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World Cup notes: Will Ivory Coast striker play or sit?

Didier Drogba is training with his teammates ahead of Ivory Coast’s World Cup opener against Portugal, and a decision will be made on whether the striker can play two hours before today’s match.

Drogba broke his right arm in a June 4 match but has now trained with his teammates two consecutive days.

Ivory Coast coach Sven-Goran Eriksson says he is hopeful FIFA will approve the protective cast Drogba plans to wear but that “we don’t know the outcome” of the decision.

FIFA must be satisfied that the cast won’t be a danger to other players.

If Drogba does not make today’s match, Eriksson said there is a good chance he could play in next week’s match against Brazil.

NORTH KOREA? HUH?

North Korea’s coach bristled at reporters’ questions Monday on the eve of the team’s opening World Cup match against Brazil.

Coach Kim Jong Hun took exception when a South Korean journalist referred to his country as “North Korea” – rather than the nation’s official name: the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

“There’s such no country called ‘North Korea,’ ” he said testily. “Next question.”

Though commonly called “North Korea” abroad, the nation refers to itself as the “DPRK” in English or “Chosun” in Korean, the pre-colonial name of the Korean peninsula.

FIFA refers to North Korea as DPR Korea, while South Korea is listed as Korea Republic.

ESPN QUIETS HORNS

ESPN is turning down the incessant beehive-like noise produced by the vuvuzela horns.

While FIFA president Sepp Blatter backed the maligned horns, ESPN executive John Skipper said the network has taken steps to alter the mix to ensure that viewers can hear announcers over the persistent wail.

“We always work on the audio mix to provide the best experience we can to our fans,” he said.

Skipper noted it is standard procedure in televising NASCAR to cut down the din from cars’ engines so other audio elements can be heard.

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