x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

World Cup diary: North Korea screens thrashing live

North Korean state television aired full live coverage of the team's 7-0 loss to Portugal in what is believed to be a first for a North Korean football game taking place abroad.

North Korean state television aired full live coverage of the team's 7-0 loss to Portugal yesterday in what is believed to be a first for a North Korean football game taking place abroad. Korean Central Broadcasting carried live coverage and commentary of the match in Cape Town, ending the broadcast soon after Portugal's convincing victory. The broadcast was monitored in Pyongyang by broadcaster APTN. "The Portuguese won the game and now have four points," a commentator said when the match concluded. "We are ending our live broadcast now."

The football fan who invaded England's dressing room and confronted David Beckham after a match will go on trial on Friday. Pavlos Joseph appeared yesterday in a Cape Town court for the second time to face trespassing charges, and looked far more relaxed than the previous day when he fled the tribunal with a brown sweater over his face as he was surrounded by cameramen and photographers. Authorities said that his passport would remain held by South African police, and that Joseph cannot attend matches until a final ruling is delivered.

If those buzzing, honking vuvuzelas are marring your experience, don't expect much sympathy from Chinese businesswoman Gua Lili. Gua's Guangda Toy Factory in the eastern manufacturing hub of Yiwu has produced and shipped more than 1 million of the plastic trumpets, whose sound has been likened to a swarm of angry bees. Production is steaming ahead at up to 20,000 units per day. Chinese media report that up to 90 per cent of the vuvuzelas sold in South Africa during the World Cup were made in China, mainly by factories in the provinces of Zhejiang, where Yiwu is located, and Guangdong to the south.

Fifa's head of refereeing said he is "very, very satisfied" with the performance of match officials. Jose-Marcia Garcia-Aranda said some of their decisions "are not good", but he declined to discuss individual controversies such as the disallowed goal which could have given the United States a late lead against Slovenia. He said mistakes are natural for human beings, but the referees' overall level is very high.

Credit Agricole SA, the French bank, is suspending one of its television advertisements featuring top French players after the national team boycotted a training session at the World Cup. A company spokesperson said the move came after an international uproar over the team's refusal to train on Sunday, after Nicolas Anelka, the striker, was sent home for insulting the French coach. The fast-food chain Quick is also cancelling an advertising campaign with Anelka because of the player's poor image. Valerie Raynal, the head of communication for Quick France, said the decision was taken because Anelka's presence "could be badly perceived by our customers".

Retired Archbishop Desmond Tutu is calling on South Africans to take a moment to congratulate themselves on being the first nation on the continent to host the World Cup - and then turn to building on the goodwill the tournament has generated. At a news conference in Cape Town yesterday, Nobel laureate Tutu said the tournament generated good publicity for South Africa around the world and will boost its tourism industry. He also noted how it has boosted a sense of unity in a country still haunted by the racial and economic divisions created by apartheid. Now, Tutu said: "How do we make the World Cup not an end, but a new beginning?"

In the land of the Springboks, the ball is oval shaped rather than round. Germany prepared for their decisive World Cup match against Ghana by playing rugby at training. Joachim Loew's players passed and ran with a rugby ball instead of kicking a football during part of yesterday's training session.

The World Cup finally has a team which loves the maligned Jabulani ball. That is to be expected, however, with Portugal running up the biggest score at the tournament in eight years. Carlos Queiroz, their coach, said "we love the ball" after his players beat North Korea 7-0 in Group G yesterday. The Jabulani ball has been criticised as being uncontrollably lightweight, making it difficult to pass precisely or keep long-range shots on target.