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Soccer Football - Euro 2024 - Group C - Serbia v England - Arena AufSchalke, Gelsenkirchen, Germany - June 16, 2024 Serbia fans inside the stadium before the match

REUTERS/John Sibley

The beautiful game can sometimes be ugly

The European Championship, aka the Euros, has been underway for just one week, but it’s already turning political. Serbia wants UEFA, soccer’s European governing body, to whip out a red card for Croatia and Albania over allegations their fans shouted anti-Serbian slurs during a match on Wednesday.

“Kill, kill, kill the Serb,” the fans allegedly chanted. It’s fair to say that Serbia felt this was extremely offside — and the country is threatening to quit the competition if action isn’t taken.

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Copa America 2024 - Argentina training

REUTERS

Who’s watching the Copa?

Fans across the Americas will tune in tonight to watch a different type of football – fútbol – as Argentina and Canada kick off the first match of Copa America. The tournament, which features top national soccer teams from North and South America, has been around for over 100 years. This year marks its first edition on its new four-year cycle to align with the UEFA European Football Championship, aka Euros.
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Kylian Mbappé of France during the UEFA Euro 2024 Football Championship match between Austria and France on June 17, 2024

Footballer Kylian Mbappé attacks France’s far right

Besides correctly pronouncing croissant, winning the Euros is about the only thing the French can agree on. But on the eve of his country's first game, Kylian Mbappé, arguably the best player of his generation, used his spotlight to turn the nation's attention away from the field and toward the ballot box.
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Mohammed Kudus, Majeed Ashimeru, and Salis Abdul Samed of Ghana celebrate during the AFCON 2023 match between Egypt and Ghana at on January 18, 2024 in Abidjan, Cote d Ivoire.

Didier Lefa/REUTERS

9 fun facts about the Africa Cup of Nations

The Africa Cup of Nations is underway in Ivory Coast, with the gut-churning knockout stage set to begin on Saturday. The month-long continental soccer tournament happens every two years and recently expanded to accommodate 24 national teams – all of which began the competition hoping to prove they’re the best squad on a continent of 1.4 billion people. We have compiled a list of what you should know about this tournament, including the political backdrop of the event.

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Captain Christine Sinclair plays her final international game as she retires from Canada's national women's soccer team after a friendly match against Australia in Vancouver, British Columbia, on Dec. 5, 2023.

REUTERS/Jennifer Gauthier

Hard Numbers: Soccer legend retires, First Nations vote, Trains chug toward zero, Brazil beckons

48,112: Canadian women’s soccer legend Christine Sinclair closed out her career in style this week, leading the national team to victory over Australia before 48,112 adoring fans in Vancouver. Sinclair’s 190 goals scored in international matches are the highest total notched by any woman or man who has ever played the game.

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Jenni Hermoso is kissed by the president of the RFEF Luis Rubiales during the presentation ceremony of the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023 at Stadium Australia in Sydney, Australia.

Noe Llamas / SPP

Will a kiss kick off Spain’s #MeToo?

FIFA has benched Spanish soccer federation president Luis Rubiales for 90 days pending a disciplinary committee investigation of his conduct following Spain’s World Cup victory over England. Rubiales was suspended after he kissed star forward Jenni Hermoso on the lips during the presentation ceremony, provoking a storm of reaction from Hermoso, her team, the sporting world, and politicians.

While Rubiales initially claimed the kiss was consensual, “spontaneous” and “without any intention of bad faith,” last Monday he called it “a mistake.” That didn’t satisfy Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, who said the apology for an “unacceptable gesture” was “not enough.” Yolanda Díaz, acting second deputy prime minister, called for Rubiales to resign. Spanish men’s international striker Borja Iglesias said he will not play for the national team “until things change,” and Hermoso’s teammates vowed not to play any more games as long as Rubiales remains as president.

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A woman outside the damaged house of her son, who was killed the day before by shelling in Donetsk, Russian-controlled Ukraine.

REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko

Hard Numbers: Deadly shelling, drug kingpin's jail security, Lai sighting, Sweden soccer semi, twin takeover

7: Shelling in the southern Ukrainian province of Kherson Ukraine on Sunday killed seven people, including a 23-day-old baby girl. The attack followed denials by Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar that Ukrainian forces had engaged in Russian-occupied territory in the region.

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A rescue worker searches for victims after a train derailed in District Sanghar in the Sindh province of Pakistan.

REUTERS/Yasir Rajput

Hard Numbers: Train derailment, bombing anniversary, Barbie's billion, winter heat, stunning soccer saves

30: At least 30 people were killed and another 90 injured after a train derailed in Pakistan’s Sindh province on Sunday. The country’s railway system has a notoriously dubious safety record, and the cause of the crash remains under investigation.

25: It has been 25 years since al-Qaida terrorists bombed the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, killing 224 people and injuring thousands. The attacks took place eight years after US troops landed in Saudi Arabia in the aftermath of Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait.

1 billion: "Barbie" finished its third weekend in cinemas with more than $1 billion in global ticket sales, making Greta Gerwig the first solo female director to hit that mark. Warner Bros. says none of its movies have ever sold so many tickets so fast.

100: Despite it being winter in the southern hemisphere, South Americans are sweltering amid a record heatwave, with temperatures as high as 100 degrees Fahrenheit. This is another grim reminder of the fast-emerging reality that political leaders must think urgently about how to invest in new technology and infrastructure to help people adapt to a hotter planet.

11: Swedish goaltender Zecira Musovic was the star of the show in a tough World Cup match between Sweden and the United States, scoring 11 saves against 22 attempts on goal before the shootout that eliminated the US from contention. Sweden now advances to the quarterfinals against Japan.

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