The Highlight Reel: Maradona conquers the Jabulani
Friday 18 June 2010
Messrs Capello and Eriksson have joined the bleating refuseniks saying the new Adidas ball is no good. Another manager, however, has taken practical measures to prove they're talking Jabulani gibberish.
Footage on YouTube shows Diego Maradona taking two identical free-kicks with the ball in training. Left-footed, they soar over the keeper, swerve, dip perfectly, kiss the crossbar and hit the back of the net.
Inch-perfect. Unsaveable. No fluke. Shouldn't he be playing?
A Surprise selection
Nominative determinism marches on in South Africa. You remember the Chilean defender – tall, debonair, prone to bursts of ostentation and futile showmanship – with the highly suitable name of Waldo Ponce. Now we have the South African striker, brought on as a supersub by his manager, completely out of the blue, to add a new dimension to the game. Your nation needs you, Surprise Moriri.
Official: Vuvuzelas a turn-off
Those (literally) blasted vuvuzelas continue to polarise opinion. Premier League representatives talk of their arrival in Blighty next year. British supermarkets are selling them like Mr Whippy in a heatwave. But pollsters YouGov reckon 35 per cent of us have turned the volume down because of the horns, and 17 per cent have avoided watching games they would otherwise have followed. In parts of Germany, the response has been brutally efficient. Borussia Dortmund have banned them from the Westfalenstadion for next year.
Memory on the Wayne
More subliminal propaganda from Wayne Rooney. Earlier this week his shoes were photographed, scrawls'n'all (left foot: "FCUK U"; right foot: "Floyd"). Now he's trying to confuse the Germans into thinking he can't tell them apart, so as to lull them into a false sense of security. Asked what he thought about midfielder Mesut Ozil's display, Rooney said: "He took his goal well". But Ozil didn't actually score. Clever stuff, Wayne.
Getting hundreds of thousands of football supporters to travel across the world to spend a month burning more carbon moving around the vastness of South Africa means the World Cup has a monster of a carbon footprint. But one little blow was struck for sustainability in the community of Jericho, 180km (113 miles) outside Johannesburg. That's where hundreds of fans watched the hosts play Uruguay on a specially constructed, solar-powered screen. "The entire set-up is powered by solar panels and generators, erected by schoolchildren who have been specially trained for the task," said Nkopane Maphiri, Greenpeace Africa's climate campaigner. A late consolation goal scored in what's otherwise been a real beating for the climate.
Stewards wage war on Fifa
There was fresh embarrassment for World Cup organisers on Tuesday after thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against the bill before the party is even over. Lavish spending in South Africa has seen the country sink nearly 6 per cent of its GDP into the tournament but not everyone is happy with the investment. Match stewards have been replaced at four venues after protesting at low wages. Crowds in Durban chanted: "Get out, Fifa mafia!" in a Durban park. Many of those protesting were formerly stewards who were involved in clashes with riot police on Monday after protests over their wages.
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