The 2014 World Cup is down to four teams: Brazil, Germany, Netherlands and Argentina. There’s plenty of soccer left to be played, and plenty of news swirling around the world’s biggest sporting event. Here are five stories you may have missed from week five at the World Cup.
1. Luis Suarez Apologizes for Biting Incident
Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez, who currently plays for Liverpool FC in England, has issued a public apology for his biting incident during the World Cup, which caused him to be banned from soccer for four months and nine international games with Uruguay. Suarez bit Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini during their group match. Though the incident went unseen by the referee, video footage proved Suarez to be guilty. This was the third incident in which he bit another soccer player. Suarez stated that he will never do it again and apologized to Chiellini and the whole soccer world.
2. Cameroon Investigated for Match Fixing
Cameroon had a disastrous performance at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and is now being accused of fixing the games. Cameroon’s 4-0 loss to Croatia is currently under investigation, as they might have lost the game on purpose. Why? Gambling is one possible reason. The African team also threatened to strike during the tournament for not getting promised bonuses. Regardless of the outcome, the team behaved strangely and their own soccer federation will investigate them. FIFA has not made any comments on the matter.
3. US vs Belgium Game with Super Ratings
Who said soccer isn’t popular in the US? The US and Belgium game for the 2014 World Cup’s Round of 16 managed very high ratings for a sporting event, especially given it aired on a weekday afternoon. The game was the second most watched soccer game in the country ever, with 16.49 million viewers, right behind the US vs Portugal game at 18.22 million. Spanish networks brought in Spanish-speaking Americans tuned in as well, and Americans living abroad helped push the viewership even higher still.
4. Brazilian Star Kaka Comes to MLS
Veteran Brazilian midfielder Kaka — a 2002 World Cup Champion — has signed with new MLS expansion team Orlando City SC and will begin playing in 2015. That is great news for the MLS as Kaka is considered a legend of the sport. While not quite World Cup news, it is still awesome soccer news for the US, and could affect the Americans’ World Cup fortunes going forward. Head coach Jurgen Klinsmann for one believes the quality of play in MLS carries over to the national team on the international stage. Having more foreign soccer stars in the league will help develop homegrown American players.
5. Neymar Ruled Out for the Rest of the World Cup
Brazilian striker and 2014 World Cup star Neymar suffered a back injury on Friday in the quarterfinal game against Colombia. Neymar has been ruled out for the rest of the World Cup with a fractured vertebra. The news has devastated soccer fans, many of whom believe Brazil may have lost their chance to win the World Cup title while hosting. Neymar recently posted a video in which he tells the Brazilian people to have hope, that Brazil is still strong enough to win the title without him. Deep down inside, many true soccer fans know that the star is right. Brazil is always a powerhouse no matter what.
J.L. Herrera is a huge fan of football and has been following the Raiders since the 1980s during the LA era. J.L. is also a freelance writer and copywriter on the web. He taught English for a little more than a decade in Los Angeles at the secondary level. While writing for web-based news outlets, J.L. enjoys reading, creative writing, and watching sports. His work can be found on Examiner.com.