Archive for the ‘Football’ Category

World Cup Odds

June 18, 2018

Already after just the first 4 days, matches are blurring into each other. The scheduling and time differences across the venues makes it possible to watch every match. I am planning to restrict myself to just the second halves to avoid burn-out.

Brazil and Germany didn’t live up to their odds. Mexico and Switzerland did well but the only team so far which has done significantly better than expected has been Russia.

A World Cup without Italy. I will not miss their usual boring play in the group rounds but the knock-out section will be the poorer for their absence.

No reason for any drastic change to the odds but the chances of a non-favourite winning are rising.


FIFA goes from corruption to idiocy

November 3, 2016

FIFA now goes from the heights of corruption to the depths of idiocy. Why is a Senegalese with little common sense now the Secretary General of FIFA? Of course she is a woman and a Muslim and supremely correct politically. But not very sensible. Clearly – with her UN experience – she is very well trained in “world government” idiocy.

She wants to ban the poppy. If she thinks the poppy is a religious or political statement then she is an idiot.

BBCThe Football Associations of England and Scotland say they will defy a ban on players wearing poppies when the teams meet on Armistice Day. The FAs will let players wear black armbands with poppy emblems and are willing to accept any punishment.

Fifa general secretary Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura told BBC Sport “any kind of sanction” could follow. World football’s governing body prohibits political, religious or commercial messages on shirts.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has called the rule “outrageous”.

What the new FIFA Secretary General has not the intelligence to understand is that she is herself a political statement of the worst kind.

Samoura  - the politically correct face of FIFA

Samoura – the politically correct face of FIFA

FIFA:The FIFA Council today appointed Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura of Senegal as FIFA Secretary General (SG). Ms Samoura is a 21-year veteran of United Nations programmes who is currently the UN’s Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Nigeria. The announcement was made by FIFA President Gianni Infantino at the 66th FIFA Congress in Mexico City.

“Fatma is a woman with international experience and vision who has worked on some of the most challenging issues of our time,” President Infantino said. “She has a proven ability to build and lead teams, and improve the way organisations perform. Importantly for FIFA, she also understands that transparency and accountability are at the heart of any well-run and responsible organisation.”

As required under FIFA statutes, Ms Samoura will undergo an eligibility check administered by the independent Review Committee, per Article 37 of the FIFA Statutes. Ms Samoura will assume the role of FIFA Secretary General before mid-June.

The FIFA eligibility check does not check for stupidity.



June 28, 2016

Ecstatic Icelandic commentary when their part-time amateurs defeated England’s team of the richest footballers in the world.



Minnows Iceland make Cristiano Ronaldo a whining, cry-baby

June 15, 2016

I watched parts of the Iceland -Portugal game and was fortunate to be watching when Iceland equalised. I was also watching when Ronaldo missed an open goal and a certain winner just a few minutes from the end.

And the prima donna, that Ronaldo certainly is, started his whining. He accused Iceland of having a “small mentality”. Oh Dear! But their mentality is immense compared to his.

The Guardian:

Iceland have produced another eruption. The smallest country to qualify for the European Championship marked their tournament debut with a result to savouragainst Portugal, although that and their memorable celebrations were not the only tremors felt in Saint-Étienne. Cristiano Ronaldo reacted to a restorative night for the game with all the petulance and pettiness of a spoilt child.

“Iceland didn’t try anything,” whined the Portuguese captain. “They were just defend, defend, defend and playing on the counterattack. It was a lucky night for them. We should have three points but we are OK. I thought they’d won the Euros the way they celebrated at the end. It was unbelievable. When they don’t try to play and just defend, defend, defend, this in my opinion shows a small mentality and they are not going to do anything in the competition.” They have already accomplished more than expected and were at one with their fans after the final whistle while Ronaldo raged at the referee.

Even in a tiny nation’s finest hour in football, Ronaldo demands the limelight and so it is gratifying the prima donna was partly responsible for Iceland producing a performance to remember. His glaring miss five minutes from time, heading Nani’s cross straight at goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson, not only prevented the Real Madrid man making history as the first player to score in four consecutive Euros but marked the moment the party started for Iceland. The roar that emanated from those in blue behind Halldorsson’s goal said it all. They knew. Iceland had arrived in style.


FIFA’s World Cup of Fraud

March 18, 2016

Infographic reblogged from


Go Norrköping! Crunch day today for IFK

October 31, 2015

It is the last day of the 2015 football season in Sweden.

It could be IFK Norrköping’s day and my local team could win the Allsvenskan title again after a gap of 26 years. It has been 30 years since I watched my first home match at Norrköping and I have been supporting them – off and on, and sometimes from very far away – ever since then.


  1. They are playing Malmö away and need a win to be absolutely sure of winning the title.
  2. If Norrköping draw, then they need second placed Göteborg to draw or lose at home to Kalmar.
  3. If Norrköping lose then they need that Göteborg also lose. A draw  would then be enough for Göteborg to snatch the title on goal difference.
  4. If both Norrköping and Göteborg lose today, third placed AIK has a theoretical – buit infinitesimal – chance of winning the title. If they win against Örebro away today, they still need a sufficiently large goal difference, large enough to overcome the 5 goal difference they are behind before todays matches.

IFK Norrköping have so far scored more goals than any other team (58). But Göteborg have let in fewer goals – by a large margin – than any other team (20). The simple conclusion would be that Norrköping have had the most successful attack and Göteborg the most successful defence this season.

For the good of attacking football, Norrköping ought to win.

IFK table

Go Norrköping.

UPDATE! Norrköping won 2-0, Göteborg drew and Norrköping are the champions.



TIF 1- Djurgården 5

August 20, 2015

TIFOur local football team, Torstorps IF plays in one of the two sections of Division 4 in the county of Östergotland. In their own league table they are running second. They had the good fortune this year to have have been allotted a match, at home, in the 2nd round of the Swedish Football cup, against mighty Djurgården. (That’s like a village team being drawn against Man U in the FA Cup). Local crowd records were broken easily and when I arrived I only got a seat  among the Djurgården crowd for the first half. The discussion around me was whether they were going to win by 6 or by 12.

TIF is just a little club by most standards but has been going for 80 years. The Finspång municipality only has a population of some 25,000 but Torstorp still manages to run 15 teams, of which 10 are children’s teams (including two girls teams), one junior team, one youth team and the A team. It was a lovely day in bright sunshine and virtually all Finspång children were there. There were many more matches going on off the pitch than on it. Hot dogs and burgers ran out.


20150820 Atlaslunden

In the event the team did us proud.

Djurgården did not even manage to get 6.

As expected, Blatter follows Valcke and cancels Canada trip for fear of arrest

July 1, 2015

On June 2nd the FIFA General Secretary, Jerome Valcke, cancelled his trip to Canada for the opening of the Women’s World Cup and I observed then,

The FIFA General Secretary, Jerome Valcke, was due to travel to Canada to participate in the opening of the Women’s World Cup on June 6th. But yesterday there were reports that he had been named in one of the FBI’s indictments as the “high ranking FIFA official who had transferred monies to Jack Warner. He was not named as a defendant, but nevertheless he cancelled his trip to Canada “because he had important work to do in Zurich”. …..

Sepp Blatter has just resigned from the FIFA presidency. …….  If it turns out that he does not go to Canada for the final of the Women’s World Cup, then I would believe that he has resigned now because the FBI has found some evidence tying him to the shady deals. The reports tonight are that the FBI may well have provided the final straw.

And the news today is that Sepp Blatter has cancelled his trip to Canada to attend the final of the Women’s World Cup for “personal reasons”.

BBCFifa president Sepp Blatter will not travel to Canada for the final of the Women’s World Cup on Sunday for “personal reasons”. The 79-year-old Swiss had planned to attend the match in Vancouver, despite Fifa general secretary Jerome Valcke pulling out of the opening ceremony.

……. Blatter’s lawyer, Richard Cullen, said Fifa senior vice-president Issa Hayatou would attend the match instead.

Well, I suppose the risk of being arrested is about as “personal” as it is possible to be.

Documents confirm that FIFA sent $10 million from South Africa to Jack Warner

June 7, 2015

Even though South Africa tried to hide their payment, it seems irrefutable that the South African government arranged matters such that FIFA’s accounts grew by $10 million as they were awarded the 2010 World Cup. Earlier revelations showed that the South African government (and apparently approved by President Mbeki) saw to it that the National Lottery payed the government $10 million less than they should have and payed it instead to the South African Football Association. They in turn payed the $10 million to the 2010 World Cup Local Organising Committee who then received $10 million less from what was due from FIFA, thus effectively completing a transfer of $10 million. A payment which was eventually debited from the government’s account and eventually credited to FIFA.

From South Africa to jack Warner via FIFA

Now the BCC reports that the payments of the $10 million from FIFA to accounts personally controlled by Jack Warner have also been confirmed. How Jack Warner delivered the votes he may have committed to South Africa is not clear.

A BBC investigation has seen evidence that details what happened to the $10m sent from Fifa to accounts controlled by former vice-president Jack Warner.

The money, sent on behalf of South Africa, was meant to be used for its Caribbean diaspora legacy programme. But documents suggest Mr Warner used the payment for cash withdrawals, personal loans and to launder money. The papers seen by the BBC detail three wire transfers by Fifa.

In the three transactions – on 4 January, 1 February and 10 March 2008 – funds totalling $10m (£6.5m) from Fifa accounts were received into Concacaf accounts controlled by Jack Warner.

…… The documents reveal how the money was spent and moved around.

JTA Supermarkets, a large chain in Trinidad, received $4,860,000 from the accounts. The money was paid in instalments from January 2008 to March 2009. The largest payment was $1,350,000 paid in February 2008. US prosecutors say the money was mostly paid back to Mr Warner in local currency. ……. The documents also show $360,000 of the Fifa money was withdrawn by people connected to Mr Warner. …… Nearly $1.6m was used to pay the former Fifa vice-president’s credit cards and personal loans. The documents show the largest personal loan Mr Warner provided for himself was $410,000. The largest credit card payment was $87,000.

The South Africa – FIFA- Warner payment web

June 5, 2015

With Danny Jordaan’s letter and the one from Oliphant it is almost certain that the award of the 2010 World Cup involved the purchase of some votes. There is no other reasonable explanation. It is difficult to see why such a convoluted trail would be necessary if the South African government just wanted to provide $10 million to help the African diaspora in the Caribbean.

Certainly it seems that the government of South Africa made some commitment to provide $10 million to be under the direct control of Jack Warner. Then, by a very tortuous route the money was provided. The main ” achievement” of the convoluted path used was that no direct payments needed to be made by the South African government. Instead they “paid” by receiving $10 million less than they should have received from the National Lotteries Board. The Lotteries Board provided R88 million over 3 years (amounting to $10 million at the then exchange rates) to the South African Football Association (SAFA). SAFA provided $10 million to the 2010 World Cup Local Organising Committee (LOC). LOC then “paid” this money to FIFA by receiving $10 million less than they should have from FIFA for holding the 2010 World Cup. They received $413 million instead of the budgeted $423 million. FIFA then paid $10 million to CONCACAF who in turn put it into the Diaspora Legacy Program which was personally administered by Jack Warner.

Where the money went to after that is not certain.

From the two letters and as shown in the Mail & Guardian article, the South African web looks like this:

From S Africa to Warner via FIFA

From S Africa to Warner via FIFA

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