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Jul 24, 2015

FIFA secretary general Valcke all but says he’s leaving

ST PETERSBURG (Reuters) – Jerome Valcke, FIFA’s often-outspoken secretary general, all but confirmed on Friday that he will be leaving his job when Sepp Blatter is replaced as president of world soccer’s governing body next February.

Valcke, a 54-year-old Frenchman, has been in the job since 2007.

“If I was the next president of FIFA then I would have a new secretary general, so yes, whoever becomes the next FIFA president should have a new secretary general,” he told a news conference in Russia before Saturday’s preliminary round draw for the 2018 World Cup.

Jul 24, 2015

Soccer-FIFA secretary general Valcke all but says he’s leaving

ST PETERSBURG, July 24 (Reuters) – Jerome Valcke, FIFA’s often-outspoken secretary general, all but confirmed on Friday that he will be leaving his job when Sepp Blatter is replaced as president of world soccer’s governing body next February.

Valcke, a 54-year-old Frenchman, has been in the job since 2007.

“If I was the next president of FIFA then I would have a new secretary general, so yes, whoever becomes the next FIFA president should have a new secretary general,” he told a news conference in Russia before Saturday’s preliminary round draw for the 2018 World Cup.

Jul 24, 2015

Golf-Top Russian golfer could emerge soon, says British pro

ROSTOV-ON-DON, Russia, July 24 (Reuters) – Russia and the former Soviet Union have produced world and Olympic champions in virtually every sport over the last century but no Russian has ever made an impact at the top level in golf.

There were no golf clubs in Russia under the Communists with the first 18-hole course built in the Moscow suburbs in 1994.

Jul 23, 2015

Smallest city set for biggest World Cup transport boost

SARANSK, Russia (Reuters) – The smallest World Cup city of Saransk is set for the biggest World Cup transport legacy of all 11 venues across Russia, torn from long provincial isolation by construction of an international airport, new bridges and roads.

Alongside the other centres hosting the world cup in three years, and on the standards of vast Russia, it is small, with a population little over 300,000. Next to St Petersburg, Moscow, Kaliningrad and Yekaterinburg, it struggles for recognition.

Jul 23, 2015

Soccer-Vercauteren wants fellow Belgians to share Russian success

SAMARA, Russia, July 23 (Reuters) – While his compatriots are hoping for a favourable World Cup qualifying draw on Saturday to ease their way to Russia for the finals in 2018, one Belgian has already enjoyed considerable success since arriving last year.

Belgium’s “Little Prince” Franky Vercauteren, the outstanding left-winger of the side that achieved a best ever World Cup fourth-place finish in 1986, coached Krylia Sovetov of Samara back into the Russian Premier League last season after relegation the season before.

Jul 23, 2015

Soccer-Smallest city set for biggest World Cup transport boost

SARANSK, Russia, July 23 (Reuters) – The smallest World Cup city of Saransk is set for the biggest World Cup transport legacy of all 11 venues across Russia, torn from long provincial isolation by construction of an international airport, new bridges and roads.

Alongside the other centres hosting the world cup in three years, and on the standards of vast Russia, it is small, with a population little over 300,000. Next to St Petersburg, Moscow, Kaliningrad and Yekaterinburg, it struggles for recognition.

Jul 22, 2015

Soccer-Putin, Blatter put troubles aside for 2018 World Cup

ST PETERSBURG, Russia, July 22 (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin and FIFA’s president Sepp Blatter will put aside their troubles when they take centre-stage and kick-off the countdown to the 2018 World Cup on Saturday.

Putin has been cast as a villain in the West because of Russia’s military involvement in Ukraine, while Blatter’s presidency is ending next year in the wake of a huge scandal over alleged FIFA corruption.

Jul 22, 2015

Putin, Blatter put troubles aside for 2018 World Cup

ST PETERSBURG, Russia (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin and FIFA’s president Sepp Blatter will put aside their troubles when they take center-stage and kick-off the countdown to the 2018 World Cup on Saturday.

Putin has been cast as a villain in the West because of Russia’s military involvement in Ukraine, while Blatter’s presidency is ending next year in the wake of a huge scandal over alleged FIFA corruption.

Jul 22, 2015

Preview – Putin, Blatter put troubles aside for 2018 World Cup

ST PETERSBURG, Russia (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin and FIFA’s president Sepp Blatter will put aside their troubles when they take centre-stage and kick-off the countdown to the 2018 World Cup on Saturday.

Putin has been cast as a villain in the West because of Russia’s military involvement in Ukraine, while Blatter’s presidency is ending next year in the wake of a huge scandal over alleged FIFA corruption.

Jul 20, 2015

Brazil’s Hulk fears “ugly” racism at World Cup in Russia

ST PETERSBURG, Russia (Reuters) – Brazil and Zenit St Petersburg forward Hulk says racist comments are made by spectators at almost every match played in Russia and he fears “gross and ugly” racism could mar the 2018 World Cup finals.

Ghanaian midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong was subjected to monkey chants at a match last Friday in Russia, which hosts the 2018 finals; but Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said the incident should not be “inflated into a big scandal”.