-Don (Russia) (AFP) – Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is hopeful the obstacle of a trip to Chelsea in the FA Cup does not hinder his side’s prospects of completing a Europa League last-16 win over Rostov.

United drew 1-1 in Russia in the first leg of their tie on Thursday after Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s first-half opener was cancelled out by an Aleksandr Bukharov strike shortly after the break.

Mourinho eyes European progress for Manchester United despite Chelsea date

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Rostov-on-Don (Russia) (AFP) – Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is hopeful the obstacle of a trip to Chelsea in the FA Cup does not hinder his side’s prospects of completing a Europa League last-16 win over Rostov.

United drew 1-1 in Russia in the first leg of their tie on Thursday after Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s first-half opener was cancelled out by an Aleksandr Bukharov strike shortly after the break.

Mkhitaryan helps Manchester United to draw in Russia

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Rostov-on-Don (Russia) (AFP) – Henrikh Mkhitaryan bagged a precious away goal as Manchester United came away from their trip to Russia with a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie against Rostov on Thursday.

On an awful pitch, the state of which had United manager Jose Mourinho fuming on the eve of the game, Mkhitaryan turned in the opener 10 minutes before half-time.

No Rooney, no goals, Manchester United seek European salvation in Russia

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Rostov-on-Don (Russia) (AFP) – With no Wayne Rooney and a squad looking for confidence, Manchester United head for the uneven Olimp-2 stadium surface to take on Rostov on Thursday and keep alive hopes of becoming one of the few teams to have won all three European cups.

United fans have been told not to wear their team’s red colours in the Russian city to avoid re-igniting hooligan violence and Rostov coach Ivan Daniliants promised a “classy performance” against the illustrious English side.

No Rooney, no goals, Manchester United seek European salvation in Russia

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Rostov-on-Don (Russia) (AFP) – With no Wayne Rooney and a squad looking for confidence, Manchester United head for the uneven Olimp-2 stadium surface to take on Rostov on Thursday and keep alive hopes of becoming one of the few teams to have won all three European cups.

United fans have been told not to wear their team’s red colours in the Russian city to avoid re-igniting hooligan violence and Rostov coach Ivan Daniliants promised a “classy performance” against the illustrious English side.

Manchester United fans told don’t wear club colours in Russia

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London (AFP) – Manchester United warned supporters travelling to Rostov for Thursday’s Europa League tie not to wear club colours or travel alone while in the Russian city, which will host World Cup matches.

The advice comes after England and Russia supporters were involved in violent clashes during last year’s European Championships in France and Russian hooligans have said they will target English fans at the 2018 World Cup.

Rostov fire six-goal warning to Man United

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Rostov-on-Don (Russia) (AFP) – Rostov coach Ivan Daniliants said Friday’s 6-0 rout of Tomsk served as a warning to Manchester United that they won’t roll over when they face Jose Mourinho’s English giants in the Europa League.

Rostov showed no signs of rustiness after the long winter break to trounce the Russian Premier League’s bottom club with a perfect warm-up for next week’s European clash.

Rostov fire six-goal warning to Man United

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Rostov-on-Don (Russia) (AFP) – Rostov coach Ivan Daniliants said Friday’s 6-0 rout of Tomsk served as a warning to Manchester United that they won’t roll over when they face Jose Mourinho’s English giants in the Europa League.

Rostov showed no signs of rustiness after the long winter break to trounce the Russian Premier League’s bottom club with a perfect warm-up for next week’s European clash.

Don’t boycott Russia World Cup, British MPs told

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London (AFP) – British lawmakers should not boycott the 2018 World Cup in protest at Russian leader Vladimir Putin, a parliamentary committee said on Thursday.

Britain’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said last year “all options” were being considered as means of putting pressure on Russia over its role in the ongoing conflict in Syria.

Russia slams BBC World Cup hooligan claims

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Moscow (AFP) – Russian officials on Friday slammed a BBC documentary warning of a “festival of violence” by hooligans at next year’s World Cup in the country as “propaganda” aimed at tarring the event.

“We need to look absolutely soberly at all this - an information campaign aimed to discredit,” Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko told the state-run TASS news agency.

‘Sane people’ want Russia World Cup – bid chief

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London (AFP) The man behind Russia's 2018 World Cup bid has questioned the sanity of people calling for the country to be stripped of the tournament in a British television interview.

Anti-doping organisations have led the calls after the second McLaren report showed Russia ran a state-sponsored doping programme between 2011 and 2015 involving over 1,000 athletes.

Russia’s Putin to meet FIFA chief Infantino

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Moscow (AFP) Russian president Vladimir Putin will meet FIFA chief Gianni Infantino in Moscow on Friday ahead of this weekend's draw for the Confederations Cup, the Kremlin announced on Thursday.

"The head of state will meet the FIFA president in Moscow," read a brief statement from the Kremlin, with Infantino on his way to Kazan for the draw for next year's tournament.

Russia squad fear home World Cup humiliation

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Moscow (AFP) Soul-searching following Russia's miserable performance at the 2016 Euro led to one inescapable conclusion: the squad has a long way to go to avoid humiliation on home turf at the 2018 World Cup.

Russia crashed out of Euro 2016 without a win, its short run at the tournament tarnished by hooliganism among its fans and scandals in its dressing room.

Faltering Bayern stumble to shock Rostov defeat in Champions League

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Rostov-on-Don (Russia) (AFP) Christian Noboa's superb free-kick earned Rostov a shock 3-2 Champions League win over Bayern Munich in Russia on Wednesday, leaving Carlo Ancelotti's side facing a tough last-16 draw.

Douglas Costa rifled Bayern ahead on 35 minutes at the Olimp-2 stadium, but Rostov equalised through Sardar Azmoun on the stroke of half-time before going ahead courtesy of a Dmitri Poloz penalty.

Faltering Bayern stumble to shock Rostov defeat in Champions League

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Rostov-on-Don (Russia) (AFP) Christian Noboa's superb free-kick earned Rostov a shock 3-2 Champions League win over Bayern Munich in Russia on Wednesday, leaving Carlo Ancelotti's side facing a tough last-16 draw.

Douglas Costa rifled Bayern ahead on 35 minutes at the Olimp-2 stadium, but Rostov equalised through Sardar Azmoun on the stroke of half-time before going ahead courtesy of a Dmitri Poloz penalty.

Injured Neuer out of misfiring Bayern’s Rostov trip

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Berlin (AFP) Bayern Munich head to Russia for Wednesday's Champions League clash against Rostov without goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and with a trio of other stars also out injured.

Germany's captain is suffering from a calf problem picked up in Saturday's 1-0 defeat at Borussia Dortmund and missed training on Monday, the German champions said.

Injured Neuer out of misfiring Bayern’s Rostov trip

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Berlin (AFP) Bayern Munich head to Russia for Wednesday's Champions League clash against Rostov without goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and with a trio of other stars also out injured.

Germany's captain is suffering from a calf problem picked up in Saturday's 1-0 defeat at Borussia Dortmund and missed training on Monday, the German champions said.

Qatar beat Russia in penalty-strewn friendly

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Doha (AFP) Qatar beat fellow future World Cup hosts Russia in Doha on Thursday, in a friendly game which featured four penalties.

A smart 72nd minute header from Karim Boudiaf was enough to secure a morale-boosting 2-1 victory for Qatar ahead of next week's crucial World Cup qualifier in China.

Russian exile over for party-boy Kokorin

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Moscow (AFP) Russia recalled striker Alexander Kokorin on Tuesday, ending his exile after a video emerged of him cavorting at a champagne-fuelled party in Monaco shortly after Russia's early exit from Euro 2016.

Manager Stanislav Cherchesovincluded the Zenit St Petersburg forward in a 24-man squad for the 2018 World Cup hosts for November friendlies away at Qatar and against Romania in Grozny.

Germany impossible to contain – O’Neill

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Hanover (Germany) (AFP) Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill says a rampant Germany are almost impossible to stop after the world champions' dominant 2-0 win in a World Cup qualifier.

The Germans made it three wins from three qualifiers for the 2018 finals in Russia with first-half goals by Julian Draxler and Sami Khedira sealing the routine win in Hanover on Tuesday.

Germany impossible to contain – O’Neill

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Hanover (Germany) (AFP) Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill says a rampant Germany are almost impossible to stop after the world champions' dominant 2-0 win in a World Cup qualifier.

The Germans made it three wins from three qualifiers for the 2018 finals in Russia with first-half goals by Julian Draxler and Sami Khedira sealing the routine win in Hanover on Tuesday.

Manchester United

Man Utd man posts International Women’s Day message from Russia

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Let's celebrate all strong women out there #womensday #respect #pog

Europa League: Man Utd To Cover VISA Costs For All 500 Fans Making Long Slog To Russia For Rostov Tie

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As a gesture of goodwill, Manchester United have announced that the club will be covering the cost of acquiring a Russian VISA for every fan travelling to the Europa League last-16 tie against FC Rostov a week next Thursday.

According to the Daily Mail, United will be stumping up around £120 per head for each of the 500 hearty souls making the 3,750-mile round trip that's approximately £60,000 in total.

Adidas

Confederations Cup: Russia’s New 2017 Shirt Is Soviet-Styled And Rather Lovely (Photos)

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Photo: Adidas

Russia have just released their new kit for the 2017 Confederations Cup and it looks as though the hosts may just be the most smartly-turned out team at the ball.

Kit makers Adidas have taken style pointers from the Soviet kits of the 1980s and knocked out an absolute beauty (which, admittedly, doesn't look unlike the little red number Wales wore at Euro 2016).

Russia 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup adidas Home Kit

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Russia will debut their 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup adidas home kit when they host Romania [...]

2018 World Cup

Russia chooses wolf as 2018 World Cup mascot

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Moscow (AFP) Russia has chosen a goggled wolf as mascot for the 2018 World Cup.

The wolf, unveiled to the public early Saturday after a month of online voting, prevailed over a cat and a tiger dressed in a space suit after receiving more than half the votes.

The mascot named "Zabivaka", which in Russian means "one who scores" was presented on a popular late-night show on Pervy Kanal state television.

Krasnodar Test Out Brilliant 360° LED Video Wall At Their New Stadium (Video)

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(Photo: Vitaly TimkivTASS/Getty Images)

Inspired by the Colloseum in Rome, Russian side FC Krasnodar have recently completed the process of building themselves a flashy new stadium.

The ground has already staged its first match (Russia's recent friendly against Costa Rica)thoughstrangely it won't be utilised at the upcoming 2018 World Cup.

Gerard Pique Announces International Retirement

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Barcelona star Gerard Pique has stunned fans in Spain by announcing that he will stop playing for his country after the 2018 World Cup in Russia because he feels he is not wanted in the national team by some.

The Barcelona defender made the announcement after Spain's 2-0 win at Albania on Sunday in European qualifying for the World Cup.

The Rest

USWNT to play pair of friendlies against Russia

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Photo by Brad Rempel/USA Today Sports

Deep in the heart of Texas, the U.S. Women's National Team will play Russia in a pair of friendlies in early April.

The defending World Cup champions will take on the Russia Women's National Team in two international friendlies, one in Frisco, the second in Houston, U.

Russia hooligans issue warning: 'Festival of violence' awaits England fans at World Cup 2018

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England fans have been issued a warning – they are “100% guaranteed” to be the target for Russian hooligans at the 2018 World Cup. They have also said that the tournament will be “a festival of violence” for some locals.

Hooliganism and football is a phrase everyone is familiar with, but it has been largely absent from recent international competitions.

Official-ish: Steven Caulker Encapsulates Madness Of Deadline Day By Joining Lokomotiv Moscow (Photo)

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As if to crystallise the random, chaotic, gip-inducing jumble sale circus that is transfer deadline day, it's being reported that Steven Caulker is on the verge of completing a transfer from QPR to Lokomotiv Moscow.

Yes, you did indeed read that correctly: Steven Caulker, formerly of Southampton, Liverpool and, ever so briefly, England.

USMNT vs. Mexico 2016: Time, live stream, TV schedule, and 3 things to know

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The Road to Russia enters it's final stage, The Hex. Details on Seven Sounders in action for their national team, plus one working the broadcast. This is your Sounder at Heart USMNT Dos a Cero Chapter Six Gamethread and how to watch

(author's note: Throughout the MLS season we shared a weekend MLS gamethread together in this space.

Russian exile over for party-boy Kokorin

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Moscow (AFP) Russia recalled striker Alexander Kokorin on Tuesday, ending his exile after a video emerged of him cavorting at a champagne-fuelled party in Monaco shortly after Russia's early exit from Euro 2016.

Manager Stanislav Cherchesovincluded the Zenit St Petersburg forward in a 24-man squad for the 2018 World Cup hosts for November friendlies away at Qatar and against Romania in Grozny.