9. Fifa do have teeth For all the bad press, when something really bad happened – something disgusting – Fifa didn’t hold back. They fined Argentina £200,000 for breaching press conference regulations – failing to provide a player to give quotes “on three consecutive occasions”. Luis Suárez, meanwhile, was fined £96,000. But Suárez’s four-month ban did represent an unexpectedly heavy hit - a bit “fascist”, reckoned the Uruguay president José Mujica, who called it “an assault on the poor” driven by “Fifa’s bunch of old sons of bitches”. Meanwhile, Pepe was fined £10,000 for a headbutt, Alex Song £13,000 for an elbow chop, and Algeria £32,000 for fans using lasers. None of the 12 complaints made about racist, homophobic or far-right chants or banners led to any Fifa action. … [Read more...] about World Cup 2014: 11 things the tournament taught us
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Deschamps introduced Loic Rémy for Yohan Cabaye and his team did press on to the front foot a little more in the second half. The full-backs got forward on the overlap and there was the scent of an equaliser. Benzema was denied by another Hummels block and Blaise Matuidi had a shot saved by Neuer. When the goalkeeper beat Benzema’s last-gasp effort away with a mighty glove, France were staring at the exit. … [Read more...] about Germany reach World Cup semi-finals as Mats Hummels header sinks France
Mercifully there was incident in the latter stages. There was a mêlée that followed Alvaro Pereira's strong challenge on Jérémy Toulalan – Domenech stepped on to the pitch as he felt "the Uruguayans were trying to provoke one of my players" – and Lodeira was distraught to see red so swiftly after his introduction. The great young hope of Uruguayan football had already been booked for dissent when he jumped into the tackle on Sagna that compelled the Japanese referee, Yuichi Nishimura, to dismiss him. … [Read more...] about World Cup 2010: Ten-man Uruguay and France begin with stalemate
While Spain have problems of their own as the Iberian nations prepare to meet in their opening match at th e 2018 World Cup, the fallout from the Sporting soap opera has marred the buildup to the tournament for the reigning European champions. On Monday Gelson Martins, William Carvalho and Bruno Fernandes joined the goalkeeper Rui Patrício in cancelling their contracts, citing “valid motives” for their decision. The Netherlands international Bas Dost, who was one of the players injured in the training ground attack, has also indicated his desire to leave one of Portugal’s most famous clubs, even accusing the president of perpetrating of “psychological violence” towards him, with the law courts now set to rule on the case. … [Read more...] about Sporting meltdown casts shadow over Portugal’s World Cup buildup
France were crowned World Cup champions on Sunday afternoon, after beating Croatia 4-2. Despite skepticism before Russia 2018 kicked off, the tournament has been widely hailed as a success. But did your team contribute to the tournament’s success or did they freeze on the big stage? … [Read more...] about How did your team fare at the 2018 World Cup?