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All You Must Know About Russia 2018 World Cup: Key Dates, Match Venues, Kick-off time, Who missed out & More



Russia 2018 World Cup: Key Dates, Match Venues, Kick-off time, Who missed out & More

The start of the 2018 World Cup is just eight months away, and after the latest round of qualifiers, the line-up for the tournament is almost complete.

England will be in Russia and could be joined by Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland if they make it through the play-offs.

But what are the key dates for the World Cup? Where are the venues? When will the matches be played? And who will be watching the tournament from home? Here’s all you need to know…

Who has qualified automatically?

Of the 31 places up for grabs at the World Cup – with Russia qualifying as hosts – 23 have been secured.

Europe’s confirmed representatives so far are England, Germany, Belgium, Iceland, Poland, Serbia, Spain, France and Portugal.

Neymar will play for Brazil in the World Cup in Russia next year

From South America, five-time winners Brazil have qualified along with Uruguay, Colombia and Argentina.

Costa Rica, Egypt, Iran, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Panama have also secured their spots.

There are still places yet to be decided in Africa as the final round of group matches take place in November.

Who could still qualify?

Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland could be in Russia if they make it through the play-offs. There are eight teams in Europe competing for four qualifying places.

New Zealand face Peru in a play-off for a qualification place and there’s also another spot up for grabs between Australia and Honduras.

When are the play-offs and how do they work?

The two-legged ties will be played during the next international break in November, with the first legs between November 9-11 and the second legs between November 12-14.

The eight play-off sides in Europe are Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Denmark, Croatia, Greece, Switzerland and Sweden.

The format for the draw sees the top four FIFA-ranked sides – Switzerland, Italy, Croatia and Denmark – seeded in one pot and drawn against the remaining four sides.

The first ball drawn will be the home team for the first leg and the draw will be held in Zurich on Tuesday, October 17.

Who has missed out?

There will be some big names not in Russia.

Sanchez. He will miss 2018 World Cup after Chile lost 3-0 to Brazil
Photo: Skysports

Two-time champions Argentina almost missed out but eventually secured their place with a win over Ecuador, however Chile were eliminated after their final day 3-0 defeat to Brazil.

Panama’s dramatic late winner against Costa Rica meant USA missed out on qualification for the first time since 1986.

Wales and Scotland both held their destiny in their own hands heading into their final qualifying matches, but both failed to get the results they required to advance.

Robben’s Holland missed out of World Cup
Photo: Sky Sports

Netherlands missed out on a second successive major tournament after finishing behind France and Sweden and Austria, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Turkey and Norway will also be watching the tournament from home.

Gareth Bale will not be at the World Cup

Cameroon and Ghana both failed to qualify from Africa along with Riyad Mahrez’s Algeria, who had a dismal qualifying campaign.

China will also not be in Russia, along with Ecuador and Venezuela.

When’s the World Cup draw?

The draw for the group stages will be held on Friday, December 1 in Moscow. It will take place at the State Kremlin Palace inside the Moscow Kremlin and you will be able to follow the draw live on Sky Sports digital platforms.

In a change to previous editions, the 31 qualified teams will be allocated into four pots depending on their FIFA ranking as of October 16, 2017. That means the seven highest-ranked teams in the world will go into Pot 1 along with hosts Russia, with the rest of the teams then allocated pots in descending order of their rankings.

The four pots will be emptied and nations will be drawn into four-team groups from A to H.

When is the World Cup?

Just under 250 days to wait…

The World Cup gets underway on Thursday, June 14, with hosts Russia playing the opening match. The tournament will finish on July 15 at the Luzhniki Stadium, the same venue where it started a month earlier.

Before the final, the round of 16 matches get underway on June 30, with the quarter-finals on July 6 and 7 and the semi-finals on July 10 and 11.

Where will it be played?

Russia is a vast country with 11 time zones, but all the venues for the World Cup are in the west to avoid too many travel issues.

There are 12 venues across 11 cities, with Ekaterinburg the furthest east and Kaliningrad the furthest west.

The stadium in Ekaterinburg – the Ekaterinburg Arena – includes one of the more unique features of all the venues as it has two temporary stands outside the original perimeter to ensure it meets the FIFA-sanctioned minimum of 35,000 spectators.

The biggest stadium will be the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow and the other venues are the Kaliningrad Stadium, Volgograd Stadium, Fisht Stadium, Kazan Arena, Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Samara Stadium, Rostov-on-Don Stadium, Spartak Stadium, Saint Petersburg Stadium and Saransk Stadium.

When will matches kick-off?

The opening match of the tournament will be played at 6pm Moscow time (4pm UK time) on Thursday, June 14.

Group stage matches will be played throughout the day, with some starting at 3pm Moscow time (1pm UK time) and others at 6pm and 9pm Moscow time (4pm and 7pm UK time).

The final will again be played at 6pm Moscow time.

Who are the favourites?

It’s a close-run thing for favouritism with Sky Bet between defending champions Germany (11/2), France (11/2) and Brazil (13/2).

ermany won the World Cup for a fourth time with victory over Argentina in Brazil in 2014.

Spain are 7/1 while England are rated as 20/1 shots.

Iceland are the smallest-ever nation to reach a World Cup and they can be backed at 200/1 to spring a surprise and win the tournament.

-Sky Sports


Snoop Dogg To Carry The Torch In The Final Stages Of The 2024 Olympics In Paris



Snoop Dogg to carry torch in the finals of 2024 Olympics |

They chose Snoop Dogg because of his worldwide influence and cultural importance. This decision has excited fans all around the globe.

The committee released a statement expressing their happiness about Snoop Dogg’s participation. Snoop Dogg will carry the torch during the final part of its journey to the Olympic Stadium. The statement read,

“We are thrilled to announce that Snoop Dogg will be one of the final torchbearers for the 2024 Paris Olympics. His influence transcends music, impacting global culture and inspiring millions of young people. Having Snoop Dogg carry the torch embodies the spirit of unity and diversity that the Olympics stand for, bridging generations and celebrating the vibrancy of contemporary culture alongside our rich traditions.”

Snoop Dogg is a well-known rapper. He is famous for his charming personality. He has made many contributions to the music industry over the years. After hearing the news about carrying the Olympic torch, Snoop Dogg was very excited. He decided to share his feelings with his fans. He used his social media accounts to express his happiness about this opportunity.

“It’s an honour to be part of this historic event. Carrying the Olympic torch is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I can’t wait to represent my fans and the spirit of unity in Paris,” he stated.

Snoop Dogg as a torch bearer at the 2024 Olympics Games shows how the games are changing.

The Olympics are now including modern celebrities to appeal to more people. The torch relay is an important Olympic tradition. It represents peace, friendship, and the strength of the human spirit. Having Snoop Dogg carry the torch will likely attract a lot of attention. It will add a new and modern element to the ceremony. This choice fits with the Paris Olympics’ aim to celebrate different cultures and include all types of people.

Many fans have shared their happiness about this decision on social media. They think it’s a good idea. Some people believe that including Snoop Dogg will make the Olympics more interesting for younger people. It might help them feel more connected to the event.

People around the world are looking forward to the 2024 Paris Olympics. Snoop Dogg’s part in the torch relay will probably be a big highlight. His unique personality will add something special to the celebration. It will show how the Olympic Games bring people together from all over the world.

This event will be an important moment in Olympic history. Snoop Dogg is getting ready to bring his special style to the Olympic ceremony. His participation will make the torch relay different from previous years. It might change how people think about who can be part of Olympic traditions.

The Olympic committee will share more information about this event as it gets closer. Interested people should watch for news updates. They can learn more about how Snoop Dogg will be involved in the ceremony. This unusual choice for a torch bearer shows that the Olympics are trying to connect with all kinds of people, not just sports fans.

Check out more updates here.

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Nigeria Vs Brazil: Time And Where To Watch The Super Falcons’ 1st 2024 Olympics Game



Nigeria vs Brazil: where to watch 1st 2024 Nigeria olympics |

The Super Falcons of Nigeria are preparing for their first game in the 2024 Olympics against Brazil. Football fans in Nigeria are eagerly anticipating this event. The Olympics will take place in Paris, France.

The women’s football tournament is a major part of the Olympic Games. It will last for two weeks. The Super Falcons’ opening match is scheduled for July 25th. They are placed in Group C for the tournament.

Preview and History of Nigeria vs Brazil

Nigeria and Brazil have a history in Olympic football. They last faced each other in the 2008 Olympics. In that game, Brazil won with a score of 3-1. The Super Falcons are looking to change this outcome in their upcoming match.

Nigeria’s group in the Olympics is challenging. They will face not only Brazil but also Spain and Japan. To progress to the knockout stages, Nigeria will need to perform exceptionally well.

The Super Falcons have shown promising form recently. They performed well in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The team reached the knockout stages of that tournament. They achieved a notable victory against Australia. In another impressive performance, they held England to a draw before losing in a penalty shootout.

Since the World Cup, Nigeria’s women’s team has maintained a strong record. They have not lost any competitive matches. This unbeaten run has boosted their confidence as they return to the Olympic stage.

Super Falcons of Nigeria Olympic 2024 Team

Goalkeepers: Chiamaka Nnadozie, Tochukwu Oluehi.

Midfielders: Deborah Abiodun, Halimatu Ayinde, Christy Ucheibe, Jennifer Echegini, Toni Payne.

Forwards: Rasheedat Ajibade, Esther Okoronkwo, Asisat Oshoala, Uchenna Kanu, Chiwendu Ihezuo, Chinonyerem Macleans.

Brazil’s Olympic 2024 Team

Goalkeepers: Lorena, Tainá

Defenders: Tarciane, Rafaelle, Thais Ferreira, Antônia, Tamires, Yasmin.

Midfielders: Ana Vitória, Duda Sampaio, Yayá.

Forwards: Adriana, Gabi Nunes, Gabi Portolho, Jheniffer, Kerolin, Marta, Ludmila.

Nigeria and Brazil’s Olympic History

Nigeria’s Recent Performances

The Super Falcons of Nigeria have shown the potential to challenge any team in Group C. They had impressive results in the recent World Cup. Nigeria defeated Australia and drew against Canada and the Republic of Ireland. They only lost to England in a penalty shootout.

Brazil’s Olympic Success

Brazil has a strong Olympic record in women’s football. They won gold in 1996. They also secured silver medals in 2004 and 2008.

Nigeria’s Olympic Journey

Nigeria has won the African championship nine times. Their last Olympic appearance was in China in 2008. In that tournament, they lost all three group matches. They were defeated by North Korea (0-1), Germany (0-1), and Brazil (1-3). Brazil went on to win silver that year.

Nigeria’s Best Olympic Performance

Nigeria’s most successful Olympic campaign was in Athens in 2004. The Super Falcons finished sixth after reaching the quarter-finals.

Nigeria vs Brazil: Preparation and Match Details

Recent Friendly Match: In preparation for the Olympics, Nigeria played a friendly against Canada. They lost this match.

Upcoming Olympic Match: Nigeria will face Brazil at the Bordeaux Stadium in France. The match is scheduled for Thursday, July 25, 2024. It will start at 6 PM Nigerian time.

Broadcast Information: Fans can watch the game on Supersport.

Check here for more sports updates.

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2013 AFCON Winner, Mikel Obi Opens Up On Recent Surgery



Mikel Obi opens up on recent surgery |

Mikel Obi, a former star player for Chelsea Football Club, has recently shared information about why he had to undergo surgery. The surgery was performed on his hamstring, a group of muscles at the back of the thigh. Mikel, widely regarded as a legend of the Nigerian national team, the Super Eagles, ended his professional football career in 2022.

Since retiring from the sport, Mikel has embarked on a new venture. He has started a podcast called “ObiOne.” There, he discusses various topics related to his life and career. This podcast serves as a platform for him to connect with fans and share his experiences.

Mikel’s football career was notably successful, especially during his time at Chelsea. He played for the London club from 2006 to 2017, a period of 11 years during which he won numerous trophies and accolades. After leaving Chelsea, Mikel moved to China to play for Tianjin Teda.

In the latter part of his career, Mikel played for several other clubs. He had stints at Stoke City in England, Trabzonspor in Turkey, and Middlesbrough back in England. These experiences in different leagues and countries added to his rich football career before he decided to retire.

Regarding his recent surgery, Mikel Obi…

…explained that it was necessary due to a hamstring problem he experienced. This issue arose after he participated in a novelty match, typically a friendly or exhibition game often played for charitable causes or entertainment.

Mikel said on his podcast, “I tore my hamstring, I think it’s old age catching up with me. I was involved in an exhibition game with some celebrities. 

“We woke up in the morning, didn’t warm up, didn’t stretch properly, then we woke up in the morning to go play dodgeball.

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