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World Cup 2018

‘I am German when we win, but immigrant when we lose’ – Mesut Ozil breaks silence over racism

BERLIN: Once hailed as a prize-winning example of integration in Germany, Mesut Ozil has quit international duty amid bitter accusations of racism, levelled at German Football Association (DFB) chief Reinhard Grindel. "In the eyes of Grindel and his supporters, I am German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose," Ozil wrote in a lengthy farewell statement on Sunday. At just 29, Ozil walks away from Germany duty in the wake of the fiasco caused by his meeting, on the eve of the World Cup, with Turkey President…

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…

FIFA threatens to boot Spain out of World Cup

GENEVA: The governing body of world football (FIFA) confirmed on Friday that it has written to the Spanish federation (RFEF) warning they could be suspended form the 2018 World Cup because of political interference. Earlier in the day Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said Spain had received "no such letter from FIFA." The issue centres on the RFEF presidency. Angel Maria Villar, who was also a senior FIFA and UEFA official, resigned after being arrested in July on suspicion of embezzling funds. Villar was replaced, on an…

Arsenal’s Iwobi sends Nigeria to 2018 World Cup

ABUJA: Arsenal forward Alex Iwobi sent Nigeria to the 2018 World Cup finals with the winning goal in a 1-0 African qualifying victory over Zambia on Saturday. The Super Eagles became the first African team to advance to Russia after taking an unassailable lead atop Group B. It will be their sixth World Cup finals appearance. Substitute Iwobi blasted home from a pullback by Shehu Abdullahi 17 minutes from time to secure qualification. In a high tempo first half, Zambia thought they had taken the lead when Augustin…