Fri | Jan 24, 2020

World Cup Briefs

Published:Friday | July 13, 2018 | 11:13 PM

Heavy police presence in Paris

Paris is pouring police into the streets this weekend for what the French people hope will be back-to-back celebrations -- Bastille Day and, they're crossing their fingers, a World Cup title.

Paris police chief Michel Delpuech says 12,000 officers and 3,000 rescue workers will be mobilised in Paris and its suburbs for France's national day today, marked by a military parade down the Champs-Elysees Avenue, and tomorrow when France plays Croatia in the World Cup final at a stadium in the Russian capital.

Should France win, revelers will pack the Champs-Elysees to celebrate. Tens of thousands can watch the match from screens in a fan zone near the Eiffel Tower.

The fun will be mixed with high tension for security authorities: Delpuech says a "real terrorist threat" exists.

No Dope

FIFA has reported no doping cases from almost 4,000 samples taken since January in a testing programme for the World Cup finals.

The last World Cup doping case involved Argentina great Diego Maradona at the 1994 tournament in the United States.

The 2018 testing programme includes 626 samples taken during the competition, including two players from each squad drawn to give samples after games. A total of 108 of the samples were collected on non-match days.

Some players from the four teams still playing in Russia have been tested eight times this year, football's world body said.

Unruly England fans

FIFA has opened a disciplinary case against England's Football Association over misconduct by fans at the World Cup semi-final.

FIFA says the investigation is into reports of offensive chants and discriminatory behaviour by a small group of fans at Luzhniki Stadium on Wednesday.

England took an early lead before losing 2-1 to Croatia in extra time in its first World Cup semi-final since 1990.

FIFA holds member federations responsible for fan behaviour at stadiums.

Football's international governing body is working at with anti-discrimination group Fare, which places expert monitors in stadiums.