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News, Neymar ankle injury, is he injured, Brazil, Louis van Gaal hugs a journalist, Carlos Queiroz confronts journalist over Iran, Ecuador fan chants, fan village, latest, updates

Brazil captain Neymar suffered a sprained ankle in his team’s World Cup win over Serbia on Friday (AEDT) and faces a medical assessment in the next 48 hours, the national team doctor said after the match.

Doctor Rodrigo Lasmar said the Brazilian superstar suffered the injury after a collision with his opponent.

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Neymar was substituted in the 79th minute of Brazil’s 2-0 win over Serbia.

“We need to wait 24 to 48 hours to have a better assessment,” Lasmar said.

“We have not scheduled any MRI and tomorrow we’ll have a new assessment.

“We need to wait, we cannot make any premature comments about his evolution.”

Neymar was seen limping heavily after the game while photos of the striker showed swelling on his right ankle.

Coach Tite said the Paris Saint-Germain player initially stayed on the field after hurting his ankle “because the team needed him”.

He also moved to play down fears that the 30-year-old could face a lay-off long enough to end his World Cup campaign.

“You can be certain that Neymar is going to play in the World Cup,” he said.

A downcast-looking Neymar declined to speak to journalists as he left the stadium.

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TOUCHING MOMENT DUTCH BOSS GIVES JOURNO A ‘BIG FAT HUG’

Netherlands boss Louis van Gaal gave a young Senegalese journalist a moment he’ll never forget after professing his admiration for the Dutchman.

At a press conference ahead of the Netherlands’ clash against Ecuador, Papa Mahmoud Gueye revealed he’d been a fan of the former Manchester United boss since a young age.

“I am a young journalist who has just started,” Gueye said when he got the microphone at the press conference.

“I don’t have any question for you, it’s just the opportunity to tell you how I’m a fan since three years old.”

Van Gaal, who has had plenty of tense pressers over the years, flashed a beaming smile and replied: “I can hug you. I’ll give you a big fat hug later on. I think it’s great that you said this. People don’t often say those things to me. So I’m going to give you a big fat hug.”

The Dutch boss then wrapped up his media duties and headed down to Gueye, where the two shared an embrace.

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COACH IN TENSE CLASH WITH JOURNO

Iran coach Carlos Queiroz was involved in a confrontation with a journalist after being asked questions about the political situation in the nation.

Queiroz was speaking during a pre-game press conference that was dominated by the line of questioning after Iran opted not to sing the national anthem before its first World Cup match.

The Iranians had stood impassively during their anthem before their 6-2 defeat to England on Monday in an apparent gesture of solidarity with anti-government protesters in the Islamic republic.

At the end of Thursday’s press conference, Queiroz confronted a BBC journalist with claims of double standards.

Scroll down for more in our World Cup Daily!

In footage captured by other journalists in the room, Queiroz can be heard saying: “Why you don’t ask to (England coach Gareth) Southgate these kind of questions?

“I am talking with you. I ask the pleasure to talk with you. I am asking one thing to you now, the press conference is finished. Do you think it is fair also to ask other questions to other coaches?

“That is the only question I make. Why don’t you ask the other coaches? Why you don’t ask Southgate ‘what do you think about England and the United States that left Afghanistan and all the women alone? Why don’t you ask that?”

Iran has been rocked by demonstrations triggered by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini after she was arrested in September for an alleged breach of the country’s strict dress rules for women based on Islamic sharia law.

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Iran forward Mehdi Taremi refused to comment on political issues and denied his team had come “under pressure” from their government.

Queiroz also said he didn’t believe sport and politics should mix.

“What I find strange, as a humble citizen of the world, is you don’t have the same kind of questions to the other coaches of the other national teams,” he said.

“To make them the only people that need to give you answers about human being problems all over the world, I don’t think it’s fair.”

‘OPERATOR NEGLIGENCE’ BLAMED FOR FAN DEBACLE

Qatar’s Supreme Committee, which is in charge of organising the 2022 World Cup, offered fans who were promised accommodation in official villages, and did not get it, full refunds, blaming “operator negligence.”

“We are aware that a number of fans have faced delays checking into select fan village accommodation due to owner and operator negligence,” a Supreme Committee spokesperson told ESPN. “A section of units in these facilities, which are delivered and managed by different private entities, have not met the required standards that were advertised to fans.

The Al-Emadi fan village in Doha.Source: AFP

“While these sites are managed by independent commercial entities, rectifying these issues remains the utmost priority for the Supreme Committee. Full refunds are being offered to fans severely impacted by this issue as well as alternative accommodation which will be free of charge for the duration of their stay.”

The villages offer fans the chance to stay in a converted shipping container for about $200 per night. Some of the villages, though, aren’t finished, with one at Rawdat al Jahhaniya still needing construction on toilets and communal washing areas.

— This appeared in NY Post and was republished with consent

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FIFA LAUNCHES ‘HYPOCRITICAL’ CASE OVER FAN CHANTS

FIFA launched disciplinary proceedings on Tuesday over chants by Ecuador fans during their World Cup opener against hosts Qatar.

Football’s world governing body did not say what the chants were but said it came under article 13 of its disciplinary code, which includes discriminatory or abusive words.

Ecuador beat Qatar 2-0 on Sunday to launch the World Cup.

FIFA launched disciplinary proceedings on Tuesday over chants by Ecuador fans.Source: Getty Images

“The FIFA disciplinary committee has opened proceedings against the Ecuadoran Football Association due to chants by Ecuadoran supporters during the Qatar v. Ecuador FIFA World Cup match played on 20 November,” it said.

It is the first such disciplinary measure of the Qatar World Cup, which ends on December 18.

The action has raised eyebrows, however, with some calling out the hypocrisy given players have been banned from wearing rainbow ‘one love’ armbands to support LGBTQI+ communities.

“Two days after they banned the rainbow armband? You couldn’t make some of this stuff up,” commentator Simon Hill wrote.

— With AFP

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