The Latest: Mexico fans swapping sombreros before going home

MOSCOW — The Latest at the World Cup (all times local):

5:10 p.m.

Mexican fans who arrived for the World Cup in Russia with a sombrero in their hands or on their heads — many of them bringing than one — are bartering the popular hats at a market in Moscow.

After Mexico was eliminated this week by Brazil, fans went to the Izmailovo market in Moscow looking to swap their sombreros. The most popular mariachi hat in the World Cup is black with the red, white and green colours of the Mexican flag embroidered on the sides and “Mexico” written on top.

Thousands of fans arrived in Russia having stowed sombreros in the overhead compartments on their flights. With an average diameter of 2 feet (six-tenths of a meter), carrying them 10,000 miles (16,000 kilometres) back again is cumbersome.

“It’s a problem getting around with it in trains and airports,” said Mario Alba, a 34 year-old fan from Mexico City. He said “It’s better to come here and take less stuff back home.”

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4:55 p.m.

Russia midfielder Alan Dzagoev says he is fit to play against Croatia in the World Cup quarterfinals Saturday after recovering from injury.

Dzagoev hurt his hamstring during Russia’s opening 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia and says he’s also struggled with an old back problem.

Dzagoev says “I had a problem with my back again, but now I’m training in the main group and I’m ready for the match.”

His injury opened up a chance for Villarreal winger Denis Cheryshev to shine in the Russia squad. Since replacing Dzagoev in the Saudi game, Cheryshev has scored three goals and also hit the winning penalty in the last-16 win over Spain.

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1:35 p.m.

Residents of the World Cup host city of Samara are being urged to take showers in pairs because the influx of fans is putting strain on water supplies.

The Samara Communal Systems utility company says the combination of a heatwave and “thousands of guests” have meant its providing 10 per cent more cold water than normal. That’s causing water pressure to drop in some neighbourhoods, the company adds.

The company advises locals to “save water – take showers in pairs,” adding a smiley face to the message.

Samara is due to host England’s quarterfinal game against Sweden on Saturday.

The Associated Press

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