Saudi women exhibit new image at Cup

Todd Singleton
June 16, 2018

Fans from all over the world witnessed a glitzy and glamorous affair at the opening event of the much awaited FIFA World Cup 2018.

Inspired by the home crowd in the opening match of the World Cup, Russia ended a 16-year wait for victory.

It follows the opening games of the World Cup here having been broadcasted on pirate station BeoutQ, widely available in Saudi Arabia and is believed to have been set up with support from the Kingdom's authorities.

Juan Antonio Pizzi's men struggled to create a chance of note, failed to record a shot on target and gave away possession on countless occasions, enabling Russian Federation to record their first World Cup win since 2002.

While four years ago only one Chinese company was among the sponsors, today 7 out of 20 are coming from China.

"We need to recover, try to forget this shameful situation and start thinking about the next match", the Argentine said. "But now I travel and I think things are better at home". As the heir apparent, 32-year-old Prince Mohammed bin Salman, pushes forth reforms that improve the country's image overseas, he has also cracked down on women's rights defenders who have campaigned for years for greater freedoms. The two leaders have forged an alliance that has pushed up the global oil price and reshaped the balance of power in the Middle East. The opening ceremony was also attended by the heads of state and government of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Bolivia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Moldova, Panama, Paraguay, Rwanda, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and other honorary guests. Britain's royal family and top politicians are among those who pointedly stayed away.

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What's next? The other two sides in Group A - Egypt and Uruguay - open their campaigns when they meet at midnight tonight (NZT). Artyom Dzyuba made an instant impact off the bench to make it 3-0 in the 71st with a header off Golovin's cross.

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"We won our first game at (last summer's) Confederations Cup and it didn't take us too far".

British campaigner Peter Tatchell was briefly detained by police for staging a one-man gay rights protest on Red Square. Security forces shrugged it off.

Following a lavish opening ceremony featuring British singer Robbie Williams, Putin welcomed visiting fans and promised Russian Federation would be a "hospitable and friendly" host.

Mostly the mood was exuberant, with Saudi fans taking selfies with Russians in the stadium's corridors despite their rivalry.

But Russia's win was all but sealed in the 71st minute with Golovin again the creator, the CSKA Moscow midfielder producing a lovely centre from the right that allowed Dzyuba to nod in within two minutes of his introduction.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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