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Right now South Korea versus Portugal, Ghana versus Uruguay; Tournament Successes Highlight Pan-Arab Unity; Authorities Censoring Evidence of Unrest Online; Ukraine: Russia is now using Nuclear-Capable Missiles; PSG Chairman: I'd Buy Ronaldo Tomorrow, but the coach decides; Goodbye from Doha. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired December 02, 2022 - 11:00   ET



BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: Welcome back to you live from Doha in Qatar. I'm Becky Anderson and we begin with another huge day here

where the final battle for the knockout stages of the World Cup is underway.

Brazil who is already qualified will take on Cameroon in Group G later tonight here, while Switzerland is hoping they can advance with a win

against Serbia. In Group H playing now Portugal who also qualified are currently taking on South Korea while Ghana are losing to Uruguay their

first encounter at a World Cup since 2010. And we'll tell you why that significant shortly.

This is preparations are well underway for this weekend's matches. U.S. will take on the Netherlands on Saturday in the last 16 followed by

Argentina, with Australia. Both of which will be or we hope that these will be nail biting matches. Amanda Davies and Don Riddell are with us. And Don

I want to start with you because you're down at the U.S. Training Center. What are we hearing there?

DON RIDDELL, CNN WORLD SPORT: Well, the team has literally just come out onto the field Becky. We're waiting anxiously to see if Captain America the

man who's not their captain, but everybody calls him Captain America, Christian Pulisic is on the training field. We believe that he will be.

It sounds like he's going to be playing against the Netherlands tomorrow, but we have yet to actually see him of course, Pulisic was the star of

their final Group B match against Iran scoring the only goal and that is the reason they're in the knockout stage, but he was injured in that game

with a pelvic contusion.

He has been described as day to day since but the mood from the camp is that he will be involved against the Netherlands. That is the first

knockout game to take place here on Saturday evening in Qatar. And the American team will be so desperately hoping he can be involved. They've

only scored two goals in this competition. He's been involved in both of them.

He's, of course, a very experienced international player. He's one of the stars in the Premier League. And this is one of the youngest teams in the

World Cup so inexperienced at this level, because they didn't qualify for the last World Cup four years ago 25 of the 26 players in this squad have

played in a World Cup before.

But so far, they've acquitted themselves very, very well. Huge tests next, though, when they're up against the Netherlands, world number eight, one of

the top teams in the world. And Christian Pulisic is here. I see Western McKinney having fun players just arriving now. And this will be their final

training session before the big game tomorrow, Becky.

ANDERSON: And I guess we should be talking about that how they are preparing for the big game tomorrow? What have we been hearing from the


RIDDELL: I mean the mood is fantastic. I mean, such a great squad of players. I've been hearing from the camp that with any World Cup, you never

really know how the players are going to gel. You don't know how it's going to go.

You don't know until you get here, especially when they're so young and inexperienced at this level. But the way that they have been performing in

their game so far, very, very well organized, creative when they need to be.

It's very difficult to score against this team. But as I said they've only scored twice. So goal scoring is not exactly their forte. But you know

what? When it comes to knockout tournaments, play, if you don't concede any goals you has got a great chance of advancing?

It's going to be tough for them tomorrow at the Netherlands; Cody Gakpo has scored in every game so far. And they are hugely experienced the

Netherlands. So this is going to be a fascinating crash.

ANDERSON: Yes, it is, isn't it? I went to - I've been to all of the U.S. games, so certainly in the group stage and I really did think that they

deserved to have put a couple more in the net, actually.

So let's hope we see a high scoring game tomorrow, but I'm not going to suggest so I'm supporting the states. Let's just hope we see a high scoring

game and it is a competitive one. Thank you. So I'm going to let you go Amanda.

AMANDA DAVIES, CNN WORLD SPORTS: Well, I'll tell you Becky Gregg Berhalter to the U.S. Coach is confident. He is a man who loves a pair of trainer's

sneakers, as they call them in the States. He never wears the same pair twice on the touch line. He is confident he has bought seven pairs of

trainers with him seven matches is what you need to win to win a world cup.

ANDERSON: Well, what about that for confidence? Good stuff, right? That, of course is the first game in the knockout stages of the World Cup. And for

those who don't know, there's a group stage and then you go into the last 16 and then it's anyone's game after that. It's all about what happens on

the day. We've got two groups though who still need to qualify for the knockout stage? What's going on today?

DAVIES: Well, we have currently in action we know Portugal are already through from their groups. So you have Uruguay and South Korea pretty much

battling it out for the second spot as things that would Ghana I should add Ghana very much hoping for revenge for that Quarterfinal in 2010 that we've

been talking so much about when they were prevented by Luis Suarez's arm essentially from getting the goal that would put them through to the semi-



DAVIES: This is the first time these two sides have met Ghana we're confident heading into this one. They've made it out of the group for three

of the last four World Cups but Uruguay equally did not want the embarrassment of going out.

They don't like Luis Suarez and Ghana Luis Suarez has had a got a role into Uruguay goals and didn't put the ball in the back of the net. But it is

Uruguay 2 up against Ghana as things stand so that means it will be Uruguay going through against with Portugal as long as South Korea and Portugal

stays 1-1 as it is, at the moment simple math.

ANDERSON: No sitting on the fence ahead of the last 16 who do you think at this point is likely to win this tournament?

DAVIES: It's so hard, isn't it? I mean, France had been impressive, despite the criticism of their change lineup in their last game. I still fancy

Argentina because they had such a bad start. Everybody kind of went from there going to win to their disaster, nothing's going to happen, and slowly

so they've been calling it back.

And in terms of fairy tales, it does seem unfair, as Lionel Messy was to sail off into the footballing sunset having not won a World Cup. I mean,

there are plenty of great players over the years but - who didn't get to lift this trophy, but maybe.

ANDERSON: And they did play well for most of the 90 minutes last night.


ANDERSON: I thought that Spain, who didn't play particularly well, I thought last night, might be just able to, in their first game was super

and magical?

DAIVES: Magical. And I think a lot of people are saying in terms of complete football, they still have played the best football that we've seen

in that tournament.

ANDERSON: All right. No sitting on the fence is what I said. As we heard from Don earlier, it does sound like the United States then their star

player will try to take to the pitch at least in tomorrow's big game against the Netherlands.

Which for years has been deemed the next U.S. Soccer Star fans calling Captain America and this World Cup is on his way to becoming a true hero.

Andy Scholes has the story of one young star.


ANDY SCHOLES, CNN REPORTER (voice over): U.S. soccer stars Christian Pulisic, sending Americans into frenzy with his goal in the 38th minute

against Iran. The man nicknamed Captain America by fans coming through with a signature goal sending Team U.S.A through to the knockout phase. But the

24 year olds game and end goal came with a cost as the star forward was forced to leave the game at halftime with an injury.

GREGG BERHALTER, U.S. MEN'S NATIONAL TEAM COACH: Hopefully he'll be ready for the game against Netherlands.

SCHOLES (voice over): For years Pulisic has been deemed the great next hope for U.S. Soccer, and it's finally coming to fruition. Pulisic was born in

Hershey, Pennsylvania and soccer has always been a part of his life.

KELLY PULISIC, CHRISTIAN PULISIC'S MOM: He has really learned to walk with a soccer ball at his foot.

SCHOLES (voice over): Both of Pulisic's parents played collegiate soccer at George Mason and Pulisic played in the U.S. developmental program at a

young age before starting his professional career with Borussia Dortmund in Germany when he was 16.

When he was just 17 Pulisic became the youngest us player to appear in a World Cup qualifying match. But in 2018 Pulisic and Team USA suffered

heartbreak failing to qualify for the World Cup. After the final whistle a devastated 19 year old Pulisic crouched down covering his face.

CHRISTIAN PULISIC, AMERCIA SOCCER STAR: It just wasn't meant to be for that World Cup for us. That's how I always looked at it.

SCHOLES (voice over): 2019 Pulisic signed with Chelsea and a move that cost the Premier League clubs $73 million, which made Pulisic the most expensive

player to date from the United States. Two years later that move paying off as Chelsea would win the Champions League making Pulisic just the second

player from the U.S. to do so.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where do you think this pressure is coming from?

PULISIC: Everyone.

SCHOLES (voice over): Pulisic has been the main pitch man for Team U.S.A for this World Cup. And he's delivered under the pressure. Will he play on

Saturday? According to an online post from his hospital bed, he says he'll be ready. The team says Pulisic is day today. But as he greeted his

teammates after the win, it's hard to imagine him missing this moment.

PULISIC: Knowing a lot of these guys for so long and being able to do it with them you know by my side is definitely special. And you know hopefully

a moment that we're going to chance for the rest of our lives.


ANDERSON: Pulisic, hope he plays. Morocco's World Cup win on Thursday made history on two fronts. They are now the first North African nation to

advance to the knockout stages group winner after a 2-1 victory over Canada.


ANDERSON: Morocco seven points, also the most ever for an African side in the group stage. They joined Senegal in the final 16. With Ghana of course

trying to win today to make it three African teams to advance and Cameroon are still mathematically still in the game as well. Well, Morocco fans here

in Doha, somewhat soaking it all in have a look at this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, of course you can, who can say Belgian now we're going to be all the team.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm very, very happy.


ANDERSON: Joining me now is Mohamed Amine Elamri. He's a Sports Journalist for Le Matin, which is a Moroccan Daily Newspaper. It was remarkable last

night, the noise in Doha, both when the team went through and then of course, when supporters came out. Unbelievable it was fantastic. How are

you feeling after a big win?

MOHAMED AMINE ELAMRI, SPORTS JOURNALIST, LE MATIN: I really yesterday it took me about an hour to process the historical winds so afterwards that

I've been seeing people fighting here in Doha. But also receiving videos from back home and in Morocco and Casablanca and Rabat everybody was just

crazy about this historical win and passing through to the last 16, which was the first one since 36 years.

ANDERSON: Yes. And you will want you four years old?

ELAMRI: Yes years old, I just got out of that. And I was late at night. We're playing at 2 am 3 am because of the jetlag with Mexico. So this one

is really been witness, an active witness as a journalist is really I feel really, really honored Becky.

ANDERSON: Talk to me about the article that you wrote, where you talked about Morocco's Wonder Boy just explaining who he is, and why it is that

you talk to him or talk about in that way?

ELAMRI: Yes, because it's been hard to process because just three months before the World Cup, we sacked the previous coach, and we named when -

which is one of our own, but also born and raised in France.

So this is this missing part aspect of Morocco, which is the top right corner of southwestern corner of Africa. So it's the melting pot of Europe,

Africa, Arab World Amazon Sahara. So it's really a big nation.

ANDERSON: And we're talking about this being such a result for a North African nation. And when we talk about consider where that stands in sort

of the history of African nations in this World Cup, Morocco have just been co-opted by the entire Arab speaking world, it has to be said.

Because as ever, we you know, we remind people at the host of this tournament Qatar always said this was a tournament for the Arab Muslim

world and certainly for the region. And that is what we are seeing here.

I want to bring up an image of Moroccan player Javed El Jami raising the Palestinian flag after yesterday's game. As I said, first World Cup in the

Middle East, what do you make of the pan Arab unity that we have seen throughout this tournament?

ELAMRI: I think it's deep rooted in the Moroccan culture to be feed themselves and to feed ourselves as Arabs, but offers MSX as Africans, like

I said, as South Europeans also, but most of all Arabs and attached to the Palestinian cause.

I mean, I can recall a song from Raja, Casablanca famous culture fans, which is rush hour for the Sunni and it, speaks about the anger about this

Palestinian situation and their will to help Palestinian however they can.

So I just show that it just mirrors here in Qatar where we are in an Arab country Arab territory. But also, we've been supported. I mean, Saudis,

Qataris Syrians everybody from the Arab world, supporting Morocco.

ANDERSON: And you see that all over Doha a lot of the time. Amina, I can just looking behind you now. And I can see people wearing Palestinian

flags, waving Palestinian flags back behind us here stepping back for a moment.

I know you're feeling emotional about this. I know you're feeling excited about it. You know, you're a journalist, but you're also a Moroccan, you

know, and I know how it feels to be supporting your home team. How far can they go?

ELAMRI: Well, the sky's the limit now.

ANDERSON: Knock out stages right?

ELAMRI: I think we broke a glass ceiling but that has been stopping us from doing anything the World Cups in 1986. Like I say in Mexico but now we're

broke that glass ceilings claim.


ELAMRI: And being here with so many fans, Moroccan fans, but also Arab fans, I think the sky's the limit we will see against Spain in the last 16

and maybe.

ANDERSON: We'll be I owe you always love these matchups. And there's always something that we could talk about. I mean, how a Spanish Moroccan

relations just explain to our viewers, will there be animosity in that crowd?

And we haven't, by the way, seen much animosity apart from between fans of Iran, otherwise the stadiums have been, you know, they've been a sort of

festival of football season hasn't there really?

ELAMRI: Exactly that's one of the main positive aspects of the World Cup here in Qatar.

ANDERSON: And no booze.

ELAMRI: No alcohol. No drunken people passing. So it's really good. But I think Morocco and Spain are just apart for 14 kilometers in the Gibraltar

stretch. And there's so much so much history between the two countries, common modern contemporize you know, and I think there's a diversity but

not animosity. So there is a huge - of Moroccans in Spain. And this will be a great, great game.

Also, I want to underline that Morocco actually played its first ever qualifier in the World Cup, it was back in 1961, against Spain. And this

gives you like, just a glimpse about how historic and important this is for Morocco?

ANDERSON: Fantastic. Well, look, I'm going to leave it there. We wish you the best I know how exciting is to be here covering a World Cup in and of

it, but to see your home nation and go through to the knockout stages is great?

I have to say viewers, it isn't by chance that this Moroccan team has done well the investment that has gone into the game in Morocco has been they

should be applauded. And not just in the men's game in the women's games as well, which is the story we will do more of going forward and into the

Women's World Cup next year. It's good to have you thank you very much.

ELAMRI: Thank you very much.

ANDERSON: All right you can read more, of course about the World Cup online, including a story and what Israeli journalists are calling the

chilly reception that they are receiving at this World Cup after arriving on special direct flights from Tel Aviv to Doha.

One Palestinian Jordanian fan tells CNN, some Arab fans refusal to engage is a reflection of Israel's treatment of the Palestinian people, "For

perhaps the first time in history Arabs around the world are unapologetically showing their lack of patience with Israel", she said. And

she is quoted in our article as part of our "Meanwhile in the Middle East News Letter" that drops three times a week.

If you haven't subscribed, you should do so. You can access it on your computer or via the CNN app on your Smartphone. And please do sign up. When

we come back we'll deep dive into the frustrations between China's unprecedented COVID protests.


SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): What do you think you guys achieved by participating in that protest?

UNIDENTIFIEDMALE: If you don't demonstrate if you don't show them your voice your idea? They will never know.


ANDERSON: Now protesters are being tracked by authorities also ahead. Ukraine accuses Russia firing nuclear capable missiles with dummy warheads

just to exhaust Ukraine's air defenses that at least is how Kyiv see this. We will have a live report from the capital coming up for you.



ANDERSON: After days of unprecedented protests across China authorities there are now softening their COVID restrictions in some cities, citing

increased vaccination rates from the mildness of the Omicron variance. Meantime, it seems China is now using cell phone data to track down

protesters, one telling CNN police told him his signal was recorded near the protests site.

While these demonstrations have been fueled by the government's harsh zero COVID policies including moments like this police violently dragging a

resident to a quarantine facility CNN's Selina Wang has more now on the desperate frustrations feeding this protest movement.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Silence will not protect you.

SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): This person one of thousands across China willing to put their lives on the line to speak out. Years of

pent up anger over Chinese draconian COVID lockdown, boiling over into protests.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I felt like I lost control of my life because of this COVID policy. Nobody is telling you when this is going to end we are

limited physically. And now we're limited mentally we are forbidden to express our ideas.

WANG (voice over): For some that cathartic emotional release spilled into calls for political changes some even chanted for Xi Jinping to step down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's the one who's responsible for this whole policy thing. But for me, first thing, first, I want us to recover policy gone and

if we have more freedom of speech and freedom of press, of course that would be great.

WANG (on camera): What do you think you guys achieved by participating in that protest?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you don't demonstrate if you don't show them your voice your idea they will never know.

WANG (voice over): And this is what happened next. China's security apparatus swiftly smothered the protests. CNN is shielding the protesters

identity because of fears of retribution even conducting the interview in a car to avoid tracking from authorities.

Police are calling and visiting the homes of some protesters and in Shanghai randomly stopping people to check their phones on streets and what

appears to be in subways. Protesters say they're looking for VPNs needed to use banned apps like Twitter or Telegram, which some protesters use to


Another protester told CNN. I'm afraid we cannot hold protests like this again in the future. There are always undercover agents in our telegram

group. Every few beaters on the street, there are police and police dogs. The whole atmosphere is chilling.

WANG (on camera): I'm at the center of a protest in Beijing right now. They're chanting that they don't want COVID test. They want freedom.

WANG (voice over): Less than 24 hours after this we drove back to that spot. Police cars as far as the eye could see. Then a few days later--

WANG (on camera): It's pretty much back to normal like nothing ever happened. And that is precisely the goal of the Communist Party

WANG (voice over): In Guangzhou residents destroyed COVID testing booth. Police in riot gear immediately sworn in they marched through a market

shouting at people to leave firing tear gas to disperse protesters. Pushing through with shields and making arrests. Authorities have gone into

overdrive to censor all evidence of unrest online.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That white piece of paper actually represents the censorship and all the deleted contents and cannot arrest us for just

holding a white paper. I still have that white paper I protested and I put it in my diary as a souvenir to show my future generations that you should

always fight for your rights and never let your voice are silenced.

WANG (on camera): How does it make you feel though that the government even censored pictures of people holding white papers?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: By doing this they're just gonna make the crowd even angrier that of trying to silence us. They should really focus and the

trend to think why this happened.


WANG (voice over): Authorities are silencing them but it seems they are listening. Right after the riots in Guangzhou the city started lifting some

lockdowns for meeting COVID roadblocks. - A man screams with excitement as he bikes through streets being opened up. But so many others are still

counting down their days and lock downs in quarantine. Wondering when zero COVID moved to the end sullied away, Selina Wang, CNN, Beijing.


ANDERSON: Well in his first known remarks on the protests that have erupted across China. Chinese President Xi Jinping told visiting European Council

President Shan Michel in Beijing on Thursday that the protesters were mainly students who were frustrated after three years of COVID and hinted

at the potential relaxation of China's COVID measures an EU official telling CNN on Friday.

Right, let's get you up to speed on some of the other stories that are on our radar right now. And China's strict COVID policies putting up

roadblocks in the world of sport Formula One racing are canceled its Grand Prix in China next year, the organization citing "Ongoing difficulties

presented or the COVID-19 situation". It's looking for an alternative location for the race.

Learning weeks after having his account restored, Kanye West has again been suspended from Twitter. Twitter's CEO Elon Musk says West violated the

platform's rules about inciting violence is unclear exactly which tweet by West broke rules but earlier in the day he tweeted an altered image of the

Star of David with a swastika inside.

Russia's government formally notified the U.S. Embassy in Moscow about Brittany Grinder's transferred to a penal colony weeks after it happened. A

State Department Spokesperson says the basketball stars legal team visited her this week talks continue to three Greiner and another detained

American, Paul Whelan, right you're with CNN, I'm Becky Anderson. We are here at the World Cup in Doha.

More on the football coming up, also missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads, a new chapter in Russia's war on Ukraine well; we are live in

Kramatorsk to explain that's just the head.



ANDERSON: Let's get you to Ukraine where Kyiv says that Russia is now firing dummy missiles built carry nuclear warheads. Ukrainian military

spokesman showed off missile fragments and said Moscow's move is designed to distract and exhaust Ukraine's air defenses.

The official says missiles pose a great threat because their kinetic or kinetic energy and fuel.

Sam Kiley joins us live from Kramatorsk. This is fascinating. I've just sort of basically explained why Ukraine seems to believe that Russia is

using these dummy missiles, Just explain a little more, if you will, what sort of impact could this have on Ukraine's air defense systems, for


SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think what the Ukrainian government is getting at there, Becky, and I said as much really

is that it's really a numbers game. If you look back at the seven last series of waves of cruise missile attacks, most of these have been, of

course, conventional cruise missiles.

In other words, armed with pretty substantial warheads up to 400 kilograms, nearly half a metric ton, full of explosive, these are guided missiles,

that the Ukrainians do have some capacity to shoot down, but they don't get them all. So in the last wave, the government said that they were up to 100

were fired, more than 70 percent of them they believe was shot down, but that still leaves a number that get through and can do a lot of damage.

So by putting up these obsolete or deactivated cruise missiles, it's surprising they don't put a warhead in of any kind. But of course, if

you're sending a piece of equipment high into the sky, and then it comes down, it comes down with considerable force.

It could destroy a block of flats, it can kill people within buildings and it can cause a lot of damage if there's any residual fuel supplies left on

board, but it's really trying to overwhelm the Ukrainian air defenses, Becky, I think that's the first thing to take away from that.

The other is an interesting note that they made from that press conference when they put these fragments on displays. They said that the serial

numbers had been removed, hinting perhaps that some of these missiles might actually be Ukrainian in origin, because of course, Ukraine gave up its

nuclear arsenal in return for defense guarantees that the West was supposed to implement.

And of course, the West failed to do just that when Russia seized Crimea. So they're slightly hinting there that maybe these are cruise missiles

built for their own nuclear uses that the Russians have taken away and repurposed and fired back at them.

And I think the third issue is that this may be some indication that perhaps the Russians are running short on the sorts of essential supplies

that they might need for cruise missiles, particularly navigation systems and other high tech items that usually they would have to import before

their own manufacturing could catch up with making them Becky.

ANDERSON: Sam yesterday, U.S. President Joe Biden suggested that he was open to a meeting with the Russian President; I just want our viewers to

have a listen to this.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I have no immediate plans to contact Mr. Putin. Mr. Putin is to choose my words very carefully.

I'm prepared to speak with Mr. Putin. If in fact, there is an interest in him aside, and he's looking for a way to end the war. He hasn't done that

yet. If that's the case, in consultation with my friends and my NATO friends, I'll be happy to sit down with Putin to see what he wants has in



ANDERSON: What do you make of what he said? Look, nobody wants this war to go on any longer than it needs to? Is there is he offering some light here

at the end of what has been a very, very, very dark tunnel?

KILEY: I think Becky, what he's saying is never say never, he's never ruled out some kind of diplomatic solution. Now the Ukrainian position which is

endorsed by the United States is no discussions about Ukraine without Ukraine. The Ukrainians are sticking very strongly to their whole mantra

here, which is that there will be no discussions about any kind of peace negotiations until every Russian soldier is left Ukrainian territory.

That has been endorsed internationally, not just by the United States as a position taken by the Ukrainians were the Ukrainians to shift that

position. No doubt they would get some support for it, too, but they are also signaling that they are not interested in coming under pressure.

There has been pressure from elements within the Pentagon recently that suggested the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, for example, saying that this

was an unwinnable war and in the end, negotiations would have to be the way forward. That is not though the position of the White House.

They made that very, very clear. And today Vladimir Putin said that the position of the Germans that any negotiations would have to be predicated

on Russian withdrawal from Ukrainian territory were in the Putin's words unhelpful.


KILEY: Of course, he's countering that and saying any negotiations have to be predicated now on recognition of the illegally seized territories that

the Russians have annexed within Ukraine, including the Crimean peninsula, but also for new territory, some of which they expanded during their recent

invasion, Becky.

ANDERSON: Sam, it's good to have you. He's on the ground in Kramatorsk in Ukraine, thank you. Well, we are seeing other signs of Russia digging

deeper and deeper into its war efforts in Ukraine. Russia's Wagner private military group is facing questions about the death of one of its recruits

in Ukraine.

The reason while he was from Zambia and his home country is not buying the explanation about how he ended up fighting for the group in the first

place, Fred Pleitgen has more.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Mercenaries for Russia's Wagner private military company are fighting on

some of the toughest battlefields in Ukraine. A social media channel affiliated with a group recently posted this video allegedly showing a

severely wounded Wagner fighter trying to shoot himself rather than fall into Ukrainian hands.

Now the group has acknowledged a man from the Southern African nation of Zambia has been killed fighting on the front lines in Ukraine. This is 23-

year-old Lemekhani Nathan Nyirenda, Wagner's Founder Yevgeny Prigozhin known as Putin Chef admits he recruited and you'd end up from a Russian

jail and says he died a hero.

And I talked to the - region Prigozhin wrote in a statement, why do you need this war after all the chance of dying is quite high? And he answered

what I expected.

You Russians helped us Africans gain independence for many years. The Wagner Group saves thousands of Africans. And if I go to war with you, this

is probably a very small way in which I can pay our debts. Zambian authority saying Nyirenda was studying nuclear engineering in Russia, but

was thrown in jail for more than nine years for what his father told Reuters was a drug offense. Despite what Prigozhin said about Nyirenda's

alleged gratitude, the Zambian government is demanding answers.

JOSEPH KALIMBWE, INFORMATION AND PUBLIC SECRETARY, UPND PARTY: How did he find himself fighting for Russia when Zambia as a country, when Zambia as a

state does not have any interest whatsoever in what is happening in that war.

PLEITGEN (voice over): Wagner admits it is recruiting fighters from Russian jails and even confirmed to CNN they're sending inmates with HIV,

tuberculosis and hepatitis to the front line. As Russia struggles with manpower issues, videos and inmate testimony show Prigozhin visiting

prisons and offering freedom in return for contracts to the front line.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you choose to go with us, there will be no way back; nobody will be able to go back to prison.

PLEITGEN (voice over): But Africa has been the major theatre for Wagner for years. CNN has tracked the unit across the continent. Including in the

Central African Republic, where Wagner mercenaries officially trained the Central African army, but have also allegedly committed horrendous human

rights abuses.

Wagner recently published a propaganda video glorifying its military training in the Central African Republic, where the group's operatives show

recruits how to kill effectively. Yevgeny Prigozhin says Lemekhani Nathan Nyirenda was so grateful to Wagner he was willing to die for the

mercenaries claims Zambia's government clearly isn't buying. Fred Pleitgen, CNN Moscow.


ANDERSON: Well, two more notes out of Ukraine for you. The country is ramping up security in its embassies abroad after a series of what can only

be described as bizarre threats, besides letter bombs. We're now learning that several Ukrainian embassies received bloody packages this week

containing animal eyes.

Ukraine's Foreign Minister says he believes it's a well-planned campaign of terror and intimidation aimed at its embassies and its consulates. Those

are our news updates. We're live here in Doha. Ford is our special welcome coverage when we come back.

The PSG Chairman talks to me about the stars in his club and on the future of European football. He also talks about the increasingly popular game

called paddle.



ANDERSON: Well, it's the end of the second week, which means it's the end of the group stages here in Doha at the World Cup which means it's the end

of our daily focus from here, of course on football as CNN continues to cover the World Cup.

And while the World Cup has captured the imagination of sports fans across the world, it's not the only sporting event is getting people talking here

in Doha paddle across between tennis and squash is growing in popularity. And I mean growing and it has a very big and I may say very influential fan

that you saw on this program yesterday.

Nasser Al-Khelaifi is Chairman of the French Club Paris Saint-Germain; he is a member of UEFA as executive committee a very influential Qatari it has

to be said. We met outside the paddle courts talking about what he calls a perfect world cup and his Middle East business interests.

Well, you heard that yesterday. It's on my social channels today. This hour I want you to hear more from some of his star players or certainly what he

says about some of his star players at PSG, why he thinks the future of European football is in safe hands and he talks about the future of paddle.


ANDERSON (voice over): Well, it is not often you get to be on court with two football's greatest superstars, --and Alessandro Del Piero, but also

playing today, one of the most powerful men in football, Nasser Al- Khelaifi. The Chairman of Paris Saint-Germain, Al-Khelaifi is responsible for bringing some of the games superstar players to his French club.

Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar, a frightening front three might PSG now also have its eyes on another icon of the game. Should we expect to see

all four of those players including Ronaldo in the lineup for PSG next season?

NASSER AL-KHELAIFI, CHAIRMAN, PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN: Christiane, he's one of the legend and this player on the world honestly every single club who want

to sign him before still, I mean you know he's so professional so athletes, I admire him myself a lot to be honest you know and.

ANDERSON (on camera): What would you buy him?

AL-KHELAIFI: Now I think you know, it's really it's not about Christiane or other players but the position you know, we look at it in terms of visit

does the coach need this position or not? You know, it's not about today just you know, --sign him tomorrow.

ANDERSON (on camera): What's the vision for Messi?

AL-KHELAIFI: I mean, you know, Messi as you know, we have two years with an option, you know, option both sides, you know, legend I mean, I'm so proud

of him what he done with our club, what he gives to the club. And he's so happy at the club.


AL-KHELAIFI: You know, we definitely I mean, you know, after the World club, you know, we're going to start the discussion; we see what the best

for both. But you know, definitely, if that's the interest, visual interest and, you know, we want him to stay and he wants to stay, then he was there.

If one of us didn't want the, you know, he will move on. And next chapter for him evolves.

ANDERSON (on camera): So there's a decent offer from, for example, into Miami?

AL-KHELAIFI: I don't think so. I mean, I heard as you in the media, there was a rumor, but I think still, he didn't make his mind and he will never

do anything before he talked to us. So I can confirm myself that he didn't agree with anyone.

ANDERSON (voice over): Al-Khelaifi also sits on the board of UEFA, the body that organizes the Champions League and was and still is a major opponent

of the Super League, a breakaway competition backed by a number of European club owners, including his erstwhile close acquaintance, Andrea Agnelli,

the former Chairman of Italian Club, Juventus.

AL-KHELAIFI: This is not the legal contract, the social contract. The fans will never let it happen. You know, I mean, we will not going to let that

happen, as clubs to, you know, I mean, because that's not fair. You know, for small and medium clubs, you need to leave the hope open for everybody.

Fans, clubs, owners, you know, I mean, this is ridiculous, the idea of Super League.

ANDERSON (on camera): So Nasser, do you think there needs to be a re- organization?

AL-KHELAIFI: Listen, I mean, from 24, there's a new format of Champions League. There are some changes happening, you know, I'm not saying against

any changes, of course, I want to play more matches in European level. That's, I'm not hiding it, right. But I think they need to be very clear,

open league and that's what we're doing in 24. I think this format will be fantastic.

ANDERSON (on camera): And you were regularly in contact with?

AL-KHELAIFI: Almost every day, yes, absolutely. And then I was close to him too, then, you know, we have WhatsApp group, the ECA. And I see the 12

clubs, basically like, you know, Andrea nearly left the group - left. This is a no, no; I couldn't see maybe someone hacked my phone. And then I

capture it. I said, no, no, I want to check this impossible, then you know, it's having the --.

ANDERSON (voice over): If his sporting portfolio wasn't large enough, Al- Khelaifi is also betting on the growing popularity of paddle recently launching the global premier paddle tall.

ANDERSON (on camera): We're watching paddle here, which you are very good at. Just tell me about the evolution of paddle here and for you

specifically, because again, it's part of the family as it were of investment.

AL-KHELAIFI: I think it's going to be huge. And it's coming. I mean, now it's, as you know, it's in Europe. Now we're guys around girls in France,

it's everywhere. Everyone want to build, like, paddle courts and clubs. Spain is the second sports biggest sport in Spain. It's crazy before

tennis, you imagine with Nadal with all the players there?

I mean, it's crazy. And Portugal, Scandinavia, UK now the secret of paddle as you feel yourself, whoever, all young women, you know, everyone really

feel competitive in attendance, easy to play, and you have fun. You know, really, I mean, I love it.




ANDERSON: One game well, anything can happen in one game, but do it twice. Maybe your team is really, really good. That is what these Japanese fans

are saying after their team beat Spain to win their group that was two wins at the World Cup and they are through to the knockout stages.

Some of those fans joining me now Kana Yuki and - three of the die-hard Japanese fans who made the trek to Qatar to see that game, their team's

success. Welcome to the show. Have you been to every game every Japanese game?



ANDERSON: Were you surprised by the performance? Or were you confident that you would see this?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We were of course confident.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We got a surprise, yes, confident.

ANDERSON: What's the atmosphere been like?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: After the second match was to start with that, we supporters were also kind of--


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, depressed by the space, the matches the stadium was great atmosphere.

ANDERSON: And these stadiums have had a great atmosphere, whichever fans have been in it. But I was watching that game last night. And it sounded

fantastic. How did you feel at the end?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was amazing. First of all the Spain score the goal and we really worried about. But the one scored a goal and then Tanaka

scored the goal. And then we won. Yes, it was amazing.

ANDERSON: And you had to keep an eye on what was going on in the other pitch on the other game, which was going on at the same time. How far have

you come? Where did you come from?


ANDERSON: Yes. So you come from Japan. One or two people are not necessarily traveling as far away as from Japan. What a lot of people are

coming from the GCC is you've traveled in --Japan. You've traveled in from Japan as well.


ANDERSON: As you have, how long have you staying?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Approximately 10 days.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: From Germany's game to the yesterday's game.

ANDERSON: Do you think this team will go?


ANDERSON: OK, let me - give me a chance. I want you to give me the own upon chunk. Come on. You're Japanese fans here on CNN. Well, in the next couple

of hours, the group stages, thank you ladies. We'll wrap up and we'll see who are the lucky teams who secure their spot in the knockout phase.

So for tonight's parting shots a parting tribute to what has been a very special tournament so far beginning with the opening ceremony and

celebration of the first men's football World Cup held in the Middle East. And the culmination of 12 years of preparation and billions of dollars

spent on stadia and infrastructure.

Over the course of the games, the team and I got a chance to go to multiple matches and it was I must tell you, a seamless match day experience,

amazing stadiums; great atmospheres have been easily accessible on what is a brand new Metro, redefining what a host country and better set a host

city can look like.

But of course the race Qatar was not without controversy. Criticism over Labor and LGBTQ plus rights spilled over into the opening days of the

tournament when FIFA banned team captains from wearing one love armbands celebrating diversity of course.

Then there was the last minute U-turn on, on alcohol booze that matches making it harder for fans to get a drink before kickoff. But for many,

many, many people that I've spoken to going a week without alcohol wasn't the end of the world.

And in fact, no booze allowed for a more family friendly experience for new fans to the game and I think we should applaud the organizers for that. And

then there was the politics Iran became a hot topic ahead of the geopolitical juggernaut clash with the United States.

Protests in the stands and concourses were beamed around the world. On the pitch there were thrills, there were spills, there were shock upsets, who

will forget Japan defeating the mighty Germany.


ANDERSON: And then on top of that, Spain, and of course the tournament initially came alive in Saudi Arabia beaten Argentina side, led by Lionel

Messi. That victory at the beginning of the tournament reverberating across the Middle East, a triumph for the region, prompting Saudi fans to walk

around this town, asking any bystander where is messy.

While Saudi Arabia fail to progress, Morocco brought joy to so many Arabs by chopping their group and beating world number two, Belgium. And that

sense of Pan Regionalism, which was really what this tournament was all about. It was by the region for the region, and it could be the most

lasting legacy of the 2022 World Cup.

Well, we were always here to bring you a couple of special weeks in what have been these group stages. So that's a wrap from team "Connect the

World" here in Doha. See you back at base, looking forward to the CNN coverage, good night.