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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…

Indian fan dies in car crash in Russia near World Cup city Sochi, Interfax says

MOSCOW: An Indian soccer fan, in Russia for the World Cup, died in a car crash on Saturday on a road near the tournament host city Sochi, Interfax news agency cited sources as saying. The incident, the first reported death of a World Cup visitor to Russia, was blamed by police on the driver, although Russian roads are notorious and claimed over 19,000 lives in 2017. A statement released by the regional police department said a Russian taxi driver and an Indian citizen died at the scene and another Indian passenger was…

Sports court lifts life bans of 28 Russians accused of doping

LAUSANNE: The Court of Arbitration for Sport on Thursday lifted life bans on 28 of the 43 Russians accused of doping at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, meaning some could still compete at this month's Pyeongchang Games. Sport's top court ruled there was "insufficient" evidence that the athletes had benefited from a system of state-sponsored doping at the last Winter Games, hosted by Russia in Sochi. CAS said in its judgement: "In 28 cases, the evidence collected was found to be insufficient to establish that an…

Syria congress delayed as Russia talks with rebel groups

SOCHI, RUSSIA: The opening of Russia's showpiece congress aimed at bringing Syria's seven-year war to an end was delayed by at least two hours Tuesday, as Moscow struggled to bring together key players. Regime-backer Moscow has invited 1,600 delegates to the meeting in the Black Sea resort of Sochi as part of a broader push to consolidate its influence in the Middle East and start hammering out a political solution to the conflict. But Syria's main opposition group and Kurdish authorities said they would boycott the…

Pakistan to play active role for regional peace and development: PM Abbasi

SOCHI, RUSSIA: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Friday said that Pakistan intends to play an active role in the peace, stability and development of the region. PM Abbasi participated in the 16th Meeting of the Council of Heads of Government of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Sochi, Russia at the invitation of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. In the context of SCO’s Regional Anti Terrorist Structure (RATS),  PM Abbasi reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to support SCO in its fight against the…