Wed, June 21st 2006

Tony Blair today condemned violence against England supporters in Scotland after incidents at the weekend in which a boy and a disabled driver were assaulted for wearing England shirts.

From: The Guardian



A statement from the Football Association read: ‘Following his injury in last night`s match with Sweden, Michael Owen had his right knee scanned today and it has now been confirmed the injury will prevent Michael playing any further part in the World Cup and he will return to England immediately.


Tue, June 20th 2006

Injuries marr England’s qualification

England 2 - Sweden 2

Sven might have seen this game as a good opportunity to try a few different things out. He started with Rooney and Owen up front, but any chance for the 2 of them to show how they could link up were wrecked when Owen was stretchered off in the 1st minute with what appeared to be a tournament ending knee injury.

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‘In the two matches we have played there have been three decisions (by referees) which have clearly penalised us,’ Domenech told a news conference.

‘We cannot accept repeated refereeing mistakes going against us,’ he added.

From: ESPN


The French manager went on to suggest that decisions had favoured group G rivals Switzerland, pointing at a penalty decision that Togo were not awarded in Monday’s game.



Fifa have agreed to resolve the Togo players’ financial dispute by paying the squad’s bonuses directly.


The players’ bonuses (£110,000 plus extra for winning and drawing matches) will now be payed to the individual players with the money being taken out of the money FIFA would have payed the Togo FA.

Prize money for defeat in the first round is 7 million Swiss francs (just over £3 million). The winner will get 24.5 million CHF (around £10.7 million) of the 332 million Swiss francs total prize money.


Mon, June 19th 2006

Harry Kewell could miss Australia’s crucial Group F game against Croatia after being charged by Fifa with insulting referee Markus Merk.

From: BBC


Merk gave 25 free-kicks to Brazil, compared to 9 to Australia, and the Australian squad felt before the game that the Brazillians had exaggerated the Socceroo’s combative style of play by demanding protection by referees before the tornament began. Brazil won the game 2-nil, but again looked unconvincing, and for a spell the Australians looked capable of creating scoring chances at will.

Post-match Kewell went on to defend the referee, saying: “It was a hard match to referee, and he did a good job.” 


Thu, June 15th 2006

England scrape win to reach last 16

England 2 - Trinidad and Tobago 0

England stuttered to another victory in Group B to confirm their qualification into the last 16. Two late goals from Crouch and Gerrard saved England’s blushes after an often poor performance.

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Sven-Goran Eriksson announced the news that Sir Alex Ferguson had been dreading last night when he confirmed his intentions to defy medical opinion and use Wayne Rooney in tonight’s game against Trinidad & Tobago.

From: Guardian


Rooney seems unlikely to start, but could well make a substitute appearance. Independant specialist Professor Angus Wallace has flown out to Germany ahead of schedule and will examine Rooney today.

Meanwhile, Hargreaves is set to replace the injured Gary Neville at right back. The Germany-based player is set to be selected ahead of Carragher to provide a more attacking option down the right. Left back Ashley Cole has also been told to provide a more attacking performance than Saturday against Paraguay.

UPDATE: Rooney has been past fit to play after meeting with Professor Wallace.


Wed, June 14th 2006

The England squad will be glad to hear the current weather forecast for England’s next game in Nuremburg on Thursday is cooler with some rain.

UPDATE: The chance of rain seems to have diminished. It is now looking like being another hot day, although with some cloud cover.






The stage was set for Ronaldo to make history when Brazil took on Croatia in Berlin on Tuesday night.

The Real Madrid striker needed just one goal to surpass Pele as Brazil’s leading World Cup goalscorer.

Instead, he cut a forlorn figure as he was substituted after 69 minutes following a lacklustre and lethargic performance.

From: BBC


Related: Marking Ronaldo was easy.

There is no denying that Ronaldo looked heavy and his running looked laboured. His performance, though, has probably protected Adriano who also had a poor game.



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