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There’s been a lot of political pressure on Russia ever since the MH17 Malaysian Airlines flight was shot down in a war zone over Ukraine earlier this summer. Many world leaders are asking FIFA to strip them of the 2018 World Cup which Russia is scheduled to host. Up to now, FIFA has ignored these requests, but it’s conceivable that Russia could lose the world’s biggest sporting event if the country involves itself in any further international turmoil.
As the World Cup hosts, Russia won’t have to qualify for the event, which is a relief to them since the nation’s football team hasn’t performed too well recently. They made the 2014 World Cup, their first appearance in the event since 2002, but managed just two points in three games and didn’t get out of the group stage. Also, the Russian Under-21 side was recently eliminated from the European Championships during the group stage. Russia wants to be prepared to take on the world’s best once the 2018 tournament kicks off. To do this, the Russian FA said it would like to take all of the national team players and place them on one team. This will enable them to play together prior to the event and gel as a team.
American President Barack Obama may be the most powerful man in the world, but he still had time to settle a small bet that he made with Elio Di Rupo, the Prime minister of Belgium. The two nations met earlier this year in the round-of-16 knockout stage of the 2014 World Cup down in Brazil with the winner advancing to the quarterfinals. Before the match, Di Rupo sent out a tweet which challenged Obama to a friendly bet.
The Belgian Prime Minister wrote to Obama on June 26 saying, “Hey @BarackObama, I am betting some great Belgian beers that our @BelRedDevils will make it to the quarter final! #ComeOnBelgium #BEL
Di Rupo must have been disappointed though when he didn’t get a reply from the busy president. The game took place on July 1 and ended 0-0 after 90 minutes. U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard stood on his head by making save after save, but his heroics weren’t good enough as Belgium scored in extra time to win the game 2-1.
Philadelphia Eagles football player LeSean McCoy was recently involved in a social media debate as he reportedly left a 20-cent tip at a local hamburger restaurant. To add to all of the fuss, the restaurant owner Tommy Up claimed that McCoy verbally abused the staff and wrote about the incident on the establishment’s Facebook page. The running back pulled into the PYT restaurant a few days ago with three of his friends and they racked up a relatively small bill of $61.56. He then added 20 cents to the bill in the ‘tip’ area to make it a total of $61.76 and the receipt was also posted to the restaurant’s Facebook page.
Undefeated WBC and WBA Welterweight Champion Floyd Mayweather met Marcos Maidana of Argentina in a much-anticipated rematch on Saturday, September 13 in Las Vegas. While their first bout last May was pretty competitive with Maidana raking the champion with head and body shots much of the night, the rematch was a bit of a dud. Maidana’s effort in the first fight wasn’t enough to win it as he dropped a majority decision, but it was exciting enough to earn a rematch with the champ.
The second scrap was a letdown though as the only part of it being an alleged biting incident. This took place during a clinch in the eighth round when Maidana’s head was apparently being held by Mayweather’s glove. The champion then suddenly reeled backward and pulled his glove away and showed it to referee Kenny Bayless. The ref then sent both boxers to neutral corners and took a good look at Mayweather’s glove, Bayless then made his way over to Maidana and gave him a bit of a lecture.
Croatian tennis player Marin Cilic went into the U.S. as the 14thseeded male tennis player in the world with the odds in the online tennis betting of winning the tournament stacked against him at 66-1. Two weeks later those who bet on him cashed in big time as he beat Kei Nishikori of Japan quite handily by scores of 6-3. 6-3. And 6-3 in New York City on September 8.
Hardly anybody expected the 25-year-old to win the event, including Cilic himself. Cilic wasn’t the lowest seeded player to win the U.S. Open, but he was probably the least expected to take it. In fact, the odds of a Cilic vs Nishikori final were very low indeed. When Andre Agassi won the event back in 1994 he was unseeded and when Pete Sampras captured it in 2002 he was seeded 17th.
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