World Cup – Wednesday 30th June

FIFA – Football’s Axis of Evil

There may be no game tonight or tomorrow but I’m in London all day Thursday so Scientific Siegfried will be looking forward to Fridays quarter finals matches a little early. As it happens I’m off to Lancaster Gate for discussions and if it all goes well I may have some FAB news for you in my next update! I’ve already said too much…

Finally before you launch into tonight’s grammatical crime wave here’s a reminder about my Golden Mullet World Cup competition

Golden Mullet
Golden Mullet

There’s a fabulous prize for the winner so if you haven’t entered yet click on the golden mullet above for the hairy scary details.

Fixtures – Friday 2nd July

Holland vs Brazil
    Uruguay vs Ghana
Gazza’s Daily Football Factoids
 Football was brought to Ghana as early as 1888 by visiting sailors but you probably have never heard of any of their top domestic teams. This is a shame because there have been some wonderful team names competing at the top level, such as: Hearts Of Oak, Eleven Wise, Great Olympics, Heart Of Lions, King Faisal Babes and my personal favourite Mysterious Dwarfs.
Scientific Siegfried’s Rational Assessment Of Football Results
Scientific Siegfried I haff been asked to bring to you this report one day early. This is most irregular and zer has not been time for me to conduct my pre-match analysis vith the appropriate rigour. My assessments provided with that context are as follows.

Holland against Brazil is what you Englanders call “ein tuff nut to crack” because each team has comparable team metrics. Regardless it is my judgement that when die grossen Frau sings there is the polka dancing in the strassen of Rio. Also more satisfaction in a job efficiently achieved will be for the happening in Montevideo with more polka dancing with also some Wagner. This is consequential of Uruguay beating Ghana though more unity in football playing as the team.

It is my considered opinion that today I am feeling down and hip mit der kinder. Exchange with me some skin Jimmy Hill. For this I reward myself a large amount of Gugelhupf cake.

Pre Match Comment
Most eyes may be on the big match as Holland take on Brazil but spare a thought for Uruguay and Ghana. One of these teams will take an unlikely berth in the semi finals. Could we see an African team in a world cup final? Might little Uruguay – a country inhabited by just 3 million people – make their first finals appearance since they won the competition in 1930? We could even have an all South American semi-final line-up. You would have got long odds on that 3 weeks ago.

View from the sofa

Since I started my world cup blog barely a day has gone by when somebody has asked me whether there actually is a sofa or whether I really do share it with high profile footballing dignitaries while taking in the matches. Well just to put this sort of speculation to bed here is a picture of me tonight on THE sofa…

View Of The Sofa
View Of The Sofa

Obviously there is no game tonight so I don’t have the normal crowd around. In fact I’m just taking in highlights of the Grand Prix now I have half a chance…

View From The Sofa
View From The Sofa

Let’s put something else straight. Just because I’m a single bloke watching every waking minute of world cup action it doesn’t mean I have knee deep in filth. Look – I have even tidied behind the sofa…

View Behind The Sofa
View Behind The Sofa

…I never did finish that book. So now when you are next reading view from the sofa you really will be able to picture that actual sofa and imagine the scene! I like to make you feel a part of my little journeys you see.

FIFA embarrassed yet again

Football’s world governing body FIFA – widely regarded to be the fourth member of the axis of evil – has once again found itself under fire. Their luddite insistence in rejecting the use of video technology during games has been shown in all of it’s absurdity several times during the tournament but “cock-up Sunday” marks a new zenith.

First a Frank Lampard shot comes off the bar and is seen by everybody in the ground except the officials to go a full yard over the line, but the goal is not given. Everyonw including the fourth official has seen it but the referee “is not allowed” to change his decision.

Later the same day Carlos Tevez puts Argentina ahead when he is clearly offside. The linesman doesn’t flag and the understandably furious Mexican players crowd around the linesman and ref pointing at the big screen as it replays the infringement. It’s obvious from the facial expressions of the officials that they realise they have got it wrong so what happens? They referee points to the spot – one nil.

The game generates untold millions around the world. There is a huge amount riding on these games for the fans (remember them?) and the vast majority of people who aren’t FIFA employees want the use of technology such as video replays and goal-line sensors to be considered. Earlier this year FIFA said it would not budge, insisting that the way the game is played should be the same at international level as at park level.

They are wrong for any number of reasons. The most obvious reason is that the sheer injustice of clearly incorrect decisions going unchecked – as in Sundays fixtures – makes a global mockery of the game. The notion that officiating standards are currently universal is also bunk. You don’t see park games adjudicated with the aid of headsets or 4th officials. Often the linesmen are unqualified volunteers and sometimes there aren’t even nets or corner flags.

Since cock-up Sunday Sepp Blatter has apologised to England and Mexico and said that in light of those matches FIFA will review their stance on technology. This is more evil manipulation on his part – using the situation to his political advantage. Firstly his suggestion that FIFA may backtrack purely on the basis of these two incidents is totally disingenuous – these sort of things go on in major leagues around the world every week but they don’t generate the same level of bad publicity as a game in a world cup setting. Secondly he has little intention of changing anything – it is just a political pawn he can use to his advantage in the forthcoming FIFA elections.

The world’s most popular and wealthy sport is run by unaccountable amateurs with political self-interest at the heart of their decision making. Individuals will always make mistakes – people are only human – but it takes an organisation to perpetuate and institutionalise failure.

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