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Author Archive for Martin Belam

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Quiz: test your knowledge of World Cup flags

Were you paying attention in geography class?• Try more World Cup quizzes: semi-finals, pictures and teamsRemember when that trendy supply geography teacher tried to get you interested in the subject via the medium of some worksheet about the World Cup…

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Sharpened social media game shows England’s mass appeal

England’s youngsters have had training by the FA and, just like performances on the pitch, their social media presence has been a step up from previous tournamentsThe tone was set before England had kicked a ball in Russia. When Robbie Williams flashed…

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Only Connect: the Guardian World Cup edition

What comes fourth in these sequences of World Cup trivia?• Try more World Cup quizzes: England, line-ups and picturesThe Only Connect format is pretty easy to get the hang of even if you’ve never seen the show. We give you three bits of trivia from the…

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Are goalkeepers getting away with cheating during World Cup shootouts?

The laws are clear: the keeper must stay on his line until the ball has been kicked when it comes to penalties“The defending goalkeeper must remain on the goal line, facing the kicker, between the goalposts until the ball has been kicked” – one of the …

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Waistcoat sales up as Gareth Southgate sets trend at World Cup

England manager is said to have sparked an increase in sales of formal wear For years football fans have been able to emulate the look of their idols with replica shirts, but this World Cup something different is happening: supporters are rushing to bu…

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England and Belgium prepare for the ‘Brexit derby’

World Cup tie takes place as EU leaders gather in Brussels, allowing footballing and political metaphors to mix freelyIt’s not exactly Westminster v Brussels, but England and Belgium’s match on Thursday has become “the Brexit derby” that no World Cup h…

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Where am I? World Cup stadiums quiz

Can you identify these World Cup stadiums from the clues?• Try more World Cup quizzes: photos, hat-tricks and playersThe venues that have hosted epic World Cup matches are as much part of the history of the tournament as the teams and players themselve…

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The six oddest tie-breaking rules in World Cup history

The number of yellow cards or even drawn lots could decide qualification in 2018. They aren’t the weirdest tie-breakers …As we continue the final round of group matches in Russia, both Group F and Group G feature possible scenarios where the number of …

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Getty deletes gallery of World Cup’s ‘sexiest fans’ after criticism

Campaign group and social media users decry ‘hottest fans’ gallery as a sexist throwback to 1970sPicture agency Getty has come under fire from campaigners and social media users after publishing, then deleting, a gallery of what it deemed the “sexiest”…

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VAR at the World Cup: the big decisions, game by game

Russia 2018 is the first World Cup to feature the Video Assistant Referee system. Is it working?Explainer: How does VAR work at the World Cup Critics feared it would hold up games and take away some of the vital excitement from football. Advocates argu…

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Alan Sugar under fire over ‘racist’ Senegal World Cup team tweet

Peer apologises after comparing players to people selling bags and sunglasses on beaches in tweet BBC calls ‘seriously misjudged’Alan Sugar has been criticised for posting a tweet about the Senegal World Cup squad that compared the players to people se…

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Quiz: red cards at the World Cup

Carlos Sánchez’s red card against Japan was the first of this World Cup. How much do you know about World Cup sendings off?• World Cup quiz: guess the tournamentCarlos Sánchez saw red for Colombia in their opening World Cup match against Japan – the fi…

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Shearer v Schama: ex-England striker refuses football lesson from historian

Shearer had to remind Schama he had played in World Cup matches, as Gary Lineker and Piers Morgan continued their social media feudIn a clash nobody expected the World Cup to throw up, Alan Shearer locked horns on social media with historian Simon Scha…

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BBC goes safer and surer in round one of World Cup battle with ITV

Gary Lineker’s early Salah joke baffled his pundits, but corporation’s coverage looks good for the long haul• How BBC made its World Cup trailer entirely out of tapestryThe BBC started its World Cup coverage with a moody montage of Mohamed Salah and Lu…

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England World Cup squad pose for the cameras – in pictures

It was England’s turn in front of the official Fifa World Cup photographers on Wednesday, and here are the results Continue reading…

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Three hosts, 48 teams: how the 2026 World Cup will work

USA, Canada and Mexico will host the 2026 World Cup. Here’s what it means for the tournament and for qualificationFifa’s decision to award the united bid from the USA, Canada and Mexico the right to host the 2026 World Cup will bring us a 48-team tourn…

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Ronaldo, Messi, Salah: best World Cup 2018 portraits – in pictures

As teams arrive in Russia for the World Cup, the players have been gamefully posing for official Fifa portraits. Here are some of the highlightsWorld Cup predictions time! Guardian writers give theirs Continue reading…

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Ronaldo, Messi, Salah: best World Cup 2018 portraits – in pictures

As teams arrive in Russia for the World Cup, the players have been gamefully posing for official Fifa portraits. Here are some of the highlightsWorld Cup predictions time! Guardian writers give theirs Continue reading…

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Republic of Ireland U17s furious after keeper sent off during penalty shootout

James Corcoran penalised for coming off line in deciding kickNetherlands progress to semi-final after scoring re-takeMonday’s Under-17 European Championship quarter-final between the Netherlands and Republic of Ireland ended in acrimony after Irish goa…

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Cost to fill Panini World Cup sticker book is £734, says maths prof

But Paul Harper calculates that swapping duplicates with friends will reduce cost to about £250 A maths professor from Cardiff has calculated that filling this year’s World Cup sticker book will cost collectors £773.60. Prof Paul Harper has devised a f…