Outside the Box: Asia wants Champions' League final kick-off moved forward

 

Chelsea supporters who struggled to get away from the Allianz Arena after the late finish to the Champions' League final and then had to pay for a Saturday night's accommodation might well approve of a proposal to make the final an afternoon kick-off, even if it comes for the most blatant of commercial reasons.

An executive of Mastercard, an official Champions' League sponsor, has suggested playing the game earlier to increase the worldwide TV audience, especially in Asia. The kick-off time in Munich (8.45pm locally) meant that for millions of potential viewers in China and Japan the game was played in the middle of the night. An afternoon start would make the time difference of seven or eight hours less off-putting and would still suit the American market with a breakfast-time kick-off.

The same argument would suit traditionalists who want the FA Cup final to revert to 3pm, after ITV changed it this year to 5.15pm. But David Taylor, the chief executive of Uefa Events, says: "I don't think we would be organising European football specifically for an Asian audience. It's European football first and foremost."

Audience figures of 150 million worldwide have been claimed, with ITV peaking at 10.6m and Sky Sports chipping in with another 1.5m. ITV's FA Cup final audience, peaking at 11.2m, was the best since Chelsea against Manchester United in 2007.

Drogba has the W Factor

Among those pleased to see the back of Chelsea's Munich hero Didier Drogba will be all English clubs beginning with the letter W. His three domestic hat-tricks were scored against Watford, Wigan and West Bromwich Albion.

Poland's political football

One of the most politically fraught fixtures at Euro 2012 is likely to be the Group A meeting of Poland and Russia in Warsaw on 12 June.

The game comes two days after a memorial service for the Polish president Lech Kaczynski, one of 96 people who died in a plane crash in Russia two years ago, which many Poles believe the Russians caused. The official report blamed thick fog and pilot error.

Kaczynski's twin brother Jaroslaw is a leader of the nationalist opposition and leads gatherings next to the Bristol hotel in Warsaw, where the Russian squad will stay. They have already been asked to move by the Polish government to avoid "a difficult situation" but declined, informing the Poles that they should be capable of providing security.

Irish songs of praise

After the Eurovision Song Contest comes the Euro 2012 equivalent. The official tournament anthem 'Endless Summer' by the "German-American star" Oceana is now out, complete with video of football clips and beach babes.

Mercifully, England have again spared us a ditty but in Ireland they are making up for lost time and tournaments with so many numbers it is almost impossible to keep count. YouTube has collated dozens of them, of which the official track is 'The Rocky Road To Poland' by an alleged supergroup comprising members of the Dubliners and the Coronas among others. The lyric manages to rhyme "Opel Corsa" with "Warsaw" as well as "Trap", "in the sack" and "Jack".

There is a Jedward effort called 'Put The Green Cape On'; a tribute to the former centre-half Gary Breen in 'Breen, White and Gold'; and 'I-r-e-l-a-n-d' by The Offside Trap with MC Eoin Goal (!), which uses the tune from the Tom Robinson Band's '2-4-6-8 Motorway'.

This column's music critic preferred 'Trap, Your Only Man', a karaoke version of The Pogues' song 'Sally MacLennane' and 'Trapattoni's Men' by The Deadball Specialists which has an official video that claims to feature Joey Barton (who is played by the band's drummer, standing in midfield preoccupied with tweeting).

Meanwhile the Irish squad, like England's, have stayed clear of the recording studio but unlike Roy Hodgson's boys they have been training twice a day. Marco Tardelli, Giovanni Trapattoni's No 2, was asked why, given that many of the players will be tired after long club seasons and replied: "All day in bed is not good."

s.tongue@independent.co.uk; twitter.com/@stevetongue

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014
peopleTim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
News
people
Life and Style
techApp to start sending headlines, TV clips and ads to your phone
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift crawls through the legs of twerking dancers in her 'Shake It Off' music video
musicEarl Sweatshirt thinks so
Life and Style
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment