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Germany honors champions

At a party 24 years in the making, hundreds of thousands of Germans showed their admiration and adoration for their World Cup champions in a parade to the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin on Tuesday.

The players, in matching black T-shirts bearing the number “1,” lapped up the love by playing up to the estimated 400,000 people packing the “fan mile” in front of the landmark.

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Fans began arriving overnight to secure good spots to welcome home coach Joachim Loew’s team and the trophy. Germany’s fourth World Cup, the first since 1990, crowned years of work by Loew to modernize the team, and followed near misses at recent tournaments.

“We’re all world champions!” Loew told the crowd. “Of course, it was a long way to the title, and an incredibly tough one in the end. But we’re incredibly happy to be here with the fans now.”

As the players waited to take their accolades on a stage, the fans welcomed each of them with a chant of “football god” — giving Bastian Schweinsteiger, Thomas Mueller, Mario Goetze and Miroslav Klose the loudest cheers.

There were problems with the sound system, meaning most of the players’ words were lost to the crowd. The supporters didn’t mind, though, and cheered even louder as defender Jerome Boateng, back in his hometown, shouted: “I can’t hear you!”

Concussion expert criticizes Cup

World Cup organizers repeatedly failed to follow their own concussion protocol and also failed to take advantage of the international interest in the tournament to teach fans and young players about the dangers of head injuries, U.S. concussion expert Chris Nowinski said.

“I’m worried about how many kids emulate these athletes. It wasn’t just one athlete hurt; it was one multiplied by 1 million,” Nowinski said. “They didn’t even use a bully pulpit and say: ‘This is unacceptable.’ ”

Several times in the monthlong tournament, players suffered what appeared to be concussions but continued to play — a practice doctors agree can put them at risk of severe brain damage.

“Clearly if there is a protocol, it isn’t being followed,” said Nowinski, who helped start the Sports Legacy Institute to educate the public about head injuries.

Juventus coach Conte exits

Antonio Conte terminated his contract with Italian Serie A champion Juventus by mutual consent in a stunning move just as the team begins preparations for next season.

Conte, 44, guided Juventus to three Serie A titles in a row and had a year remaining on his contract.

Track and field

Pistorius is in altercation at club

Oscar Pistorius was in an altercation at a nightclub Saturday.

Pistorius went with a cousin to a Johannesburg club, where he was accosted by a man who aggressively questioned him about his murder trial, family spokeswoman Anneliese Burgess said.

But the man, Jared Mortimer, gave a different version, saying the double-amputee runner was drunk, insulted his friends and the family of President Jacob Zuma and poked him in the chest, according to Johannesburg’s Star newspaper.

The episode focuses fresh attention on the disputed character of Pistorius, a globally recognized athlete who is on trial for murder after he fatally shot girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp through a closed toilet door at his home Feb. 14, 2013.

Pistorius, 27, is free on bail.

The trial is on a break ahead of closing arguments, which are to begin Aug. 7.


• Seattle University graduate Stu Jackson has been hired as senior associate commissioner of the Big East Conference.

Jackson, 58, played for Seattle U after three seasons of competing for Oregon. The former Washington State assistant has worked as a head coach — of the New York Knicks and Vancouver Grizzlies — and executive in the NBA.

Jackson will oversee Big East men’s basketball operations and strategic planning. He spent last season as a game analyst for Big East basketball on Fox Sports 1 and as a studio analyst on NBA TV.

• UCLA guard Lauren Holiday is ending her college-basketball career after a mere 12 games over two seasons because of repeated head injuries. Holiday, the younger sister of former Washington Huskies player Justin Holiday, will remain with the Bruins as an undergraduate assistant and continue pursuing a sociology degree.

• Tour de France cyclists got massages, mingled with family and friends, took some leisurely rides and faced questions from reporters on a rest day.

The 11th stage of the 21-stage race is Wednesday and the leader is Italian Vincenzo Nibali of the Astana team.

Swiss rider Fabian Cancellara, 33, announced he was pulling out of the Tour to focus on the Road World Championships in September in Spain.

• Pittsburgh Penguins officials say captain Sidney Crosby, who was voted the NHL’s most valuable player last season, will not need surgery on his injured wrist.

Crosby, 26, dealt with the injury during the playoffs. The Penguins announced on Twitter that “after seeking additional medical advice, doctors have decided not to perform surgery on Sidney Crosby’s wrist.”

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