If this isn’t the signature match of this World Cup, an absolute classic awaits. All the “total football” focus had been on Holland v Brazil but in the end only Brazil played like they...
When Ghana becamse independent in 1957, the first of the wave of sub-Saharan countries to do so in that period, there’s a nice story about then Vice-President Richard Nixon attending their Independence Day celebrations. The US were broadly supportive of countries seeking to cast of the yoke of the old European colonial powers, and a beaming Nixon was shaking hand with anyone and everyone. “How does it feel to be free?” he asked of one black man he took for a native; “I wouldn’t know sir,” the man replied, “I’m from Alabama”.
Why are all the matches in the tournament that I have to cover for Twhohundredpercent on ITV? It’s not that the BBC coverage appears to be any better – indeed, it appears that yesterday’s Match of the Day highlights package neglected to show any footage from South Korea’s win over Greece, which is fairly appalling – but I am a snob. Actually, it’s frankly preposterous the amount of pre-game build-up and half-time punditry that I’m watching in this tournament, considering the cataclysmic effect it has on my sanity, ITV or otherwise.
The 2010 FIFA World Cup kicks off in five weeks today, close enough to feel the disappointment. Today we continue our preview of this summer’s tournament with a look at the prospects for the teams in Group D: Germany, Australia, Serbia and Ghana. No doubt drawing numerous questionable conclusions along the way will be your regular guide, the increasingly excitable Dotmund.
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.