Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

December 28, 2006

African Talking Point: Editor’s End-Of-Year Message

Filed under: World Cup 2006 — Ivan @ 9:08 am

The News Review:

* When ZZ blew his top
* Neveu lands Togo coaching job
* 2006 Rugby Union: New Zealand’s year, but will they stumble at…
* African Talking Point: Editor’s End-Of-Year Message
* Football Europe – News & Features – News Specific
* – NCAA – Fullerton coach tapped to lead USC soccer team
* – columnists – Highs, blows from a year in sports
* Scolari says signing for England before World Cup would have betrayed…
* … – Richard Deitsch:’s 2006 Media Awards -…
* Adidas CEO says to meet 2006 targets, sees 2007 double-digit net…
* Football Europe – News & Features – News Specific
* Past year just a tad off-kilter
* Football Europe – News & Features – News Specific

When ZZ blew his top – Dec 27, 2006
And even at that, they weren?t quite finished. By any objective standard, third-place play-offs may be meaningless but try telling that to the millions of Germans who wildly celebrated another helping of spectacular goals as the hosts disposed of Portugal to earn the football equivalent of a bronze medal. Like Italia ?90 in Ireland, Germany?s World Cup went way beyond football to become a social phenomenon. For young and old, their beaming pride in hosting a tournament frequently electrified by their own team?s performances, permitted a sustained outburst of national joy, memories of which will sustain them through the dark days of winter and beyond. To be amongst it all for five hectic weeks was fun, uplifting and even, at times, a little moving. And, for the neutral, it almost made up for the staggering moment of madness which brought the glorious career of Zinedine Zidane to an ignominious close.

Neveu lands Togo coaching job
BBC News – Dec 27, 2006
“Patrice Neveu will be in charge from January 2007 for the African Cup of Nations and hopefully the next World Cup,” the minister added. The 51-year-old is expected to arrive in Lome early enough to “fine tune” Togo’s team for their crucial qualifier for the 2008 African Cup of Nations against Sierra Leone in March. The Togo national side has been without a permanent coach since German Otto Pfister resigned from his post following the disastrous showing of Togo at the 2006 World Cup. The Togolese team has been overseen since then by local coach Kodjovi Mawuena. Neveu steered Guinea to the quarter-finals of the African Cup of Nations in 2006.

2006 Rugby Union: New Zealand’s year, but will they stumble at…
International Herald Tribune – Dec 28, 2006
Australia also lost to Ireland and drew with Wales on its autumn tour. Its continued inability to find front-row forwards of vaguely international level continues to undermine the impressive work of its backs and back-row forwards. Without strong props, the whole edifice is shaky. France has the advantage of hosting most of the World Cup. It again won the Six Nations in 2006. But its loss in Scotland was, in retrospect, a sign that not everything was right. In the autumn it was thrashed twice by New Zealand, an emphatic assertion of who were international rugby’s alpha males, and won at home against Argentina by only one point.

African Talking Point: Editor’s End-Of-Year Message – Dec 28, 2006
A few words summarize it all—African football is indeed improving. While we celebrate this achievement, it is also worth noting that Goal. com Africa has been a driving force providing breaking news, exclusive interviews, player profiles and other features. An “Africa” link was created on each edition of Goal… An “Africa” link was created on each edition of Goal. com this year and the 2006 African Nations Cup was exclusively covered. Our 2006 World Cup coverage was also a success with many exclusives including live commentaries on matches involving African teams. Our most recent coverage was on the African Women’s Championship in Nigeria, while the increasingly popular African Talking Point has also added flavour to our Africa coverage. And 2007 will be a brighter year for us in terms of our African football coverage. It’s been a wonderful year for Egyptian football starting with the African Nations Cup. Egypt hosted the tournament in January this year and won the title in empathic fashion by marking a record of five wins.

Football Europe – News & Features – News Specific – – Dec 26, 2006
Puskás died aged 79 after a long illness, but his memory will live on in the minds of those lucky enough to have seen the Galloping Major play. Quite simply Puskás was Hungary’s greatest player, and one of the best the world has seen. He struck a world-record 84 goals in 85 full internationals and helped his side win the 1952 Olympic Games as well as reach the 1954 World Cup final. Grande InterLike Puskás, Facchetti was synonymous with one of Europe’s all-time great sides. He was a key member of the ‘Grande Inter’ team that won the European Cup in 1964 and 1965 – still their only triumphs – and also featured in four Serie A-winning sides. He captained Italy 70 times including their UEFA European Championship final victory against Yugoslavia in 1968 and the World Cup final loss to Brazil two years after that. – NCAA – Fullerton coach tapped to lead USC soccer team
ESPN – Dec 26, 2006
Itwas 11-5-5 this year and placed fifth in the Pac-10, losing in theNCAA second round. Khosroshahin broke into the collegiate ranks in 1994, serving asa graduate assistant with the men’s team at his alma mater, CalState Los Angeles. He has coached at the international level and was an assistantwith Mexico during the 1998 Women’s World Cup. He also helped theMexican women’s team prepare for the 2004 Olympics. – columnists – Highs, blows from a year in sports
Toronto Star – Dec 26, 2006
That sad image is rivalled by the one of Barbaro, the Kentucky Derby winner, breaking down grotesquely in the Preakness and standing with his shattered leg held awkwardly. Between medical science and the prayers of millions, he somehow survived. Speaking of sad, the sports world lost legends and giants in 2006, as it does every year: CFL legend Jackie Parker; baseball hall of famer Kirby Puckett, only 45; the great Buck O’Neil; Canadiens’ icon Boom Boom Geoffrion. Locally, we lost Steve Stavro, golf legend Al Balding, long-time U of T coach John McManus and Jim (Shaky) Hunt. A lot of people around here felt the shock when Cory Lidle, 34, flew his airplane into a Manhattan apartment tower. The other snapshot that will last was touched by death, too. It was Tiger Woods, again the world’s best golfer by a large margin (he won two majors and a bunch of other tournaments), capturing the British Open at Hoylake and then collapsing in genuine tears as the final putt holes, the pain of losing his father Earl a few months before finally fully displayed… Italian soccer in general. They won the World Cup and captain Fabio Cannavaro was named FIFA’s world player of the year, but a match-fixing scandal rocked the country and Juventus’ coach jumped off a building. Juventus was stripped of two Serie A titles and demoted. "I am out of words to describe this performance. It was the perfect end to an incredible season. There’s not much more I could have done (this year).

Scolari says signing for England before World Cup would have betrayed…
International Herald Tribune – Dec 26, 2006
” Scolari turned down the post last April, three months ahead of the World Cup. England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson had announced in January he would be leaving his job after the tournament. “They (England’s Football Association) wanted me to sign with England and for that to be all over the news but to only take over the team after the World Cup. That (option) doesn’t exist. You can’t sign for a team, lead another during the World Cup and eventually, as it happened, face your future team,” Scolari told Record… “They (England’s Football Association) wanted me to sign with England and for that to be all over the news but to only take over the team after the World Cup. That (option) doesn’t exist. You can’t sign for a team, lead another during the World Cup and eventually, as it happened, face your future team,” Scolari told Record.

… – Richard Deitsch:’s 2006 Media Awards -…
CNN – Dec 27, 2006
Rare is the broadcaster who can move seamlessly between the worlds of Vera Zvonareva and Vince Young. Whenever I watch a?program anchored by Fowler, whether he’s in Melbourne for the Australian Open or in Madison with his College GameDay crew, I know I’m being guided by a professional. You want to know the main reason why ESPN’s college football coverage generally draws praise from even the staunchest anti-ESPN forces? Look no further than the name above. Last September, Fowler showed journalistic chops in speaking up when the GameDay crew was assigned to Nebraska-USC in Los Angeles (the game was airing on ABC later that night) as opposed to matchups that weekend of far more national importance (LSU at Auburn and Michigan at Notre Dame) airing on other networks… I want my best guy — and football’s best analyst, along with Ron Jaworski — if I’m making my debut in a sport. Honorable mention: Jaworksi (ESPN), Tim McCarver (Fox) BEST NEWCOMER: John Harkes, ESPN. Harkes made his debut as an ESPN soccer commentator at the World Cup. Pairing up with veteran announcer JP Dellacamera, he was measured, perceptive and, best of all, not Marcelo Balboa. Honorable mention: Jamie Sale and David Pelletier (NBC Olympic Ice analysts).

Adidas CEO says to meet 2006 targets, sees 2007 double-digit net…
Forbes – Dec 27, 2006
‘We will meet the goals that we set for 2006. ‘We will see net profit grow 25 pct to 480-490 mln eur [in 2006] and in 2007 the Adidas (other-otc:… Last month, the company downgraded its net profit forecast for 2007 to grow at a rate approaching 15 pct from 2006, compared with a previous guidance of 20 pct, due to lowered estimates for profit growth at the recently acquired Reebok unit. Hainer said the Adidas brand was able to lift its sales to 1. 2 bln eur this year from 900 mln in 2005 due to the World Cup Football Championships this year. However, ‘in 2007 we will see sales of over 1 bln eur’, as sales are expected to drop slightly in the first half of 2007, but pick up in the second half of the year. ‘We have to clean up shop a bit, and want to show a turnaround at the middle of the year. ‘ He added that there are simply too many Reebok products on the market, especially in the US and UK. Hainer said that a target for Reebok is to balance the sales of its athletic and its lifestyle products 50:50.

Football Europe – News & Features – News Specific – – Dec 28, 2006
” Anyway, his point holds that animals only cause trouble when they get involved in, say, football, a point borne out in today’s compilation from the weekly Off the Ball column in the uefa. Dog starSee, our mammalian cousins have been doing all sorts in 2006, from pitch invasions to taking over clubs. Yes, Serie D side US Pontedera 1912 – the club where Marcello Lippi launched his coaching career – are owned by a dog called Gunther IV. The hound inherited the estate of countess Carlotta Liebenstain in the 1990s, administered by multinational Gunther Corporation Nassau, and the canine-controlled firm controls Pontedera. And let no one say that Ghunter is no innovator, for in March three new club presidents were appointed; Polish lap dancer Karolcia, the Italian porn star Valentine Demy and the English rapper Prodigal1, unveiled in a ceremony presided over by Ilona Staller, the former star of adult entertainment and Italian parliamentarian also known as Cicciolina. “I will always support Pontedera, I hope they will always win,” the well-proportioned politico declared, on behalf of us all… A twist in the tailGhunter is unlikely to be planning a transfer swoop for Rio Ferdinand, after a practical joke in his hilarious TV hit ‘Rio’s World Cup Wind-Ups’ included a jape in which Wayne Rooney was accused by a child of killing a dog before his Manchester United FC colleague burst in to reveal that the striker had been “merked”, whatever that means. According to a source quoted by the Sun newspaper: “Rio has really got his teeth into the telly game. He came up with the idea behind World Cup Wind-ups, which was a big success. People loved seeing Rooney worry he’d really killed a dog. ” Which people? Name six?Mouse invadersBut then animals do not always have a benign effect in English stadiums. Non-league Burton Albion FC earned an FA Cup replay at United in January after a memorable goalless draw, but the Old Trafford dressing room was not as luxurious as they imagined. “Every time I looked down I saw a mouse,” defender Ryan Austin shuddered.

Past year just a tad off-kilter
USA Today – Dec 26, 2006
When the Super Bowl-winning quarterback ends up as a hood ornament on a 62-year-old woman’s Chrysler New Yorker as she drives the streets of downtown Pittsburgh one late spring day, it’s officially a bizarre year. It’s bad when the biggest event in world sports ends not with a bang, but with a head butt. When one player called the other’s mother and sister a nasty name, it allowed this folly: an insult potentially changing the outcome of World Cup history. It’s a strange one when the Disney Feel-Good-Story-of-the-Year, Floyd Landis’ triumphant Tour de France victory, ends in disgrace when our hero tested positive for high levels of testosterone and immediately came up with a handful of excuses, neglecting only the most obvious: The dog ate his drug test. Uncertainty lingered at year’s end: Did he cheat or didn’t he?In 2006, it seemed, the villains had the heroes vastly outnumbered. The baseball Hall of Fame voting turned into a referendum on cheating, led by the now infamous Mark McGwire, whose fall from grace is rivaled only by that of Barry Bonds, whose march toward Hank Aaron’s home run record was met, appropriately, by the sports world’s strangest sounds of silence ? and booing. Baseball gave us other weirdness as well… The 2005 World Series champion Chicago White Sox didn’t even qualify for the 2006 postseason but did create a stir by selling their game starting time to a sponsor. For $500,000 for three years, the White Sox agreed to start their games at 7:11. In the National Football League, the return of Da Bears and the surprising domination of the San Diego Chargers finished off a year in which initials made a name for themselves. ? LaDainian Tomlinson ? was most dominant, rushing for more touchdowns than any other player in NFL history, but of course it was T.

Football Europe – News & Features – News Specific – – Dec 27, 2006
Whether they have just burst on to the scene or are confirming their precocious talent, uefa. com takes its pick of some of the continent’s most exciting teenagers. Theo Walcott, 17, Arsenal FCThe promise that persuaded Arsenal FC to sign the then 16-year-old forward from Southampton FC last January for a fee that could rise to €17.

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