World Cup

Mon, June 26th 2006

Fifa president Sepp Blatter has hit out at referee Valentin Ivanov’s handling of Portugal’s match against Holland.


Ivanov did not have a good game, but the players from both sides need to be condemned too. Holland and Portugal showed a great deal of indiscipline, and both teams were guilty of atrocious play-acting
(or ‘simulation’ if FIFA would prefer it called that) and some horrendous fouls.

The referee was strict from the outset and some players tried to abuse that by diving and feigning injury. If the 2 sets of players choose to try and out-cheat each other, then they must accept culpability as well.



Sun, June 25th 2006

Beckham free kick sends England into last eight

England 1 - Ecuador 0

England continued to do the minimum necesary to qualify for the quarter finals. A David Beckham free kick providing the only goal of the game.

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Sat, June 24th 2006

Coach to gamble on team changes

Eriksson to make change to formation for last 16 game

Reports in the news today suggest Sven Goran Eriksson is to switch to a 4-1-4-1 formation against Ecuador on Sunday. It is closer to the formation that many feel he should have been playing prior to the World Cup, but he risks the allegation that he is trying to pick the best players and then fit a formation around them.

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Fri, June 23rd 2006

English referee Graham Poll booked one player three times but forgot to send him off until after showing him a third yellow, blew for full-time just as what would have been Australia’s winner was crossing the line, and also missed a blatant Croatian handball in the penalty area.

From: The Guardian



Wed, June 21st 2006

Fifa are understood to be furious with Merk for allegedly telling Kewell that the player’s World Cup was over as he and the match officials left the pitch. The comment, heard by a number of Australia’s players, left the referee open to accusations of premeditation in naming Kewell in his post-match report.

From: The Guardian


Kewell faced a ban from Australia’s crucial final group game against Croatia after referee Markus Merk claimed the Socceroo had verbally abused after the final whistle.

Related: Kewell plays down row with referee



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.


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