World Cup Daily Ticker: June 4
Drogba To Miss World Cup
Dider Drogba will miss the World Cup for the Ivory Coast. The prolific Chelsea striker suffered a broken arm in the Elephant’s 2-0 victory over Japan. Teammate Kolo Toure says Drogba told him “the World Cup is finished.”
Drogba has scored 44 goals in 69 appearances for the Ivory Coast, considered by many to be the best African team at the World Cup. Drogba, 32, may be too old to get another shot to represent his country at a World Cup.
The absence of Drogba not only cripples the Ivory Coast’s chances to advance deep into the tournament but Drogba’s intensive humanitarian work made him a poster boy for a recovering Africa. He was recently named one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people.
Drogba led the EPL with 29 goals in 32 games last season.
Ferdinand To Miss World Cup
Another captain will miss the World Cup as Rio Ferdinand has suffered a knee injury in training that will keep him out of the World Cup. The Manchester United defender, who was given the captain’s armband following the fall from grace of former-captain John Terry, has struggled with injuries all season.
Ferdinand was spotted emerging from England’s training facility on crutches. The FA is getting a second opinion but Tottenham’s Michael Dawson, who was cut by Fabio Capello on Tuesday, is being prepped to fly to South Africa later today. Stephen Gerrard is expected to be named captain once Ferdinand is officially replaced.
There is also concern over goalkeeper David James’ knee. The Portsmouth keeper is experiencing knee pain following England’s long flight to South Africa but Capello does not seem worried. “David James has a little problem with the knee after a long flight,” Capello said. “It is not such a big problem.”
Nelson Mandela To Attend World Cup Opener
Nelson Mandella will attend the opening match of the FIFA World Cup between South Africa and Mexico one week from today. According to the African National Congress (ANC) the world-wide icon, the former president who was one of the architects of post-Apartheid South Africa, confirms the 91-year-old leader is healthy enough to travel.
“Madiba will grace both the opening and the closing of the World Cup,” ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu said, Madiba is Mandela’s traditional clan name by which he is known by many South Africans. “We are very honored to have an icon of Mandela’s caliber to grace this important event. We are very happy that Madiba will come. The Madiba magic will add to the excitement.”