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SAMBA BEATS

Cup in high spirits

Rio de Janeiro: It has been a common sight at World Cup games: huge lines of fans buying beer inside stadiums before returning home with stacks of empty souvenir cups in their hands.

A top Fifa official expressed concern at the amount of drinking during the month-long tournament, though it was football's world governing body that forced Brazil to change its laws to allow beer sales at stadiums.

Take that

Moscow: Russian fans angry at their country’s lame World Cup display hurled condoms at the federation’s Moscow headquarters on Monday and demanded coach Fabio Capello’s sacking, a news agency reported. Around a dozen fans descended on the federation, reports said protesting against sports minister Nikolai Tolstykh’s pro-Capello stance.

Royal fans

Rio de Janeiro: A football match could produce some split loyalties in the House of Orange. Dutch King Willem-Alexander and his wife, Argentina-born Maxima, could face some minor ‘matrimonial tensions’ during the World Cup semi-final when the Netherlands takes on Argentina in Sao Paulo on Wednesday.

Ticket tale

Rio de Janeiro/New Delhi: With the World Cup football tickets it had originally bought being caught in the hands of alleged scalpers, Reliance Industries Tuesday said it is investigating how the much-coveted and expensive tickets ended up in the Brazilian black market.

In defence

Napoli: Napoli have backed their Colombia defender Juan Zuniga over his challenge on Neymar that forced the Brazil forward out of the World Cup with a fractured bone in his back. “The club expresses its solidarity with Zuniga, who has come under ferocious criticism and received threats of all kinds due to a foul that was unfortunate due to its consequences, but not malicious,” the club said.

Street Cup

Sao Paulo: Young men and women from the fringes of society wearing mismatched shirts took centre stage on Monday on the busy streets of Sao Paulo. A ‘Street Soccer World Cup’ kicked off Monday in Brazil’s biggest city, with players from two dozen nations across the world all linked to movements seeking social change.