Tag: "2006 FIFA World Cup"

Explosive sketch | Cartoonist draws threat for mixing football, TNT

Berlin | A provocative sketch by Der Tagesspiegel cartoonist Klaus Stuttmann, depicting Iranian footballers strapped with explosives, has thrown Germany into the imbroglio over caricatures seen as anti-Islamic. Stuttmann has abandoned his apartment following death threats; an image on the cartoonist’s home page shows him cowering beneath a manhole cover. Violence stemming from the images of […]

Berlinale | Festival sends soccer cinema soaring

Berlin | At least seven entries can be added as examples of world cinema’s interest in football (see our cinema page). All are currently screening at the Berlinale, the 56th Berlin International Film Festival. Gerd Graus, media chief of the German World Cup organizing committee, describes cultural connection with the sport as broad. The last […]

Politicians | To Mbeki, Bafana Bafana impugns nation’s honor

Kroonstad, South Africa | Even after today’s record-breaking penalty shootout between Cameroon and Ivory Coast in the African Cup of Nations (Côte d’Ivoire advancing 12–11), we are still thinking about the rough treatment meted out by zealous followers of losing sides. To an outsider, South African President Thabo Mbeki sounded menacing with his excoriation of […]

World Cup pre-production | Do we really need another gala?

Berlin | The Brandenburg Gate becomes the venue for a pre–World Cup “gala” after FIFA axed earlier plans for a star-studded spectacular. Having seen the production values for the Dec 9 draw in Leipzig (see Dec 6), the decision is probably for the best. But the re-think represents the type of PR misstep that, writ large, offers commentators […]

Africa | Land of DIY goals

Abidjan, Ivory Coast | The Jules Rimet World Cup trophy has been touring Africa, and the Times of London has tagged along. Fortunately, Owen Slot beats his own path through Angola, Ivory Coast, Togo and Ghana—the continent’s new entries in the 2006 finals—for a five-part series, which began Monday in the newspaper’s weekly football supplement, The […]

2006 FIFA World Cupâ„¢ | Iran, sex, security and bad taste

Berlin | On New Year’s Day German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was “skeptical” concerning pleas from some Green Party politicians to ban Iran from the World Cup finals (see Dec 15). Flames of controversy were lit last month when Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made anti-Israel comments and publicly denied the Holocaust. Holocaust denial is a […]

Impalas’ revenge? | A dream fixture for postcolonialists

A supporter shows the colors after Angola’s 1–0 victory over Rwanda clinched a trip to Germany. (Riccardo Gangale | AP) Luanda, Angola | At some moment on 11 June 2006, an overexercised sports commentator will allude to the colonial history of Angola and perhaps suggest that recompense against opponents Portugal lurks in the minds of the Palancas […]

Sports and policy | Iran and the World Cup carrot

Zurich | FIFA stanched cries from German Green Party politicians to oust Iran from the World Cup finals following Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad‘s public denial of the Holocaust Wednesday in the southeastern city of Zahedan, Iran. Spokesman Andreas Herren said, “FIFA strictly separates sports from politics.” Ahmadinejad had earlier made anti-Israel comments, and while Green politicians […]

At random | ‘Heidi Klum has sent us to hell’

Leipzig, Germany | Each window of the world’s largest free-standing Advent calendar, this year devoted to the World Cup, covers some six square meters. The calendar has entered the Guinness Book of World Records since being erected in 1997. The World Cup draw on Dec 9, too, seemed larger than life, with celebrities selecting teams and group […]

World Cup draw | Hard times for ‘Jünter the Foal’

Leipzig, Germany | The city of Felix Mendelssohn, Johann Sebastian Bach and, for a time, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe hosts the World Cup draw on Friday, and locals are getting in the swing. Supermodel Heidi Klum has been pictured during screen tests in advance of the Ping Pong–ball plucking that will occur. Two days of rehearsal […]

‘Rundlederwelten’ | High-brow exhibit for low-brow sport?

Berlin | If football fans don’t like art and art lovers don’t like football, whither an exhibit combining the two? Andreas Tzortzis poses the question in the International Herald Tribune about the ongoing “Rundlederwelten” (Round leather worlds) show at the Martin-Gropius-Bau (see Nov 4). The show includes challenging material: video installations, abstraction, sculpture, photography, found objects. Curator […]

Snooping around | FIFA as investigator and investigated

Zurich | FIFA spokesman Andreas Herren verified a Sunday report in Swiss paper SonntagsZeitung that police had seized documents from FIFA headquarters related to the bankruptcy in May 2001 of longtime FIFA marketing partner International Sport and Leisure. Journalist Andrew Jennings had noted the importance of this developing story in his Nov 9 presentation at the Play […]

Banned songs? | On open-mike night, Blatter sings new tune

Zurich | Sepp Blatter, for once, may be on to something. In the latest of his open-mike brainstorming sessions, the FIFA chief, disturbed by booing during anthems in the Turkey–Switzerland and other World Cup qualifying playoffs, has suggested eliminating the pre-game rituals. “We should at least consider not playing them,” Blatter told Swiss magazine Schweizer Illustrierte […]

Knock, knock | Orange you glad you have a Dutch coach?

Eindhoven, the Netherlands | Australia manager Guus Hiddink has been justly lauded for his role in reviving the Socceroos’ hopes. He forms the lead group of a phalanx of successful Dutch managers, four of whom will be making the trip to Germany in 2006, the most of any nation. Leo Beenhakker journeys with first-timers Trinidad & Tobago, […]

Fix is off | German judge clamps down on Hoyzer

Berlin | Presiding judge Gerti Kramer has ignored prosecutors’ requests for a suspended sentence and given match-fixing referee Robert Hoyzer a 29-month jail term. Hoyzer will remain free on appeal and plans to write a book. Hoyzer “violated his important duty of neutrality,” said Kramer on handing down the sentence. Prosecutors have appealed an 18-month suspended […]

T&T accent | Warriors grab chance to spread ‘creole bacchanal’

Port-of-Spain, Trinidad & Tobago | Leave it to Trinis to tie their first trip to the World Cup finals to musical expression. The lead story in the Express on Nov 17 invoked relevant lyrics from Lord Kitchener (née Aldwyn Roberts), who in “Mas in Germany” (1973) sang I am heading to the North Guess where? Up in […]

Restless natives | Australian football hears soccer’s ‘wooh, ooh, ooh’

Sydney | Qantas Airlines had a backstage role in Australia’s ultimate victory over Uruguay, in penalty kicks, at Telstra Stadium in the Wednesday World Cup qualifier. A charter with amenities such as massage and “relaxing videos” allowed the Socceroos to travel from Montevideo in relative comfort. Uruguay, lacking Football Federation Australia’s resources, had to take a […]

Sepp’s pledge | He won’t act ‘as a Swiss’ post-Istanbul

Istanbul | Having scaled heights in the esteem of world football, Turkey perhaps made a serious misstep Wednesday given post-game violence directed against the native country of the FIFA president. Sepp Blatter promised an inquiry into the mêlée that hospitalized Swiss defender Stéphane Grichting following a wild 4–2 Turkish victory that nevertheless delivered a World Cup […]

Of two minds | Watching the match by not watching the match

Manama, Bahrain | “Reggae has been to the World Cup, samba has been to the World Cup—now it’s soca time.” So says an announcer on Trinidadian radio, as reported by blogger Nicholas Laughlin. Six-foot-seven defender Dennis Lawrence could take credit for both of Trinidad & Tobago’s goals in the World Cup–qualifying tie with Bahrain. His second-half header […]

‘Wizards of Oz’ | Pulling the strings behind a multicultural tapestry

Sydney | Australia’s 30 (plus one) years of hurt? Their sentence has been served, with a pulsating triumph over Uruguay in penalty kicks early this morning ending a long absence from the World Cup. In the Olympic Stadium in Homebush Bay—where aboriginal runner Cathy Freeman thrilled crowds in the 2000 Olympics—the “Wizards of Oz” brought Australian […]

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