WORLD CUP: Offside

Philipp Lahm injured

SARDINIA: Germany defender Philipp Lahm will have surgery after injuring his elbow during a practice match. Lahm partially tore ligaments in his left elbow and will have an operation in Munich, the German soccer federation said. Lahm landed awkwardly while playing a 60-minute practice match against amateur side Luckenwalde in Mannheim on Tuesday. Germany won the match 7-0. Lahm was supposed to have a scan in Mannheim but was later sent to Munich.

Kaczynski to attend WC

WARSAW: Polish President Lech Kaczynski has accepted an invitation from his German counterpart to attend Poland’s World Cup opening-round match against Germany, a Polish presidential aide said on Wednesday. German President Horst Kvhler made a “very kind gesture” towards the Polish head of state by inviting him to the June 14 match, Kaczynski’s foreign policy adviser Andrzej Krawczyk said. “In the 21st century, politics involves not only official meetings but also informal ones, without neckties,” Krawczyk said.

OC to stop invaders

BERLIN: World Cup organizers said on Tuesday they will plant officials in the front rows of stadiums in an effort to stop people from running onto the field and interrupting matches. The World Cup Organizing Committee (OC) said the move was an attempt to prevent a repeat of incidents that happened during last year’s Confederations Cup when people made their way onto the field four different times. The committee said that it is concentrating on the front row, because “experience shows this to be the starting point for the majority of pitch invasions, carried out to satisfy a craving for recognition, to win bets, for publicity or even with malicious intent.”