Football: World Cup - Diary

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IT IS truly amazing that we have reached the midway point of the tournament - 16 days gone, 44 games played - and only now has word come through as to who Bangkok's monks are tipping for the World Cup. A poll of 937 monks living in the Thai capital found, surprise, surprise, that 46 per cent backed Brazil with 29 per cent favouring England.

FIFA, THE game's governing body, has used an Internet photograph to show that the American referee Esfandiar Baharmast was right to award the last-minute penalty which helped Norway beat Brazil and deny Morocco a place in the second round, a shirt-pulling infringement not visible in television replays. David Will, the chairman of the World Cup referees committee said: "Everyone says that from every angle there was no foul but there is a picture on the Internet [taken by a Swedish TV crew] which shows this exact incident."

NET SURFERS have discovered the World Cup in a big way, with well over 450 million hits registered on the official site ( since the tournament kicked off. Monday 15 June - the day of England v Tunisia - was the most popular day so far with 59 million hits, beating the previous record of 56 million in one day, recorded by the official website for the Winter Olympics in Nagano.

Compiled by Trevor Haylett