Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

December 30, 2000

Setbacks hog the headlines in 2000

Filed under: World Cup 2006 — Ivan @ 9:32 am

The News Review:

* Wembley noting voices from the terraces
* Africa World Cup bid blow
* Maradona more active than Ronaldo in chaotic year
* Setbacks hog the headlines in 2000
* Football violence report to ‘change culture’
* Why Hoey faces a losing battle
* DirecTV scores goal
* Soccer News of Thursday, 28 December 2000

Wembley noting voices from the terraces – Dec 20, 2000
Among politicians and at the FA, there is a more widespread acceptance that their duty is not to create a theme park but to build a national stadium along the lines of the Stade de France. If there was less secrecy, or anything resembling a public forum, the redevelopers, Wembley National Stadium Ltd (WNSL), would understand by now that what supporters want is a modern, safe, accessible, reasonably-priced arena without some carbuncle business stuck on the side, driving up prices and adding to the congestion in an already choked borough. They expect the committees and politicians to discharge this civic duty and not dream up new ways to extract money from the punters with 2,000-seat restaurants and hotels that only business folk with expense accounts will be able to afford.

Africa World Cup bid blow
BBC News – Dec 18, 2000
Hayatou has been extremely vocal in Fifa circles in expressing Africa’s disappointment at South Africa being denied the 2006 World Cup, which went to Germany on a controversial vote. He has been demanding that the staging of the tournament should be properly rotated between the continents. But he must have been pondering the inability to stage a big game peacefully as police chased players and spectators alike from the field and tried to calm down incensed officials. Esperance might have had more of a case for being awarded the game had a fan wearing a club shirt not come on to hand an object to El Ouaer with which he then cut himself and ran up the pitch before collapsing with a head wound. The keeper was eventually replaced, not by a substitute keeper, but bizarrely by midfielder Hassan Gabsi, who conceded three goals in the last seven minutes as Hearts won 3-1 and 5-2 on aggregate.

Maradona more active than Ronaldo in chaotic year
Namibian – Dec 21, 2000
Pele, the 60-year-old Brazilian star widely regarded the best player of all time after three World Cup triumphs, effectively had to share the award after red-faced FIFA officials announced two prizes instead of one because Maradona’s fans had outvoted him on the Internet. It was a clear fudge by FIFA as soccer’s world governing body had a year it would rather forget. When the 24-member executive committee met in Zurich in early July to vote on who should host the 2006 World Cup, New Zealand’s veteran committee member Charles Dempsey decided to abstain on the second ballot, citing outside pressures. Thanks to his abstention Germany beat long-time favorite South Africa by one vote. Although a triumph for Franz Beckenbauer and the German delegation, it was a bitter disappointment for South Africa and the African continent. The result also embarrassed FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who had campaigned to give Africa its first World Cup. FIFA and its European partner UEFA also spent the year trying to fight off a move by the European Union to effectively scrap soccer’s long-established transfer system in which clubs collect fees for selling players.

Setbacks hog the headlines in 2000
Namibian – Dec 22, 2000
For Africa in general the year was best forgotten, following South Africa’s failed bid for the 2006 World Cup, due to the abstention of a certain Charles Dempsey, giving Germany the vote by the narrowest of margins, while Africa still waits in vain to host the prestigious event. South Africa’s golden boy Hansie Cronje stunned his nation and the cricketing world when he admitted to accepting about US$100 000 (around N$770 000) from bookies. The match-fixing scandal spread like wildfire around the cricketing world and at year’s end, Cronje, Salim Malik from Pakistan and Mohammad Azharuddin of India had been banned from the game for life. Frank Fredericks’ withdrawal from the Olympic Games barely a week before the start of the sprint heats, was a shock to the nation and to Fredericks himself, who described the decision to withdraw as one of the most difficult in his life. With the four-time Olympic silver medallist’s withdrawal, Namibia’s chances of medals also disappeared, but no-one could have forseen the compilation of woes which dogged Namibia’s Olympic team… Their luck however ran out when they were hammered 4-0 by Nigeria in Lagos and calls for Richter’s head intensified after a shock 2-1 home defeat to Zambia. Namibia’s World Boxing Organisation junior middleweight champion, Harry Simon took his unbeaten run to 20 professional fights after he beat Argentina’s Enrico Areco on a 10th round technical knock-out in February, while also beating the number one contender to his throne, Rodney Jones of the United States on points in September. In both bouts however he failed to capture the fantastic form that he displayed when he won the title against Winky Wright in 1998 and he will have to improve a lot if he hopes to challenge the top junior middleweights in the world. The Namibian rugby team, rebuilding with a largely new team after their 1999 World Cup campaign, had a disastrous year, losing all their matches in the Vodacom Cup competition as well as a one-off test against another rugby minnow, Uruguay.

Football violence report to ‘change culture’
BBC News – Dec 29, 2000
“Appealing to the better instincts of some people is a waste of time. That’s why you also need a big stick. “These hooligans have blighted the name of English football around the world and completely sunk our 2006 World Cup bid.

Why Hoey faces a losing battle
BBC News – Dec 22, 2000
In January 1995, while on the National Committee of the Football Supporters Association, I met with Chris Smith, then Shadow Sports Minister, to discuss the construction of safe terracing. And very supportive he was. Indeed, five days later, in a major Sunday newspaper interview, the Leader of the Opposition, Tony Blair, also spoke in favour of football terraces. Yet in Government, Labour’s approach could not be more different… Which is not to say that these disasters were caused by all-seaters, but that factors which lie beyond the seats v standing issue are usually more telling. Hillsborough itself was not caused by the terraces themselves, but by rank bad policing, inadequate exits and security fences. When he thought the unthinkable, the FA told Tony Banks that reintroducing terraces would undermine England’s 2006 World Cup bid. And whom did FIFA award the tournament to?

Germany, whose stadium redevelopment plans include the widespread construction of new terracing, convertible to seats for international fixtures. The German FA told the Fifa Inspection Committee that terraces were essential to the German fans’ football culture. But the traditional culture of English fans is increasingly threatened. The Premier League has aggressively and successfully targeted a new, relatively affluent audience not steeped in these traditions.

DirecTV scores goal
Variety – Variety (subscription) – Dec 20, 2000
(FIFA) world tourneys, in a deal valued at $400 million. Sports News, news from the entertainment source: Variety. DirecTV scores goal.

Soccer News of Thursday, 28 December 2000 – Dec 28, 2000
Other influential figures like controversial Italian Domenico Ricci have had mutually beneficial romance with Ghana football through his African Football Management which once managed the cream of the nation’s foreign-based players, and also provided the Back Stars’ last expatriate coach Giuseppe Dossena. Another football figure of clout, Norbert Pflippen looks set to extend his influence into Ghana early next year to explore many business opportunities in the sport. His name may not ring a bell in the ears of many in Ghana but in his native Germany, Pflippen is one of the most revered and influential figures in German football with working relationship with many great players, coaches and sports firms. Perhaps his only association with Ghana football to date is that he manages a number of Germany-based Ghanaian footballers notably Edwin Bediako and Lawrence Aidoo, currently with Borussia Monchengladbach. It was on the German’s recommendation that Rainer Bonhof applied for the Black Stars job as the German coach is managed by Pflippen. With over 20 years in the business, Pflippen is one of many FIFA-licensed player agents from the host of the 2006 World Cup and commands a lot of respect among top European clubs… Perhaps his only association with Ghana football to date is that he manages a number of Germany-based Ghanaian footballers notably Edwin Bediako and Lawrence Aidoo, currently with Borussia Monchengladbach. It was on the German’s recommendation that Rainer Bonhof applied for the Black Stars job as the German coach is managed by Pflippen. With over 20 years in the business, Pflippen is one of many FIFA-licensed player agents from the host of the 2006 World Cup and commands a lot of respect among top European clubs. According to Pflippen, he has been following the exploits of Ghanaian footballers with keen interest, especially since Tony Yeboah blazed German football. And his management contract with Aidoo and Bediako is a manifestation of his faith in the proven abilities of Ghanaian footballers. “My adventure into Africa and for that matter Ghana is to provide African players the opportunity to rise to dizzy heights in world football, by providing them the same opportunities I gave to players like Lother Matthaeus, Lars Ricken, Berti Vogts and others who have become stars”, Pflippen told Graphic Sports in a telephone interview from his Monchengladbach base. In the opinion of the German, what many Ghanaian footballers lack is proper management and platform on which they can build their careers.

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