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Michael Jackson fans look to beat it down to Paris art show

PARIS: A portrait of Michael Jackson as King Philip II of Spain and an Andy Warhol print are among artworks on display at a show opening in Paris this week dedicated to the late pop star. The ‘Michael Jackson: On the Wall’ exhibition at Paris’ Grand Palais features an array of portraits and Jackson-inspired works including collages, videos and installations. The exhibition was first shown at London’s National Portrait Gallery in June. Nicholas Cullinan, director at the National Portrait Gallery, hoped the Paris show…

Putin gives World Cup fans visa-free Russia entry all year

MOSCOW: President Vladimir Putin has said that foreign visitors holding "fan ID" cards for the World Cup could have visa-free entry to Russia for the rest of 2018, news agencies reported. "Foreign supporters who currently have fan IDs will be able to benefit from multiple entries into the Russian Federation without a visa until the end of the year," agencies quoted him as saying after France's victory over Croatia in the World Cup final in Moscow. Fan IDs were previously set to be valid from June 4 to July 25.…

FIFA investigates possible discriminatory chants by England fans

MOSCOW (FIFA): Global soccer body FIFA says that it is investigating possible discriminatory chanting by England supporters during the World Cup semi-final against Croatia on Wednesday. FIFA did not give any details of the chanting but said it had received a report from observers at the match at the Luzhniki Stadium which Croatia won 2-1 after extra time. “We can confirm that a report has been filed through the anti-discrimination monitoring system in relation to chants of a possible discriminatory nature by English…

On train to Sochi, Russia fans eye semi-final spot

MOSCOW: When he bought a ticket last year for a World Cup quarter-final in Sochi, Russian soccer fan Yevgeny Yegorov guessed, based on form and pedigree, that he would most likely be a neutral spectator watching Spain play Argentina. But after Russia’s shock win over Spain on penalties in the round of 16, Yegorov found, to his delight, that he would be seeing his own national side play on Saturday. Dozens of Russia fans, including Yegorov, gathered on the platform of Moscow’s Kazansky Railway Station on Friday for a…

Argentina fans left in Russia wonder what to do

KAZAN, Russia: Argentina may have been knocked out of the World Cup in Russia, but plenty of their frustrated fans remain, holding tickets to finals they expected their team to feature in - while hoping desperately that bitter rivals Brazil get eliminated. With Argentina runnersup in Brazil four years ago and quarter-finalists at the previous two World Cups, a number of their supporters had understandably planned for a long stay. But their 4-3 defeat to France in Kazan condemned them to their earliest exit since the…

Backstreet boys surprise fans in elevator with impromptu sing along

The Backstreet Boys surprised their fans recently by dropping their first song in years ‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’. And since then, they have been on a roll, hinting that they may release not one, but two albums later this year. The band is in the news again now, after a video of theirs went viral on social media for all the right reasons. The Backstreet Boys not only surprised fans who were riding an elevator in TRL studios in the US but also did an impromptu concert right there, in the elevator. Band members gave…

Who needs football? Cricket has billion-plus fans, survey finds

The football World Cup may be attracting viewers across the planet but cricket has a huge audience too, with a fanbase of more than a billion people, a major new survey says. The report, conducted by Nielsen Sports for the International Cricket Council, put the number of fans at 1.039 billion — mostly male, living in South Asia, and with an average age of 34. However, 39 percent are female, the survey says, adding that the venerable, five-day Test format remains popular, attracting interest from 70 percent of fans.…