Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

March 17, 2003 – SI Writers – Gabriele Marcotti – Inside World Soccer -…

Filed under: World Cup 2006 — Ivan @ 8:39 am

The News Review:

* Blatter opposes 36-nation World Cup
* England joint top seeds for World Cup campaign
* The Nutty Professor
* – SI Writers – Gabriele Marcotti – Inside World Soccer -…
* Thirty-six team World Cup Finals?
* Kenya embraces new success
* Soccer News of Wednesday, 12 March 2003

Blatter opposes 36-nation World Cup – Mar 12, 2003
Blatter made the comment during a meeting with the German Football Federation and the 2006 World Cup Organizing Committee, on Wednesday. Blatter said changing the number of teams would be complicated by existing television and marketing deals built on 32 teams and a certain number of games. “Not every thing that’s doable makes sense,” Blatter said of the proposal. However, former German star and current organizing committee president Franz Beckenbauer said he had no problem letting in four additional teams. “I think going from 32 to 36 teams would not pose too much of a problem and would make little difference,” Beckenbauer said.

England joint top seeds for World Cup campaign – Mar 12, 2003
Organisers said that they would be ready for any crowd violence at the tournament. Franz Beckenbauer, president of the organising committee, said: “We can’t rule out that there will be problems, but I can guarantee that we will be prepared to deal with them. “The German Interior Ministry has called for tighter co-operation between European countries and for stricter laws to prevent people with a history of football-related violence from travelling to the finals. Beckenbauer said: “We are doing everything we possibly can with the help of the German Interior Ministry to address this problem. I want to appeal to the fans and ask them to behave and come here to celebrate. “The schedule for the finals was also released yesterday. Berlin, whose Olympic stadium is undergoing a major facelift, will host the final on July 9 while the opening game will be staged on June 9 in Munich, in an arena that is still being erected.

The Nutty Professor – Mar 15, 2003
But the real character in this typically Mediterranean saga is Scoglio, one of the most controversial managers around. He had already trod the obscure path of lower division football in the South for sixteen years before leading Messina (the league club closest to his native place) to the Serie B in 1987 and attracted the attention of Genoa, themselves in the B and eager to get back to the Serie A (a note here: Genoa are perennially eager to get back where they feel they belong, it’s just that other teams haven’t read the script). Scoglio did take Genoa up and that season shaped his mythical status among the red & blue fans, but Bologna soon stepped in and hired him to take charge of a team trying to establish itself in the top division after only gaining promotion two years earlier. And that’s where Scoglio’s star began receiving some serious dents: as a young journalist at that time, I had been warned by senior colleagues who’d been tipped by their Genoa counterparts that dealing with Il Professore was going to be a nightmare, and indeed it was, but in an entertaining manner, despite Scoglio’s apparent belief that sportwriters rank just above amoebas as a form of life. You never really knew what would happen next: would Scoglio just go on another long speech interspersed by cultural references or would he just talk football with the solemnity of a priest preaching from the pulpit? Would he refuse to answer questions from young reporters by getting back at them with the dreaded ‘how many football matches have you seen in your life?’ – which he was known to do and actually did a few times with other writers cringing around us – or would he just stare into a camera with a menacing smirk, as he once memorably did, nearly leading the TV guy to drop his equipment and go after him? During pre-season training, Scoglio was the type of manager who would readily clear the dining-room table in front of him and use forks, knives and glasses to explain how players should line up on the pitch. In those instances you could tell his deep love and affection for football, but there were too many times when you felt he did not like you and did not feel he should stoop to your level… He resigned a few months later when it appeared clear that the club was not willing to accommodate his request for more signings. In the meantime, he’d found the time to lead Tunisia to fourth place in the 2000 African Nations Championship, setting them on their way to the 2002 World Cup, and his increasing reputation in Africa had attracted the attention of none other than Al-Saadi Gheddafi, son of the Libyan ruler and himself a jack-of-all trades as player, owner of club Al-Ittihad and vice-president of the Libyan Federation, not to mention his shareholding role in Juventus. Gheddafi junior hired Scoglio as national team coach with the long-term goal of earning a place in the 2006 World Cup, but after a good start Scoglio was sacked. He was apparently removed for letting his robustly honest side get the better of him and revealing he could not pick Al-Saadi for the team as he’s basically crap, although he’d contradicted himself on another memorably weird appearance on an Italian TV show where Al-Saad was also a guest and where clips of the younger Gheddafi in action had caused laughter among the studio audience, as everyone could see opponents clearly stayed a few yards off him in fear, perhaps, of dire consequences should they commit the unpatriotic act of tackling him. “I don’t travel on the team bus, so players are free to say all they want about me ”— Franco ScoglioA few days later he was reinstated as Al-Saadi wised up and admitted his spur-of-the-moment decision to fire (not an appropriate word there, perhaps) Scoglio and disband the national team had been wrong but it did not matter as Scoglio soon fled to Napoli. So, Scoglio was briefly among the limelights and the first day in charge of Napoli had seen the now customary outrageous sound-bites: ‘I don’t coach, I teach’; ‘I don’t speak to the Press on Saturdays, hey, I don’t even speak to my wife on Saturdays’; ‘I don’t travel on the team bus, so players are free to say all they want about me’. There’s a rich compilation of Scoglio-speak on the Internet – among them an unforgettable one from 1988: ‘If I don’t win the Scudetto in three years with Genoa I’ll retire and go back to Lipari as a hotel owner’ – as his every TV appearance only refills this tank. – SI Writers – Gabriele Marcotti – Inside World Soccer -… – Mar 16, 2003
The club certainly needs stability right now and,most of all, a manager with players he knows and trusts, which wasn’tthe case with Louis Van Gaal. I was amused by the South American Federation’s complaints about “only”getting 4 bids to the 2006 World Cup. Their 10 team group will have ahigher percentage of teams than any other, and outside of Brazil andArgentina, their 30-year World Cup performance as a group doesn’t justifymore than 3 bids as it is. How would you allocate the bids? — Thomas Reagan, Arlington, TXI would agree to a point that the performance of South Americannations — with the exception of Argentina and Brazil — in the pastthirtyyears hasn’t been particularly impressive, but the continent’s historyandtraditions pretty much mandate at least four spots. Realistically,there isanother reason and — typically — it has to do with money. Brazilstruggledto qualify this year and then went on to dominate the World Cup.

Thirty-six team World Cup Finals? – Mar 12, 2003
Grondona, a FIFA vice-president who made the suggestion tosoccer’s world governing body last week, said it would allowGermany to add an extra venue and would also permit SouthAmerica to have five places at the tournament rather than four. FIFA’s executive committee looked at the proposal last weekand president Sepp Blatter has now asked event organisers fortheir opinions. Grondona said that Franz Beckenbauer, president of the 2006organising committee, had reacted positively. ‘He said it would not be a problem, on the contrary. Today,I spoke to Blatter.

Kenya embraces new success
BBC News – Mar 12, 2003
Kenya’s first Olympic gold medallist, Naftali Temu, who won the 10,000 metres at the Mexico
Olympics in 1968, died on Monday. But sporting spirits were raised once more when Steve Tikolo’s side recorded an upset seven-wicket win over Zimbabwe in Bloemfontein. Kenyan sporting success is generally limited to the athletics track, with distance running a discipline at which the country shines. This victory marked the first time in a team sport that Kenya has reached the semi-finals at a major event since 1971, when the hockey team came within two matches of winning the World Cup… “The Kenyan cricket team has proved to the world that they can be able to participate and win a non-traditional sport,” Balala said. “We are very proud of the Kenyan team. It has inspired the whole country to be proud of being Kenyan. ”

President Mwai Kibaki congratulated the team for their first ever win over Zimbabwe. “The win by the Kenyan side was a reflection of the team’s determination to take their place in international cricket,” he said in a statement.

Soccer News of Wednesday, 12 March 2003 – Mar 12, 2003
? South Africa are also in the race to host the 2010 World Cup. They lost the 2006 edition by one vote and many favour them to win the hosting right of the edition already ceded to Africa. Abedi Pele, Roger Milla were among the African ex internationals that campaigned for South Africa the last time. ?It feels different for you to work so hard with a team and now have to change especially when we were so close, losing by just one vote. I think for now, I remain with South Africa,? Pele said in response to a question on the bid. – – Mar 12, 2003
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