World Cup Diaries: Behind the scenes at a World Cup base

Inspirational posters adorned the walls of the Japan base. Photo:RFN During my stay in Kazan, I was treated to a number of things by kind locals. Help buying a sim-card, being invited into peoples homes to have dinner, guided tours of the city and being picked up from the airport at 5am - the people of Kazan are amazing. However, one thing I wasn't anticipating was being given a guided tour of the Rubin Kazan training ground - home to Japan during the World Cup. The man to thank on this … [Read more...]

Russia Stadium Attendances – Signs of a Strong Legacy or Post-World Cup tourism?

The Mordovia Arena has an average post World Cup attendance of over 25,000 - hosting second tier football. Photo: Cossrad Nearly two months have passed since France's 4-2 victory against Croatia in the final brought the curtain down on Russia's World Cup. The party brought by hundreds of thousands of foreign visitors and millions of locals has left town. The colour and vibe brought to the streets of Russia's cities by foreign visitors interacting with locals for five weeks was and will … [Read more...]

Winners and losers – the World Cup 2018 aftermath

The World Cup 2018 in Russia has certainly attracted a lot of attention even before the start, as a huge and prestigious football event should. After the new champions raised the trophy and received their medals, it came the time for various analysis. The comments were pouring in because everyone seems to have an opinion about something. That is why the tournament aftermath can be examined from different points of view. Photo by Russian Presidential Press and Information … [Read more...]

Sorry doesn’t seem to be the hardest word

‘Sorry seems to be the hardest word’. Or so avid football fan and music icon Elton John suggested in his timeless tune. But even Mr John must concede that there are moments, especially in football, when an apology is laced with a sense of triumph. Now, as I offer my abject apologies to Stanislav Salamovich Cherchesov, my penitence is more than matched by my pride. Pride in Cherchesov’s sublime motivation of an unfancied Russian team, pride in the players that resurrected Russian hopes, and … [Read more...]

Russia’s Unlikely World Cup Heroes

Russia’s progress at the 2018 world cup deserves to be remembered fondly. Given almost no hope, a team of unlikely heroes dared to make their country proud. Expectation Since the collapse of the soviet union, Russia had struggled to make it out from the group stages at almost all major competitions. In the run-up to the world cup, they had managed the feat just once, a decade earlier at the European Championships of 2008: a memorable 3-1 victory over the Netherlands extending their eventual … [Read more...]

Editorial: Openness must be the ever-lasting legacy of Russia 2018

No doubt about it, Russia has been a changed nation for the last month. Moscow and cities all across the nation are bursting with pride and transforming into essentially 24-hour street parties in the wake of Russia victories. Everyone from the regular babushka in her flat to ballet dancers of the Bolshoi Theater awaiting?to perform is embracing football and embracing the world. Fears spread among the English media pervading a festival of violence has been eroded by a genuine carnival of … [Read more...]

Kazan at the 2018 World Cup – More than a Champions Graveyard

For many visitors to the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Kazan would not have been a city they had ever heard of. Situated 1000km east of Moscow on the banks of the mighty Volga River, Russia’s third city and self-dubbed “capital of sport” played host to six World Cup matches, involving 10 different nations. However, as those on the ground will testify, this city became home to people from all over the world. Sometimes for just a day or two, sometimes for a week or more. But whatever the duration, and … [Read more...]

World Cup 2018: Sergey Ignashevich – Captain without an armband

Surprise Selection The main sensation and feeling regarding the Russian national team roster for World Cup happened well after the squad was named. Defensive midfielder Ruslan Kambolov was "injured" (or withdrew due to dodgy doping allegations) and 38-year-old central defender Sergey Nikolaevich Ignashevich agreed to return from retirement and lead Stanislav Cherchesov's defence. It was a hard decision for the Army man after an extremely difficult season for short-benched CSKA. Sergey was … [Read more...]

World Cup 2018 Preview: Russia – Spain

After two impressive victories against Saudi Arabia and Egypt, and a less impressive 3-0 defeat to Uruguay, Russia has advanced from the group stage for the first time in the country's history. This afternoon, they take on Spain at Luzhniki in Moscow. Eight months ago, the two teams met in a friendly in St. Petersburg, which ended 3-3 after Russia equalizing a 2-0 lead. The last time the two countries met at a major tournament was at the Euro in 2008, when Spain defeated Russia in both the … [Read more...]

Mohamed Salah x Ramzan Kadyrov: An Unknowing Propaganda Machine

One must wonder just what the Egyptian?FA's targets were going into the World Cup, presumably the same as the fans and players; to do the country proud in their first World Cup for 28 years and reach the knockout stages fired on by one of the finest players in the game today? You'd presume it was just that. However, the decision to base Egypt in Grozny, the capital of Chechnya - 1,852 km from Moscow. Overall, the Egyptian squad have the third longest travel distances throughout the group stages; … Nhà Cái Trực Tuyến Hàng Đầu Châu Á́́[Read more...]

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