MOHAMED Salah, a star attraction forward of soccer’s 2018 World Cup in Russia, has made headlines for a smiling photograph with Ramzan Kadyrov, strongman of Chechnya the place his Egypt crew have arrange camp.
“Mo Salah was woken from his sleep so a man accused of ‘torture and extrajudicial killings’ could have a photo with him during training” in Grozny, capital of the Russian republic, British tabloid The Solar opined.
Kadyrov, supported by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, guidelines Chechnya with an iron fist, drawing fixed condemnation from human rights teams.
In response to press experiences, he himself went to the Egyptian crew lodge to choose up Salah and ship him for coaching at the soccer stadium earlier than eight,000 cheering followers.
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Formally, The Pharaohs selected Grozny as Egypt’s camp though it’s not internet hosting any matches in the event to maintain a low profile, away from the media, as they put together to make their World Cup finals return after an absence of 28 lengthy years.
Sporting a turquoise-and-white tracksuit, gushed about Salah, saying the Egypt and Liverpool objective machine was “the best footballer in the world, and an overall perfect person”.
Chechnya’s president himself is an avid fan of the no-holds-barred sport of Blended Martial Arts.
Beneath his rule of Muslim-dominated Chechnya, mosques have sprouted up all over the place from the ruins of cities and villages destroyed in two wars in opposition to the central authorities in Moscow.
Tajeddine Soultane, supervisor of the crew’s spanking new lodge, The Native, mentioned they opted for Chechnya “because this is a conservative country… where you don’t find discotheques” and the meals is halal in line with Muslim spiritual legal guidelines.
For the crew itself, the Salah-Kadyrov handshake was far much less vital than whether or not their star will get better from a shoulder damage to function in Egypt’s opening match in opposition to Uruguay on Friday in Ekaterinburg
MESSI SUPERFAN IS A REAL HEADCASE
LIONEL MESSI has been making hair stand on finish for years.
However now his personal face is making appearances in the barnet of a fan, who had a portrait of the Barcelona genius shaved into the again of his head.
The barber, Mario Hvala, is famed for his salon in Novi Unhappy, Serbia, the place he shaves all method of shapes and faces into prospects’ hair.
Hvala’s creativity started 18 years in the past when he sculpted a tarantula into the hair of a person who mentioned to him “let’s do something different.”
For the World Cup Hvala has broadened his vary of kinds on supply, which now contains portraits of Cristiano Ronaldo.
With footballers normally the ones making headlines for his or her hairstyles, it makes a change to see one immortalised on this method.
ENGLAND ARRIVE IN RUSSIA
Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford could have an damage assessed on Wednesday, mentioned England supervisor Gareth Southgate as his facet touched down in Russia for the World Cup on Tuesday.
Rashford shone with a shocking opening objective in England’s ultimate warm-up pleasant in opposition to Costa Rica final week, however England are hopeful he will likely be match for his or her event opener in opposition to Tunisia on Monday with Southgate describing the damage as a “slight knock”.
“Marcus took a slight knock, but nothing too serious, so we will have a look at that ahead of tomorrow’s session which is open for everybody to see,” Southgate informed the BBC upon England’s arrival in St Petersburg.
“But other than that, everybody came through fine. Across three weeks, we have been really pleased to get the 23 we picked through all of the sessions.” After flying into Saint Petersburg, England headed to their base camp in the seaside city of Repino, 45 kilometres northwest of the metropolis, the place preparations will begin for the Three Lions’ opening sport in opposition to Tunisia on Monday.
England may even face World Cup debutants Panama and extremely fancied Belgium in Group G.
“We are obviously excited to be here now. We just wanted to get over here and settled to start to prepare for the games ahead,” mentioned England captain Harry Kane.
“It’s a World Cup – there’s at all times going to be stress, nerves and pleasure.
“For us it’s about working arduous and coaching arduous till the sport, then going on the market and having some enjoyable.” England’s arrival at their lodge was met with a robust safety and media presence.
FFA VOTES FOR WORLD CUP 2026
Soccer Federation Australia will at the moment vote for the World Cup to return to North America.
FFA chair Steven Lowy and chief government David Gallop are in Moscow for the FIFA Congress, the place the main merchandise on the agenda is awarding internet hosting rights for the 2026 event.
There are two contenders; Morocco and the ‘United’ bid of Mexico, Canada and the United States of America.
The voting guidelines has modified from the corruption-stained course of that awarded internet hosting rights for the 2018 and 2022 occasions.
Again in 2010, when Australia hoped to be awarded rights to the 2022 event, particular person members of FIFA’s Government Committee voted which nation would host the greatest prize in world sport.
The 2018 event, which begins on Thursday evening (Friday AEST), was awarded to Russia.
Qatar received the rights to the 2022 occasion, amid allegations of vote-buying and subsequent investigations into a number of members of the now-disgraced committee. For Wednesday’s vote, every member federation will forged a poll. Given FFA’s closeness with its American counterpart, Australia has by no means critically entertained voting for the African nation.
World Cup referees should guarantee all the time used for video evaluation is performed at the finish of every half – even when a stoppage takes 10 minutes. FIFA’s directions to greater than 100 match officers in Russia had been outlined Tuesday, two days forward of the often-contentious know-how making its World Cup debut.
“All the minutes, all the seconds, lost by VAR (video assistant referees) will be added at the end,” Massimo Busacca, FIFA head of refereeing, mentioned at a information convention. “We don’t want to lose any seconds lost by any interruption.” The method for reviewing one in every of the most advanced incidents that may be reviewed – a working confrontation involving all gamers – will take so long as wanted. “We will take all the possible time to see if there is a clear red card,” mentioned Busacca, who was a 2010 World Cup referee. “When it is related to match confrontation and not respecting the image (of football), we can even stay 10 minutes at the video to see exactly what happened.” The primary referee in the highlight is Nestor Pitana of Argentina, who handles the Russia-Saudi Arabia match in Moscow on Thursday.
FIFA picked Pitana for responsibility, with Massimiliano Irrati of Italy main a four- man video evaluation crew. They’ll work at a FIFA management heart in the Moscow suburbs, a number of miles from the Luzhniki Stadium.
Referees can name for evaluations of attainable clear errors and critical incidents missed in game-changing conditions: objectives scored, crimson playing cards, and penalty awards, plus mistaken id.
FIFA’s recommendation may result in extra choices reviewed – and doubtlessly overturned – having requested officers to let play circulate and preserve the possibility of a later evaluation. “He is respecting the instructions that were given him on purpose by keeping the flag down,” mentioned Pierluigi Collina, chairman of FIFA’s referees committee. “If he puts a flag up, everything is finished.” Video evaluation nonetheless has doubters after a primary full season in prime leagues akin to Germany’s Bundesliga which opted to make use of the know-how.
Groups and followers have been angered by some sluggish and complicated decision-making course of, repeating issues seen in Russia at FIFA’s Confederations Cup warmup event final yr.
“It is ready for the World Cup but don’t think it will be perfect,” mentioned Busacca of a system that has been examined since 2016 and formally accepted solely in March. Collina pressured that the end result of choices “is what really counts at the end of the day.” And the 2002 World Cup ultimate referee has opted for expertise to set the tone in the first of 64 video games.
Pitana refereed 4 video games at the 2014 World Cup, and Irrati is from Collina’s native Italy which additionally used video evaluation in Serie A.
In a 90-minute information convention, Collina opened by making reference to corruption allegations in opposition to two match officers FIFA chosen for World Cup responsibility however needed to drop in current weeks.
The circumstances of Saudi Arabian referee Fahad Al Mirdasi and Kenyan assistant Aden Vary Marwa “surprised us a lot,” he mentioned. “We will continue to be clear and strict when something similar will occur.”