World Cup Chat: Robbie Williams steals the show as FIFA tournament kicks off in Russia

With the 2018 Football World Cup now well and truly underway, 1 NEWS' experts will bring you coverage of each day's biggest events.

As hosts Russia opened the tournament with a 5-0 thrashing of Saudi Arabia this morning, the performance of opening act Robbie Williams has dominated the headlines, with the former Take That star dishing out a rude hand gesture to the global audience.

We'll be back every matchday with a wrap of the morning's action, as well as a look ahead to what's to come from Russia 2018.

Results today:

Russia 5-0 Saudi Arabia

Tomorrow's matches:

12AM: Egypt vs Uruguay
3AM: Morocco vs Iran
6AM: Portugal vs Spain
10PM: France vs Australia

1 NEWS' football buffs break down the opening day of action at this year's World Cup. Source: 1 NEWS


Critics worried Football Ferns coach Andreas Heraf's plan could lead to lacklustre play across NZ

It's been four days since Football Ferns coach Andreas Heraf instilled a head-scratching gameplan and voiced his negative mindset over the national side.

And while the boss of New Zealand Football Andy Martin has finally fronted on the matter, critics are worried there isn’t enough attention going into other pressing issues.

Martin has otherwise been preoccupied at the FIFA Congress meetings in Moscow, but Heraf's comments have definitely caught his attention.

"That was wrong," Martin said. 

"I just want to reassure everybody we want to get to the World Cup, we want to win games at World Cups."

But while Martin is in Moscow negotiating with the big footballing nations some back here believe there's been a lack of urgency addressing the real issues.

"We're on too many first class aeroplane flights," former All White Declan Edge said.

"We're off to Zurich too many times and not enough of money is on the grass developing our style and who we are."

Heraf is also the technical director for New Zealand but there are fears just how far his defensive approach will seep into the rest of the game here.

"I can’t tell you who we are, I can't tell you what we do, I can’t tell you what we're trying to do," Edge said.

"That’s a problem."

But Martin argues Heraf’s influence will lead to a positive change.

"He was brought in as the technical director with a clear purpose," Martin said.

Declan Edge says Heraf, who’s also the technical director for NZ Football, isn’t helping us find our football identity. Source: 1 NEWS

"We've got this jigsaw around the talent space that has not been cracked for a long time. Andreas was the best candidate in that area. He'll be judged on that technical plan."