Many tongues

With the presence of the Portuguese, Brazilian and Angolan national sides, Portuguese will be the third most spoken language at the finals in Germany. Only English and Spanish have a greater presence.

School’s out

The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Education has postponed school examinations originally scheduled to clash with the World Cup finals. “We do not want to punish pupils with bad grades for supporting the national side on television” a spokesman said.


Fifa has announced that the federation of the successful country at the finals can expect to receive 16 million euros on top of the prestige of being crowned world champions. The losing finalists still stand to take home 14.6 million euros, the losing semi-finalists 13.9 million euros each, and fifth to eighth places will be rewarded with 11.5 million euros. Six million euros is guaranteed just for turning up!


England will face Ghana in their first friendly of the new year at Anfield on March 1. Sven-Goran Eriksson’s World Cup warm up is set to continue with a further game in April and two more in May. German legend Franz Beckenbauer has tipped Beckham and Co to reach the final of the tournament.