Penniless and homesick Nigerian world cup ‘fans’ got stranded in Moscow

This is how penniless and homesick Nigerian world cup ‘fans’ got stranded in Moscow

The World Cup, ending this Sunday, brought to Moscow fans from all over the world. Among them were at least 300 Nigerian fans who had hoped to see their national team clinch the trophy.

However, among them were other ‘fans’ who went to Russia with the hope of gaining employment.

Upon arrival, they were surprised to discover it was part of an elaborate scam. Not only were the numbers of their ‘prospective employers’ fake, the money they had carried was not enough to cater for their accommodation and food in the Russian capital.

According to Alternativa, a movement against human trafficking and slavery, at least 60 Nigerians have been stranded in the streets of Moscow after they realised that their return tickets were cancelled by the agency in Nigeria. This meant that they had to pay their own way back to their homes.

According to the AFP, the Nigerians had purchased the tickets that included plastic-coated passes that enable foreign fans to enter Russia without a visa during the World Cup.

It is not indicated how the Nigerians were able to obtain these tickets and sell them to fans, although there were reports of plans by human traffickers to flood the World Cup with trafficked people including sex workers.

The football governing body, FIFA stated that it is making effort to identify and stop unauthorised sales of passes.

The Nigerians are currently at the Nigerian Embassy and at the Vnukovo airport in Moscow, seeking help to get home.

“We’ve been sleeping on the floor like fools. We’ve got no place to go. We really do want to go back to our country. We’ve cried, we’ve wept, but still, no solution,” Alonge Ademola, 35, a cement dealer from Lagos told AFP.

According to Crime Russia, some Nigerians ended up at the Sheremetyevo in a bid to get on a Turkish Airline flight that was rumoured to take them home but in vain.

“[On Thursday] in Sheremetyevo about 40 citizens of Nigeria, when attempting to fly to their homeland, encountered problems on registration, their return tickets were invalid,” the Interfax source at the airport said

Alternativa has already helped 50 Nigerians so far, but it believes the number of stranded football fans is still high.

The Nigerian embassy, according to Ambassador Steve Davis Ugbah, is unable to pay for the tickets of all the fans and has since turned to the Russian authorities for help.

He has also counted out the deportation of his country people, insisting that a solution will be found soon.

It is against FIFA rules and values to practice human trafficking.

“Practices of human trafficking are in opposition to FIFA’s own values. The competence to address issues related to human trafficking, like any other criminal activity, is with the relevant national and international authorities (policy, judicial and governmental), and FIFA welcomes the steps that are taken in that respect,” FIFA said on Friday.

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.


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

‘Behave Yourselves’: Emergency Services Issue Warning To England Fans Ahead Of World Cup Semi-Final Clash

Police chiefs and emergency services are warning England fans to “behave themselves” ahead of tonight’s semi-final match against Croatia.

Following England’s win against Sweden on Saturday, police said there was “significant disorder” with 387 incidents across the country leading to 70 arrests.

engl fans
© Thomson Reuters

Soccer Football – World Cup – England fans watch Sweden vs England – Bristol, Britain – July 7, 2018 England fans celebrate outside Ashton Gate Stadium during the match Action Images via Reuters/Ed Sykes TPX

The “worrying level of mostly alcohol-related disorder” stretched forces’ resources on Saturday, said Mark Roberts, the head of football policing for the National Police Chiefs’ Council, which represents 44 forces across England and Wales.“Saturday’s match was a great day for England and it’s right to celebrate it,” he said. “The vast majority of fans do that without committing criminal and anti-social behaviour. It’s incredibly disheartening to see over 300 incidents of alcohol fuelled disorder from a minority of mindless individuals.

“This behaviour has real consequences. Numerous roads across the country were blocked, stopping emergency vehicles getting to people in need and an ambulance is now off the road while being repaired.

Russia’s shock victory against favourite Spain “is only the beginning;”Russia coach Stanislav Cherchesov

Russia coach Stanislav Cherchesov believes the World Cup hosts’ shock victory over title contenders Spain on penalites following a 1-1 draw in the last 16 on Sunday “is only the beginning”.

russia win spain
Russia defeated Spain in their Round of 16 encounter in Moscow on Saturday. Get highlights

Captain Igor Akinfeev saved two penalties as Russia triumphed 4-3 in a dramatic shootout in Moscow to reach a first quarter-final since the Soviet era, in 1970.

“I’m not the man of the match, the man of the match is our team and our fans,” said Akinfeev, after each converted penalty, and his saves from Koke and Iago Aspas, were greeted with a deafening roar from a crowd of 78,011 at the Luzhniki Stadium.

Russia were largely expected to just make up the numbers at their own tournament after entering with a seven-match winless run and ranked the lowest of the 32 teams.

Cherchesov has masterminded a remarkable upturn in fortunes, with back-to-back wins over Saudi Arabia and Egypt to launch their campaign sparking a wave of national euphoria.

They rode that support, and occasionally their luck, to recover from falling behind to a 12th-minute own goal from Sergei Ignashevich.

Artem Dzyuba equalised with a penalty shortly before half-time after Spain defender Gerard Pique was punished for a handball.

Russia’s defence then held firm as Spain dominated possession before the heroics of Akinfeev triggered wild celebrations in the rain.

However, Cherchesov refused to get carried away and spoke like a man on a mission after his side booked a quarter-final clash with Croatia or Denmark.

“I believe that it’s only the beginning so I have to save my emotions for the future,” said Cherchesov, who at times gestured towards the crowd to lift the noise levels.

“Today we found the right place at the right time and we achieved the maximum we could.”

“Now it’s over and I’m thinking only about the next game. These are very simple, not very sophisticated emotions,” he added.

“It wasn’t open football on our part. They are better than us in many ways so I don’t believe we should risk going forward, and I think we chose the correct tactic.”

– ‘Can’t point fingers’ –

Spain joined fellow heavyweights Germany and Argentina in making a premature exit, raising questions as to the wisdom of sacking Julen Lopetegui on the eve of the competition.

Lopetegui was axed by the Spanish federation with the team already in Russia after agreeing a deal to become the Real Madrid coach next season.

Spain came to the finals unbeaten in 20 matches since Lopetegui took over following Euro 2016, with the 2010 world champions winning just once in four games with Hierro at the helm.

“I accept the responsibility, I am the head coach. If anyone needs to shoulder this responsibility it’s me,” said the former Real Madrid captain.

“I have nothing to hold against anybody. I put my reputation out there because that’s what my job required.”

Hierro’s choice was risky given his lack of coaching experience — just one season in charge of second division Oviedo — but he was reluctant to reflect on Spain’s chaotic start to the tournament.

“We can’t start finger-pointing at anyone and laying any blame here,” he said.

“We need to be realistic. The situation was what it was and we need to call a spade a spade. It’s completely pointless to analyse the past. We made the decision we made.”

“We had opportunities to win this match but we ended up in a penalty shootout which is basically a lottery, and we weren’t lucky,” he added.

The defeat also marked the end a of glittering international career for Andres Iniesta, who was brought on midway through the second half for his 131st and final Spain appearance.

Mexico: At least 16 fans murdered within 24 hours of World Cup win

MEXICO CITY, June 25 (BERNAMA-NNN-TELESUR) — Eleven football fans were shot and killed in Mexico following the nation’s win against South Korea in the 2018 World Cup in Russia, police said. By Crimson Tazvinzwa


Mexico built on the momentum from their stunning opening victory over world champions Germany by comprehensively beating South Korea 2-1 Saturday and taking a giant leap towards reaching the last-16 of a World Cup.

Hundreds filled the streets of Mexico celebrating with small parades and alcoholic beverages, despite the state’s temporary dry law.

The first of two attacks took place along the Texas border around 11 a.m. local time, when six people were killed in a shooting as they sat watching the soccer game from inside their garage.

According to witnesses, a van pulled up to the home and a group of armed attackers jumped out and fired at the party of football fans. Neighbours immediately called local police to report the incident and an investigation is underway.

Within the course of an hour, another five people were murdered when a pair of gunmen burst into a barber shop and killed the two clients and three barbers found inside.

Later, another four victims were reported dead around midnight, drawing Saturday night to a close with a final death toll of 16 murders

A recent report published by the National Public Security System Thursday warned that 2018 may become the most deadly year in the country’s history. Since January, a total of 13,298 people have been murdered in Mexico: a 21 percent increase on the same period last year.
While May, with a total of 2,890 murders reported- which calculates to roughly 93 victims per day or four every hour- is the nation’s highest homicide rate registered since 1997.

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.

No Mesut Ozil, no Ilkay Gundogan: Germany’s shock XI vs Mexico

Germany Training And Press Conference

The second match on Sunday at the World Cup features the reigning world champions.

Will Germany retain the World Cup in Russia this summer?

The Germans start their campaign with a tricky test against Mexico. El Tri are known for getting out of their World Cup groups, only to exit the competition in the second round.

The other countries in the group are Sweden and South Korea, who play on Monday.

Germany’s World Cup preparations have not been the best by any means.

Prior to a win against Saudi Arabia in their final warm-up game, Jogi Low’s side were winless in last five matches.

The run included back-to-back defeats. A 1-0 home defeat to Brazil could have been forgiven, but Germany then lost 2-1 to Austria.

Yet the far bigger issue for the Germans has been the backlash against Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil and Man City’s Ilkay Gundogan.

Both Premier League stars met with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the build up to the World Cup.

That’s stoked plenty of debate in Germany. Should Ozil and Gundogan – both of Turkish descent but both German internationals – really have held that meeting on the eve of the World Cup?

German fans don’t think so. Man City’s Gundogan was booed by German fans during the Saudi Arabia friendly.

According to Bild, Jogi Low is expected to leave both Arsenal’s Ozil and City’s Gundogan on the bench for the Mexico game.

While Gundogan may have struggled to get into the team, dropping Ozil would be a huge call.

Bild believe that Marco Reus will start alongside Julian Draxler and Thomas Muller. Timo Werner will be the sole striker.