World Cup 2014 Diary: Croatia’s naked fury after squad are snapped bathing in nude

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The Independent Football

Croatia’s players, already upset at the dubious refereeing in their opening game defeat to Brazil, have let something else get under their skin. They are now refusing to talk to reporters after photos were published of them bathing nude in the team’s swimming pool.

Photographers hid in nearby bushes and took the pictures, which were published by some online media outlets. “I can’t force them to be at your disposal after what you have done to them and their families,” an angry Croatia manager, Niko Kovac, told reporters.

“How would you feel if someone took naked pictures of you? They are adamant that they won’t speak to you lot any more and I don’t know whether the silence will end tomorrow or last until the end of our World Cup campaign.

“I know you’ve done a very professional job so far but you blew it with this one.”

Foreign legion

The recent row over whether Adnan Januzaj should play for England has been put into perspective by today’s opponents of the nation he chose to play for, Belgium. Only seven of Algeria’s “Fennec Foxes” were born in the North African country; the other 16 have their birthplace in France. Indeed, there are 46 French-born players in the tournament.

Game for a laugh

There was such a shortage of accommodation in Manaus before Saturday’s game that England fan Marc Cummings took what he could get and booked into Hotel Opcao.

Then he noticed a few odd things happening around the location and it was not long before he twigged that the hotel was opposite a brothel in the red-light district and usually rents out rooms to amorous couples by the hour.

“It was either sleep in the street or sleep in the ‘love hotel’,” he laughed. “And we have been propositioned every night.”