Strike a pose
If you fancy yourself as being too sophisticated to wear a footie shirt, try these subtle yet effective flip-flops, and a Fred Perry polo shirt in your team’s colours.
Flip-flops, www.houseoffraser.co.uk Polo shirts, Dhs420, from Fred Perry stores.
The hard sell
Ticket sales for the tournament in South Africa didn’t go as well as hoped. With reports of half a million unsold tickets two months before the tournament, organisers were forced to set up selling points for discounted tickets in shopping malls and supermarkets in South Africa, making it the first time fans have been able to buy tickets over the counter in cash. This caused yet more problems, however: riots broke out as desperate fans clamoured for the tickets, computer systems crashed minutes after opening and a 64-year-old man died of a seizure after hours of waiting.
Wriggle out of this one, Shakira
The hip-shaking Colombian singer has released the official anthem of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa anthem, ‘Waka Waka’, spurring mixed reactions. Critics argue a South African should sing the anthem. Others just think it’s rubbish.
World Cup Middle East?
Could the FIFA World Cup really be held in this part of the world? It seems obvious to most that, as the competition is traditionally held in June and July, the Middle East would be far too hot. But the obvious hasn’t discouraged Qatar from placing a bid for the 2022 event, the results of which will be announced on December 2, 2010, in Zurich, Switzerland.
Of course, the Middle East doesn’t let a silly thing like weather get in the way and never misses the opportunity for a ‘world first’. Oh yes, Qatar is proposing to use solar technology to cool the venues (they plan to build three stadia and upgrade two more) – ensuring the temperature at the games doesn’t rise about 27°C. If the bid is successful, the event would be the world’s first cooled outdoor global sporting event.
FIFA president Joseph Blatter certainly seems impressed. On a recent visit to Doha on the invitation of the Qatar Football Association, Blatter said: ‘The Arab world deserves to host the World Cup.’ Bring it on.
For more info, go to www.qatar2022bid.com.
Beware the vuvuzela
This plastic horn lets out an ear-piercing wail, and the South African’s love it. By the end of the FIFA World Cup, we’re guessing you won’t.
Eat my goal!
Our fave FIFA World Cup goals.
Maradona v England, 1986
The one that put England out of the finals: a little pirouette and a skip that saw him dribble past six England players. The best goal in the World Cup ’86 – some would argue, ever.
Saeed Al-Owairan v Belgium, 1994
He starts at one end of the pitch, moves to the middle, realises he can keep going, ignores the entire team who are clamouring for the ball, nearly gets bundled to the ground in front of the goal before slotting the ball home, back left. If Maradona had scored this goal we’d never have heard the end of it. The Saudi’s clearly have a little more class.
Bergkamp v Argentina, 1998
In the dying minutes of the Quarter-finals, the Dutchman latches onto a speculative long-ball with a deft touch and, in the same movement, nudges it past the defender into the top corner. Nice.
Baggio v Czechoslovakia, 1990
A one-two starts the move, then it’s down the left wing, into the box, a deft Brazilian-esque dribble and bang, the ball’s in the net, back left, and the keeper’s on the floor, front right. Brilliant.
Josimar v N Ireland, 1986
From 30 yards Josimar gives the ball enough power to send it up and over into the top left corner. The goal could’ve been twice as far away and Pat Jennings still couldn’t have stopped it. Although he did try. With his foot. The berk.
Archie Gemmel v Holland, 1978
Picking the ball up on the right wing, the little redhead skips past three tackles before nonchalantly lifting the ball over the keeper’s head.
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