Sub-editor/Correspondent, Singapore
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Jun 29, 2014

World Cup win will unite Nigeria, say Mikel and Keshi

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Nigeria midfielder John Obi Mikel is hopeful that victory over France and a first World Cup quarter-final appearance can help unite the African nation currently gripped by violence and bloodshed.

Suspected Islamist militants killed at least 15 people on Sunday in an attack on two Nigerian villages as violence in the northeast of the country continued to surge since a mass abduction of more than 200 school girls in April.

Jun 29, 2014

Soccer-World Cup win will unite Nigeria, say Mikel and Keshi

BRASILIA, June 29 (Reuters) – Nigeria midfielder John Obi Mikel is hopeful that victory over France and a first World Cup quarter-final appearance can help unite the African nation currently gripped by violence and bloodshed.

Suspected Islamist militants killed at least 15 people on Sunday in an attack on two Nigerian villages as violence in the northeast of the country continued to surge since a mass abduction of more than 200 school girls in April.

Jun 27, 2014

Disgraced Suarez goes home, Brazil feel pressure

BRASILIA (Reuters) – The furor over Luis Suarez’s heavy ban for biting filled the void of the first game-free day at the World Cup in Brazil on Friday, with his Italian victim Giorgio Chiellini leading the criticism of the Uruguayan’s record punishment.

The Italy defender feared the World Cup-record four-month ban and nine-match international suspension handed out by FIFA would alienate the controversial striker, who landed in Montevideo to be met by the his country’s President Jose Mujica.

Jun 27, 2014

Soccer-Disgraced Suarez goes home, Brazil feel pressure

BRASILIA, June 27 (Reuters) – The furore over Luis Suarez’s heavy ban for biting filled the void of the first game-free day at the World Cup in Brazil on Friday, with his Italian victim Giorgio Chiellini leading the criticism of the Uruguayan’s record punishment.

The Italy defender feared the World Cup-record four-month ban and nine-match international suspension handed out by FIFA would alienate the controversial striker, who landed in Montevideo to be met by the his country’s President Jose Mujica.

Jun 27, 2014

Early World Cup exits a lesson for Asia, says AFC head

BRASILIA (Reuters) – The winless World Cup showing by Asia’s four teams is a wakeup call for the region, the head of AFC said on Friday, but the lackluster showing has not deterred calls for extra places at the finals from his members.

South Korea exited on Thursday after a 1-0 loss to Belgium condemned them to last place in Group H, the same position Japan, Iran and Australia managed in their four team pools as the region managed only a collective three points in Brazil.

Jun 27, 2014

Soccer-Early World Cup exits a lesson for Asia, says AFC head

BRASILIA, June 27 (Reuters) – The winless World Cup showing by Asia’s four teams is a wakeup call for the region, the head of AFC said on Friday, but the lacklustre showing has not deterred calls for extra places at the finals from his members.

South Korea exited on Thursday after a 1-0 loss to Belgium condemned them to last place in Group H, the same position Japan, Iran and Australia managed in their four team pools as the region managed only a collective three points in Brazil.

Jun 27, 2014

Too much emotion in Suarez verdict, say FIFPro

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Emotion played a part in FIFA’s decision to hand out a four-month ban to Uruguay striker Luis Suarez for biting Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup, with a period of reflection needed, World Players’ Union FIFPro said.

FIFA handed out the biggest penalty ever imposed at a World Cup, which included a nine match ban, to the 27-year-old on Thursday after he bit the Italian defender near the end of Uruguay’s 1-0 win over Italy in Group D on Tuesday.

Jun 27, 2014

Soccer-Too much emotion in Suarez verdict, say FIFPro

BRASILIA, June 27 (Reuters) – Emotion played a part in FIFA’s decision to hand out a four-month ban to Uruguay striker Luis Suarez for biting Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup, with a period of reflection needed, World Players’ Union FIFPro said.

FIFA handed out the biggest penalty ever imposed at a World Cup, which included a nine match ban, to the 27-year-old on Thursday after he bit the Italian defender near the end of Uruguay’s 1-0 win over Italy in Group D on Tuesday.

Jun 26, 2014

Soccer-Portugal beat Ghana in vain as both sides bow out

BRASILIA, June 26 (Reuters) – Cristiano Ronaldo scored his first goal of the tournament but missed a glut of other chances as Portugal’s 2-1 win over incident-hit Ghana on Thursday was not enough to make the second round as both sides exited the World Cup.

Portugal finished level on four points with the United States in Group G but the Americans advanced to the last 16 courtesy of a better goal difference despite their 1-0 loss to group winners Germany in Recife.

Jun 26, 2014

Portugal beat Ghana in vain as both sides bow out

BRASILIA (Reuters) – An own goal by John Boye and a late strike by Cristiano Ronaldo gave Portugal a 2-1 win over incident-hit Ghana on Thursday but it was not enough to make the second round as both sides exited the World Cup.

Portugal finished level on four points with the United States in Group G but the Americans advanced to the last 16 courtesy of a better goal difference despite their 1-0 loss to group winners Germany in Recife.