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Putin criticises Russia national team

Russia
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Potential protesters detained ahead of Confederations Cup draw - activists

Confed Cup draw
The Confederations Cup draw was held last Saturday.

KAZAN, Russia -- Environmental activists in the Russian city of Kazan said Wednesday that they were detained by police as they planned a protest before the Confederations Cup draw.

Iskander Yaseveyev, an academic and environmental campaigner, told The Associated Press that he and six others were stopped by police ahead of the draw last Saturday, and held for three hours until the event was over.

Yaseveyev said police from a counter-extremism unit approached him and asked him to come with them for...

Russia says Sochi stadium rebuild done in time for Confederations Cup

Russian officials say the Sochi stadium adjustments are complete.

MOSCOW -- Officials overseeing World Cup preparations in the southern Russian city of Sochi say construction work on the city's stadium has finished on time.

The stadium held the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2014 Winter Olympics, but has yet to host a football game because it needed extensive modifications to remove a temporary roof and increase capacity from 40,000 to 47,700.

Sochi is one of four host cities for next year's Confederations Cup, a World Cup warm-up tournament.

Regional officials...

Vladimir Putin promises St. Petersburg stadium will be ready

The St. Petersburg stadium must be ready in time to host the Confederations Cup next summer.

MOSCOW -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has promised FIFA that a much-delayed stadium in St. Petersburg will be ready in time to host Confederations Cup and World Cup matches.

The 69,000-seat stadium in St. Petersburg has had repeated problems, including worker deaths, cost rises and technical issues. The field wobbles because of a poorly installed mechanism that allows it to slide in and out of the stadium.

"It's a very lamentable story," Putin told FIFA president Gianni Infantino on Friday...

FIFA president Gianni Infantino likes idea of a 48-team World Cup

The ESPN FC crew discuss some of the potential pitfalls of an expanded FIFA World Cup.
The FC panel discuss one change they would each make on a global scale in football.

ROISSY, France -- After campaigning for a 40-team World Cup, FIFA President Gianni Infantino is now leaning toward an even bigger expansion to 48.

"I like 48 because it gives a particular flavor, but I'm still really torn," Infantino said Wednesday after meetings outside Paris.

Infantino said he is also warming to the introduction of video replays to prevent refereeing errors.

Initial live tests during two friendly matches this year overcame his skepticism about the technology, he said. He hopes...

 By PA Sport

Bob Bradley hopes Donald Trump's 'divisive' comments don't hurt U.S.

Bob Bradley remains optimistic despite falling short of his first victory late against Everton.

Former United States manager Bob Bradley called President-elect Donald Trump's campaign tactics "divisive and ugly'' and said he hopes they don't negatively impact America's ambition to stage the World Cup or the Olympics.

The U.S. is in the running to host the 2024 Olympics in Los Angeles, while the United States Soccer Federation has expressed interest in bidding to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup, either alone or with neighbors Mexico.

But Bradley said a negative international perception of the...