The Latest: US ref Geiger retained for rest of World Cup

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The Latest: US ref Geiger retained for rest of World Cup
The Latest: US ref Geiger retained for rest of World Cup

MOSCOW (AP) – The Latest on Monday at the World Cup (all times local):

4:50 p.m.

American referee Mark Geiger is among 10 match officials still in contention to handle the World Cup final.

Geiger previously handled one of the most volatile games in Russia – England beating Colombia in a testy round of 16 game in Moscow.

FIFA has announced its list of referees, assistants and video assistant referees (VARs) who have been retained for four games in the final week of the tournament.

The list of 10 referees still on duty includes Geiger, Alireza Faghani of Iran, and four from Europe. The remaining four teams in the tournament are from Europe.

FIFA has appointed Andres Cunha of Uruguay to handle the first semifinal between France and Belgium on Tuesday in St. Petersburg.

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4:30 p.m.

Croatia has kicked ex-player Ognjen Vukojevic out of its World Cup delegation after he made a pro-Ukraine video with defender Domagoj Vida.

The Croatian Football Federation apologized to the Russian public for the video, which was posted after Croatia beat Russia on penalties in the World Cup quarterfinals on Saturday.

The video shows Domagoj Vida shouting “glory to Ukraine” before Vukojevic adds “this win is for Dynamo and Ukraine … go Croatia.” Both Vida and Vukojevic previously played for Ukrainian team Dynamo Kiev.

FIFA rules bar players from making political gestures at the World Cup and it issued Vida with a formal warning Sunday, but did not impose a match sanction.

The Croatian federation says in a statement that Vukojevic had been with the team as an observer but his World Cup credentials have now been withdrawn.

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3:30 p.m.

Former Barcelona coach Luis Enrique has been hired as head coach of Spain’s national team.

Spain’s World Cup preparations were thrown into turmoil days before the tournament when Julen Lopetegui was fired for accepting the job at Real Madrid without consulting with the national federation. Fernando Hierro took over as interim coach for the World Cup, where Spain had two draws and a win in the group stage before being knocked out in the round of 16 by Russia.

The federation announced the appointment of 47-year-old Enrique on a two-year contract on Monday, a day after confirming Hierro had left the team.

Spanish federation president Luis Rubiales says “The decision has been unanimous,” on Enrique. “I like his commitment. He has let better financial opportunities pass in order to be national team coach.”

Enrique played for Real Madrid before moving to Barcelona in 1996, where he won two Liga crowns and became the captain before retiring in 2004.

As a coach, he spent time at Roma in 2011-12 before moving to Celta Vigo and then replacing Gerardo Martino in 2014 at Barcelona, where he won nine of a possible 13 titles in his three years in charge.

Referee Mark Geiger from the US shows a yellow card to Colombia’s Juan Cuadrado during the round of 16 match between Colombia and England at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Spartak Stadium, in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, July 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)
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