Day: June 7, 2008

Switzerland 0-1 Czech Republic

A lot of bluster, and not much of an end result. This is the only conclusion that one can rationally draw from Switzerland’s performance this afternoon, both in the opening ceremony and in the match itself. For their opponents the Czechs, this afternoon’s match must feel like something half-way between a job well done and a smash and grab raid. First up, though, the opening ceremony. This consisted of about sixty-four or so people holding plastic cubes, which changed colour according to which colour was facing upwards. To say that it didn’t work would be something of an understatement. The group of people seemed unable to stay in formation, meaning that, rather looking like that famous British Airways advert from the 1980s (as I expect the intention was), it looked like a giant game of Scrabble that had gone angrily awry. Into this mix, people on those springy stilts that you occasionally see people wearing at the circus. One of them was pretending to be a skier. Four of them were holding up a cow and moving it’s legs. You know the sort of thing. Once the nonsense was over and done with and the actual match started, it was Switzerland that looked the more impressive of the two teams. The Czechs looked strangely doughy, although they were certainly more incisive than the Swiss, who looked impressive until they...

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Euro 2008 – The Coaches

One of the enormous benefits of corporate sponsorship is that, if the competition is fierce for the rights to sponsor your event, you can make the sponsors jump through hoops in order to secure your attention. In the case of Euro 2008, the discussions to secure the services of an official vehicle sponsor for the tournament must have ended up with the staff of UEFA in fits of giggles as they made Hyundai supply them with coaches with ridiculous logos printed on the side of them. Gone are the days when football associations had to worry about such trifling details as booking their own coaches for the finals of major tournaments themselves. Nowadays, UEFA do this all for them, and even manage to find something for their work experience boy or girl in coming up with ridiculous, vacuous slogans to put on the side of them. One can’t help but think that someone at UEFA has missed a trick here. The opportunity to have a slogan that is ridiculous or even gratuitously offensive is one that I wouldn’t have been able to pass up. I mean, if you’re going to have coaches with slogans on the side of them, you might as well go the whole hog and make them is ridiculous as possible, mightn’t you? One can only hope that, in time for the next World Cup, FIFA...

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