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The World Cup 2018 and Panama

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The whole thing seems a bit miraculous. The USA team had to lose against last place Trinidad and Tobago, while Panama needed a win against second place Costa Rica.

The winning goal by Roman Torres was a beauty. It came right near the end of the game, which was difficult to complete afterwards because of the celebration.

 

Edited by Keith Woolford

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Soccer holiday blocks surgeries. appointments

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SOME 2,700 medical appointments, including scheduled surgeries, in the Social Security System (CSS) alone, were cancelled because of the “unexpected” soccer holiday on Wednesday, October 11, called by President Juan Carlos Varela after the national team qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The Director of the CSS, Alfredo Martinez, said that since  Wednesday, October 11, the  Department of Health Records and Statistics has been working on a schedule to recover the quotas and surgeries that were unfulfilled. Doctors will be asked to make up time on Saturdays

In the Arnulfo Arias Madrid Hospital Complex of the CSS  in Panama City, between  900 and 1,000  patients are dealt with each day in the different specialties that are offered.

Over 1000, lower income Panamanians,not eligible for CSS who spent time and money travelling from different parts of the country to get to Santo Tomas Hospital at 5 a.m.  to get a place in line for treatment or doctor’s appointments got an early morning surprise when they discovered they would not be taken care of.

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/soccer-holiday-blocks-surgeries-appointments

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‘The whole team are champions, like Roberto Duran!’ – Panama coach Gomez

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Following Panama’s qualification for Russia 2018, head coach Hernan Darío Gomez, has hailed his team of World Cup first-timers as ‘champions.’ Gomez puts them in the same mould as the country’s legendary boxer Roberto Duran.
 

Gomez was speaking to RT following Friday's World Cup Final Draw held at the State Kremlin Palace, Moscow, where Panama were drawn in Group G alongside Belgium, Tunisia and England.

Panama is primarily a boxing nation and Durán, known as ‘Manos de Piedra’ (‘Hands of Stone’), is undoubtedly the Central American nation’s most recognisable sporting export. His career in the ring spanning five decades, the precocious Panamanian won world titles in four weight classes. An arena named in his honor stands in Panama City, the country's capital.

While giving due respect to Duran’s dazzling achievements, Panama manager Gomez likened his side’s achievement of qualifying for the country’s maiden World Cup campaign to the glory tasted by the great Duran.

“We are very happy. I am thinking of the players, because they are happy too because we are here to learn,” Gomez said. “Duran is a champion and we are happy because we qualify for the first time and we have to respect him. The whole team are champions!”

READ MORE: Russia to kick off 2018 World Cup against Saudi Arabia in Moscow

Duran, 66, was ecstatic when ‘Los Canaleros’ secured victory over neighbours Costa Rica in October. They secured qualification via a Roman Torres goal, making the score 2-1 with just four minutes of normal time remaining.

“My dream to see my team play in the World Cup is to come true. Thank you my team. Viva Panama and see you in Russia!” a jubilant Duran tweeted.

 

https://www.rt.com/sport/411905-panama-hernan-dar%C3%ADo-gomez/

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Posted (edited)

That didn't go very well. In their first exhibition match, Panama's team was decimated 6-0 by the Swiss.

 

Edited by Keith Woolford

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Moderator comment: I believe this is where this news article should be posted. If you think otherwise, please advise.


 

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Russian ambassador  quashes flag “fake news”

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RUSSIA’S Ambassador to Panama has responded on social media to rumors that foreign national flags cannot be displayed in Moscow’s Red Square.

The post was placed on the official twitter account of the Russian embassy in

Panama and referred to the Red Square, noting that flags from any country can be carried and photographs taken.

The message also notes that nobody will be punished with 15 days in prison.

Panama soccer fans will be traveling to Russia to support the national team playing in the 2018 World Cup.

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/russian-ambassador-quashes-flag-fake-news

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World Cup makes 46th stop in Panama

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The  FIFA World Cup cup, designed in 1974 by the Italian Silvio Gazzaniga and weighing 6,142 kilograms, arrived in Panama on Friday, April 6.

It was the Cup’s 46th stop as it tours the world prior to the finals in Russia, with Panama appearing for the first time.

The  Cup got a photo-op lift by President Juan Carlos Varela who called on the nation to put aside differences and unite behind the team during the upcoming games.

The tour of the trophy will continue in Costa Rica and it will end its journey through Latin America in Mexico, where it will be exhibited between April 9 and 15 in Guadalajara, Monterrey and Mexico City.

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/world-cup-makes-46th-stop-in-panama

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Panama competes with Tunisia on June 28th in the Group G face off games in Russia.

Also see 

 

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Local Referee is Heading to Russia

John Pitti, a teacher in the Comarca, is heading to Russia for the World Cup representing Panama as a FIFA referee.

 

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Panama starts its preparation for friendly against Northern Ireland

Wed, 05/16/2018 - 11:34

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The Panama national team started its preparation on Tuesday for the friendly match against the Northern Ireland team, on May 29 at the Rommel Fernández stadium in the Panamanian capital.

The call of Colombian Hernán Darío "Bolillo" Gómez was attended by 17 out of the 19 players of the first group called to training.

The first training of the Panamanian team lasted two hours because it was interrupted by a heavy rain, when they hardly left the field to warm up.

It is expected that other players will gradually swell the team who are getting ready for the friendly matches to come and play their first World Cup.

Panama was drawn in Group G of the World Cup of Russia 2018, with Belgium, with which it will debut on June 18, England and Tunisia, which it will be measured on June 24 and 28, respectively.

 

http://www.panamatoday.com/sports/panama-starts-its-preparation-friendly-against-northern-ireland-6856

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$100,000 World Cup trip includes business

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Varela with World Cup during its Latin American tour in April
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HOURS after the  eruption of a storm of criticism on social media, TV  and radio over  the latest planned jaunt of Panama  President  Varela  to Russia,  The Foreign Ministry  rushed to issue a press  release to reassure  the public that the trip, for which $100,000 has been transferred to the Panama Embassy in Moscow, also has another  purpose.

The Chancellery said that the trip includes an appointment with President  Vladimir Putin, in Moscow, and a “business meeting” to promote investments, and therefore, Varela will do more in Russia than go to the inaugural ceremony of the World Cup,  to which says the Chancellery he  was invited by FIFA president Gianni  Infantini. He will also attend the first match of the National Team on June 18, in Sochi, against Belgium.

The Office of the Comptroller General has authorized $100,000 to cover the expenses of the Varela tour, which will run until June 20. The transfer does not reflect the total cost of the presidential trip reports La Prensa.

The Foreign Ministry said that it is preparing to offer assistance “to the thousands of Panamanian fans attending the World Cup.

“Thus, in addition to strengthening the embassy and consulate, in Moscow, there will be mobile consulates in the cities in which Panama will play in the first stage of the Cup,  Sochi, Nizhny, and Saransk.” said the release.

The trip to Russia would be number 54 for President Varela, who on July 1, 2018, will have served four years in office. An earlier statement floated the possibility of a trip to Australia. His term ends in 2019.

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/100000-world-cup-trip-includes-business

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Panamanian soccer team visited the Panama Canal

Fri, 05/25/2018 - 17:41

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The Panama soccer team visited the Cocolí locks today to learn about the operation of the Expanded Canal, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) reported today.

The players were assisted by the collaborators of the Canal, who shared with the 24 players who worked today in the morning at the Rommel Fernández stadium, in the Panamanian city.

The visit was used by the players to show their admiration for the work carried out by the Panamanian administration to maintain this efficient and safe route.

The administrator of the Canal, Jorge Luis Quijano, congratulated the "World Cup" Panamanian players for making the Panamanian dream of seeing their country in a World Cup.

The Panamanian players will resume their training tomorrow in the framework of friendly matches against Northern Ireland, on May 29 in Panama, and against Norway, on June 6, in Oslo.

The Panamanian team was drawn into Group G of the World Cup in Russia, with Belgium, with which it will debut on June 18, as well as with England and Tunisia, which they will face on June 24 and 28, respectively.

 

http://www.panamatoday.com/sports/panamanian-soccer-team-visited-panama-canal-6925

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"Frozen in Rusia" the film premiere portraying Panama’s qualification to Rusia 2018

Mon, 05/28/2018 - 14:22

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Filmmaker Arturo Montenegro will premiere next Thursday his new film production entitled "Congelado en Rusia" (Frozen in Russia) and that arises precisely when Panama manages to qualify for the first time a World Cup, which has generated excitement in the Central American country.

This is the third fiction feature film as director and scriptwriter, which will not only be screened in cinemas in Panama, but also in the rest of Central America and the Dominican Republic.

The first film of Panamanian Montenegro was "El Cheque" in 2016 and then "Donaire y Esplendor" in 2017, the latter took the audience by storm at cinemas in the country.

The publicist and actor also told Acan-Efe that he is currently advancing his fourth film, but he preferred not to give details yet.

"Congelado en Russia" (2018) portrays the dream of Panama to qualify for the first time in its history to the World Cup and depicts the crazy story of Jamal, the most hardcore fan of the national football team, who is submerged in a great depression after the fateful loss of "La Roja" against the United States 4 to 0.

"A promise made, and the favor received by the Black Christ of Portobelo, are the triggers of a series of hilarious situations that lead to Jamal to distant and cold Moscow," said Montenegro when referring to the plot of the film.

In Russia, Jamal finds a country fellow who helps him and advises him on the techniques to adapt to the new culture; and so that he can achieve the promise he made to the saint to marry a Russian, after fulfilling his dream of Panama qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.

"A world championship of crazy and hilarious situations that will entertain us with the historical fact that has shocked the country and an entire continent," said Montenegro's new production on the big screen.

For the production of this film, nearly one million dollars were invested with a team that involved units from Panama, Moscow and St. Petersburg.

The locations of the film are in Panama (Portobelo and San Miguelito), while in Russia scenes were filmed in the cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Montenegro told Acan-Efe that filming took five weeks between Russia and Panama; and that the most complicated part of this work was to resist the cold Russian winter and the language barrier.

This director and screenwriter said that "we are doing very well" and that "we are moving forward with good steps", referring to the cinematographic activity that in recent years has stood out in Panama.

Passionate about singing, music, geography and architecture, Arturo Montenegro said that what motivated him to venture into the cinema was the love he feels for this art and also for the stories.

Now Montenegro will once again test his talent and creativity, with the comedy "Congelado en Russia", which is expected to boom cinemas in Panama; as well as in Central America and the Dominican Republic.

 

http://www.panamatoday.com/life-style/frozen-rusia-film-premiere-portraying-panamas-qualification-rusia-2018-6945

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Panama draws 0-0 with Northern Ireland

Wed, 05/30/2018 - 08:14

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Amid massive support from the public, mostly dressed in red, the Panamanian national football team Tuesday drew 0-0 against Northern Ireland.

In a festive atmosphere at the Rommel Fernandez stadium in Panama City, the home team played well, giving a glimpse of what can be expected from the Central Americans at the 2018 Russia World Cup.

Seventeen minutes into the game, as the Panamanians sought the elusive goal Edgar Joel Barcenas did a header which hit the crossbar and failed to translate into a score.

A lost ball from the Panamanian midfielder put the team at risk when at 29 minutes came a header from Northern Ireland's Josh Magennis, but which landed in the hands of Panamanian goalkeeper Jose Calderon.

Between 34 and 40 minutes the game fell into a rut with strong legwork in the midfield.

At 41 minutes, the lethargy appeared to be broken when Barcenas made a center from the right that fell on Jose Rodriguez who made a shot but was saved by Northern Irish goalkeeper Trevor Carson.

The second half started slow with twists and turns but lacked a clear dominator in the field.

A clear move by Ricardo Avila at 46 minutes followed an offside one by Blas Perez at 54 minutes enraging fans at the stadium.

Between 55 and 61 minutes the game slowed down again and at the 81st minute, Roman Torres, who had 6 minutes left, made a header but the ball went over the goalpost.

With alternate moves and the time draining the referee blew the whistle declaring the match over at 0-0

 

http://www.panamatoday.com/sports/panama-draws-0-0-northern-ireland-6953

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Panama fans will need “creativity” to see World Cup games

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Varela. juggling football fever, business. and diplomacy
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Win or lose in their first appearance in World Cup finals, Panama’s national football (soccer) team will not earn time off for stay at home fans to watch games.

When Panama qualified for the event by defeating Costa Rica in the final qualifying game, President Juan Carlos Varela, in the middle of the night spontaneously declared a public holiday, leaving businesses to foot the extra cost, and raising the ire of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, and Agriculture and similar bodies.

On Friday, June 1   Varela who will be Russia bound and is already facing criticism  over $100,000  transferred to cover his  group’s expenses while there, said that he will not declare free days when the national team plays.

“I already gave the day off for  qualifying,and  as you know, in Panama there is no re-election, so in the next classification the next president of the Republic will make the decision. I already took it, it was not easy, they questioned me a lot, but it was a chance for the people to be happy and the country was happy with its day off, “said the president.

“What the Government will do, is to call on the public and private sectors to look for creative mechanisms so that Panamanians can see the three matches of the national team “ in Russia, said Varela.

“The important thing is that all Panamanians can see all three games, and hopefully more than three, without affecting the economic and social development of the country, “he added.

Varela said, in addition, that the Ministry of the Presidency has already taken “creative” measures so that  officials  can enjoy the matches in  the meeting rooms of the Cabinet Council, and  Security Council.

He added that he will accompany the team in its  first match.

The national team, directed by Colombian coach Hernán Darío Gómez, opens on

June 1 8  the Fisht Stadium in the city of Sochi, against Belgium, in Group G starting at 10:00 a.m. “Without a doubt, I will be with them in Sochi the night before the game.

Varela said  that on his trip to Russia he will be accompanied by a minister (he did not reveal his name) and the Vice Foreign Luis Miguel Hincapié.

He said that the bilateral meeting with the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, would be the on June 14  June in the afternoon, and said  that they will also have a meeting with executives of the Aeroflot airline.

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/panama-fans-will-need-creativity-to-see-world-cup-games

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Soccer diplomacy eases president’s IMF load

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Canada's national team, on first leg to Russia
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President Juan Carlos Varela, his day  lightened by the sight of Panama’s  National football team boarding a plane for the first leg of its journey to the World Cup, and the prospect of his joining the team during a soccer diplomacy jaunt  to Russia, was bullish on Saturday, June 2  about the country’s economic future in spite  of the IMF downgrading ofPanama’ 5.6% growth projection for the year.

He predictably laid the blame on the month-long construction sector strike which  was, he said.  unnecessary and could have been avoided.

Varela regretted that the two parties had to spend a month to reach an understanding, when  it could have been achieved in “three to five days.”

“We have to  analyze what we did right or wrong, “he said but omitted to mention his own  trip to London and Israel immediately after he called for arbitration and a return to work.

The IMF concluded its  annual visit to Panama on Friday and said  that Panama’s economy was weakened in the wake of the  strike and projected  a downward revision of one percentage point from its estimate of 5.6% for 2018.

“That point of growth costs jobs, costs benefits,” said the president.However, he  expressed his confidence in the recovery of the country saying  that there are seven months to streamline the state works, motivate private companies to invest and to bring foreign investment to the country.

He said that in spite of the reduced  forecast  for 2018,Panama still has the strongest growth in Latin America and in 2019   year (when his term ends) growth will be 7 percent.

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/business/panama-4/soccer-diplomacy-lightens-presidents-load

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Music will be the highlight at the opening of the 2018 World Cup Russia

Tue, 06/12/2018 - 14:29

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The music will be the focus of attention at the opening ceremony of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, which will be shorter than previous editions and in which former Ronaldo Luiz Nazario will be the master of ceremony.

The event, which will take place at the Luzhniki Olympic stadium, is scheduled to start half an hour before the start of the first World Cup match, which will be played by the host team and Saudi Arabia.

In it, the presentation of the British singer Robbie Williams is expected along with the Russian soprano Aida Garifullina, considered one of the best voices in the country. Both will be accompanied by numerous dancers and gymnasts in a montage that will honor Russia and its traditions.

About his participation, Robbie Williams said that in this way a dream of his childhood is fulfilled, as it is to inaugurate a World Cup before 80 thousand fans.

The production of the show will be in charge of Channel One of Russia, and Felix Mikhailov will be behind the creative concept of the opening. Mikhailov is the director of the official ceremonies of the World Cup, from the preliminary draw in 2015 until the act of class, which will be prior to the final of July 15 next.

It is also scheduled to present the official song of the tournament, "Live it Up", which will be performed by the actor Will Smith and the singers Nicky Jam and Era Istrefi, which is the work of the producer Diplo, with a load of ska, fusion of African-American music and Jamaican.

 

http://www.panamatoday.com/sports/music-will-be-highlight-opening-2018-world-cup-russia-7049

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World Cup, disputed extradition and controversy prevail in Panama

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 23:24

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Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela is in Russia in the "official mission", the first visit undertaken by a Panamanian leader to that country since the establishment of diplomatic relations "to enhance the bilateral relationship in the commercial, tourist areas, and will accompany the Football National Team in its first historic match in the World Cup".

The departure of Varela occurred coincidentally on the same day when his predecessor in office Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014), who was his vice president, arrived in Panama extradited from the United States to stand trial for illegal wiretapping.

According to the official program in Russia, Varela will hold a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on June 14, "an opportunity that was used by the Panamanian leader to expand bilateral cooperation in technology and education, promote tourism and investments from Russia to Panama," the source said.

In order to broaden the exchange in education, the president meets with the authorities of the University of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia, where Panamanian officers are currently studying.

He will also present, before executives of the Russian national airline, Aeroflot, representatives of travel agencies and businesspeople of the Chamber of Commerce and Industries of Russia, "the comparative advantages offered by Panama, for tourism and foreign investment," said the Presidency.

Varela will visit the Technopolys industrial technology park, with the aim of exploring possibilities for cooperation in innovation and technology.

He will also accompany the Panamanian team in its debut in the Soccer World Cup in Sochi, against Belgium on Monday 18, and will hold a coordination meeting with the team of Panamanian officials that will be working in mobile consulates to assist the more than 4,000 Panamanians who will travel to Russia on the occasion of this event.

The president will be accompanied by his wife and first Panamanian lady, Lorena Castillo de Varela, Minister of Social Development Alcibíades Vásquez, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Luis Miguel Hincapié and Secretary of Goals Jorge González.

"The president will be accompanied by special guests such as Mrs. Rauscel de Quintero, wife of (injured soccer player) Alberto Quintero, and youths Fernando Ramos, of the Preparatory School, and Simeón de León, of the Professional School Isabel Herrera de Obaldía, outstanding players of the last edition of the President's Cup that is held between the public schools of the republic," he said.

The president and his delegation will return to Panama on Tuesday, June 19, according to the source.

Meanwhile, in Panama, a great controversy has arisen between the government's statements and Ricardo Martinelli's officials about the procedure and the government's management of his extradition.

Isabel De Saint Malo, the vice president and chancellor, highlighted the "clarity" with which the Executive fulfilled its role in the extradition of a government accused by Martinelli of “politically persecuting” him.

She recalled that the Foreign Ministry complied with the procedure before the authorities of the United States for the request for extradition filed by the Supreme Court, which called to prosecute Martinelli given his status as a deputy of the Central American Parliament (Parlacen).

She specified that once the former president arrived in Panamanian territory, both the reception and the transfer of Martinelli to jail were carried out "satisfactorily", which implied the actions of the security forces of the State and the Ministry of Government.

"I believe that this process will demonstrate the strength of our institutions, specifically that is in the hands of the judicial system," said the president of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela, in statements from Russia, where he left on the same day Martinelli arrived extradited, to fulfill an official visit and see the Panamanian football team that will debut in the World Cup.

Varela added that "it would be a political error to politicize" Martinelli's court case, his former vice president, adding that "society must be watching how its institutions perform".

The US Department of State approved the extradition of Martinelli under the specialty provision enshrined in a bilateral treaty in force since 1905, which means that the former president will stand trial in his country only for wiretapping, one of the about 10 criminal cases opened by the Supreme Court.

 

http://www.panamatoday.com/panama/world-cup-disputed-extradition-and-controversy-prevail-panama-7062

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Panama is immersed in the World Cup and the fans are counting the hours to see their team

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 16:22

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After a long wait for the biggest soccer festival in the world, which unites hearts and awakens passions, thousands of fans gather from today across the country to follow the 32 national teams, especially Panama, which will play for the first time with the soccer greats.

In the middle of the main avenue of the Panamanian capital, a large clock in the shape of the Kremlin marks day "0" as the beginning of Russia 2018, which does not go unnoticed to passers-by, who have the date on which their favorite selection will play dated.

Very close to that great structure, which was assembled because the country managed to enter among the classified teams for the first time, the Panamanians take the opportunity to take a photo, and express as they pass: "Argentina, Brazil, Spain and Panama", teams that we hope to see play according to the official FIFA calendar.

"I just want to see the Panamanian team go out and play as best as they can with the other soccer delegations," said Ariel proudly, a fan who ensures not to miss the debut of the Central American "Roja", next Monday at 10:00 o'clock local (15:00 GMT).

Panama is getting ready to play its first senior soccer world cup, where it was placed in Group G along with Belgium, before which it will debut on June 18, then it will be measured against England and Tunisia, on June 24 and 28, respectively.

To ensure that fans can support them, the City Council will place giant screens in different parts of the city, including Urracá Park, 5 de Mayo Plaza and Irvin Saladino Sports City, although the government will not give the hours of the Panamanian games as leasure.

Although most of the matches will take place in the morning hours due to the time difference of the event held in Russia, this is no excuse for restaurants, bars and clubs, which will take advantage of the great event, so they have enlisted promotions to ensure a full house in their premises.

One of them is the populous "Tom Si Bar Restaurant", located on the Trans-isthmus highway; which, with banners, giant screens and provocative advertisements for the World Cup, will be raging to attract customers.

"We have an expectation that the Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Panama games will have a positive effect on the attendance at the bar, everything depends on the schedules and how the World Championship unfolds", explained Antonio Penedo, a Spaniard who is in charge of the place.

He argued that in previous World Cups the fans crowded the venue to witness the match, even standing; and is that in the area, where there are many similar restaurants, he believes that this year, the restaurants will not be enough because nobody wants to miss the event.

Another similar opinion is that of Oriana Díaz, marketing manager of the iconic sports bar "Grill 50", who predicts that the World Cup will be a party celebration that will take over the place.

"We have a lot of people that want to be here since early morning, so we will open from 07:00 local time (12:00 GMT) when Panama plays," she said.

To extend the happiness of the fans, some days the effects of the "Ley Zanahoria", which limits the time of sale of liquor in the alcoholic beverage centers and orders to close all the clubs at 02:00 local time (07:00 GMT), will be lifted.

Because of the event, street vendors take the opportunity to offer flags of the world countries and businesses did not miss the opportunity to offer merchandise alluding to the World Cup, which will run until July 15 in Eastern Europe.

The Panamanian Football Federation itself produced a series of allusive items that are offered in the department stores across the country to get some benefit from the sport fever.

Despite working hours, Panamanians will follow today’s the opening ceremony, in charge of the British musician Robbie Williams and the Russian soprano Aida Garifullina, with the presence of the Brazilian Ronaldo, "The phenomenon" and the opening match between Russia and Saudi Arabia in the most emblematic stadium, the Luzhniki of Moscow.

 

http://www.panamatoday.com/sports/panama-immersed-world-cup-and-fans-are-counting-hours-see-their-team-7073

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Mobile consulates for Panama World Cup fans

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A team of mobile consulates is on hand to aid the nearly Panamanians, most of whom are paying their own way, to visit Russia, during the World Cup.

President  Juan Carlos Varela heads a taxpayer-funded squad. and is accompanied by his wife,  First Lady Lorena Castillo.  He has been widely criticized for what is seen by many as just another photo-op for the country’s most globe-circling leader.

He Tweeted  on Friday, June 15: “We are ready to serve the more than 4,000 Panamanians who will visit Russia to support our selection and who may need consular assistance during the Soccer [Football]World Cup ”

Panama is in Group G of the World Cup, and will debut on June 18 against Belgium and will face England on June 24 and Tunis on June 28.

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/columns/the-cuff/mobile-consulates-for-panama-world-cup-fans

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These are the 23 players of the Panama National Team

Thu, 05/31/2018 - 13:11

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The coach of the Panamanian national team, Hernán Dario "Bolillo" Gómez, presented the list of the 23 players that will go to the 2018 Russia World Cup, the surprises being the departure of Ricardo Ávila and the additions of the youths José Luis Rodríguez and Ismael Díaz.

Ávila, who is a member of the first team of Belgium’s Kaa Gent and took part in the two European tours of Panama, will go as a reserve with the Panamanian team, while his teammate Rodriguez ended up convincing the coach in these two weeks of workouts.

"Rodriguez is the player that the team needs," "Bolillo" said in the presentation of the historic first roster of the Panamanian cast in a World Cup.

The Panamanian strategist remained with his core players of experience Jaime Penedo, Gabriel Gómez, Blas Pérez, Felipe Baloy and Luis Tejada, all over 30 years of age, which raised the level of the coaching staff.

In total there are 20 "legionnaires" and three players from the local tournament that make up the cast.

"These older players are at our level, they are communicative and they do and know how to manage a group," said the Central American helmsman.

The so-called "Prince" of Panamanian football, Ismael Díaz, also slipped into the list of the 23 players who will go to Russia.

"Ismael is a professional, a boy who works hard," said Gómez about the Fabril de España player.

At first, Gómez felt some fear in the case of Ismael due to his injury, but in the end Díaz knew how to show the coach that he was necessary for the Panamanian team.

Out of the list were also Roberto Nurse and Miguel Camargo, two regulars in the Panama squad taken out in the qualifying process towards the Russia World Cup.

"I had 35 and could only take 23," said the strategist, adding that the Panamanian Football Federation (Fepafut) authorized him to take the three as reserves of the team in case something happens.

"The federation allowed me to take all three of them as reserve players, it is important to have them close, in case something happens," he added.

He added that now it will depend on the clubs of each of the players.

Panama will travel on June 1 to New York, where it will make a connection to go to Oslo, where it will complete its final match against Norway in preparation for the World Cup on June 6, to arrive the next day to Russia.

The Panamanian team was put in Group G of the 2018 Russia World Cup along with Belgium, against who they will debut in the joust on June 18, England and Tunisia, which they will face June 24 and 28, respectively.

Panamanian team

Goalkeepers: Jaime Penedo (F.C. Dinamo, Bucharest), José Calderón (Chorrillo F.C., PMÁ) and Alex Rodríguez (San Francisco F.C., PMÁ)

Defenses: Adolfo Machado (Houston Dynamo, USA), Michael Amir Murillo (NY Red Bull, USA), Felipe Baloy (Municipal, GUA), Harold Cummings (San Jose Earthquakes, EU), Fidel Escobar (NY Red Bull, EU), Román Torres (Seattle Sounders, USA), Eric Davis (DAC Dunajska Streda, SVK) and Luis Ovalle (Olimpia, HON).

Midfielders: Gabriel Gómez (Atl. Bucaramanga, COL), Aníbal Godoy (San Jose Earthquakes, EU), Alberto Quintero (Universitario de Deportes, PER), Armando Cooper (Universidad, CHI), Valentín Pimentel (Plaza Amador, PMÁ), José Luis Rodríguez (Kaa Gent II, BEL) and Edgar Yoel Bárcenas (Xolos de Tijuana, MEX).

Forwards: Blas Pérez (Municipal, GUA), Luis Tejada (Sport Boys, PER), Gabriel Torres (Huachipato, CHI), Abdiel Arroyo (LD Alajuelense, CR) and Ismael Díaz (Fabril, ESP).

 

http://www.panamatoday.com/sports/these-are-23-players-panama-national-team-6961

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Belgium coach expects tough game against Panama in World Cup opener

Sun, 06/17/2018 - 13:39

belgica.jpg

Belgiam coach Roberto Martinez said on Sunday that his team was ready to be one of the top squads of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, adding that he expects a tough match against Panama, their first Group G opponent.

Martinez spoke at a press conference ahead of Monday's game, saying Panama will prove to be a dangerous rival because of their faith in their abilities.

"We want to be the best," Martinez said regarding one of the strongest-ever Belgian national teams in history, which was also the quickest European team to book a place in the 2018 World Cup, doing so undefeated.

However, Martinez said that this year's tournament would not be easy, adding that the three round-robin matches are to serve as a test for the team's potential.

The 44-year-old Spaniard also highlighted Panama's path to qualify for their first World Cup, saying they had proved their mettle, especially after eliminating the United States.

After Panama, Belgium is to face Tunisia on June 23 and England on June 28.

 

 

http://www.panamatoday.com/sports/belgium-coach-expects-tough-game-against-panama-world-cup-opener-7093

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