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SAMBA BEATS

A priest to stop Germany

Rio de Janeiro: Germany will have to contend with black magic as well the Brazilian players in Tuesday’s World Cup semi-final as a voodoo priest plans to curse Joachim Loew’s team.

“I’ll take their top player and bind his legs so he can’t run on the pitch,” said Sillman, referring to the voodoo doll of an undisclosed German player that will be cursed in a ceremony before the game. In his shop ‘World of Orixas’ in the northern neighbourhood of Madureira, Sillman carries out a ritual before every Brazil game.

Clean chit

Rio de Janeiro: Every player tested for drugs at the World Cup in Brazil has been cleared of doping after more than 1,000 tests came back negative, Fifa’s medical committee announced on Monday.

Jiri Dvorak, Fifa’s chief medical officer, told a news conference at the Maracana on Monday that every player on each of the 32 competing teams — 736 players in total — had provided blood and urine samples.

No bar

Rio de Janeiro: Fifa has rejected a German newspaper allegation that World Cup referees have been instructed to hold off from showing yellow cards to players.

German tabloid Bild reported on Monday that there was a “secret arrangement” to limit the number of cards and referees who did not adhere to the accord would not be selected for further games at the tournament.

Have a ball

New Delhi: The specially-designed, widely travelled Brazuca ball that has had the good fortune of visiting Pope Francis in the Vatican City and which will be used in the final of the Fifa World Cup, has been launched. The ball will be used for the summit showdown on July 13 when the top two sides battle it out for a place in history.

Marco back

Rio de Janeiro: Marco Rodriguez of Mexico, the referee who failed to see Luis Suarez bite an opponent has been picked to officiate Brazil’s World Cup semi-final against Germany. Rodriguez has handled two World Cup matches, including Uruguay’s 1-0 win against Italy on June 24.

Not ousted

Rio de Janeiro: Fifa has denied that The Netherlands were thrown out of their team hotel to make way for dignitaries and sponsors.

“The situation is not that,” Fifa spokeswoman Delia Fischer said. “It was a decision in which they defined the date when they will end their team base camp.”

The Dutch travelled to Sao Paulo on Monday, a day earlier than expected, for Wednesday's semi-final against Argentina. They will stay in a Fifa-designated hotel if they qualify for the final in Rio.

Agencies