Croatia came, fought and conquered while England trudged in lumber; very far, but not far enough

AIWA! We Press: It is painful for everyone. But it is a fact. Football is about winning and losing. And today England lost because of this simple fact.

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On a night of almost unbearable tension, Mario Mandzukic’s well-taken goal in the second half of extra-time was enough to end all the unlikely English dreams and secure Croatia a World Cup final with France.

What do  we need to do to move forward, further than  where we have reached, where we are  here and beyond? Plan, invest, build and train: academies, coaches , managers and players.  And communities. England should not see themselves as a football team whose destination at competitive levels is always failure. Come on! Football was invented in England after all.

Gareth Southgate, the understated manager, has transformed the nation’s relationship with its football team.

He has managed to unify us where everyone else has failed; and he has gone beyond football at that. He made English football more personable to fans and the media. Commonality and a bit of national pride; one’s identity. england-squad-world-cup-2018full

And when the dust has finally settled Gareth Southgate’s The Three Lions Warriors were beaten by the better team – although there wasn’t much in it for anybody.

But England have exceeded all expectations, entered the semi-finals first time since 1966, restored some of their battered international pride and can return home with heads held high.

 

Crimson Tazvinzwa

Moped gangs pose as police to trick motorists into pulling over

Moped gangs are impersonating traffic police to pull over vehicles and threaten the occupants, in an escalation of the two-wheeled crimewave sweeping London.

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Fighting crime: Met Police officers on anti-moped bikes ( Alex Lentati )

Police warned motorists to be aware of the latest ploy after they were called when a cab was boxed in on Chelsea Embankment by two riders pretending to be undercover officers.

Both had fitted their helmets with blue flashing lights, which they switched on as they pulled alongside the car taking American tourists back to their hotel in Battersea at about 1.40am last Friday.

The black-clad, masked bikers told the occupants, a 44-year-old woman and her friends, that the cab had run a red light, but the passengers became suspicious when the riders refused to identify themselves.

They called 999, and the bikers fled.

In an email to residents, a police officer wrote: “Worrying report today where a taxi was made to stop by suspects on a moped and motorcycle… Suspects stated that they were undercover police.

“Luckily the taxi and passengers were able to get away unscathed … however it’s an intimidating situation to be in. I would like to reassure all that police would not use mopeds to stop a moving vehicle.” The number of crimes using mopeds in London has soared from 827 in 2012 to more than 23,000 in 2017.

In an incident on June 21, four thugs attempted to rob a mother while she was with her child in Richmond.

The Met police are using new tactics to deal with moped crime, including decoy bikes, identifying sprays and remote-controlled puncture spikes.

Former Met detective David Videcette said: “Police are struggling to deal with moped-enabled crime and criminals are taking advantage of the difficulties police have legally, professionally and practically.”

England got the last gasp win they deserved?

England drained Tunisia out 2:1 in the end, but? England started off with composure, confidence and control of the game. By  Crimson Tazvinzwakane.jpgCaptain Harry Kane scored twice, including an injury-time winner, as England battled to victory over Tunisia in their opening game of the World Cup.

At second half England was thrown off course by Tunisia’s new 4-4-2 formation. With the ball in their possession most of the time; the team couldn’t create enough chances, even the ones created were used wastefully. England could have easily sailed into second half with a 5:0 lead.

The VAR Team and Match Officials almost sunk England. Questionable decisions were made. The penalty? And Harry Kane incident prior to that where he was wrestled to the ground?

The questions surrounding the use of the Video Assistant Referee reared their ugly heads once again during England’s World Cup 2018 opener with Tunisia in Volgograd on Monday night as captain Harry Kane was twice denied what looked like clear penalties.

Shortly after Tunisia were awarded a penalty for what looked like a soft collision between Manchester City right-back Kyle Walker and Fakhreddine Ben Yussef, a decision which was upheld by VAR, Kane crumbled under what can only be likened to something seen in WWE. England carried on and the ensuing goal-mouth scramble saw John Stones miskick the ball and the chance go begging.

Harry Kane appeared to be wrestled to the ground (BBC)

Then, shortly after half-time, an almost identical incident occurred, again on Kane, and again it was ignored be referee Wilmar Roldan to the bemusement of the incredulous England captain.

Ahead of the World Cup, the referees’ formal briefing to the media insisted they would take “grappling” in the box seriously and give penalties for it. A penalty for it has already been given for grappling in this tournament, with Croatia profiting from it against Nigeria on Saturday evening, beginning the question why it was missed on two occasions for England.

Domestic violence cases set to spike around England’s World Cup matches

As England are due to kick off for their first World Cup 2018 match, police have issued a stark warning to drink drivers and domestic abusers.

Both undercover and high visibility drink driving patrols will be put in place across Avon and Somerset during the tournament to catch people getting in the car after a heavy night.

Officers have also urged victims of domestic abuse to report the crime so it can be investigated.

Police are warning football fans about drink driving and domestic abuse (Image: PA)

Police and crime commissioner for Avon and Somerset, Sue Mountstevens, said: “Drink and drug driving can have devastating consequences. Many people will be having fun over the summer and enjoying the World Cup, hosting gatherings and socialising with family and friends. I fully support the police in their efforts to keep the roads across Avon and Somerset safe, not only this summer but all year round.”

Avon and Somerset Police is targeting drink drivers through its Operation Tonic campaign, and is warning drivers that they could still be over the limit the morning after a night of drinking heavily.

Domestic abuse is also high on the police’s list of priorities during the World Cup, with officers encouraging victims to come forward.

Chief inspector John Holt said: “If you are a victim of domestic abuse then please do report it, we will investigate and we can help you get the support and advice you need. We will also have extra specialist staff during and after matches to respond to calls.”

Research by a Lancaster University criminologist found that domestic abuse can rise by as much as 38% when England lose, but also 26% even when they win.

L-R Karl Eustace and Ste Gannon outside their homes in Upton Green Speke, Liverpool, which they decorated for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.. (Image: Liverpool Echo)

Speaking about drink-related crime, Chief Inspector Hold said: “The majority of offences that increase during the World Cup and drink-related, such as a disagreement between two pub-goers that escalates into a fight or criminal damage incidents on the way home.

South Africa win against England spoiled by post-match fight with fans

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England have lost the Test series 2-0 to South Africa with one match to play

England’s defeat by South Africa was marred by a post-match confrontation between players Mike Brown and Joe Marler and fans.

The Harlequins duo exchanged angry words with supporters after England lost their fifth straight Test, beaten 23-12 by South Africa in Bloemfontein.

England head coach Eddie Jones said he did not see the incident.

But asked if his players won or lost with dignity, he told BBC Radio 5 live: “I think they always do.”

England led 12-0 but the defeat means South Africa have wrapped up the series 2-0 with one match to play.

A further sign of England’s frustration came when scrum-half Ben Youngs walked away from a television interview after one question.

He subsequently apologised on social media for conduct that was strongly criticised by Sir Clive Woodward in his role as a pundit.

“Just wanted to say sorry I walked off during my interview with Sky Sports,” Youngs said on Twitter.

“Obviously was very emotional and disappointed with result. We go again in Cape Town.”

‘Knives, knives, knives’: Trump fuels fear of London knife crime at NRA event

“Yes, that’s right, they don’t have guns, they have knives and instead there’s blood all over the floors of this hospital. They say it’s as bad as a military war zone hospital.”

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©Getty

Donald Trump on Friday fuelled fears of a knife crime epidemic in London by comparing a hospital in the city to “a war zone”, with blood all over the floors.

The US president, addressing the National Rifle Association (NRA) convention in Dallas, made the inflammatory comments two months before he is due to make his first visit to the UK. Using a familiar conservative argument to defend gun ownership, Trump asked sarcastically whether vans, trucks and cars, which have been used by terrorists, should be banned.

Then he turned to knives. “I recently read a story that in London, which has unbelievably tough gun laws, a once very prestigious hospital, right in the middle, is like a war zone for horrible stabbing wounds,” he said. “Yes, that’s right, they don’t have guns, they have knives and instead there’s blood all over the floors of this hospital. They say it’s as bad as a military war zone hospital.”

Trump stabbed the air several times with an imaginary knife and muttered: “Knives, knives, knives.”

Jeremy Corbyn apologises for anti-Semitism in Labour and admits its a ‘clear’ problem party has failed to tackle

 

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Labour Leader, Jeremy Corbyn

©Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Writing exclusively in the Evening Standard ahead of a key meeting with Jewish community leaders, he offers his most contrite apology yet for the failings.
“We have not done enough fully to get to grips with the problem, and for that the Jewish community and our own Jewish members deserve an apology,” he writes.

“My party and I are sorry for the hurt and distress caused.”