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Category: World Cup 2018

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Fifa’s fantastical diversions: stop fretting about Russia, start meddling with Qatar | Marina Hyde

Global political turmoil might be set to wreck Russia’s World Cup but, fear not, Gianni Infantino won’t take his eye off the ball and has some interesting other ideas for us allTwo months out from a World Cup hosted by an aspirant rogue state, what is …

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England winning the World Cup would take ‘a miracle’, says Kyle Walker

England defender questions experience of squad in knockout stagesWalker says players and fans need to be realisticKyle Walker believes it will take “a miracle” for England to win the World Cup and has questioned whether the side has the experience nece…

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Experience the saving grace for Joe Hart in keepers’ World Cup battle | Ed Aarons

He has struggled for games and form but Gareth Southgate is still set to take his 75-cap goalkeeper to Russia despite the claims of England’s younger trio‘Three days ago against Spain, I felt like crying,” admitted Vikash Dhorasoo. “I’m not a supporter…

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World Cup hosts Russia charged with fan racism during France friendly

• Monkey chants were aimed at players last month in St Petersburg • Fifa opens disciplinary proceedings against the RFUFifa has charged World Cup hosts Russia with fan racism less than two months before the tournament begins.Monkey chants were aimed at…

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David Squires on … the new Socceroos strip

This week our cartoonist casts his eye over the latest Australia kit which has unsurprisingly split opinion Take a look back through David’s archive of Australian cartoons Continue reading…

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Trump official: football fans should ‘think twice’ about Russia World Cup

Senior White House staffer says consular services threatenedTrump-Putin meeting will ‘thrash out’ US-Russia relationsFootball fans should “think twice” about travelling to the World Cup in Russia this summer as consular services are threatened by the d…

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Rafael Benítez backs Jonjo Shelvey’s claims for an England World Cup call

• ‘Forget past, he would be great in Russia,’ says Newcastle manager• Shelvey received the last of his six England caps three years agoRafael Benítez has lent his voice to the increasingly compelling argument for Jonjo Shelvey’s inclusion in England’s …

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Salisbury poisoning’s role in England’s World Cup downfall? There isn’t one

It is farcical that the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal is being analysed through the prism of how it may affect Gareth Southgate’s England side at the World Cup in RussiaTo properly stress-test any theory, you have to take it to extremes. We can…

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Toby Alderweireld’s World Cup worries will not influence Tottenham selections

• ‘I can’t be kind with every national manager,’ says Pochettino• Fit-again Spurs defender unlikely to return at Chelsea on SundayMauricio Pochettino will not change his defensive system to accommodate the fit-again Toby Alderweireld and has made it pl…

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Lionel Messi’s supercharged genius the ideal antidote to grey World Cup | Barney Ronay

Argentina may look in a sorry state but their No 10 could offer something redemptive, a happy ending of sorts, a way of making Russia’s World Cup beautifulI see a bad moon rising: I see trouble up ahead. Or if not quite trouble, then some interest…

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Sports quiz of the week: Joshua v Parker, World Cup winners and a mascot

Who won at home? Who is a proud dad? And who fears for his place? Related: José Mourinho or Donald Trump: who said it? Eight countries have won the World Cup. Which three of them lost to other World Cup-winning nations in the international break?Nether…

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Fifa confirms no British referees will take part at 2018 World Cup

• List of 36 officials contains none from home countries• First World Cup since 1938 without British refereeThere will be no British referees at the World Cup this summer for the first time in 80 years, Fifa has confirmed.Football’s governing body has …

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Paul Pogba was colossal for France but they need to sort out their defence

Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappé shone against Russia but France should forget about winning the World Cup with this defenceBy Eric Devin for Get French Football NewsPaul Pogba’s ferocious performance against an admittedly poor Russia team on Tuesday was s…

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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…

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Tunisia’s Wahbi Khazri could be ‘wound up’ in World Cup against England

• Striker Khazri escaped red card in Costa Rica friendly• England’s first World Cup game is against TunisiaThe player on the receiving end of an attempted kick by Wahbi Khazri during the hot-blooded friendly between Tunisia and Costa Rica on Tuesday sa…

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Gareth Southgate tells Dele Alli he is not a shoo-in to start for England

• Tottenham playmaker faces a fight for his place at the World Cup• Southgate says he will be spoilt for choice in attacking positionsGareth Southgate has warned Dele Alli it will not be easy to win back his position in the England team because of the …

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Gareth Southgate reaches a defining question: To Dele or not to Dele?|Barney Ronay

As England approach the World Cup, the manager must decide if the Spurs man’s risky talents can fit with his hard-working, possession-based systemFail again. Fail better. Fail, at the very least, in a slightly more interesting way. As England’s final f…

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Fifa investigates alleged racist abuse of France players by Russia fans

Monkey chants allegedly directed at France players in St Petersburg‘Racism has no place on soccer fields,’ says French sports ministerFifa is investigating alleged racist abuse directed at French players by Russia fans during a pre-World Cup friendly b…

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World Cup power rankings: Spain back at the top

Most World Cup teams played two games over the recent international break and here we assess how all of them faredAn exhilarating week’s football from Spain has set down a marker. They could have won what was, for an hour, an excellent match in Germany…

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Belgium, Tunisia and Panama: how did England’s World Cup opponents get on?

Belgium have a problem at left wing-back, Tunisia celebrate the successful introduction of several France-born players and Panama regret being ‘stripped naked’ in LucerneThe latest set of international games gave coaches a chance to try new players and…