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FIFA 2018

Russia hands over World Cup hosting duties to Qatar

MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday handed over the mantle of World Cup host to the emir of Qatar, whose country will stage the 2022 edition of the tournament. The ceremony marked a handover from the world’s largest…

France overpower Croatia 4-2 to win World Cup

MOSCOW: France overwhelmed Croatia 4-2 in the World Cup final at Moscow’s Luzhniki stadium on Sunday to lift the trophy for the second time in 20 years. The French, playing their third World Cup final, were made to sweat initially and…

Belgium beat England to secure third place finish

ST PETERSBURG: Belgium beat England 2-0 in the World Cup third-place play-off on Saturday to secure their best ever finish at a World Cup and send Gareth Southgate’s side home with a second straight loss. France will face Croatia in…

There is more to Croatia than just Modric magic

MOSCOW: Croatia’s run to the World Cup final is largely down to Luka Modric’s tireless work in midfield but their ability to switch tactics efficiently should be a warning for opponents France on Sunday. When the two sides meet at…

France not expecting tired Croatia in World Cup final

MOSCOW: France have been surprised by the physical fortitude of Croatia and are not expecting a tired opponent in Sunday’s World Cup final, midfielder Blaise Matuidi said on Friday. Croatia have been forced into extra time in each of…

Soccer World Cup de-toxifies Russia’s global brand

MOSCOW: When the last fan files out of Moscow’s Luzhniki stadium on Sunday after the soccer World Cup final, Vladimir Putin can bask in the knowledge that his objective for the tournament has been met: Russia has, for now at least, been…