By TIM FONTENAULT
When the Ivory Coast kicks off its World Cup against Japan, it may have to do so without its biggest star.
Ivory Coast coach Sabri Lamouchi confirmed Tuesday that Yaya Toure is in doubt for the African team’s World Cup opener Saturday with a hamstring injury suffered in the final game of Manchester City’s season.
Toure, the reigning African Player of the Year and a contender for the FIFA Ballon d’Or in 2013, was a key cog for the English champions this season, scoring 20 goals.
“He has not yet resumed team training and has to undergo a rehabilitation program,” Lamouchi told the press. “We are going to do everything in our power so that he will be able to start or at least come on during the game with Japan.”
The Ivory Coast’s group at the World Cup also includes Colombia and Greece.
Here’s some more news and notes from around the world of soccer:
REUS RULED OUT UNTIL SEPTEMBER
Germany midfielder Marco Reus is already ruled out of the World Cup, but it looks like his time on the sideline will extend even longer than this summer’s tournament.
The 25-year-old midfielder will not return to action until September after suffering a ligament tear in a pre-tournament friendly, according to Borussia Dortmund’s official website.
Reus, who has seven goals in 21 caps for Germany since 2011, was taken to the hospital on Friday during Germany’s friendly against Armenia after suffering an ankle injury. The 25-year-old was one of Borussia Dortmund’s top players during the 2013-14 season, and he was considered one of Germany’s key players as it pursues its first international trophy since winning the European Championship in 1996.
Dortmund failed to win a trophy this season, but Reus finished with 23 goals in 43 matches for the German club.
WARIS UNCERTAIN FOR GHANA’S CLASH WITH UNITED STATES
Ghana may have dominated South Korea to the tune of a 4-0 win in Miami on Monday, but the Black Stars might go into their World Cup opener against the United States shorthanded.
Abdul Majeed Waris left the win over the Asian side after only five minutes, injuring his left thigh after landing awkwardly trying to avoid a challenge. The 22-year-old midfielder was replaced by Jordan Ayew, who scored less than 10 minutes later.
The medical staff will continue to evaluate Waris’ condition, but it does not look good for the Valenciennes attacker, who scored nine goals in 16 matches.
MARADONA: FIFA AN “UGLY POWER”
Argentinian legend Diego Maradona has recently had more than a few choice words for the international governing body of the sport he once dominated.
The 1986 World Cup hero has called FIFA an “ugly power” after learning that the winning country at the 2014 tournament will receive 26 million euros.
“It [FIFA] is an ugly power. If they win 3 billion euros with the World Cup and the champions take 26 [million euros], there is a difference that you cannot believe,” Maradona said.
Prior to this attack, Maradona spoke out against the 2022 World Cup, set to be hosted by Qatar. Reports in recent weeks have suggested that FIFA executives received bribes to place the tournament in the oil-rich nation.
Do you expect Toure to play in the Ivory Coast’s opener? What do you make of Reus’ injury? Will Ghana miss Waris?
Share your thoughts below.