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The world was a demonstrably different place when Kevin Anderson and John Isner first took the court Friday for what would become a marathon Wimbledon semifinal. Tough as it may be to recall that heady era when the world was still young, we assure you it existed.

But boy does it look distant now.

Has Video Refereeing Ruined The World Cup?

Jul 13, 2018

Tensions were high at a crowded bar in New York City, packed with sweating Belgian and French fans. A lot was at stake: Whoever won Tuesday's game would go on to play in the World Cup final. Anxious fans booed, chanted and yelled at the screen.

As raucous as soccer can get, it's also a game of charades. Players communicate with the referee, who often speaks a different language, by using sign language. A striker will hold up an invisible infraction card to ask that an opponent be penalized; the ref might point at his eyes to acknowledge a misbehaving player.

Sarah Hirshland is the new CEO of the U.S. Olympic Committee, taking control of the organization as it tries to repair the damage from a horrible sexual abuse scandal, in which hundreds of girls and young women were mistreated.

Before being named to the post, Hirshland served as the chief commercial officer for the U.S. Golf Association.

Croatia's Joy And England's Sorrow

Jul 12, 2018

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Noel, I was in London last week, and I got to see what that city looks like when it is in soccer euphoria. The streets were crazy. Every pub was packed. It was amazing.

NOEL KING, HOST:

You happy you're not there now?

Croatia has advanced to its first-ever World Cup final in men's soccer. The Croatian National team came from behind and upset favored England 2-to-1 in a semifinal match decided in extra time on Wednesday in Moscow.

Croatia was supposed to be a tired team coming into the match.

Its previous two games went to extra time and then emotionally draining penalty shootouts. But if anything, the grueling lead-up to the clash against England solidified Croatia's mental toughness, which served the Croats well on Wednesday.

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