Over 540 held in China for online football gambling

China has cracked down on online football gambling during the World Cup, arresting more than 540 suspected of participating in schemes involving more than $1.5 billion, state media said. The suspects were "associated with more than 20 gangs", and their servers, computers, mobile phones and bank cards were confiscated, police in China's southern province of Guangdong told the official Xinhua news agency. Some 70 mobile apps and websites as well as 250 online chat groups have also been shuttered, Xinhua said Wednesday without providing further detail. In May, police honed in on an online gambling platform which accepted bitcoin and had grown to 330,000 members in just eight months. Authorities arrested six of its key organizers, froze assets of over 5 million yuan ($750,000), and confiscated virtual currency worth over $1.5 million, Xinhua said, without giving specific dates of the raid.

Photographer becomes part of Croatia goal celebration

When Croatia scored the goal that took them into the World Cup final on Wednesday, an AFP photographer unwittingly became part of the celebrations as he was buried under a pile of joyous players. After Mario Mandzukic scored in extra-time to give Croatia a 2-1 win against England in the semi-final, he ran to a corner of the pitch at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium to share his joy with his teammates. "I was just changing my lens as the players ran towards me," said photographer Yuri Cortez, who was positioned next to the pitchside advertising boards. "They just kept coming towards me and they fell on me! It was a crazy moment, they were delighted. Then they suddenly realised that I was underneath them," said Mexico City-based Cortez. "Then they asked me if I was OK. Another one picked up my lens and another player (Domagoj Vida) gave me a kiss."

FA fined £50k for players' unauthorised socks

The FA has been fined 70,000 Swiss francs (£50,000) after Dele Alli, Eric Dier and Raheem Sterling wore "unauthorised" socks at the World Cup. The players wore branded ankle support socks over official Nike socks, ignoring a Fifa warning to stop. Fifa said the FA's fine was for "breaching media and marketing regulations and the Fifa equipment regulations". The fine followed England's quarter-final win over Sweden. Fifa said several England players "continued to display unauthorised commercial branding on playing equipment items before and during the quarter-final match between Sweden and England". The Swedish FA has also been punished with the same fine for a similar sock offence earlier in the tournament. That makes it the joint second highest fine at the World Cup behind Argentina's 105,000 Swiss franc (£80,000) punishment after their fans threw objects and chanted homophobic abuse.

Kenya outrage at MPs' trip to World Cup

Kenyans have reacted furiously to news that 20 MPs have travelled to watch the World Cup at the taxpayers' expense. They are watching four games, including the final, in a two-week trip to Russia estimated to be costing hundreds of thousands of US dollars. The MPs caught the attention of Kenyans when they posted selfies in a stadium. Sports Minister Rashid Echesa told the BBC he had authorised only six MPs to travel, to help understand how to organise such big events. Kenya have never qualified for a World Cup final and are currently ranked 112 out of 206 nations by football's world governing body, Fifa. However, Kenya is one of the world's most successful athletics nations and has submitted a bid to host the 2023 World Athletics Championships. But many Kenyans thought the trip was a waste of money in a country where the average person lives on $150 (£113) a month.