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Soccer Night Of Shame In Brazil


SAO PAULO – With less than two years before the kick-off of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, things are not looking good for Brazilian soccer.

Local team Sao Paulo FC were crowned the winners of the Copa Sudamericana final Wednesday, after Argentinan side Tigre refused to return for the second half, reports Brazilian sports website Globo Esporte.

Tigre players claimed they were attacked by Sao Paulo's armed guards in the dressing room area following clashes between players on the pitch at Morumbi Stadium.

"They pulled two revolvers," Tigre's coach Nestor Gorosito told Fox Sports, referring to unspecified security officials. "We’re not going to play anymore."

Tigre defender Lucas Orban added: "They ambushed us and one of them pulled out a revolver and put it against (goalkeeper) Damian Albin's chest. Their security and police also hit us, there were around 20 of them."

What happened in the dressing room area remains unclear, but Argentine television showed what appeared to be blood-spattered walls. Argentine television also showed several Tigre staff members with bruises and bloody faces, reports The Washington Post.

"We came to play a game, not to fight a war. We are a small Argentinean team, we admire Brazilian football, Sao Paulo FC is a great club," Sergio Massa, President of Tigre, told Folha de Sao Paulo. "Our attitude (not to return on the field) was based on safety issues."

As the Argentinean players failed to return on the field, Chilean referee Enrique Osses decided to abandon the match after a 30-minute delay. Sao Paulo FC had been leading 2-0 following a goalless first match in Buenos Aires.

Newspapers in Argentina called the incident "shameful" and "outrageous." British tabloid The Sun also reacted to the troubled soccer final.

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It was Brazilian soccer's rising star Lucas Moura's last appearance wearing the colors of Sao Paulo FC as the young player is due to join French team Paris Saint-Germain in January. Moura scored the first goal of the game.

Sao Paulo FC, one of Brazil's strongest squads, is a three-time winner of the Copa Libertadores, South America’s most prestigious club tournament.

This is the club’s first Copa Sudamericana title, the equivalent of Europe's UEFA Europa League.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Russia's Dependence On China Is Deep And Wide — It May Also Be Irreversible

Russia is digging itself into a hole as it becomes increasingly dependent on China, as a result of international sanctions and isolation. This shifting dynamic, analysts argue, is bound to have ripple effects around the world

Photo of ​China's Xi Jinping giving a speech while Russia's Vladimir Putin is sitting down, as they meet in Moscow on March 21

China's Xi Jinping and Russia's Vladimir Putin meeting in Moscow on March 21

Vazhnyye Istorii


Russian President Vladimir Putin has scored a "huge own goal" with the war in Ukraine, according to CIA Director William Burns.

He was referring to Russia's losses at the front, international sanctions, the expansion of NATO and Russia's growing dependence on China — something that has escalated in recent years and may well become one of the enduring challenges Putin's government has created for Russia.

The risks associated with this final point, the deepening dependence on China, are substantial — and breaking free from it will prove to be a formidable task.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

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Russia's evolving relationship with China has become a focal point in international geopolitics and economics. This transformation has been catalyzed by a combination of factors, including Western sanctions, Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014, its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022 and China's meteoric rise in the global economy since the early 2000s.

The shift in Russia's economic alignment toward China began in earnest in the aftermath of the Ukraine conflict and the resulting Western sanctions. Prior to this, Russia had maintained strong trade ties with Europe, particularly in energy exports. But as sanctions took hold, Russia turned to China as an alternative trading partner and a source of investment.

These hopes for increased commerce between the two countries come as Moscow seeks continued support for its war on Ukraine. China's top diplomat Wang Yi is currently visiting Russia for security talks, which Russian media say could pave the way for Vladimir Putin visiting Beijing soon.

Yet despite attempts to gain diplomatic punch from such a visit, Putin would arrive in the Chinese capital weaker and more beholden to China than ever.

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