Filed: Sport

When the Ref is the Star

In the aftermath of England’s match against Turkey yesterday, it has to be said that Pierluigi Collina is undoubtedly THE best referee in the world of football. How many other refs would get a standing ovation from the crowd before the game? Okay, so maybe the Turkish supporters were trying to influence him, but I doubt it. He doesn’t strike me or anyone as the sort of character who can be swayed by mere flattery. Read more ›››

Phew!

England did it, but only just against Turkey.

Scotland the Brave

Well done Scotland. A 1-0 against Lithuania may not sound much, but it gets them into the play-offs for the European Championships next year. And won by Man U’s Darren Fletcher.

I’m not one of those Englishmen who takes pleasure in Scots losing (unless it’s against England.) Must be my Scots roots, my mum’s Binnie family having moved south about 1890. The difference between this and my Yorkshire ancestors (of which there are many) is that I always knew the former and the latter only of late. Read more ›››

Aussies Couldn’t Give a XXXX for PM

The Rugby World Cup started this morning in Sydney, and as ever, the Australians made a great spectacle of it with fireworks, drumbeats and kids moving in formation to create Rocky, the event mascot.

But the strange thing was that when their prime minister, John Howard, got up to make his opening speech, he was roundly booed by the crowd. Read more ›››

Rio Grande

The row about Rio Ferdinand’s ‘forgotten’ random drugs test is getting out of hand. I think his excuse is pretty lame, and you do have to wonder at why Man United didn’t make sure he took the test, but the FA have been totally incompetent. Read more ›››

Dive, dive, dive!

I cannot believe all the fuss and bother on the sports pages yesterday – football players diving? How shocking. Robert Pires of Arsenal taking a tired tumble in the box, and similar by Kevin Phillips for Southampton? And the point is? Non-footie fans look away now.

It was ever thus. Weren’t Franny Lee and Jurgen Klinsmann both known as the ‘sub’, not because he started the game on the bench, but for their diving antics? There may be some out there who recall a ‘pure’ game, played by gentlemen who would always set a fallible referee right, that they tripped, and it wasn’t the clumsy defender who tipped them over. Yeah, right. Read more ›››

Mood Swings

How moods can change. As I wrote my last post, the sun sneaked away to be replaced by threatening clouds. Not downhearted, I looked forward to watching footie on TV, only to see my beloved Man U fall to a late goal at Southampton. Then Man City managed to throw away a 1-0 advantage to lose 2-1 to bloody, bloody Arsenal. Am I depressed? Just a smidgin.

But if I’m unhappy, imagine poor Ma Lihau of Beijing who attempted to break the domino toppling record, only for a cockroach to bring her first day’s work crashing down. But she was ultimately successful. Perhaps I should take that as a parable for the football season. Read more ›››