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Argentina fans clashed with their Mexican counterparts in a fan zone in Qatar after supporters filmed themselves chanting “f*** Messi”.

  • * Wales 0 v 2 Iran
  • * Netherlands v Ecuador
  • * Qatar 1-3 Senegal
  • Argentina fans clashed with their Mexican counterparts in a fan zone in Qatar after supporters filmed themselves chanting “f*** Messi”.

    Tensions boiled over in the supporters’ area at the Al Bidda Park in Doha on Wednesday night after Mexican supporters were seen insulting the Argentina superstar.

    Rival fans came to blows in Qatar ahead of Saturday’s Group C clash between Argentina and Mexico.

    Qatari authorities didn’t appear to be present in the footage, which raises concerns ahead of the weekend’s game, with 80,000 fans set to descend on the Lusail Stadium.

    Several people are believed to have suffered minor injuries in the scrap which took place in one of FIFA’s dedicated fan zones, designed for World Cup supporters from different nations to watch their teams together.

    The ugly scenes came just a day after Argentina were stunned by Saudi Arabia 2-1, in one of the biggest World Cup shocks of all time.

    Lionel Messi’s team were one of the pre-tournament favourites, and seemed to be on their way to a routine opening victory when the PSG forward put them ahead from the spot.

    But the Saudis turned the game around with second-half strikes from Salah Al-Shehri and Salem Al-Dawsari, making Saturday’s game with Mexico all the more critical.

    A defeat for either side would leave them on the brink of elimination.

    And the tensions were clearly on display at the Al Bidda Park, after a group of Mexican supporters filmed themselves chanting “f*** Messi”.

    Video posted on Twitter shows groups of supporters clashing, with several launching kicks and punches at their rivals.

    Mexican journalist Omar Nino who was at the scene reported that several fans required treatment for minor injuries.

    It is the worst reported crowd trouble at the Qatar tournament so far, after a largely peaceful World Cup.

    7:20AM NEYMAR OUT FOR BRAZIL

    Neymar will sit out Brazil’s next World Cup game after he suffered an ankle injury in his team’s opening win against Serbia, the team doctor said on Friday.

    The Paris Saint-Germain star suffered the injury in the 2-0 victory against Serbia on Thursday when he collided with Nikola Milenkovic during the second half.

    The 30-year-old tried to continue but was substituted with about 10 minutes to go and underwent an examination on Friday.

    Rodrigo Lasmar, the doctor for the Brazilian football federation (CBF), said Neymar had suffered “ligament damage” and would miss the match against Switzerland on Monday.

    “Today is one of the most difficult moments of my career… and again in a World Cup,” Neymar wrote on Instagram.

    “I have an injury yes, it’s annoying, it’s going to hurt but I’m sure I’ll have the chance to come back because I’m going to do my best to help my country, my team-mates and myself.”

    6:45AM ‘NO ORGY PLEASE’: TEAM’S WORLD CUP BAN

    Spain coach Luis Enrique has made the hilarious claim that he has no issues with his players having sex the night before they play a match – but he draws the line at orgies.

    Speaking to fans on live-streaming platform Twitch, Enrique was asked whether he had a view on players enjoying some more ‘personal’ moments the night before a match – or whether he would suggest the abstain from sex completely.

    Over the years there have been theories – or, perhaps more accurately, superstitions – about whether athletes having sex before a match could negatively affect their performance, whether it be for focus or energy reasons.

    That myth has been largely debunked, and Enrique said it would be “ridiculous” to place such a ban on his players.

    “It’s ridiculous (to ban it). It’s something I consider totally normal,” Enrique said.

    “If you’re at an orgy the night before a match then obviously that’s not ideal, but when I’m a club coach the players are at home the night before a game and it’s not something that worries me at all.

    ‘If it’s something they do then it’s because they need to and want to. But I repeat with common sense! Each one with their partner. It’s normal. When I was a player, if I was at home before a game with my wife, well we did what we had to do.”

    Spain started the World Cup in utterly rampant form, crushing Costa Rica 7-0 to put themselves in the conversation of tournament favourites.

    6:35AM WORST HOSTS IN WORLD CUP HISTORY

    World Cup hosts Qatar have been officially knocked out of the competition already.

    The Netherlands’ 1-1 draw with Ecuador all but ended the Qatari national team’s slim hopes of making it out of Group A.

    Felix Sanchez’s men lost both of their opening matches against Ecuador and Senegal, making their final game against Holland in the group stage nothing but a formality.

    Qatar have officially had the worst run out of any other World Cup host nation as they have been eliminated earlier than all of their predecessors and with fewer points.

    It only took five days for the Qatari national team to crash out of the tournament.

    That poses as a record for a host nation in the World Cup’s 92-year history.South Africa became the first ever host nation to crash out of the group stages in 2010.

    But the South African were drawn in a tough group alongside Uruguay, Mexico and France.

    They still managed to finish third and were eliminated on goal difference.

    That was after drawing 1-1 with Mexico, losing 3-0 to Uruguay and famously beating France 2-1.Qatar also became the first World Cup hosts to lose their tournament opener as they were defeated 2-0 by Ecuador.Of the previous 22 hosts, 16 won their opening games and the other six drew it.

    Originally published on The Sun

    5:45AM CHAUVINIST FLAG SCANDAL

    The Kosovo Sports Minister on Friday protested after photos showed the Serbia team hung a flag in their changing room at the World Cup reclaiming his country.

    Hajrulla Ceku tweeted his anger at “disgraceful images from Serbia locker room, displaying hateful, xenophobic and genocidal messages towards Kosova, while exploiting FIFA World Cup platform”.

    The photograph was taken in Serbia’s dressing room before they lost 2-0 to Brazil. It showed, hanging from two player lockers, a version of the Serbian flag with a map including Kosovo as part of the country and stamped with the slogan “there will be no surrender”.

    “We expect concrete actions from FIFA considering that (Kosovo) is a full FIFA and UEFA member,” added Ceku.

    Kosovo joined FIFA and European confederation UEFA in 2016.

    The Kosovo Football Federation (FFK) announced that it had filed a complaint with FIFA against “Serbia’s aggressive action”.

    “Such a chauvinist act has no place at sporting events and even less inside establishments where the biggest world football event is taking place,” said the FFK in a press release on their website.

    “It is unacceptable that this act is passed over in silence and we insistently demand that FIFA strictly apply its rules and punish the Serbian Football Federation for this aggressive act contrary to the values that football transmits”, added the FFK.

    5AM HOSTS ARE OUT

    Host nation Qatar were eliminated from the World Cup on Friday with one Group A game still to play after Ecuador held the Netherlands to a 1-1 draw.

    Qatar had earlier gone down to a second successive defeat in the tournament, losing 3-1 to Senegal meaning they needed Ecuador to beat the Dutch in order to stay in contention.

    11PM – 10-MAN WALES CRUMBLE AFTER WILD KEEPER KICK

    Wales goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey received the first red card of the Qatar World Cup on Friday when he was sent off for clattering into Iran’s Mehdi Taremi outside the area late in the match.

    The stopper was initially given a yellow card but that was upgraded to red in the 86th minute after the intervention of the video assistant referee.

    Iran then struck twice in the dying moments of added time to earn a stunning 2-0 win in the Group B clash.

    Rouzbeh Cheshmi and Ramin Rezaeian scored to give Iran a famous victory, which moved them into second place in the group behind England, who face the USA later in the day.

    10PM – WC COACH GOES FULL ‘BRAVEHEART’ TO INSPIRE STUNNING UPSET

    – Joe Barton

    Before pulling off arguably the biggest upset in World Cup history, Saudi Arabia coach Herve Renard delivered an explosive, inspirational halftime speech that turned the tournament on its head.

    Renard’s tournament-defining spray – which led to a victory that sparked wild celebrations both within Lusail Stadium and across Saudi Arabia, where a public holiday was declared by King Salman – was released by the Saudi national team as part of a behind-the-scenes look at their opening game.

    The footage shows an agitated Renard speaking to his players at halftime – at which point they trailed 1-0, following an early Lionel Messi penalty, and were an outrageous 500-1 shot with online bookmakers.

    Speaking through a translator, Renard tears strips off his players in an emotional plea to overturn the halftime deficit while accusing his players of sitting back and letting Messi, arguably the greatest player in history, dictate terms.

    “What are we doing here?” the experienced French manager starts.

    “Last time, Messi has the ball in the middle of the pitch, you stand in front of the defence!

    “Take your phone, you can take a picture with him, if you want!”

    Throughout the first 45 minutes, Saudi Arabia had been on the back foot and failed to trouble Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez.

    And that wasn’t good enough for Renard, who questioned whether his team truly believed they were capable of staging a comeback.

    “You don’t feel something here? You don’t feel that we’re able to come back? You don’t feel it?” he raged.

    “They play relaxed. Come on, guys – this is the World Cup. Give everything!”

    It did the trick. In an intoxicating five minute period the underdogs scored twice, first through Saleh Al-Shehri before a magnificent curling effort from Salem al-Dawsari gave them a 2-1 lead they would never relinquish.

    The victory puts Saudi Arabia in the box seat to qualify from Group C, while Argentina’s path is far more treacherous.

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