New ball for knockout

stage revealed

Adidas Football has revealed the Official Match Ball for the knockout stage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia. The Telstar Mechta comes with a new vivid red design inspired by the colours of the host nation, as well as the rising heat of knockout-stage football. The name Mechta translates as ‘dream’ or ‘ambition’ in Russian and is constructed with the same design elements as the Telstar 18, the ball used throughout the group stage, but adapted to reflect the added intensity and opportunity the knockout stage brings. The ball has a brand-new carcass that retains the best of the Brazuca, the Official Match Ball of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, while building in new technology to maximise performance. It went through extensive testing to ensure it suits the needs of the best players in the world. Some of the leading national and club sides have been involved in the testing process.

 

 

Reporter blasts man for

on-air kiss attempt

A Brazilian sports journalist was forced to dodge a man who stepped on screen and tried to plant a kiss as she delivered a report – before telling him "this is not right". Julia Guimaraes, a reporter with TV Globo and SporTV in Brazil, was delivering an on-air piece to camera from outside Yekaterinburg Stadium in Russia ahead of the Japan-Senegal clash on Monday when the incident happened. The man, clad in a blue blazer, can be seen leaning in and attempting to kiss Ms Guimaraes’ cheek as she delivers her report. “Don't do this. Never do this again, OK?” she can be heard saying in the footage. She then continues: “I don't allow you to do that, never. OK? This is not polite. This is not right. Never do this. Never do this to a woman, OK? Respect.” The incident comes after female reporters from Sweden and Colombia were harassed by men while reporting on the World Cup.

 

 

Analyst dies after

Egypt defeat

An Egyptian television commentator died of a heart attack soon after Egypt’s last-minute defeat to Saudi Arabia in its final World Cup game on Monday. Abdel Rahim Mohamed, a well-known and respected figure after a long career as broadcast analyst and formerly coach of a top club team, “felt emotional” during Egypt’s nail-biting clash in Group A, which ultimately ended in a 2-1 win for Saudi Arabia. Egypt Today reported that Mohamed was affected by “the poor performance of the national team” during and after the match. At the end of the contest he was due to deliver analysis on air, but suffered a cardiac arrest and was rushed to a medical facility within Cairo’s state television center, then was taken to hospital soon after. Doctors tried to revive him for more than 30 minutes, before he was pronounced dead. Mohamed, who previously coached leading Egyptian squad Zamalek, was a regular contributor to coverage.

 

 

 

Kosovo collects money

for Swiss players

Kosovo was collecting money Tuesday to pay FIFA fines of Switzerland players Granit Xhaka, Xherdan Shaqiri and Stephan Lichtsteiner for celebrating goals with a pro-Kosovo double eagle gesture in their World Cup win over Serbia. Arsenal midfielder Xhaka and Stoke City's Shaqiri trace their roots to Kosovo, a former Serbia's province with ethnic Albanian majority where thousands were killed during a 1998-1999 conflict between Serbian forces and ethnic Albanian guerillas. FIFA, whose rules prohibit political symbols in stadiums, fined Xhaka and Shaqiri each 10,000 Swiss francs (8,700 euros, $10,000) and Lichtsteiner 5,000 Swiss francs. Nearly 12,000 euros were gathered less than 24 hours after on online fund -- www.gofundme.com/Xhaka-Shaqiri-and-Lichtsteiner -- was launched. Kosovo Commerce and Industry Minister Bajram Hasani said he had donated 1,500 euros, which is his monthly salary. "They (players) were punished only since they did not forget their roots. Money cannot pay the joy that Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri brough us by celebrating with the eagle sign."