Croatia eject Vukojevic over 'Glory to Ukraine' video

Former Croatia international Ognjen Vukojevic has been kicked out of the World Cup semi-finalists' delegation after posting a pro-Ukraine clip that caused a political row. The Croatian football association (HNS) said Monday that Vukojevic had been "relieved from his duties as an expert associate of the Croatia squad and is no longer a member of the Croatian delegation at the World Cup". FIFA later announced it had fined Vukojevic $15,000 and issued him with a warning over unsporting behaviour. Following the quarter-final win over host nation Russia, Vukojevic posted an Instagram video featuring him and Croatia defender Domagoj Vida, who shouted "Glory to Ukraine!" Vida used to play for Dynamo Kiev and Vukojevic also played for the Ukrainian club and now works for them as a scout. In the video, Vukojevic added: "This victory is for Dynamo (Kiev) and for Ukraine! Croatia onwards!"

'Come to Russia,' FIFA ambassador tells England fans

Victoria Lopyreva, glamorous ambassador for the soccer World Cup in Russia and a former Miss Russia, urged England fans on Monday to ignore politics and travel to Moscow to support their team in Wednesday’s semi-final against Croatia. The number of England fans in Russia has been low amid diplomatic tension over the poisoning of a Russian former double-agent and his daughter, and now the death of a woman who police say was poisoned with the same nerve agent. There were also fears before the tournament that there could be violence or racism, although no major incident has been recorded. “Soccer is separate from politics because people who work in politics should concentrate on politics, and people who work in soccer should concentrate on soccer,” Lopyreva, briefly married to Russia striker Fyodor Smolov, said in an interview. “And now I want to say to English fans: ‘Guys, get it together, come to Russia and support your national team because they have gotten into the semi-final’,” she said.

Southgate's waistcoats just right fit for London museum

England manager Gareth Southgate's waistcoats have become such a hit at the World Cup that the Museum of London has announced plans to acquire one for its fashion collection. Marks and Spencer, official tailors to the England team, declared last Saturday #NationalWaistcoatDay in honour of Southgate and his team. The Sun newspaper has urged fans to wear one on "Waistcoat Wednesday" for the semi-final clash against Croatia in Moscow. Museum bosses said the waistcoats were helping to bring the three-piece suit back into fashion. "The Museum of London have... announced their plans to acquire one of Gareth Southgate's suits as part of their permanent collection," it said in a statement. "Southgate's, now iconic, waistcoats, have helped bring the three-piece suit back into fashion -- a trend that was started in 1666 by none other than King Charles II, who was spotted in London by (famous diarist) Samuel Pepys in what is now known as the first waistcoat."

Doctor's orders bar Thai boys from World Cup final

The eight young footballers rescued from a cave in Thailand after more than two weeks underground are unlikely to be able to take up an offer to attend the World Cup final in Moscow, doctors said Tuesday. The plight of the boys has prompted an outpouring of support from across the footballing world, from Brazil legend Ronaldo to England's John Stones and Argentinian superstar Lionel Messi. The emaciated and dishevelled "Wild Boars" were found after nine days of no contact on a small, muddy bank surrounded by water several kilometres inside the Tham Luang cave in northern Thailand. All had come from football training when they first went into the cave on June 23, and were wearing football shirts when they were found -- one wore an England top, another the colours of Real Madrid.