About 700 people pushed and shoved and organisers threatened to shut down a ticket centre as fans scrambled for a last chance to watch the tournament's biggest games - only to discover that Fifa's systems had crashed. Two hours into yesterday's final release, no one had been able to buy any of the 160,000 tickets still available. Fifa said Match, the ticket service provider, was experiencing "significant delays" due to technical problems.
Philipp Lahm, the Bayern Munich defender, will captain Germany in place of the injured Michael Ballack, Joachim Loew, the coach confirmed yesterday. "Lahm has played in his position with great class and will take over the role of captain," Loew told reporters at their Italian training camp. Ballack is out of the tournament with an ankle injury. Germany have been drawn with Australia, Ghana and Serbia in Group D.
Simon Kjaer made the cut for Denmark's squad yesterday - a day after being carried away on a stretcher during a friendly. Morten Olsen finalised his squad by dropping Kim Christensen, midfielders Michael Silberbauer, Michael Krohn-Dehli and striker Morten Rasmussen. "We have picked the squad that we believe is the best and some had unfortunately to stay home," said Olsen who had feared Kjaer might miss out with a knee injury.
David Villa is confident the European champions are ready to win the World Cup for the first time. Ahead of their friendly with Saudi Arabia in Austria today, the striker bound for Barcelona said: "We know we have the potential to win it, but we won't put ourselves under pressure because we know that being favourite or not means nothing." The 28-year-old led Spain to victory at Euro 2008 with f our goals.
John Obi Mikel joined the Nigeria squad yesterday for the first time since knee surgery last month and will be fit for the tournament, officials said. The midfielder has been out of action since a minor operation last month and missed Chelsea's run-in to the English Premier League title as well as the London club's victory in this month's FA Cup final. "He has completed his rehabilitation at Chelsea," a Nigerian Football Federation spokesman said.