Pakistan’s toss glory


After releasing Coca-Cola’s Official FIFA World Cup Anthem, “Colors”, featuring Qurat-ul-ain Balouch and Jason DeRulo, the brand will be taking 15-year-old Pakistani teenager Ahmed Raza to Russia to conduct the coin-toss for the historic match between Brazil and Costa Rica today (Friday). For the first time a Pakistani will be present on the pitch of a World Cup match in official capacity. Ahmed hails from a family in Sialkot, whose older members have been crafting hand-stitched footballs for professional leagues across three generations. Indeed, Ahmed and his father, Shabbir Ahmed are both fanatical about football and his involvement is the fulfillment of a dream for father and son.




Riley’s naked ambition

Rachel Riley sent Twitter wild with promise to host a TV show naked if England win World Cup - before cruelly dashing excited fans' hopes. The Countdown star shared an image of herself next to a board carrying a message she would present the show in the nude if England claim glory. Naturally, her 568,000 Twitter followers were whipped into a frenzy after the snap went viral. But Riley wrote: “This is doing the rounds. Of course it’s photoshopped. It was actually @Nick_Hewer who said this! #ComeOnEngland.” But that did not stop some from trying to strike a compromise with the keen footy supporter, who has won a legion of admirers since taking over from Rear of the Year winner Carol Vorderman on Countdown a decade ago.




History for Iran's female fans

Iran’s female football supporters have made history in Tehran – for the first time in 37 years they were able to attend a sporting event in Azadi stadium. The usually strict ban on women attending sports stadiums was relaxed for a screening of Iran’s World Cup match against Spain, which was taking place in Kazan in Russia. It had been hoped the ban would be lifted for Iran’s opening match of the tournament, but it was only for the team’s second game, which they lost 1-0, that women were able to access the ground. After the match the Spanish captain, Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos, tweeted a link to a report about the women watching the match, commenting: “They are the ones who won tonight. Hopefully the first of many.”





Demanding referee


FIFA have denied claims a World Cup referee asked Cristiano Ronaldo for his shirt during Portugal's win over Morocco. Ronaldo headed in the winner as Portugal secured a 1-0 victory over Morocco in their second World Cup group B fixture. But Watford and Morocco midfielder Nordin Amrabat reportedly hit out at referee Mark Geiger for an apparent lack of professionalism in his side's defeat, which dumped the African side out of this year's tournament. He is quoted to have told Dutch TV: "I do not know what he is used to, but he was very impressed by Cristiano Ronaldo, and I hear from Pepe that he asked in the first half if he should have his shirt. What are we talking about? At the World Cup? It's not a circus here."