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FIFA approves Sergei Eremenko's switch from Finland to Russia

Sergei Eremenko

FIFA has cleared teenage midfielder Sergei Eremenko to play for Russia at the World Cup by approving his change of national eligibility from Finland.

A request by the Russian Football Union was approved on Monday, FIFA said.

The 19-year-old Eremenko was born in Russia and currently plays on loan at Spartak Moscow. His father, Alexei, has Finnish citizenship after playing and coaching there for much of his career.

Sergei Eremenko represented Finland at youth level, following his elder brothers Alexei...

 By Paul Murphy

Ex-England defender Gary Stevens sees Thai coaching gig fall through

At a young age, Charyl Chappuis' passion for football was ignited. Delve into the story of how his love for the game has evolved.
Jason Dasey and PJ Roberts evaluate Australia's World Cup group and assess whether they or any other Asian teams can progress.
 

Former Tottenham Hotspur and England defender Gary Stevens' proposed move to Thai League (T1) club Ubon UMT United has fallen through after a failure to agree terms, with former Premier League striker Mixu Paatelainen taking over as head coach instead.

Ubon announced that they had appointed Stevens in December, following the departure of Scott Cooper from the club.

However, Stevens confirmed that the deal had never been finalised, paving the way for ex-Finland boss Paatelainen to come to Thailand.

"Unfortunately...

Roman Eremenko's two-year ban for positive cocaine test upheld by CAS

Roman Eremenko will spend another year on the sideline.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport has upheld a two-year ban for CSKA Moscow midfielder Roman Eremenko for a positive test for cocaine.

CAS says the ban imposed by UEFA was "appropriate" and dismissed the Finland international's appeal.

The ban will expire on Oct. 5, 2018, when Eremenko will be 31.

Eremenko tested positive after playing in a Champions League game for CSKA Moscow against Bayer Leverkusen last September. The 2-2 result was not affected despite Eremenko scoring CSKA's second goal.

Born...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Spain defeat France with help of video replay while Italy beat Netherlands

The video assistant referee twice played an important role as Spain beat France 2-0 in a friendly in Paris on Tuesday.

FIFA is testing VARs ahead of their possible use at the World Cup, and the system ruled out a goal that had been given for France, and later overruled a linesman to grant Spain a goal.

Antoine Griezmann thought he had put France ahead in the second half, but after the goal was originally given, the VAR called down to the match referee and disallowed the goal for offside...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Spain and Italy both cruise to wins as Ireland hold Wales to goalless draw

Gianluigi Buffon acknowledges the crowd during his landmark game.
Gianluigi Buffon faced only one shot on target in his 1,000th game for club and country.

Gianluigi Buffon kept a clean sheet in his 1,000th professional appearance for club and country as Italy beat Albania 2-0 in a World Cup qualifier on Friday.

Buffon had little to do in his 168th cap for Italy, making only one save as the Italians controlled the action in Palermo.

The opening goal came in the 12th minute after Migjen Basha hauled down Andrea Belotti in the box during a set piece, and Daniele De Rossi converted the penalty.

Visiting Albania fans threw flares on the...