18 bookies detained

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian police arrested 18 people for allegedly running an illegal betting ring for World Cup matches, working clandestinely with high-tech gear from a shack near a pig sty. Raiding officers seized 13 laptop computers, five liquid crystal display monitors, 30 mobile phones, satellite television decoders, digital recorders, printers, calculators and betting slips from the village house in Selangor, the New Straits Times reported. Police estimate the bookies made some US$8.15 million from online bets on the 30 matches played so far, The Star report said.

‘Don’t cry for Ghana’

UNITED NATIONS: One of the world’s best-known Ghanaians, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, was diplomatic in defeat after his nation’s 3-0 loss to Brazil on Tuesday. “I know you are all very keen to hear what I feel about the game,” Annan said. “First of all, let me say, ‘Don’t cry for Ghana.”’ Annan predicted Ghana could expect great things in 2010, when South Africa hosts the World Cup. “This was just a coming out party, and I think tomorrow will be a different story,” Annan said. “And tomorrow will be in 2010, on African soil.”

Violence in Madrid

MADRID: Disappointed Spanish fans clashed with riot police in Madrid following their team’s defeat against France. Trouble began when groups of supporters threw bottles and destroyed street furniture after watching the game on a giant TV screen at downtown Colon square. Police officers mounted a charge and at least two people were arrested, news agency Efe said. Sixteen people were taken to hospital although none were reported as seriously hurt.

Award for Ecuador

QUITO: Ecuador’s squad are to receive a special award for their World Cup showing next Monday from President Alfredo Palacio after their battling run to the second phase, a government spokesman said on Tuesday. Coach Luis Fernando Suarez and his 23 players are to be given a state reception at the presidential palace, secretary of state for communication, Enrique Proano, said. “President Palacio will decorate the players and then host a lunch for them and their families,” Proano said. Ecuador beat Poland and Costa Rica in group stage and lost 0-1 to England in second round.