USWNT etiquette questioned by England coach as “spygate” row erupts

(CNN)England coach Phil Neville has accused the US of lacking “etiquette” ahead of Tuesday’s World Cup semifinal clash after two US representatives visited his team’s hotel while looking at potential accommodation for the final. “It’s not an unfair advantage. It’ll have no bearing on the game. I actually found it quite funny. I just thought, ‘What are they doing?’ It’s not etiquette really, is it? I just think that’s not something that I would allow from our organization.” According to reports from The Guardian, US staff — not dressed in team kit — were shown around Lyon’s Fourvière Hotel. The incident — which is being dubbed “spygate” or “hotelgate” — was passed off as necessary tournament planning by USWNT coach …

FA furious after US officials are caught in Englands World Cup hotel

The Football Association is furious after US team officials were caught in private rooms in Englands hotel two days before the teams meet in the Womens World Cup semi-final An extraordinary spygate row has broken out at the Womens World Cup after undercover US team officials were caught wandering into private rooms at Englands hotel while Phil Nevilles side were out training. The Football Association is furious over the incident, which occurred on Sunday morning, two days before the teams meet in Tuesdays semi-final. It claimed that it would never scope out another teams hotel let alone enter their inner sanctum while they were still in the tournament. It is understood the US officials were not wearing official team uniforms …

The legendary Sue Bird has had it with Trump’s Megan Rapinoe bashing

(CNN)Megan Rapinoe’s girlfriend, basketball star Sue Bird published a World Cup article/ political rant / love letter defending Rapinoe and the USWNT against President Trump’s recent criticisms, and it is a wild ride from start to finish. ESPN Body Issue features same-sex couple Bird won three WNBA titles (2004, 2010, 2018) and four Olympic gold medals (2004, 2008, 2012, 2016). In between President-focused clapbacks, Bird’s article is just 2,900 words of pure, uncut Megan Rapinoe love. Bird says the Trump tweets and online harassment barely get to her at all. “You just cannot shake that girl,” she writes. “She’s going to do her thing, at her own damn speed, to her own damn rhythm, and she’s going to apologize to …

England trips are being co-opted by the right but football has resisted before | Barney Ronay

Tommy Robinson was up for the fight in Guimares on Thursday night and there are reports of England fans chanting his name in bars but together we can fight this influence Back in the mid-1980s, when English football was a wild, rust-caked, occasionally frightening place, a group of Leeds United supporters noticed that the National Front had gained a small but significant foothold around Elland Road. Football was seen as a fertile seeding ground for far-right politics. On matchdays the NF had begun to sell its magazine, Bulldog, outside the ground. They became a visible presence, gained a little traction, took a share of the day. Eventually there was a reaction. Rob Conlon Sign up to The Recap, our weekly …

Liverpools waves of red fury and recklessness end in joyous bedlam | Barney Ronay

There were seething huddles in the aisles, bodies lifted and hugged and grappled after Liverpools unbelievable comeback against Barcelona Do not adjust your reality. This really is happening. There have been glorious, entirely improbable games in Liverpools European history, including this was something else, an effort of will that, frankly, took the breath away. On a rapturous night Liverpools season of chasing to the end narrowed first to a fine point; then burst into the most extravagant life as a 1-0 half-time lead against Barcelona became two, then three, then four. With 79 minutes gone, the most celebrated team of the modern age had been reduced to bunch of mooching, stumbling yellow-shirted spectators. A Champions League season that had seemed …

‘You get used to the gunfire’ filming the Libyan women’s football team

Denounced on TV, they train at secret locations watched by armed guards. We meet the woman from Hastings who made a fascinating film about Libyas guttsiest football squad Just what our country needs! rails the imam sarcastically on Libyan TV. A womens football team! And whats more, they chose tall, young beautiful girls for the team and for months their legs will be exposed. Womens football may be getting its moment in the spotlight with the World Cup about to kick off. But, as the absorbing new documentary revolution that brought Muammar Gaddafis reign to an end. It seemed to promise a new era of democracy and freedom including womens freedom to play football. That period was really joyous, says …

Ajax’s ‘Super Jews’ keep on singing amid rising anti-Semitism

Amsterdam (CNN)It takes less than a minute to walk from Amsterdam’s beautiful Portuguese Synagogue to the “De Dokwerker” statue. Follow @cnnsport But the nature of the vandalism, the green and yellow paint on the statue, and the painting of green swastikas on the street, suggested a blurring of the lines between anti-Semitism, and hatred of the city’s football club, Ajax. Throughout the Netherlands, and much of Europe, Ajax is known as a “Jewish club.” The vandalism, allegedly carried out by supporters of a rival football club in the Hague, shone a light on the complicated and often uneasy relationship between Ajax, the Jewish community and the anti-Semitism that it often attracts. ADO Den Haag, issued a statement in which it …

Fernando Ricksen: I like living too much, Im not ready to go

Fernando Ricksen, the former Rangers and Netherlands player, has motor neurone disease. We spend time with him and his wife and find anger, sadness and humour At St Andrews Hospice in Airdrie, about eight miles outside Glasgow, Fernando Ricksen is beginning to show the first signs of tiredness after answering questions with his eyes for more than an hour. As an emotional and deeply moving interview draws to a close, Ricksen is asked whether there is anything else he would like to mention in this article. After a short pause while his eyes scroll across the screen to select the words that his voice-computer reads aloud once the sentence is complete, Ricksen adds: My wife, so that I get some …