Politics must wait

BRATISLAVA: Slovak referee Lubos Michel this week had to postpone taking up his position as a lawmaker in parliament in Bratislava. With a chance of officiating in the final Michel said that he had had to present his excuses, citing “important other duties” as he carries on with his World Cup commitments.

Domingo to sing out

BERLIN: Opera star Placido Domingo will, as he has done since 1982, clear his throat and launch into song at the WC final. He will sing a half-time welcome ditty composed by his son Placido Domingo Jr, whose lyrics the tenor says underpin “the idea that football is linked to friendship.” He can then sit back and watch his country’s bid for glory.