Australian government joins UK in state boycott of World Cup in Russia

   JAILED Sergei Gorbachev was caged for his involvement in Euro 2016 violence

GETTY REUTERS JAILED Sergei Gorbachev was caged for his involvement in Euro 2016 violence

Since their World Cup debut in 1978, Iran are yet to make their first knockout stage of a World Cup and are desperate to make the mark at this year's competition which ends July 15.

The company "calculates there is a 47 percent chance that this year's World Cup winners will be from a country other than Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany or Spain", winners of every title since 1970. "You will see the "ideal" Russian team on June 14".

Federation Internationale de Football Association has reiterated the action World Cup referees can take if they are alerted to racist chanting at matches. The Iranians have been paired in group B with Spain, Portugal and Morocco, but their preparations have been blighted by logistical problems.

Like most US companies, Oregon-based Nike is not officially represented in Iran due to sanctions.

The 2014 World Cup was held in Brazil and the home team was favored, but it was Germany that came out victorious, in a 1-0 win over Argentina.

Swiss FIFA President Gianni Infantino, in an interview with the website today, expressed his great optimism and enthusiasm about the closeness of the Russia-2018 World Cup.

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With little movement in the upper echelons from the last time Federation Internationale de Football Association published its rankings, Joachim Low's side - bidding to become the first back-to-back winners in 56 years - remain ahead of Brazil at the top.

The Socceroos will meet France, Peru and Denmark in Group C at the World Cup starting next week, providing Bert van Marwijk's troops with a hard assignment of progressing to the knock-out round of 16.

However, the gulf of talent between the strongest and weakest teams in the Champions League is higher than it is in the World Cup, said Gleave.

Iran became the first World Cup team to arrive in Russian Federation, touching down in Moscow along with Sardar Azmoun, the player dubbed "The Iranian Messi", on Tuesday night.

But there is still concern over the situation and England defender Danny Rose said on Wednesday that he has told his family not to attend the World Cup because he feared they may be racially abused.

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