Neil Humphreys rounds up what's happening during the World Cup

Neil Humphreys rounds up what's happening during the World Cup


Neil Humphreys rounds up what's happening around the grounds, on the streets and beneath the underbelly during the World Cup.


When Neymar read his sorrowful statement from his hospital bed, he appeared on live TV.

One of the most popular variety shows in Brazil was interrupted to go live to the striker's private suite at the hospital.

As I was having a late breakfast at the time, waitresses around me sighed and clutched their chest.

Waiters stopped to listen to their fallen hero. Their lips wobbled. So did the tray of coffee cups they were holding.

A nation wept for one man. Fortunately, I met a gang of Colombian lads at Rio airport who were happy to offer a sobering dose of perspective.

"I hate Neymar. I hate Brazil. I hated the referee in the match and I hate Fifa," said Juan Pablo Martinez, struggling to say what he really thought.

"That match was a conspiracy. Everyone wants Brazil to get to the final. The referee was terrible and I really don't care about Neymar. I hope Germany thrash Brazil. Go Germany!"


Thanks to the exhausting time difference between Singapore and Brazil, I get up and start writing around 7am, Rio time.

I'm not complaining, but hotel staff are beginning to think a pervert is occupying Room 513.

Every morning, as my deadline approaches, the chambermaid knocks and opens the door only to find me, in my boxer shorts, crouching over a laptop and shouting: "You can't come in now! Please! I'm in the middle of something on my laptop. You really can't come in!"

She hasn't come back since.


Yesterday afternoon, I met some European tourists who were wandering aimlessly around the hotel lobby.

They appeared to be lost. Fancying myself as a bit of an adopted native, I offered assistance.

"No, no, we're not lost," one of the older guys insisted. He sounded German.

"It's just that there are no World Cup games today. We don't know what to do."

I know the feeling. Don't you?

This article was first published on July 7, 2014.
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