Reuters Soccer Blog

New Zealand draw with Italy in another World Cup shock

June 20, 2010

YEAREND PICTURESNew Zealand could not quite pull off a win over Italy in their second Group F game on Sunday but a 1-1 draw still represented an extraordinary achievement.

England melt in World Cup pressure cooker

June 20, 2010

SOCCER-WORLD/After England treated their fans to a second excruciatingly dull World Cup performance in South Africa on Friday, those wanting answers were left with a bemused looking Fabio Capello and an irate Wayne Rooney rant to television cameras.

from Africa News blog:

Searching for it — not quite feeling it — in Polokwane

June 18, 2010
Searching for it -- not quite feeling it -- in Polokwane The fan fest sounded like a wild party with the vuvuzela horns booming through the empty streets of Polokwane town, one of the smallest of 10 venues for the first World Cup on African soil. Everyone must be there, we thought as there was little going on for a Saturday night in the northern South African town. Even the local Nandos restaurant on the main street shut by 8 p.m. But on closer inspection the soccer fan fest -- loud as it was -- was also pretty deserted. Soccer fever has yet to reach Polokwane. A sleepy town of just 500,000 people, it was hard to imagine Polokwane, which means place of safety, would host its first World Cup soccer match in less than 24 hours. In Johannesburg or Cape Town you could definitely "feel it". Here we weren't so sure. Driving through the town's eerily deserted streets searching for a restaurant where we could eat and watch the soccer, we discovered that was not an easy find. It was also hard to imagine what long-term benefit the town would see from being a host city. While for the four matches to be played in Polokwane the few hotels on offer for tourists were full, in between there were plenty of rooms at the inn. No team was staying nearby which would bring with it the paraphenalia of adoring fans or news-hungry media and the associated business. Those playing were flown in for pre-match training, again the day of the match and ferried back straight after. Police closed down the roads near the stadium on the edge of town the night before. But those fearing traffic similar to the four-hour long queues witnessed in Johannesburg trying to get to Soocer City need not have bothered. The streets were empty, the car parks empty and -- just 30 minutes before kick-off -- the stadium was half empty. By the second half, the stands were just about three-quarters full, though the blasts of the vuvuzelas compensated for the missing supporters. The Peter Mokaba stadium almost looked like they hadn't had time to finish painting it, with the stark grey concrete of the outer wall in direct contrast with Soccer City in Johannesburg's brightly coloured exterior. The inside was still coated in construction dust and most of the refreshment stands remained shuttered and closed during the match. Just two hours after the players left we found ourselves the lone figures in a dark stadium struggling to see the keyboard as we tapped out the finishing touches to our stories. Even the name of the stadium was controversial. Mokaba was the African National Congress (ANC)'s youth league leader who, like his current counterpart Julius Malema, was fond of the phrase "Kill The Boer," which upset many Afrikaners. Ironically there's not even a local soccer team to make use of the sparkling pitch. Residents said the Rai Stars disbanded long ago and the nearby promising Black Leopards team are based more than 150 kilometres away in a less than World Cup standard stadium. <http://www.blackleopardsfc.com/10_stadium_info.htm> The Dynamos train 100 kilometres away. Neither team play in the country's top league. "You can't help thinking this huge stadium will just be derelict and empty in a few years time," said one hotel worker.

Polokwane StadiumThe soccer fan fest sounded like a wild party with the vuvuzela horns booming through the empty streets of Polokwane town, one of the smallest of 10 venues for the first World Cup on African soil.

World Cup 2010 podcast – day 7

June 17, 2010

Join Mike Collett, Mark Gleeson, Simon Evans and Kevin Fylan for a little night’s look back on a long day of excellent football at the World Cup in South Africa.

The toughest job at the World Cup

June 17, 2010

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Can there be a more difficult job at the World Cup than providing the simultaneous translation when Chile coach Marcelo Bielsa is speaking?

Floodgates should open after slow start

June 17, 2010

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The opening group stage matches at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa produced only 25 goals in 16 matches, 14 less than the same stage of the competition at the 2006 event in Germany.

Student loses shorts during training

June 17, 2010

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A portly South African student joined in Italy training on Thursday but got more than he bargained for when he lost his shorts trying a diving header and was later asked to step aside.

Swiss breathe much-needed life into World Cup

June 16, 2010

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Who would have thought it would fall to Switzerland to rescue the World Cup from drowning in a sea of tedium?

Community Blog: Shay’ ivuvuzela, or not

By Zaheer Cassim
June 15, 2010

SOCCER-WORLD/Love it or hate it, the vuvuzela has brought a buzz to the 2010 Word Cup.  Some fans from around the world have embraced this trumpet and are all merrily blowing away at the stadiums.  Some cannot stand it and have asked Fifa to put a stop to the trumpet.

Ball not to blame for goalkeeping howlers

June 15, 2010


The standard of goalkeeping in the early stages of this World Cup has not been the best but blame cannot lie with the controversial Jabulani ball.