Croatians impose press boycott over nude photos
By Zoran Milosavljevic
Croatia’s players are refusing to talk to World Cup reporters after photos were published of them bathing nude in the team’s swimming pool, coach Niko Kovac said.
Two photographers hid in the nearby bushes and took the pictures which were published by online media.
“I can’t force them to be at your disposal after what you have done to them and their families,” an angry Kovac told reporters in the team’s Praia do Forte training base.
“How would you feel if someone took naked pictures of you? They are adamant that they won’t speak to you lot anymore and I don’t know whether the silence will end tomorrow or last until the end of our World Cup campaign.
“I respect my players’ opinion and I also know that you have done a very professional job so far but you blew it with this one. The whole world has seen the photos.”
Croatia play Cameroon in the hot and humid Amazon city of Manaus on Wednesday in what is a must-win game for both sides after the Croatians lost their opening Group A match to hosts Brazil 3-1 while the West Africans were beaten 1-0 by Mexico.
Colombia complain to FIFA about security harassment
By Esteban Israel
Colombia complained to FIFA that a Brazilian security detail was harassing their delegation and delaying the team’s movements to the point of making them arrive late for their first World Cup match against Greece on Saturday.
In a letter sent to FIFA after the game, Colombia’s Football Federation said the hostility of the Brazilian federal police team assigned to them was causing discomfort among players and technical staff.
“They have torpedoed Colombia’s movements, taking the team at a very slow speed,” team spokesman Mauricio Correa told Reuters.
“Because of this situation yesterday we were late for the match … It was intentional.”
Despite the problems, Colombia had no trouble overpowering Greece 3-0 at the Mineirao stadium of Belo Horizonte.
Back in Sao Paulo, where the team are based for the tournament, new rifts erupted with the security detail.
“There were not so kind words on their part and some members of our delegation were pushed over,” Correa said, stressing no players were involved in the incident.
He said that after the formal complaint FIFA replaced the security team and things were now back to normal.
FIFA not deliberately keeping Blatter out of sight – TV boss
By Mike Collett
FIFA’s TV producers are not deliberately keeping images of FIFA president Sepp Blatter and Brazil president Dilma Rousseff off screens, Niclas Ericson, the head of FIFA TV, said.
The crowd at the Corinthians arena booed and jeered Rousseff when a shot of her cheering one of Brazil’s goals in their 3-1 win over Croatia was briefly shown on the big screen inside the stadium.
The image of Blatter has often been booed at past World Cups when he was shown on the screen in the stadium, and this World Cup was noticeable for the fact there was no opening speech by either the country’s president or Blatter before the start of tournament.
Asked whether it was a deliberate policy not to show their images, Ericson defended the “editorial decisions” taken by the production team responsible for the images both globally and in the stadium itself.
“The production team are focusing on what is happening on the pitch therefore the focus is on the football,” he told reporters.
“Sometimes it is nice to have the VIP tribune and you saw at the first match – and it goes very fast.
“We have one feed that goes to the giant screen and one that goes to the world feed and so editorial decisions are made on the spot by the editorial team.
“Sometimes it will be more, sometimes it will be less.”
Winning bet provides consolation for Spanish fan
By Patrick Johnston
At least one Spain fan gained some satisfaction from the holders’ 5-1 thrashing by Netherlands on Friday after he was the only player in a sweepstake to predict the result and won 100,000 euros in fuel.
Jacobo Rios-Capape, 56, an architect from Valencia, was one of 70,000 to take part in the World Cup sweepstake organised by Spanish oil company Cepsa, one of the Spain team’s sponsors, at their gas stations, Marca sports daily reported.
“While obviously wanting Spain to win, I thought that if Netherlands beat us they would do it handsomely,” Rios-Capape told the newspaper.
“So I thought of 5-1 even if I was not that sure,” he added. “Actually, after I did it I thought it was crazy and it would never happen.”
Spain play their next Group B match against Chile on Wednesday and Rios-Capape said he was planning to take another punt on the result.
“It will be my revenge for the defeat to Netherlands,” he told Marca. “Tomorrow I am going to fill up my car and I am going to bet that Spain beat Chile 5-1.”
Irish bookmaker Paddy Power offered odds of 500-1 on Netherlands beating Spain 5-1 and said on their Twitter feed 10 punters had placed the bet.