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Vatican casts doubt on papal World Cup party

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican says it is unlikely that Pope Francis and his predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, would get together to watch their home teams in the World Cup final on Sunday.

Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said Thursday that the hour of the final is late for Francis' routine, and acknowledged with a chuckle that Benedict wasn't known as an avid sports fan. Still, he didn't rule anything out, saying, "we'll see in the coming days."

Pope Francis has already given his word that there would be no papal intervention in Argentina's fortunes, promising he wouldn't pray for any team. German-born Benedict's interests are known to lean more toward intellectual than athletic pursuits.

Lombardi said "both would want the better team to win, without taking sides."

AP

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The "international" Rio And one of our dangerous neighbors: They are all welcome!

- Did you say fruit, candy or girl?

Subway in Rio with decoration for the World Cup

Liar, Pope Francis was very addicted to football in the past.

He indeed was an official supporter of a football club.

I think Pope Francis have all the right to root for his home country: Vatican.

:rolleyes:

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Liar, Pope Francis was very addicted to football in the past.

He indeed was an official supporter of a football club.

I think Pope Francis have all the right to root for his home country: Vatican.

:rolleyes:

The article says Benedict (the german) isn't an avid sports fan.

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^^ Actually that has nothing to do with football or the world cup. The whole ordeal has been building up since many months ago after the leaks discovered that USA was spying on Germany. It would had happened one way or another (even though i'm pretty sure Germany and many other countries also spies in others so this is like the pinnacle of hypocrisy if you ask me)

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One off-topic comment from a German :-)

Of course everyone spies on everyone else, even among allied nations. However, in these times, shouldn't they focus on spying all those islamistic terror groups, or what some people in the Kremlin or Pyongyang are planning? Buying not-even classified information from a German really shouldn't be anywhere on the agenda of the CIA or whatever agency in the US.

Not to mention checking out Merkel's mobile...

Hypocritical reaction maybe, but even more so it's sad to see that those US services don't seem to know any measure (or have a plan of what's important and what's not).

End of off-topic comment from me, I have nothing more to say about this.

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Uppity Germany throw US diplomat out of coutry. Sheesh, winning a few soccer games sure is going to their heads:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/germany-expels-us-intelligence-station-chief-over-spying-allegations/2014/07/10/dc60b1f0-083c-11e4-8a6a-19355c7e870a_story.html

Such a serious, unfriendly move for such a small story.

Especially as Europeans also spy, and no similar action was taken by the US against its allies.

The US are the country that works the best and the most actively in the war against terrorism in Europe, and contribute to make Europe safe. I hope that security in Europe isn't going to be endangered by this move.

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Such a serious, unfriendly move for such a small story.

Especially as Europeans also spy, and no similar action was taken by the US against its allies.

The US are the country that works the best and the most actively in the war against terrorism in Europe, and contribute to make Europe safe. I hope that security in Europe isn't going to be endangered by this move.

The quarterfinal loss still hurts?

Such a unfriendly move? Come on, is it friendly to spy the head of state and almost all the ministers?

But surely Merkels mobile is responsible for the terrorism in Europe.......

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Such a serious, unfriendly move for such a small story.

Especially as Europeans also spy, and no similar action was taken by the US against its allies.

The US are the country that works the best and the most actively in the war against terrorism in Europe, and contribute to make Europe safe. I hope that security in Europe isn't going to be endangered by this move.

Didn't know hannity used gamesbids.

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Argentine President Kirchner to miss FIFA World Cup final

Buenos Aires: Thousands of Argentine fans are expected to attend Sunday's World Cup final but President Cristina Kirchner will not be among them as she is sick with throat trouble.

Kirchner disclosed the news Thursday in a letter to Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.

The letter said Kirchner will meet Saturday with visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin and attend a summit of emerging powers next week in Brasilia.

But she will miss the final Sunday in Rio of the world's premiere sporting tournament, to which she had been invited by Rousseff.

Kirchner said in the letter that for a week she had been fighting pharyngolaryngitis -- inflammation of the pharynx and larynx.

Kirchner also said that on Monday she has to travel to southern Argentina to be with her grandson Nestor Ivan on his first birthday.

"As a grandmother, you can imagine how eager I am to share this event with my family," Kirchner said to Rousseff in the letter.

Kirchner has not appeared in public all week.

The leaders of both finalists, Argentina and Germany, and hosts Brazil are female.

Germany's Angela Merkel has said she will attend the match.

AFP

http://www.firstpost.com/sports/argentine-president-kirchner-miss-fifa-world-cup-final-1614729.html

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adidas Golden Ball candidates announced

(FIFA.com) 11 Jul 2014
2353050_full-lnd.jpg

As a memorable 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ draws to a close, FIFA has officially announced the names of the ten players in the running for the adidas Golden Ball, which is awarded to the competition’s most outstanding performer.

The shortlist was drawn up by the members of FIFA’s Technical Study Group, who have been casting their expert eyes over each and every one of the matches held at Brazil 2014 to date. Appearing in alphabetical order, the ten contenders for the prestigious accolade are as follows:

- Angel Di Maria (Argentina)

In providing Lionel Messi with the best possible support, Di Maria has led the Albiceleste attack with distinction, posing a constant menace to opposing defences with his long-range shooting, mazy dribbling and finishing skills, which he showcased with a well-taken winner against Switzerland in the Round of 16.

- Mats Hummels (Germany)

The Borussia Dortmund centre-half has attracted much praise for his solid displays at the heart of the German defence. As if that were not enough, Hummels has also impressed at the other end of the pitch, rising high to score against Portugal in the group phase and head home the winner against France in the quarter-finals.

- Toni Kroos (Germany)

Kroos ran the show as Die Mannschaft swept aside hosts Brazil 7-1 in the semi-finals, dominating the midfield and posing a constant threat with his passing and shooting, which brought him two goals – all in a day’s work for this most consistent of performers.

- Philipp Lahm (Germany)

The Germany captain began the tournament in midfield before seamlessly making the switch to the right-back slot, without it undermining his performance levels or his considerable influence on Joachim Low’s side.

- Javier Mascherano (Argentina)

Though their much-vaunted attack attracts most of the headlines, Argentina have also been solid in defence, a large part of the credit for which must go to Mascherano for his tireless work in providing the Albiceleste rearguard with essential protection.

- Lionel Messi (Argentina)

Messi had never scored at the world finals prior to Brazil 2014, a record he emphatically set straight with some lethal finishing in each of Argentina’s three group matches. Though yet to find the back of the net in the knockout rounds, he has remained an influential figure for his side.

- Thomas Muller (Germany)

In opening his campaign with a hat-trick against Portugal, Muller picked up where he left off at South Africa 2010, where he collected the adidas Golden Boot. His performances since have underlined his status as the spearhead of Germany’s deadly front line.

- Neymar (Brazil)

Though only 22, the livewire forward ably shouldered the huge responsibility of leading A Seleção. Neymar was his side’s stand-out performer with four goals before an unfortunate injury ended his tournament in the quarter-finals.

- Arjen Robben (Netherlands)

The flying Dutch wide man has been in peerless form since putting defending champions Spain to the sword in his side’s opening match. His incisive runs from deep have been a feature of the tournament.

- James Rodriguez (Colombia)

Recognised as a huge talent heading into the competition, the gifted Rodriguez has since proved his ability to rise to the big occasion. His haul of six goals in five outings was a major reason why Los Cafeteros broke new ground in reaching the last eight for the first time.

The winners of the adidas Golden Ball, Silver Ball and Bronze Ball will all be announced after Sunday’s Final.

The FIFA Technical Study Group

Headed by Jean-Paul Brigger, the FIFA Technical Study Group assesses the football played in each of the 64 matches at the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™. Its members are Gerard Houllier (France), Raul Arias (Mexico), Gabriel Calderon (Argentina), Ricki Herbert (New Zealand), Abdel M. Hussein (Sudan), Ka Ming Kwok (Hong Kong), Ioan Lupescu (Romania), Gines Melendez Sotos (Spain), Tsuneyasu Miyamoto (Japan), Sunday Oliseh (Nigeria), Mixu Paatelainen (Finland), Jaime Rodriguez (El Salvador) and Theodore Whitmore (Jamaica).

Previous adidas Golden Ball winners:

1982 FIFA World Cup Spain: Paolo Rossi (Italy)

1986 FIFA World Cup Mexico: Diego Maradona (Argentina)

1990 FIFA World Cup Italy: Salvatore Schillaci (Italy)

1994 FIFA World Cup USA: Romario (Brazil)

1998 FIFA World Cup France: Ronaldo (Brazil)

2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan: Oliver Kahn (Germany)

2006 FIFA World Cup Germany: Zinedine Zidane (France)

2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa: Diego Forlan (Uruguay)

FIFA

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Finalists in contention for Golden Glove

Keylor Navas (CRC)

The Levante stopper was arguably Costa Rica’s best player at Brazil 2014, including a match-winning display in the Round of 16 tie against Greece. Making 21 saves in Los Ticos’ five games, he was awarded the Budweiser Man of the Match Award on three occasions. At 26-years-old the best years of his career are firmly ahead of him.

Manuel Neuer (GER)

The Germany keeper has played in all of the Nationalelf’s six games so far, making 25 saves and completing 202 passes. He’s kept three clean sheets and been a commanding presence for Joachim Low’s side so far. After winning a host of domestic honours, the UEFA Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup, the FIFA World Cup and the Golden Glove is now in his sights.

Sergio Romero (ARG)

Penalty shoot-out saves from Ron Vlaar and Wesley Sneidjer sent La Albiceleste into the final, capping a fine tournament for the 27-year-old so far. The Monaco keeper has kept four clean sheets, making 15 saves in Brazil 2014 so far. Brought into international football by Diego Maradona, he has been Argentina’s first choice keeper for five years.

FIFA

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Ghanaians ask for Brazil asylum, Accra says baseless

Accra (AFP) - Some 200 Ghanaians in Brazil for the World Cup have applied to stay permanently citing religious violence back home, police confirmed Friday, as Accra dismissed the bid as baseless.

"Between July 3 and 10, 193 Ghanaians who entered Brazil, for the most part with a tourist visa, have asked for asylum in the police station at Caxias do Sul," a city in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, a federal police spokesman told AFP.

Accra, however, said the bid was not grounded in fact.

"The basis for the alleged request for the asylum is completely untrue," Deputy Information Minister Felix Kwakye Ofosu told Ghana's independent Citi FM radio station.

"You and I know that there is no known religious conflict raging in this country at the moment."

The make-up of the group -- including the religion and home regions of the individuals in question -- was not immediately clear.

However, they reportedly told Brazilian authorities that inter-religious violence between rival Muslim groups has made it unsafe for them to return home.

The group has reportedly found shelter in a Catholic church in Caxias do Sul, located in a comparatively wealthy region.

More than 3,000 Senegalese and Haitians live in the area and have also requested asylum, the police spokesman said.

Ghana has been one of the most stable countries in West Africa for more than two decades and is not known to have any significant religious violence.

Ofusu said Ghanaian diplomats in Brazil have been instructed to work with local authorities to investigate the situation but warned it would be "surprising and unfortunate" should anyone conclude that the asylum claim has merit.

Some, and possibly all, members of the group traveled to Brazil as part of the government delegation to the World Cup, officials said.

...

AFP

http://news.yahoo.com/ghanaians-ask-brazil-asylum-accra-says-baseless-193331590--sow.html

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You didn't watch Neuer vs Algeria then? Agreed it's a shame Howard was overlooked, but I wouldn't want to take anything away from the nominees, especially not Neuer who has been stunningly good when called on.

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You didn't watch Neuer vs Algeria then? Agreed it's a shame Howard was overlooked, but I wouldn't want to take anything away from the nominees, especially not Neuer who has been stunningly good when called on.

Like in the last minute against France with the Benzema shot.

I think it's rather tough for a goalie not to have anything to do during the match. There's a danger concentration slips and one split second can be enough to make the decisive error.

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Ukraine leader to attend World Cup final, as will Putin

BRASiLIA: Ukraine's leader has accepted an invitation to attend Sunday's World Cup final, with Russian President Vladimir Putin also among the spectators, amid a crisis between their countries, Brazilian officials said.

"The president of Ukraine (Petro Poroshenko) confirmed Friday that he will go to the final," a Brazilian presidency spokesman told AFP on Saturday.

A foreign ministry spokesman said the Ukrainian and Russian leaders would attend a lunch offered by President Dilma Rousseff before the Germany-Argentina final at Rio de Janeiro's Maracana Stadium.

Putin, whose country will host the 2018 World Cup, had confirmed his attendance weeks ago. He will also attend a summit of the BRICS group of emerging powers on Tuesday.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is also attending the game, will meet with Putin in Rio.

In late June, the Russian and Ukrainian leaders held telephone talks with Merkel and French President Francois Hollande in a bid to secure a truce between Kiev and pro-Russia separatists in the east of Ukraine.

...

AFP

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports/football/fifa-world-cup-2014/top-stories/Fifa-World-Cup-2014-Germany-vs-Argentina-Ukraine-leader-to-attend-World-Cup-final-as-will-Putin/articleshow/38272437.cms

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I've got a disabled relative who can stand for a short while but not walk easily. I don't think you can tell anything from that photo.

Edited by Rob.
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I've got a disabled relative who can stand for a short while but not walk easily. I don't think you can tell anything from that photo.

Well, the article that contained the photo pointed out that there was apparently also fraud with the disabled tickets, and they used this photo for illustration.

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