WORLD CUP DIARY: Senegal coach Cisse blazing a trail in Russia as the only black coach
Tuesday sees the start of the second round of group games at the World Cup as hosts Russia take on Egypt‚ with matches continuing to come thick and fast.
TimesLIVE brings you a wrap of the news from the last 24 hours at the tournament‚ including Senegal‚ Tunisia‚ Morocco‚ France and some very lost Switzerland fans.
PROVING A POINT
Senegal’s Aliou Cisse is blazing a trail at the World Cup as the only black coach at the tournament in Russia‚ and as such has a chance to perhaps prove a point that there should be more.
“It’s true that I am the only black coach in this World Cup‚” he told reporters.
“Football is a universal sport. It is good to see there is a black coach but‚ beyond football‚ it shows we have quality coaches.
“I represent a new generation that would like to have its place in African and world football.”
Cisse’s Senegal start their campaign on Tuesday against Poland‚ hopeful of ending a run of four straight defeats for African sides in the competition so far.
France are among the favourites for the World Cup title this year but looked well below par in their opening 2-1 victory over Australia on Saturday.
Next up for the 1998 winners is Peru‚ a team they should equally expect to brush aside‚ though their opponents will come with more quality than the Socceroos.
Centre-back Raphael Varane says the reaction back home to France’s performance has been over the top and he expects them to be better against the South Americans.
“We're still at the start of the competition.
"We shouldn't dramatise (the situation) even though we have to be aware of the things that didn't go so well during the last match‚" he said.
"We've made our assessments. We have talked among players. We've talked to the coach. We know where we want to go for the next match."
NOT DEAD … YET
Next up for Morocco in the World Cup is a meeting against Portugal and their red-hot talisman Cristiano Ronaldo‚ who netted his 51st career hat-trick in the 3-3 draw with Spain last Friday.
Morocco were surprise losers to Iran in their opener‚ a game they dominated‚ and must get at least a draw on Wednesday to have any chance of progressing to the next round.
“If I said that we don’t believe we can qualify it would be a lie‚” midfielder Faycal Fajr said.
“I could throw out some examples‚ like the Argentina draw (1-1 with Iceland). Where there’s a will there’s a way.
"(Portugal) have two feet‚ two legs and they are humans like us. We lost a battle but we haven’t lost the war. We’re not dead.”
ALL TO PLAY FOR
Tunisia should not be too downbeat despite their late loss to England on Monday and with the prospect of facing Belgium still to come in the pool‚ according to star man Youssef Msakni‚ who is out of the tournament with injury.
“We still have six points to play for and we have to bring them home‚ God willing‚" he told beIN Sports. "I hope the mistakes we made today will help us prepare for the next games."
Tunisia were criticized for what was termed the ‘wrestling’ of England players at corners‚ which probably should have led to a penalty late in the first half when Harry Kane was manhandled to the ground.
That was missed both by the referee and the Video Assistant Referee (VAR)‚ which is in place to rule on just such matters.
Brazil have also criticized VAR for allowing Switzerland their equaliser in the 1-1 draw on Sunday as they claim there was a clear push on defender Miranda by goal-scorer Steven Zuber.
KNOW YOUR BEARINGS
Travel can be tricky if you are not 100 percent sure of where you want to be.
Swiss fans hoping to watch their side take on Brazil in Rostov-on-Don on Sunday had instead travelled to Rostov Veliky … 1‚281-kilometres away.
The group became confused when they could not find their hotel and asked police for assistance‚ when their error was discovered.
"Foreign tourists who have come to support Switzerland called us and said they were looking for a hotel‚" police said in a statement on Monday.
"Our translator told them they were confused in the difficulties of translating Russian geographical names and that they booked a hotel in Rostov Veliky."
Russian media had earlier reported that a group of Swiss had travelled by car to Rostov-on-Don through Eastern Ukraine‚ trusting their GPS and unaware they were travelling through what is essentially a war zone‚ where some 10‚000 people have been killed in the last four years.