Confederations Cup: A To Z

June 10, 2009

_44417359_cfans_ap416 takes a look at the competing teams and history of the competition ahead of the big kick-off; along the way, we uncover some of the more curious points of interest of the Confederations Cup…” (Goal)

Chile plot course for South Africa 2010 (BBC – Tim Vickery)
“Four of the five games in this weekend’s 13 round of South American World Cup qualifiers were won by the away team. That’s a remarkable statistic in a continent where so often the home sides come out on top. Before this round, the campaign was reproducing the standard South American ratio of 3 to 1, with 31 home wins to 10 away.”

Brazil still battling the ghosts of ’82 (SI – Tim Vickery)
“They say people only ever remember the winners. They can say it all they like — it doesn’t make it true, especially when it comes to soccer. The game is known for its simplicity. But such simplicity hides myriad complexities.”

Best of the rest compete for 2010 World Cup soccer spots (The Canadian Press)
“Few doubt that Brazil and Argentina will qualify for the World Cup finals next year in South Africa. After all, Brazil has played in every one, and Argentina last missed out in 1970. But which other two teams will automatically advance from South American qualifying? A fifth South American team will also have a chance to make it, facing a playoff with the fourth-placed team from North and Central America and the Caribbean.”

World Cup safe from global crisis (Guardian)
” Africa waited decades to host its first soccer World Cup and when it comes, it’s during an unprecedented global economic crisis. The recession has impacted every country, raising fears for the planet’s most watched sporting event, which kicks off a year from now on June 11.
Yet not even the worst crisis since the Great Depression seems likely to deter millions of fanatical football fans or big commercial sponsors.”

Britain to take on match-fixers (BBC)
“The man who took on the drug cheats says match-fixing is fast emerging as a major threat to the integrity of sport. Dick Pound, former president of the World Anti-Doping Agency, has told BBC Sport that sport must step up its efforts to combat corruption.”

The dread of pre-season training looms large (BBC – Gavin Strachan)
“Hi, hope you are all well. It might be June, but having reflected on the season that has just passed, the thoughts of professional footballers are now – grudgingly – switching to getting themselves prepared for pre-season training. For most players, those words ‘pre-season training’ are tantamount to an obscenity.”