Cup shorts

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

Bendt­ner out

DEN­MARK are pre­pared to launch their World Cup cam­paign with­out Nick­las Bendt­ner as coach Morten Olsen con­ceded yes­ter­day it was a dream to think the striker will be fit to play their opener.

Both­ered by a nag­ging groin in­jury, Bendt­ner has not played since May, but had shown signs of re­turn­ing to match fit­ness this week when he be­gan train­ing again with the squad.

Bi­den tips US to win

US Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Bi­den says Amer­ica will beat Eng­land in their World Cup match to­day.

Bi­den ad­dressed a gath­er­ing of di­plo­mats and South African politi­cians at the US con­sulate in Jo­han­nes­burg and re­ceived loud ap­plause when he said “in the spirit of a real Ir­ish­man, we are go­ing to beat Eng­land”.

Bonus for Italy

THE Ital­ian World Cup squad have de­cided to sup­port cel­e­bra­tions of the 150th an­niver­sary of Italy’s uni­fi­ca­tion with part of the bonus they hope to win in South Africa.

Goal­keeper Gian­luigi Buf­fon said the team feel a duty to help out.

“The com­mit­tee for unity cel­e­bra­tions has bud­get prob­lems. We have de­cided that if we get a bonus, each of us will con­trib­ute part of the amount, big or small, to em­pha­sise the unity of Italy,” said Buf­fon.

Should Italy suc­cess­fully de­fend its World Cup ti­tle, each player stands to re­ceive a bonus of € 250 000 and the team would do­nate € 600 000 to the com­mit­tee.

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