Category: Russia 2018
November 10 – A former deputy governor of St Petersburg has admitted to his involvement in an embezzlement scheme related to the construction of the city’s World Cup stadium.
November 9 – The 2018 World Cup play off between Peru and New Zealand could be worth at least $1.3 billion to the South American country if they are successful.
By Mark Baber
November 8 – Russia has banned 384 citizens from attending sports events, according to Deputy Department Head of the Russian Interior Ministry’s Main Directorate for Countering Extremism Sergei Pershenkov, who was speaking at a roundtable discussion in the State Duma on Tuesday.
October 23 – Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has been invited to next year’s World Cup by Russian president Vladimir Putin and says he will accept even though he is still banned for six years after being found guilty of authorising a “disloyal payment” of $2 million to then UEFA president Michel Platini.
October 18 – Sweden have arguably drawn the short straw in the European playoffs for next year’s World Cup with a mouth-watering tie against Italy who last failed to qualify back in 1958.
October 17 – The coach of Honduras has accused FIFA of being “inhumane” for scheduling the two legs of the World Cup playoff against Australia within five days of each other.
October 16 – Former Ivory Coast star Yaya Toure says next year’s World Cup in Russia could be a watershed in FIFA’s efforts to stamp out racism.
October 13 – Having initially announced that 2 million tickets had been requested with two days to go before the close of the first 2018 World Cup ticket sales window, FIFA has now confirmed more than 3.4 million requests.
By Andrew Warshaw
October 11 – Cometh the hour, cometh Lionel Messi. Just when the odds were stacked in favour of Argentina failing to qualify for the World Cup finals for the first time since 1970, the mercurial maestro struck a superb hat-trick away to Ecuador to haul his country back from the brink of elimination.
The 2014 runners up began the day sixth in their group and needing a top-four place to qualify automatically.
October 11 – The post mortem has just begun and will last all the way to Russia next year. Unthinkably given the weakness of their continental rivals, the United States have failed qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1986 after losing to tiny Trinidad & Tobago, a hugely embarrassing setback that could have ramifications on and off the pitch.
By Andrew Warshaw
October 10 – They’ve done it again. All predictions that Iceland would be one-hit wonders after their sensational appearance at Euro 2016 have been well and truly crushed after they became the smallest nation ever to reach a World Cup finals.
October 10 – How quickly emotions change in football. Having reached the semi-finals of Euro 2016 against all odds, Wales’ 60-year wait for a place at the World Cup continues as they were beaten 1-0 by the Republic of Ireland in a winner-takes-all showdown for a playoff place for Russia.
October 9 – Mohamed Salah’s dramatic injury-time winner against Congo ended Egypt’s 28-year exile from the World Cup, sending the football-mad country into a massive celebration.
By Andrew Warshaw
October 6 – A FIFA technical team led by director of competitions Colin Smith has completed the latest inspection to Russia’s World Cup sites and reports that although preparations are on course a “significant” amount of work is still to be done over the next few months.