The AP World Cup Digest at 10 a.m. EDT (1400 GMT). The supervisor of the World Cup desk in Rio de Janeiro is Simon Haydon. The desk can be reached at 0055 21 348 264 84.
RIO DE JANEIRO — FIFA has rejected Luis Suarez’s appeal against his lengthy ban for biting an opponent in a World Cup match.
The FIFA appeals committee rejected the appeal by Suarez and the Uruguay football federation in its entirety. SENT.
SAO PAULO — The Netherlands squad must stay at the World Cup when coach Louis van Gaal dearly wishes they could just go home. Next up? The game no one wants to play. Faced with the prospect of the third-place game against host Brazil on Saturday after a disappointing semifinal loss to Argentina, Dutch coach Louis van Gaal has criticized the match as meaningless and “nothing whatsoever to do with sports.” By Gerald Imray. SENT.
RIO DE JANEIRO — The best player in the world goes up against the ultimate team machine, on the world’s biggest stage. When Lionel Messi’s Argentina takes on Germany in Sunday’s World Cup final, it looks at first glance like a meeting between brilliant individual scoring talent and the tight discipline of a collective unit. By Mattias Karen. SENT.
WCUP-BRAZIL-HOW DOES IT FEEL?
SAO PAULO — After its own World Cup dream fell apart in the most humiliating way, Brazil must now grapple with the prospect that things could get even worse: Argentina could win. After beating the Netherlands in a shootout Wednesday, Brazil’s archrival is now tantalizingly close to becoming world champion for the first time since 1986. By Karl Ritter. UPCOMING: 600 words by 12 p.m. EDT/1600 GMT.
BRASILIA, Brazil — Neymar’s World Cup began with him carrying Brazil’s hopes for the title at home. It ended with him carried off the field on a stretcher because of knee to his back. Despite the disappointing end to his first World Cup, Neymar was one of the few players who left unscathed after the national team’s disastrous elimination to Germany in the semifinals. By Tales Azzoni. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 3 p.m. EDT/1900 GMT.
BRASILIA, Brazil — Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari is expected to make changes to Brazil’s lineup for the third-place match against the Netherlands on Saturday. By Tales Azzoni. UPCOMING: 400 words, photos by 5 p.m. EDT/2100 GMT.
PORTO SEGURO, Brazil — The victory over Diego Maradona’s Argentina brought Germany its last World Cup title in 1990 and avenged the Maradona-inspired defeat of four years earlier. For the third time, the two nations will meet in a final. By Nesha Starcevic. UPCOMING 600 words by 1 p.m. EDT/1700 GMT.
SAO PAULO — Louis van Gaal’s luck finally ran out at the World Cup. The Netherlands coach appeared to have a golden tactical touch in Brazil. He switched systems during matches to force victories, brought on substitutes who scored within minutes, posted a striker in defense and — most amazingly of all — swapped goalkeepers for a penalty shootout victory. By Mike Corder. SENT.
WCUP-SOUTH KOREA-HONG RESIGNS
SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea coach Hong Myung-bo resigned Thursday as he took responsibility for his team’s disappointing performance at the World Cup in Brazil. Hong has faced mounting criticism after South Korea was eliminated from the World Cup by finishing last in the four-team Group H. South Korea was defeated 1-0 by Belgium, 4-2 by Algeria and a drew 1-1 with Russia. SENT.
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Thursday chided a ruling party lawmaker for tweeting a salute to Adolf Hitler while praising Germany for making it to the World Cup final. SENT.
RIO DE JANEIRO — Renata de Mouro Moitinho sambas so fast her feet blur, but her partner moves with the bumbling tentativeness of a toddler taking his first steps. And in a way the strapping man in a tight spandex soccer jersey really is taking his first steps — his first samba steps, that is: Moitinho’s dance partner for the evening is an Italian, visiting Brazil for the World Cup, and she is giving him his very first lesson in the nation’s frenetically paced national dance. By Jenny Barchfield. SENT.
VATICAN CITY — The Vatican says it is unlikely that Pope Francis and his predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, would get together to watch their home teams in the World Cup final on Sunday. Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said Thursday that the hour of the final is late for Francis’ routine, and acknowledged with a chuckle that Benedict wasn’t known as an avid sports fan. Still, he didn’t rule anything out, saying, “we’ll see in the coming days.” SENT.
— UNDATED — WCUP-ON THIS DAY. SENT.
__ UNDATED __ WORLD CUP GLANCE. SENT.