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Page last updated at 21:25 GMT, Thursday, 10 June 2010 22:25 UK

Thursday's World Cup 2010 news round-up

Former skipper Socrates fears Brazil could be knocked out in the group phase at the World Cup and labelled their style of play under coach Dunga as an "affront" to Brazilian soccer culture.
Full story: bbc.co.uk/portuguese (in Portuguese)

However, another Brazilian legend Pele has singled out the national side and Spain as the strongest teams at the World Cup.

British troops in Afghanistan have sent a message of support to England's footballers ahead of their World Cup campaign in South Africa.

Portugal winger Cristiano Ronaldo and coach Carlos Queiroz visited former South African president Nelson Mandela and offered him a team shirt with his name on the back with the number 91 - the age of Mandela.

Ronaldo and Nelson Mandela
Ronaldo presented the shirt to Mandela

Nobel Prize laureate Desmond Tutu believes the football World Cup "will hold more significance" than the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

Music impresario Simon Cowell has persuaded rapper Dizzee Rascal and actor James Corden to record Shout for England - a hip-hop reworking of Tears for Fears' 1984 hit Shout.
Full story: bbc.co.uk/news

A London doctor says the vuvuzela, already criticized by some for being too noisy, may also be spreading colds and flu germs. With the flu season in South Africa in full swing, Dr Ruth McNerney of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine says a person blowing a vuvuzela has the potential to infect those seated near them.

Paraguay president Fernando Lugo has said that public employees will be given the day off to watch Paraguay's opening game against Italy, according to the Paraguayan TV.

Algeria coach Rabah Saadane has dropped captain Yazid Mansouri for the team's World Cup opener against Slovenia on Sunday due to his recent poor form. Algerian media have reported that he threatened to quit the team after hearing the news.

Police say three unnamed members of the Greek squad have had money stolen from their hotel rooms.

Lionel Messi's hopes of being crowned the best player at the World Cup could be dashed by the exhaustion of a taxing European season, according to Argentina fitness coach Fernando Signorini: "He has arrived at the World Cup tired, the damage is already done and it's irreversible."

World Cup winner Sir Geoff Hurst said it is "inconceivable" that England could win without Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney.

Hurst, England's hat-trick hero when they beat Germany to win the World Cup in 1966, said Fabio Capello's side had a genuine chance of lifting the trophy for the first time in 44 years if they manage to field their top players throughout.

"We won the World Cup in '66 without Wayne's equivalent, in fact better than Wayne, Jimmy Greaves. Jimmy Greaves played 57 games for England and scored 44 goals," said Hurst

"Having said that, I think it would be quite inconceivable that we could win the World Cup without Wayne Rooney playing up front."

Uruguay striker Diego Forlan says a plane failure delayed his side's flight to Cape Town ahead of their opening World Cup match against France on Friday.

Forlan said on his Twitter account: "It's incredible, a day before the start of the Cup. Is there no other plane available?"

Uruguay eventually landed in time to make a scheduled training session at Cape Town Stadium at 1700 BST on Thursday with Forlan writing: "We've arrived in Cape Town!"

Germans should be allowed to watch the World Cup on television at work without getting into trouble with their superiors according to Dieter Hundt, the head of the German national employers' association.

"I am confident that employers, while considering the needs of their businesses, will react flexibly and, together with their workforces, develop their own policies," said Hundt.

Netherlands defender Gregory van der Wiel revealed his squad has been banned from using Twitter during the World Cup after a team-mate used term insulting to Moroccans on a live streaming video.

Eljero Elia appeared to make the remark Tuesday in response to a jesting insult made by a Moroccan friend on a chat forum connected with the video.

Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reported that Elia apologised and won't be punished after saying he used the term without any racist intent.

But Van der Wiel wrote on his Twitter page: "We are not allowed to tweet anymore. So I end it now, speak to you after the world cup, sorry."

The England and Spain squads are also banned from using Twitter.

Denmark coach Morten Olsen was unable to conduct his press conference on Thursday as he battles a virus.

The 60-year-old is back on his feet after missing training for the past two days because of illness but did not want to rick infecting journalists at a news conference at the Loerie Park Stadium in Krysna.

Former England captain David Beckham will attend the 60th congress of football's governing body Fifa on Thursday to lend his support to England's bid to stage the 2018 World Cup.

Simon Cowell
Cowell is the man behind the Rascal/Corden record

Beckham was not available for World Cup selection after rupturing his Achilles tendon while playing for AC Milan in March but he has travelled with the England squad to South Africa in an ambassadorial role.

The congress, which is held annually, brings together delegates from the 208 Fifa member associations - with this year's event taking place at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

Other bid teams will have their star names at the event, with the Netherlands-Belgium bid enjoying the backing of legendary Dutch internationals Johan Cruyff and Ruud Gullit, while Russia have Arsenal star Andrey Arshavin representing them.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says if he was manager of Germany he would be concerned about the prospect of facing Australia in their opening game of the World Cup.

"If I was the national team coach of Germany and I had to play Australia, I wouldn't sleep well," said Wenger.

"Let's say for me it will be 60% for Germany and 40% for Australia.

"Sometimes Germany are slow starters in the big competitions, maybe Australia can take advantage of that because it will make it a very interesting group."

Nine teams competing in the World Cup will be wearing environmentally friendly jerseys made from recycled plastic bottles.

Brazil, the Netherlands and Portugal are among the teams who will be sporting the shirts made in Taiwan.

Each jersey is made from eight plastic bottles that are melted and processed into polyester which is 13% lighter and can absorb and disperse sweat more quickly than traditional fabric.

A football fan has decided to recreate that pitch-side feeling in time for the World Cup - by laying turf in his living room.

Dan Taylor, from Sutton Coldfield, said he felt flags and bunting were not enough so he bought about 100sq ft (9.2 sq m) of luscious grass.

Updated throughout the day.



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see also
Wednesday's World Cup 2010 round-up
09 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Tuesday's World Cup 2010 round-up
08 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Monday's World Cup 2010 round-up
07 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Sunday's World Cup 2010 round-up
06 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Saturday's World Cup 2010 round-up
05 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Friday's World Cup 2010 round-up
04 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010


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