A hundred days later, has Russia’s $14bn World Cup investment paid off? | Andrew Roth

The emergence of an unlikely hero and impressive stadiums have bolstered football’s popularity, but there is still work to be done to make the new venues pay for themselves Russia is not a footballing country, the former trainer for the national side Leonid Slutsky infamously alleged in 2016. His proof was simple: look at the poor attendance despite billions of rubles poured into new marquee arenas for Spartak and CSKA. “Earlier I was sure that new infrastructure would sharply change people’s relationship to football,” he told Sport Express. “But practice shows that I was wrong.” Continue reading...

Hugo Lloris is not given the credit he deserves for France’s success

Thibaut Courtois won the Golden Glove in Russia and David de Gea was picked in Fifa’s team of the year. What about Lloris? By Adam White and Eric Devin for Get French Football News Individual acclaim for a goalkeeper is rare. No goalkeeper has won the Ballon d’Or since Lev Yashin in 1963 and only three keepers – Oliver Kahn in 2002, Gianluigi Buffon in 2006 and Manuel Neuer in 2014 – have made it on to the podium in the last 45 years. All 10 of the players shortlisted for the Fifa player of the year award in September were outfield players. However, over the last week, France captain Hugo Lloris has again underlined his own claim to be recognised for individual awards. After a stunning 2018 for France, he deserves to be considered. Related: France add to Germany’s woes as Antoine Griezmann leads comeback win Continue reading...

Hugo Lloris is not given the credit he deserves for France’s success

Thibaut Courtois won the Golden Glove in Russia and David de Gea was picked in Fifa’s team of the year. What about Lloris? By Adam White and Eric Devin for Get French Football News Individual acclaim for a goalkeeper is rare. No goalkeeper has won the Ballon d’Or since Lev Yashin in 1963 and only three keepers – Oliver Kahn in 2002, Gianluigi Buffon in 2006 and Manuel Neuer in 2014 – have made it on to the podium in the last 45 years. All 10 of the players shortlisted for the Fifa player of the year award in September were outfield players. However, over the last week, France captain Hugo Lloris has again underlined his own claim to be recognised for individual awards. After a stunning 2018 for France, he deserves to be considered. Related: France add to Germany’s woes as Antoine Griezmann leads comeback win Continue reading...

The normalisation of gambling in football | Letter

The World Cup revealed the extent to which the gambling industry has become embedded in professional sport, writes the bishop of St Albans, Alan SmithIt is right for Simon Stevens of NHS England to highlight the worrying connection between gambling and sports (Report, 6 September). The World Cup revealed the extent to which the gambling industry has become embedded in professional sport. Viewers were presented with more than 60 live-odds betting adverts during the contest. These encouraged people to bet, including the 430,000 problem gamblers in the country. It’s not just grumpy parents who have had enough of these adverts. This year young people who watched live football complained of seeing too many, with the average 14- to 18-year-old watching 3.8 gambling adverts every day. No wonder many people are worried that this is creating a timebomb as young people are being conditioned to think betting Continue reading "The normalisation of gambling in football | Letter"

From Ibrox abuse to sacking Lopetegui: meet the head of Spain’s FA

Luis Rubiales, a former Hamilton Academical centre-back, does not hold back in his assessment of football’s image and La Liga’s plans to take a game to the US The way Luis Rubiales remembers it, the last song dedicated to him in a football stadium ran: “Baldy bastard, what’s the score?” It was August 2009; the man who will be sitting at Wembley on Saturday night, president of the Spanish Football Federation, was playing at centre-back for Hamilton Academical; and the score, Ibrox knew, was 4-1. It was the third game of the season but at the end of it, Rubiales appeared in the press room – “wood panelled, smelling of football from another era” – and announced he was retiring. It had nothing to do with the result, and he had enjoyed the afternoon. He already knew he was going, his father watching him for the last time from Continue reading "From Ibrox abuse to sacking Lopetegui: meet the head of Spain’s FA"

Mohamed Salah blames Egypt’s FA for World Cup disruptions

Liverpool star says celebrities among many disturbances at team’s Chechen training base The Liverpool and Egypt footballer Mohamed Salah has accused the Egyptian Football Association of hampering the country’s World Cup preparations in Russia earlier this summer by flying in celebrities to the team’s hotel. In two videos that escalated a months-long row with the EFA, Salah defended a letter sent by his lawyer Ramy Abass that listed seven demands, including increased personal security and regulation of his public appearances and photo opportunities during international competitions. Continue reading...

Mesut Özil quits Germany over ‘racism’ and sparks anger over dual-heritage identity – video

Mesut Özil’s departure from Germany’s national team amid accusations of racism is drawing mixed reactions with both expressions of concern over its implications for society and criticism of the player. The Arsenal player announced on Sunday he was retiring from international football after Germany’s shock first-round World Cup exit. He attacked the country’s football federation (DFB), its president, fans and media for what he saw as double standards in treating people with Turkish roots. Özil, who won 92 caps for Germany, defended his controversial decision to meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in May. In a statement of its own on Monday, the DFB paid tribute to the midfielder’s contribution but also rejected any suggestions of racism. The governing body stressed its integration work was “of central importance at all levels”. Özil has received plenty of support on social media, but Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness accused Özil Continue reading "Mesut Özil quits Germany over ‘racism’ and sparks anger over dual-heritage identity – video"

Mesut Özil walks away from Germany team citing ‘racism and disrespect’

• Özil attacks DFB president Reinhard Grindel in statement
• ‘I am German when we win, an immigrant when we lose’ Mesut Özil has blamed unfair discrimination over his meeting with the Turskish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, in May for his decision to retire from international football with immediate effect. Özil was a member of the Germany squad that went out of the World Cup finals in Russia at the group stage and faced heavy criticism for his both performances and his meeting with Erdoğan, who has been accused of human rights abuses and has been outspoken about German politics as well. Continue reading...

Premier League teams face World Cup hangover after abridged pre-season | Paul Wilson

Seven top-tier sides had 10 or more players on international duty in Russia and only Bournemouth and Fulham are training for the new season with complete squads at their disposalWhether it is possible to have too much football is a question frequently asked during World Cup summers, and one which seems likely to raise its head again when the domestic league programme resumes next month. Related: The rush after Russia – Premier League clubs struggle with new transfer deadline Continue reading...

Mandela,Obama and the power of the game

“Sport has the power to change the world…it has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than government in breaking down […]

Russia’s World Cup was great – now get behind the women at France 2019 | Marta

Hot on the heels of the successful men’s tournament comes the showpiece event for the women’s game – ample opportunity to demonstrate how much it has grownThe men’s World Cup has come to an end and for me the tournament was a success. Questions had been asked about what kind of a tournament Russia would deliver and although I was not able to travel there, it seems to have been very well organised and almost all the comments about it have been positive. Related: Everton and Barcelona take pioneering lead towards equality | Louise Taylor Continue reading...

World Cup 2018 team of the tournament

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> The 2018 World Cup is in the books, which means it’s time to pick our World Cup Team of the Tournament. I’ll provide 2 players at each position (first team and second team), along with a brief explanation of my selections. Feel free to disagree in the comments below!

Goalkeeper:

1st Team: Jordan Pickford, England 2nd Team: Thibaut Courtois, Belgium A difficult selection– Courtois won the Golden Glove Award, but for me, Pickford was better. He made the key save vs. Colombia, and he made several key saves against Sweden and Croatia. Courtois was terrific for Belgium, but when it comes to stand out moments, I give Pickford the edge. Honorable mentions to France’s Hugo Lloris, who would have made my second team if not for his dreadful error in the Final, along with Denmark’s Kasper Schmeichel, Mexico’s Guillermo Ochoa, and South Korea’s Cho-Hyun Woo.

Right Back:

1st Team: Kieran
Continue reading "World Cup 2018 team of the tournament"

World Cup 2018: 32 fans from 32 countries review the tournament

As the dust settles on the World Cup in Russia, readers have been sharing their verdicts on their teams’ performances I could not be prouder of my team. To see France do so well and bring such happiness to the country has been an incredible experience. Raphaël Varane stood out for me at the back. A hardworking and humble hero who was full of heart, he kept world class strikers quiet throughout the tournament. The perfect footballer to look up to. We’re such a young, talented team so must be heavy favourites for the World Cup again in four years. Rachel Grillot Continue reading...

Watchdog reviews complaints about World Cup betting ads

ASA to assess if ‘bet now’ offers during matches broke rules on problem gambling The UK’s advertising watchdog is examining complaints about World Cup ads by Bet365, William Hill and Coral that potentially broke new rules designed to crack down on problem gambling. The Advertising Standards Authority received 115 complaints from viewers about TV gambling ads during the four weeks of the 2018 World Cup. This is four times the number of complaints the watchdog received in the month before the World Cup.
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Ten players whose transfer values surged at the World Cup

Harry Maguire, Yerry Mina, Ivan Perisic and Eden Hazard will command much higher fees now than a month ago By Martin Laurence for WhoScored Well that was fun, wasn’t it? The 2018 World Cup delivered entertainment until the very last. As ever, a number of players did their reputations no harm. With attentions now inevitably switching to the transfer window, here are 10 players who have seen their value increase significantly thanks to their impressive performances in Russia this summer. Continue reading...

Who has won the World Cup and European Cup in the same year? | The Knowledge

Plus: players who have lost European Cup and World Cup finals in the same year; knocking out continents; and huge friendly attendances. Mail us or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU “Raphaël Varane has just completed the big-time double of winning the European Cup and World Cup in the same year. Which other players have achieved this?” asks Jim George. Well, having done some digging around, we came up with a list and Varane making an illustrious XI. Mind you, Luka Modric would also have completed a team of big-time double winners had Croatia won. Here is the XI: Continue reading...

World Cup Final delivers 17 million viewers across FOX and Telemundo combined

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> The 2018 FIFA World Cup Final between France and Croatia averaged 17.2 million viewers across the FOX network and Telemundo combined including online viewership. Not reflected in the viewing number is the out-of-home viewership, which included huge numbers that watched the game in bars, restaurants and public watch parties across the United States. TV numbers alone, the France-Croatia final averaged 16.6 million viewers. While not an apples to apples comparison, the 2014 World Cup Final averaged 26.5 million viewers, but that game featured powerhouses Germany and Argentina who generate a lot more interest in the United States than France and Croatia. Overall on television, the 2018 FIFA World Cup on the FOX and Telemundo networks averaged 4.6 million viewers per game. Compared to the previous tournaments, the 2014 World Cup averaged approximately 8.1 million viewers combined on the ESPN and Univision networks. For the 2018 Continue reading "World Cup Final delivers 17 million viewers across FOX and Telemundo combined"