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Soccer-Colombian teacher accused of pinching kids' World Cup stickers

Reuters

BOGOTA, May 7 (Reuters) - World Cup fever seems to have got the better of a school teacher in Colombia accused of pilfering stickers from pupils to complete his Panini album of the soccer tournament's leading players, local media reported.

El Espectador said a 13-year-old pupil in the central city of Bucaramanga reported the teacher after seeing him in the staff room pasting in stickers confiscated from students who had been trading them in class.

"It's no way to give an example to young ones, taking their stickers away for your own benefit," the mother of one of the students told local RCN radio.

Media gave no identities of the teachers or pupils.

A month away from the World Cup in Brazil, kids worldwide are buying, swapping and trading the glossy stickers loved by football fans since Italian publishing company Panini's first album for the 1970 tournament in Mexico.

A lawyer at Bucuramanga's education authority told Reuters it had not received any formal complaint but was investigating.

"According to the pupil, the teacher was confiscating various pupils' stickers arguing that a commercial market was being created that was distracting students from their academic work in the institution," El Espectador reported. (Reporting by Peter Murphy; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne and Ed Osmond)

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