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FIFA 'concerned' by arrest in Chechnya of rights activist

Moscow - FIFA said Wednesday they were "deeply concerned" about the detention in Russia of a rights campaigner that drew international condemnation ahead of the World Cup.

World Cup fever causes sleepless nights for Bangladesh flagmakers

Chhota Angutia - Flagmakers in Bangladesh are doing a roaring trade weeks ahead of the World Cup, but no-one is interested in the home nation's colours -- the money is all on pennants for Lionel Messi's Argentina and Neymar's Brazil.

Watchdog urges Russia world cup opening boycott over Syria

Beirut - World leaders should boycott Russian President Vladimir Putin's VIP box at next month's World Cup opening unless he takes steps to protect Syrian civilians, Human Rights Watch said Tuesday.

Kosovo jails Muslim extremists over Israeli football terror plot

Pristina - Eight Muslim extremists who plotted terror attacks against Israeli footballers and fans during a 2016 World Cup qualifier in Albania were jailed for up to 10 years on Friday.

Ibrahimovic rules out World Cup comeback: federation

Stockholm - Star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who quit the Swedish national squad in 2016, will not make a comeback for the World Cup in Russia, the Swedish football federation said Thursday."I spoke with Zlatan on Tuesday.

UK Typhoon jets to provide security for 2022 World Cup in Qatar

Doha - UK Typhoon fighter jets bought last year by Qatar will be delivered in time to help provide security for the 2022 World Cup, Britain's ambassador in Doha said Tuesday.

Main Moscow airport misses World Cup runway deadline: report

Moscow - Moscow's busiest airport will not receive a crucial new runway in time for the World Cup, a report said on Thursday, dealing a blow to President Vladimir Putin's prestige event.

Russia's World Cup team told to avoid 'exotic tea'

Moscow - Russia's World Cup team was told to stay away from "exotic teas" and foreign medicine to avoid testing positive for doping during this year's final.

Russian ambassador says England fans will be safe at World Cup

London - Russia's ambassador to Britain insisted Thursday that England football fans will be safe at the 2018 World Cup, despite a raging diplomatic crisis between London and Moscow.

Russia shrugs off World Cup no-show by British ministers, royals

Moscow - Moscow on Tuesday shrugged off London's decision not to send British ministers and royals to Russia's World Cup over a nerve agent attack on a former double agent.

Five diplomatic rows looming over Russia's World Cup

Paris - The escalating war of words over the poisoning of an ex-spy in England is just one of a slew of diplomatic rows clouding Russia's preparations as hosts of the World Cup this summer.

Five diplomatic rows looming over Russia's World Cup

Paris - The World Cup is a prime opportunity for the host country to burnish its international image -- but Russia's tensions with the West mean that will prove tricky this year.

Neymar leaves hospital by helicopter for recovery

Belo Horizonte - Brazilian superstar Neymar left hospital by helicopter on Sunday, a day after a successful foot operation, to begin his recovery ahead of a possible World Cup return.

Stray dogs 'murdered' in Russian World Cup cities: MPs

Moscow - Stray dogs are being killed in Russian cities set to host the 2018 World Cup as authorities follow orders to get thousands of feral animals under control, Russian MPs claimed Thursday.

Russia on alert for returning IS jihadists ahead of World Cup

Moscow - Russia's security service on Tuesday said it was on alert for the possible return of jihadists from Syria ahead of the World Cup and the presidential election in 2018.

Kiwis 'gutted' as Peru end World Cup dream

Wellington - New Zealand football fans lamented the end of their World Cup dream Thursday after a 2-0 defeat to Peru, but said the unfancied All Whites' gritty display had done the nation proud.

FIFA human rights panel warns over migrant workers

Geneva - FIFA's human rights advisors on Thursday criticised a lack of transparency over the condition of workers on World Cup projects in Russia, highlighting the plight of North Koreans reportedly building facilities.

UN clears Qatar in migrant worker abuse probe

Geneva - The UN's labour agency on Wednesday closed a probe into the alleged mistreatment of foreign workers in World Cup 2022 host Qatar, praising a reform plan agreed by the emirate.

World Cup, Olympics terror threats growing, says Interpol

Doha - Terror and cyber-security threats to major global sporting events, including football's World Cup and the Olympics, are growing, Interpol's secretary general warned on Wednesday.

'Nothing to fear' as Australia plays Honduras on edge of killing field

Tegucigalpa - Australia are to face Honduras for a World Cup playoff in a Central American stadium on Friday located on the edge of a cane field notorious for being where gangs dumped corpses and dismembered victims with chainsaws.

Russia faces 'very real' threat of attack at World Cup

Moscow - Russia says it will take extraordinary measures to combat any terrorist threat when it hosts the World Cup next year, as its military campaign in Syria makes the country a prime target for jihadists.

Blatter says he is going to World Cup at Putin's invitation

Zurich - FIFA's disgraced ex-president Sepp Blatter has told AFP he will go to next year's World Cup in Russia at the invitation of President Vladimir Putin, despite being banned from football."I will go to the World Cup in Russia.

'Don't hit' foreign fans, Russian Cup mayor tells locals

Moscow - The mayor of the Russian World Cup host city of Kaliningrad advised locals Wednesday to leave the city on match days -- and not to hit fans."Be hospitable and friendly -- don't hit anyone," said the city's mayor Alexander Yaroshuk.

TV deal for 2026, 2030 World Cups 'advantageous' for FIFA - BeIN

Doha - The TV broadcasting rights deal agreed for the 2026 and 2030 World Cups, which is under investigation by Swiss prosecutors, was "advantageous for FIFA", a beIN spokesman claimed Saturday.

Gulf rivals trade barbs over 2022 World Cup in Qatar

Doha - Qatar reacted angrily Wednesday after its Gulf rival the United Arab Emirates questioned whether it should be allowed to host the 2022 football World Cup without a change of policy.

Israel police dismiss report of knife incident at Spain match

Jerusalem - Israeli police dismissed on Tuesday local media reports that a pitch invader who ran towards Spanish attacker Isco at a World Cup qualifier in Jerusalem was carrying a knife.

Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay confirm 2030 World Cup bid

Buenos Aires - Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay will form a joint bid to host the centenary World Cup in 2030, the presidents of the three countries confirmed on Wednesday.

World Cup ticket sales start Thursday

Moscow - FIFA announced Tuesday that ticket sales for the 2018 World Cup will begin on Thursday, nine months to the day that the tournament kicks off in Russia.

41 cities bidding for 2026 World Cup games

Los Angeles - Forty-one cities in Canada, Mexico and the United States have submitted bids to serve as host cities for the 2026 World Cup, officials said Thursday.

Germany football stars slam Nazi chants

Berlin - Germany players have blasted a hardcore group of crowd members for shouting Nazi-era chants during a World Cup qualifier as the world champions hope to secure a finals berth on Monday.
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