NEWSWATCH: “Russia hosts World Cup in heat of battle with West” – AFP

Men Sitting Around Long Oval Boardroom Table, File Photo of FIFA Officials Meeting with Vladmir Putin

  “… Russia was a controversial choice when it was handed the rights to the world’s most watched event in a 2010 vote now tainted by bribery charges. … The years since have seen Moscow clash with the West over everything from Syria and Ukraine to the poisoning of a former Russian double agent in England. Russia was even banned […]

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NEWSLINK: “England fans at World Cup ‘at risk of blackmail from Russian mafia hookers’; There are fears gangsters could threaten to send incriminating pictures to fans’ wives or post them on social media” – The Daily Mirror (UK)/Tom Davidson

File Image of Soccer Ball, Field, Stadium with Lights, adapted from image at fbi.gov

“… ‘It’s not just the Russian government we have to be fearful of when it comes to England fans.  It is also the Russian mafia who we know exploit sex, and use the internet and dating, to offer women in order to blackmail customers.’ …”  

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RUSSIALINK: “Almost 90% of Tickets Sold for the World Cup in Russia” – The Moscow Times

Men Sitting Around Long Oval Boardroom Table, File Photo of FIFA Officials Meeting with Vladmir Putin

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – May 4, 2018) Almost 90 percent of the tickets to the 2018 FIFA World Cup matches have been sold, chairman of the tournament’s organizing committee Alexey Sorokin said Thursday. Sorokin was speaking at a meeting hosted in Sochi by Russian President Vladimir Putin on the state of preparation for the World Cup, business daily Vedomosti […]

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RUSSIALINK: “At the FIFA World Cup This Summer, Russia Will Be Playing for a Miracle; Russia might be hosting the World Cup, but it won’t lift the trophy” – Moscow Times

File Image of Soccer Ball, Field, Stadium with Lights, adapted from image at fbi.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – May 1, 2018) On a crisp, cool morning in early November, the Russian national football team trained on the outskirts of Moscow in preparation for friendly matches against Argentina and Spain, two of the favorites to raise the FIFA World Cup trophy in Russia this summer. Spirits were high. Jogging around a dewy field in […]

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NEWSLINK: “If we don’t boycott the World Cup, England fans will almost certainly die in Russia; Here are 13 very good reasons to stay at home” – The Daily Mirror (UK)/Fleet Street Fox

Men Sitting Around Long Oval Boardroom Table, File Photo of FIFA Officials Meeting with Vladmir Putin

“… The Russian state is suspected of involvement in the murder of 14 people in Britain. … more than the Yorkshire Ripper ….  Russian football hooligans are the most organised and ruthless in the world. They injured 130 in Marseille after Euro 2016, including 2 left in comas with life-changing injuries and others who had their Achilles tendons sliced in […]

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NEWSLINK: “Putin to deploy ‘canine KGB death squads’ to butcher thousands of stray dogs in football World Cup host cities, claim campaigners” – The Mirror (UK)/ Will Stewart

File Photo of Dog at Animal Shelter Jumping Up on Person in Winter Clothing, With Beseeching Look

“WARNING – DISTRESSING IMAGES: The mass slaughter of stray dogs will take place despite assurances to the contrary, say animal rights campaigners”  

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NEWSWATCH: “U.S. Soccer Defeat Is a Loss for Russia. In place of a flood of U.S. travelers for next year’s World Cup, a trickle of Panamanians.” – Wall Street Journal

File Image of Soccer Ball, Field, Stadium with Lights, adapted from image at fbi.gov

“… a fresh setback for U.S.-Russia relations: The U.S. men’s soccer team fell to Trinidad and Tobago … and … failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in three decades. For Russia, hosting the quadrennial event in 2018 … missing out on an influx of rich American tourists …. [A past study by two economists suggests] the tourism boost from […]

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Putin’s New Friendship Offensive Won’t Work Abroad or at Home, Shevtsova Says

Mercator Projection Satellite Image of Earth

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, June 19, 2016) Vladimir Putin’s “main message” at the St. Petersburg economics conference that Moscow “again wants to be friends” with the West will not work either in the West, which has been transformed by the Kremlin leader’s aggressiveness, or at home among Russians because he depends on continued anti-Western mobilization, Liliya […]

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Antony Penaud: The Observer, the anonymous Twitter account, and the unnamed official

Rotating Soccer Ball

Subject: The Observer, the anonymous Twitter account, and the unnamed official Date: Sun, 19 Jun 2016 From: Antony Penaud <antonypenaud@yahoo.fr> Antony Penaud received his DPhil from the University of Oxford in 2000. He is French and lives in London. His articles on Russia and Ukraine can be found on www.scribd.com/antonykharms Following three days of violent clashes in Marseille (the first […]

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How the reporting of the British media changed during the Marseille cashes

Rotating Soccer Ball

Subject: How the reporting of the British media changed during the Marseille cashes Date: Tue, 14 Jun 2016 ) From: Antony Penaud <antonypenaud@yahoo.fr> Being French, having lived in England for half of my life, and being Russophile, I followed the Marseille streetfight events and the way they were reported in the British press with a special interest. In the France […]

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NEWSWATCH New York Times: Kazan, a Russian Cultural Hub, Finds It’s Good at Sports

Kazan file photo

The New York Times covers Russian efforts to turn Kazan into a center for sporting events. A cultural hub for 1,000 years, the city has spent the decade since its 2005 millennium celebration reinventing itself as the cynosure of Russian sports. Since 2007, the city has hosted world and European competitions in field hockey, ice hockey, fencing, boxing, bandy and […]

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Most Russians Not Interested in Football, Poll Shows

Men Sitting Around Long Oval Boardroom Table, File Photo of FIFA Officials Meeting with Vladmir Putin

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jennifer Monaghan – July 7, 2015) As the country gears up to host the next World Cup tournament, interest in football has hit an all-time low in Russia, with most people saying they don’t watch the game, state-run pollster VTsIOM showed Monday. Seventy-three percent of Russians said they were indifferent to football, the pollster found, compared […]

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Majority [of Russians] See FIFA Scandal as Attack on Russia

Men Sitting Around Long Oval Boardroom Table, File Photo of FIFA Officials Meeting with Vladmir Putin

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos – June 18, 2015) Most Russians think that corruption allegations against officials at FIFA, football’s governing body, leveled by U.S. investigators last month are an attempt to prevent Russia from hosting the 2018 World Cup, according to a survey published Wednesday by state-run pollster VTsIOM. A total of 65 percent of respondents said […]

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Switzerland probes Russian 2018 World Cup bid over bribery charges

Men Sitting Around Long Oval Boardroom Table, File Photo of FIFA Officials Meeting with Vladmir Putin

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – bne IntelliNews – May 27, 2015) Russia’s bid to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup is under criminal investigation on corruption suspicions, Switzerland’s attorney general announced May 27, after investigators seized data and documents from the Zurich headquarters of soccer’s global governing body FIFA. The move comes only weeks before the draw for the qualifying rounds […]

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Russia Could Use Prison Labor For 2018 World Cup

Men Sitting Around Long Oval Boardroom Table, File Photo of FIFA Officials Meeting with Vladmir Putin

(RFE/RL – Tom Balmforth – MOSCOW, May 25, 2015) A prominent member of parliament for the ruling United Russia party has drafted a bill to allow enterprises to employ thousands of convicts as a cheap workforce to build infrastructure for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The legal amendments reported on May 25 in leading business daily Kommersant create a mechanism […]

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The empire that is Shakhtar Donetsk FC

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

Rinat Akhmetov, Ukraine’s richest man, has financed the success of Shakhtar Donetsk FC. But war in the Donbas means that the club is now playing in Lviv, 1200 kilometres away from its home in Donetsk. Can it survive? (opendemocracy.net – Manuel Veth – March 11, 2015) Manuel Veth is a history PhD candidate at King’s College London, researching the economics […]

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How to Become a Russian Billionaire With No Help from the Kremlin

Krasnodar and Road

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ilya Khrennikov – November 20, 2014) It’s a hot day in Krasnodar, deep in southern Russia. The action is hot on the soccer field, too. Ari, the local club’s Brazilian striker, takes a pass from the left flank and scores a beautiful goal. Ari (full name Ariclenes da Silva Ferreira) then wheels away in celebration to […]

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NEWSLINK: Domestic focus sinks Russia, rings alarms for 2018 World Cup

Football - Soccer File Photo

[“Domestic focus sinks Russia, rings alarms for 2018 World Cup” – Reuters – 6.27.14] Reuters covers Russia’s soccer (football) woes. Even as Russia is slated to host the World Cup in 2018, Russian soccer reportedly is not poised to excel. Ironically, the situation is attributed, in part, to high salaries. The massive wages paid by Russia’s domestic clubs mean good […]

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World Cup Victory for Team Russia: What are the Odds?

Rotating Soccer Ball

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber – June 11, 2014) As the World Cup kicks off on Thursday, Russian soccer circles have tempered their expectations for Team Russia, juggling realistic goals with the farfetched hope that their team will capture the globe’s most prized championship. Leading U.K. bookmaker William Hill had set Russia’s odds of winning the tournament at […]

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Billionaire Russian Mogul Trains Kids to Beat Soccer Elite

Rotating Soccer Ball

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ilya Khrennikov – November 29, 2013) Sergey Galitskiy took less than two decades to build OAO Magnit (MGNT) from scratch into Russia’s retail leader. With the wealth that’s brought him, the billionaire is training local kids to challenge the country’s soccer elite. Galitskiy, 46, created FC Krasnodar in 2008 and since then has spent more than […]

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