WORLD CUP : Offside

Spain to request FIFA

MADRID: Spain will ask FIFA for permission to replace injured leftback Asier Del Horno in its World Cup squad. Tests on Tuesday found Del Horno will be out of action for about 20 days, after he tore a tendon close to his left ankle during training last Wednesday, Spain’s doctor Genaro Borras said.

Portugal House bows

LONDON: Lawmakers in Portugal’s parliament have accepted the inevitable. Fearing absences that are common when important soccer games are televised, deputies have agreed to change the times of their regular sessions to make way for Portugal’s World Cup match against Mexico on June 21.

Family affairs

LONDON: Croatia will head into the World Cup with two sets of brothers and a father-son combination. Robert and Niko Kovac, and Ivan and Jerko Leko were selected to play for Croatia by coach Zlatko Kranjcar. The coach also picked his son, Niko. Switzerland has a pair of brothers, twins Philipp and David Degen. Serbia-Montenegro also has a set of relatives after coach Ilija Petkovic called up his son Dusan.

Vacancy at fanproject

LONDON: If you’re in Germany and don’t have a place to stay, fanproject2006 may be able to help. The group said it will provide accommodation for more than 250,000 fans at the monthlong tournament. It will also offer bus shuttles to and from some games, as well as nightly parties and concerts. “We started fanproject2006 not only to solve the housing problem, but to also give fans a place to eat, sleep, drink and have the experience of a lifetime,” said Ulrich Kramer, the group’s CEO.