Dancing in the rain

DORTMUND: Thousands of fans in Quito celebrated Ecuador’s 2-0 World Cup win over Poland by dancing in pouring rain. President Alfredo Palacio declared a national holiday to allow Ecuadoreans to watch their beloved team play Poland in the tournament’s second match. “I’m soaking wet but it doesn’t matter, because it’s for the team... Long live Ecuador!” shouted Ronald Martillo, a local businessman wearing a yellow-blue-and-red hat in a local park where the game was aired on giant screens. The streets emptied during the game, and erupted in celebration when Carlos Tenorio and Agustin Delgado scored.

Rives barred

LONDON: The Spanish girlfriend of England midfielder Frank Lampard was barred from a British Airways flight to Germany after she argued with staff who told her she was carrying too much hand luggage. Elen Rives, 28, was angered to be told that she had too much hand luggage for the business class cabin on the flight to Stuttgart on Friday, British Airways said. The Spaniard refused to allow her hand luggage, including a child’s buggy, to be put in the aircraft’s hold. After she calmed down and apologised, Rives was allowed onto a flight later.

Spain drop siesta

KAMEN: Spain’s national soccer team is dropping its daily siesta to avoid a rude awakening in its World Cup opener against Ukraine on Wednesday. The Group H match kicks off at 3 pm — a time when Spain normally shuts down for an afternoon nap. Team officials are not taking any chances, and have ordered the players to change their late habits so they can perform at a maximum during the game in Leipzig.

Brazilian prez sends fax

KOENIGSTEIN: Brazil’s president sent a fax to Ronaldo, saying his comments about the striker’s weight were meant to end speculation. Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva wanted to clarify his intentions, and didn’t mean to put Ronaldo’s condition in doubt, the Brazilian Soccer Confederation said. Ronaldo received the fax after practice, CBF spokesman Rodrigo Paiva said. In a video conference attended by most of the Brazilian team on Thursday, Silva asked coach Carlos Alberto Parreira: “So, what is it? Is he fat or not?” Parreira answered” He is very strong, president”.