FIFA President Infantino arrives in Pyongyang for North-South Korea match | AFP

FIFA President Gianni Infantino touches down in Pyongyang for Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier between North and South Korea – two countries technically still at war. IMAGES

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Iran women to see football freely for first time in decades | AFP

Iranian sports journalist Raha Purbakhsh says she ‘can’t believe’ she will be among the thousands of women to freely enter a football stadium for the first time in decades to watch Iran’s 2022 World Cup qualifier against Cambodia at Tehran’s Azadi Stadium. World football’s governing body FIFA last month ordered Iran to allow women access to stadiums without restrictions and in numbers determined by demand for tickets.

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PROFILE – Megan Rapinoe wins FIFA’s best player award

The US football player Megan Rapinoe has won FIFA Women’s Player of the Year award.

Rapinoe beat fellow World Cup winner Alex Morgan and England’s Lucy Bronze to the women’s title, with US coach Jill Ellis winning women’s coaching award.

The 34-year-old Rapinoe won the Golden Boot for being top scorer and the Golden Ball for the best player at the World Cup, and also became the face of the tournament for her outspoken views on US president Donald Trump.

#MeganRapinoe #FIFAFootballAwards

Griezmann takes part in Barcelona’s first preseason training session | AFP

French World Cup winner Antoine Griezmann trains with FC Barcelona for the first time. Barcelona paid a release clause of 120 million euros to acquire the striker from Atletico Madrid. Sports daily AS said Atletico will go to FIFA, the governing body of world football, to argue that Barcelona owe more than the release clause deposited by a lawyer for the player on Friday. IMAGES

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2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Champions return to the US | AFP

The US women’s soccer team arrive at Newark Airport after winning its fourth FIFA Women’s World Cup, beating Netherlands 2-0 in France. IMAGES

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Jamaica sends Reggae Girlz to France for World Cup debut | AFP

Five years ago, Jamaica’s women’s football team had no funding and was and out of the official FIFA rankings. But now they are heading to the World Cup in France, to become the first women’s team from the Caribbean to make the cut. Their salvation came from an unlikely source — the daughter of the country’s most famous son, Bob Marley.

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Football: Gianni Infantino re-elected FIFA president | AFP

Gianni Infantino was re-elected by acclamation for a second term as FIFA president at the Congress of world football’s governing body in Paris on Wednesday. The 49 year-old, who took charge of FIFA in February 2016 after the departure of the disgraced Sepp Blatter, stood unopposed for re-election for a new four-year term which will run until 2023. IMAGES

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Infantino arrives at FIFA Council meeting in Kigali

Fifa boss Gianni Infantino, UEFA’s Alexander Ceferin and other officials arrive at the Kigali Convention Center for a FIFA council meeting in Rwanda. IMAGES

Trump shows red card to press at FIFA World Cup 2026 meeting

US President Donald Trump gave the assembled White House media their marching orders when he brandished a red card to assembled journalists during a meeting with FIFA boss Gianni Infantino on Tuesday.

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Marin’s lawyer arrives in court for FIFA scandal sentencing

The US lawyer for former Brazilian national football federation president Jose Maria Marin arrives at court in New York. His client, the first bigwig convicted in the United States in the FIFA corruption scandal that disgraced world football, is to receive his sentence later in the day. IMAGES

FIFA boss Infantino: ‘This is the best World Cup ever’

FIFA president Gianni Infantino said two days ahead of the final this has been so far the ‘best World Cup ever’ and that he believes the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system is ‘cleaning’ football, by turning it into a more ‘transparent’ and just’ competition.

What It Takes To Be A World Cup Referee

We talked to a former FIFA World Cup assistant referee about what it takes to be part of an officiating crew in the international soccer tournament. Sean Hurd worked as an assistant referee in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil on a crew led by Mark Geiger.

We talked to Hurd about his path to the World Cup, what it’s like communicating with international players; his intense fitness regimen; how much World Cup referees get paid; and what it’s like being in the middle of the world’s biggest stage for soccer.

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Following is a transcript of the video:

{Sean Hurd was an assistant referee at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.}

{Making the cut}

Sean Hurd: I was selected to be part of a crew, and then from there, we were evaluated at various tournaments, and FIFA related events, as well as our domestic league and Major League Soccer. We went through a qualification, and ultimately, in January of 2014, were selected for the World Cup.

It’s extremely competitive. Myself and Mark Geiger were the only two, from the U.S., that were selected. That should tell you right there, just in our own country, how competitive it is, and then, we’ve gotta compete with the rest of the world.

{Only four American referees were selected for the 2018 World Cup.}

Quite honestly, the United States is finally starting to make a mark, in terms of refereeing, in the international scene, but previously, just like a lot of our players, the international scene views us as not being able to be very high level, playing or refereeing.

{His first World Cup match was Colombia vs. Greece.}

Four years later now, in talking about it, I still get goosebumps. The emotions of the game just start to take over. You can hear the crowd roaring. Once we walked out onto the field, then all the nerves went away, and we just focused on the game. It was just a game. It became a simple game again.

{Communicating with players}

Most of the players do speak a little bit of English at the international level. The refereeing aspect, and the playing aspect, are universal. Body language, eye contact. There really were, during that match especially, no communication gaps at all, for the Greek side or the Columb ian side.

{Getting in shape}

Essentially, the referees are trained as if they were the athletes participating in the games. Referees, obviously, have to be physically fit enough to go the entire 120 minutes plus penalties, if necessary. You really treat your body like many of the athletes do. It’s a combination of strength and physical endurance type workouts.

{Compensation}

I’m not privy to the financial conditions of this World Cup, but I can only speak to 2014. We received a flat fee, regardless of the number of games that were officiated. The dollar amount was $50,000. So, fairly substantial, and it didn’t matter whether you were the head referee, or the assistant referee, or fourth official.

{Working two jobs}

So, I’m in the financial services industry, and very fortunate to have the opportunity to be in a position where most of my job entails emails, or conference calls, so I can do that remotely. Some people have to part ways with their career, and put their careers on hold to be able to fulfill the requirements of FIFA and the World Cup.

Seeing the world come together, on one stage, and put aside, kind of, all of the different political things and, really, just getting behind what’s, quite simply, a game. Just the overall experience of being part of the world’s game on such a stage was quite amazing.

Best FIFA moments: Football museum welcomes fans in Moscow

With a small gap in the playing schedule, Peter Oliver’s off to check out some of the FIFA memorabilia on display in Moscow. Follow World Cup news: https://www.rt.com/fifa2018

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I came, I saw, I stayed! Peru fan searches for job in Russia after World Cup visit

Despite his team not advancing out of the group stage, one Peruvian fan has decided he wants to remain in Russia. He made up his mind after receiving a warm welcome from people here. Follow FIFA news: https://www.rt.com/fifa2018

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World Cup: “VAR doesn’t mean perfection” says FIFA referee chief

The chairman of the FIFA referees committee, Pierluigi Collina, says Video Assistant Refereeing “doesn’t mean perfection” but says the system has helped increase the accuracy of referee decisions by almost 4% to a level of 99.3%, something he says “is something that is very, very close to perfection”.

Putin, Infantino kick off football tournament for orphans

Russian President Vladimir Putin and FIFA President Gianni Infantino meet up at the Football Park set up on Red Square, in the heart of Moscow, to officially start a football match between Russian orphans, coached by former international football stars like Germany’s Lothar Matthaus and Brazil’s Ronaldo.

FIFA President Infantino and German Football Association visit WWII memorials

‘We know how important this day is for the Russian people. It was the Soviet Union that suffered the most from the war unleashed by Hitler’s German’ – Reinhard Grindel, President of the German Football Association

FIFA President Gianni Infantino and a delegation from the German Football Association (DFB) laid wreaths and flowers at the Memorials of Military Glory in Volgograd and Sochi, respectively, on Friday.
Infantino laid flowers in Mamaev Kurgan memorial complex in the city of Volgograd, formerly known as Stalingrad. He also left a note in a visitors’ book.
The German delegation laid wreaths and flowers at the Memorial of Glory in Sochi. President of the German Football Association Reinhard Grindel said that it was a “sign of respect and reverence for the memory of the fallen in battles.” He went on to say that the members of the delegation know how “important this day is for the Russian people.”

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World Cup Fans Have To Sit Outside This Soviet Stadium To Watch

The World Cup begins today, with Russia playing Saudi Arabia in Moscow for the opening match. 32 countries will be competing in the tournament, which concludes on July 15th.

The Russian Federation is hosting matches in 12 stadiums across the country. One of the last stadiums to be readied for the World Cup is the Yekaterinburg Arena, which was originally constructed in 1957, during the Soviet heyday.

A protected cultural monument, the stadium seated 23,000 people, falling about 12,000 seats short of FIFA’s requirements. So in 2014, chief architect Oleg Gak was tasked with rebuilding the arena to meet the World Cup requirements. There was one caveat, he had to do so, while preserving the arena’s unique Soviet architecture.

“FIFA wanted specific kinds of stands that could hold 35,000 people” said Gak.” So the new stadium was built around the old protected walls.”

Gak’s team decided to open the stadium’s perimeter and build temporary grandstands. The expanded seating puts approximately 12,000 fans outside the stadium walls — but their view of the field should be uncompromised.

“We as designers made plans for the future, assuming the grandstands would go away, and the facade would be closed off” says Gak.

The Yekaterinburg arena will host its first match, Egypt versus Uruguay, on June 15 at 17:00 local time.

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‘Enjoy every second of it!’- FIFA President to fans ahead of first World Cup 2018 match

RT correspondent Ilya Petrenko speaks to the head of FIFA Gianni Infantino ahead of first World Cup match.

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US, Canada Eager for 2026 World Cup Spotlight

North American sports fans are cheering FIFA’s decision to select the U.S., Canada and Mexico as hosts for the 2026 World Cup. (June 13)

Find all the latest clips from major sporting events including football, tennis, golf, the Olympics and many more.