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Author Topic:   World Cup 2006
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posted June 14, 2005 09:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for indiedan   Click Here to Email indiedan     Edit/Delete Message
Microchips in World Cup balls?

FIFA considering using chip to confirm goal-line calls

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) -- FIFA will consider using an electronic microchip inside soccer balls at the 2006 World Cup finals if the technology proves successful.

The microchip, intended to confirm whether or not a ball has crossed the goal line, will be tested at the under-17 world championship in Peru in September and October. FIFA (the Federation Internationale de Football Association) is the official governing body of international soccer.

"We will test the goal-line technology at the FIFA under-17 world championship in Peru. If it works OK, we could introduce the chipped ball at the World Cup 2006," FIFA president Sepp Blatter said Monday at the Confederations Cup, which starts Wednesday.

"We will run the test but I don't know that it will be successful," Blatter added. "But at least we are going to try it."

Blatter cited two games where rival teams have disputed goals.

At the 1966 World Cup final, a linesman ruled that Geoff Hurst's shot had hit the crossbar and bounced over the line for England's third goal against West Germany at Wembley.

Although the ball bounced back into play, the goal stood and England went on to win 4-2.

More recently, Liverpool was awarded a goal this season in the semifinals of the Champions League against Chelsea. The Blues, however, were convinced that defender William Gallas had cleared the ball off the line.

Liverpool won the game 1-0 and went on to win the trophy.

"There were 12 cameras at the game but nobody was able to say for sure if the ball crossed the line or not," Blatter said. "It's part of the game.

"Like the players, referees make mistakes. The only people who don't make mistakes are the spectators. The technology will take away the fun of discussing whether the ball went in or not. They will be missing out on something."

Another recent error came during a Jan. 4 game when Tottenham appeared to have scored against Manchester United in the 89th minute of a 0-0 draw. United goalkeeper Roy Carroll let Pedro Mendes' long-range shot slip through his hands and replays showed the ball about a yard over the line, but referee Mark Clattenburg declined to call it a goal.

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posted June 22, 2005 08:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jpgordo   Click Here to Email jpgordo     Edit/Delete Message
I've got my money on Germany. The home country almost always gets to the finals.

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posted August 04, 2005 01:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for a   Click Here to Email a     Edit/Delete Message
Brazil... easily.

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posted September 21, 2005 11:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for fred   Click Here to Email fred     Edit/Delete Message
Airliner fakes emergency so passengers can watch soccer game

LIMA, Peru (AP) -- A chartered jet carrying 289 Gambian soccer fans pretended it needed to make an emergency landing so they could watch their team compete in the FIFA Under 17 World Championships, officials said Wednesday.

The plane, claiming to be low on fuel, landed Tuesday near the stadium in Peru's northern coast city of Piura.

"It truly was a scam," said Betty Maldonado, a spokeswoman for Peru's aviation authority, CORPAC. "They tricked the control tower, saying they were low on fuel."

Emergency crews were scrambled ahead of the unscheduled landing by the Lockhead L1011 Tri-Star, owned by Air Rum Ltd., Maldonado said.

The Air Rum plane, which she said was chartered by Gambian President Yahya Jammeh, should have made its approach to the capital, Lima, but instead flew directly to Piura, entering Peruvian air space "without permission."

The passengers were permitted to attend African team's 3-1 victory over Qatar on Tuesday night, she added, but the plane remained in Piura on Wednesday while authorities determined what penalty, if any, to levy against the airline.

Gambian newspaper Daily Observer reported on its Web page Wednesday that the group of fans had been delayed for a week in a hotel in the small West African nation and were forced Friday to watch their country's victory over Brazil on television.

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posted November 03, 2005 01:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for NEWSFLASH   Click Here to Email NEWSFLASH     Edit/Delete Message
World Cup To Cost $425 Million

ABC, ESPN and Univision have together paid a record $425 million to broadcast soccer's World Cup competition through 2014. The lion's share of that fee -- $325 million -- will be contributed by Univision, which has won the rights for the Spanish-language telecasts. "The FIFA [Fédération Internationale de Football Association] World Cup is the most important sporting event among U.S. Hispanics," Univision President Ray Rodriguez said in a statement. "It has enormous advertiser and audience appeal." ABC and ESPN said that they plan to show every game of the 2006 World Cup in Germany live and in high definition. In addition, the two networks said that highlights will be available on the Internet and on mobile platforms.

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posted November 17, 2005 09:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for HollywoodProducer   Click Here to Email HollywoodProducer     Edit/Delete Message
FIFA chief considers 2010 World Cup ban for Turkey

By ERNST E. ABEGG, Associated Press Writer

ZURICH, Switzerland (AP) -- Turkey could be banned by FIFA from the 2010 World Cup for its part in a fight after a playoff match against Switzerland in Istanbul.

"We will act tough," Sepp Blatter, president of world soccer's governing body, said Thursday. "The catalogue of sanctions extends from a simple warning to suspension of the federation, which could mean exclusion from the next international event."

The teams tied 4-4 on aggregate Wednesday, but the Swiss advanced to next year's World Cup in Germany on away goals.

After the final whistle, the teams raced from the field and there was scuffle between players in the tunnel on the way to the locker room.

Blatter said FIFA's disciplinary committee will decide on sanctions by Dec. 9, the date of the draw for the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

"In the truest sense of the word, fair play was trampled underfoot," Blatter said at a news conference. "This is unworthy of football. Football should promote understanding among peoples. This didn't happen here."

Blatter, who is Swiss, later indicated that lesser sanctions might be possible against the Swiss if the committee finds there was misbehavior in an earlier match in Switzerland.

Swiss defender Stephane Grichting was hurt in the brawl Wednesday and hospitalized with a groin injury, the Swiss Football Association said.

Some of the violence was caught by television cameras.

Swiss player Benjamin Huggel is seen kicking Turkish trainer Mehmet Ozdilek in the back of the legs. Turkey's Alpay Ozalan tried to kick Huggel in retaliation but made contact with another Swiss player. Huggel then grabbed Alpay around the neck and fell to the ground, with other players, coaches and security guards piling on.

"It was unbelievable," Swiss midfielder Raphael Wicky said on the Web site of his German club, Hamburger SV. "Turkish players and security guards started hitting us. I was hit on the head and the back."

But he said Hamit and Halil Altintop, Turkish brothers who also play in Germany, came to his rescue and protected him from their teammates until he got to the dressing room.

Blatter said FIFA would consider a range of severe sanctions against Turkey.

"Anything can happen -- from nothing at all to the suspension of the Turkish federation or even a ban on participation in the next World Cup," he told a Swiss radio interviewer earlier.

Turkish soccer officials accused Blatter of being biased.

"Blatter's comments were extremely unfortunate," federation vice president Sekip Mosturoglu said. "This was not a one-sided event."

Blatter said FIFA would await the report from the match officials in Istanbul.

"What disturbs me the most is the lack of respect shown the official Swiss delegation from their arrival until their departure," he said.

The Swiss said they were subjected to hostile treatment, including being held up for several hours in passport control when they arrived in Istanbul on Monday. Fans taunted the players and reportedly threw eggs and rocks at the team bus as it left the airport.

Blatter criticized FIFA representatives for not being at the airport for the Swiss team's arrival.

"This is incomprehensible," he said. "At least they could have given psychological support."

Tensions had been mounting since the first match on Saturday in Bern, which the Swiss won 2-0. The Turkish team complained of poor treatment. Turkey coach Fatih Terim said Swiss striker Alex Frei cursed at him and made an obscene hand gesture after the first match. Frei denied it.

FIFA spokesman Andreas Herren noted that there had been previous problems with Turkish fans during the qualifying rounds. FIFA imposed a $7,500 fine on the Turks after a match against Ukraine, a $15,000 fine and a warning after the Greece match, and a warning following the Danish match.

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posted April 03, 2006 09:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for NEWSFLASH   Click Here to Email NEWSFLASH     Edit/Delete Message
'The obsessive disorder that haunts my life'
By ANDY DOLAN, Daily Mail

He is renowned for his perfectionism on the pitch, but it seems everything has to be just right for David Beckham at home as well.

The England football captain has admitted that he suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) - a complaint which drives sufferers to carry out bizarre and persistent rituals.

In a television interview, Beckham, 30, confessed to counting the cans of cola he keeps in his fridge.

He said the condition leads him to count clothes and place magazines in straight lines and symmetrical patterns. And he added that one of the reasons why he keeps having tattoos is that he is addicted to the pain of the needle.

Beckham said: "I have got this obsessive compulsive disorder where I have to have everything in a straight line or everything has to be in pairs."

With a carefully-placed plug for his sponsor, he went on: "I'll put my Pepsi cans in the fridge and if there's one too many then I'll put it in another cupboard somewhere.

"I've got that problem. I'll go into a hotel room. Before I can relax I have to move all the leaflets and all the books and put them in a drawer. Everything has to be perfect."

Asked if he had tried to rid himself of the condition, which affects two per cent of the population, he replied: "I would like to. I've tried and I can't stop."

The World Health Organisation rates OCD as one of the top ten most debilitating illnesses.

Beckham reportedly spends hours straightening the furniture, apparently buys exactly 20 packets of Super Noodles on each visit to the supermarket and wears a new pair of football boots for every match.

His wife Victoria, 31, has said: "Everything has to match in the house. If there are three cans of Diet Pepsi, he'd throw one away because it's uneven."


In the interview with Tim Lovejoy, to be broadcast by ITV in the run-up to the World Cup, Beckham said he had kept the condition secret from his teammates at Real Madrid.

But his battle with OCD was common knowledge amongst teammates at his previous club, Manchester United.

Beckham told how players Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs and Gary and Phil Neville would barge in to his hotel room. "I thought they were just coming in for a chat. But then they'd go out and I'm thinking, 'Something's different here'. And then all the magazines would be all wonky."

He added: "They'd have been in my wardrobe and all my trousers and my shoes would be all over the place. It was a joke with them."

Beckham, who has 12 tattoos including the names of his sons Brooklyn, Romeo and Cruz, said: "Funnily enough, and I know it sounds weird, but I actually enjoy the pain.

"Victoria's not keen on my having many more but they are addictive."

Other famous OCD sufferers include Paul Gascoigne, Woody Allen, Harrison Ford, Emily Lloyd, Michelle Pfeiffer and Winona Ryder. In an earlier era, Charles Dickens and Marcel Proust are also said to have been victims of the condition.

A spokesman for the charity OCD-UK hoped Beckham's revelations would encourage other men to seek help with the condition.

"OCD is something which affects both sexes equally but it is usually the women who are brave enough to come forward for help," he said.

"To people like Beckham who are considered perfectionists in what they do, that sort of mindset can be a benefit to their careers to a degree, but for the vast majority it is a seriously debilitating condition."

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posted April 25, 2006 03:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fred   Click Here to Email fred     Edit/Delete Message
Zidane to retire after FIFA World Cup
25 April 2006
by Reuters

Zinedine Zidane said on Tuesday that he would retire after the FIFA World Cup™ finals in Germany.
"It's my decision and it's final," the France and Real Madrid playmaker told French television channel Canal+.

The 33-year-old, who led France to victory at the 1998 FIFA World Cup and UEFA EURO 2000, had hinted recently he was ready to quit.

Zidane became the world's most expensive footballer when Madrid signed him from Juventus for $66 million in 2001 and he scored a superb winner to earn Madrid their ninth European Cup in the 2002 final against Bayer Leverkusen.

But injuries and inconsistency have dogged him over the last two seasons and, although he still has another year left on his contract with Madrid, he decided to call it a day.

"I have to listen to my body and I cannot carry on for another year," said Zidane, who cited his club's poor results as one of the reasons for his decision. "I think it is better to clarify the situation now," he added.

Zidane had been expected to announce his decision at a news conference called for Wednesday in Madrid.

The gifted son of Algerian immigrants said after France's early exit from EURO 2004 that he was retiring from international football.

In August last year, with France struggling to qualify for the FIFA World Cup finals in Germany, he decided after all that he could not let down the side he inspired for a decade.

Voted European player of the year in 1998 and world player of the year in 1999, 2000 and 2003, he came second only to Michel Platini as France's most respected footballer.

Zidane, who made thousands weep for joy after the 1998 FIFA World Cup final, is a man of few words who is happy to let his football do the talking.

He is also respected for the money and time he discreetly spends for charity, especially in helping handicapped children. Zidane, who has never forgotten his humble roots, will not mind being out of the limelight once his playing days are over.

For the moment, though, he wants to savour the last stretch of his glittering career.

"I wanted everybody to know before the World Cup, to dedicate myself fully to it," he said on Tuesday. "It's my last goal and I don't want to think about anything else."

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posted May 05, 2006 10:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for fred   Click Here to Email fred     Edit/Delete Message
Police fear east versus west World Cup hooligan brawls

By Mark Trevelyan, Security Correspondent

BERLIN, May 5 (Reuters) - German and Polish police chiefs fear rival hooligan gangs from eastern and western Europe will clash at next month's soccer World Cup in Germany.

"The great unknown for us is what comes our way from the east European countries," said Heinz Theus, police director from the eastern German city of Leipzig.

"It can very well happen that people look for confrontations ... The east Europeans want to measure themselves against the west Europeans," he told Reuters.

Tadeusz Pawlaczyk, a Polish police commander from Szczecin near the German border, said police were aware of contacts between German and Polish troublemakers and suspected the aim was to organise fights to prove which gang was tougher.

"We know who the people are but we don't know what their plans are...They communicate over the Internet and they organise meetings. We're doing everything to prevent (clashes) but I can't say for sure it won't happen," he said.

One such planned brawl took place in November in a wood on the German side of the border, when some 45 Germans clashed with more than 50 Poles who travelled to the rendezvous by bus.

Pawlaczyk told a Berlin police conference on World Cup security that the Polish authorities have the situation under control and would closely monitor all travelling fans during the month-long tournament beginning on June 9.

"We know who the pseudo-fans are...The potential troublemakers are under control," he said, while acknowledging that police have no powers to ban people from travelling to Germany unless they have committed a crime.

Leipzig's Theus said he remained concerned about both hooliganism and organised crime. Serbia and Montenegro and the Netherlands, who face each other in Leipzig on June 11, are both assessed by police as "high risk" teams for hooliganism.

Authorities are also worried about the Iran-Angola game in Leipzig on June 21, but for a different reason. Far-rightists have announced plans to demonstrate in support of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's statements denying the Nazi Holocaust and calling for Israel to be wiped off the map.

The rally needs approval from city authorities. Theus said it would certainly provoke left-wing counter-demonstrations if it went ahead.

"Where there's right, there's left. Our job is to keep them apart," he said.

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posted May 18, 2006 09:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for NEWSFLASH   Click Here to Email NEWSFLASH     Edit/Delete Message
FIFA releases 23-man squads for all World Cup participants

May 18, 2006

LONDON (AP) -- FIFA released the official squad lists for the 32 teams that will play in next month's World Cup.

Each team registered 23 players for the tournament in Germany, making 736 players eligible to play at soccer's premier event, which kicks off June 9 in Munich.


Yes No
Yes No

Yes No

The squad lists were released Thursday on FIFA's World Cup Web site, with names, positions and shirt numbers for all players.

The FIFA deadline for submitting rosters was Monday, and most of the teams made their squad announcements public on that day.

The only change from the announced players to the official rosters came from Croatia, where Ivan Buljat of Dinamo Zagreb was replaced by Niko Kovac of Hertha Berlin.

According to FIFA, 47 percent of the registered players compete in England, Italy, Spain, France and Germany -- the top five leagues in Europe. The English Premier League has 102 players chosen for their respective national teams.

Seven of the competitors will be taking part in their fourth World Cup, including Claudio Reyna and Kasey Keller of the United States, Oliver Kahn of Germany, Mohammed Al-Deayea and Sami Al-Jaber of Saudi Arabia, and Cafu and Ronaldo of Brazil.

Keller is the only player going to Germany who participated in the 1990 World Cup. He missed the 1994 tournament.

Only Cafu, Al-Deayea and Al-Jaber actually played in the last three tournaments.

England forward Theo Walcott, 17, will be the youngest player in the competition and could become the youngest to score if he finds the net in Germany.

Tunisia goalkeeper Ali Boumnijel, 40, will be the fifth oldest player to participate after Roger Milla of Cameroon, Pat Jennings of Northern Ireland, Peter Shilton of England and Dino Zoff of Italy.

On the Net:

FIFA World Cup:

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posted May 23, 2006 04:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for NEWSFLASH   Click Here to Email NEWSFLASH     Edit/Delete Message
Young Guns
The Players: More than in any previous World Cup, many nations' hopes are riding on their most tender stars.

By Malcolm Beith
Newsweek International

May 29, 2006 issue - Judging from the headlines, you might have thought a prophet had passed away. IS THERE LIFE AFTER ROO? Read one. A KILLER BLOW, lamented another. The Mirror best summed up the national mood: OUR ROOINATION. Wayne Rooney, the star of the English team, had fractured a metatarsal during a Premier League match last month. Although the England squad boasts world-class names like David Beckham, Michael Owen and Steven Gerrard, the country's World Cup chances suddenly seemed to have deflated like a punctured ball—simply because a pug-faced 20-year-old kid had hurt his right foot.

Since the first World Cup in 1930, young players—particularly those making their debut on the international stage—have often become the breakout stars of the tournament. In 1958, a 17-year-old Pele startled the world with his precision-passing. In 1982, a 21-year-old Diego Maradona showcased his inimitable dribbling skills on the pitch (and warned of many tears in years to come after being sent off it in the second

round). In 1998, England's Owen, then only 18, showed a knack for the quick dash into the penalty box. And in 2002, 22-year-old Ronaldinho's flair propelled Brazil to its fifth title.

But whereas those youngsters of years past were counted on only for occasional heroics—leaving the heavy lifting to their older, more experienced teammates—today's rookies are increasingly finding themselves in positions of responsibility and leadership. Fans in particular often expect them to carry their squads. "If you look back at World Cups of years past, [a young star] was more an exception," says Bill Gerrard, a football expert at Leeds University. "Now, we expect a Pele-type player to turn up at every World Cup." On June 9, the likes of Argentina's Lionel Messi, 19; Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo, 21; Spain's Cesc Fabregas, 19, and 20-year-old South Korean Park Chu-young will be expected to shoulder the load for their teams rather than simply add a dash of youthful vigor. And England needs Rooney so badly that it has named him to its 23-man World Cup squad—despite little evidence that he will recover in time.

Other than the injured Rooney, this year's young guns could well live up to the hype. Messi—who has already been compared to Maradona—led Argentina's under-20 side to a world-championship crown almost singlehandedly (he scored six goals to become the tournament's top scorer). Germany's Lukas Podolski, 21, has proved an adept leader when veteran Michael Ballack's golden foot has failed him. Gung-ho Ghanaian striker Prince Tagoe, 19, helped propel his team to its first World Cup; Park's goals kept South Korea in the running. And 21-year-old Croatian midfielder Niko Kranjcar (sometimes referred to as a younger version of French legend Zinedine Zidane) powered his team through a tough group in the qualifiers.

Talented as they are, however, these tyros are not all Peles. Other factors have helped fuel their newfound prominence. For one, international football is played at a much more rigorous, faster pace than in the past. And with the burgeoning growth of both foreign and domestic tournaments in the past decade, clubs play more games throughout the year. As a result, the grueling, monthlong World Cup now favors energetic legs over steady ones. "It's becoming a younger man's game," says Gerrard. Some analysts even argue that stocking their rosters with new faces can provide a psychological advantage for national squads. "Selecting new and young players gives a sense of optimism," says Dominic Malcolm, a football expert at Loughborough University. "Selecting older players says 'It's going to be the same again.' The young players haven't failed yet." A team like Brazil's, which has won the World Cup five times, need not worry about showcasing its older stars. Spain, which has never made it past the quarterfinals, needs untainted ones like Fabregas.

Globalization, too, has played its part. In the past decade, football has spread rapidly to the world's far-flung corners, and young players are no longer unknown quantities—so they don't benefit from the element of surprise. When Pele emerged on the world stage in 1958, few fans—or even players and coaches—were aware of his talent, so expectations both at home and abroad were low. "We, as consumers of football, are more aware of the potential impact of young players," says Malcolm. "With Pele, the expectations only came after he delivered in the World Cup." Players like Messi are already known threats, despite their lack of Cup experience. Fans from Buenos Aires to Bangkok have watched the Argentine score goal after goal for Barcelona FC on television, as well as lead his country in the World Cup qualifiers and friendlies. His T shirt is sold in shops around the world.

Even up-and-comers from football's hinterlands are well known because they play their year-round football for the biggest clubs in Europe: for instance, Togo's 18-year-old sensation Toure Assimiou plays for Bayern Leverkusen, while 20-year-old Ghanaian Asamoah Gyan wows fans on a weekly basis in Modena, Italy. They've proved that they can "survive in the toughest leagues," says Rogan Taylor, director of the University of Liverpool's Football Industry Group. As a result, coaches know they can take more chances on the young. Consider England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson's latest addition to his squad: Arsenal's 17-year-old Theo Walcott, who has never played an international match. "Coaches tend to be more astute with regards to what these players are capable of," says Gerrard. Opposing managers in the World Cup will be aware of their talents, too. And fans will expect them to live up to the reputations that precede them.

The young stars will also have to live up to the vast sums of money they make. Messi, for instance, reportedly has a five-year contract at Barcelona valued at $190 million, and is sponsored by footwear giant Adidas; Brazil's 24-year-old wonderboy, Kaka, also sponsored by Adidas, rakes in more than $1 million a year for A.C. Milan. With salaries that high, even the greenest player cannot afford to let his side—or sponsors—down. "The money creates a whole new world," says Taylor. "[These players] are engaged in a global business."

So will youth—driven by fame, fortune and fitness—triumph over experience in Germany? Perhaps less than people expect. Coaches still value the wisdom and leadership of their veterans, and players like the 31-year-old Beckham and 34-year-old Zidane will undoubtedly have chances to grab the spotlight if the upstarts stumble—or, like Rooney, are injured. Pundits also agree that building a team around one player—particularly a young one—can be dangerous. For that reason, Taylor argues that Rooney's injury could be a blessing in disguise for England. "It's much better [having Rooney on the bench]," says Taylor. "A lot of things have gone right for England, and one is Rooney getting injured—it brings things down to realistic levels." It may be harder for passionate fans—and the hungry youngsters themselves—to do the same.

© 2006 Newsweek, Inc.

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posted May 25, 2006 11:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for shaoqui   Click Here to Email shaoqui     Edit/Delete Message
How cool would it be if Mexico won and all of the streets of the US were full of Mexico flags in celebration!

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posted May 29, 2006 01:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fred   Click Here to Email fred     Edit/Delete Message
World Cup marketing mania - from voodoo to vibrators
By Louis Charbonneau

BERLIN (Reuters) - A voodoo doll with five pins and the national emblems of all your enemy teams. Toilet paper with World Cup trivia. Pork slices emblazoned with a soccer player dribbling down the field.

These are just a few of the unofficial World Cup-related items available in German stores and on German Web sites as merchants try to cash in on World Cup mania before the month-long international soccer tournament kicks off in Germany on June 9. The competition transfixes much of the world, and interest among Americans has been growing.

"Put a charm on your favorite team with this special set. It includes one voodoo doll, 34 national emblems and five needles. Weaken any opponents: Simply attach the emblem, stick in the needles and off you go," the description says.

But the maker warns there is "No guarantee!" it will work.

One can also catch up on World Cup trivia while perched on the throne thanks to toilet paper with printed questions and answers about World Cup history.

One question on the toilet paper asks who won the first World Cup in 1930. The paper provides the correct answer -- Uruguay.

But the encyclopedic paper provides the incorrect answer to least one of its own questions. It says there have been a total of seven World Cups since 1930, but the answer is 17.

The theme cannot be missed at one of Germany's leading electronics and home appliance chains. Among the World Cup-inspired items available are a soccer-ball radio and CD player and a vacuum cleaner decorated with the familiar black and white pentagons and hexagons.

In Berlin, it's hard to find a pizza delivery service without a soccer deal. One pizza place has a "World Cup" offer good until the tournament ends -- three pizzas (a "Salami," an "Atlantic" and a "Hawaii") and five liters of beer.

Only 15 companies were awarded the right to market goods with the official World Cup logo and FIFA, the world soccer organization, is on the lookout for any piracy.

But these marketers of unofficial World Cup goods are careful to avoid anything that would open themselves up to a FIFA legal challenge.

They simply include soccer balls, fields, goalposts and soccer phrases -- all of it in the public domain and not subject to any trademark laws -- in the hope that the World Cup euphoria taking hold of Germany will make their products irresistible.


With two weeks left until the World Cup starts, it is almost impossible to escape the soccer theme.

One German supermarket chain superimposes pictures of soccer balls over run-of-the-mill advertisements of pork steaks, beer kegs, Swiss cheese, frozen spinach, barbecue sets, plastic food containers, biscuits, canned sausages and canned corn.

Makers of sausage, virtually a staple food in Germany, have also got in on the act. In some supermarkets you can find soccer ball sausages and slices of pork luncheon meat that show a soccer player dribbling a ball.

Other soccer items at supermarkets include: "soup strikers" -- instant soup with soccer ball noodles; "half-time" pizza with Berlin curry sausage; crunchy snacks shaped like soccer balls and players. One can even buy a "World Cup" of potato salad.

Germany's thriving sex shop industry has also tried to capitalize on World Cup fever. One of the leading German erotic paraphernalia peddlers is marketing vibrators with names like "home team," "captain" and "hard shot on goal."

A poster seen at some German sex shops has a picture of two women in thongs, one squatting over a soccer ball in front of a goalpost. She wears socks with black, red and gold stripes -- the colors of Germany's flag.

Another woman sporting red and white -- the national colors of neighbors Austria and Switzerland -- lies on her back, clutching a vibrator.

"Our boys only rejoice after they've scored," the poster declares.
05/29/06 08:07 © Copyright Reuters Ltd. All rights reserved. The information contained In this news report may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of Reuters Ltd.

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posted May 30, 2006 10:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for AuthorAuthor   Click Here to Email AuthorAuthor     Edit/Delete Message
This is funny.

Ukrainian soccer players get sex incentive
Team will get to see wives, girlfriends if they reach World Cup semifinals

Updated: 8:35 a.m. PT May 30, 2006

MOSCOW - Ukraine’s players have been promised quality time with their wives if they reach the World Cup semi-finals.

Asked if he would allow his players to have sex with their wives and girlfriends during the month-long tournament, Ukraine coach Oleg Blokhin said: “I would personally send my players to see their wives if we reach the (World Cup) semis.

“Those who don’t feel like it, I’ll just drag to their wives. Take my word for it,” Blokhin told Russian daily Sport-Express on Tuesday.

Ukraine, playing in their first World Cup finals, have been drawn in Group H along with Spain, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.

The World Cup kicks off on June 9.

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02/06/06 - News section

World Cup warning for hooligans

British police vowed to show football hooligans the red card if they try to travel to the World Cup.

From Friday, uniformed and plain clothes officers will be patrolling every sea and airport across the country, to spot potential troublemakers.

The British officers are being joined by German police, in a bid to reassure fans of their safety and create a World Cup "carnival" atmosphere.

Launching the ports operation at Manchester Airport, Stephen Thomas, assistant chief constable of Greater Manchester Police and the leader on football issues for the Association of Chief Police Officers, warned hooligans to stay away from Germany.

He said: "The vast majority of football supporters are there to behave themselves and have a good time. Nobody has got anything to worry about, unless you're a football hooligan.

"If people with football banning orders turn up at the airport they will be arrested, taken to court, banged up in prison or fined.

"I am very confident that we will prevent those people we have targeted getting into the country."

Assistant chief constable Thomas said there were around 3,500 English people with football banning orders, all of whom were asked to surrender their passports from May 30th this year.

He said: "It is the best result we have had so far at this stage, even better than we did in Euro 2000. Two days after people were supposed to start surrendering their passports, more than 90 per cent of them had been handed in.

"We have copies of those passports that haven't been handed in and we are confident of catching those people if they try to travel to Germany."

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