BRAZIL BEAT: International flavor in Sao Paulo

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 15, 2014 at 7:32 pm •  Published: June 15, 2014
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SAO PAULO (AP) — Is it "Let's Go" or "Les Bleus"? It's getting hard to tell in a Bohemian neighborhood of Brazil's largest city where foreigners have taken over the streets to improvise a big outdoor festival of fans.

"Everyone out here speaks everything but Portuguese," said Matt Baca, a 31-year-old tourist from Los Angeles, sipping beer with his two friends while watching a game Sunday. "This area is awesome. Downtown is a little rougher."

Young international tourists arriving for World Cup celebrations in Sao Paulo have been asking local friends or cab drivers their suggestions for places to watch the games and enjoy the nightlife. The trendy neighborhood of Vila Madalena has been the answer so far.

The neighborhood in Sao Paulo's west side is known for its happy hours in the Brazilian pubs known as botecos. But the streets are buzzing a lot more than usual with people selling beers on the corners as if they were Popsicles and some even grilling hotdogs from the back of their SUVs.

Knowing this would happen here, a 27-year-old Brazilian, who until recently had been working as a barista in Australia, designed scarves of each country and is selling them in the street of Aspicuelta that's dotted with bars and restaurants.

"Business is good," Luis Lobo said. "Italy and Mexico sold out."

— By Adriana Gomez Licon — www.twitter.com/agomezlicon

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RACIN' ROBBEN

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — A Dutch newspaper says that Arjen Robben ran faster than any footballer recorded on his way to scoring the final goal in the Netherlands' 5-1 drubbing of Spain at the World Cup.

De Telegraaf says it clocked winger Robben at 37 kilometers per hour (22.9 mph) in his blistering breakaway for his second goal in Salvador on Friday. According to the paper, that broke the previous known speed record of 35.7 kph (21.8 mph) by Arsenal's Theo Walcott.

Olympic champion Usain Bolt reportedly reached a top speed of 44.72 kph (27.7 mph) when he set the 100-meter world record of 9.58 seconds.

— By Gerald Imray — www.twitter.com/GeraldImrayAP

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TERESOPOLIS, Brazil (AP) — Brazil's ministry of justice says five Argentine citizens have been prohibited from entering the country because of their alleged involvement with fan violence.

The justice ministry said in a statement Sunday that two were turned back by federal police in Rio de Janeiro, two by authorities in Foz do Iguacu in southern Brazil and one by officials in Sao Paulo.

The ministry said fans identified as "members of fan groups involved in fan violence in stadiums" will not be allowed in the country during the World Cup.

Immigration authorities throughout the country are monitoring their entrances based on databases with information from authorities from several countries.

— By Tales Azzoni — www.twitter.com/tazzoni

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BARELY SPEAKING

SALVADOR, Brazil (AP) — Angered by published photos showing them bathing nude at their training complex's swimming pool, Croatian players are refusing to speak to World Cup reporters.

"They are determined that they will not speak to the media," Croatia coach Niko Kovac said. "I don't know if this will last until tomorrow, or until we are at the World Cup."

The pictures from paparazzo photographers were published by Croatian media.

"I can't force them to change their minds after what you have done to them and their families," Kovac said.

A news conference scheduled for Monday at the Croatian camp near Salvador was canceled.

— By Dusan Stojanovic — www.twitter.com/dusansto

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