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Russian athletes will remain banned from international competitions after the IAAF upholds the country's suspension into 2019.
www.bbc.co.uk | 12/4/18
In “The Grandmaster,” Brin-Jonathan Butler covers the 2016 World Chess Championship, which pit Norway’s Magnus Carlsen against Russia’s Sergey Karjakin.
www.nytimes.com | 11/30/18
The UK Parliament's seizure of internal Facebook documents is already leading to trouble for the social network. Digital Culture, Media and Sport committee chairman Damian Collins has alleged that Facebook knew of Russia-linked data harvesting in 20...
www.engadget.com | 11/27/18
Russia come from behind to beat Estonia in overtime with a dramatic two-pointer to win their basketball preliminary at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
www.bbc.co.uk | 10/12/18
Russian footballers Pavel Mamaev and Alexander Kokorin found themselves in the middle of the grand scandal that will cost them their careers, freedom, and millions in lost wages. According to media reports, Mamaev and Kokorin have attacked and beaten two federal officials, a national of Belarus, and a Channel One driver. For the time being, law enforcement agencies filed a criminal case into the brawl, in which a federal official was affected. According to media reports, the fight involving the two footballers and an official of the Ministry for Industry and Trade, Denis Pak, took place in a coffee shop on Arbat Street. The video, which was immediately uploaded on the internet, shows that the official and his colleague, Sergei Gaisin, suffered injuries in the brawl. The administration of Krasnodar Football Club, for which Pavel Mamaev plays, has published an  official statement in connection with the incident. The club has decided to terminate the contract with Mamaev and currency considers possible options. "Unfortunately, contracts are drawn up to protect professional athletes as much as possible. Nevertheless, we will do everything to achieve this," the statement says. Pavel Mamaev's wife, Alana, filed for divorce on October 9. On October 8, she apologized for her husband's behavior and said that she was very much embarrassed. As a result, Pavel Kolobkov, Russia's Minister for Sport, stated that the footballers' behavior cast a shadow on Russian football on the whole. It was not the first time, when Kokorin and Mamaev displayed unsportsmanlike behavior. "Currently, these athletes do not play in the Russian team and, "apparently, they never will. I suppose that the owners of the clubs that they represent will also make relevant conclusions," the minister said. Two hours before the attack on federal officials, the players assaulted a national of Belarus after the latter made a remark to Kokorin and Mamayev. At about 7 a.m.,  Mamaev, Kokorin and the company left a strip club in Moscow. There was a parking spot on the way, so the drunk footballers started kicking the cars, leaning on them, as if they were asking for trouble. In the morning of October 8, the footballers attacked at least three people in the center of Moscow. Their actions were captured on CCTV cameras. At first, they attacked the driver of TV presenter Olga Ushakova. The driver, Vitaly Solovchuk, was hospitalized with a cranial injury and broken nose. Some time later, the men attacked two officials in a coffee shop. The officials were identified as Denis Pak and Sergei Gaisin. Pak serves as the director of the department for automotive industry and railway engineering at the Ministry of Industry and Trade, whereas Sergei Gaisin heads the NAMI State Scientific Center.Football players Alexander Kokorin and Pavel Mamaev used to play for the Russian national football team, but did not take part in the World Cup 2018. Pavel Kokorin is a player of Zenit, while  Alexander Mamaev performs for FC Krasnodar. During the recent years, Kokorin and Mamaev have appeared in a number of scandals that caused damage to the image of Russian sport. Football players Mamaev and Kokorin were summoned for questioning as part of the investigation into the above-mentioned attacks. If they do not appear, they can be delivered coercively. If the players are arrested, their lawyers will strive for their release on bail or guarantees from well-known public and political figures in Russia.
The Russia Athletic Federation calls on governing body the IAAF to lift its ban on its athletes and has launched a legal challenge to overturn it.
www.bbc.co.uk | 9/26/18
Former GB Paralympic rower and Wada athlete commission member Vicki Aggar says Russia's potential return to world sport is a "fudge".
www.bbc.co.uk | 9/17/18
Of the four people who protested on the field during the World Cup soccer final in Moscow, one is now in intensive care and another spent part of the week in a jail cell.
www.foxnews.com | 9/15/18
An independent panel has recommended allowing the country to begin testing its athletes for performance-enhancing drugs.
www.nytimes.com | 9/15/18

People are choosing teams in the battle between President Trump and LeBron James — and it looks like the deck is stacked in favor of the basketball superstar, at least on Twitter.

After Trump tweeted on Friday that CNN’s Don Lemon — whom he called “the dumbest man on television” — “made Lebron look smart, which isn’t easy to do,” a groundswell of support quickly backed the newest Laker.

It came from all over, including Hollywood, where comedian Patton Oswalt said the president was going for the “most ratio’ed” tweet in history.

Also Read: Colbert Imagines How Trump's Meeting With Mueller Will Go: 'Do You Want to Arrest Yourself?' (Video)

So, you figured since you'll never beat @BarackObama's "most liked" Tweet you'd go for "most ratio-ed"? https://t.co/MiXG7qTn2H

— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) August 4, 2018

No matter how bad your life gets, no matter how lonely or isolated you feel, you’ll never be the president of the United States angrily tweeting about a LeBron James interview on a Friday night https://t.co/Ly22NEJtDe

— Mike Drucker (@MikeDrucker) August 4, 2018

“The Ellen DeGeneres Show” executive producer Ed Glavin tweeted sharply, “Lebron James represents the best of America. Donald Trump represents the worst of it.”

Also Read: Ivanka Trump Breaks With President, Says Media Is Not 'Enemy of the People' (Video)

Lebron James represents the best of America. Donald Trump represents the worst of it. https://t.co/35hx6IXHEr

— Ed Glavin (@EdGlavin) August 4, 2018

High-profile media people also sent James votes of confidence. HBO’s Bill Simmons called James a “smart dude” and blasted the “bulls–t tweet” from Trump that felt “more than a little racist.”

LeBron is a smart dude (and one of the most thoughtful athletes we have) – this is a bullshit tweet and feels more than a little racist. You’re a constant embarrassment. https://t.co/QxYpuyHsuW

— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) August 4, 2018

Also Read: Here's a Montage of Trump Saying 'It's True,' Courtesy of 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' (Video)

Dan Rather echoed a similar thought, saying the president’s actions were “a disgrace.”

This is apparently what the President of the United States feels the need to share with the world at what should be long past his bedtime? It's a disgrace. It's racist. And it's the product of petty but dangerous hatreds. I repeat this is the PRESIDENT??!? https://t.co/MA8nZUxFc7

— Dan Rather (@DanRather) August 4, 2018

I'd much rather live in a world reflecting the values, philanthropy, and yes intelligence of LeBron James and Don Lemon's intelligent commitment to truth and journalism than the divisive peevishness, lies, and narrow self-interest displayed by the President of the United States.

— Dan Rather (@DanRather) August 4, 2018

You know my admiration for @KingJames. I like him more today than ever.

— Colin Cowherd (@ColinCowherd) August 4, 2018

Also Read: Ivanka Trump Breaks With President, Says Media Is Not 'Enemy of the People' (Video)

“You aren’t fit to lace LeBron’s sneakers, and everybody knows it,” tweeted writer Molly Knight.

You aren’t fit to lace LeBron’s sneakers, and everybody knows it. https://t.co/oRqYHnVE2R

— Molly Knight (@molly_knight) August 4, 2018

Trump said he liked “Mike,” as in Michael Jordan, in his dig against James. But Jordan sided with James on Saturday, saying he’s “doing an amazing job for his community,” according to NBC News.

NEW: Jordan sides with James over Trump tweet. NBA legend Michael Jordan tells NBC News through a spokesperson: "I support LJ. He’s doing an amazing job for his community.”

— Geoff Bennett (@GeoffRBennett) August 4, 2018

Hillary Clinton — whom James stumped for in 2016 — came to the hooper’s defense as well, calling him a “great family man” and a “class act.”

.@KingJames is a great family man, incredible ballplayer, gives back to his community, and isn’t afraid to speak his mind. He’s a world class athlete and a class act. We need more like him in this world.

— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) August 4, 2018

Former chess champ Garry Kasparov said he heard similar disdain for athletes speaking out while growing up in the Soviet Union.

I also heard “stick to sports” in Russia for opposing Putin and I’d be proud to be as “dumb” as LeBron James, who has used his fame and wealth to better his nation, unlike Trump. https://t.co/S5DdWjvuWT

— Garry Kasparov (@Kasparov63) August 4, 2018

Many conservatives backed James, too, with Republican governor John Kasich saying, “we should be celebrating him for his charity work and efforts to help kids.”

Also Read: Politico Reporter Apologizes for Mocking Trump Supporters' Teeth

Rather than criticizing @KingJames, we should be celebrating him for his charity work and efforts to help kids.

By the way, all-around he’s better than Michael Jordan. That’s a fact.

— John Kasich (@JohnKasich) August 4, 2018

This tweet from a couple of years ago is evidence, I suppose, that Trump's accusing people of being dumb may not be racist. On the other hand, to make an obvious point: LeBron James seems quite intelligent. I'm sure he wears Donald Trump's scorn as a badge of honor. https://t.co/pQX9R8BxJk

— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) August 4, 2018

The price tag: $41.8 millionhttps://t.co/Ld5buLmZjp

— Frank Luntz (@FrankLuntz) August 4, 2018

If there’s support for the president insinuating James is dumb, we haven’t seen it. Because even President Trump at one time was a fan of James, calling him a “great guy” in 2013.

Also Read: Tom Arnold Says Trump Even Lies About Germaphobia: 'How Many Germaphobes Raw Dog That Many Porn Stars?'

Congratulations to @KingJames on winning Athlete of the Year in last night’s @ESPYS. LeBron is also a great guy!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 18, 2013

Related stories from TheWrap:

LeBron James Sidesteps Trump Diss, Celebrates New School Instead

CNN's Don Lemon Hits Back at Trump's 'Dumbest Man' Diss of LeBron James and Him

Trump Disses LeBron James, Don Lemon After CNN Interview: 'Dumbest Man on Television'

www.thewrap.com | 8/4/18
The governing body of world athletics maintained Russia's ban from track and field over mass doping, just 10 days before the start of the European Championships in Berlin.
www.dnaindia.com | 7/28/18
Russia remain suspended from international athletics despite making "significant" improvement in key areas, says the IAAF.
www.bbc.co.uk | 7/27/18
On Thursday, July 26, many Russians could see the phantom of the good old iron curtain falling between Russia and the West. The news came from the press secretary of the Russian Union of Travel Industry, Irina Tyurina. Last week, United Russia MPs proposed amending the federal law about the procedure to leave and enter the territory of the Russian Federation. In accordance with these amendments, the Russian Ministry for Foreign Affairs should hold mandatory accreditation of all companies rendering intermediary visa registration services to Russian citizens. In order to obtain accreditation, a visa issuance company is supposed to have representative offices in at least 20 regions of the Russian Federation, whereas the share of foreign participation in the authorized capital of the company should not exceed 20 percent. In addition, applicants should have certified technical means to process confidential information (including biometric personal data). The amendments also require at least three years of experience in collecting and processing documents for obtaining visas on behalf of diplomatic missions and consular missions.According to the press secretary of the Russian Union of Travel Industry, Irina Tyurina, none of  existing operators can meet the criteria proposed in the draft law. For example, it is unclear how they should comply with the requirement of foreign participation. Presently, there are six companies that run visa service centers in Russia: VFS Global, GVCW - Greece, VMS - Italy, BLS - Spain, India, TLS - Great Britain, Switzerland, Belgium and Pony Express. The information on each of these companies is available to the public in the state register of legal entities.It is unlikely that these companies can be replaced with Russian ones: even if they meet all other requirements, Russian companies will not have three years of experience in rendering visa services. Needless to say that the adoption of amendments will trigger a mirror response from other countries. In this case, big plans to attract foreign tourists to Russia, especially after the World Cup, may not materialize.To make matters worse, residents of Russians regions will have to come to Moscow to get a visa to a foreign country. They will also have to spend many hours standing in long lines to visa departments of foreign embassies, as it was practiced during the 2000s. In a nutshell, all this is nothing but bad news that, if it becomes real, will complicate the lives of all Russian travelers. The news triggered countless "iron curtain" discussions in social media in Russia. The "iron curtain" has many holes in it as Russia has visa-free regime with many countries. Yet, the curtain would be very strong when it comes to a trip to Europe or to the States. Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee for Physical Culture, Sport, Tourism and Youth Affairs, Sergei Krivonosov, (United Russia) said that the Russian authorities, on the contrary, seek to minimize visa restrictions."At the initiative of the president, we are currently preparing proposals to simplify visa procedures. There are a number of countries that have already simplified the procedure to issue visas for Russian citizens. I haven't heard of the initiative that you're talking about. The State Duma's Subcommittee on Tourism (Sergei Krivonosov heads it - ed.) works to simplify visa procedures," the MP told Pravda.Ru. "We do want to make the procedure simpler, because we've had problems with bankruptcies of tour operators. We believe that an electronic visa can help. I am sure that there is no iron curtain of any type involved," Sergei Krivonosov added. Oleg ArtyukovPravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
The World Cup soccer championship held here in Russia has been celebrated as a huge success, and President Vladimir Putin said he hoped the hospitality and openness on display here will have dispelled some of the "myths and prejudices" about the country.
www.foxnews.com | 7/17/18
A gift of a soccer ball was a metaphor for the gamesmanship that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia has been playing with President Trump, and, analysts said, the points he has been scoring.
www.nytimes.com | 7/17/18

France’s 4-2 victory over Croatia in the World Cup Final was as sweet as a dessert crepe, though the match didn’t exactly net Fox’s TV ratings goal in the states.

Fox drew 11.3 million TV viewers for its coverage of Sunday’s final, which was down 20 percent from the 14.1 million that watched ABC’s coverage in 2014 of Germany’s 1-0 win over Argentina. Those numbers include the pre- and post-match coverage, which can deflate the overall viewership.

On Sunday, Fox Sports brought in another 500,000 viewers via streaming, on average.

Four years ago, ABC pulled in 17.3 million during just the match time frame. Fox did not provide comparable figures.

Also Read: Pussy Riot Members Jailed, Charged for Storming Field During World Cup Final in Russia (Video)

An additional 9.2 million watched on Univision in 2014, bringing the total to 26.5 million viewers in America. Telemundo, who took over Spanish-language rights from Univision, did not have ratings for Sunday’s final at press time.

Though 11.3 million viewers is still a nice broadcast television audience haul in general — especially on a Sunday morning — none of this tournament went as well as the network would have hoped when Fox shelled out $425 million for the World Cup rights, outbidding incumbent ESPN.

Leading up to Sunday’s game, Fox had been trending nearly 40 percent lower than 2014’s average viewership, so the final closed the gap a bit.

Also Read: 'The Mick': Here's What Would Have Happened to Sabrina on Season 3

Fox was already facing a tall order to come anywhere close to the record soccer TV ratings that ESPN and ABC pulled in four years ago from Brazil. Brazil was just one hour ahead of the U.S. east coast, which meant most of those matches aired around primetime, whereas Russia was seven hours ahead. And when the United States failed to qualify for the tournament, it made things even worse.

The next World Cup in 2022 will be held from Middle East country Qatar, and moved to the winter to avoid the unbearably hot summer temperatures in the Gulf. But Fox did have one major celebration and it came before the tournament even started. The 2026 tournament, the last under Fox’s TV rights deal with FIFA, will be held in North America, with most of the matches emanating from the U.S.

All of this could have been worse, of course: Fox executives could be getting treated like members of Pussy Riot right now.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Pussy Riot Claims Responsibility of On-Field Protest During World Cup Final

How Do Fox's World Cup Ratings Stack Up Against 2014?

Michelle Wolf and Seth Meyers Complain About the World Cup and Each Other (Video)

www.thewrap.com | 7/17/18

After Donald Trump accepted Russian President Vladmir Putin‘s denial of interfering in the 2016 presidential election—despite the findings of  Trump’s own U.S. intelligence agencies that Putin’s forces launched a cyber attack on the U.S. with the intent of disrupting the election—even the president’s usual supporters lambasted him.

At the normally Trump-friendly Fox News, analyst Brit Hume tweeted that when Trump was asked about who he believes on Russian interference, Trump’s “vague and rambling non-answer, with renewed complaints about Hillary’s server” was a “lame response, to say the least.”

Trump, finally asked whom he believes on Russia interference, gives a vague and rambling non-answer, with renewed complaints about Hillary’s server. Says he trusts US intel but made clear he takes Putin’s denials seriously. Lame response, to say the least.

— Brit Hume (@brithume) July 16, 2018

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Fox News’ chief political anchor Bret Baier tweeted that he thought the press conference was “surreal.”

Guy Benson, a Fox News contributor, called Trump’s answer on whether he believed U.S. intelligence or Putin “atrocious.”

He also tweeted that Trump’s support of support of Putin is “rooted in an embarrassing, juvenile, insecure, consuming obsession over his own legitimacy.”

“Easily one of his worst days as president,” he wrote.  “And again, juxtapose that performance with how he just treated our European & North American allies.”

Appalling moral equivalence & equivocation — rooted in an embarrassing, juvenile, insecure, consuming obsession over his own legitimacy. Easily one of his worst days as president. And again, juxtapose that performance with how he just treated our European & North American allies.

— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) July 16, 2018

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Fox Business Network’s Neil Cavuto called Trump’s news conference — during which he never criticized Putin — “disgusting,” adding that “It’s not a right or left thing. It’s just wrong.”

Neil Cavuto of Fox Business calls Trump's press conference "disgusting", "That sets us back a lot." pic.twitter.com/R2ZIjyFyPR

— Axios (@axios) July 16, 2018

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Even Fox and Friends anchor Abby Huntsman was piqued, tweeting: “No negotiation is worth throwing your own people and country under the bus.”

Top Republicans in Congress, known not to criticize Trump — at least publicly — are also slamming him.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, issued a press release contradicting Trump, saying “there is no question that Russia interfered in our election and continues attempts to undermine democracy here and around the world.”

“That is not just the finding of the American intelligence community but also the House Committee on Intelligence. The president must appreciate that Russia is not our ally.”

Rep. Liz Cheney, a Wyoming Republican and daughter of the arch-conservative former Vice President Dick Cheney, says she is “deeply troubled” by how Trump sided with Putin.

“As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I am deeply troubled by President Trump’s defense of Putin against the intelligence agencies of the U.S. & his suggestion of moral equivalence between the U.S. and Russia,” she tweeted. “Russia poses a grave threat to our national security.”

Senator Lindsay Graham Tweeted that Trump should check the soccer ball which Putin gave at their meeting for “listening devices.”

He also wrote: “Missed opportunity by President Trump to firmly hold Russia accountable for 2016 meddling and deliver a strong warning regarding future elections.”

Missed opportunity by President Trump to firmly hold Russia accountable for 2016 meddling and deliver a strong warning regarding future elections.

This answer by President Trump will be seen by Russia as a sign of weakness and create far more problems than it solves. (1/3)

— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) July 16, 2018

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Senator John McCain said in a powerful statement that today’s press conference in Helsinki was “one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory.”

“President Trump proved not only unable, but unwilling to stand up to Putin,” McCain said. “He and Putin seemed to be speaking from the same script as the president made a conscious choice to defend a tyrant against the fair questions of a free press, and to grant Putin an uncontested platform to spew propaganda and lies to the world.”

Former CIA Director John Brennan took the criticism even further, writing on Twitter that Trump’s performance at the Helsinki press conference “rises to & exceeds the threshold of ‘high crimes & misdemeanors.’ It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin.”

And Brennan, who served in the administrations of both President Barack Obama and President George W. Bush, had a simple, urgent question to GOP lawmakers and media influencers who were also troubled on Monday:  “Republican Patriots: Where are you???”

people.com | 7/17/18
The 2018 World Cup will likely influence the game for years thanks to a series of transformative developments that took place in Russia and fundamentally changed what we know about international soccer.
www.wsj.com | 7/16/18
The World Cup soccer championship held here in Russia has been celebrated as a huge success, and President Vladimir Putin said he hoped the hospitality and openness on display here will have dispelled some of the "myths and prejudices" about the country.
www.foxnews.com | 7/16/18
Vladimir Putin presented Donald Trump with a soccer ball from the World Cup in Russia ... and then dropped the following eye-rolling metaphor ...  "Mr. President, I'll give this ball to you ... and now the ball is in your court."…

www.tmz.com | 7/16/18
BBC Sport asks fans in Russia to pick their favourite moment of the 2018 World Cup.
www.bbc.co.uk | 7/16/18
Relive all the best moments from the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
www.bbc.co.uk | 7/16/18
Relive all the best moments from the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
www.bbc.co.uk | 7/16/18
A comparison between the 1980 Summer Olympics and this year’s World Cup is not perfect, but there are parallels to study.
www.nytimes.com | 7/16/18
France always felt out of place in Russia, winning with an air of cultivated detachment, as though it was competing in a completely different tournament.
www.nytimes.com | 7/16/18
France thrashes Croatia to win FIFA 2018 Your guide to the FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia, all games, scores, scorers, tables. Here we present a one-click history of the tournament. Thank you Russia for a splendid World Cup, great organization, wonderful hospitality, amazing experiences and that great Russian embrace of friendship to all fans who came here to enjoy the FIFA World Cup finals. The onus was on sport, the focus was on sport and millions of people came together in Russia or around Russia on TV to celebrate together the beginning of Summer. Congratulations France for a deserved victory.
Russian state television has been broadcasting interviews of English fans raving about experiences at the World Cup. Filming is often done at bars during matches.
www.nytimes.com | 7/14/18

On Sunday, Fox will wrap up its first Men’s World Cup as Croatia will take on France for international soccer bragging rights for the next four years.

In what shouldn’t come as a surprise — considering the U.S. failed to qualify and the TV-unfriendly time zones in Russia — viewership has been down considerably compared to 2014’s World Cup. Fox has averaged 2.6 million viewers through the first 62 matches on the Fox broadcast network and Fox Sports 1, down nearly 40 percent from what ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC averaged through the same time frame four years ago (4.3 million), according to Nielsen figures.

One bright spot: ESPN had the benefit of four matches featuring the United States, including their group stage match against Portugal, which netted a record 18.2 million viewers. ABC pulled in 17.3 million for the final between Germany and Argentina in 2014.

Also Read: World Cup: Germany vs Sweden Gives Fox Big Win With 5.4 Million Viewers

It’s not all bad news for Fox. As the tournament has progressed, ratings have trended upward. The July 7 quarterfinal matchup between host Russia and Croatia drew 6.4 million viewers, the most for any quarterfinal match on U.S. television. For Fox’s two semifinal games this week on July 10-11, the network averaged 5.03 million viewers, off by just 6 percent compared to 2014.

Fox, which shelled out $425 million to out-bid ESPN for World Cup TV rights, was already facing a tall order to come anywhere close to the record soccer TV ratings that ESPN and ABC pulled in four years ago from Brazil. Brazil was just one hour ahead of the U.S. east coast, which meant most of those matches aired around primetime, whereas Russia was seven hours ahead. And when the United States failed to qualify for the tournament, it made things even worse.

The next World Cup in 2022 will be held from Middle East country Qatar, and moved to the winter to avoid the unbearably hot summer temperatures in the Gulf. But Fox did have one major celebration and it came before the tournament even started. The 2026 tournament, the last under Fox’s TV rights deal with FIFA, will be held in North America, with most of the matches emanating from the U.S.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Inside Fox Sports' World Cup Draw Broadcast

Fox Sports Rallies Viewers for Men's World Cup Without US: 'Greatest Sporting Event on Earth'

World Cup: Despite No Team USA, Fox Still Saw Strong Demand From Advertisers

www.thewrap.com | 7/13/18
Three years after a corruption investigation brought down soccer’s leadership, the sport’s top executives have enjoyed a gilded lifestyle in Russia.
www.nytimes.com | 7/13/18

Check out the week’s most emotionally reacted-to TV personalities and characters.

A French soccer player, a NASCAR driver and a competitive eater had viewers talking passionately on social media over the past seven days.

The Wrap has partnered with Canvs, the emotion measurement AI company, for a weekly look at some of the characters and personalities that have TV viewers the most worked up on social media. The data below covers July 4-10 and is drawn from the most emotionally reacted-to television programs, including broadcast, cable, streaming and PPV.

Also Read: Ronda Rousey, Chloe Kim and Travis Kelce to Attend Nickelodeon's 'Kids' Choice Sports 2018' (Exclusive)

The World Cup continues to be a big driver of emotional conversation, and this time around it was Kylian Mbappé sparking viewer comments during the France vs. Belgium match that was broadcast on Fox and Telemundo and generated 52,804 Emotional Reactions (ERs). The 19-year-old French forward has scored three goals in the tournament, and although France’s sole (and game-winning) goal was by Samuel Umtiti, people were talking about Mbappé’s mad skills in droves.

Also Read: Michelle Wolf and Seth Meyers Complain About the World Cup and Each Other (Video)

Mbappe with a beautiful pass omg

— asiel (@asieldiarte) July 10, 2018


Mbappe is on another level. My god.

— David (@LegsFeedWolf80) July 10, 2018


mbappe best player of the world cup

— Gera (@ojdidthatshit) July 10, 2018


MBAPPE THAT BACK HEEL WAS SICK

— Mr. Mundial (@AnthonyNunnezz) July 10, 2018

Also Read: Cristiano Ronaldo in Early Talks for Facebook Watch Series

NBC’s broadcast of the Monster Energy Cup Series: Coke Zero Sugar 400 generated 24,290 ERs, and even though Erik Jones ultimately won, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. drove more conversation — and much of it was negative. The driver sparked viewer anger during the race when, during lap 55, he caused a 25-car crash and then later triggered more incidents. When he got into a crash himself, people were more than amused, some citing karma (Stenhouse finished the race at 17th).

How many cars can Stenhouse wreck tonight? What an idiot!

— Willie Tolbert (@wjt369) July 8, 2018


Way to go Stenhouse..jackass!!!

— Ronald Silvers (@SilversRonald) July 8, 2018


LOOOOOL! As soon as Stenhouse wrecked the crowed went crazy!

— Jett Kraus (@RacingMDK) July 8, 2018


Hey Stenhouse Karma is a Bitch #NASCAR #CokeZeroSugar400

— Michelle Batton (@MichelleB2019) July 8, 2018

ESPN’s broadcast of the 2018 Hot Dog Eating Contest prompted 16,378 ERs, with Joey Chestnut snagging the win (his third in a row and 11th in the last 12 years) with a world-record 74 hot dogs consumed. Viewers cheered him on with a mix of witty remarks and sheer amazement (although of course there was some snark thrown in).

Is Joey Chestnut the greatest athlete of our time?

— Adam Lichtenstein (@ABLichtenstein) July 4, 2018


Death. Taxes. Joey Chestnut ????

— Joseph Constantin (@JConstantin10) July 4, 2018


Joey Chestnut is must see TV

— JB (@Joe_Lando50) July 4, 2018


I love hot dogs except when I see Joey Chestnut eating them.

— Tawrrence Jackson (@Tawjac) July 4, 2018

Related stories from TheWrap:

Michelle Wolf and Seth Meyers Complain About the World Cup and Each Other (Video)

World Cup: Germany vs Sweden Gives Fox Big Win With 5.4 Million Viewers

Trevor Noah Is 'a Little Turned on, but Mostly Scared' by Russia's World Cup Image Makeover (Video)

www.thewrap.com | 7/12/18
Krasnodar, a city in the Russian south, has a huge soccer following and a brand new stadium built by a local entrepreneur, but it doesn’t host a single World Cup game.
www.nytimes.com | 7/10/18
The irony of Thierry Henry, one of France's all-time soccer greats, plotting his own country's downfall at the World Cup in Russia has not been lost on his former team mate Didier Deschamps, who calls it a bizarre situation.
www.dnaindia.com | 7/8/18
BBC Sport joins a group of Russia fans in Sochi as their team suffer a dramatic quarter-final exit to Croatia after a tense penalty shootout.
www.bbc.co.uk | 7/8/18
Russia's elimination from the soccer World Cup on Saturday poses a challenge for the Kremlin: How to manage public anger over reforms that will hit voters' pockets without the distraction of national sporting success.
www.dnaindia.com | 7/8/18
FIFA Semi-Finals: France v. Belgium; England v. Croatia Congratulations, Croatia! Spasiba, Russia! Thank you for some amazing hospitality, unerring organisation and splendid soccer. A memorable World Cup! England 2 Sweden 0
Harry Maguire, Jordan Pickford and Kieran Trippier - BBC Sport looks at three of England's unlikely World Cup stars.
www.bbc.co.uk | 7/8/18
The Kremlin dubbed the Russian national team heroes and proud soccer fans saluted their underdog host team after the side lost on penalties to Croatia, bringing an end to its World Cup challenge at the quarter-finals.
www.dnaindia.com | 7/8/18
The full picture of Russia’s greatest soccer heroes is hard to frame, as their lives, like the Soviet reality in which they lived and played, was constantly shifting.
www.nytimes.com | 7/6/18
[The Conversation Africa] In this age of globalisation few events draw more attention than sport as the World Cup in Russia illustrates with billions of people across the globe glued to their screens. At this time in football crazy Africa, specialists and ordinary fans are watching, discussing and analysing the World Cup.
allafrica.com | 7/5/18
Ahead of the World Cup, Russian authorities have clamped down on radical soccer hooligan groups, detaining their leaders and pushing many of their members out of World Cup cities for the extent of the tournament.
www.wsj.com | 7/5/18
Former Chelsea and Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba tells BBC Sport why he thinks England can go all the way and win the World Cup in Russia.
www.bbc.co.uk | 7/3/18
Former Chelsea and Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba tells BBC Sport why he thinks England can go all the way and win the World Cup in Russia.
www.bbc.co.uk | 7/3/18
The Crimean soccer league is neither Russian nor Ukrainian, leaving its teams and its players marooned in sporting purgatory since Russia annexed the peninsula in 2014.
www.nytimes.com | 7/2/18
Anna Kournikova shared adorable snaps of her and partner Enrique Iglesias' twins ahead of Russia and Spain World Cup soccer match on Sunday.
How did Russia celebrate a famous World Cup win over Spain? BBC Sport's Patrick Jennings found out watching from a bar in Samara.
www.bbc.co.uk | 7/1/18
How did Russia celebrate a famous World Cup win over Spain? BBC Sport's Patrick Jennings found out watching from a bar in Samara.
www.bbc.co.uk | 7/1/18
[Daily Maverick] Brazil fans visit the Red Square ahead of their team's match, in Moscow, Russia, 27 June 2018. Brazil will face Serbia in their FIFA World Cup 2018 group E preliminary round soccer match. EPA-EFE/FELIPE TRUEBA
allafrica.com | 6/30/18
Moscow's beer kegs are emptying fast and demand for Vladimir Putin T-shirts is overwhelming St. Petersburg street vendors as the World Cup sends business surging across the 11 Russian cities hosting soccer's biggest show.
www.foxnews.com | 6/30/18
While World Cup fans pack the St. Petersburg Stadium fantasizing of soccer victory, Pyotr Voskresensky and fellow gay rights activists follow the matches in a quiet gallery across town decorated with beanbags and astroturf.
www.foxnews.com | 6/29/18

“The Simpsons” has a proven track record of predicting the future, most notably in an episode from 2000 that featured Donald Trump as U.S. president — and with the end of the World Cup rapidly approaching, some fans are saying another successful premonition could get added to the list.

A 21-year old episode appears to be on the verge of forecasting the two teams that will appear in the final match in Russia in a few weeks. Mexico and Portugal are contenders to make it to the final round — and a “Simpsons” episode from 1997 predicted this outcome.

But there’s a hitch.

Also Read: Disney Expected to Lose $250 Million on Hulu in 2018

In the Season 9 episode, titled “The Cartridge Family,” the Simpsons watch a television commercial advertising a soccer game. “This match will determine once and for all which nation is the greatest on Earth: Mexico or Portugal,” the announcer says in the advertisement.

While the World Cup is not directly mentioned in the gag, many fans have wondered aloud if the comment is a premonition of the upcoming final tournament.

However, after Mexico’s 3-0 loss to Sweden in its final group-stage game on Wednesday, the team is placed on the same side of the bracket as Portugal, meaning the matchup would happen in the semifinals rather than the finals, Washington Post writer Matt Bonesteel pointed out.

As performed once on the longest-running animated sitcom in American history, que sera sera.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'The Simpsons' Executive Producer Mike Scully Signs New Overall Deal With Fox

'The Simpsons' Creator Brushes Off Apu Criticism: 'People Love to Pretend They're Offended'

Hank Azaria Says He's 'Happy and Willing to Step Aside' as Voice of Apu on 'The Simpsons' (Video)

'The Simpsons' Pushes Back at Critics of 'Politically Incorrect' Apu (Video)

www.thewrap.com | 6/27/18

Russia is a keen sporting country, successful at a number of sports and continuously finishing in the top rankings at the Olympic games. During the Soviet era the team placed first in the total number of medals won at 14 of its 18 appearances; with these performances, the USSR was the dominant Olympic power of its era. Since the Olympic Games in Helsinki in 1952 and continuing today, the Soviet and later Russian athletes never went below third place in the world (never below 2nd until the most recent Olympics), in number and gold medals collected at the Summer Olympics. Russia has finished in the top five at every Paralympic winter games since 1994, and is continuously climbing the rankings at the Paralympic summer games. Among the most played sports in Russia are football, ice hockey and basketball. Other sports widely played in Russia include team handball, weightlifting, gymnastics, boxing, wrestling, martial arts, volleyball, rugby union and skiing. As the Soviet Union, Russia was traditionally very strong in basketball, winning various Olympic tournaments, World Championships and Eurobasket. At the moment they have two players in the NBA, Utah Jazz forward Andrei Kirilenko and New York Knicks center Timofey Mozgov, and are considered as a worldwide basketball force. In 2007, Russia defeated world champions Spain to win EuroBasket 2007. Russian basketball clubs such as PBC CSKA Moscow (2006 and 2008 Euroleague Champions) have had great success in European competitions such as the Euroleague and the ULEB Cup.


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