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BRAZIL BEAT: Colombia, Uruguay fans start talk

BRAZIL BEAT: Colombia, Uruguay fans start talk

By The Associated Press | Posted - Jun. 24, 2014 at 6:00 p.m.

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SAO PAULO (AP) — In the streets of Sao Paulo, Colombians and Uruguayans were already facing off with each other, exchanging chants after Colombia beat Japan 4-1. Uruguay's victory over Italy meant the two teams will meet Saturday in the knockout round.

They were fighting for attention from local media's cameras set up in Vila Madalena, the city's World Cup party central. Colombians were shouting "Ole, ole," and a Uruguayan displayed his country's flag behind the group.

"Tell us what you predict the score will be on Saturday," one Colombian asked an Urugayan.

"At least 2-1," the Uruguayan fan responded.

"We are all friends. But we are going to win," said Rodrigo Gonzalez, a Uruguayan living in Sao Paulo. "It's all cool as long as they don't beat me up."

— By Adriana Gomez Licon —



SAO PAULO (AP) — There are plenty of cool places to watch a World Cup match in Brazil, but for Dutch fan Jan Eykma, this is as good as it gets: a beer in hand, a big screen ahead and a legendary stadium as a backdrop.

On the final day of his personal World Cup adventure, and after watching his beloved Netherlands secure first place in Group B with a victory over Chile, the 46-year-old Dutchman decided to take in some history and visited Sao Paulo's Museu Do Futebol. Nestled into historic Pacaembu Stadium, the museum houses hundreds of photos, game balls and other artifacts tracing the game's history in Brazil. There are items belonging to Pele, Garrincha and others. There's even an interactive section where you can kick a virtual penalty shot.

After the nostalgic visit, Eykma said it was extra special to watch Italy play Uruguay on a screen placed just in front of the concrete steps leading up to the pitch that hosted several games of the 1950 World Cup.

"It's perfect. It doesn't get much better than this," he said with a smile. "It's just such a great place to watch. The environment, the stadium."

— By Aron Heller —



CUIABA, Brazil (AP) — Forget banners. Many Japanese fans were waving bright blue garbage bags at the group stage finale against Colombia.

The Japanese have touched spectators around the world by cleaning up their trash after every match at the World Cup.

Japan fan Mikio Tomita was brandishing a trash bag signed by his work colleagues back home and bearing the message: "Go for it!"

For the first time at this year's tournament, the fans of Japan's Blue Samurai were outnumbered by the opposition — with Cuiaba's Pantanel Stadium a sea of the yellow and red of Brazil's neighbor, Columbia. But they were as spirited as ever — dressed as enormous eggs, Daruma good luck-charm dolls and shaggy-bearded shamans.

— By Joji Sakurai —



RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — The French Football Federation has apologized to the players' wives and families for a hotel mix-up when they arrived in Rio for Wednesday's Group E match against Ecuador.

The FFF said in a statement Tuesday that it "fully assumes" responsibility for "the inconvenience caused" when they had to change hotels after getting into town Monday.

The FFF denied an earlier report from Canal Plus television channel saying the wives had demanded better accommodations when they arrived, because they were reportedly unhappy with the four-star hotel allocated to them before being switched to a five-star hotel on the famed Copacabana beach.

The FFF blamed the problem on "a malfunction between the FFF and the agency in charge of accommodation."

Wives and players will meet up after Wednesday's match.



NATAL, Brazil (AP) — It was inevitable: Evander Holyfield has weighed in on Luis Suarez's bite.

Television replays appeared to show the Uruguay striker digging his teeth into the shoulder of Italy's Giorgio Chiellini late in their group stage finale. About a minute later, Uruguay scored the go-ahead goal in the 81st minute and went on to win 1-0 to advance at the World Cup, eliminating the Italians.

It may be the most famous sports bite since Mike Tyson chomped on Holyfield's ear during their 1997 title fight.

Holyfield, who has since made up with Tyson, tweeted Tuesday: "I guess any part of the body is up for eating."

Tyson hadn't chimed in — yet.



RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — After being unceremoniously booted from World Cup competition, Spain's national team had a tough ride home when the plane most players were traveling in was hit by lightning just before it landed in Madrid.

A spokeswoman for airline Iberia SA said the lightning strike Tuesday caused no damage and that the jet landed normally without any injuries to those aboard. She spoke on condition of anonymity because of company policy preventing her from being identified.

The weather around Madrid was stormy when the lightning strike happened. Experts say commercial jets tend to be hit by lightning about once a year.

After losing in Brazil to the Netherlands and Chile, Spain finished its World Cup appearance with a 3-0 win against Australia on Monday.

Twenty of the team's 23-member squad came home on the plane hit by lightning, accompanied by team staff and journalists.

Spanish media said the players left the airport in vans without speaking to the media and didn't go close to about 200 fans who showed up to welcome them.

— By Alan Clendenning —



BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil (AP) — Some sarcastic England fans had their 15 seconds of fame during Tuesday's Group D finale against Costa Rica.

They held up a sign listing the various costs of the trip to Brazil: 1,200 pounds for the flight, 2,000 pounds for "enjoying the ambiance," 2,000 pounds for accommodation. The punchline? "Arriving after elimination — priceless."

FIFA officials probably weren't as amused as all the folks who retweeted an image of the sign, which plays off MasterCard's signature ad campaign. The tournament credit card sponsor is Visa.


Associated Press reporters will be filing dispatches about happenings in and around Brazil during the 2014 World Cup. Follow AP journalists covering the World Cup on Twitter:\_Sports/world-cup-2014

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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