Germany-Spain semifinal interrupted briefly by fan

The World Cup semifinal between Germany and Spain was

interrupted briefly in the fourth minute Wednesday when an Italian

fan carrying a vuvuzela ran onto the field to protest the exclusion

of a player from Italy’s squad.

Italian news agency ANSA reported that the intruder is named

Mario Ferri, who was wearing a blue T-shirt with a slogan

protesting the absence of forward Antonio Cassano from Italy’s

national team at the tournament.

Ferri pulled a similar stunt last November during a friendly

between Italy and the Netherlands in Pescara.

The fan entered the field near Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer’s

net and sprinted almost to midfield before he was caught by

security.

His hands were clasped behind his back and he was quickly taken

to the sidelines and lifted over the boards. Police then sprinted

with the man to a tunnel as play resumed.

South Africa Police Service spokesman Vish Naidoo was unable to

confirm the fan’s identity late Wednesday.

South African authorities have created special courts at World

Cup stadiums to fast-track cases arising from soccer-related

incidents during the tournament.