World Cup - Group Stage Draw
World Cup - Group Stage Draw
BAHIA, BRAZIL — With all the negativity surrounding the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, it’s easy to forget what it was that brought the tournament here in the first place: soccer.
Before the concerns about infrastructure, stadiums, transportation, government distrust and overall cost of the world’s sporting event, there was the simply the game, and the Brazilians’ undying love for it.
On Thursday afternoon in Bahia, adidas gave me the official match ball for next summer’s World Cup. Little did I know that the ball would prove to be the apple in the eye of every Brazilian I met that day.
Every few feet, someone wanted to hold it and take a picture with it. A couple of local volunteers looked like they might cry when they had to part with it. You could see the unbridled joy in just the way people looked at what adidas is calling the “brazuca” – it’s like a holy grail to Brazilians.
There was the young girl who asked me if it was the “oficial brazuca,” and her jaw nearly dropping to the floor when I told her yes. And when she held it, she jumped around like it was Christmas morning.
There were the two children so small they could barely wrap their arms around it, beaming with delight as they desperately held on tight.
There was the waitress who, after a few minutes of gesturing and attempts to explain what she wanted, gave me her email so I could send her a copy of the photograph I took of her holding it.
There was the chef who took a break to come all the way out of the kitchen to the dining area just to hold, juggle and take a picture with the ball.
There was the cheeky little boy that jokingly tried to run off with it – twice.
Despite ever-growing concern and frustration with Brazil’s World Cup, the Brazilians’ excitement and joy from something as simple as the brazuca made it clear that if there is one thing this country can find happiness in, it’s soccer.
Bosnian league leaders Željezničar beat second-placed Borac 1-0 on Saturday, but the heavyweight showdown was marred by fiery altercations between the two clubs’ fan bases.
Just before halftime, supporters turned the stands into a battlefield by tossing exploding firecrackers at each other, causing a stoppage of play that lasted for a few minutes.
Sadly, this is just par for the course in the Balkans. Just a few weeks ago, Serbia’s top rivalry between Partizan and Red Star Belgrade turned into a massive bonfire as Partizan fans set their foes’ stadium literally aflame:
League One side Leyton Orient beat Swindon Town 3-1 on Saturday to maintain their lead in the standings, but the story of the match was an ugly incident. During a stoppage of play, a Swindon fan stormed the pitch and threw several punches at Orient goalkeeper Jamie Jones.
Reports have since confirmed that the fan was immediately arrested, and Orient’s chief executive Matt Porter said Swindon are set to hand the supporter a life ban from their ground.
Swindon confirm fan who ran on pitch and attacked Jamie was arrested and will be banned for life. We will also press for strongest penalty— Matt Porter (@MattPorter_LOFC)
According to the Daily Mail, the FA will speak to officials from both Swindon and Orient before deciding on whether to take any more action.
A spokesman said: ‘We deplore scenes of this kind and would call for the authorities to take the appropriate actions if allegations of assault are proven.
The spokesman also confirmed the FA would push for a banning order from all grounds.
Following the incident, infuriated O’s manager Russell Slade called for a lifetime ban on all grounds, while Swindon chairman Jed McCrory apologized to Jones and vowed to launch a review of the club’s safety measures.
Pictures of the attack, as well as comments by Orient captain Nathan Clarke are below:
Slade: “It was a fantastic performance soured by what happened. It was the worst I’ve seen as a manager” pic.twitter.com/uGxfghbyij— Leyton Orient (@leytonorientfc)
— Leyton Orient (@leytonorientfc)
Clarke: “Jamie handled it well and fair play to Swindon, their captain apologised on behalf of them straight away” pic.twitter.com/J1d3vlFooJ— Leyton Orient (@leytonorientfc)
Former Welsh international Vinnie Jones joined FOX Soccer Daily on Thursday, so what better than to take a trip down memory lane with the Wimbledon legend?
Jones after winning the FA Cup final with Wimbledon in 1988.
Jones, seen here celebrating a save, was forced into action in the goal after Wimbledon’s keeper was sent off against Newcastle.
More than just a footballer, Jones made his acting debut in Guy Ritchie’s classic “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.”
(Image: The Monecito Picture Company)
And then, of course, who could forget Jones’ role as a Manchester United hooligan in “Euro Trip”?
Yeovil Town is new to the second tier in English football, and despite currently being dead last in the standings, they’re making their presence felt. Firing off a warning shot to cheerleaders everywhere, the club is joining forces with a record label to become the first football club to launch its own girl band.
In an attempt to attract a new generation of supporters to the small-town club in Somerset, Yeovil is planning to have its band — to be based on the Pussycat Dolls — perform at home matches for the rest of the season.
Club spokesman Adrian Hopper said:
"Yeovil Town are delighted to get involved in this new innovative project. We feel sure the unique chance to have a girl band linking with us as a club will not only launch the group but also help to spread the word of Yeovil Town Football Club to a whole new section of the community, whilst at the same time helping charity from sales of the record."
According to The Guardian, auditions for females aged 18 and over will be held at Huish Park on Dec. 4, and the successful girls — a lead singer and a group of south west-based dancers — will work with The Famous Company to record a single that will be released on iTunes. The record will raise money for Prostate Cancer UK — the Football League’s official charity.
Don’t bet on Yeovil Town’s girl band to be disappointing, either. The club has had success foraying into the music industry once before. “Yeovil True,” a 2004 song released by the club made it to Number 36 in the UK charts:
Scotland v United States
Here we see a step-by-step guide of how to ruin a perfectly good television. The steps are quite simple:
1: Have a few libations
2: Play FIFA 14 with a friend with a temper
3: Score a goal
That’s seemingly what transpired in the video, and boy, is it awesome. You can watch the whole video build up to the pay-off moment, or, if you’re impatient, fast forward to the 48-second mark to see the tantrum.
What follows is a meltdown that would make Earl Weaver proud. Not only does the enraged gamer throw his controller and shatter the TV screen, he proceeds to beat the set with a series of slaps.
After that, we can’t see what exactly occurs (somehow the lights go out), but based on the cackles of his mates, we’re assuming he performed a series of elbow drops on the defenseless television set.
The fine folks over at FootballAsFootball.com have re-envisioned some of the most recognizable logos in American sports: NFL team logos.
Taking four of football’s most soccer-crazed countries, the artists made logos in the style of English, Italian, German and Spanish clubs. Take a look at some of our favorites from each country below, and be sure to check them all out and find your favorite:
San Francisco 49ers (Germany)
Arizona Cardinals (Spain)
New York Jets (Italy)
Buffalo Bills (England)
Sometimes, Mother Earth likes to remind us humans that we’re really just entitled freeloaders who feel we can do what we want on her land.
Case in point: A swarm of bees wreaking havoc before a Copa Peru playoff match between CNI and Union Huaral.
Fans poured from the stands in an attempt to flee as the bees launched their attack (Pro tip: Try not to flail your arms if you find yourself under siege by bees. They’re attracted to movement!).
It appears no serious injuries occurred, although match referee Miguel Santivanez did get a sting that needed attention. He, and the match, carried on following the delay. CNI would go on to win, but Union Huaral advanced on aggregate.
Unfortunately for CNI, their attempt to “Tommy Boy” the opposition into fleeing altogether fell just short.