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World Cup 2014: day 20 live!

Guardian Sport - Tue, 07/01/2014 - 04:30

9.30am BST

It's the first of July today, which means the transfer window if officially open, but is Arturo Vidal really on his way to Manchester United for £48? Read today's Rumour Mill here

9.23am BST

Germany's Per Mertesacker is a pretty placid guy off the pitch, so when he gets shirty with a journalist you know he's had a long day. "Would you rather we played beautiful football but got knocked out? Arsenal's BFG railed on TV after the extra-time win over Algeria. I dont know what you want from me do you think that just Mickey Mouse teams are involved in the last 16? All that matters is were in the quarter-finals.

Read the full story here

9.12am BST

Glenn Hoddle supposedly has one of English football's finest tactical brains, so watching him confuse Algeria and Al-Jazeera during last night's match was rather alarming. It was pretty amusing though, so let's enjoy it again

9.01am BST

Raymond Reardon has emailed in with a rather interesting fact about the knockout stages do far:

Six of the eight Group leaders have advanced to the quarter finals. Can Argentina and Belgium keep the trend going? Since the introduction of 32 teams and 8 groups, no World Cup has seen eight Group leaders progress. In 1998 six of eight won through, in 2002 only four of eight, in 2006 six of eight. At the last World Cup in 2010 in South Africa we came closest to eight advancing with seven of eight Group leaders winning with the exception being USA who were defeated by Ghana in extra time.

8.56am BST

If you thought this World Cup couldn't get any better, think again, because Friday's quarter-final lineup is mouthwatering. Pack up from work early, tell your other half the cinema is closed for refurbishment and feast your eyes on these two howitzers:

5pm BST - France v Germany

8.38am BST

Some interesting stuff on the great Philipp Lahm debate from Raphael Honigstein during last night's Germany v Algeria game. Watching as a neutral I thought Germany were far more dangerous once their captain switched from his defensive midfield role to right-back, but Rafa is the German football expert, and as such is far better than I at seeing the bigger picture.

perfect example just now why Lahm in DM IS a smart idea - zero protection for back four from Khedira, Schweini and Kroos

8.24am BST

Thanks Tom, and good morning one and all, on the day after another thrilling late night game kept us all up far later than we should have been. Algeria were brilliant weren't they, but as the Guardian's John Ashdown wrote in the very early hours of this morning: bloody-mindedness, force of will and attacking prowess failed to avenge the Disgrace of Gijón.

So the events of the 1982 World Cup will remain Algerias most notable and notorious entry in the annals of the tournaments history. But only just.

Thirty-two years ago West Germany versus Algeria provided one of the great World Cup shocks. West Germany and Austria then provided one of the great World Cup stitch-ups. In the Estádio Beira-Rio, the modern-day German and Algerian sides for 90 minutes provided one of the great World Cup 0-0s before André Schürrle and Mesut Özil broke the deadlock, if not Algerian spirits.

8.15am BST

That's it from me. Rob Bleaney will be here for the next couple of hours to keep you up to speed with all the news from Brazil.

7.36am BST

David Wall emails in with some Suarez thoughts:

The FA have a system for increasing a player's suspension if they make a frivolous appeal against the initial sentence. Can Fifa do similar for making a frivolous apology? It's little better than Suarex's explanation in his defence, 'sorry about some things that happened to Chellini'. Of course, he's powerless to stop similar things just happening again to someone else.

6.59am BST

I think we were all blown away by Manuel Neuer's rush goalie performance for Germany against Algeria. Here it is in all its heatmapped glory:

Here it is, the most talked about heat map in history. Manuel Neuer. #GER pic.twitter.com/6cHthWZU2E

6.44am BST

USA may not be favourites to beat Belgium today but they easily win the battle of national symbols. Easily:

Looking at how #USMNT matches up with Belgium: http://t.co/4hosDIiYLo (Pic: @VanHornEric) pic.twitter.com/ValEat7A8S

6.29am BST

A colleague, who doesn't want to be named, as he's supposed to be concentrating on proper journalism like politics and stuff has a complaint:

Panama are really messing up this WC. If it wasn't for them plonked between Costa Rica and Colombia on the map, the quarter-finalists would all share at least one border with one other team in the last eight, assuming the US lose tonight.

6.08am BST

Welcome to Day Nearly The End Of The Last 16 Of The World Cup. First up, Cameroon's FA will be investigating allegations of match-fixing in their group games. They'll be looking in particular at Cameroon's 4-0 defeat to Croatia. Elsewhere, there was tragedy as my team in the office sweepstake, Nigeria, went out to France. There'll be an investigation into why the person making the draw got Germany too, mark my words. Oh, and Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi and defender Jospeh Yobo stepped down after their team's exit.

6.08am BST

Keep up with all the latest news from Brazil. But first, here's a story from yesterday to get you started:

The president of Uruguay, José Mujica, has called Fifa a bunch of old sons of bitches in another verbal attack on footballs world governing body following Luis Suárezs lengthy ban for biting the Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini.

The 79-year-old also described the Liverpool strikers four-month suspension from all football, plus nine international matches and a £65,000 fine, as a fascist ban.

Continue reading...

Lou Vincent banned from cricket for life after admitting match-fixing

Guardian Sport - Tue, 07/01/2014 - 04:19
Former New Zealand player breached anti-corruption rules
I have abused my position as a professional sportsman

Former New Zealand cricketer Lou Vincent has been banned from cricket for life after admitting breaching the England and Wales Cricket Boards anti-corruption regulations, the governing body has announced.

The 35-year-old, who played at Sussex in 2011 and was under investigation by the ECB, pleaded guilty to 18 breaches of the regulations in total, four of those breaches related to a Twenty20 match between Lancashire and Durham in June 2008.

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