2018 World Cup

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Pussy Riot: 'We Think He Was Poisoned'

Russian activist Pyotr Verzilov can no longer walk, activists say

(Newser) - Pyotr Verzilov, an activist long associated with protest group Pussy Riot, is in intensive care and may have been poisoned, members say. Verzilov, ex-husband of Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, was one of four activists who stormed the pitch in police uniforms during the World Cup in July before issuing... More »

Young World Cup Star Gives Away Winnings

Pele praises Kylian Mbappe

(Newser) - Young French soccer star Kylian Mbappe had an amazing World Cup and while some say it's far too early to compare him to Pele, Pele does not agree. After France's win Sunday, the 77-year-old Brazilian soccer legend, the only other person to score in a World Cup final... More »

Pope Consoles Sad Brazil Soccer Fans

Spotting flags in St. Peter's Square, he tells them 'Have courage! There'll be a next time'

(Newser) - Pope Francis is trying to cheer up Brazilian soccer fans after the team's quarterfinal exit from the World Cup, reports the AP . The pope, an Argentine and an avid soccer fan, noted a preponderance of Brazilian flags on display in St. Peter's Square during his traditional Sunday blessing.... More »

No Team USA? No One's Watching World Cup

Fox's rating for soccer extravaganza are down 42% over 4 years ago

(Newser) - The lack of a US team caused a big viewership drop for World Cup telecasts, reports the AP . The 48 group stage broadcasts on Fox and FS1 averaged 2,069,000 viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research. That is down 42% from the 3.54 million average on ESPN, ESPN2,... More »

Nigeria Captain Proves World Cup's Most Dedicated

John Obi Mikel played June 26 match hours after dad's kidnapping

(Newser) - Facing arguably the world's best soccer player in a World Cup match is hard enough, but Nigerian captain John Obi Mikel did it hours after learning his father had been kidnapped for a second time, and without telling a soul on his team. Mikel only opened up about the... More »

Soccer Great Neymar Under Fire for 'Faking Injuries'

Critics say his play-acting is an 'embarrassment'

(Newser) - Brazilian soccer great Neymar is taking a lot of flak for one of the less appealing aspects of his style of play: his tendency to "thrash around like a harpooned dolphin," as Piers Morgan puts it, every time he makes contact with an opposing player. After Mexico lost... More »

Japan's Fans 'Make Statement' at World Cup—With Trash Bags

Japanese fans came armed to clean up the stadium after their team's match

(Newser) - They showed up at the World Cup match sporting trash bags. That's what the BBC is reporting about fans of "Samurai Blue," the Japanese national soccer team that beat Colombia's players 2-1 Tuesday in Russia. After the soccer teams' jobs were done in Saransk's Mordovia... More »

Celebrating Mexicans Set Off Earthquake Sensors

Though 'quake' said to have resulted from 'massive jumping' during World Cup was deemed 'artificial'

(Newser) - Mexico pulled off a big upset during the World Cup on Sunday, defeating defending champ Germany 1-0. And that one goal in Moscow got hometown fans so riled up 6,600 miles away in Mexico City that it may have created an "artificial" earthquake, per the New York Times ... More »

Qatar, Russia Picked to Host World Cups

US, Britain lose out in bids for 2018, 2022 tournaments

(Newser) - FIFA shocked the world today by selecting Russia and Qatar to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, respectively. The US was widely considered the favorite to host in 2022, reports the AP, while Russia was considered a long shot against England, Spain-Portugal and Belgium-Netherlands. Vladimir Putin, who was heralded... More »

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