WORLD CUP: Offside

Smicer hopeful

PRAGUE: Czech Republic midfielder Vladimir Smicer says he hopes to be fit from a hamstring injury to play in the team’s last friendly against Trinidad and Tobago next month. “I continue in rehabilitation,” Smicer said on Thursday. “The leg is improving... (but) is not ready yet. The 32-year-old Smicer, who has scored 27 goals in 81 matches for the Czech Republic, hasn’t played since being injured with French club Bordeaux in February. “It would certainly be the biggest disappointment for me to miss the World Cup,” he said. “But I still believe my leg will be fine.”

More tickets on sale

BERLIN: World Cup organisers said on Thursday an additional 42,495 tickets are for sale. The tickets were handed over by FIFA, which is allowed to keep only 30,000 tickets for last-minute sales. The tickets are immediately available online at the June 9-July 9 tournament’s official Web site. “We are happy to note that almost three million tickets have not only been sold but also been delivered,” ticketing organiser Horst Schmit said.

Cahill on the mend

SYDNEY: Injured Everton midfielder Tim Cahill said on Friday he was well on the way to recovery from a knee ligament injury in the countdown to Australia’s World Cup opener with Japan in Kaiserslautern on June 12. Cahill picked up the injury playing for Everton against Birmingham in the English Premier League on April 22. Everton manager David Moyes has said his club would have the last say on whether Cahill was fit to play in next month’s World Cup finals in Germany.