Football matches come, of course, in all shapes and sizes – the critically important and the relatively inconsequential, local derbies steeped in decades of mutual loathing and round-trips which measure thousands of miles and...
Back in 1950, Harry Keough perhaps summarised best the general attitude toward the quality of the American game that might still hold true in some quarters of the international football community. After the postal...
Twelve years ago, at their own World Cup finals, France comfortably beat South Africa in their opening group game, going on to become the sixth nation to win the tournament at home. Today South Africa became the first hosts in the 80-year history of the competition to fall at the first hurdle, but their blushes were somewhat spared with this spirited display against an abject French side in their last game under Raymond Domenech. Twelve years is a long time in football.
Game two then, and after all the discussion of squad selections and line-ups, we’ve already had a look at ITV’s opening performance and it’s time to see what the BBC’s much-vaunted team can do. Given all the hype that accompanies even a Europa Cup Group phase game these days, or a game to decide who finishes fourth in the league, Lineker’s opening gambit here was an endearingly BBC-ish understatement: “The World Cup. Football tournaments don’t come much bigger.” You don’t say.
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.
Until someone figures out how to astroturf the moon and stop the corner flags floating away, all major sporting events have to take place somewhere. And when you have somewhere, you can rest assured that someone already lives there. The host nation and the home advantage are here to stay.
The British media have been gorging on the reflected anger of the Thierry Henry handball saga over the last couple of days or so, but do Irish football supporters need the British media churning up a diplomatic row on the scale of The Bay Of Pigs Crisis over a mistake on the part of a referee?