Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

January 8, 2004

Irish rest big guns | Republic Of Ireland | International | Football…

Filed under: World Cup 2006 — Ivan @ 11:29 am

The News Review:

* Wales U-21s get German test
* FIFA World Cup – News & Features
* Albania showing promise
* Irish rest big guns | Republic Of Ireland | International | Football…
* Blackwell offers Lee comeback at Leeds
* EURO 2004: Spain
* Zimbabwe in controversy
* Wimbledon reveals plan to build retractable roof
* Dublin in 2004 : Things can only get better. . .
* Comic stripped | | Guardian Unlimited Arts

Wales U-21s get German test
BBC News – Jan 5, 2004
The qualifying section normally shadows the senior tournament group – which on this occasion is qualification for the World Cup 2006 and includes England, Poland, Austria, Wales, Northern Ireland and Azerbaijan. But Northern Ireland do not have an under-21 outfit, and so the Germans have replaced them in the qualifying group. As World Cup hosts, the German senior side is not required to take part in the qualifying stage. The Football Association of Wales will probably look to stage the under-21 game against Germany in north Wales on the eve of the senior side’s match against Northern Ireland in Belfast. Wales are currently without an under-21 coach following the departure of Jimmy Shoulder.

FIFA World Cup – News & Features
uefa.com – UEFA.com – Jan 7, 2004
Israel firstThe Lithuanians will tackle Israel away on 30 March before travelling to Belarus for a 28 April fixture. The Lithuanian Football Federation is also in talks with its Portuguese counterpart with a view to arranging a 5 June friendly. If the game takes place, it will be Portugal’s final match before their opening EURO 2004™ tie against Greece the following week. ‘Similar styles’Lithuania team director Robertas Tautkus said: “We will use these friendlies to prepare for our 2006 [FIFA] World Cup campaign. We have planned these matches to play against teams with similar styles to our future opponents. ” Lithuania have been drawn in World Cup qualifying Group 7 alongside Spain, Belgium, Serbia and Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina and San Marino… The Lithuanian Football Federation is also in talks with its Portuguese counterpart with a view to arranging a 5 June friendly. If the game takes place, it will be Portugal’s final match before their opening EURO 2004™ tie against Greece the following week. ‘Similar styles’Lithuania team director Robertas Tautkus said: “We will use these friendlies to prepare for our 2006 [FIFA] World Cup campaign. We have planned these matches to play against teams with similar styles to our future opponents. ” Lithuania have been drawn in World Cup qualifying Group 7 alongside Spain, Belgium, Serbia and Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina and San Marino.

Albania showing promise
uefa.com – UEFA.com – Jan 7, 2004
But these are our only achievements so far. The Under-21 team did well to qualify for the quarter-finals of the UEFA European Under-21 Championship in 1984 after eliminating West Germany and Austria. They also lifted the Balkans Cup in 1977 and 1981. In club football, only a few Albanian sides have survived a round of European competition. These include FK Partizani, FK Tirana, KS Dinamo Tirana and KS Vllaznia. However, the most successful were KS Flamurtari, who knocked out Yugoslavia’s FK Partizan and Wismut Aue of East Germany en route to the UEFA Cup third round in 1987, where they lost against FC Barcelona… I think the national team have made great progress though. Albania were unbeaten at home in the UEFA EURO 2004™ qualifiers – drawing against Switzerland and the Republic of Ireland, and beating Russia and Georgia. Now, in the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, we will play Turkey, Denmark, Ukraine, Greece, Georgia and Kazakhstan. They are tough opponents, but Albania have played them all before, except for Kazakhstan. With Hans Peter Briegel as coach, the team now has much more international experience and the players are more mature because they are with professional clubs across Europe. So it is fair we should expect something more from them in the World Cup qualifiers.

Irish rest big guns | Republic Of Ireland | International | Football…
Telegraph.co.uk – Jan 6, 2004
With the prestige friendly against Holland in Amsterdam this Saturday in mind, Kerr will rest most of his big guns tonight and made no excuses for giving some of the younger members of the squad a taste of senior international football. “Martin Rowlands has played in a couple of games and done reasonably well,” Kerr said. “If we hadn’t had this group of games, people like him wouldn’t have got the opportunity. That will continue tomorrow and though we are a bit away from what we wanted to have, it will be a young vibrant team. “Sunderland have completed the signing of Manchester City striker Stephen Elliott.

Blackwell offers Lee comeback at Leeds
Telegraph.co.uk – Jan 6, 2004
“He is also well paid at PSG and he has got a very big potential. Why should we sell at a low price?” Halilhodzic said. Barcelona striker Ronaldinho has been ruled out of Brazil’s 2006 World Cup qualifier against Argentina at Belo Horizonte tonight with a thigh strain. Luis Fabiano replaces him. Argentina lead the South American World Cup qualifying group with 11 points from five games. Brazil are third with nine points.

EURO 2004: Spain
Squarefootball – Jan 6, 2004
Despite possessing a talent-filled squad, the only thing certain about Spanish campaigns in recent years is their eventual doom. They went the way of Italy at the 2002 World Cup, crashing out to inhospitable upstart hosts South Korea. This was a source of much embarrassment to the nation as a whole, and Euro 2004 presents the first real opportunity to make up for what was, even by Spanish standards of under-achievement, a calamity. Helping Spain in their quest will be the fact that the tournament takes place in Portugal. This should provide conditions that the Spanish players will be accustomed to. Excuses about the heat of Portugal in June won’t wash, and the Spanish players should acclimatise quicker than most… Both sides won a game each head-to-head during qualification, but one would expect Spain’s big-match experience, even their negative experiences, to stand them in good enough stead to pull through the fixture. Coach Inaki Saez has just agreed to a two-year extension to his contract with the Spanish national team, which is in itself unusual. The football-watching public are more used to seeing Spanish coaches resign in despair after another miserable exit from a major competition, yet clearly the powers that be in Spain see Saez as the man to lead them not only in Portugal, but all the way through to the next World Cup in Germany in 2006. Whether Saez can deliver on this occasion seems questionable, and not only because of the apparent curse on Spanish squads in recent years. Spain’s only major title came in 1964 when they won the European Championships, and a repeat looks unlikely. The problems for Spain begin at the back. It is the first entry in the great big football book of truisms to suggest that Real Madrid are more than a bit dodgy at the back.

Zimbabwe in controversy
BBC News – Jan 7, 2004
Only two recognised members of the senior national El Salvador squad played in Sunday’s match, which saw the visitors failing to create any shots at goal. Furthermore, national team coach Juan Ramon Paredes did not travel to Zimbabwe, with Ricardo Guardado taking charge of the side. Although the El Salvador Football Federation says that it will be investigating the matter, officials who accompanied the team to Zimbabwe insisted that they had not short-changed anyone. “The allegations are not true, we are rebuilding the national team and these new players are all part of our future plans to take us to the 2006 World Cup,” said head of delegation Jose Gundron. Guardado said that he was coaching the team on behalf of Paredes and would be reporting to him. “Zimbabwe couldn’t score against us, and their world ranking is much higher than ours, so you can’t say that we played badly,” said Guardado. With the cancellation of Wednesday’s match, the Warriors may not play any further international friendlies before the Nations Cup… Furthermore, national team coach Juan Ramon Paredes did not travel to Zimbabwe, with Ricardo Guardado taking charge of the side. Although the El Salvador Football Federation says that it will be investigating the matter, officials who accompanied the team to Zimbabwe insisted that they had not short-changed anyone. “The allegations are not true, we are rebuilding the national team and these new players are all part of our future plans to take us to the 2006 World Cup,” said head of delegation Jose Gundron. Guardado said that he was coaching the team on behalf of Paredes and would be reporting to him. “Zimbabwe couldn’t score against us, and their world ranking is much higher than ours, so you can’t say that we played badly,” said Guardado. With the cancellation of Wednesday’s match, the Warriors may not play any further international friendlies before the Nations Cup. Plans for a warm-up against Kenya have been shelved, and a fixture against Zambia scheduled for 11 January has been put back a week.

Wimbledon reveals plan to build retractable roof
Seattle Times – Jan 7, 2004
Soccer

Leeds United striker Alan Smith received a two-match ban for throwing a plastic bottle into the crowd during a match against Manchester United in October, the Football Association said. Figure skating

American Michelle Kwan said she is thinking about competing in the 2006 Olympics in Turin, Italy, when she will be 25. Kwan goes for her eighth overall national title beginning tomorrow with the short program in Atlanta. • Yesterday was the 10th anniversary of an attack on Nancy Kerrigan in Detroit. In hopes of clearing Tonya Harding’s way to Olympic gold and glory, Harding’s live-in ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly, hired a hit man to attack Kerrigan. Kerrigan was leaving the practice rink when Shane Stant whacked her on the right knee with a retractable police baton… Martin Hoellwarth of Austria was second with 1,031. Snowboarding

Dejan Kosir of Slovenia won the men’s World Cup parallel-slalom event and Jagna Kolasinska-Marczulajtis of Poland took the women’s final in Bad Gastien, Austria. Auto racing

NASCAR has a new provisional system that will allow 38 cars to qualify on speed this season in the Nextel Cup and Busch Series. In previous years, 36 cars qualified on speed and the rest of the field of 43 was set by car-owner points. Media

ESPN Deportes, a Spanish-language version of the main cable network, launches today in some markets. — Times news services

Copyright © 2004 The Seattle Times Company More sports headlines.

Dublin in 2004 : Things can only get better. . .
Irish Independent – Jan 6, 2004
For many cash-strapped people with high mortgages and long commute times, it was hard to see the benefits of the Celtic Tiger. If sport is the opium of the people during hard times, there was little to be cheerful about in 2003 either. The Dublin football team began to believe what was being written about them in (at least one) paper, the Boyz in Green failed miserably against Russia at dingy Lansdowne Road, while the one saving grace from our Rugby World Cup outing was that our team got to play in decent stadiums. And if you wanted to kick out in desperation, there was plenty to aim at. Dublin, unfortunately, was again close to the top (or should it be bottom ?) of the litter league. It was just as well that the sun shone throughout the summer! So will 2004 be any better? Yes, as it turns out. In fact, a good bit better… There is good news emerging for the tourism and leisure industry also. This year should see the winning bid emerge for the long awaited National Conference Centre and, while it won’t open its doors for a further few years, at least Dublin can now begin to chase the lucrative conference market – much of which is booked five and ten years in advance. If Tourism Minister John O Donoghue can deliver on that, it should be well within his capabilities to deliver a new sports stadium in the city – now that we’re looking to the Germany 2006 World Cup campaign. And with the extra money being paid by Dublin business in commercial rates, surely the City Council can afford to put extra effort into keeping the streets a bit cleaner. The same can also be said for Minister McDowell, who has been given an extra allocation for Gardai in the 2004 Estimates. Let’s see those gardai on the streets of Dublin, Minister. The local and European elections in June will see the politicians out in force again, and while we can’t expect to see new announcements about jobs being shifted from the country back to Dublin, there will be opportunity for Dubliners to put their case to the politicians about the many urgent and important issues which Dublin faces.

Comic stripped | | Guardian Unlimited Arts
Guardian Unlimited – Jan 6, 2004
He was the purest pop artist of all, as well as the first: Warhol had to abandon his early interest in Superman because Lichtenstein had already monopolised the comics department. Warhol was pop incarnate, even writing his personal history of the movement. But nowadays it feels crass to categorise him. He has emerged as unclassifiable – which is to say, great.

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