World Cup News

No live chickens at the World Cup for Nigeria fans

Chicken on plates, no problem. In the stadiums, not so much.

A Russian official in the city of Kaliningrad says authorities forbade World Cup fans from bringing live chickens to matches.

Some fans dye chickens in the national colors as a good luck symbol, including those from Nigeria, who play Argentina on Saturday in Kaliningrad.

Russia’s Interfax news agency quotes regional culture and tourism minister Andrei Yermak as saying “fans from Nigeria asked whether they could bring a chicken to the stadium. It’s their symbol and people support the team with them at all the games. We told them they can’t bring a live chicken at all.”

If Nigerian fans want to support their team elsewhere, Yermak says a government advice hotline can “advise them where to buy a chicken. We’re prepared to satisfy even the most eccentric requests.”

Nigeria got a similar refusal at the 2010 World Cup, when the South African Press Association reported Nigerian fans were angered their chicken wasn’t allowed into the stadium in Johannesburg.

SAPA said the chicken on that occasion was dyed in the team’s colors and had its claws bound by black tape. The agency quoted fan John Okoro as calling the refusal “ridiculous.”

The Worst Haircuts Of The World Cup

The World Cup only comes around every four years. In that time, soccer fans wait in agony, sustained by the belief that their team will make it to the world stage, and then win big against its foes. That is the story of sports, but this is a story of hair. Or is it? Maybe it’s actually a story about decisions—bad ones, decisions that lead to really good soccer players looking really bad on the field, embarrassing everyone who roots for them by sporting frosted tips in the year 2018. Here are the many, many bad hairstyles that I have observed at the World Cup this year (so far).

First up, Dries Mertens from Belgium:

I’m really not sure what the deal is with the renaissance that frosted tips is enjoying at this World Cup, but I personally am not a huge fan. If Merten’s hair were half a shade lighter, he would look indistinguishable from an N*SYNC member in 1999. Orange, in general: not a good look.

Let’s move on. Oh wait, we can’t—there’s more.

It turns out blond can also be a not-great look, especially if along with bleaching your hair, you’ve pledged to never brush it again. Neymar was like, the hottest dude at the last World Cup, and one reason that many looked forward to this year’s. How can he steal hearts now, when he looks like a cockatoo?

Here we’ve got another one—another bad haircut—from Valon Behrami of Switzerland.

Keisuke Honda’s haircut doesn’t look so bad here, but it’s really short on the other side.


World Cup VAR – How Will it Work?

VAR has been used at the World Cup this year with varying degrees of acceptance. But how does it work? We take a look at the protocol below.

Pressure to introduce video into refereeing has been steady for years now, ever since Frank Lampard’s clear goal in the 2010 World Cup against Germany that wasn’t allowed despite clearly crossing the line.

This pressure has come from a large proportion of the football world with fans and managers leading the way. Arsene Wenger for example had this to say, “It is time for us to help the referees – to all be united and have a less conservative approach and finally opt for video. Video will help the referees, not question their authority. It will give them more credit, more authority and fewer mistakes. Football is the first sport in the world today but we have to accept we have the most conservative approach to the game than any other sport. This can be a strength but on the refereeing side I think it has been a weakness.”

This growing momentum was picked up by FIFA president Gianni Infantino who put the VAR system in place to be used at the Confederations Cup in 2017 with Infantino saying he was “extremely happy with VAR.”

Additionally his head of refereeing Massimo Busacca said: “We know what is working and what is not and we will see what can be improved. Communication is crucial. It must be short and clear. Not too long. We will never be perfect but we will achieve a reduction in the mistakes. Technology is a big tool for prevention.”

As a result of all this, VAR has been approved for use during the World Cup with Roberto Rosetti the man in control of the technology at the tournament.