World Cup Preview: Group A

April 16, 2010


“The 19th FIFA World Cup kicks off in nine weeks today, and as such Dotmund continues his almost-in-depth look ahead to this summer’s festivities. Today is the beginning of his preview of each of the eight groups, having been sent foraging for facts on the internet with only his trusty huge mackerel baguette for company. Predictably enough, we start with Group A.” (twohundredpercent)


Technology and Justice

April 16, 2010

“It happens every few months, like the change of seasons or the media’s en masse attempt to wring some fresh significance out of Sarah Palin: a referee misses an important call, a fan base is outraged, a UEFA executive looks on in silence, and lights flare to life over the metaphoric phone banks at the metaphoric talk-radio stations that, in the imaginations of writers, suggest a groundswell of popular interest. One minute Thierry Henry practices saxophone fingerings on the ball and stops Ireland from reaching the World Cup, the next Didier Drogba whaps like a volleyball player and helps secure the title for Chelsea (twice, actually, if you remember Man City 2006).” (Run of Play)


England’s World Cup hosts in a race to be ready in time

April 16, 2010

“Just seven weeks remain until the England team move into their South Africa base for the World Cup finals, and yet their headquarters still look like a building site. You cannot miss the Bafokeng Sports Campus, on a right-hand turning off the road between Rustenburg and Sun City, because there is a small platoon of workers building the entry gates. Down the drive, the construction work is more extensive. One building, containing the medical centre, the thermal rehab room and the gymnasium, remains incomplete. Even farther behind in the race for completion is the shell of another building that will be the media centre.” (TimesOnline)


Undercurrents of Violence at the World Cup

April 16, 2010


Emmanuel Adebayor
“How easy it is to forget that athletes at their peak are, by the very nature of their tasks, young but expected to be wise in their event, world-traveled but isolated and vulnerable. This week, Emmanuel Adebayor, the goal scorer for Manchester City, gave up the captaincy and, he said, the calling to ever play again for his country, Togo. He is 26 and a millionaire, and he said he just cannot get out of his head the day in January when Angolan separatists fired on the Togo team bus, killing three people in it.” (NYT)


Fabio Capello pinpoints failure to invest for English clubs’ Champions League exits

April 16, 2010

“For the first time in seven years, England has no representatives in the semi-finals of the Champions League. ‘It is obvious that the financial crisis has affected the English clubs in Europe after years when they were among the top spenders,’ said Capello. ‘Besides Manchester City, the main exceptions were Real Madrid and Inter Milan. Florentino Perez had to bring Real back into the frame. Inter Milan bought six new players.'” (Telegraph – Henry Winter)


Europe’s former players gather in Liverpool

April 16, 2010

“Sir Bobby Charlton kept a roomful of people spellbound yesterday with stories of his life in football. The pick of the bunch was about Bill Shankly and the first day of the 1967-68 season. It was seven in the morning and Liverpool’s squad had spent the night at a hotel in Lymm prior to visiting Manchester City. Alone in the lobby, Shankly was itching for conversation. On hearing from the porter that ‘Bobby Charlton lives round here’, he headed out.” (WSC)