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Jun 14, 2014

Argentina coach tight-lipped on plans to defeat Bosnia

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella gave little away on Saturday about his plans to defeat World Cup debutantes Bosnia, claiming he did not know who would play or what system he would adopt in the team’s opening Group F match on Sunday.

“I will evaluate the players up until the last minute and decide who are in the best condition to face the 90 minutes,” Sabella told reporters at the Maracana in his pre-match briefing before the game.

Jun 14, 2014

Soccer-Argentina coach tight-lipped on plans to defeat Bosnia

RIO DE JANEIRO, June 14 (Reuters) – Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella gave little away on Saturday about his plans to defeat World Cup debutants Bosnia, claiming he did not know who would play or what system he would adopt in the team’s opening Group F match on Sunday.

“I will evaluate the players up until the last minute and decide who are in the best condition to face the 90 minutes,” Sabella told reporters at the Maracana in his pre-match briefing before the game.

Jun 14, 2014

‘Phenomenal’ Van Persie goal has FIFA drooling

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Robin van Persie’s spectacular headed goal for the Netherlands against world champions Spain was described as “absolutely phenomenal” by former France manager Gerard Houllier on Saturday.

Houllier, a member of FIFA’s Technical Study Group for the last 20 years, could hardly contain his delight in describing the goal when members of the group briefed reporters at the Maracana on Saturday.

Jun 14, 2014

Soccer-’Phenomenal’ Van Persie goal has FIFA drooling

RIO DE JANEIRO, June 14 (Reuters) – Robin van Persie’s spectacular headed goal for the Netherlands against world champions Spain was described as “absolutely phenomenal” by former France manager Gerard Houllier on Saturday.

Houllier, a member of FIFA’s Technical Study Group for the last 20 years, could hardly contain his delight in describing the goal when members of the group briefed reporters at the Maracana on Saturday.

Jun 14, 2014

‘World Cup is over for me’, says Beckenbauer

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Franz Beckenbauer will skip the World Cup in Brazil after the former West Germany captain and coach was banned by FIFA for 90 days for allegedly refusing to co-operate with an investigation into World Cup bidding. FIFA confirmed on Saturday that Beckenbauer is banned from attending any match at any level for the next 90 days, even in a private capacity. He will, however, be allowed to continue as a television pundit from a studio in Germany.

In an interview with Germany’s Bild newspaper published on Saturday, Beckenbauer said he had decided to cancel his plans to attend the semi-finals and final after being banned on Friday.

Jun 14, 2014

Soccer-’World Cup is over for me’, says Beckenbauer

RIO DE JANEIRO, June 14 (Reuters) – Franz Beckenbauer will skip the World Cup in Brazil after the former West Germany captain and coach was banned by FIFA for 90 days for allegedly refusing to co-operate with an investigation into World Cup bidding.

FIFA confirmed on Saturday that Beckenbauer is banned from attending any match at any level for the next 90 days, even in a private capacity. He will, however, be allowed to continue as a television pundit from a studio in Germany.

Jun 12, 2014

Neymar double gives Brazil dramatic opening win

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazil’s poster boy Neymar scored twice and the outstanding Oscar added a late third as the hosts came from behind for a dramatic 3-1 victory over Croatia in a thrilling World Cup opening match on Thursday.

But the 71st-minute penalty from Neymar that tipped the Group A game Brazil’s way seemed a soft one after Japanese referee Yuichi Nishimura harshly ruled that Croatia skipper Dejan Lovren had fouled Fred who appeared to throw himself to the ground.

Jun 12, 2014

Soccer-Neymar double gives Brazil dramatic opening win

SAO PAULO, June 12 (Reuters) – Brazil’s poster boy Neymar scored twice and the outstanding Oscar added a late third as the hosts came from behind for a dramatic 3-1 victory over Croatia in a thrilling World Cup opening match on Thursday.

But the 71st-minute penalty from Neymar that tipped the Group A game Brazil’s way seemed a soft one after Japanese referee Yuichi Nishimura harshly ruled that Croatia skipper Dejan Lovren had fouled Fred who appeared to throw himself to the ground.

Jun 12, 2014

FIFA chief Blatter ready to run again despite opposition

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – FIFA president Sepp Blatter on Wednesday all but confirmed he would run for re-election despite criticism the game and organization have been tarnished by accusations of corruption during his long reign.

World soccer’s governing body is reeling after allegations in Britain’s Sunday Times that a former top FIFA representative made payments to officials as part of a campaign to win support for Qatar’s successful bid to host the 2022 World Cup.

Jun 11, 2014

Blatter catches FIFA by surprise with TV review proposal

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – FIFA president Sepp Blatter caught world soccer’s ruling body by surprise on Wednesday when he proposed a new television review system that would go well beyond the goal-line technology already being used in some countries.

In his closing address to FIFA’s annual Congress in Sao Paulo on the eve of the World Cup, the 78-year-old Swiss suggested that a manager or coach could be allowed to challenge up to two refereeing decisions in a game.