Tag: Slovakia

The Spectre Of Goalline Technology Reappears

Over the weekend, the debate over goalline technology resurfaced as Queens Park Rangers defender Clint Hill’s header against Bolton Wanderers clearly crossed the line with assistant referee Bob Pollock claiming he was unable to see due to a Bolton defender on the line blocking his view. Hot on the heels of the International Football Association Board’s (IFAB) announcement that they were committed to accepting technology, and that they would be reviewing two systems in the summer. It now seems inevitable that goalline technology will be introduced to football sooner rather than later, and many media outlets were unable to contain their glee at this development, with one sportswriter on Sky Sports Sunday Supplement claiming that it was football’s embarrassment that it had so far resisted the introduction of technology, although like the rest of the pro-technology lobby, no-one comes up with an answer to some of the logistical questions raised here two years ago. But does the media’s agenda just lie with wanting to improving the game, or is there more to it? The rolling report on the incident on Sky Sports News was revealing. As well as a plea from Sky Sports’ main analyser Gary Neville saying that technology has to come in because of the sheer number of times these incidents have decided championships and relegations, and how replays can give an instant decision on whether the...

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World Cup 2010: Netherlands 2-1 Slovakia

FIFA have changed the stage at which they will discount previous bookings, from the final group game, to the end of the quarter final. On the face of it, it’s a great idea, and sadly too late to prevent Louis Saha (2006), Michael Ballack (2002), Alessandro Costacurta (1994), Sergio Batista, Claudio Cannigia and Julio Olarticoechea (1990) from appearing in their respective World Cup finals, however there is a side effect. Whereas since 1994, there were times when individuals players needed to be careful at certain times, a team accumulating bookings in the group stages now need to be careful in the Round of 16 and the Quarter Finals. While it hasn’t reached the “heights” of 1990, where Cameroon had four players suspended for their Quarter Final game against England, and Argentina started the Semi Final against Italy with eight starters, and both playing substitues (as well as the unused Robert Nestor Sensini) on a yellow card, there is potential for a team to be wiped out by a fussy referee, This was one of those games, as twelve players started the game a booking away from being suspended for a game, and Spanish referee Alberto Undiano has certainly been card happy in his debut game – issuing nine yellow cards (two of which to Miroslav Klose) in the Germany-Serbia match. Vladmir Weiss opened up an opportunity for Erik Jendrisek,...

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World Cup 2010: Slovakia 3-2 Italy

Some games just don’t need much of an introduction. And this is one. On paper, Group F looked fairly predictable. Holders Italy were expected to win the group, with Paraguay behind. Slovakia were seen as one of the weaker European nations, and New Zealand were considered the weakest team in the competition. It hasn’t turned out like that. Italy have gone the way of the last European winners of the Cup, by being eliminated in the group stages, and join France as the first ever pair of finalists to fall at the first hurdle in the next competition. We began the games with the group looking like this: 1. Paraguay 2. Italy 3. New Zealand 4. Slovakia Antonio Di Natale signals the Italian intention from the off. He takes an early chance hitting a long range shot high over the bar just a few seconds after kick off. A Fabio Cannavaro free kick from just inside the Italian half is headed down by Vincenzo Iaquinta to Di Natale, but the return ball is offside, and Iaquinta’s shot is poor anyway. Slovakia get an early chance. Robert Vittek flicks on a long ball, the Italian defence is asleep, and Marek Hamsik, unmarked in the penalty area sees tame shot goes wide. Vittek goes on another run, but loses possession, with three teammates in better position. This is a much more...

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World Cup 2010: Slovakia 0-2 Paraguay

So, it’s Sunday lunchtime and time for the stout yeomen of Slovakia and Paraguay to enter into battle in The Group (so far) Of Parity. Slovakia need a win more desperately than Paraguay today, having been held by New Zealand in their opening match. They will, of course, finish their group matches against Italy. Paraguay, by contrast, will take on New Zealand in their final match and may well consider that a draw today will be enough to leave them in pole position to qualify for a place in the last sixteen. Curiously, though, Paraguay have chosen to play three forwards this afternoon. Are they going to go for it anyway? It would certainly seem that way. It may be that they already have one eye on the next round of the competition. Winning today could well prove to be the difference between playing the Netherlands and playing Japan or Denmark in the next round. A draw would do them today, but a win would be even better. If Paraguay are going to “go for it” today, the same probably can’t be said of the South African match-going public. There are a lot of empty seats in Bloemfontain today. This is no bad thing, really. Empty seats were a feature of World Cups until the Americans sold the 1994 tournament out, and those using this as a stick to...

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World Cup 2010: New Zealand 1-1 Slovakia

Having given the television coverage a review/kicking over the weekend, it’s time to take a look at the radio coverage of this World Cup. Ian Dennis is our host, and Jacqui Oatley and Graham Taylor are our commentary team for the opening stages, with Dennis taking over. Oatley is one of three prominent ladies at the World Cup, alongside Gabby Logan, and ITV’s Kelly Cates. Logan and Cates are more high profile, but considering most of the games that we’ve had so far, Oatley has considerably the toughest job of the three. It’s easy to report from the England camp, it’s interesting to go round the country and see how the fans are experiencing, but commentating on the standard of football we’ve had so is a challenge for the most experienced of commentators. This is the most important position a woman’s going to get until we get female officials at the World Cup. The best Britain has to offer as an official is Amy Fearn (nee Rayner), who initially seemed to be fast- tracked, and has now seemingly hit a glass ceiling – having seen her referee and run the line in recent seasons, that can be the only reason that she is not refereeing in the Football League on a regular basis. The highest a woman has reached is Nelly Viennot, a Frenchwoman, who was a UEFA assistant...

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