Friday, 23 August, 2019

Maradona apologises to Fifa over referee comments

Supporters of Swizerland at Saint Petersburg Stadium Supporters of Swizerland at Saint Petersburg Stadium
Shannon Reynolds | 06 July, 2018, 22:17

He didn't act with the same criteria for both teams.

One of those talking points has been Diego Maradona.

"It's the headline we have waited a lifetime to write". Extra time ebbed and flowed with England finishing strongest and then prevailing 4-3 on penalties to send Colombia home.

Speaking to the press today, ahead of Saturday's quarter final against Sweden, Stones told reporters: "It was a odd game". We're down to the final eight of the tournament and in a couple of days, there will be only four teams standing.

"The downside of that is we can't push the players enough today to see whether they're OK". They have created their own story and made history. That's why I didn't go there'.

Janne Andersson's Sweden have recovered well from a heartbreaking group-stage defeat by Germany, seeing off Mexico before edging out Switzerland 1-0 in the last 16.

Asked what Southgate might say in his team-talk before the Sweden match, Eriksson added: "Not in the team-talk, but probably two or three days before he will perhaps remind the players "hey, Sweden are not Brazil but Sweden are hard to play against".

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Brazil, France, England and Belgium are still going strong in the tournament, while Russian Federation and Sweden are planning major upsets.

Much of the focus surrounding Brazil's bid for a record-extending sixth world title has inevitably been on Neymar.

The ball hit the back of the net after the referee had stopped play, with Harry Maguire distracted by a second ball which would've rolled onto the pitch had it not been stopped by the assistant referee. He apologised for making an offensive gesture toward a South Korean fan at Argentina's opening 1-1 draw with Iceland in Moscow and also broke World Cup stadium rules by smoking a cigar.

Belgium will also pose a big threat with Chelsea's Eden Hazard, Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne, and Manchester United's Romelu Lukaku and Marouane Fellaini as their potent weapons.

"There were so many interruptions in the game, far too many interruptions", Pekerman said.

Southgate's team have beaten Tunisia, Panama and Colombia to reach the quarter-finals for the first time since Eriksson was boss.

"Don't just look at Colombia's players but look at England's". But, if anyone in the squad thinks they have an easy game on Saturday, they're wrong.

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