In Depth

Witch doctor curses Ronaldo, Germany tipped to win World Cup

World Cup whispers: Ghanaian puts hex on Portgual superstar, England passport numbers leaked

Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal

RONALDO 'CURSED' BY WITCH DOCTORCristiano Ronaldo's World Cup race is run, according to Ghanaian witch doctor Nana Kwaku Bonsam, who claims to have cursed the Portuguese superstar. Ronaldo is a doubt for Portugal's opening match against Germany after being struck by tendinosis in his left knee and a niggling thigh strain. There is little the doctors can do, Bonsam told a radio station. "This injury can never be cured by any medic." He explained that he had used "four dogs" to manufacture "a special spirit called Kahwiri Kapam" to do the damage.

ENGLAND V COLOMBIA IN RIO, ANYONE?ITV's World Cup coverage, already hit by the loss of Roy Keane, got off to a shaky start as England played Ecuador in Miami or - as Clive Tyldesley and Adrian Chiles appeared to think - played Colombia in Rio. Chiles began the coverage by welcoming viewers to "Rio", before realising that he was in fact on the other side of the equator in Miami. And during the match Tylsely referred to Ecuador as "Colombia" on at least two occasions.

ENGLAND PASSPORT NUMBERS PUBLISHEDIt wasn't just ITV making blunders in Miami. Official Fifa team sheets passed around the press box ahead of England's game against Ecuador were published on social media by journalists and England's sponsors Vauxhall. The only problem was that the sheets featured the players' passport numbers, sensitive data which was soon plastered over sites like Twitter. The FA pointed out that team sheets were "a matter for the match organisers".

ANTONIO APOLOGISESEcuador captain Antonio Valencia has apologised to Raheem Stirling after their bust-up at Miami's Sun Life Stadium. The pair had to be separated by team-mates 11 minutes from time after a strong challenge by Sterling prompted Valencia to grab him by the throat. The exchange led to red cards for both players. "I'm sorry for the fight with Sterling", said Valencia, "I apologised to the team and the coach, but when he [Sterling] tackled me I thought about injury and feared I would miss the World Cup. Thankfully I'm OK."

GERMANY TIPPED TO WIN THE CUPVideo-games giant EA Sports says Germany will pick up their fourth World Cup crown in Brazil this summer. Using its latest World Cup Game – Brazil 2014 – the company predicted how all 32 teams would fare at the tournament and Germany came out on top after a narrow 2-1 victory over Brazil in the final. Yahoo notes that "there is precedent" after EA tipped Spain for the title in 2010. EA also has a good record in the Super Bowl and could fill the role of the sadly missed Paul the Octopus this year. 

GROUP D RIVAL-WATCH...While England had to make do with a respectable 2-2 draw against Ecuador, Italy were held to an dire 1-1 draw by footballing minnows Luxembourg. The Azzurri have now gone seven successive games without a win since qualifying, losing one (to Spain) and drawing six. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for England's other Group D rivals, Uruguay, who turned-in a convincing 2-0 victory over Slovenia. PSG forward Edinson Cavani was among the goal-scorers.      

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