A roundup of happenings around the globe

Updated: 25 February 2007 07:37 IST

Former Manchester United defender Jaap Stam says he will never return to Old Trafford even if manager Sir Alex Ferguson begs him to.

The next round of World Cup qualifiers takes place on Wednesday with both Brazil and Germany scrambling to make it to South Korea and Japan. Both teams have never missed out on qualifying, though Germany missed two editions in 1930 and 1950. German World Cup winners of the past are convinced that the current side will survive their playoff battle with Ukraine to make next year's finals in Japan and South Korea. Germany gearing up After Germany managed a 1-1 draw against Ukraine in the first leg of their playoff on Saturday, they are now getting geared up for the second leg to be played in Dortmund on Wednesday. The Germans will go through on the away goals rule if they can hold on for a goalless draw. Germany have never failed to qualify for the World Cup and coach Rudi Voeller says he will quit if Germany don't make it. No women please After a comfortable 2-0 win over Iran on Saturday, Ireland travel to Tehran for the second leg on Wednesday. But the Irish team might be without any of their loyal women fans. The Iranian authorities have barred nearly 300 Irish women from attending the match after there was a report that there might be 'fierce reactions' from influential clerics. Token representation Even though the 2002 World Cup is still 200 days away, the countdown is on. National flags of countries that are participating in next summer's World Cup were raised at a ceremony in Seoul City on Monday. Since only 25 of the 32 finalists have been decided yet, seven teams were given a token representation by using the World Cup emblem instead of national flags. Stam won't come back Former Manchester United defender Jaap Stam says he will never return to Old Trafford even if manager Sir Alex Ferguson begs him to. Ferguson and begging, that seems unlikely but given the way the United's defence has been this season, perhaps Stam thinks he might be in contention for a recall. Stam was sold to Lazio in August this year after falling out with Ferguson.

Topics : Football
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