Diary: Clinton stays put to root for USA
Bill Clinton, the former president, liked what he saw from the United States team so much, he is staying for the next World Cup game. Clinton said he changed his itinerary in South Africa so he can attend tomorrow's last-16 game against Ghana in Rustenburg. Clinton, the honorary chairman of the US bid to host the World Cup in either 2018 or 2022, watched the Americans qualify for the next round with Wednesday's last-minute 1-0 win over Algeria. He sat with Sepp Blatter, the Fifa president, and Sunil Gulati, the US Soccer president, before visiting the locker room. Clinton said he cheered and celebrated so vigorously when Landon Donovan scored that he had to drink hot tea with lemon for an hour just to get his voice back.
Uruguay and South Korea will not train at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium ahead of tomorrow's second-round match due to continuing concerns over the condition of the pitch. Heavy rain about 10 days ago forced Fifa to begin restricting team training at the stadium. Five matches have been played there in the group stages.
More than 20,000 English fans have come and gone from Port Elizabeth, one of the World Cup's smallest host cities, causing few problems and leaving behind a big financial gain for the Indian Ocean port community. Local organisers estimate that 15,000 of 36,000 fans at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Wednesday for England's 1-0 victory over Slovenia supported the winning team. Colonel Vishnu Naidoo, the police commander, said the England fans, many of whom will now follow their team to Sunday's match against Germany in Bloemfontein, were mostly well-behaved. "There were no arrests, and except for the fact that there was much revelry, there were few problems to report," Naidoo said.
Fifa are not allowing teams to train at Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein to preserve the pitch for a final group stage game and the Germany-England last-16 match on Sunday. Switzerland plays Honduras in their final Group H match today in Bloemfontein. Teams are training at a nearby university instead of at the stadium. Fifa have been canceling training at some of the World Cup venues to avoid damaging the fields. Bloemfontein is the coldest host city, and the Free State Stadium pitch has been put under stress by four matches and team training sessions, as well as cold nights that freeze the playing surface.
Jong-hun Kim, the North Korea coach, said his squad will receive a warm welcome when they return home after the World Cup. Kim's team lost 2-1 to Brazil 2 in their first match, but were then routed 7-0 by Portugal, leading to concerns the players and coaching staff might face punishment on arrival back in North Korea. Kim accepted the early elimination had "not met the expectations" of his countrymen, but said "our people will welcome us with open arms."
A study says the 2014 World Cup in Brazil will inject nearly US$80 billion (Dh290.3bn) into the country's economy. The joint study by the Getulio Vargas Foundation think tank and accounting giant Ernst & Young says World Cup-linked investments in Brazil between 2010 and 2014 will total $79bn. The study says that $62bn will be invested in the production of goods and services, while $17 bn will be invested in infrastructure. The study also says that 3.6 million new jobs will be created and $35bn of income will be generated during the period.
Brigadier Sally de Beer, the South African Police Service spokeswoman, said extra security measures will be in place for the match between England and Germany. De Beer said police have no information about any specific threats to the match to be played Sunday at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein, which has a relatively small capacity of 40,911. De Beer says that England and Germany are "high-priority teams" for police and that "beefed-up" security will be similar to that used for the first-round match between the United States and England on June 12.
Thierry Henry stepped off the French team plane in Paris yesterday and joined a small motorcade sent by President Nicolas Sarkozy. Henry went to a private meeting with Sarkozy, entering the Elysee Palace by a side door.
Published: June 25, 2010 04:00 AM