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The World Cup Of National Anthems: Part Four

For many people, major sports tournaments are the only occasion that national anthems are heard. These peculiar tunes have become a genre of their own, transcending the mere hymns that many of them were in first place, and they range from the gloriously uplifting to mournful dirges. The selection of words has, in many countries, brought about national debate that has been all-encompassing. In the case of Spain, it was decided that it would probably be for the best just to not bother having any for the sake of national unity.

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March 26, 2010

New Zealand Revive Memories Of The Summer Of 1982

New Zealand have qualified for the 2010 World Cup finals by beating Bahrain in Wellington this morning, and this result may have stirred a few memories amongst men of a certain age that will remember their only other successful qualification attempt, from 1982.

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November 14, 2009

A World Cup Finals Without Argentina?

Now is not a particularly good time to be an Argentinian football supporter. Not only have their most loathed opposition – Brazil and England – already qualified for the finals of the 2010 World Cup, but there is a serious likelihood  that the Albiceleste themselves might not even qualify for next year’s tournament in South…

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September 11, 2009

Canada & The 1986 World Cup

You wouldn’t know it from the absolute lack of media coverage in the UK, but the CONCACAF Gold Cup – North & Central America’s equivalent of the European Championships – is currently being played out in the USA, and one of the minor surprises of the competition so far has been the progress of the…

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July 12, 2009

The Confederations Cup: Brazil 3-2 USA

The Brazilian coach Dunga’s name translates as “Dopey” in Portuguese, but this soubriquet could have applied to his entire team this evening as the South American champions rode their luck against an American team which, unencumbered by such considerations as fatigue, outplayed them in every department in Johannesberg for forty-five minutes this evening. The Americans…

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June 28, 2009

The Confederations Cup: Brazil 3-0 Italy

It’s worth remembering on evenings such as this that, much as some people used to make a degree of noise about South Americans not travelling well, no European side has ever won the World Cup outside of Europe. Anyone expecting this situation to change next summer may wish to take this evening’s match between Brazil…

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June 21, 2009

The Confederations Cup: USA 0-3 Brazil

The problem with the Confederations Cup, aside from those bloody, bloody, bloody vuvuzela air horns, is that it brings about more mismatches (in terms of quality) than even the World Cup.  However, you’d not necessarily have pegged this game as being one.  If the orthodox Anglocentric viewpoint is to be accepted – that ‘we’ invent…

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June 18, 2009
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