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The Latest: Mexico fans to modify chants to avoid sanctions

The Latest: Mexico fans to modify chants to avoid sanctions
The Associated Press

MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on Sunday at the World Cup (all times local):

3:30 p.m.

Mexico fans are agreeing among themselves not to chant what is considered a homophobic slur at the World Cup in Russia to avoid FIFA sanctions.

Instead of the chant, Mexicans plan to sing songs related to a couple of recent scandals in their country at Sunday’s Group F match against Germany.

Mexico’s Football Federation has been fined previously for the chant that fans shout out in unison every time the opposing goalkeeper kicks the ball. Despite campaigns to try to stop it, the chant has continued in the Estadio Azteca in Mexico when the national team plays there.

At last year’s Confederations Cup in Russia amid FIFA threats to suspend a match, El Tri fans practically stopped chanting in the Russian stadium. For the World Cup, fans don’t plan to keep quiet like last year, but instead modify the chants.

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3:15 p.m.

Sweden coach Janne Andersson says one of his staff got into a closed South Korea training session and was asked to leave, leading to a squabble between the teams over spying ahead of their World Cup game on Monday.

Andersson says the staffer, who is entrusted with scouting the opposition, thought the practice session at South Korea’s pre-World Cup training camp in Austria was open. Andersson says the coach left when asked and “watched from more of a distance.”

The incident has created a frosty atmosphere between the teams ahead of their game in Nizhny Novgorod.

Andersson says his team analyzes all opponents and the incident has been overblown, but adds “it’s very important that we show respect for opponents … If it has been perceived in another way, we apologize.”

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2:40 p.m.

Veteran defender Branislav Ivanovic is set to become Serbia’s most capped international player when he starts against Costa Rica in the World Cup. It will be his 104th international appearance and Serbia’s first at the World Cup in eight years.Johan Venegas, Francisco Calvo and David Guzman will be making their World Cup debuts for Costa Rica. The rest of the Costa Rica starting lineup was involved in Brazil in 2014, when the team lost a quarterfinal match to Netherlands on penalties.

Lineups:

Costa Rica: Keylor Navas, Johnny Acosta, Giancarlo Gonzalez, Celso Borges, Oscar Duarte, Bryan Ruiz, Johan Venegas, Francisco Calvo, Cristian Gamboa, David Guzman, Marcos Urena.

Serbia: Vladimir Stojkovic, Dusko Tosic, Luka Milivojevic, Branislav Ivanovic, Aleksandar Mitrovic, Dusan Tadic, Aleksandar Kolarov, Nikola Molenkovic, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Nemanja Matic, Adem Ljajic.

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2:20 p.m.

Midfielder Alan Dzagoev has ruled himself out of Russia’s two remaining World Cup group games because of injury.

Dzagoev hurt his left hamstring during Russia’s opening 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia and tells Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency he’s in pain when walking and will only resume light training Monday.

Dzagoev says “there’s nothing good about the biggest tournament going on without you. I hope I can still play. I hope to God that we make the knockout stages and maybe I’ll be able to play.”

Dzagoev has played 58 times for Russia and was expected to be a key player for the host nation at the World Cup.

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12:45 p.m.

Diego Maradona has given his version of an exchange with an Asian fan that witnesses perceived as racist.

British television staff working in Spartak Stadium in Moscow during Argentina’s 1-1 draw with Iceland on Saturday reported seeing Maradona respond to South Korea fans calling his name.

On Twitter, BBC presenter Jacqui Oatley posted that Maradona “obliged with a smile, kiss and wave. Then pulled his eyes to the side in a clearly racist gesture.”

In a Facebook message early Sunday, the Argentina great says he saw “an Asian boy wearing an Argentina T-shirt.”

He adds: “I, from afar, tried to tell them how nice it seemed to me that even the Asians cheer for us. And that’s all, guys, come on.”

FIFA statutes prohibit acts of discrimination by teams, officials and fans at games it organizes.

In a response to The Associated Press, FIFA refers to its anti-discrimination rules without commenting on the incident.

Maradona also apologizes for smoking a cigar in the VIP seats, despite a FIFA ban on smoking at World Cup stadiums.

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12:20 p.m.

Moscow police are investigating a taxi crash that injured eight people, including two Mexican World Cup fans, when the driver plowed into pedestrians on a sidewalk near Red Square.

Video circulating on Russian social media and some news websites showed the taxi veering onto the sidewalk Saturday and striking pedestrians. The source of the video was unclear.

City police released a video Sunday of an interrogation session with a man identified as the Kyrgyz taxi driver, in which he says he briefly fell asleep at the wheel in the crash and accidentally accelerated. It was unclear whether the man spoke under duress.

The man says he hadn’t slept in 20 hours, and ran away after the accident because he was afraid that angry bystanders would kill him. He was later detained.

Moscow police would not comment Sunday on whether the crash would affect security measures for the World Cup, which is being held in 11 Russian cities over the next month. Among the security concerns has been the possible use of vehicles as weapons.

The Mexican Embassy told The Associated Press that the two injured female fans met with embassy representatives and were not hospitalized. The Mexican national soccer teams plays against Germany on Sunday in Moscow.

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