AP World Cup Digest
Highlights of AP World Cup coverage. An up-to-the minute listing of all stories planned, including games, is available in Coverage Plan on AP Newsroom, https://newsroom.ap.org/coverageplan. You can also find a link to Coverage Plan on the left navigation of the Newsroom home page, https://newsroom.ap.org. Sports content can be found at http://newsroom.ap.org/page/APSports.
AL KHOR, Qatar - Morocco plays defending champion France in the World Cup semifinals for the right to meet Argentina in the title match. Morocco is the first semifinalist from Africa and the Arab world, and has beaten Spain and Portugal on its unlikely journey to the last four. France is bidding to become the first country to retain the title since Brazil in 1962. By Steve Douglas. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos, game starts at 1900 GMT. With sidebars.
-SOC—WCUP-FRANCE-MOROCCO-THE LATEST: Live updates during the game. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos, from 1700 GMT.
-SOC-WCUP-FRANCE-MOROCCO-REACTIONS: Reactions from Morocco, France and other countries after the France-Morocco match. UPCOMING: 800 words by 2200 GMT, photos, video.
RABAT, Morocco - As Morocco faces France in the World Cup semifinal, many players and fans of both diverse teams grapple with family tales of colonial history, challenges of immigration, and questions of national loyalty. The match has political and emotional resonance for both nations. It dredges up everything that’s complicated about the relationship in which France still wields considerable influence. For many in the former protectorate, the match against the defending champion is an opportunity to show that Morocco is a formidable foe — on the soccer pitch at least. That’s even though immigration between the two countries has blurred the lines for many in France and in Morocco about who to support Wednesday in Qatar. By Tarek El Barakah and Barbara Surk. SENT: 844 words, photos.
LAAYOUNE, Western Sahara - The Moroccan soccer team’s history-making successes at the World Cup are stirring mixed emotions in the disputed territory of Western Sahara. Its largely Moroccan population is celebrating, but native Sahrawis have a more complex reaction. The Sahrawi people have sought independence for the territory since Morocco annexed it in 1975. Some refuse to take part in the celebrations or root for Morocco’s defeat on the field. SENT: 717 words, photos.
RABAT, Morocco - Royal Air Maroc says that seven flights scheduled for Qatar had been canceled “owing to restrictions by the Qatari authorities.” They did not elaborate on the nature of these restrictions. Morocco and France are facing off in the World Cup semifinal Wednesday in a historic match in Qatar that has left both nations in the grip of excitement and anticipation. UPCOMING: 300 words by 1500 GMT.
DOHA, Qatar - A security guard died after suffering a serious fall at a World Cup stadium in Qatar, the tournament’s organizers said. The Supreme Committee said in a statement that John Njau Kibue fell at Lusail Stadium on Saturday. He was taken to the hospital and put in intensive care but died on Tuesday. UPCOMING: 200 words by 1400 GMT.
DOHA, Qatar - Lionel Messi has gone into full-on Diego Maradona mode at the World Cup. He has carried Argentina’s class of 2022 into the World Cup final in the same way Maradona led the team to the title in 1986. There have always been echoes of Maradona in Messi because of his size, his dribbling skills, his quick feet and his wand of a left foot. Add in the leadership and fighting qualities he has shown throughout the tournament and it really does feel like Messi is imbued with the spirit of Maradona as he closes in on soccer’s ultimate prize. By Steve Douglas. SENT: 700 words, photos.
BUENOS AIRES - The streets of Argentina have turned into a party as the national team beat Croatia by a comfortable 3-0 and earned this soccer-crazed South American country a spot in the World Cup final. Fans poured out onto the streets of the capital of Buenos Aires as soon as the match ended, with people waving Argentina flags out of their cars and people took over whole streets as they jumped and sang in joy amid a sea of wearing the national team’s jersey. Earlier, Buenos Aires had come to a standstill as fans packed cafes, restaurants and public plazas, where giant screens showed exploits of the Lionel Messi-led national team. By Daniel Politi. SENT: 700 words, photos, video.
DOHA, Qatar - Argentina was a step too far for a Croatia team that reached back-to-back World Cup semifinals and shocked Brazil along the way in Qatar. Lionel Messi inspired Argentina to a 3-0 win at Lusail Stadium and moved a step closer to lifting the one major trophy that has eluded him. But for Croatia playmaker Luka Modric this was almost certainly his last chance of winning the World Cup. Croatia will play France or Morocco in the third place playoff but it is time to look ahead to the next generation. By James Robson. SENT: 563 words, photos.
AP World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/world-cup and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports