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Football: World Cup briefs

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

World Cup briefs on Thursday:

Brazuca ball means goals - Colombia keeper

Colombia goalkeeper David Ospina says he believes the Brazuca ball to be used at the World Cup gives the advantage to strikers because goalkeepers will not be able to judge its flight.

The ball is "made for goals -- they are making them with that in mind," indicated the shot-stopper with French side Nice.

"This one floats a lot and the fans will like it. But keepers will have to work hard and adapt to it," he forecast after trying the ball out in training.

Nice coach Claude Puel noted: "It is a very light ball, great to strike but difficult for goalkeepers."

Cheap global fare

Although prices in many bars and restaurants in the host nation have soared with the Cup looming ever closer, fans can get a great deal in Sao Paulo, where the local government has launched a program "Bom prato" or good plate whereby consumers can eat specialities of the 32 competing nations for just a few cents.

Four days a week, in April and May, one local menu staple will be replaced in 41 popular eateries by items from participating countries such as Korean favorite kimchi or Ghanaian dish Tchepo Djen, comprising fish with rice and vegetabless. Dishes from Group H sides Algeria, Belgium, Russia and South Korea kick off the idea for its first week.

Beware thyself

Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella says he believes his team could be their own worst enemies in Group F.

While stressing that Lionel Messi and company should afford Bosnia, Iran and Nigeria the utmost respect, Sabella believes that "we are our main adversaries. if we play well, we should be able to minimize the group's difficulties. If we are not on form and as on the ball as we out to be our rivals will be very difficult and the group could really get complicated," Sabella warned on the FIFA.com website.

Thanks Moscow

Rio de Janeiro mayor Eduardo Paes looks to have achieved his goal of not spending public money on entertainment for World Cup fans. City authorities are keen to keep the public purse shut for World Cup street parties to avoid antagonizing anti-Cup demonstrators who prefer state money to go on matters such as health and education.

The bill of some $6 million to provide festivities, including a giant screen to show matches, for some 20,000 revelers per day on Copacabana beach will be picked up by 2018 World Cup hosts Russia and retailer Duty Free, according to O Globo daily.

Chilean street coincidence

Chile fans feel they have drawn the short straw in being paird with reigning champions Spain as well as 2010 runners-up Holland with outsiders Australia making up their group.

Residents of the Santiago district of Nunoa see an omen of sorts, given that "Chile-Spain" Avenue runs into "Holland" Street.

bur/cw

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/140417/football-world-cup-briefs