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World Cup diary - Stampede sounds fan warning

Published: 08 Jun 2010 - 05:51:07

A stampede involving thousands of people at a pre-tournament friendly involving Nigeria and North Korea on Sunday sounded a shrill warning for those travelling to matches at this summer's FIFA World Cup.

Although the Makhoulong stadium in the township of Tembisa holds 15,000 spectators, only 8,000 free tickets were made available for the match, which was not organised by FIFA. Fourteen people were taken to hospital after being crushed.

CURSED

The continent of Africa is renowned as the home of Voodoo, and the spirits of this ancient religion seem to have already been put to use on the players of this World Cup.

The loss of Rio Ferdinand to knee ligaments damaged during training, even prompted Fabio Capello to claim that the England squad is "cursed" by bad luck.

THE ARM OF DROG

Hopes remain high that striker Didier Drogba will feature at the finals, after breaking his arm in a seemingly innocuous challenge with Japan's Marcus Tulio Tanaka during Friday's 2-0 friendly win: "His recovery has been very encouraging," said Ivory Coast Federation spokesman Roger Kouassi.

ROBBED OF ROBBEN

Discounting bad luck and witchcraft, Dutch forward Arjen Robben committed football suicide on Saturday. The 26-year-old Bayern Munich winger had scored twice before tearing his left hamstring whilst attempting an ostentatious back-heel during the Netherlands' 6-1 friendly win over Hungary.

He is now a severe doubt for the tournament.

ELSEWHERE AT FOOTBALL.CO.UK

- Will Tidey on why Emile Heskey should start against the USA
- World Cup 2010 fixtures
- World Cup Fantasy Football

READ TOM LITTLEFIELD'S WORLD CUP DIARY EVERY WEEKDAY MORNING THROUGHOUT THE TOURNAMENT

DSG


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FOOTBALL.CO.UK BLOGGER:Tom Littlefield
Seen as the heir apparent to Jan Molby until an underactive thyroid gland curtailed this youngster’s development, Tom Littlefield will now concentrate on making a “big pitch” (pun) during South Africa 2010. As Barnet’s staunchest Gooner, he is well placed to judge good football. So, while the England team provides your compulsory tournament displeasure, Tom will look to rouse your enthusiasm for the beautiful game (and WAGS) in the oasis of oratory that is his World Cup Diary.

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