Saint Petersburg

AFP

Confederations Cup shows Russia ready to host World Cup

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Saint Petersburg (AFP) – Germany’s Confederations Cup-winning coach Joachim Loew and FIFA president Gianni Infantino have led the calls for giving Russia the seal of approval to host next year’s World Cup.

Lars Stindl’s first-half goal in Sunday’s final sealed Germany’s 1-0 win over Chile, bringing down the curtain on the 2017 Confed Cup - a warm-up for next year’s World Cup finals.

Stindl tap-in wins Germany Confederations Cup

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Saint Petersburg (AFP) – Lars Stindl’s simple tap-in, following a costly first-half blunder by Marcelo Diaz, was enough to give Germany a 1-0 win over Chile in the Confederations Cup final on Sunday.

Diaz’s momentary lapse in concentration let Timo Werner rob him of possession, draw the goalkeeper and pass to Stindl, who scored into an empty net on 20 minutes in Saint Petersburg.

Stindl tap-in wins Germany Confederations Cup

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Saint Petersburg (AFP) – Lars Stindl’s simple tap-in, following a costly first-half blunder by Marcelo Diaz, was enough to give Germany a 1-0 win over Chile in the Confederations Cup final on Sunday.

Diaz’s momentary lapse in concentration let Timo Werner rob him of possession, draw the goalkeeper and pass to Stindl, who scored into an empty net on 20 minutes in Saint Petersburg.

Infantino hails VAR ‘great success’ at Confed Cup

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Saint Petersburg (AFP) – FIFA president Gianni Infantino hailed the video assistant referee (VAR) system as a “great success” at the Confederations Cup, but admitted it still needs improving.

World football’s governing body is testing the system in Russia and Infantino said the six game-changing decisions the VAR has so far picked up meant “more justice and fair play”.

Infantino hails VAR ‘great success’ at Confed Cup

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Saint Petersburg (AFP) – FIFA president Gianni Infantino hailed the video assistant referee (VAR) system as a “great success” at the Confederations Cup, but admitted it still needs improving.

World football’s governing body is testing the system in Russia and Infantino said the six game-changing decisions the VAR has so far picked up meant “more justice and fair play”.

Chile can prove they’re best in the world – Vidal

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Saint Petersburg (AFP) – Midfielder Arturo Vidal says Chile can prove they are the world’s best team, and throw down a marker for next year’s World Cup, by beating Germany in Sunday’s Confederations Cup final.

Copa America champions Chile take on World Cup holders Germany in St Petersburg with the teams having already drawn 1-1 in the group stages.

Chile can prove they’re best in the world – Vidal

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Saint Petersburg (AFP) – Midfielder Arturo Vidal says Chile can prove they are the world’s best team, and throw down a marker for next year’s World Cup, by beating Germany in Sunday’s Confederations Cup final.

Copa America champions Chile take on World Cup holders Germany in St Petersburg with the teams having already drawn 1-1 in the group stages.

FIFA referees chief wants shorter video delays

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Saint Petersburg (AFP) – FIFA’s referees chief said Monday he wants less delays caused by the video assistant referee and to reduce disruptions from the system being tested for next year’s World Cup.

World football’s governing body is using the Confederations Cup in Russia to test the video assistant referee (VAR) system for the first time at a major senior international tournament.

FIFA referees chief wants shorter video delays

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Saint Petersburg (AFP) – FIFA’s referees chief said Monday he wants less delays caused by the video assistant referee and to reduce disruptions from the system being tested for next year’s World Cup.

World football’s governing body is using the Confederations Cup in Russia to test the video assistant referee (VAR) system for the first time at a major senior international tournament.

Ronaldo hits milestone as Portugal sink New Zealand

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Saint Petersburg (AFP) – Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 75th international goal as Portugal trounced New Zealand 4-0 in Saint Petersburg on Saturday to advance to the semi-finals of the Confederations Cup.

The Real Madrid star struck from the penalty spot on 33 minutes to fire the European champions in front before Bernardo Silva turned in a second goal four minutes later.

Ronaldo hits milestone as Portugal sink New Zealand

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Saint Petersburg (AFP) – Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 75th international goal as Portugal trounced New Zealand 4-0 in Saint Petersburg on Saturday to advance to the semi-finals of the Confederations Cup.

The Real Madrid star struck from the penalty spot on 33 minutes to fire the European champions in front before Bernardo Silva turned in a second goal four minutes later.

Ronaldo delight as Portugal reach Confed football semis

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Saint Petersburg (AFP) – Cristiano Ronaldo expressed his delight at firing Portugal into the Confederations Cup semi-finals after netting his 75th international goal in Saturday’s 4-0 thrashing of New Zealand.

“I’m very happy to be in the semi-finals. We’re confident and want to win,” said Ronaldo, who picked up his third straight man-of-the-match award in Russia.

Ronaldo delight as Portugal reach Confed football semis

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Saint Petersburg (AFP) – Cristiano Ronaldo expressed his delight at firing Portugal into the Confederations Cup semi-finals after netting his 75th international goal in Saturday’s 4-0 thrashing of New Zealand.

“I’m very happy to be in the semi-finals. We’re confident and want to win,” said Ronaldo, who picked up his third straight man-of-the-match award in Russia.

Ronaldo hits milestone as Portugal sink New Zealand

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Saint Petersburg (AFP) – Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 75th international goal as Portugal trounced New Zealand 4-0 in Saint Petersburg on Saturday to advance to the semi-finals of the Confederations Cup.

The Real Madrid star struck from the penalty spot on 33 minutes to fire the European champions in front before Bernardo Silva turned in a second goal four minutes later.

Ronaldo hits milestone as Portugal sink New Zealand

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Saint Petersburg (AFP) – Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 75th international goal as Portugal trounced New Zealand 4-0 in Saint Petersburg on Saturday to advance to the semi-finals of the Confederations Cup.

The Real Madrid star struck from the penalty spot on 33 minutes to fire the European champions in front before Bernardo Silva turned in a second goal four minutes later.

Milligan penalty rescues Confederations Cup draw for Australia

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Saint Petersburg (AFP) – Australia captain Mark Milligan converted a second-half penalty in Thursday’s 1-1 draw with Cameroon in Saint Petersburg that left both teams heading for an early Confederations Cup exit.

Cameroon midfielder Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa scored with a superb flick on the stroke of half-time, but Milligan slotted home a spot-kick on 60 minutes as both sides picked up their first point in Group B.

Milligan penalty rescues Confederations Cup draw for Australia

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Saint Petersburg (AFP) – Australia captain Mark Milligan converted a second-half penalty in Thursday’s 1-1 draw with Cameroon in Saint Petersburg that left both teams heading for an early Confederations Cup exit.

Cameroon midfielder Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa scored with a superb flick on the stroke of half-time, but Milligan slotted home a spot-kick on 60 minutes as both sides picked up their first point in Group B.

Russia football fan leader barred from Confederations Cup

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Moscow (AFP) – Russian fan leader Alexander Shprygin has been barred from the Confederations Cup before the opening match in Saint Petersburg on Saturday which saw the hosts beat New Zealand 2-0.

The issue of hooliganism is a major concern for organisers after ugly clashes between Russian and English fans at the European Championship in Marseille last summer.

Russia football fan leader barred from Confederations Cup

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Moscow (AFP) – Russian fan leader Alexander Shprygin has been barred from the Confederations Cup before the opening match in Saint Petersburg on Saturday which saw the hosts beat New Zealand 2-0.

The issue of hooliganism is a major concern for organisers after ugly clashes between Russian and English fans at the European Championship in Marseille last summer.

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.

Russia, New Zealand primed for Confederations Cup opener

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Moscow (AFP) – Hosts Russia kick off the Confederations Cup against New Zealand in Saint Petersburg on Saturday, targeting victory in their opening match to set the tone for a successful tournament.

“We’ve worked hard and I believe now we’re well-prepared for the opening game,” Zenit midfielder Igor Smolnikov told Russian TV.

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.

Russia defends restrictions on Confederations Cup reporters

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Saint Petersburg (AFP) – Russia on Tuesday defended restrictions on visiting journalists covering the Confederations Cup football tournament, after Germany’s biggest-selling newspaper said it would boycott the tournament.

Official guidelines for the curtain raiser tournament ahead of the 2018 World Cup in Russia say that media representatives who receive FIFA accreditation will be allowed to “solely cover the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 and related events.

Russia defends restrictions on Confederations Cup reporters

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Saint Petersburg (AFP) – Russia on Tuesday defended restrictions on visiting journalists covering the Confederations Cup football tournament, after Germany’s biggest-selling newspaper said it would boycott the tournament.

Official guidelines for the curtain raiser tournament ahead of the 2018 World Cup in Russia say that media representatives who receive FIFA accreditation will be allowed to “solely cover the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 and related events.

Russia defends restrictions on Confederations Cup reporters

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Saint Petersburg (AFP) – Russia on Tuesday defended restrictions on visiting journalists covering the Confederations Cup football tournament, after Germany’s biggest-selling newspaper said it would boycott the tournament.

Official guidelines for the curtain raiser tournament ahead of the 2018 World Cup in Russia say that media representatives who receive FIFA accreditation will be allowed to “solely cover the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 and related events.

Russia defends restrictions on Confederations Cup reporters

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Saint Petersburg (AFP) – Russia on Tuesday defended restrictions on visiting journalists covering the Confederations Cup football tournament, after Germany’s biggest-selling newspaper said it would boycott the tournament.

Official guidelines for the curtain raiser tournament ahead of the 2018 World Cup in Russia say that media representatives who receive FIFA accreditation will be allowed to “solely cover the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 and related events.

Zenit beat Ufa to keep tabs on leaders Spartak

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Moscow (AFP) Zenit St Petersburgbounced back from a disappointing defeat in their previous Premier League match at Krasnodar beating Ufa 2-0 on Wednesday to narrow the gap on leaders Spartak Moscow.

The late goals by Brazilian Giuliano and Russian international forward Alexander Kokorin set Saint Petersburg side on their way to a hard-fought win to stay in second, three points adrift of Spartak.

Putin pledges swift fix to St Petersburg stadium issues

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Moscow (AFP) President Vladimir Putin on Friday assured FIFA boss Gianni Infantino that problems with the World Cup venue in the northwestern city of Saint Petersburg would be solved by the end of the year.

"It's a very sad story," Russian news agencies quoted Putin as telling Infantino at the Kremlin, referring to the scandal-plagued construction of the Saint Petersburg stadium that will host the Confederations Cup in 2017 and a World Cup semi-final in 2018.

Putin pledges swift fix to St Petersburg stadium issues

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Moscow (AFP) President Vladimir Putin on Friday assured FIFA boss Gianni Infantino that problems with the World Cup venue in the northwestern city of Saint Petersburg would be solved by the end of the year.

"It's a very sad story," Russian news agencies quoted Putin as telling Infantino at the Kremlin, referring to the scandal-plagued construction of the Saint Petersburg stadium that will host the Confederations Cup in 2017 and a World Cup semi-final in 2018.

Setbacks endure as Russia preps for World Cup

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Moscow (AFP) Corruption scandals, extended deadlines and even a wobbly pitch are just a few of the setbacks Russia has faced ahead of the 2018 World Cup, though authorities vow everything will be ready on time.

Putting the final touches on the infrastructure in four host cities Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Kazan and Sochi has become all the more pressing because they will also host the Confederations Cup next year, a dress rehearsal for the 2018 tournament.

Setbacks endure as Russia preps for World Cup

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Moscow (AFP) Corruption scandals, extended deadlines and even a wobbly pitch are just a few of the setbacks Russia has faced ahead of the 2018 World Cup, though authorities vow everything will be ready on time.

Putting the final touches on the infrastructure in four host cities Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Kazan and Sochi has become all the more pressing because they will also host the Confederations Cup next year, a dress rehearsal for the 2018 tournament.

FIFA get 2018 World Cup stadium ‘guarantees’

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Saint Petersburg (AFP) FIFA have received "guarantees" from Russia that the stadium which will host the 2018 World Cup semi-final will be ready by the end of this year, world football's governing body said Saturday.

Construction of the new 68,000-seater stadium in Saint Petersburg one of the most expensive in the world had been stalled since mid-July because of a dispute between the former project manager and local authorities.

FIFA get 2018 World Cup stadium ‘guarantees’

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Saint Petersburg (AFP) FIFA have received "guarantees" from Russia that the stadium which will host the 2018 World Cup semi-final will be ready by the end of this year, world football's governing body said Saturday.

Construction of the new 68,000-seater stadium in Saint Petersburg one of the most expensive in the world had been stalled since mid-July because of a dispute between the former project manager and local authorities.

FIFA head to delay-hit Worl Cup 2018 stadium

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Moscow (AFP) FIFA on Wednesday said work on Moscow's flagship Luzhniki stadium for the 2018 World Cup appeared to be on course, ahead of a visit to the delay-hit arena in Saint Petersburg.

"We're very pleased with the progress here in Luzhniki," the major stadium for the World Cup," Colin Smith, the FIFA chief competitions and events officer, said after checking up on construction.

Veteran Lucescu appointed Zenit football coach

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Saint Petersburg (AFP) Zenit Saint Petersburg have entrusted veteran Romanian coach Mircea Lucescu with the task of getting them back into Champions League football after a disappointing campaign, the Russian club confirmed on Tuesday.

The 70-year-old, who won 22 trophies including eight Ukrainian league titles and the 2009 UEFA Cup with Shakhtar Donetsk, signed a two-year deal with the option of a third on Tuesday to take over from Portuguese coach Andre Villas-Boas.

Veteran Lucescu appointed Zenit football coach

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Saint Petersburg (AFP) Zenit Saint Petersburg have entrusted veteran Romanian coach Mircea Lucescu with the task of getting them back into Champions League football after a disappointing campaign, the Russian club confirmed on Tuesday.

The 70-year-old, who won 22 trophies including eight Ukrainian league titles and the 2009 UEFA Cup with Shakhtar Donetsk, signed a two-year deal with the option of a third on Tuesday to take over from Portuguese coach Andre Villas-Boas.

English Premier League

Leaders Spartak regroup for Zenit after Ufa flop

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Moscow (AFP) Russian Premier League table-toppers Spartak Moscow hope to bounce back from last week's 1-0 home defeat to minnows Ufa when they visit Zenit St Petersburg on Sunday.

Despite last weekend's shock, Spartak still have a one-point lead at the top over second-placed reigning champions CSKA, while Zenit sit third, two points further back.

Leaders Spartak regroup for Zenit after Ufa flop

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Moscow (AFP) Russian Premier League table-toppers Spartak Moscow hope to bounce back from last week's 1-0 home defeat to minnows Ufa when they visit Zenit St Petersburg on Sunday.

Despite last weekend's shock, Spartak still have a one-point lead at the top over second-placed reigning champions CSKA, while Zenit sit third, two points further back.

Russia's millions will be beneficial for Portugal, but meaningless for Hulk or Witsel

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By Dominic Vieira

And in one day Portugal loses two of its greatest talents. We're left speechless. Zenit Saint Petersburg's millions are venom, seductive and simply unbeatable. FC Porto has lost their warrior, the equivalent of Riquelme's influence at Boca Juniors or what Thierry Henry once meant to Arsenal.