World Cup 2018: countdown to opening ceremony and first game – live!

by Theguardian

Football
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5.56am BST

Fire alarm update: not sure if it was the smokers round the back of the bike sheds or something else, but there doesn’t seem to be a real fire. Still, that was about as fun as it was expected. Anyway, thanks to the wonders of modern technology, we can carry on, come what may. All of which leads us nicely to a coach who knows a thing or two about firefighting, Russia’s Stanislav Cherchesov. Stuart James profiles the man hoping to ramp up interest in the host nation after a string of recent poor performances. Includes the quote: “You would be hard pushed to get around the labyrinth of the Russian soul.” From a football coach. Impressive stuff.

Related: Russia’s Stanislav Cherchesov upbeat about mission to confound critics

5.48am BST

And there goes the fire alarm at Guardian Towers in Sydney, with the impeccable timing of a late Bryan Robson run into the box!

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