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Category: Europe

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England camp on high terror alert before Volgograd opener

Russian city’s proximity to restive North Caucusus prompts unprecedented hotel securitySecurity is tight in Volgograd as England prepare for their opening World Cup game in the south-west Russian city on Monday.There is a heightened police presence and…

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Diversity fan zone blocked from opening in St Petersburg

‘Safe space’ to celebrate minorities in football shuttered in city known for hard line on LGBT activismA “safe space” meant to celebrate diversity in football on the sidelines of the World Cup has been prevented for opening for several days, after what…

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Nigeria game first big test of Russia’s resolve to stamp out racism

World Cup atmosphere has been festive so far, but concerns persist about how seriously officials take problemThe potential for racism during the World Cup has been one of the most pained issues in the build-up to the tournament, with the track record o…

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‘I think it’ll be all right’: England fans begin arriving in Volgograd

There is nervousness among some supporters before World Cup opener but most feel welcomedEngland fans have started arriving in the Russian city of Volgograd before their team’s opening World Cup game on Monday and are abiding by strict warnings not to …

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Russians enjoy dream World Cup opening despite Robbie Williams’ finger

• British pop star gestures to camera as he sings Rock DJ• But home team stun everyone with 5-0 win over Saudi ArabiaThe first day of the 2018 World Cup went off almost without a hitch for the hosts, Russia, with a barnstorming victory after a brief bu…

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‘It barely feels like Moscow right now. People are smiling’

The World Cup has come to Russia and Muscovites embraced the riot of colour on the streetsRussia’s World Cup has finally begun, to the cheers and quiet relief of a nation curious to see what an estimated $14bn (£10.5bn) and years of planning have bough…

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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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Don’t have sex with men from ‘different race’ during World Cup, warns Russian politician

Tamara Pletnyova warns Russian women not to have sex with non-white men as their children may face discrimination Russian women should avoid sex with non-white foreign men during the football World Cup because they could become single mothers to mixed-…

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World Cup opener guest list set to be largely ex-Soviet affair

Kremlin’s list of ceremony invitees includes central Asian autocrats plus Saudi prince Mohammed bin SalmanVladimir Putin’s strained ties with leaders across the western world means the audience of presidents and prime ministers for the World Cup opener…

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‘We’re just trying to survive it’: Russian cities brace for World Cup

The Russian prazdnik – celebration – must not be ruined at any price as hosts prepare to give enemies five-star treatmentOn a riverboat between the World Cup cities of Kazan and Samara last month, a Russian couple in their 50s asked earnestly whether “…

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The World Cup 2018 stadiums – in pictures

Some pushed it down to the wire, but all 12 stadiums have been completed in time for the World Cup in Russia. From Moscow’s grand Luzhniki Stadium, which hosted the 1980 Summer Olympics, to the worrisomely late Samara Arena, these are the cathedrals fo…

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Katie Taylor’s father seriously injured in Irish boxing club shooting

• Fifty-year-old man was killed in incident in Bray, near Dublin• Pete Taylor, father of Olympic gold medallist, established gymThe father of Ireland’s Olympic boxing gold medallist Katie Taylor has sustained serious but non-life threatening injuries i…

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Chinese firms pile in to sponsor World Cup 2018 amid Fifa fallout

Brands seize chance to push products after western firms pull out over bribery scandalFootball fans heading to the World Cup this summer are going to get an education in Chinese TVs, mobile phones, electric scooters and Mongolian dairy products. As wes…

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Liverpool to refund cup final tickets for fans with cancelled flights

Club will reimburse 650 people who cannot make Champions League match in KievLiverpool have offered full refunds on tickets for the upcoming Champions League final in Ukraine to 650 fans whose flights were cancelled, as ticket-holders called the travel…

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Liverpool fans brave transport misery for ‘chance of a lifetime’ final

Businesses capitalising on Liverpool’s Champions League match with Real Madrid in Ukrainian capital KievWhen Anna and Ronnie Ellis each parted with £450 for a seat on an “executive” coach from Liverpool to Kiev, they were expecting a few little luxurie…

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Roman Abramovich thought to be caught up in UK visa crackdown

No 10 confirms it is looking at investor visas, as Russia attacks ‘unfair’ practicesThe Chelsea football club owner, Roman Abramovich, appears to have been caught up in a government crackdown on wealthy investors coming to the UK after the Salisbury po…

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Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is without a UK visa

Russian billionaire’s visa ran out weeks ago and it is unclear whether he will get a new oneBritish authorities have not issued a new visa to the Russian oligarch and Chelsea football club owner Roman Abramovich and it is not clear whether one will be …

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Özil and Gündoğan’s Erdoğan picture causes anger in Germany

Premier League footballers met Turkish president during his UK state visitTwo German footballers of Turkish heritage posing for photographs with the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdo?an, have reignited a debate over dual citizenship and national ide…

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Sporting Lisbon players and staff attacked by intruders at training ground

• Forward Bas Dost and manager Jorge Jesus reportedly assaulted• Around 50 people forced their way into training with faces coveredA group of around 50 people forced their way into Sporting Lisbon’s training centre on Tuesday and assaulted players and …

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Johan Cruyff’s leftwing legacy lives on as rich are barred from renting childhood home

Footballer’s flat in Amsterdam available as social housing for low earners only despite calls to turn property into a museumUntil he was 12, Johan Cruyff lived on the corner of Tuinbouwstraat and Akkerstraat in the working-class Betondorp district of A…