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Fight Breaks Out in Private Box at Soccer City Stadium

We’ve had some crazy things happen already at the 2010 World Cup, and I don’t just mean on the field.  Deadspin has a pretty entertaining video of a fight that broke out between Mexican soccer player Guillermo Franco’s family and some Mexican government officials at the World Cup.  The brawl is kind of a frenzy, and the root of it is pretty confusing so I’ll just show you the video first and then give you Deadspin’s description of it rather than trying to paraphrase and confuse the issue even more.  Here’s the video:

And here’s Deadspin’s take on it:

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FIFA Concerned About Wrong Replays

Man, I thought American sports and their leaders/organizers had things backwards. In soccer, we have players cussing out their coaches, players calling out their fans, questionable refereeing, and multiple missed calls. When England got screwed over Sunday by a missed goal call, I figured the outcry that soccer needs to integrate instant replay to review goals would be so strong that FIFA wouldn’t be able to resist. I figured wrong.

Apparently FIFA is run by a man more resistant to progress and the use of technology than Bud Selig, and that’s hard to do. As if not wanting to use replay to get goal calls correctly on the biggest possible stage — the World freaking Cup — is not bad enough, FIFA is more concerned with ensuring that instant replay isn’t utilized on scoreboards within the actual stadiums so as not to incite the fans and players. Apparently in Communist FIFA they don’t want instant replay to exist. My goodness.

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World Cup Refs Screw England Over

The good news is we’re not the only country screwed over by bad calls during the 2010 World Cup. The bad news is someone else had to feel the same pain. At first glance of the England/Germany 4-1 score and you might think that England was completely blown out in the game. On second glance, you realize they had a goal missed by the referees that would have tied the score at 2-2 in the 38th minute and dramatically altered the match. There’s no excuse for the refs to have missed this one. Here’s the video of Frank Lampard’s disallowed goal for England:

I don’t understand how they can miss something so crucial in such a big situation. Under no circumstances is this acceptable but it’s even worse when it’s on soccer’s biggest stage. Man, and if you think it’s bad that Koman Coulibably is a hated figure here, I can’t even imagine how much the referee who missed that call will be destroyed in Britain. Yikes!

Sources:
Germany blasts England to advance [AP/FOX Sports]
Video Credit: YouTube user gdad63

Landon Donovan Has Love Child in U.K.?

It’s amazing the way things can change so quickly. Landon Donovan gained hero status in the U.S. with a late goal to beat Algeria 1-0 giving the U.S. the Group C win. Donovan also scored the lone goal in USA’s loss to Ghana, and the first of two U.S. goals against Slovenia. But you know the way things work — they can only stay golden for so long before the moment is ruined.

The U.S. soccer bandwagon came apart on Saturday with the loss to Ghana and Donovan said the team was “naive” going into the game. They seemed unfocused as they fell behind early on and were outplayed most of the match. Maybe “distracted” was the word Donovan should have used. Grant Wahl of SI found out that a U.K. tabloid was prepared to run a story that Donovan knocked up a woman while he was on loan from the Galaxy to Everton in England earlier this year.

Donovan told Wahl he was made aware of the report during the World Cup which I’m sure didn’t exactly put his mind at ease. I don’t know when he found out the information but he sure played well for a guy who just had a bomb dropped on him. As if this report wasn’t bad enough, it comes at a time when Donovan was optimistic that his failing marriage was on its way to being repaired. I guess you can never have it all.

Sources:
Donovan addresses imminent U.K. tabloid report [Grant Wahl/SI]

Maradona Looking for an Apology

Say what you will about the habitually controversial Diego Maradona, but the Argentinean soccer legend and current national team head coach has his squad in top form heading into the knockout stage of the 2010 World Cup. After a 3-0 start, Maradona must be feeling just fine about converting his Argentinean critics into believers. Good enough to say this:

Many journalists should apologize to the players. I’m not suggesting you drop your trousers, but it would be honest and great so we all get along better … It isn’t easy going from being nobodies back home to winning three matches at a World Cup. At the training camp, we had to swallow what you all said about us being a disaster—the worst Argentine team you’d ever seen. All of a sudden we’re an excellent team … the most handsome people in the ‘barrio!”

First of all, I’m not suggesting Maradona drops his trousers either. Second, the one-and-done system of the knock out stage is a volatile format for competition, and Maradona may be eating his words come Sunday when Argentina faces Mexico in Johannesburg. Self destruction is a pain like that. So yes, Maradona, you have a point and nice work in group play, but just because your critics are now your supporters does not mean that they don’t expect a bit more than you have offered so far.

Sources:
Maradona: Time for critics to say sorry [FOXSports]

Clinton Celebrates With Bocanegra

I guess you could say I just feel like talking about U.S. Presidents this week.  The World Cup has my patriotism at an all-time high, what can I say?  Yesterday we brought you an athletic competition between Barack Obama and George W. Bush.  Today, we bring you something much better; Bill Clinton proving he’s one hell of an American.  If this picture of Bill Clinton drinking a beer with U.S. defender Carlos Bocanegra doesn’t bring a little smile to your face I’m not sure what will.

When Landon Donovan netted what instantly became the most famous goal in U.S. soccer history on Wednesday in stoppage time, the former chief of the United States was there to cheer him on.  What better way to celebrate the victory than with a frosty Budweiser in the locker room after the game with former-President Clinton himself?  Top five moment in U.S. World Cup soccer history, hands down.

Sources:
Clinton. Bocanegra. Budweiser. [Deadspin]
Photo Credit: Luke Winn on Twitter

Algerian Player Smacks Female Reporter

It’s understandable that the Algerian players would be upset after Landon Donovan scored in stoppage time to keep them from advancing to the knockout round of the World Cup.  It’s not understandable for one of them to take it out on a female reporter after the game.  Unfortunately, that’s exactly what Rafik Saifi did.  According to Deadspin, via Yahoo! Sports, Saifi slapped a female, Algerian journalist across the face following his team’s loss when he was on his way to the media room.  Here’s what the reporter, Asma Halimi, had to say about the incident:

I said nothing to him and he reached over and hit me,” Halimi said to Yahoo! Sports. “So I hit him back. I said nothing to him first.”

Halimi slapped him back and drew blood from his lip.  She was then escorted from the media room and Saifi fired an empty sports drink bottle at the wall.  There was supposedly already bad blood between the two because of an article she wrote in her paper that Saifi disagreed with.  That’s absolutely no excuse to hit a woman in the face.  I’m glad she hit him back and I’m a little disappointed the security staff didn’t kick his ass.

Sources:
Algerian Player Slaps Female Reporter After Match [Deadspin]
Algeria player slaps female reporter [Yahoo! Sports]