Thursday, May 11, 2006

World Cup News Round Up

Can this Man Stay Healthy?

The official site of World Cup 2006 has been doing just a bang-up job of writing articles about the various players and teams in the mix in 2006.

Here's a snip from the article. Then go read the whole thing.

It seems an awful long time since 5 June 2002 and the goal O'Brien scored in
Suwon to spark the Americans' shock run to the FIFA World Cup quarter-finals.
Just four minutes into their opening match against a highly-rated Portugal team,
the wispy American midfielder pounced on a loose ball in front of Vitor Baia's
goal to put the underdogs ahead.

Deco is Good.
Also from FIFA's site (seriously, it's pretty good), a nice story about "Art" Deco of Portugal (Brazilian by birth) and one of their few great players who isn't responsible for the fiasco of 2002.

"We'll never be considered favourites like Brazil or Argentina," he adds,
"because we don't have their tradition in the World Cup. We have reached the
semi-finals just once (1966) but we shouldn't forget that this is the same
Portugal team that reached the final of the European Championship not so long
ago and beat England, Spain and Holland.

Need Tickets? Dubai's got two
United Arab Emirate's airline is offering tickets to matches, subject to availability. All you have to do is fly with them.

Need Matches Fixed? Go To Italy!
Hard to say how this rather huge scandal will affect Italian performance. Will they be distracted? Will the players be pissed? Who knows. But this is a fucking huge deal, as demonstrated by the fact that the New York Times is covering it.

players and managers being threatened and
blackmailed; numerous discussions over refereeing assignments before games; the
alleged collusion of coaches, federation officials and a popular soccer
talk-show host; the blacklisting of those who challenged the corruption; and, of
course, the lavish greasing of palms.

Thursday, Juventus's entire board of directors resigned.

All this comes a few months after Germany, the host of this year's World Cup, was
roiled by an officiating scandal of its own. In November, the German referee
Robert Hoyzer was sentenced to more than two years in prison after admitting
that he had accepted money to fix the outcome of matches for a Croatian gambling
syndicate. Referees in Brazil and players in Vietnam have also recently been
accused of fixing matches.

Finally, on a light-hearted note (unless you are Paraguayan)
Paraguay kicked off their World Cup training program with only two players today, and with coach Anibal Ruiz yet to name his final squad.

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