World Cup in brief

Scolari’s nephew dies in car crash
THE NEPHEW of Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has been killed in a car accident, local police say. The former Chelsea boss took training as normal yesterday, but could miss today’s pre-match press conference in order to be with his family.

Costa gives Spain fitness boost
SPAIN striker Diego Costa has declared himself fit to play in Friday’s opening Group B match against Holland. Costa limped off early in the Champions League final with a hamstring injury, but said: “I’m in top form and I have no problem with regards to the first match.”

Nishimura back to scare Brazil
JAPANESE referee Yuichi Nishimura will be a terrifying sight for Brazil when he officiates tomorrow’s opening match against Croatia. Nishimura was in charge for Brazil’s last World Cup encounter – a 2-1 defeat to Holland in the 2010 tournament quarter-final.

Modric backs Croatia challenge
FORMER Spurs midfielder Luka Modric believes Croatia can cause a stir in Group A, as they prepare to kick-off their campaign against hosts Brazil tomorrow. He said: “In this World Cup we could go far and our first goal is to get to the second round.”

Caxirola banned from stadiums
BRAZIL’S answer to the vuvuzela, the caxirola, has been banned from all World Cup venues. The colourful plastic percussion instrument, which contains beads that create a hissing sound when shaken, has been deemed a safety risk by Brazil’s minister of justice.

Tickets available for 27 matches
SEATS at 27 of the 64 World Cup matches still remain available. Almost 3m tickets have been sold in total, say governing body Fifa, including 58,000 to supporters in England. Brazilians have bought 60 per cent of all tickets.