There was some interesting stuff coming out of the Argentina camp this week, as the side prepares to face Germany in quarterfinal action.
Manager Diego Maradona, famous for (among other things) using his hand to score in a 1986 quarterfinal game against England and then scoring one of the nicest ever World Cup goals, says “fair play doesn’t exist” at the tournament.
Before the tournament even started Maradona was talking about fair play, but isn’t happy with how his young star, Leo Messi, is being treated by other players. That’s not even the interesting part though:
Carlos Tevez was the big hero for Argentina in their 3-1 Round of 16 win over Mexico, emulating his manager a bit by scoring a controversial goal, and then a beautiful goal to seal the win. Tevez was way offside on Argentina’s first goal, but the call was missed by the officials and stood – a decision made worse by the fact that they showed the replay immediately on the big screens in the stadium.
Afterwards though, Tevez told reporters he knew he was offside and was just playing to the whistle:
“At first I thought he (the ref) was saying that it was not a goal, then I saw the signal and I started (celebrating) and I was happy. I know I was offside, I know it was selfish, but as long as they say it was a goal it’s OK for me and the team.”
You know who it’s not OK for? Referee Roberto Rosetti! He, along with Jorge Larrionda (of the England/Germany game) have been left off the list of referees for the rest of the World Cup, according to the Associated Press.
The other refs left off the list are the guy who disallowed what might have been a game-winning goal for the US against Slovenia for a phantom foul and the ref who sent Brazilian Kaka off for ‘fouling’ a player who ran into the back of him.
No team suffered worse than the French at this year’s World Cup – not only did they have a poor on-field showing, but a player was sent home, the team refused to practice at one point (which at least one player now admits was a mistake) and now heads and rolling.
If that wasn’t bad enough, FIFA president Sepp Blatter is warning the French government that if it interferes with the country’s football federation, he could suspend the entire program.
France’s government is holding an inquiry into what went wrong for the national team and former captain Thierry Henry has already met with president Nicolas Sarkozy. Since then, FFF president Jean Pierre Escalettes has announced that he’ll be stepping down.
The problem arose, says Sky Sports, when sports minister Roselyne Bachelot made a comment that was in violation of FIFA rules.
Nigeria’s government took things much, much further this week though when they suspended the national soccer program for two years because of their bad showing at the tourney.
President Goodluck Jonathan says there were also some allegations of corruption, though no specifics were given.
Nigeria hasn’t won a tournament game since 1998 and earned just one point in the group stages – FIFA says it’ll be investigating them too.
From football, to the other football – Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick could be in some serious trouble once again after an incident that happened last weekend.
There was a shooting outside a Virginia Beach restaurant, which was hosting Vick’s 30th birthday party, police say. Initially, Vick’s lawyer said he was long gone by the time in happened, but a spokesman for the restaurant says that’s not the case.
According to ESPN, Allen Fabijan turned some surveillance footage over to police that he says shows Vick leaving the establishment minutes before shots are fired.
It gets interesting when we learn that the shooting victim is apparently a man named Quanis Phillips, a co-defendant of Vick’s from the dog fighting case that sent him to prison. He’s still serving three years of probation and isn’t allowed to associate with anyone convicted of a felony.
Hmm…I hope he had nothing to do with this, otherwise things could get very ugly for Michael Vick, very quickly.
Did you, umm, ‘pick’ Germany to win the World Cup this year?
While English fans were ‘picking’ themselves up off the ground following a goal that should have been, green with disgust, and the players had their ‘noses’ back on the grindstone, there was something funny happening on the sidelines.
I hope you don’t think I’m being ‘snotty’ by pointing this out, but…okay, well I’ve run out of booger-themed puns, so I’m going to just lay it out there:
Cameras caught German coach Joachim Loew giving his nose the business during the game (hat tip to Deadspin):
I like the transfer from his left to right hand, all the while maintaining his “game face,” before he decides to chow down.