Russia

AFP

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.

Costa Rica’s late show sinks Russia

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Moscow (AFP) Joel Campbell's injury-time spotkick lifted Costa Rica to a 4-3 win over Russia on Sunday to end the 2018 World Cup hosts' unbeaten run under new coach Stanislav Cherchesov.

Goals by midfielders Randall Azofeifa, Bryan Ruiz and Sporting Lisbon's Campbell and an own goal by Russia's skipper Vasily Berezutsky set Costa Rica on their way to success in the friendly at the newly-built Krasnodar Arena.

Costa Rica’s late show sinks Russia

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Moscow (AFP) Joel Campbell's injury-time spotkick lifted Costa Rica to a 4-3 win over Russia on Sunday to end the 2018 World Cup hosts' unbeaten run under new coach Stanislav Cherchesov.

Goals by midfielders Randall Azofeifa, Bryan Ruiz and Sporting Lisbon's Campbell and an own goal by Russia's skipper Vasily Berezutsky set Costa Rica on their way to success in the friendly at the newly-built Krasnodar Arena.

Four-goal Ronaldo targets perfect run-in to Russia

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Aveiro (Portugal) (AFP) Cristiano Ronaldo marked his international return with four goals in a 6-0 mauling of hapless Andorra on Friday and then demanded eight more wins to guarantee Portugal a place in the 2018 World Cup.

The Real Madrid superstar took his Portugal career tally to 65 goals in 134 games but his team, the European champions, are only third in Group B, a point behind minnows Faroe Islands and three back from leaders Switzerland.

Four-goal Ronaldo targets perfect run-in to Russia

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Aveiro (Portugal) (AFP) Cristiano Ronaldo marked his international return with four goals in a 6-0 mauling of hapless Andorra on Friday and then demanded eight more wins to guarantee Portugal a place in the 2018 World Cup.

The Real Madrid superstar took his Portugal career tally to 65 goals in 134 games but his team, the European champions, are only third in Group B, a point behind minnows Faroe Islands and three back from leaders Switzerland.

Loew eyes Germany’s rising stars on road to Russia

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Berlin (AFP) With Manuel Neuer confirmed as his new captain, Joachim Loew plans to blood Germany's next generation as part of his team's preparations to defend their World Cup title in Russia.

Germany's journey to the 2018 finals starts on Sunday at Oslo's Ullevaal Stadium in their opening qualifier against Norway.

France expels Russian football activist for second time

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Paris (AFP) France moved Tuesday to expel for a second time a Russian football activist accused of stirring street violence at Euro 2016, as police again fired water cannon and tear gas at fans.

Alexander Shprygin, who has been linked to far-right groups in Russia, will likely be flown to Moscow after he was moved to Paris from Toulouse where he was detained on Monday, according to police.

France expels Russian football activist for second time

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Paris (AFP) France moved Tuesday to expel for a second time a Russian football activist accused of stirring street violence at Euro 2016, as police again fired water cannon and tear gas at fans.

Alexander Shprygin, who has been linked to far-right groups in Russia, will likely be flown to Moscow after he was moved to Paris from Toulouse where he was detained on Monday, according to police.

International football

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).

Russian FA Pull Plug On Half-Time Commemoration Of Vasily Beresutki’s 100th Cap After Untimely Own-Goal

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Sunday was a special onefor Vasily Berezutski as the veteran Russian defender brought up a century of appearancesfor his country in a friendly against Costa Rica.

Unfortunately, Berezutski wasn't able to mark the occasion with a victoryas Costa Rica went on to win4-3 in Krasnodar.In fact, the 34-year-old centre-back's big day transpired to be something of a farce.

Russian Premier League

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 [...]

Nazi Death Match: Remembering Kiev’s Fallen Heroes

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74 Years ago, a team mainly consisting of players from Dynamo and a few from Lokomotiv Kyiv, played a game of football against the German Luftwaffe in Nazi occupied Ukraine. The match has since then cemented its place in the annals of history, albeit, amid much debate and dissension.

It is difficult to provide a definitive version of what exactly happened in the ‘Death Match’, given the nature of the circumstances and the contradicting stories inculcated as propaganda by both the Soviets and the Nazis.

Zenit St. Petersburg

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.

Andrey Arshavin Gleefully Relieves Kazakh Journalist Of His Hair After Winning Goal-Scoring Wager (Photo & Video)

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Despite falling off the radar somewhat of late, we're pleased to inform you that Andrey Arshavin is still plugging away over in the Kazakhstan Premier League with FC Kairat Almaty.

In fact, the 35-year-old Russian forward has enjoyed a fairly decent debut season with Kairat, contributing eight goals in 25 appearances over the course.

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.

FIFA Disband Anti-Racism Taskforce After Declaring Its Mission To Be ‘Completely Fulfilled’

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FIFA have disbanded their anti-racism taskforce after declaringthe mission a complete success.

The taskforce was established by Sepp Blatter in 2013 and in just three short years has totally ended the blight of racism in football.

In a message written to members serving on the force, FIFA proudly announced that the grouphas"completely fulfilled its temporary mission" and as such "is hereby dissolved and no longer in operation.

New captain Manuel Neuer out to raise Germany’s standards

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Berlin (AFP) New captain Manuel Neuer says Germany have room for improvement when the world champions start their journey to the 2018 World Cup on Sunday in their opening qualifier against Norway.

Germany's path to the finals in Russia starts at Oslo's Ullevaal Stadium and they also face Czech Republic, Northern Ireland, Azerbaijan and minnows San Marino in Group C of their qualifying campaign.

New captain Manuel Neuer out to raise Germany’s standards

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Berlin (AFP) New captain Manuel Neuer says Germany have room for improvement when the world champions start their journey to the 2018 World Cup on Sunday in their opening qualifier against Norway.

Germany's path to the finals in Russia starts at Oslo's Ullevaal Stadium and they also face Czech Republic, Northern Ireland, Azerbaijan and minnows San Marino in Group C of their qualifying campaign.

Blast of fresh air as Europe begins World Cup qualifying

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Paris (AFP) Exactly eight weeks after Eder blasted in the winner for Portugal in the Euro 2016 final against France, European nations start out on the road to the Russia 2018 World Cup on Sunday.

Of the 24 teams that took part in the Euros, 10 have since changed coach, including Russia.

As hosts, they will not be involved in qualifying, but the rest of Europe will vie for nine group winner direct qualification spots, while the eight best runners-up go into play-offs in November 2017 to contest the remaining four berths.

Blast of fresh air as Europe begins World Cup qualifying

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Paris (AFP) Exactly eight weeks after Eder blasted in the winner for Portugal in the Euro 2016 final against France, European nations start out on the road to the Russia 2018 World Cup on Sunday.

Of the 24 teams that took part in the Euros, 10 have since changed coach, including Russia.

As hosts, they will not be involved in qualifying, but the rest of Europe will vie for nine group winner direct qualification spots, while the eight best runners-up go into play-offs in November 2017 to contest the remaining four berths.

Lopetegui

Lopetegui’s new-look Spain begin long road to Russia

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Madrid (AFP) Faint hopes Spain's spectacular fall from grace at the 2014 World Cup was a mere blip were extinguished as another early exit at Euro 2016 finally ended Vicente del Bosque's eight-year reign as coach.

Julien Lopetegui is the man charged with restoring Spain's former glories, but he faces a demanding task in just getting La Roja to Russia in two years' time with Euros' conquerors Italy lying in wait in qualifying.

Lopetegui’s new-look Spain begin long road to Russia

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Madrid (AFP) Faint hopes Spain's spectacular fall from grace at the 2014 World Cup was a mere blip were extinguished as another early exit at Euro 2016 finally ended Vicente del Bosque's eight-year reign as coach.

Julien Lopetegui is the man charged with restoring Spain's former glories, but he faces a demanding task in just getting La Roja to Russia in two years' time with Euros' conquerors Italy lying in wait in qualifying.

EURO 2016

Euro 2016 violence and what it means for the 2018 World Cup in Russia

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Euro 2016 in France has seen a return of football hooliganism which had been largely absent from recent international competitions. Hooliganism and football is a phrase everyone is familiar with, but it has been largely absent from recent international competitions. However, Euro 2016 in France saw a return of this ill-affair.

Russia Players Punished By Clubs After Blowing €250k On Champagne After Euro 2016 Exit

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Russian international duoAleksandr Kokorin and Pavel Mamaev have both been punished by their respective clubs after footage emerged of the two players supposedly blowing their way through€250,000 of champagne shortly after Russia's inglorious Euro 2016 exit.

According to RT, Kokorin and Mamaev spent a fortune buying 500 bottles ofArmand de Brignac for everyone in the Twiga nightclub in Monte Carlo.

Euro 2016 Best and Worst Fans

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Euro 2016’s Best (and worst) Fans So Far

We’re only just into the quarter finals, and already some pundits are naming Euro 2016 as one of the worst tournaments in recent memory. Many of the teams tipped for glory before the championships haven’t turned up, and although big names like Germany and France are through to the quarters, the football they’ve played along the way has been surprisingly pedestrian.

Eric Dier, Marek Hamsik stand out among top five players of Euro 2016 Group B

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As the group stages of Euro 2016 conclude we're wrapping up proceedings with our pick of the top five players from each group on Just Football. After Group A yesterday, in which Granit Xhaka...

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The Rest

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.

Qatar appoint Fossati in bid to revive World Cup hopes

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Doha (AFP) Qatar confirmed on Saturday that Jorge Fossati is the new national team coach, tasked with trying to revive the country's fading hopes of makingitsfirst ever World Cup finals in Russia in 2018.

The appointment was confirmed in a message posted on Twitter by the Qatar Football Association, which read simply: "Mr Jorge Fossati is back officially to be the head coach of our national team.

FIFA Ask Russian Fans To Vote For 2018 World Cup Mascot From Three Equally Uninspiring Options

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Image: @FIFAWorldCup/Twitter

FIFA have opened the onlineballotfor the 2018 World Cup mascot, with the good people of Russia now able to vote which anthropomorphic animal they want to represent their home tournament.

The field is hardly what you might call diverse, with fans able to vote for, A) a cutesy cartoon tiger, B) a cutesy cartoon cat, or,C) a cutesy cartoon wolf.