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World Cup Soccer Tournament

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July 3, 2006 | Grahame L. Jones, Times Staff Writer
It is like an unfolding opera, this march of Italy's across the World Cup landscape. Verdi or Puccini could have made something of it. All that is needed now is for Luciano Pavarotti to make his entrance. When the curtain rose, it was to a wailing of voices and a wringing of hands as the biggest soccer scandal in decades broke across the Italian peninsula.
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SPORTS
July 2, 2006 | From the Associated Press
After telling his Major League Soccer team that he was leaving to handle a personal matter at home, midfielder Youri Djorkaeff went to Germany to attend France's stunning victory Saturday over Brazil in the World Cup. "We were told by Youri on Thursday that he had to leave the team and attend to an unexpected, serious family matter in France," the New York Red Bulls said in a statement.
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July 2, 2006 | From the Associated Press
France stole Brazil's rhythm, its style, even its samba. Along the way, the French also knocked the defending champions out of the World Cup. The experienced and savvy French ousted the pretournament favorites, 1-0, in a stunningly one-sided quarterfinal game Saturday. Tacked onto France's 3-0 victory in the 1998 title match -- the last time Brazil lost in the World Cup -- it's clear the Brazilians have a nemesis at soccer's highest level.
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July 2, 2006 | Grahame L. Jones, Times Staff Writer
Walking fast and staring straight ahead, Wayne Rooney marched out of the locker room and onto the England team bus Saturday evening, pausing not even once to tell his side of the tale. Walking with a limp and with eyes red-rimmed from crying, David Beckham made the same march. There would be no comment, said Beckham's minders. News conference today. Then he'll talk. And so two of the principal reasons why England crashed out of the World Cup left the stadium.
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July 2, 2006 | From the Associated Press
Argentina defender Leandro Cufre faces a disciplinary panel and German players or officials could also be punished over the fracas that followed the host team's shootout win in the World Cup quarterfinals. FIFA communications director Markus Siegler said Saturday that the "legal procedure will be started as is normal in the case of a red card."
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July 1, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
Spain Coach Luis Aragones said Friday he would remain in charge, despite a promise to quit if his team was eliminated early from the World Cup. Aragones said he would stay until the European Championship in 2008 after meeting with Spanish soccer federation officials. Until its 3-1 loss to France in the second round Tuesday, Spain had not lost in 26 games. Still, it has been an underachiever and Aragones promised he would quit if the team missed the semifinals.
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July 1, 2006 | Chuck Culpepper, Special to The Times
If you're an American like me, you might notice that our country sometimes seems to lack a certain, I don't know, cohesion. Maybe it's just too big. Maybe it's just filled with little nations, like West and East or red and blue or USC and UCLA. Maybe it just has too much talkradio.
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June 30, 2006 | Grahame L. Jones, Times Staff Writer
Somewhere among the four World Cup quarterfinal matches, a great moment surely awaits. But it is the Argentina-Germany quarterfinal clash in Berlin today that has everyone talking. Either the host nation will be knocked out, which would put a sizable damper on things, or the tournament will lose not only one of its most attractive teams but also the possibility of an unprecedented Argentina-Brazil final. "It's unfortunate that this matchup comes now," Germany assistant coach Joachim Loew said.
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June 30, 2006 | Reuters
A soccer fan refused to let the small matter of his house burning down disturb his enjoyment of Tuesday's World Cup match between France and Spain. A fire gutted the dwelling in the center of the Chinese capital at 3 a.m. local time Wednesday -- kickoff time in Hanover, Germany -- the Beijing Daily Messenger reported. "When the neighbors shouted fire, I took my little baby and ran out in my nightclothes," the man's wife told the paper.
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June 30, 2006 | From the Associated Press
English referee Graham Poll, who showed a Croatian player three yellow cards before sending him off in a World Cup match, is quitting international refereeing. The experienced Premier League referee told Britain's Sky Sports television Thursday that he had considered retiring from all soccer after his blunder, which meant a Croatian player stayed on the field three minutes longer than he should have in a group stage game against Australia.
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