Caf decision over Togo makes no sense

January 31, 2010

“Not since Buckingham Palace took so long to respond Princess Diana’s death in 1997 has an organisation so badly misjudged the mood of the public. For the decision by the Confederation of African Football (Caf) to expel Togo from the next two Africa Cup of Nations – following their Angola 2010 withdrawal after their team bus was machine-gunned (with two team officials dying) – is simply jaw-dropping. Before we get into the whys and wherefores, let’s just clarify why the Togolese have been suspended. In the statement they released on Saturday, Caf said the following… ” (BBC – Piers Edwards)

South Africa’s cup is failing to set the world on fire

January 31, 2010

“According to the wonderful American humorist Dave Barry, who has long marvelled at Miami’s ability to attract visitors despite notorious gun and crime statistics, the city’s official tourism slogan is: Maybe You Won’t Get Shot. There is no truth in the rumour that South Africa is considering a similar sales pitch for the World Cup this summer, yet listening to Jérôme Valcke, the secretary general of Fifa, pleading for more favourable media coverage in advance of the tournament and blaming low ticket sales on unfounded security concerns, it was tempting to wonder what sort of people his organisation imagined would flock to a distant country with a reputation for violence.” (Guardian – Paul Wilson)

Super-sub Gedo lands Egypt title

January 31, 2010

“Super-sub Mohamed Gedo scored the only goal five minutes from time to help Egypt defend their African Nations Cup crown with victory over brave Ghana. The Pharaohs, who struggled to create many openings through the game, looked unlikely to score as the game drifted towards extra-time – until the Ittihad striker struck his fifth goal of the competition to break the resilience of their opponents.” (ESPN)

Ghana 0-1 Egypt
“Egypt secured a record seventh Africa Cup of Nations title, after beating Ghana 1-0 in a tense final in Angola. Substitute Mohamed Gedo scored the only goal of the game, playing a neat one-two before curling a superb shot past Richard Kingson in the 85th minute.” (BBC)

Forward! Barnsley

January 31, 2010

“Mark Robins would have more than a case for being the best manager of this Championship season but his players let him down today. The former C. D. Ourense and Panionios man has been scathing of his players in his post match comments and little wonder: they didn’t muster a shot on goal in the 1-0 reverse at the Madejski Stadium and such meek capitulation to a team occupying the penultimate slot in the table will not be countenanced in future.” (thetwounfortunates)

Celtic still 10 points behind, Hibs keep up fight for 2nd place

January 31, 2010

Scott Brown
“Rangers are still 10 points clear at the top of the Scottish Premier League after a 3-0 win over Falkirk at Ibrox. In honesty, it was a pretty flat game with the class of Steven Davis playing a big part in deciding the result. The Northern Irish midfielder scored the first for Rangers after 18 minutes with a superb free-kick from 25 yards out. Davis then notched his 13th assist of the season with a lovely pass across the face of goal for the on-rushing John Fleck who managed to sneak the ball into the net.” (Soccer Lens)

A 10 point-gap in the SPL: is the season over?
“Travelling back home through Gatwick last night, I quickly checked the football scores before switching off the phone for the flight. At the time, Rangers where winning 1-0 against St Mirren and Celtic where 1-0 up against Hibs. Nothing unusual in that I thought, but as an illustration of the fragility of the Old Firm this season, by the time I landed in Rotterdam, Celtic had somehow managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, and websites across the nation decreed the end of the Scottish football season for 2009/10.” (Inside Left)

Hamilton 0 – 1 Celtic
“Morten Rasmussen bagged his first Celtic goal to set up an unconvincing win at Hamilton Accies. The Danish striker immediately marked his arrival as a substitute with a sharp turn and shot on 67 minutes. Prior to Rasmussen’s strike, Celtic had toiled to break down stubborn, if unadventurous, opponents, with little goalmouth action to excite the fans.” (BBC)

Soccer plays a critical role in Africa

January 31, 2010

“The Africa Cup of Nations is traditionally fought tooth and nail as regional rivals duke it out to claim continental bragging rights. This year’s competition, now at the final stage, has felt sorely lacking; more Maui Invitational than March Madness. The play of local Ivory Coast, Cameroon, and Nigeria has been particularly uneven, triggering a rush of critics to downgrade bullish predictions made so confidently after the World Cup draw.” (ESPN)

Pedro seals Barca win

January 31, 2010

“Pedro’s goal proved enough to give Barcelona their 16th league win of the season as Pep Guardiola’s side edged out Sporting Gijon at El Molinon in the Primera Division. The Tenerife-born winger struck after half an hour to give Barca the lead. Both sides had missed decent opportunities before that, but Guardiola’s side were superior virtually throughout.”>(ESPN)

Sporting Gijon vs Barca Highlights, on 30/01/10
(All About FC Barcelona)