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Tranmere Rovers & Cheltenham Town Stare Into The Abyss
It was the perfect storm at the end of the perfect match. This morning, though, moral outrage is brewing. With one movement of his hands, Uruguay’s Luis Suarez has ignited yet another “debate” at this year’s World Cup finals. There is, however, one small problem – there isn’t really any “debate” to be had. There…
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 did in 1974; while this… this match was total… everything. The streets of Ghana’s capital Accra are not as packed as…
Motty would never have done it. “Uruguay are the only team at this World cup yet to concede a goal,” declares a confident Jon Champion. I don’t know what the Portuguese for “oi, hang on a minute” is, but a lot of people are shouting it at the telly right now. Gareth Southgate has already…
My first memories of Uruguay as football team – and quite possibly of their existence as a country at all – came from the World Cup in 1986. They were in Scotland’s group then, and were portrayed as thugs, a bunch of big cheating, spoiling, fouling, cynical bruisers who would – if the ref let them – hack Scotland’s magnificent collection of creative wizards out of the tournament. In the event, of course, Scotland did get some help from the ref; Uruguay played the last 89 minutes with ten men, but a Scotland side who had in any case already lost to Denmark and Germany weren’t good enough to break them down.
Today is National Youth Day in South Africa. It marks the anniversary of the start of the 1976 Soweto riots, which began with the death of twenty-three people after the police opened fire on a protest in the township against the imposition of Arikaans in schools. The events of that day caused revulsion around the…
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.
It should come as no great surprise to any seasoned FIFA watchers that the entire history of the organisation has been about its politicking, and still less that this has frequently extended itself into the hosting of its showpiece tournament, the World Cup. When we go back as far as to look at the formation…