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German reporter who exposed Russia doping ‘won’t be at World Cup’

German journalist Hajo Seppelt, whose investigative reporting exposed Russia's alleged state-sponsored doping, will not travel to the football World Cup tournament out of security concerns, national broadcaster ARD said. World Cup host Russia had initially refused to issue Seppelt a visa, but later relented after massive international pressure, with FIFA stressing the importance of media freedom to President Vladimir Putin's government. But Germany's security agencies have since evaluated the situation and found that it was risky for the journalist to travel to Russia, said ARD in a statement late Wednesday. Representatives from the broadcaster also held talks with Foreig...Keep on reading: German reporter who exposed Russia doping ‘won’t be at World Cup’.....»»

Category: newsSource: inquirer inquirerJun 14th, 2018

German reporter who exposed Russia doping ‘won’t be at World Cup’

German journalist Hajo Seppelt, whose investigative reporting exposed Russia's alleged state-sponsored doping, will not travel to the football World Cup tournament out of security concerns, national broadcaster ARD said. World Cup host Russia had initially refused to issue Seppelt a visa, but later relented after massive international pressure, with FIFA stressing the importance of media freedom to President Vladimir Putin's government. But Germany's security agencies have since evaluated the situation and found that it was risky for the journalist to travel to Russia, said ARD in a statement late Wednesday. Representatives from the broadcaster also held talks with Foreig...Keep on reading: German reporter who exposed Russia doping ‘won’t be at World Cup’.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJun 14th, 2018

High jumper Ukhov among top Russians facing doping cases

MOSCOW --- Some of Russia's best known track and field athletes are facing doping cases, including former Olympic high jump champion Ivan Ukhov. The Athletics Integrity Unit, which oversees anti-doping cases in track and field, released details on Friday of 109 cases from around the world in a new transparency drive. Besides Ukhov, the list includes top Russians such as the double world champion shot putter Tatyana Lysenko, Olympic bronze medal-winning long jumper Svetlana Shkolina, and 2014 world indoor triple jump champion Lyukman Adams. The AIU said they are among 13 Russian cases based on evidence uncovered during World Anti-Doping Agency investigator Richard McLaren's...Keep on reading: High jumper Ukhov among top Russians facing doping cases.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJul 21st, 2018

France s Mbappe hailed as new global superstar

RUSSIA – France players and the world's press hailed Kylian Mbappe as an emerging superstar after the 19-year-old eclipsed Lionel Messi in a match that felt like the passing of a torch to a new generation. Mbappe's speed and power ruthlessly exposed Argentina's defense in Kazan in a thrilling 4-3 victory ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJul 1st, 2018

Post-Russia: A twilight of the German football gods

The world and the internet have been looking for terms to define or encapsulate Germany’s crashing out of the 2018 World Cup in Russia following its 0-2 loss to South Korea......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJun 28th, 2018

Argentina has big weaknesses to address before facing France

By Jerome Pugmire, Associated Press ST. PETERSBURG, France (AP) — After the euphoria of scraping through to the last 16 of the World Cup, Argentina now must address its glaring weaknesses. Argentina has little time to prepare for Saturday's match against France, which is considered among the tournament favorites, yet has much to work on. Particularly on defense. Argentina's feeble defense was exposed in 3-0 defeat to Croatia last week and once again in Tuesday's 2-1 must-win game against Nigeria. Argentina won with an 86th-minute goal from defender Marcos Rojo, but during the second half the team looked on the verge of another capitulation at the back. Here is a look at some of the key issues facing Jorge Sampaoli's team before taking on France in Kazan: MASCHERANO MISERY If Javier Mascherano is supposed to be protecting the defense, he's not doing a very good job. With 146 international appearances, the 34-year-old Mascherano should be a rock for Sampaoli's team. But instead of offering the protective screen in front of the back four, Mascherano is often proving to be a weak link. As his bloodied face on Tuesday showed, there is no doubting his commitment. But his judgment, especially for someone with so much experience, is lacking. Two horribly misplaced passes gave Nigeria dangerous positions to attack from, while it was Mascherano's clumsy challenge that led to Nigeria's equalizing goal from the penalty spot. In his defense, there may be mitigating circumstances. Although a holding midfielder by trade, Mascherano dropped deeper when deployed as a center half for Barcelona over the past few years. Now back in his traditional position, he often appears caught in two minds as to whether to push up as a midfielder does, or stay back more sensibly like a defender. While it does not excuse his poor passing, it may explain some of his confused judgment. FALLEN STARS Angel Di Maria's failure to control a simple pass during a promising counterattack against Nigeria was a sad sight for such a fine talent. As the ball flew off his foot and went out of play, a helpless look formed on Di Maria's face. Long considered one of the world's best wingers, the 30-year-old Paris Saint-Germain player is not living up to his reputation in Russia. He looked despondent when he was taken off against Nigeria with 20 minutes left, his self-confidence glaringly absent. But it is feasible he is still affected by what happened during the season with PSG. Di Maria was PSG's most in-form player heading into the first leg of its Champions League last-16 game against Real Madrid on Feb. 14, but was surprisingly left out entirely by PSG coach Unai Emery. "I was boiling (inside) because I felt I should have played, or at least have come on," Di Maria said. Perhaps his fragile confidence has not been repaired. But Mascherano and Di Maria are not the only big-name players performing well below their best. So is Gonzalo Higuain. The burly striker looked nervous and heavy-legged against Nigeria, blazing a great chance high and wide with the score 1-1 with 10 minutes left. In the end, he was reprieved by Rojo's late winner, but it was not the finish expected of a forward with a combined 267 goals for Real Madrid, Napoli and Juventus. He has 31 for Argentina, too, but tellingly he has not scored in his past eight games for his country. WHERE IS DYBALA? Fans hoping to see Paulo Dybala, one of the brightest attacking talents in soccer, playing in Russia may not get their wish. The 24-year-old forward regularly impresses Juventus fans with his trickery and spectacular goals — scoring 26 times in 46 appearances last season — but for whatever reason, Sampaoli does not seem to need him. With time running out against Nigeria, the coach still did not bring him on, even though Dybala has the skill and imagination to unlock defenses. He has only played once for Argentina all year, and with Sampaoli in charge this does not look like it will change. FRENCH THREAT Although France has yet to find its top form , Argentina's creaking defense will be under threat from its highly rated forwards. Kylian Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele are two of the fastest players in the world, while Antoine Griezmann was top scorer at the European Championship two years ago. Imposing striker Olivier Giroud is one of the best headers of the ball around, which gives Sampaoli's back four even more to worry about from crosses, corners and free kicks......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 28th, 2018

DJ Calvin Harris stoked by Harry Kane nod to One Kiss

NIZHNY NOVGOROD, Russia (AP) — Harry Kane led England into the round of 16 at the World Cup then gave a nod to Scottish DJ Calvin Harris. Kane was asked after England's 6-1 victory over Panama to pick a song to play on a Brazilian program as reward for his hat trick in the victory. Caught off guard by the request, the striker mulled the question from the Brazilian reporter. "I'll go 'One Kiss' by Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa," he offered Sunday. Dua Lipa is British, and both she and Harris were thrilled with Kane's selection. "Yes I'm Scottish but I don't care the legend Harry Kane picked our song," Harris posted on Twitter with a clip from Kane's post-match news conference. Yes I’m Scottish but I don’t care the legend Harry Kane picked our song hahahahaha pic.twitter.com/r0JclobgzN— Calvin Harris (@CalvinHarris) June 24, 2018 Dua Lipa acknowledged the shout-out by reposting a tweet about Kane's selection. Fans of both the soccer player and the artists also flooded social media supporting Kane's song choice......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 25th, 2018

Sweden hit out at Germans for rubbing it in with celebrations

Supporters of the German national football team react after their team scored a second goal as they watch on a giant screen the Russia 2018 World Cup Group F football match between Germany and Swed.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsJun 24th, 2018

Serbs angrier at World Cup ref than at nationalist gestures

By Mike Corder, Associated Press KALININGRAD, Russia (AP) — Serbs appeared angrier Saturday at the referee who officiated their country's 2-1 World Cup defeat than at two Swiss players who provocatively flashed Albanian nationalist gestures after scoring. Years of simmering Balkan tensions surfaced at the World Cup on Friday night as Switzerland beat Serbia in Kaliningrad. The two Swiss goals came from ethnic Albanians Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka, both of whom celebrated with a hand signal of the double-headed eagle on the Albanian flag. "The Swiss Provocation," wrote Serb nationalist daily newspaper Vecernje Novosti alongside photographs of the gestures and a picture of Shaqiri's boots, which have the Kosovo flag on one heel and the Swiss flag on the other. FIFA's disciplinary committee opened proceedings against the two for the politically charged goal celebrations. FIFA also said Saturday it has opened disciplinary proceedings against the Serbian Football Association for crowd disturbance and the display of political and offensive messages by Serbian fans. FIFA also is reviewing statements that Serbia coach Mladen Krstajic made after the match. The families of both goal scorers hail from Kosovo , the former Serb province whose 2008 declaration of independence is not recognized by Serbia and remains a source of friction between the Balkan neighbors. Thousands of Kosovo Albanians trekked across Europe in the 1990s, fleeing rising ethnic tensions that culminated in a bloody 1998-99 war of independence between ethnic Albanians and Serb forces that left about 10,000 people dead. Many settled in Switzerland, but still have strong feelings for their homeland — Xhaka's brother plays for the Albanian national team. Serbian football officials complained to FIFA, soccer's governing body, about the gestures, but appeared far angrier about the failure of German referee Felix Brych to use a video review when two Swiss defenders manhandled Serbia striker Aleksandar Mitrovic to the ground in the second half. Brych ignored Serbian players' penalty appeals. FIFA had no comment Saturday about the video decision. Serbian football association Vice President Savo Milosevic reacted angrily after the match. "I understand maybe the referee didn't see it, but that's why we put VAR (video assisted review) on," Milosevic said. "What are (those) guys doing up there?" Serbian newspapers gave more space to the VAR spat than to the nationalist gestures. In the Kosovo capital, Pristina, fans set off flares when the Swiss players scored . Fans in the Albanian capital, Tirana, cheered as they watched the match on outdoor screens. Kosovo's president Hashim Thaci wrote on Twitter: "Congratulations to goalscorers Xhaka, Shaqiri and entire #Switzerland on a well deserved win! Proud of you." He finished his tweet: "Kosova ju don!" — an Albanian phrase meaning "Kosovo loves you!" Thaci is due to meet his Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vucic in Brussels on Sunday for European Union-brokered talks on their countries' strained relationship. Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama posted on his Facebook page photos of Shaqiri and Xhaka with their hands crossed in the two-headed eagle symbol and wrote: "Photo of the day." Meanwhile in Kaliningrad the day after the match, fans of both sides were not impressed by the gestures. "Politics shouldn't be mixed in with sports," said Stefan Gabrilovic, a Serbia supporter who lives in Australia. "I mean, it's not right, it's not right at all." Switzerland fan Mannie Affolter agreed. "I think it's not necessary but I cannot stop them," Affolter said. "For me it's too political, they should concentrate on sports. I don't like it either." Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic, who was born in Bosnia, another Balkan nation that fought a war of independence as Yugoslavia collapsed in the 1990s, didn't approve, either. "You should never mix politics and football. You should always show respect," he said after the match. "It's a wonderful atmosphere and a positive experience and that's what football should be about." ____ Associated Press writers Dusan Stojanovic in Belgrade and Llazar Semini in Tirana, Albania, contributed......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 24th, 2018

Mexican players can have beef again at the World Cup

By Carlos Rodriguez, Associated Press MOSCOW (AP) — Mexico's mantra for this World Cup is "No Excuses," and that includes no complaining about the menu. The team brought two tons of food to Russia, along with everything necessary to make their players' favorites, including traditional tacos, cheesy quesadillas and, of course, their hot salsas. When Colombian manager Juan Carlos Osorio took over the Mexico team in 2015, he gathered a staff that includes a mental coach, a kinesiology specialist, a recovery expert and nutritionist Beatriz Boullosa. "Professor Osorio says it all the time, there are no excuses here, he's a man that makes his decisions based on hard facts and he has opened the chance for every one of us in our respective areas to give something to the national team", Boullosa told The Associated Press. "We know that in the past, soccer has been ruled in the belief that: 'since I was a player and that worked, it applies,' but that is not how we run things around here, every decision is based on science." Boullosa has worked for the national teams since 2010. She was part of the staff that won the Under-17 world title in Mexico in 2011, and also worked for the Olympic team that won the gold medal in 2012, but coach Miguel Herrera was not convinced and let her out of the Brazil 2014 World Cup. Osorio heard about Boullosa's work and brought her along to take care of the diet and nutrition of the squad. "Every player has specific needs, not just based on his position but also based on his physique and his performance in training and in games. It's not the same for someone who played 90 minutes, to someone who stayed on the bench, we take every variable into account to make sure every player gets what they need", said Boullosa. The nutritionist is also responsible to monitor the nutrition supplements for the players to avoid any chance of doping violations. She says everything was supervised by a laboratory in Germany before the World Cup. The team did not ingest any red meat from Mexico to avoid any chance of positive tests with clenbuterol, a banned substance that is widely used by Mexican ranchers as a growth-enhancer. In 2011, five players from Mexico's squad tested positive for clenbuterol, among them Guillermo Ochoa, the starting goalkeeper in this World Cup. The country's federation ruled the positive tests were caused by contaminated meat. More recently, Mexican boxer Canelo Alvarez tested positive for the same forcing the postponement of his rematch with Gennady Golovkin. "We started consuming red meat since we arrived in Denmark", Boullosa said. "Players are carnivorous by nature and they are happy to get the red meat back on their diet, and in nutrition terms it was also important because it has great bioavailability and we had it banned while in Mexico". With red meat available, players can now eat all their favorites, and that includes tacos. "We brought a lot of food and we also brought a chef to make every dish as the player likes it, we are making corn tortillas that taste like glory", Boullosa added. "Players ask for their quesadillas and their tacos and that really helps psychologically, because you bring them closest to home". But there can't be a good Mexican taco without their ancestral partner: the hot sauce, an item that also crossed the ocean from Mexico. "We made a spicy chili-peanut sauce that is delicious, and we also have traditional salsas some of the super spicy and some mild ones", added Boullosa. "We also brought cans of beans and corn. We are super loaded.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 23rd, 2018

Switzerland, Serbia coaches don t want to talk about Kosovo

By Mike Corder, Associated Press KALININGRAD, Russia (AP) — The coaches of Serbia and Switzerland only want to talk about football, not about an entrenched political dispute casting a shadow over their teams' World Cup showdown in Russia. Tensions have been building in Serbia before the Group E match Friday in Kaliningrad. Not between Swiss and Serbian fans, but between Albanian and Serbian supporters. That is because several players in the Swiss squad have Kosovo Albanian roots, including midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri who was born in Kosovo, the former Serbian province that declared independence in 2008. Serbia doesn't recognize Kosovo's independence and relations between the two countries remain tense. Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic didn't want to discuss the issue Thursday. When a reporter asked Petkovic him how he would discuss it with his players, he sidestepped the question. "We will tell them we had a great match against Brazil. That's not enough; we have to play better against Serbia," Petkovic said through an interpreter. Switzerland held Brazil to a 1-1 draw in their opening match, while Serbia beat Costa Rica 1-0 to top the group after one round. Serbia coach Mladen Krstajic was equally reluctant to be drawn into the debate. "I'm not into politics," he said, also speaking through an interpreter. "We have our goals. We're here for sports to represent our country in the best possible way and we're not at all interested in anything else." Shaqiri makes no secret at his pride for his heritage at the World Cup. At training Thursday, he wore football boots with Kosovo's flag on his right heel and the Swiss flag on his left. Midfielder Valon Behrami grew up in what is now Kosovo, moving to Switzerland with his family in 1990 amid rising tensions between ethnic Albanians and Serbs. He has the flags of Switzerland and Kosovo tattooed on his left arm. Such displays have angered some Serbian fans, who often wear T-shirts bearing the map of Kosovo with the Serbian flag on it. The reaction of some Serbian players has also been sharp. "If they are such great patriots, why don't they play for their own countries instead of Switzerland?" Serbia striker Aleksandar Mitrovic asked recently. Friday's match also features two coaches who both come from Bosnia, a country that emerged from the former Yugoslavia after a bitter war in the 1990s. Bosnia finished third in its qualifying group and didn't make it to Russia. "I think that Mr. Petkovic is from Sarajevo. I hail from Zenica," Krstajic said. "So we have two coaches from Bosnia-Herzegovina representing different teams at the World Cup." Zenica is a town about 70 kilometers (45 miles) northwest of Sarajevo, Bosnia's capital. ____ Associated Press writer Dusan Stojanovic in Belgrade, Serbia contributed to this report......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 21st, 2018

ABS-CBN S+A, Liga to broadcast the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™

Filipino football fans are in for the biggest treat of their lives as they can watch the much-anticipated 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ LIVE on TV and online through ABS-CBN Integrated Sports’ channels and website starting June 14 at 11 pm, when Russia takes on Saudi Arabia in the opener. All 64 matches of the tournament will be aired, with 56 matches shown LIVE and 8 matches shown on Delay on cable TV via LIGA and LIGA HD, while ABS-CBN S+A and S+A HD will carry over 30 matches including the Semifinal and Final matches. All matches will also be available via livestreaming on sports.abs-cbn.com/2018FIFAWorldCup. Check out the full telecast schedule:  Those who will miss the games can watch updates and highlights in the special edition of “The Score” that will air daily for the duration of the competition. Respected football analysts, former and current pro and collegiate football players, and celebrity football enthusiasts will join anchors Mico Halili and Anton Roxas in the show. Everyone is looking forward to see if the German national squad, which demolished Brazil in the semifinal of the 2014 World Cup 7-1, and claimed the title with a 1-nil victory over Argentina in the Final, can dominate the competition once more given how loaded the squad is for the 2018 edition. However, fans can also expect stiff competition from teams such as Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal, Leo Messi’s Argentina, Harry Kane’s England, Eden Hazard’s Belgium and Antoine Griezmann’s France. As the official broadcasters of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, S+A and LIGA continue the mission of ABS-CBN Integrated Sports in giving Filipinos the best in sports entertainment. Ahead of the June 14 kick-off, fans have been enjoying World Cup qualifiers on LIGA and S+A and a special “Road to Russia” coverage airing every Friday on “The Score.” Viewers have also seen some of the world’s top players in S+A’s live airings of English Premier League, La Liga, and UEFA Champions League matches. With the telecast of the grandest tournament of the “beautiful game,” ABS-CBN’s sports arm hopes to further strengthen Filipinos’ passion for the number one sport in the world. Don’t miss top-notch world football action as the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia final fires off on June 14, LIVE from Russia on S+A, S+A HD, LIGA, LIGA HD, and via livestreaming on sports.abs-cbn.com at 11 pm. For more information and stories, visit ABS-CBN’s sports hub sports.abs-cbn.com and follow ABS-CBN Sports on Facebook and Twitter......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 5th, 2018

Peru s Guerrero scores twice in 3-0 win over Saudi Arabia

ST. GALLEN, Switzerland (AP) — Peru captain Paolo Guerrero scored twice in a 3-0 win over Saudi Arabia in a World Cup warmup Sunday on his comeback, three days after a Swiss supreme court ruling put his doping ban on hold. Guerrero looked every bit the inspirational leader Peru campaigned to clear for action at its first World Cup appearance in 36 years. Peru already led 1-0 when Guerrero followed up to score from close range in the 41st minute after an initial shot was saved. Guerrero's header from Andre Carrillo's cross in the 64th brought more adulation from a partisan Peruvian crowd in neutral St. Gallen, Switzerland, near both teams' training camps. Carrillo opened the scoring with a stunning left-foot volley in the 20th. Guerrero could yet have to complete a 14-month ban imposed by the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport for his positive test for metabolites of cocaine at a World Cup qualifying game last October. Still, a Switzerland Federal Tribunal judge said Thursday the ban should not apply until Guerrero's appeal is heard in full after the World Cup. Peru is in Group C with France, Denmark and Australia. It plays its first game against Denmark on June 16. The 67th-ranked Saudis are the lowest-rated team at the World Cup, and play Russia in the opening game on June 14 in Group A......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 4th, 2018

Tim Cahill set to play in 4th World Cup for Australia

SYDNEY (AP) — Tim Cahill will have a chance to score a goal in his fourth consecutive World Cup for Australia. The 38-year-old forward was chosen on Sunday by coach Bert van Marwijk among 23 players set to play in Russia for the Socceroos. Cahill has 105 caps for Australia and is the country's leading goal scorer, but has struggled for form and match time in recent months. He is currently playing for Millwall in England. Only three players have scored goals in four World Cups— Pele and German strikers Uwe Seeler and Miroslav Klose. Australia's squad is evenly spread, featuring three goalkeepers, seven defenders, six midfielders, and seven attackers. Daniel Arzani, 19, is joined by Dimitri Petratos and Josh Risdon as the only three A-League players in the squad, while Mark Milligan also made the World Cup squad for the fourth consecutive time. The final squad was the result of a two-week training camp in Antalya, Turkey and a 4-0 international friendly win over Czech Republic. "I have been very pleased with the effort and application of all of the players during our time in Turkey," van Marwijk said. "Every step of the selection process has been difficult because the players have all given everything to make the final selection." Australia is in Group C at the World Cup with France, Denmark and Peru. The Socceroos will continue to train in Turkey for another week before travelling to Budapest for a friendly against Hungary on June 9. Australia's World Cup opener is in Kazan against France on June 16. ___ Goalkeepers: Mat Ryan, Danny Vukovic, Brad Jones. Defenders: Trent Sainsbury, Milos Degenek, Matt Jurman, Mark Milligan, Josh Risdon, Aziz Behich, James Meredith. Midfielders: Mile Jedinak (captain), Aaron Mooy, Massimo Luongo, Jackson Irvine, Tomi Rogic, Dimitri Petratos, Mathew Leckie, Daniel Arzani. Forwards: Tim Cahill, Tomi Juric, Andrew Nabbout, Jamie Maclaren, Robbie Kruse......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 3rd, 2018

Swiss federal judge clears Peru captain to play at World Cup

By Graham Dunbar, Associated Press GENEVA (AP) — Peru captain Paolo Guerrero was cleared Thursday by a Swiss supreme court judge to play at the World Cup despite a doping ban. Switzerland's supreme court granted an interim order to freeze Guerrero's 14-month ban for a positive doping test at a World Cup qualifying game. "As a result, Paolo Guerrero can take part in the next World Cup," the federal court said. The judge took into account that, at 34, Guerrero should not miss the first opportunity of his career to play at the World Cup. Guerrero's urgent request to the federal court was helped by FIFA and the World Anti-Doping Agency, according to the court. "Neither one nor the other was categorically opposed (to him playing)," the court said. The interim ruling puts the ban imposed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport on hold until full consideration of the case at a later date. The verdict came four days ahead of FIFA's Monday deadline for Peru to finalize its 23-man World Cup squad. Guerrero tested positive for a metabolite of cocaine at a World Cup qualifier against Argentina in October. He argued that the stimulant had not been performance enhancing, and was accidentally consumed in contaminated tea. The federal judge agreed with the CAS panel, which also accepted the player's arguments of not being significantly at fault for the positive test. However, the CAS judges increased the ban to 14 months, upholding a counter-appeal by WADA. The sports court decided a ban through January 2019 was an "appropriate sanction ... in light of Mr. Guerrero's degree of fault." Guerrero's original six-month ban by FIFA expired on May 3, the same day his appeal was heard at CAS. Thursday's victory means the former Bayern Munich player is now set to be captain of Peru in Russia at its first World Cup appearance since 1982. Peru is in a group with France, Denmark and Australia......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 31st, 2018

Rival captains back Peru s Guerrero in bid to lift Cup ban

SYDNEY (AP) — The captains of the three countries set to play Peru at the World Cup have co-signed a letter urging soccer's international governing body to find a way for Peru captain Paolo Guerrero — currently under a drug suspension — to play in the tournament next month. FIFPro, the players' union, released a letter Tuesday that was signed by France captain Hugo Lloris, Denmark captain Simon Kjaer and Australia skipper Mile Jedinak seeking a temporary lifting of Guerrero's suspension. Guerrero tested positive for a banned substance after Peru's World Cup qualifier against Argentina last October and was initially suspended for 12 months. The ban was later reduced to six months, allowing the 34-year-old forward to return to his Brazilian club Flamengo to prepare for the World Cup. But the Court of Arbitration for Sport, on appeal from the World Anti-Doping Agency, last week extended the suspension to 14 months, effectively sidelining Guerrero for Peru's first World Cup tournament in 36 years. In the letter to FIFA, the France, Denmark and Australia captains asked the FIFA Council to "show compassion" and said it would be "plainly wrong" to exclude Guerrero on the basis of the findings that the Peru captain did not intent to cheat and that the substance was not performance-enhancing. Guerrero tested positive for benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine, but lawyers argued the stimulant did not enhance his performance and was accidentally consumed in contaminated tea. The CAS said its panel accepted those arguments as factual. "As such, we turn to the FIFA Council and kindly put forward an urgent request for clemency by asking the FIFA Council to temporarily interrupt the ban imposed on Paolo Guerrero during the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, with the suspension to recommence at the conclusion of Peru's participation in the competition," the captains wrote. "We believe that in the interest of fairness and proportionality, and taking into consideration the exceptional circumstances of the present matter, Paolo who — as everyone agrees did not cheat — should be able to participate with, and against, his fellow professionals in the FIFA World Cup. "We strongly believe that a temporary interruption would be the equitable and rightful solution." Peru President Martin Vizcarra has asked the government and Peru's ambassador to Switzerland to be ready to help Guerrero challenge his ban at the Swiss supreme court. Guerrero can ask federal judges to study the ruling by the Swiss-based CAS, which banned him until January. The Swiss Federal Tribunal can intervene if the legal process was abused. It could give an interim order before Peru's World Cup program starts on June 16 against Denmark......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 22nd, 2018

WORLD CUP: Frank Lampard goal leads to new technology

By Pan Pylas, Associated Press Technology will play a bigger role than ever before at this year's World Cup, and it's largely thanks to Frank Lampard's goal that wasn't. FIFA, which sanctioned goal-line technology at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, has gone a step further this year. In Russia, Video Assistant Referees will review potential game-changing incidents at each of the 64 matches. The use of technology in Brazil had been authorized after a round of 16 match at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa when Lampard, and just about everyone else, thought he scored an equalizer against Germany. Only, the England midfielder didn't. Trailing 2-0, England managed to claw one back through defender Matthew Upson. The revived England team then rampaged forward in search of the equalizer and Lampard shot hard from the edge of the penalty area. The ball struck the underside of the bar and television replays showed it bouncing a yard behind the German goal line. The referee, however, waved play on, a blow that England failed to recover from, eventually losing 4-1. Then-FIFA President Sepp Blatter soon apologized and reopened the debate over goal-line technology. For the Germans, however, it was perhaps poetic justice. In the 1966 final between England and West Germany, Geoff Hurst's second goal had cannoned off the crossbar and adjudged to have crossed the line despite German protests. England went on to win that match 4-2......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 20th, 2018

Peru captain Guerrero banned from World Cup in doping case

By Graham Dunbar, Associated Press GENEVA (AP) — Peru captain Paolo Guerrero was banned from playing at the World Cup because of a positive doping test he said was caused by contaminated tea. The Court of Arbitration for Sport said on Monday it upheld an appeal by the World Anti-Doping Agency to extend Guerrero's six-month FIFA ban, which already expired this month. Guerrero will now be banned for 14 months — an "appropriate sanction ... in light of Mr. Guerrero's degree of fault" — until January, the court said in a statement. The 34-year-old Guerrero was set to captain Peru in Russia at its first World Cup appearance since 1982. On Sunday he was named in his country's provisional squad preparing to play France, Denmark and Australia. Guerrero tested positive for benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine, at a World Cup qualifying game against Argentina in October. Anti-doping rules prohibit the use of cocaine in an athlete's competition period though not out of competition His lawyers argued the stimulant had not been performance enhancing, and was accidentally consumed in contaminated tea. The court said its judging panel "also accepted that he did not attempt to enhance his performance by ingesting the prohibited substance." "However, the Panel considered that the Player did bear some fault or negligence, even if it was not significant, and that he could have taken some measures to prevent him from committing the (doping violations)," the court said. FIFA initially suspended Guerrero for one year through Nov. 3. It reduced the ban in a fast-tracked appeal last December which clearing him to play at the World Cup. Two weeks ago, the former Bayern Munich player returned to play for his Brazilian club side Flamengo. Guerrero scored his first goal on Sunday since the suspension, a header in Flamengo's 3-2 defeat at Chapecoense in the Brazilian championship. After the match, Guerrero said: "There is no reason for me to be suspended, I did nothing wrong and I trust the court to make the right decision." It is the second ruling from sport's highest court that has weighed heavily on Peru's first World Cup appearance in 36 years. CAS gifted Peru three points that were key to advancing from the South American qualifying group in a previous appeal case brought by Bolivia's soccer federation. Bolivia fielded an ineligible player in a 2-0 win over Peru, and that result was overturned to a 3-0 loss by default. Without the three extra points, Peru would have fallen below Chile and Paraguay in the standings and out of contention. ___ AP Sports Writer Mauricio Savarese in Rio de Janeiro contributed to this report.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 15th, 2018

Russia cuts World Cup squad player who faced doping case

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia cut from its World Cup squad a player who faced a doping investigation. The Russian Football Union said on Monday defender Ruslan Kambolov injured a calf muscle during a game for Rubin Kazan the day before. He was replaced by 38-year-old veteran Sergei Ignashevich, who has come out of international retirement. The RFU said coaches dropped Kambolov, "taking into account the training time (until the World Cup begins) and the possibility of exacerbating the problem." Kambolov was investigated by FIFA this year following the publication of World Anti-Doping Agency investigations alleging Russian officials covered up earlier doping cases. Lawyers for Kambolov said last month his case was closed for lack of evidence, though FIFA hasn't confirmed that. The center back Ignashevich has made 120 appearances for Russia but last played for the team at the 2016 European Championship. Russia coach Stanislav Cherchesov said he met on Sunday with Ignashevich, who refused previous comeback pleas. "Ignashevich heard me out calmly," Cherchesov said in a statement. "And today he gave his agreement after the results of Kambolov's examination became clear." Ignashevich said the call was a surprise "but I thought saying yes was the right thing to do," in comments on the team Twitter feed. "After all, it's the World Cup and moreover it's happening in our country. I'll give every effort to help the team." Russia is struggling ahead of the tournament with no wins in its last five games. Since the start of 2016, it has played 13 games against teams who will be at the World Cup and won only once, against South Korea. In Group A, Russia plays Saudi Arabia in the opening game of the World Cup on June 14 in Moscow, followed by Egypt and Uruguay. Ahead of the tournament, Russia has scheduled friendlies against Austria away on May 30 and against Turkey in Moscow on June 5. Russia's 28-man preliminary squad must be cut to 23 players by June 4......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 15th, 2018

Injured Aguero and Biglia in Argentina World Cup squad

By Debora Rey, Associated Press BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Injured striker Sergio Aguero and midfielder Lucas Biglia were included in the preliminary, 35-player Argentina squad for the World Cup in Russia on Monday. Also, four players with few or no games for the national team were picked. The final 23-man squad will be announced next Monday. Aguero has not played for Manchester City since March because of a left knee injury and had surgery in April. Biglia broke two vertebrae in April, missed three AC Milan games, and was injured again on Sunday after an Atalanta player hit him in the operated area. Coach Jorge Sampaoli considers Aguero and Biglia as likely starters in the World Cup for the opening match against Iceland in Moscow on June 16. The two will be closely followed when the squad gathers. Lionel Messi, the captain, was confirmed to play his fourth World Cup. Aguero's likely replacement is Gonzalo Higuain, but the Juventus scorer has not showed the same efficiency for Argentina. Inter Milan top scorer and captain Mauro Icardi and Racing's Lautaro Martinez were also picked. Striker Paulo Dybala, also of Juventus, was included despite recently saying it was difficult to play with Messi. Rodrigo Battaglia of Sporting Lisbon, yet to be capped, and Guido Pizarro of Sevilla were possible substitutes in case Biglia does not fly to Russia. River Plate goalkeeper Franco Armani, a fan favorite, convinced Sampaoli and was included. Manchester United's Sergio Romero, a starter in the two last World Cups, has not played much in England. Racing midfielder Ricardo Centurion has been called as a possible substitute for Angel Di Maria because of his speed. Torino defender Cristian Ansaldi received a spot after Sevilla's Gabriel Mercado was injured. Mercado will be evaluated by Argentina doctors. Nine of Sampaoli's squad reached the 2014 World Cup final won by Germany: Messi, Romero, Rojo, Biglia, Mascherano, Perez, Aguero, Di Maria, and Higuain. Argentina is in Group D with Iceland, Nigeria and Croatia. ___ Argentina Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero (Manchester United), Wilfredo Caballero (Chelsea), Nahuel Guzman (Tigres), Franco Armani (River Plate). Defenders: Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City), Federico Fazio (Roma), Nicolas Tagliafico (Ajax), Gabriel Mercado (Sevilla), Eduardo Salvio (Benfica), Marcos Acuna (Sporting Lisbon) Javier Mascherano (Hebei China Fortune), Marcos Rojo (Manchester United), German Pezzella (Fiorentina), Ramiro Funes Mori (Everton), Cristian Ansaldi (Torino). Midfielders: Angel Di Maria, Giovani Lo Celso (Paris Saint-Germain), Ever Banega (Sevilla), Manuel Lanzini (West Ham), Leandro Paredes (Zenit St. Petersburg), Diego Perotti (Roma), Maximiliano Meza (Independiente), Enzo Perez (River Plate), Ricardo Centurion (Racing), Lucas Biglia (AC Milan), Guido Pizarro (Sevilla), Rodrigo Battaglia (Sporting Lisbon), Cristian Pavon and Pablo Perez (Boca Juniors). Strikers: Paulo Dybala, Gonzalo Higuain (Juventus), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Lautaro Martinez (Racing), Mauro Icardi (Inter Milan)......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 15th, 2018

2018 WORLD CUP: Sweden not defined by just Zlatan

By Steve Douglas, Associated Press Sweden has shed its major distraction: Zlatan Ibrahimovic isn't coming back for the World Cup. The Los Angeles striker, who retired from international duty in 2016 after scoring a record 62 goals in 116 games, will be a spectator from California when Sweden heads to Russia. The Swedes have moved on from the 36-year-old Ibrahimovic. Playing more as a team, they are a tighter and more efficient unit — as shown when they kept two clean sheets against Italy to advance to the World Cup via the playoffs. They beat France in their qualifying group and were undefeated at home. From having a lineup defined by one player, Sweden is now a team without superstars. Here's a closer look at the Sweden team: COACH Janne Andersson took charge after the European Championship in 2016 as the replacement for Eric Hamren, following a coaching career based solely with Swedish clubs. The highlight was leading Norrkoping to the Swedish league title in 2015. The 55-year-old Andersson values organization above everything and has made the national team defensively strong and a force on the counterattack. GOALKEEPERS Robin Olsen has established himself as the starting goalkeeper heading into the World Cup, having opted to play for Sweden over Denmark — where his parents were born. He is tall and lean, standing at 6-feet-6 (1.98 meters). DEFENDERS Ibrahimovic's decade-long reign as Sweden's player of the year ended last year when national team captain Andreas Granqvist won the "Golden Ball" award for the first time. Those who voted for Granqvist might have been influenced by the center back's stoic display in the two-legged playoff victory over Italy, which earned him a last chance to play at a World Cup. At 33, he is the experienced organizer of the defense — alongside the more youthful Victor Lindelof of Manchester United — and plays for Russian club Krasnodar, where the Swedes will be based for the tournament. MIDFIELDERS Emil Forsberg, a quick attacking midfielder who usually starts on the left wing, is the team's standout player and has become a big name in the German league because of his form for Leipzig. He had the most assists in the Bundesliga last season. A relatively late developer, he only made his international debut at the age of 23 so has experience of just one major senior tournament. Sebastian Larsson is the other high-profile player in the midfield, having played for the national team for a decade and in the Premier League with Birmingham and Sunderland after starting his professional career at Arsenal. FORWARDS Marcus Berg leads the forward line in the absence of Ibrahimovic and scored eight goals in qualifying. He remains key to Sweden's plans despite being out of the limelight, at least to European audiences, following his decision to join Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates from Greek team Panathinaikos in the 2017 offseason. He is top scorer in the Arabian Gulf League, showing he is in prime form heading to Russia. Ola Toivonen plays just off Berg and scored Sweden's best goal in qualifying, an effort from near halfway to beat France 2-1. GROUP GAMES Sweden opens Group F against South Korea on June 18. The team will then face Germany on June 23 and finish the group stage against Mexico on June 27......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 30th, 2018