Saturday,23 February, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1401, (12 - 18 July 2018)
Saturday,23 February, 2019
Issue 1401, (12 - 18 July 2018)

Ahram Weekly

World Cup sidelines

Al-Ahram Weekly

Hyde Park live

ENGLAND’s semi-final against Croatia is to be shown to 30,000 fans at a Hyde Park public screening (the game was played after Al-Ahram Weekly went to press), Wednesday’s event will be the biggest public screening of a game in 22 years since England lost to Germany at Euro 96.

And in a rare display of cross-party consensus, Labour’s London mayor and the government are teaming up with the Royal Parks and the Football Association to present a live outdoor screening of the big match.

Up to 30,000 tickets were available on market since Monday 8 July.

Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “World Cup fever has gripped London and the rest of the nation and we have all been swept away by the fantastic exploits of Gareth Southgate’s team.

“Wednesday evening is a huge opportunity for our boys to do what many of us thought was impossible before the World Cup began and reach the final. I am sure Londoners of all ages and backgrounds will come together in their thousands at Hyde Park to cheer England on what could be a historic night.

“I am delighted that good teamwork has meant we have been able to pull out all the stops alongside government and other agencies to arrange this big screening. We want this to be a family-friendly occasion and a chance for England fans young and old to show the positive spirit of football to the country and the world.

“This team has a chance to write themselves into football folklore and London and the entire country will be cheering them on as loud as we can on Wednesday night,” Khan said.

Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Matt Hancock said: “Gareth Southgate and his amazing team have brought people together this summer.

“Wednesday is a special day for our nation and I’m thrilled people will be able to come from far and wide to watch the game and cheer on England together.”

Kane and the Golden Boot

KANE, twice the Premier League’s top scorer with 108 goals in 153 top-flight games, now has the biggest individual goal scoring prize of all in his sights - the World Cup’s Golden Boot.

His penalty in the last-16 victory over Colombia took him to six goals for the tournament, two clear of his nearest challenger, Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku, and three clear of a small group including France’s Kylian Mbappe.

In the process he also equalled Gary Lineker’s England record for number of goals in a tournament, set in 1986, and became the first Englishman to score in six consecutive internationals since Tommy Lawton in 1939.

With Croatia to come in the semi-finals on Wednesday (and either a final or a third-fourth place play-off after that), Kane may not be finished yet.

The Golden Boot could be heading in the direction of an England player for the first time since Lineker 32 years ago.

Enrique to coach Spain

EX-BARCELONA and Roma coach Luis Enrique has been appointed as Spain manager on a two-year contract.

The 48-year-old former Spain midfielder replaces Fernando Hierro who stepped down as interim boss on Sunday.

Hierro ­— who is not returning to his role as sporting director — was placed in temporary charge of the team after Julen Lopetegui was sacked on the eve of the World Cup.

Enrique has been out of management since leaving the Nou Camp in June.

Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) president Luis Rubiales said: “The decision was unanimous. I like his commitment and he has turned down better-paid jobs in order to coach Spain. He’s a coach who has all the requirements the federation was looking for.”

He takes charge of a team that were knocked out of the World Cup at the last-16 stage on penalties by hosts Russia.

Enrique, who played for Real Madrid and Barcelona, won the La Liga, Spanish Cup and Champions League treble as Barca manager in 2015.

His first game in charge will be a UEFA Nations League game away to England at Wembley on 8 September.

The RFEF announced his appointment on Monday and also named Jose Francisco Molina, a former Spain keeper, as their sporting director.

Referees ahead

THE FIFA Referees Committee has selected 12 referees, 26 assistant referees and 10 Video Assistant Referees for the final phase of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia. Given the fact that there are only four games to play, the number of referees has been reduced again.

Appointed for the final phase are: AFC: FAGHANI Alireza (IRN)





UEFA: CAKIR Cuneyt (TUR); KUIPERS Bjorn (NED); MAZIC Milorad (SRB); ROCCHI Gianluca (ITA)

Video Assistant Referees CONMEBOL: SAMPAIO Wilton (BRA); VIGLIANO Mauro (ARG)

UEFA: DANKERT Bastian (GER); DIAS SOARES Artur (POR); GIL Pawel (POL); IRRATI Massimiliano (ITA); MAKKELIE Danny (NED); ORSATO Daniele (ITA); VALERI Paolo (ITA); ZWAYER Felix (GER)

New haircut

EDEN Hazard flew a barber to Russia for a fresh trim before Belgium’s semi-final with France. Hazard used famous barber Ahmed Alsanawi who is renowned for cutting footballers’ hair.

Hazard has stepped up his preparations to take on France — by getting a fresh look for the occasion. The Belgium star has jetted his own personal barber out to Russia to ensure he looks in top shape for one of the biggest games of his career.

Hazard took to Instagram to show off his new trim alongside the caption: “Recovery, relax. New look and focused on the next big game on Tuesday.”  

Alsanawi has been in high demand by footballers during the World Cup. Adnan Januzaj, Kylian Mbappe, Samuel Umtiti have all starred on the stylist’s Instagram page throughout the tournament.

Even Belgium assistant boss Thierry Henry and Chelsea legend John Terry got in on the action.

Alsanawi was remarkably chopped by Chelsea’s Cobham training ground after they accused him of abusing his position and damaging the footballers’ protected image rights by taking selfies.

His shop is based near the Cobham training ground and his business has flourished thanks to the exposure from some of the world’s best players.

In November his Instagram account had 73,000 but that has now topped 123,000.

Meanwhile Hazard will be key if Roberto Martinez’s side are to book their first ever World Cup final spot.

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