sport news BBC and ITV to do battle over World Cup matches in Moscow

The battle between ITV and the BBC over who screens which World Cup matches at Russia 2018 will be played out on Sunday in Moscow, with the results expected to be announced the next day.

The Big Split, as the two networks are calling it, will be staged at the Stalin-built Hotel Ukraina, with the two teams of negotiators in Russia backed up by advisors in the UK.

The BBC have first choice and are likely to go for England's marquee group game against Belgium. ITV's tactics might see them plump first for England's last-16 match — if they go through — which would see them play Poland, Senegal, Colombia or Japan. Or either side could use their first choice to gamble on a potential England quarter-final against Brazil or Germany. 

The terrestrial giants agreed to pick alternate games after the stalemate over the 2010 World Cup went on for months.

The BBC and ITV will negotiate over who screens which World Cup matches on Sunday

The BBC and ITV will negotiate over who screens which World Cup matches on Sunday

FIFA have always insisted that Gianni Infantino's 'legends' — the troupe of former players who turn up at FIFA occasions to glad-hand or play exhibition games — are only paid expenses. 

But why would Diego Maradona, by far the biggest legend, turn out to promote FIFA with such unusual reliability? He must surely be paid a king's ransom.

FIFA insist that legends such as Diego Maradona are only paid expenses for their appearances

FIFA insist that legends such as Diego Maradona are only paid expenses for their appearances

The Russian World Cup organisers made no secret of their desire for their official WiFi to be used by all media attending the draw in Moscow — with all the extra concerns around Fancy Bears-style hacking that creates.

Officials armed with a Ghostbusters-style machine were moving around the media centre in the Kremlin detecting any private WiFi device brought in to avoid the Russian network. FIFA say the restrictions were decided by the Russian authorities.

Gary Lineker's £20,000 fee for hosting the World Cup draw might be a very conservative estimate

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