Russian football is not without its problems - far from it. Racism still rains down from the terraces on a regular basis, recently being aimed at Manchester City's Yaya Touré, who promptly and with plenty of just cause called for the 2018 competition, which is to be hosted by the country, to be boycotted.
The concerts were part of the Qatar UK 2013 Year of Culture, a collaboration between the British Council and Qatar Museums Authority (QMA) to develop links across culture, education, science and sport... At a time when Qatar is coming under international scrutiny like never before, particularly as hosts of the 2022 football World Cup , initiatives like this represent an opportunity for our two countries to learn about each other.
As we venture further into the British Library Qatar Foundation partnership programme, we are encountering more materials that have direct relevance to the modern day. These images show just how the ties with past and present are becoming increasingly strong through our partnership, as more content emerges from the British Library's basement.
Like most people I have been appalled to read the recently published stories about the terrible conditions in which the builders and workers in Qatar who are constructing the infrastructure that will support the 2022 Fifa World Cup in that country, are being subjected to. It is shocking to hear about their lack of basic human rights and how so many have died working on projects there. The organisers in Qatar say that they share our concerns, as do Fifa, but they must show the world that they are clearly making a massive effort to stop these practices, and ensure the health and dignity of the workers.
Working closely with curators Abdellah Karroum, Director of Mathaf, Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha, Alia Al-Senussi and Abdullah Al-Turki, key figures on the Middle Eastern art scene alongside artist Ahmed Mater, who contributes to our final evening, we are presenting an amazing selection of films, free to view in a unique outdoor cinema.
What's the League Cup called now? I lost track somewhere between the Coca-Cola and Milk Cup eras. As for the Europa, which would you prefer - top four in the league or a tricky second leg in Elfsborg? Come to think of it (Wigan), which would YOU prefer - FA Cup winners, or staying in the Premiership?
The role of great British institutions is currently under the microscope following the Culture Secretary's promise recently to 'fight their corner' when it comes to public funding. Maria Miller issued a rallying call to the cultural sector, referencing the significant and profitable impact it has on the UK economy and the success it heralds abroad.