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World Cup 2022: news and preparation for the Argentina-Croatia semi-final – live | World Cup 2022


Key events

Barney Ronay

Barney Ronay

Speaking of being sarcastic about certain things, I felt yesterday that I was maybe a little disparaging about the Fifa technical study group briefing that took place that seemed be some sort of “Death by PowerPoint” event. Barney Ronayon the other hand, is in Doha and decided to go there overnight with a two-legged high tackle:

These occasions are part of the treadmill of Big Football events. Qatar 2022 hit its last choreographed deep breaths, the bridge before the final push. Now for the football version of those moments in The Office where we watch the printer trays hum, load blank sheets, enough to feed the machine between beats.

That’s when we get the press briefing from the FIFA Technical Study Group, there to fill the void with words. The job here, like everywhere else, is to reinforce and justify every aspect of this World Cup. Pascal Zuberbühler mainly spoke of the success he thinks of the new rules of Fifa concerning the maintenance on the goal line. Earlier, Zaccheroni had sung the “technical” effects for five subs and masses of overtime.

Nothing is bad in this room. Everything is fine, better, progressing. At one point, everyone on stage repeated the (questionable) line that this World Cup is a showcase for emerging powers – because, of course, that’s a way to sell the extended version next time around.

Huge PowerPoint action underway in Qatar.
Huge PowerPoint action underway in Qatar. Photo: Mark Metcalfe/FIFA/Getty Images

Read more here: Barney Ronay – Welcome to the Fifa Technical Study Group: Nothing is bad, everything is good

Preamble

Good morning! Football is back! Briefly. This evening. There are only three competitive World Cup matches left in Qatar, and one of them is tonight. Tie up for Croatia v Argentina at Lusail for a place in the final on Sunday. 7:00 p.m. GMT.

A Messi-led Argentina will be looking for their sixth final appearance and their last chance to lift the trophy. For Croatia, a team that has remarkably never failed to reach at least the semi-finals if they manage to make it out of their group, it is a chance for a second consecutive final and possible redemption against France for the 4-2 defeat of 2018.

On top of the build up to that we should also have some media appearances from the France and Morocco camps, more speculation about Gareth Southgate’s future in England, probably a bit of club football gossip coming back and me being sarcastic about things. Email me at martin.belam@theguardian.com.

theguardian Gt

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