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Author Archive for Shaun Walker in Moscow

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France’s Didier Deschamps: ‘There’s nothing above the World Cup’

• Manager adds second cup to one he won as a player in 1998• Croatia’s Zlatko Dalic disputes penalty but will not blame refereeEcstatic France players crashed Didier Deschamps’ press conference after their World Cup victory, chanting his name as they s…

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Pussy Riot claim responsibility for World Cup final pitch invasion

Protest performance group say four members ran on to pitch in protest during second halfThe Russian protest performance group Pussy Riot have claimed responsibility for a pitch invasion early in the second half of the World Cup final.“Right now, there …

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Ivan Rakitic: Croatia will have 4.5m players on pitch in World Cup final

• Rakitic says every Croatian will watch ‘historic’ France showdown• ‘That amount of joy, togetherness, unity, pride, it’s incredible’Ivan Rakitic has said Croatia is united as never before ahead of the World Cup final on Sunday and brushed off a serie…

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Moscow refugee tournament throws stark light on Russia’s migrant policy

Amid the World Cup euphoria a low-key but no less vital competition was played out in the shadow of the KremlinA few hours before England’s World Cup game against Colombia in Moscow, a very different series of football matches was under way on Red Squa…

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Will the World Cup finally change how Russia is portrayed? | Shaun Walker

Russia’s bad press is largely of its own making – for years, it has been easier for officials to bray about Russophobia than to show a different side of the country“England fan shames British media,” was one of many headlines of a similar nature to app…

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Great race to Moscow yields thrills and spills aplenty for both sets of fans | Shaun Walker

Both sets of supporters have been making expensive beelines to the Russian capital since Saturday’s results in the quarter-finalsDuring the day England fans were planning the best and least expensive way to get hold of a ticket for the final. By evenin…

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Could this summer’s World Cup jamboree change Moscow for ever? | Shaun Walker

Hundreds of thousands of fans from have been in the capital for weeks and their presence has helped produce a laissez-faire attitude which may not prevail‘The celebrating has finished,” said a Russian police officer, curtly, to a drunk reveller who was…

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Russia’s rising star Denis Cheryshev out to upset his adopted homeland

‘Half Russian and half Spanish’ midfielder is confident host nation can shock Spain in last-16 game in MoscowDenis Cheryshev was the player Russia chose to appear at their press conference the day before the biggest football match in the country’s rece…

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Iran women fans resist harassment to attend team’s game with Spain | Shaun Walker

Campaigners against a ban on female fans in Iran going to games have taken their battle to Russia where they watched their team’s second match despite invasive security checksWhen Iran take on Portugal in Saransk on Monday night, there will be a group …

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Three Lions Pride shows normal Russian rules don’t apply during World Cup

Di Cunningham, of Three Lions Pride, an LGBT supporters association, says she has no regrets after travelling to RussiaWaving a pride flag in public in Russia is, normally, as sure a way as any to ensure swift police attention and possible arrest. But …

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‘Ros! Si! Ya!’ Energised Russia is one nation under a World Cup chant

Expectations could barely have been lower for the World Cup hosts, but with qualification for the last 16 confirmed a wave of optimism is lighting up the nation – and the tournamentThey chanted it inside the St Petersburg Stadium on Tuesday night. They…

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‘Have sex, make babies’: Russian MP tells nation to welcome foreign fans

Comments come after another MP warned Russian women against sex with fans, especially those ‘of a different race’A Russian MP has encouraged Russians to have sex with visiting foreign football fans, a day after Russian authorities were embarrassed when…

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‘Collaborators and traitors’: Russia goes to war with Winter Olympics ban

The outraged Russian reaction to the IOC’s decision has been fuelled by comparisons with the great national triumph in the second world warOn sulphurous television chat shows this week, Russian athletes considering competing under a neutral flag at the…

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Winter Olympics doping ban met with righteous anger in Russia

Officials and public figures say IOC decision to ban Russian team from 2018 Games amounts to ‘war’, ‘racism’ and ‘genocide’Russian officials and public figures have referred to the ban on the Russian team from taking part in the 2018 Winter Olympics as…

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Russian Olympic official says doping whistleblower should be executed

Leonid Tyagachev says Grigory Rodchenkov ‘should be shot for lying’Tyagachev: Russia ‘are not going to beg on our knees’ over Winter GamesA top Russian Olympic official has said Grigory Rodchenkov, the whistleblower who alleged the country ran a system…

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Vitaly Mutko promoted to newly created Russian deputy prime minister role

• Scandal-hit figure moved up from sports minister position by Vladimir Putin
• New post gives Mutko responsibility for sport, tourism and youth policy

Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, replaced the nation’s sports minister Vitaly Mutko with his deputy on Wednesday, in a move possibly aimed at getting the controversial minister out of the international limelight prior to the 2018 World Cup.

Related: Russian Olympic Committee chief Alexander Zhukov steps down

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Yulia Efimova hits back at critics: ‘I thought cold war was long in the past’

• Russian responds after comments from USA Olympic champion Lilly King
• ‘All athletes should be above politics, but they believe everything they read’

The Russian swimmer Yulia Efimova, who was booed on the podium after taking the silver medal in the 100m breaststroke, hit out at competitors who badmouthed her for doping, and claimed the West was using sport to fight a new cold war.

The USA swimmer Lilly King, who won gold, had been involved in a spat with Efimova prior to the race, and a number of other competitors had registered their frustration that Efimova, who was banned twice for doping, had been allowed to take part.

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Russia 2018: issues facing organisers of first World Cup staged in eastern Europe

With Euro 2016 over, the focus turns to the game’s even bigger international tournament, with travel, infrastructure and the behaviour of fans all concerns

With Euro 2016 in France over, attention turns to Russia. Ever since the announcement by a grinning Sepp Blatter in 2010 of Russia as victors over England for the right to host the 2018 World Cup, it has been clear the country has the potential to host a fantastic tournament – but that there are also many things that could go wrong.

Related: Euro 2020: get ready for games from Bilbao to Baku and more minnows

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Russia’s Rio pleas go unheeded as PR offensive over doping ban fails

As the reality of Russia’s athletics team being barred from the Olympics hit home, defiance gave way to apologies and pleading for clean athletes not to suffer – but the change has not worked

It has not been a good week for Russian sport: it began with the threat of expulsion from Euro 2016 and the arrest of fans in southern France, and ended with the IAAF’s decision to uphold the ban on Russian track and field athletes competing at the Rio Olympics.

In Moscow, the response to both has been to cry foul and pin the blame on an “anti-Russian” mood internationally. On Friday, the ministry of sport was quick to respond that the decision by the International Association of Athletics Federations would “diminish” the Olympics and destroy the dreams of clean athletes. Russia insists it has been doing everything possible to clean up its system, but an interim report from the World Anti-Doping Agency suggests otherwise.

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Russia officials play down fan violence and ‘hardened fighter’ claims

• Reports of group travelling to Marseille to fight England fans dismissed
• ‘It’s true some Russian fans rushed English sector but it was nothing bad’

Russian officials have played down the violence over the weekend in Marseille – and in some cases even praised the fans involved. One top football official said the hooligans had defended the country’s honour and should be forgiven, while a top law enforcement official suggested Europe was “too gay” to know what real men look like.

Related: Moscow football official to violent fans: well done lads, keep it up!

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