Rugby World Cup 2015: team-by-team verdicts

October 11th, 2014 by xhellofootiex

Difficult to say until after the autumn internationals. But with a fragile peace being held in domestic Welsh rugby, it is questionable whether or not the players have the mentality to end their Australian hoodoo especially without the advantage of the Millennium Stadium crowd. Group stage.


An improving tight five — prop James Slipper made Opta’s team of the Rugby Championship — means that the pack can no longer simply be given the Andrew Sheridan treatment. They arguably have the most exciting backs too, with Israel Folau potentially lethal on the counter attack, although they do have a tendency to implode a bit too often for comfort. Quarter-finals.


Since their famous 2007 win over Wales, one of the finest rugby matches of all time, Fiji have sadly declined. The win over Italy in June was promising, and in the 6’5″, 19st 10lb goal-kicking wing Nemani Nadolo they have one of the most exciting players in Super Rugby, but a lack of funding and political unrest have seen the romantics’ favourites slip back. Group stage.


Pool B

South Africa

After becoming the first team to beat the All Blacks in almost two years this month, South Africa’s confidence will be high. So will that of the brilliant 20-year-old fly-half Handre Pollard. The most exciting young No 10 in rugby prefers a running style to the traditional South African kick-chase model. He is surrounded by a team of enormous, fast Terminators and they have the great Victor Matfield back from retirement. Semi-finals.


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World Cup agreement reached

September 20th, 2014 by MichaelloUR

The dispute over World Cup compensation between the Rugby Football Union and Premiership Rugby has been settled after a package worth up to 13million was agreed.

The 2015-16 league season will start from the weekend of October 17 after the International Rugby Board granted dispensation for club games to be staged during the knockout phase of the tournament.

Alarmed by the possibility of five income-free months because of England 2015 and the off-season, the Premiership clubs sought 14million in lost revenue from the RFU.

Some owners threatened to flout IRB regulations by playing throughout the entire World Cup if their demands were not met, but a complex agreement that is part-incentivised has now been reached.

As part of the settlement, England head coach Stuart Lancaster will name his next elite player squad on October 22, delayed from its traditional slot in August.

The additional time enables Lancaster to select from those players who are in form for November’s QBE Series against New Zealand, South Africa, Samoa and Australia.

“It’s a reflection of the strength of the partnership that once again we have managed to come to an arrangement that benefits both the RFU and clubs,” RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie said.

“We’re very happy to continue to invest significant sums into Premiership Rugby and to support their desire to be successful on and off the pitch.”

The agreement is made up of two parts with 6million generated by the re-allocation of match revenues for both union and clubs to increase income for 2015/16 and 7million in payments for the absence of Premiership rugby during the group stage of the World Cup.

Whether the entirety of the 7million will be paid is subject to World Cup ticket sales and gross profit targets being met and on the signature of a new heads of agreement that covers areas such as player release and season structure.

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The cosmology of Brazil 2014-the African Origin story.

September 12th, 2014 by wholesalefhlnk

Sports Features of Thursday, 11 September 2014

Source: Listowell Yesu Bukarson

Reports are rife that the Ghana Football Association in a three page reply to the Presidential Commission of Inquiry, probing the 2014 World cup debacle in Brazil has sought permission for its original appearance date of 15th September to be postponed. Among the GFAs reasons for this call are that, it is engulfed with activities which include its congress on Friday, 12th September and a lot of travels around the globe in the name of Ghana Football. The GFA will also have to seek clearance from the World football governing body, ALMIGHTY FIFA before respecting the constitutionally established Commission. My information is that, the Commission is yet to respond to the GFAs request. The world awaits the decision of the Commission whether to grant the GFAs request or not. But in all of this, I ask, if you dont have anything to hide, do you have anything to fear? Point however is clear, that you can always run but you cant hide and so the earlier the better. Lets also remember, that beatings which is inevitably yours, earlier received, prevents future torrential hostilities. Whichever way it is, it will just be a matter of time. For the GFA cannot and must not be made to escape appearance before the respected Commission. A word to the wise, they is enough. In the meantime, and in between times, let me extend greetings to Mr. Horace Ankrah. To the extent that today Gh34 is equal to UD$35 is not only amazing but miraculous. And this happens only in Ghana. Hehe! Folks, the cosmology of the setbacks from the World Cup in Brazil stems from SYSTEMS FAILURE, apologies galore to the chairman of the Commission, Justice Senyo Dzamefe. In this piece I want to concentrate on one of the three travels and tour agents contracted by the Brazil 2014 Secretariat. African Origin Travels and Sports Tourism. In his book, 48 Laws of Power, Robert Green writing under the topic, Plan All The Way to the End, argues that the ending is everything. He explains that one must take into account all the possible consequences, obstacles, and twists of fortune that might reverse his/her hard work and give the glory to others. Therefore by planning to the end you will not be overwhelmed by circumstances and you will know when to stop. So then, gently guide fortune and help determine the future by thinking far ahead. Its evident from the massive revelations at the Commissions sittings that lack of careful and pragmatic planning was the bane of the nations appearance at the World Cup. According to the cosmology of the ancient Greek, the gods were thought to have complete vision into the future. They saw everything to come, right down to the intricate detail. Men, on the other hand, were seen as victims of fate, trapped in the moment and their emotions, unable to see beyond the immediate dangers. Those heroes, such as Odysseus, who were able to look beyond the present and plan several steps ahead, seemed to defy fate, to approximate the gods in their ability to determine the future. So do we see why the Commission has been turned into a weeping ground? Those appearing before it and weeping are perhaps lamenting their lack of foresight which is why we are where we are today. Must companies, agencies, individuals suffer from the lack of planning on the part of leaderships? I say no, and thats why I make the case for African origin Travel and Sports Tourism and others who invested their resources into the World Cup. For the records, Established in March 2000, African Origin Travel and Sports Tourism is Ghanas premier and number one accomplished company in the Sports Tourism market. Through its network of branches in Ghana thats, Accra, Kumasi and Sunyani, the company services the public request and the sports market offering a wide range of competitively priced accommodation and tours throughout the world. African Origin has been official Travel partner for the Ghana Olympic Committee and was the Ghana Olympic Committee and International Olympics Committee appointed Authorized Ticket Reseller for the London 2012 Olympic Games as well as the Official ATR for Commonwealth Games in SCOTLAND 2014 The company was also appointed Official Ghana Olympic Committees ATR for Youth Olympics in China this month. Other achievements by African Origin include, organisation of 56 fanatics to support the Ghana Black Stars in Egypt for the AFRICAN CUP OF NATIONS 2006, GFA accredited and authorized travel and hospitality partner for Ghanas participation at the FIFA World Cup soccer tournament in Germany 2006 (took Ghanaian fans and supporters), World Cup Germany 2006 by facilitating the largest number of visas approved by the German embassy to support the Ghana National team and organisation of over 500 supporters to support the Ghana Black Stars in South Africa the FIFA WORLD CUP 2010. Others are Organisation of over 100 supporters to support the Ghana Black Stars in the LONDON OLYMPIC GAMES 2012, organisation of over 75 supporters to support the Ghana Black Stars verses England friendly in 2012, agent for over 10 international major companies within 3 years, Official Travel Agent for the NATIONAL SUPPORTERS UNION of the Ministry of Education Science and Sports for the arrangement of VISAS, HOTEL and AIR TICKET during the All AFRICAN GAMES in ALGERIA, UNDER 17 WORLD CUP in South Korea and FIFA Womens World Cup in China, official Agent / Sponsor for King Faisal Football Club, official Travel partner for the Ghana National Supporters Union (GHANSU) 2004-2008 and GFA accredited and authorized travel and hospitality partner for Ghanas participation in CAF African Cup of Nations in Egypt, Angola, South Africa, Equatorial Guinea / Gabon. With these enviable achievements as a travel agent, it surely did not come as a surprise to anybody when African Origin was contracted by the World Cup Secretariat to help fly Ghanaian soccer fans to support the Black Stars in Brazil. The Chief Executive Office of African Origin, Mr. Samson Deen, appearing before the Commission to state his case regarding his role in flying fans to Brazil, debated that following his track record, he was not the least surprised when African Origin was contacted to provide professional advice to assist local organisers of the 2014 World Cup tournament towards ensuring a smooth outing by Ghana. After some interaction with now former Minister of Youth and Sports, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, I was requested informally to submit proposals and later held meetings with Fred Darko at the direction and pleasure of the minister who subsequently invited me over to his office for discussions on the preparations he told the Commission. African Origin Travels fully complied with the requested requirements including submitting a detailed corporate profile and references, hospitality programme and budget for the requested services he adds. He told the Commission that his company was later to receive a formal invitation from the Ministry of Youth and Sports dated the 3rd of January 2014 to submit proposals to provide travel management services to Ghanas fans, supporters and officials for Brazil 2014. The minister and the Chairman of the Protocol and Supporters Welfare Committee of the ministerial organising team for Brazil 2014 Kwadwo Adu Asare, former MP for Adenta both called him on telephone; some three weeks later, to invite him to attend an interview at the Osu Castle on the 24th of January 2014. Which he did attend and made a power-point presentation. The meeting was chaired by Mr. Adu Asare. Mr. Deen told the Commission that his outfit received a letter dated 13th of March 2014,a month and half after the interview, congratulating and notifying him that African Origin Travel had been selected after evaluation processes undertaken by a technical team. My Lord, before this however, I had cause and concern to request to meet the minister and did meet him to discuss a number of relevant issues including media reports in which the minister was reported to announce plans I felt were difficult or almost impossible to implement. I did recommend cost saving measures including doing away with plans to set up fan parks, games village, cooking for supporters as well as the need to reduce the proposed thousands of supporters to a maximum of three hundred state sponsored supporters either directly or by the MOYS raising funds from corporate Ghana He adds. He said, subsequently, an aide to the minister, Larry Acheampong, called to inform him the minister wanted him to meet him at Akosombo on the 21st of March 2014. He honoured this invitation at the Volta Hotel for a meeting that lasted only for ten minutes during which he was officially informed that his company had been allocated 235 persons to be airlifted to Brazil, provide transfers in Brazil and hotel accommodation for same. My company on the 24th of March 2014 received a letter dated same day, and like most previous official letters, signed by the minister confirming African Origin Travels had been assigned the responsibility of airlifting the said number of 235 supporters to Natal,Fortaleza and Brasillia. He reveals. Mr. Deen told the Commission that late in March he was requested to submit a revised budget reflecting the reduction in the numbers from 500 or more to 235. I duly submitted the attached marked as Exhibit RB with a caution via email in response to one from the Project Coordinator, Fred Darko. That email sought to unilaterally vary the agreement reached at Akosombo by demanding a visit to Brazil to inspect the accommodation facilities my company had long secured before approval for payment. In these my emails in April I consistently drew attention to delays in signing the necessary MOUs and making payments and the fact that even though as an IATA member (i.e. International Air Travel Association) I could provide accommodation at anytime during the tournament, I was concerned that prices would increase with increasing demands for such facilities the more the payments delayed. He asserted. He said all emails from this point on were never replied neither were his telephone calls to the minister and his aides or assigns responded to. The minister called him on Sunday the 10th of May 2014 or thereabout informing him one Ben Nunoo Mensah was to contact him over the outstanding matters. Mr. Nunoo Mensahs preoccupation was to discuss with him how to distribute a newly allocated space for 300 supporters among 25 registered supporters groups known to his company. Nunoo Mensah also discussed how to secure visas for these supporters and MOYS dignitaries. By this time, his company had long procured visas for supporters groups including all those on the said list of 25. In fact, I all the while had been waiting for payments for this reviewed list for 300 supporters having submitted same to the minister upon request earlier in March 2014 he said. He laments that he was once again not contacted again, neither were his attempts to make contacts with the minister and his people successful. It was on June 3rd that Mr. Nunoo Mensah called him requesting another revised invoice for the much earlier agreed and assigned 235 persons. I honoured a call to meet the minister over this budget in his office by 2pm of the 4th of June 2014. I was, however, not attended to until about 5:40pm when the minister who appeared to be hurrying out of his office directed me and George Amoako of Kenpong Travel and Tours to discuss all outstanding matters with Mr. Joel Nettey, chairman of the subcommittee Brazil In Ghana. His excuse was that he was late to catch a flight for Brazil. I was assured payment would be made the next day by Mr. Nettey and his committee comprising Ben Nunoo Mensah, Fred Darko, Kwesi Bentum, Horace Ankrah, one Rebecca and Dentaa Amoateng Deen will add. He advanced that, the next day when all frantic attempts to reach any of the above failed, he was left with no option than to seek audience with the Chief of Staff. I counted myself extremely lucky to have had the chance after some bit of difficulty. He, Mr. Prosper Bani, was very disturbed to learn of the events which he felt an urgent action was needed to avoid potential hitches. I understand he held separate discussions with key members of the organising committee. On the 7th of June 2014, he held a second meeting with them together with representatives of all three travel and tour agencies with whom he discussed solutions to avoid an undesirable consequence especially upon learning that the said committee had accredited a total of about 700 persons for the tournament. He pointed out. Eventually as indicated in the Exhibit SUCCESS Series 1-7 attached hereto my company successfully flew out a total of 270 persons for the tournament on the 15th of June 2014 and brought them safely back to Ghana on the 27th of June 2014 he said. He adds, that African Origin applied to the Ghana Football Association (GFA) for a total of 1,500 game tickets but they had 2000.00 USD worth of tickets delivered upon payment. We were promised 217 tickets which we paid for but this was not delivered. Attached hereto and marked Exhibit GT Series are receipts of the said payment. He stressed. My Lord, things seemed to happen in a manner and fashion that gave me reason to suspect a lot of the services I was engaged to provide had been pre-procured and that the organising team was up to games with me while I broke my back to comply with every demand and request from the team. He lamented. Mr. Deen then prayed the Commission for the recovery of 108,000.00 USD (being 400.00 USD per seat agreed profit margin), Recovery of GHC 59,722.74 (being the cost of a total of 217 tickets paid for but not delivered Unit price @ GHC 275.22), Loss of profits (due to delays in making payments on agreed times while cost of secured facilities rose), Lost time and business (deploying tools and machinery of company to focus on executing the special project to the total neglect of all potential businesses) and Legal fees (hiring the services of counsel to advice and assist in preparations to assist the commission) He stressed that I have given this account faithfully to the extent of my personal knowledge of events before, during and after the tournament. The account reveals a sad commentary of the processes from start to finish. Adding that, the difficulties, frustrations, stress, avoidable waste, and the near disgrace that would have occasioned relative to this aspect of the organisation, were largely self-inflicted and needless He recommended to the Commission for consideration that the state, acting through the MOYS, may have to divest itself of much of such processes and by compliance with the Procurement Act, more professionally engage the services of travel agents for this aspect of the organisation and timeously. The MOYS may also consider an outfit whatsoever called and howsoever to be constituted upon sufficient professional consultation, to coordinate and serve the supporters unions. It may put in measures to, among others; screen persons to more accurately account for same and avoid the national image-damaging occurrence of supporters turning Asylum seekers. He concludes. As I listened and write the account of African Origin and the other two travel agents, I can only hope that I dont hope against hopes, in the hope that lessons will be learnt, at worse from these and many more revelations at the Commission. For, it is becoming clear by the day that, in the matter of Ghanas participation at the World Cup in Brazil, the nation did not plan all the way to the end. And the African Origin story epitomizes the nations cosmology of the Brazil 2014 fisco. Writer is Sports/Political Freelance Journalist. Ashanti Regional Chairman, Ghana Journalists Association

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Football Medicine 2014 – R&V Eventos

August 23rd, 2014 by Vilabong

It is with great pride that the FIFA Medical Centers of Excellence in Brazil (UNIFESP, USP Home and Brasilia), perform in an unprecedented way this event sponsored by FMARC and ISAKOS.

Especially since this is a year of the World Cup in our country and that serve as a model for future World Cups in the future headquarters. We will have the participation of international icons of world football medicine as directors and members of FIFA – Michel D’ Hooghe ( FIFA – Belgium), Jiri Dvorak (FIFA – Switzerland), Gurcharan Singh ( FIFA – Malaysia), Efraim Kramer ( FIFA – South Africa ), Colin Fuller ( FIFA – Switzerland), Pieter D’Hooghe (F-MARC Belgium), plus several coordinator Medical Centers Cup of Excellence as Philippe Neyret (France) and Joo Mendes Espregueira (Portugal).

Several Brazilian colleagues demonstrated recognition in football field will enhance as well complete and the program that is very attractive.

Do not miss this opportunity. Make your registration as space is limited.

We hope to count with you.

Prof. Dr. Moises Cohen Dr. Andr Pedrinelli Dr. Paul Lobo Event Coordinators

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World Cup record holder Klose retires

August 11th, 2014 by xhellofootiex

German striker Miroslav Klose, the all-time World Cup top scorer, announced his retirement from international football on Monday, AFP reports.

The 36-year-old leaves the German national team as a World Cup winner after last month helping Joachim Loews side to their first global crown since 1990 when they defeated Argentina 1-0 in the Rio-hosted final.

The Lazio frontman picked up his 16th goal, in what was his fourth World Cup, to surpass Brazilian Ronaldo as the tournaments leading scorer.

Klose, who won two German titles with Bayern Munich following spells with Kaiserslautern and Werder Bremen, said he had fulfilled a childhood dream with the title in Brazil and lived unforgettable moments with the national team, according to a statement released by the German football federation.

The success of the team stood and always stands for me in the highest place, Klose said.

With the national team I achieved our greatest goal, a goal which we had together within the squad.

In addition, I achieved personal goals and those who know me know that I am very ambitious, but I am a striker and the task of a striker is to score goals.

Therefore the records never concerned me, but it was always about giving my best for the team.

The Polish-born marksman scored five goals at the 2002 World Cup, where Germany were beaten 2-0 by Ronaldos Brazil in the final, five in 2006 on home soil, four in 2010 at South Africa and two in 2014.

He broke the World Cup record for goals in July when he found the target for his 16th strike during the 7-1 semi-final rout of Brazil.

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[HIGHLIGHTS] Australia 26-3 South Africa at Women’s Rugby World Cup – Video

August 4th, 2014 by saidina

[HIGHLIGHTS] Australia 26-3 South Africa at Women's Rugby World Cup
Australia women beat South Africa in their opening Women's Rugby World Cup match in Paris. To find out more about the IRB visit: Follow us on Twitter:…

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World Cup Final: Magical Messi or United Germany?

July 12th, 2014 by MichaelloUR

The most entertaining World Cup in a generation comes down to a final match that pits the planet’s best player against the tournament’s best team.

Lionel Messi will lead Argentina out against Germany at Maracana Stadium on Sunday for a game that will define careers, cement legacies and be watched by a global audience of about a billion viewers.

And it’s a matchup that means more to both sides than just a chance to lift one of the most hallowed trophies in sports.

For Messi, it’s a chance to firmly make his case for being perhaps the greatest ever to play the world’s most popular game. For Germany, it’s an opportunity to make up for a number of near-misses over the last decade and re-establish itself as the dominant force in international football.

And then there’s the matter of settling a historical score. Argentina and West Germany played each other in two straight World Cup finals in 1986 and ’90, games that are well remembered in the sports psyche of both countries. Diego Maradona and Argentina won the first, the Germans took the second. So call this game the tiebreaker.

“At this point who is favorite, who is not, it doesn’t make a difference,” Argentina midfielder Maxi Rodriguez said. “Both teams feel a responsibility to go all the way.”

Most would name Germany as the favorite, especially after its astounding 7-1 drubbing of host Brazil in the semifinals. Argentina only reached the final after eking out a penalty shootout win over the Netherlands following a 0-0 draw through 120 minutes.

Germany also dismantled Argentina 4-0 in the 2010 quarterfinals in South Africa.

“Germany is a great team. What happened to Brazil could happen to any team,” Argentina forward Sergio Aguero said. “(But) we have players who can create danger up front. We’re in the final for a reason.”

One thing speaks against Germany, too. No European team has ever won a World Cup played in the Americas. Whether that’s because of the climate, the fan support or something else, Germany thinks it can buck the trend.

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CASTLE Lager Premiership clubs will take advantage of the mid-season transfer window which opened on July

July 8th, 2014 by MichaelloUR

You are here: Home > CASTLE Lager Premiership clubs will take advantage of the mid-season transfer window which opened on July

Following an embarrassing exit from the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualification, Zimbabwe is preparing a formidable 2016 Olympic Games soccer squad packed with international stars.


Qualification for the quadrennial global sports fiesta has become Zifas immediate major focus after Septembers Cosafa Cup.

Monaco trialist tear-away winger Kudakwashe Mahachi, AS Nancy midfielder Marvelous Nakamba and Sweden-based linkman Archford Gutu are eligible for the Olympics. Teenage sensation Macauley Bonne of English League One side Colchester United has also availed himself.

The 18-year-old forward was born in England to Zimbabwean parents. All players participating in the preliminary and final competition of the Mens Olympic Football Tournament Rio 2016 shall be born on or after January 1 1993, with the exception of a maximum of three players who do not meet this age limit who may also be included in the official list of players for the final competition, said Fifa in a statement.

Mahachi was born in September 1993, while Nakamba was born in January 1994 and Gutu who took part in the bid for the foiled 2012 Olympic has August 5 1993 as his official date of birth.

Fifa has set a October 25 deadline to register teams for the Olympics where only four African teams slots are reserved for qualification.

Dynamos coach Kalisto Pasuwa has been verbally appointed Under-23 coach and is yet to sign a contract with Zifa.

Pasuwa took over from Warriors legend Peter Ndlovu who has found a full-time job at Mamelodi Sundowns in South Africa.

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World Cup goalfest inspires keepers to excel

July 7th, 2014 by healthybeeme

Tim Howard has been a standout at the World Cup. Photo: Getty Images

Quite rightly, the world’s strikers have been lauded for what has been a goalfest of a World Cup.

More goals were scored in the first two phases in Brazil than were scored in the entire World Cup in South Africa, and although the tallies are falling markedly in the knockout stages – understandable given the sudden death nature of these games and the fact that instant elimination follows for the losers – the quality of the games is still strong and the number of attacks high.

Names like Colombia’s James Rodriguez, Argentina’s Lionel Messi and Brazil’s Neymar top the goal-scoring lists and have taken all the plaudits.

But there is a strange paradox thrown up in this World Cup. While attacks have been on top and strikers scoring regularly, the standard of goalkeeping has been excellent.


Normally there are a handful of keepers who stand out in World Cups, but this time – perhaps because defences are not as good as in the past and goalkeepers are being pressed into action more often – several have come to the fore.

None more so than the US’ Tim Howard, the Premier League veteran who has been an absolute stand out for the Americans as they progressed from a very difficult group to a pulsating match against Belgium, which they lost 2-1 only in extra time.

Howard, a familiar face to Premiership watchers as he has been the long-term custodian at Everton, made an amazing 15 saves in the match against Belgium, a World Cup record.

Now they weren’t all point blank efforts denying certain goals – some of them were routine stops from regulation shots for a man of his experience and ability – but it still constitutes a phenomenal feat.

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Another World Cup, Another Flop

July 2nd, 2014 by jos

One shouldnt look at victorys teeth. The point is, you should enjoy your win, not overanalyse it. And that is, of course, a completely wrong attitude and one that leads to a losers mentality, because there is just as much to learn from your wins as there is from your defeats.

If you look at the drubbing of Cameroon at the World Cup, you would find the Indomitable Lions in very poor dental health to further the analogy. They were clearly falling apart before everyones eyes. They committed the stupidest, most obvious foul of the tournament that led to Alex Song being sent off; their defensive transition was outrageously bad; and they scuffled amongst themselves on the pitch.

Cameroon has long been aware of the problem, but they fail to learn from their past failures. Instead, they react to them, violently, like a driver who abruptly leaves his lane to avoid an obstacle. Every tournament seems to be played out as a belated riposte to the ills that have gone just before.

Finke came in after AFCON 2013, determined to stop Cameroon from getting embarrassed as they were in South Africa. His answer was a radically defensive setup, with a bank of four in front of goal, three defensive midfield stalwarts and two forwards who were told to track ball during off-the-ball moments. This perfectly decent, if limited, strategy brought results (of sorts): Cameroon went home technically defeated and the negative approach played badly at home with fans, pundits and the media.

The preparation was detailed and intense but sensible and relaxed. And still the fundamental shortcomings of the nations footballers have been exposed.

In the final analysis, most fans said before the tournament that the minimum they wanted to see was evidence of improvement and hope for the future. The disappointment over the display against Croatia stemmed from their absence. The plain fact is Cameroon are not good enough and do not have enough performers of serious international quality and stature to make an impression on these big occasions.

Not a single Cameroon supporter I met, nor any comment I saw on the web suggested Cameroon would progress very far in this tournament; most thought the squad would do well to emerge from a tough group. Considering expectations, its rather odd to see the outpouring of frustration and anger from the Cameroonian public. The consequence is that Cameroonian football will begin yet another period of soul-searching as it looks for the answers to what went wrong in a World Cup campaign that lasted for just six days.

The national team has been failing for decades and attempts to turn on current players, the manager or tactics are utterly pointless. Those doing the shouting havent been any more successful than those soon coming home. Cameroon football has long been in a mess; the grass roots of the game are where the problems lie and even if this were to be addressed tomorrow, it would still be another two or three World Cups before Cameroon reaped the benefits.

There is a widespread and entirely incorrect perception that the sole point of football is to score more goals than the opposition. In fact it is just as important to concede fewer goals. Football is a game of two halves, attacking and defending, yet much of the time we only concern ourselves with the former. In a sense, thats fair enough. Attacking: thats the good stuff, the bit that stirs the soul of fans and the ego of players. No kid ever wanted to play centre-back in the playground; no crowd ever chants Defend defend defend! When Ruud Gullit coined the phrase sexy football in reference to Portugal at Euro 96, he wasnt referring to Fernando Couto winning high balls.

In some countries, particularly Brazil, it is a philosophical issue. That is all fine and correct, yet when it comes to winning which rightly or wrongly has become by far the most important thing in modern football attacking and defending are of equal importance. Yet still we allow our judgement to be skewed.

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Another World Cup, Another Flop

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World Cup Sets Facebook Interactions Record

July 1st, 2014 by madzoombax

The FIFA World Cup is the most talked about event in Facebook (FB) history with over one billion interactions so far, the social network has announced. Tallying likes, comments, and related posts, 220 million users have helped the global soccer tournament set the record.

Facebooks data editors have never measured an event sports or otherwise that has topped a billion interactions, said Facebooks blog post.

The milestone was reached on June 29th after tracking began at the tournament commencement on June 12th. The World Cup still has nearly two weeks left, with the final game scheduled for July 13th.

Every four years, the World Cup is celebrated as an international challenge between the best soccer teams. One of the most popular global sports, the games attract a lot of attention, especially in South America and Europe.

The most-buzzed about event was the opening game between Brazil and Croatia with 58 million people generating 140 million interactions. 31 million people participated in the conversation surrounding Saturdays match between Brazil and Chile, generating 75 million interactions.

There are twelve teams still competing for this years championship, including the United States. The odds are on Brazils home team, with a 41% chance of winning the whole tournament, according to predictions from FiveThirtyEight.

This years event is hosted in Brazil. The 2010 World Cup took place in South Africa, with Spains team emerging as the victor.

Follow Katie Roof on Twitter @Katie_Roof

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World Cup using Manitoba grass

June 27th, 2014 by jos


By: Jessica Botelho-Urbanski

Friday, Jun. 27, 2014 at 7:53 AM | Comments: 0


Evan Rasmussen, who farms west of Headingley, supplied grass seed to this year’s World Cup.

World Cup soccer players getting their kicks in Brazil are doing it on grass from Manitoba seeds.

And even if you didn’t make it to Brazil, you can grow a similar lawn. The Manitoba blend has some tough Kentucky bluegrass mixed in for our harsh climate.

Canadian company Pickseed was plucked as the official grass seed supplier for this year’s World Cup. The company provided Manitoba-grown perennial rye grass seeds for each of the World Cup’s 12 stadiums.

Pickseed also provided seeds for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and the 2012 UEFA European Championship in Ukraine and Poland.

“We have a World Cup blend we sell that is designed for soccer pitches and other playgrounds, which germinates quicker than regular grass,” said Terry Scott, the western Canadian vice-president of DLF Pickseed.

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World Cup highlights Asia's illegal betting boom

June 18th, 2014 by Fasssdexgfred

HONG KONG (AP) As teams battle for football glory at the World Cup in Brazil, the biggest winners from the tournament may be illegal bookmakers in Asia.

Since kickoff, Chinese officer worker Chen has already wagered 2,000-3,000 yuan ($320-$480) through black market online bookies and plans to gamble more on big upcoming games.

Chen, who started betting on sports that also include NBA games four years ago, said that during the previous World Cup in South Africa he bet 115,000 yuan ($18,500) in a single day on three different games a huge sum for the average Chinese and lost about half of it.

“My friend helped me with betting on games through the Internet,” said Chen. “I’ll call my friend and transfer money to him and he would help me to deal with the rest.”

Chen, who lives in the southern city of Shenzhen, next to Hong Kong, would only give his surname because he didn’t want to get in trouble with authorities for betting illegally.

Demand for bets from Asian sports enthusiasts illustrates how the World Cup is also a huge bonanza for betting companies while focusing attention on the surge in illegal wagering in East Asia, where there are few legal options to accommodate the lucrative market.

“It is the biggest single gambling event of the decade and each World Cup gets bigger,” said Warwick Bartlett, CEO of Global Betting & Gaming Consultants, based on the Isle of Man in the U.K. However, “the propensity to gamble in Asia is stronger than anywhere else on the planet, yet there are few legalized gambling opportunities.”

Government monopoly operators offer legal sports betting in a handful of Asian jurisdictions, including mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan. The Philippines’ Cagayan province is home to 68 online gambling companies. It’s banned outright in many other countries, including India, Indonesia and Thailand. But thousands more illegal online bookmaking outfits, which don’t pay tax, are thriving because they offer better prices, odds, wider variety of bet types and credit. Asia accounts for just over half of the nearly $700 billion in illegal bets placed worldwide, according to a recent report by a sports monitoring group.

The Hong Kong Jockey Club, the world’s second biggest betting operator, reported that betting turnover during the 2010 World Cup fell 1.6 percent compared with the 2006 event, which it blamed on growing use of illegal bookies.

Police forces in Asia are cracking down, swooping on a number of gambling rings in recent weeks. In May, Singapore police arrested 18 people suspected to be involved in an illegal football betting ring. They seized 1.4 million Singapore dollars ($1.1 million) in cash and uncovered records that showed the suspects received S$8 million ($6.3 million) in illegal bets in the prior two weeks.

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World Cup highlights Asia's illegal betting boom

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China vs South Africa – Women’s Rabobank Hockey World Cup 2014 Hague Pool B [08/6/2014] – Video

June 10th, 2014 by Fasssdexgfred

China vs South Africa – Women's Rabobank Hockey World Cup 2014 Hague Pool B [08/6/2014]
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China vs South Africa – Women’s Rabobank Hockey World Cup 2014 Hague Pool B [08/6/2014] – Video

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World Cup 2014: Brazil Under Pressure To Rekindle Finals' Magic

June 4th, 2014 by xhellofootiex

The reaction was inevitable. Spain, world football’s aesthetes, had just vanquished a bruising Holland side in the World Cup final with one of the last kicks of 120 moribund minutes. It was dressed as a victory for football, and the BBC’s Alan Hansen lauded the first-time world champions as the tournament’s “most exciting team”. He had mispronounced “stultifying”.

Holland, with their thuggish brutality and Nigel de Jong’s kung-fu kick, made an unmemorable final memorable. Not everyone remembers Andrs Iniesta’s winner but they do remember De Jong’s studs thudding into Xabi Alonso’s midriff. Spain won every single knockout match 1-0 and played out joyless homages to West Germany-Austria from 1982, whereas Holland recovered to beat Brazil in the quarters and defeated Uruguay 3-2 in a vibrant semi-final. They were more exciting.

South Africa 2010 was arguably the worst World Cup in the tournament’s history, let alone living memory. A finals best remembered for its Jabulani ball, bore draws and fans as plastic as the vuvuzelas they wielded, there was little to suggest the country – or the continent – deserved to be hosts. Only 309,000 fans turned up when the government had been expecting 450,000 spectators.

Almost every goal was greeted not by the crowd’s roar, but that awful, blaring blaaarrrrrrm which burst eardrums and highlighted how manufactured World Cups had become. Goal music is bad enough, but this noise was the soundtrack equivalent of waterboarding.

World Cups have rarely matched the hype in recent memory. Sir Alex Ferguson, rather hubristically, said the last great World Cup was Mexico ’86, when he managed Scotland. Italia ’90 generated a record low goals-per-game average of just 2.21, USA ’94 hosted the first – and only – scoreless final, France ’98 was hardly stirring, the best teams at Korea and Japan were eliminated before the quarter-finals and Germany 2006 peaked at the group stage.

Brazil 2014 has much promise purely because of its location. There is a worthy romanticism about the country hosting the World Cup finals 64 years after Uruguay shocked 173,850 attendants inside the Maracan in the 1950 de facto final.

No one has won the World Cup more times than Brazil and yet this is their most underwhelming finals squad in decades. And still, no previous nation’s host status has been trumpeted as loudly as Brazil’s has. Brazilians’ expectation alone is a fascinating narrative, although that is where excitement over Brazil only stems from.

They are over-reliant on Neymar, whereas in 2006 they had Ronaldo, Kka, Ronaldinho and Adriano. However much neutrals may loathe Luis Surez, his absence from the World Cup would impoverish the tournament. He illuminated 2010 with a screamer against South Korea and his cheating against Ghana. Surez was vilified in the African country – and by neutrals – however he did at least enliven a soporific tournament.

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World Cup 2014: Brazil Under Pressure To Rekindle Finals' Magic

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World Cup Prompts Public Christian Witness Against Child Sex Abuse

June 1st, 2014 by MichaelloUR

RIO DE JANEIRO (RNS) As Brazil counts down to the opening of the World Cup on June 12, churches in cities hosting the international soccer tournament are not content to sit on the sidelines and cheer.

Theyve launched a nationwide campaign to raise awareness of the hundreds of vulnerable children at risk of sexual exploitation during the monthlong competition.

With an estimated 600,000 soccer fans expected to arrive in Brazil within a matter of days, the South American nation is under pressure to combat its international reputation as a destination for child sex tourism.

Church leaders fear the heavy flow of tourists during the games could fuel an explosion of sexual trafficking of children and teens at fan fest locations around the World Cup arenas.

Thousands of youngsters will be on school holidays during the event, and the risks of exposure to criminal gangs and predatory individuals is significantly higher.

According to UNICEF, an estimated 250,000 children are sexually abused every year in Brazil and the numbers spike around major sporting events. Research from Childhood Brazil, a human rights organization designed to protect children, shows sex crimes against children increased by 66 percent during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and by 28 percent during the 2006 games in Germany.

A network of Brazilian churches and nonprofit groups has joined forces to form Bola na Rede or Back of the Net in English, a nationwide campaign alerting tourists to the dangers facing the countrys children.

Over the last three years, weve been preparing churches in the 12 cities, encouraging them to mobilize their congregations so they actively do something in the days leading up to and during the World Cup, said Ronald Neptune, the national coordinator of Bola na Rede and a missionary with the United World Mission in Sao Paulo, referring to the 12 host cities.

As Christians, we cant just clap our hands and praise the Lord, we have to work to make a difference to the lives of the young people at risk, he said. We can be the eyes and ears on the streets and the motivating force that gets people out leafleting and speaking to tourists about how they can be vigilant to help protect our children.

On May 18, over 97,000 peopletook to the streets in Brazils host cities in a nationwide day of marches.

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World Cup Prompts Public Christian Witness Against Child Sex Abuse

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Football: World Cup ball will be on target

May 31st, 2014 by jaredreedazx

With every soccer World Cup, it seems, there is controversy about the ball — the Jabulani used in South Africa was said to be so unpredictable as to border on the "supernatural". The Fevernova used in South Korea and Japan in 2002 was said to be too light and bouncy, while some complained that Teamgeist used in Germany four years later was slippery. On Thursday, scientists in Japan said the …

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Diskerud delivers for U.S. on international stage

May 30th, 2014 by manpilac

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) The disappointment of not playing in the Olympic soccer tournament two years ago stuck with Mix Diskerud.

That had been a lifelong goal, and he was part of that U.S. team that lost its chance for a spot in the London Games with a late-game collapse during qualifying.

Diskerud is getting a shot at redemption of sorts on the international soccer stage, headed to the World Cup in Brazil next month. He showed in a 2-0 exhibition victory Tuesday night against Azerbaijan the impact he can make for coach Jurgen Klinsmann off the bench, scoring the first U.S. goal off a rebound in the 75th minute just four minutes after subbing into the game.

And he did it wearing Landon Donovans old No. 10 jersey.

You grow a lot from certain experiences, and definitely one like that, because that was a goal in my life to reach the Olympics, Diskerud said. Another goal was to reach the World Cup, so now Im part of that.

Mikkel Diskeruds parents met at Arizona State his father is from Norway and his mother from Arizona. He was born in Oslo and was given his nickname by his mother. His full name is Mikkel Morgenstar Palssonn Diskerud.

When I was a little kid, I always ran around the house, and my mom said I was like a mixer, Diskerud said ahead of his U.S. national team debut in an exhibition at South Africa four years ago. When I was a kid, I was on a team called Frigg and there were two guys named Mikkel, so one had to get a nickname. I got Mix, and it stuck.

He had dual citizenship, enabling him to play on youth national teams from both Norway and the U.S. His goal Tuesday night sparked the Americans after a listless half-and-a-half.

Following Brad Davis free kick, Diskerud headed the ball down to Michael Bradley, whose shot was cleared off the goal line by Elvin Yunuszade. Diskerud then banged the ball in with a right-footed shot from 6 yards.

It was the third goal in 18 appearances with the national team for Diskerud, who plays for Norways Rosenberg. While Klinsmann insists hes not superstitious about No. 10, Diskerud earned the honor for how far he has come since the Olympic near miss.

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N Zealand vs South Africa International Friendly Match live football match 30/05/2014 – Video

May 30th, 2014 by xhellofootiex

N Zealand vs South Africa International Friendly Match live football match 30/05/2014
Click Here On To Watch Live Streaming South Africa vs New Zealand Live Streaming Soccer Online,…

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World Cup's Brazuca ball rated more stable than Jabulani

May 30th, 2014 by JonSmith

With every soccer World Cup, it seems, there is controversy about the ball — the Jabulani used in South Africa was said to be so unpredictable as to border on the "supernatural". The Fevernova used in South Korea and Japan in 2002 was said to be too light and bouncy, while some complained that Teamgeist used in Germany four years later was slippery. On Thursday, scientists in Japan said the …

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World Cup's Brazuca ball rated more stable than Jabulani

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