Footballers came under attack from a swarm of flies on the Volgograd pitch. But there's more to midges and gnats than meets the eye.
VAR is part of a wider trend of digitalisation that threatens to make football less natural and spontaneous.
As the England World Cup team get set to debut in Volgograd it's apt to reflect on an Anglo-Russian relationship that has endured tumultuous political times.
Ronaldo and Messi cannot go on forever, and Neymar, Pogba and Salah are waiting in the wings.
The football world cup offers a useful chance to consider the apparent division between North and sub-Saharan Africa.
Women now make up a sizeable share of football audiences, but unless decked out in short shorts and cropped jerseys, they are barely visible in the media.
Beluga sturgeon found their migration route blocked by Europe's largest hydroelectric dam.
The Russian leader seems to understand the ability of sport to foment feelings of national pride and enhance his popularity at home.
Interest in the sport is starting to wane as the Socceroos have struggled internationally and the A-League has failed to evolve.
Australia has won the soccer World Cup three times, in simulation games only. So what are the challenges to predicting the winner?
Losing to Sunderland in 1934 forced Spanish writers and commentators to look beyond football for answers.
Sporting diplomacy could warm Britain's relations with Russia during the World Cup once more.
It's easy to get caught up in World Cup fever. But if watching the beautiful game inspires you to get out and play, injury prevention is vital.
Compared with years past, the build-up to the Russia World Cup has been relatively subdued from a marketing and advertising standpoint.
Russia and Saudi Arabia's new friendship is bad news for Iran.
Can we trust expert football predictions? Perhaps, but it's variable.
The 17-year-old prodigy thrilled the world and set the scene for Brazil's decades-long dominance of the World Game.
The Russian people need to show the world a different side to the scandal-struck country when the World Cup kicks off.
Each player needs a tailor-made strategy based on his own physiology.
Africa has always promised a great deal in the international showcase but delivered very little at the football world cup.