African Footballer of the Year 2009

December 2, 2009


Mputu
“Football experts from across Africa have chosen Drogba, Essien, Eto’o, Mputu and Toure as the top five footballers. Now it’s up to you to vote for the player you think is the king of African Football.” (BBC)

Can an African team win the 2010 World Cup?
“Close your eyes and try to imagine the scenes of jubilation across Africa if a team from the continent were to win the 2010 World Cup. A celebration like no other, one billion people revelling in one of the greatest sporting and cultural achievements. For the first time in its 80-year history, football’s blue riband competition is coming to the world’s poorest and most underdeveloped land. How better to mark the occasion than with a first African champion?” (BBC)


World Cup 2010 draw: England’s potential ‘Group of Death’

December 2, 2009

“Fabio Capello’s men have been named as one of the eight seeds – along with hosts South Africa, Brazil, Spain, Holland, Italy, Germany and Argentina. The French and Portuguese will be placed in Pot 4 with the rest of the European nations who qualified for next summer’s tournament. Capello will be glad that his side have avoided the real big hitters such as Spain and Brazil, but will be acutely aware that England could still end up in a tough group in Friday’s draw.” (Telegraph)


Are World Cup Referees Outgunned?

December 2, 2009

“The global soccer establishment, which has gathered here in South Africa ahead of Friday’s World Cup draw, is dealing with an international mess that has been decades in the making. Last month, in case you missed it, France defeated Ireland on a goal that was allowed to stand even though replays clearly showed that French captain Thierry Henry touched the ball twice with his hand. Ever since, the world has been consumed by whether its most popular sport should continue to allow the outcomes of its most important games to be influenced, even decided, by one person who has to run as much as 12 miles per match with a whistle in his mouth.” (WSJ)


In Chicago midfields, Hemon discovers transcendental soccer nation

December 2, 2009


“As theological statements go, the title of Aleksandar Hemon’s essay in the current Granta, ‘If God Existed, He’d Be a Solid Midfielder,’ would not impress the plethora of seminarians in Hemon’s adopted home, Chicago. Its unapologetic agnosticism creates insurmountable doctrinal challenges. If God plays midfield, He creates. But can He save? Not without an intentional handball and automatic ejection, and who could send off God?” (The Global Game)


Football Weekly: Chelsea power on, El Clásico and Ireland’s desperate plea

December 2, 2009

“We start – for all you Pantera fans – with Chelsea’s vulgar display of power at the Emirates Stadium. Arsenal were outmuscled and outclassed so is this year’s Premier League title Carlo Ancelotti’s to lose? From London, we move on to the northwest, where Manchester City suffered their seventh successive draw, this time at home to Hull. Even with a Carling Cup quarter-final to look forward to, is Mark Hughes now on borrowed time? And was Jimmy Bullard’s goal celebration just about the greatest of all time?” (Guardian – James Richardson)


England seeded as France miss out

December 2, 2009

“England have been seeded for the World Cup finals along with South Africa, Brazil, Spain, Netherlands, Italy, Germany and Argentina, FIFA announced at a press conference in Cape Town. France have unexpectedly been unseeded after FIFA decided to move away from their usual system of taking into account past performances at the finals. It had been expected that Netherlands would miss out on being seeded, while reports on Wednesday morning also suggested that by taking an average of ranking over the past three years could result in England being unseeded.” (ESPN)