WORLD CUP 2006: Offside

Cheers for Del Piero

BERLIN: British rock star Noel Gallagher, the lead singer of Oasis, said he will be supporting Italy when he attends the World Cup final on Sunday. Gallagher, a keen football fan, said he believed Italy would be hungrier than France. He revealed that he and his brother Liam are friends of Alessandro Del Piero and the Italy star believed he had brought him luck in the semi-final against Germany.

On the block

BERLIN: A little piece of the World Cup could be yours. Hamburg auction house Dechow says the organising committee has chosen it as a partner in disposing of tournament equipment — and ensuring that not too much will end up in the garbage. “A lot of the inventory can be reused, even if it is just to take a piece of the World Cup home, and enjoy that even if it has no practical use,” Dechow manager Jan Broeker said.

The clean game

BERLIN: Thirsty fans consumed drinks in 5.5 million refillable cups in an effort to cut down on waste generated during the tournament, a leading German environmental group said. The DUH praised the reusable cup initiative for helping make World Cup 2006 “the cleanest game ever.” Organisers for the 2008 European Championship, to be held in Switzerland and Austria, have already expressed interest in a similar concept, the DUH said.

Special prize for two

PARIS: The French national committee of the Marseillaise has awarded France coach Raymond Domenech and striker Thierry Henry a special prize for “having sung the anthem with gusto before each match”. There was no mention though of Zinedine Zidane, France’s midfield inspiration, who was last month accused by far-right politician Jean-Marie Le Pen of “mumbling” the anthem.

Germany set standard

BERLIN: UEFA President Lennart Johansson said future World Cup organisers had a tough act to follow as the tournament drew to a climax. “It will be difficult to do better than what the Germans have accomplished in terms of organisation,” said the Swede, who is also FIFA vice-president. South Africa will host the 2010 World Cup, with the 2014 WC expected to take place in South America.