Critics say the team is drawn from the worst generation in the history of Russian football Darya Isayeva /Sport Express / TASS With just over 30 minutes left to play and leading Turkey by a goal, Russia’s fans could taste victory. Then the team lost its focus. Two of Russia’s defenders — the lumbering Sergei Ignashevich, who will be the third oldest player at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and Ilya Kutepov, who was playing in only his seventh international match — left a Turkish forward alone and free. The attacking player scooped up a long pass delivered from his team’s half of the field, calmly dribbled down the middle of the pitch and slotted the ball into the lower corner of Russia’s net. When the final whistle sounded, jeers and whistles rang out from the stands, which were filled almost entirely with home supporters. Going into its first domestic World Cup, Russia has now gone without a win in its last seven matches. After drawing … [Read more...] about Aging and Inexperienced: Why Russia’s World Cup Squad Is Doomed to Fail
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It's here. It's really here! On Thursday the World Cup will kick-off and control our lives for at least a month. The wait is over, the football is finally, really here. But who will win the football? There are 32 teams - one of them has to be the best! Luckily for you, we have ranked them in order from worst to best, or least likely to win to most likely, based on World Cup warm-up friendlies form, how the teams look in action and accounting for all the wonderful variables that make this the greatest sporting event that exists. If you're not sure about this list, you can try our predictor and see how how your own opinion holds up. 32. Panama Panama are beyond excited for this World Cup appearance but sadly, just aren't very good. If they manage to win even a point in the group stage it would be a phenomenal achievement and manager Hernan Dario Gomez doesn't seem to have high expectations: "I think it would be seen as successful if we went out and performed in … [Read more...] about World Cup rankings: Who looks good ahead of kick-off in Russia?
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson believes a quick turnaround from defeat in the Champions League final to representing England at the World Cup can ease the pain of defeat to Real Madrid in Kiev. Two huge goalkeeping errors from Loris Karius and a spectacular overhead kick from Gareth Bale prevented Henderson from lifting his first trophy since replacing Steven Gerrard as skipper at Anfield in a 3-1 defeat on May 26. "It’s been difficult over the last ten days. It was hard to take," Henderson said on Tuesday. "I've had a little bit of time off and time with the family, which was important. It was good to get my head around it and have some downtime to refocus on what is important and that is the World Cup now. "That is where the focus has got to be. I think it is a good thing, I get straight back to business." Harry Kane edged out Henderson for the honour of captaining his country in Russia despite the latter being one of the more experienced heads in a youthful squad selected … [Read more...] about Henderson keen to move on from Champions League blow
Racist and anti-gay chants have become more common in Russian football as the country prepares to host the World Cup, even as overall incidents of discrimination declined. Nineteen incidents of abusive chants were recorded this season, according to an annual report from the anti-discrimination Fare Network and the Moscow-based Sova Centre released on Wednesday. That compares to two cases the season before, and 10 the year before that. Victims included players from the French national team, who were targeted with monkey chants during a game against Russia in March, and Liverpool youth player Bobby Adekanye, who was racially abused by Spartak Moscow supporters. Read more Russia fined by Fifa for racist chants by fans in France friendly Russian national team goalkeeper Guilherme Marinato, a naturalised citizen who was born in Brazil, was twice targeted by Spartak fans calling him a monkey. In another case, a regional governor told local media that the … [Read more...] about Racist and anti-gay chants on the rise in Russia ahead of World Cup
A row has erupted in Labour’s youth wing over a demand to give members a vote on the party’s official Brexit policy at the national conference in Liverpool later this year. It follows an open letter to Jeremy Corbyn from the chair of both Young Labour and Labour Students, claiming to represent a Labour membership of more than 100,000 people under the age of 27. Miriam Mirwitch, the chair of Young Labour, and Melantha Chittenden, the chair of Labour Students, said in their letter that the referendum result was “not representative” of the views of young people across the country. Read more EU beats Britain to opening trade deal talks with Australia and NZ Brexit has already hit UK GDP by up to £40bn says Mark Carney Labour will 'pay heavy price' for refusal to fight Brexit, Blair warns May says 'backstop' customs deal with EU must be for 'a limited time' Michael Gove is spouting nonsense about migration and Brexit “We understand your hesitancy … [Read more...] about Labour youth wing row erupts over Brexit vote at national party conference