December 4, 2022

World Cup 2022: news and buildup to France v Poland and England v Senegal – live

Latest news from Qatar before France v Poland at 3pm (GMT)Get in touch: email Daniel or tweet him with your thoughtsArgentina have also been celebrating after beating Australia 2-1. Lisandro Martínez, who came on as a second-half substitute for the Albiceleste, has tweeted: “Proud of this group. What passion, united as always we keep moving forward!”Having secured a spot in the quarter-finals, Van Gaal has also been talking up the Netherlands’ hopes of winning the tournament. “I think we have big chances here,” he said. “We still have three matches to go. I’ve been talking about this for a year. We can become world champions – not that we will – but we can. I am talking about team bonding, how we can build the strongest possible team and I derive pleasure from the group of players and, of course, performances and results.” Continue reading...
December 4, 2022

France v Poland: World Cup 2022, last 16 – live

Match at Al Thumama Stadium kicks off at 3pm GMT‘Let’s play ball’: Poland pray for more in last-16 tie against FranceShare your thoughts with Rob via emailI see Amélie Poulain’s been up to mischief againThe best way to achieve greatness is to retain something. Okay, not anything. Nobody put Modena in the pantheon when they won the Anglo-Italian Cup in 1981 and 1982. But the World Cup, now that’s the ultimate. It has been retained only twice, by Italy in 1938 and Brazil in 1962, and no team has even come close since the turn of the century. Continue reading...
December 3, 2022

‘Let’s play ball’: Poland pray for more in World Cup last-16 tie against France

Despite reaching the knockout rounds for the first time since 1986, Poland’s one-sided defeat by Argentina has attracted criticism“Zagrajmy w piłkę” – “Let’s play ball”. That was the headline instruction, front and centre, on the Polish website gazeta.pl on Thursday morning after the tense, chaotic conclusion to Group C the night before. Poland had stumbled into the last 16 of the World Cup with a performance so devoid of ambition that the domestic media coverage seemed more like a postmortem than a celebration of reaching the knockout stages for the first time since 1986.It should have been a day of jubilation. Instead, there seemed to be a wide sense of embarrassment. “We will not tell our grandchildren by the fireplace years later about how the Polish national team progressed from the group at the 2022 World Cup,” wrote Dariusz Tuzimek for SportowyFakty.pl. “When they ask about it, we’ll try to change the subject.” Continue reading...
December 2, 2022

Why Japan’s second goal against Spain was allowed to stand

The whole of the ball must cross the line for it to be out of play and VAR decided that at least some of it was still overhangingThe introduction of VAR at the World Cup in 2018 did nothing to dampen debate around crucial decisions, and this year’s tournament in Qatar has been no different. Whether it was Antoine Griezmann’s disallowed late equaliser against Tunisia for France, Argentina’s VAR-awarded penalty after Wojciech Szczęsny appeared to gently brush Lionel Messi’s face with his hand, or the lack of a penalty after England’s Harry Maguire was wrestled to the floor against Iran, VAR’s subjective calls remain a point of contention.But no decision has sparked more debate than the award of Japan’s second goal against Spain on Thursday evening, when – to the naked eye – it appeared that the ball had crossed the line and gone out of play. It ended up sealing Japan’s qualification and effectively knocking Germany out of the tournament.A goal kick is awarded when the whole of the ball passes over the goalline, on the ground or in the air, having last touched a player of the attacking team, and a goal is not scored. Continue reading...
December 1, 2022

‘Don’t get cards’: How Poland’s strange World Cup progression played out

Poland clung on for a 2-0 defeat by Argentina, until a late Saudi Arabia goal against Mexico finally settled frayed nerves“They were shouting at us from the bench: ‘Don’t concede!’ ‘Don’t get cards!’” Piotr Zielinski said laughing, which he could at last do by then. “Strange,” the Poland midfielder called it. Somehow, they were still standing. They had lost their final group match 2-0 against Argentina but had survived a Lionel Messi penalty and 23 shots, including one cleared off the line in stoppage time, and progressed to the last 16 by virtue of having collected two yellow cards fewer than Mexico. Or at least that’s what they thought when the final whistle went.As it turned out, a 95th-minute goal for Saudi Arabia, scored 25km north at the exact moment that Messi and Robert Lewandowski were embracing post-game, covering their mouths to exchange words, would mean that Poland progressed on goal difference. But 2-0 down against Argentina at Stadium 974 while Mexico were leading by the same score at Lusail, the two teams tied on everything in Group C, the lifeline they had clung on to was fair play. Continue reading...
November 29, 2022

EU talks to cap Russian oil prices hit impasse as key deadline nears

The latest proposal to cap Russian crude at $62 per barrel was deemed too high by Poland and the Baltic states.
November 29, 2022

’There’s nowhere else for them to go’: what next for 100,000 Ukrainians and the Britons who took them in?

People all over the UK welcomed refugees into their homes under a government scheme. The children got school places; the adults found jobs. But the commitment was for just six months – and time is upMost evenings, while Katya Zaikhchuk was waiting in Poland for the Home Office to grant her and her 15-year-old son, Sasha, a visa to come to England, she would get a video call from her host, Clare Birkbeck, as she cooked supper at home in Essex. “I’d walk around the house, showing her the kitchen and the bedrooms, trying to make her feel comfortable, showing her what living in our house would be like. I was more worried for them than nervous for us,” Birkbeck remembers.She and her husband bought a Ukrainian flag from Amazon, and their daughter made a poster decorated with yellow and blue curled ribbons and carefully transcribed a welcome message from Google Translate, which they took to the airport when they went to meet their guests in April. “You could see they were both very nervous. When they saw us, they hugged us and cried.” Continue reading...
November 28, 2022

‘The greatest day of my life’: Saudi Arabia’s female fans bring the noise

Country’s reforms meant there were as many women in green shirts at Education City as there were supporting PolandSaudi Arabia have been bringing the noise in Qatar. Fans have travelled in numbers greater than any other country, with only Argentina coming close. The emerald green shirt is a common sight across Doha. They’re on the corniche and in the metro and, in their first two Group C fixtures, they have generated a fearsome atmosphere within the ground.It may seem an observation that ought not to have to be made, but the Saudi fanbase in Qatar is made up of both men and women. At Education City on Saturday afternoon, perhaps one in 20 of those making their way into the stadium were female, making them equivalent to the number of women there to support Poland. This is a first. Continue reading...
November 27, 2022

‘Everyone was completely terrified’: the British film-maker who helped Ukrainian crew escape war

Art reflected life when Hugh Welchman of Breakthru Films started work on an animation of The Peasants, set during Russia’s occupation of PolandRussia-Ukraine war – latest news updatesMaking a movie is hard enough at the best of times, but an Oscar-winning British film-maker and his crew found themselves with a particularly daunting challenge. Hugh Welchman of Breakthru Films, which has painting animation studios in Poland, Lithuania and Serbia, opened another in Kyiv in January – only to have to close it weeks later and help its artists flee to safety after Russia invaded Ukraine. Continue reading...
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