BRAZIL 2014 - World Cup Briefs
- Injured Russia captain out
Injured Russia captain Roman Shirokov has been ruled out of the World Cup after his team beat Morocco 2-0 in its final pre-tournament friendly on Friday.
The Zenit St Petersburg midfielder has missed all three of Russia's World Cup warm-up games. Russia coach Fabio Capello said Shirokov will go to Finland on Monday for an operation on his back.
Shirokov's place in the squad will be taken by 21-year-old midfielder Pavel Mogilevets, who has made just one appearance for Russia.
Russia are in Group H with Belgium, Algeria and South Korea.
- Ribery blow for France
France's World Cup ambitions were dealt a significant blow when winger Franck Ribery failed to overcome a back injury and was ruled out of the squad yesterday.
Coach Didier Deschamps hoped Ribery would play a part in the friendly against Jamaica on Sunday, but the Bayern Munich winger was replaced by Montpellier winger Remy Cabella.
Cabella was on the reserve list and has made just one substitute appearance for France.
In another setback for Deschamps, attacking midfielder Clement Grenier was also withdrawn with a recurrence of a groin injury that has hampered him all season for Lyon.
The 23-year-old Grenier tore his right groin in training on Thursday and has been replaced by Southampton's Morgan Schneiderlin, who has never played for France.
- Ox set for World Cup
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is set to go with England to the World Cup even if he doesn't recover from a knee injury in time for the group stage, coach Roy Hodgson said on Thursday.
The midfielder sustained ligament damage in his right knee in England's penultimate warm-up against Ecuador on Wednesday following a challenge by Carlos Gruezo.
Although no definitive recovery timeframe has been released, Hodgson wants to take Oxlade-Chamberlain to Brazil even if he can feature only in the knockout stage, which is more than three weeks away.
"We will do everything in our power to keep him (in the squad)," Hodgson said at a fans' forum in Miami. "Our medical team are optimistic and he is optimistic. We can't say how long for certain it will take him to recover but, obviously, he will get very extensive treatment."
England open their campaign on June 14 against Italy, and under FIFA rules Oxlade-Chamberlain could be replaced in the squad up to 24 hours before the game in Manaus.
WORLD CUP FACTS
- Robbie Earle scored Jamaica's first ever goal at the World Cup finals against Croatia in 1998.
- Theodore Whitmore scored both goals in Jamaica's 2-1 win over Japan at the 1998 World Cup finals in France. Jamaica finished third in a group comprising Argentina (first), Croatia (second) and Japan (fourth).