Politicians seem to have an uncanny knack for knowing precious little about sports. We need more than our fingers and toes to count the number of times one of the elected elite have mispronounced a player’s name, placed a team in the wrong sport or speculated on how many touchdowns it would take to get a penalty kick in the tie game rivalry.
Wait, that last part was a Postal Service lyric.
In any event, a pair of Russian lawmakers are pretty ticked off with a pair of American lawmakers, who are pretty ticked off at Russia for its actions in the turmoil of Ukraine.
Last week, US Republican senators Mark Kirk and Dan Coats sent a letter to FIFA president Sepp Blatter asking that soccer’s governing body kick Russia out of the 2014 World Cup and take the rights to host the 2018 tournament away from them.
So then Russia was all like, “No. YOU should be out of the World Cup, jerks.”
From the AFP:
“We ask you to call an extraordinary FIFA meeting and suspend USA’s FIFA membership and to expel their national side from playing in the 2014 World Cup,” said the letter by the two State Duma deputies from President Vladimir Putin’s ruling United Russia party.
The letter said action was needed after the US “aggression against several sovereign states like Yugoslavia, Iraq and Libya” and attempts “to occupy Syria.”
I’m sure Blatter is going to spend loads of time with the letters. And by spend loads of time, I mean go watch Netflix.
We here at Pro Soccer Talk have a great solution: a 2v2 match between teams comprised of Kirk and Coats, as well as the two Russian MPs: Alexander Sidyakin and Mikhail Markelov. Or they could just make one of those awesome political bets where if Russia gets kicked out of the World Cup, the United States gets 50 bowls of Okroshka, while if the States get kicked out, Russia gets 83 pounds of chicken wings.
Heading into the their final UEFA Champions League Group B game, Manchester United hold their destiny in their own hands, but any slip-up could mean it’s Europa League on Thursday nights for Louis Van Gaal‘s men.
[ MORE: Champions League standings ]
The Red Devils would have advanced to the knockout stage with a victory over third-place PSV Eindhoven on Wednesday, but slumped to an ugly 0-0 draw instead.
[ MORE: Three things we learned from Man United 0-0 PSV ]
So, here’s all of the scenarios for the final matchday of the group stage, away to Wolfsburg, in which United would advance to the round of 16 advance:
- A Man United win will see Man United finish top of Group B
- A Man United draw, coupled with a PSV draw or loss (vs. CSKA Moscow), will see Man United finish second in Group B
- A Man United draw, coupled with a PSV victory, will see Man United finish third in Group B
- A Man United loss, coupled with a PSV loss, will see Man United finish second in Group B
- A Man United loss by more than one goal, coupled with a PSV draw, would see Man United finish third in Group B
- A Man United loss, coupled with a PSV win, would see Man United finish third in Group B
[ MORE: Champions League schedule ]
There are your scenarios for Man United as it’s pretty simple to break it down: Win, and they go through. Fail to win, and their fate is completely in the hands of PSV.
The Foxes are top of the Premier League and are led by a surging Jamie Vardy but how long can they keep shocking the world?
With six tough games coming up between now and the start of 2016, Claudio Ranieri‘s men will be pushed to their limit but so far this season they’ve been sensational and Vardy has equaled Manchester United legend Ruud van Nistlerooy’s record of scoring in 10-straight PL games.
[ MORE: Full PST Extra archive ]
Can he make it 11 in a row on Saturday (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via Live Extra) when United visit the King Power Stadium? As for the Red Devils, they sit in second place and are just one point behind the flying Foxes’. Louis Van Gaal‘s men have certainly flown under the radar so far and our churning out wins at an impressive rate.
Jenna Corrado and I discuss that and more in the latest edition of PST Extra. Click play on the video above to see our chat in full.
Rog and Davo revel in another chapter of the Leicester City fairytale, break down Liverpool’s shock dismantling of Manchester City and discuss Arsenal’s slip against West Brom.
Listen to the latest pod by clicking play below.
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Joe Hart was forced to leave Manchester City’s 1-0 defeat to Juventus in UEFA Champions League play on Wednesday due to a hamstring injury, which he seemed to incur while making a spectacular one-on-one kick-save late in the second half.
[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]
Man City manager Manuel Pellegrini confirmed after the game that Hart’s injury is indeed a hamstring issue, and went on to say that he would need further tests once the team arrives back in Manchester to determine the severity and how long, if at all, City and England’s no. 1 would be out of action.
Man City, currently third in the Premier League on 26 points, will host eighth-place Southampton at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday (Watch live at 10 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra).