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English Football Association preparing for potential 2030 World Cup bid

MANCHESTER:  England’s Football Association (FA) is carrying out a study into the feasibility of hosting the 2030 World Cup finals, FA chairman Greg Clarke said in a statement on Wednesday. England, who hosted the World Cup in 1966, failed in their most recent attempt to win the rights for the 2018 tournament, which was held in Russia. “Last month the English FA board agreed to conduct feasibility work into the possibility of putting itself forward to be UEFA’s potential candidate to host the 2030 FIFA World Cup,”…

Fifa stops broadcasters from zooming in on attractive female football fans

MOSCOW: Fifa has shown a yellow warning card to World Cup broadcasters, saying it wants fewer images of attractive women in World Cup stadiums screened. Diversity chief Federico Addiechi said the world football body will talk with national broadcasters, and to its own TV production team. Sexism has apparently been a bigger problem than racism at the World Cup, diversity experts Fare Network director Piara Powar said. ​He told press conference on diversity issues his team had "documented more than 30 cases" of mainly…

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…

Angry Ukraine fans deluge FIFA’s Facebook page with posts

MOSCOW/KIEV: Ukraine supporters have flooded the Facebook page of football governing body FIFA with over 158,000 comments, most saying “Glory to Ukraine”, after FIFA fined Croatia’s assistant coach for a video in which he used the same slogan. FIFA hit Ognjen Vukojevic with a 15,000-Swiss-franc ($15,000) fine and a warning after he and Croatian defender Domagoj Vida said “Glory to Ukraine” in a video posted after Croatia beat Russia in a World Cup quarter-final on Saturday. Both men have played for Ukrainian club…

Croatia v England: semi-final history factbox

MOSCOW: Here is a brief history of previous World Cup semi-final appearances by England and Croatia, ahead of their last four match at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium on Wednesday: - England’s first semi-final appearance at a World Cup came at their home tournament in 1966. In front of more than 90,000 fans at Wembley Stadium, Bobby Charlton put them ahead with a rebound shot from a clearance in the first half and added another after the break to go 2-0 up against Portugal, led by 1965 Ballon d’Or winner Eusebio. The…

England fans don waistcoats ahead of semi-final against Croatia

LONDON: The mission? To support England’s bid to win a first World Cup since 1966. The method? To wear a waistcoat for Wednesday’s semi-final match against Croatia. It might sound a stretch, but some England fans want match day in Moscow dubbed ‘Waistcoat Wednesday’ in tribute to manager Gareth Southgate, who has taken to wearing a waistcoat on the touch-line along with suit trousers and a dress shirt and tie. Around a dozen England fans travelling to Moscow on Tuesday for the match wore dark blue waistcoats over their…

National tensions simmer ahead of Belgium-France World Cup semi-final

PARIS/BRUSSELS: It’s a showdown between “Asterix” and “Tintin”. Les Bleus (The Blues) versus Les Diables Rouges (The Red Devils). France against Belgium. The World Cup equivalent of a local derby, with a heavy dose of national rivalry thrown in. In France, sports shops were rapidly selling out of the national soccer strip on Tuesday as fans got ready for the semi-final showdown in St. Petersburg. In Belgium, mad-keen Diables Rouges supporters were jumping on last-minute flights to Russia. Bars, cafes and restaurants in…

Russia’s fairytale World Cup run ends in tears

MOSCOW:The impassioned shouts of "Ros-si-ya" died away on the streets and tears filled the stadium as Russia bowed out of their home World Cup in the cruellest fashion: on penalties. The men in red exceeded the wildest expectations by coming within a penalty kick and a save against Croatia of making it into the semi-finals for the first time since 1966. They lost the quarter-final shootout 4-3 after extra-time ended with the sides deadlocked at 2-2 in the Black Sea resort of Sochi. It was that close -- and it all…