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Jermaine promise

SAMBA BEATS

Rio de Janeiro: Not celebrating a goal against your former team has become something of a fashion in European club football, but US midfielder Jermaine Jones says he will also follow that trend if he scores against his country of birth, Germany. The United States and Germany have been drawn together in Group G and will meet on June 26.

Born in Frankfurt to a German mother and American father, Jones was a Germany Under-21 international and played three times for the full national team in friendlies before switching his allegiance to the US . “If I score against Germany, I will not celebrate. I think it’s in respect,” he said on Thursday.

In demand

Manaus: Manchester United are pressing ahead with plans to sign Bastian Schweinsteiger after identifying the Bayern Munich and Germany player as a leading midfield target this summer. Louis van Gaal is also keen to bring Kevin Strootman to Old Trafford, but with the Holland midfielder not expected to return to action until the autumn after a serious knee injury, any prospective transfer would be unlikely to be formally completed until next year should Roma, his club, want to sell.

Five injured

Sao Paulo: At least five people were injured on Thursday in street fights between anti-World Cup protesters and police in Sao Paulo, only hours before Brazil kicked off against Croatia in the opening match of the tournament. A heavy police presence, that included mounted officers, fired tear gas and sound bombs at protesters and press covering what began as a small sit-down protest of about 30 people.

A film crew from CNN was hit and a female producer from Canada suffered serious lacerations to an arm and had to be hospitalised.

Fan frenzy

Paris: Brazil’s controversial 3-1 win over Croatia in the opening game of the World Cup generated massive Twitter traffic with more than 12.2 million tweets, the social network site said. According to Twitter — who have 255 million users around the world — tweeters from more than 150 countries participated in the exchanges.

Red alert

Recife: Fans visiting Recife for the World Cup may be unaware that the city is not just famous for football — it is also one of the most dangerous places in the world to swim due to the risk of shark attacks. Supporters strolling on the sandy beaches of the city, which will host five World Cup matches, are being met by a forest of warning signs in English and Portuguese, and newly-built watchtowers where lifeguards keep a close eye on bathers.

The Boa Viagem beach suffers a high number of shark attacks and an above-average number of fatalities, and local authorities are keen to avoid any incidents with unsuspecting fans during the World Cup.