All big tournaments witness the sudden emergence of former players as inexperienced pundits, and this is no exception. Step forward, Edgar Davids and Emmanuel Adebayor, latest members of this cult of the amateur. Davids, the brooding, intense, former Dutch midfielder has been thrust alongside relaxed man of the people Adrian Chiles on ITV (not a lot of on-screen chemistry there). It's an uncomfortable fit. And what with Togo failing to make it to South Africa, the services of Manchester City striker Adebayor are much in demand. In an early performance for the BBC, he entered the studio without switching off his phone. It duly rang. "Who's that, Samuel Eto'o?" asked Gary Lineker. "No, it's Roger Milla!", screamed Alan Shearer. Embarrassed Emmanuel looked as if he'd scored an own goal – which he had.
Despite Robert Green's brave refusal to blame the ball for his calamity on Saturday night, a hotly fought contest is developing in Group C over who can concoct the most tenuous excuse. Leading is Faouzi Chauochi, the Algerian goalkeeper whose Green-esque fumble cost them the game: "If I grew up with coaching from Italy or Spain, I'd be one of the best in the world." That's patriotism for you. But most bizarre was Matjaz Kek's excuse. Not only was Slovenia's coach making excuses despite winning, he also blamed someone who couldn't answer back. "I do not agree with this turf," he said. The turf declined to comment.
Nike's advertising hoarding showing Rio Ferdinand and Theo Walcott imagined as faces on Mount Rushmore will not have been boosted by the wits on Twitter who on Saturday circulated the gags: "His name is Rio and he's watching from the stands" and "His name is Theo and he's watching from his nan's". Meanwhile the FA is selling England branded goalkeeper gloves with a 10 per cent discount.
North/South Korean divide
Proof, if it were needed, that football transcends national boundaries, came yesterday when South Korea's match against Greece was broadcast by North Korean state television. It was two days after the event, alas, but in a style befitting the world's most Stalinist state, commentators were under strict instruction not to get too excited. South Korea's two goals were therefore greeted with muted indifference. Could football help bring a thaw in diplomatic relations? Don't bet on it.
Blatter makes himself heard
World football's most recent convert to Twitter, Sepp Blatter, used his second day on the the micro-blogging site to speak out in defence of the vuvuzelas, the plastic horns many would like to see silenced. The FIFA president argued: "I dont [sic] see banning the music traditions of fans in their own country. Would you want to see a ban on the fan traditions in your country?" Wise words but unlikely to be heard when they're competing with @livevuvuzela who has a constant stream of tweets reading: "DUUUUUUUURRRRRRRRRRR."
Why so many empty seats?
Have they learnt nothing from Beijing? After the scandal of empty seats at the Olympics, Fifa have said they will investigate their transport and distribution networks. During the game between South Korea and Greece, 10,995 of the usable 42,486 were empty, as were 11,408 of the 41,733 seats for the Algeria vs Slovenia game. With 97 per cent of all tickets sold, that's a lot of wasted money. Rich Mkhondo, spokesman for the organising committee, said the empty seats were down to "lack of appeal".Reuse content