Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

Post-Christmas cheer in Oslo for out-of-contract players

Photo

By Philip O’Connor, Scandinavia sports correspondent

For many football fans, the post-Christmas blues will be banished by the prospect of their club buying big when the transfer window opens in January.

But the out-of-contract players taking part in the FIFPro Winter Tournament in Oslo are hoping to get their futures sorted out before the window opens again.

On a full-size indoor pitch, players affiliated to Norwegians, Swedish, Finnish and Irish unions got together to play a tournament in front of invited scouts and club representatives from across the region.

All the players are out of contract, and many are desperate for a chance to stay in the game.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Why Norway look doomed in World Cup playoff race

Europe's 53 national teams have been split into nine groups with the winners of each qualifying directly for South Africa. The best eight runners-up will play off among themselves over two legs next month for the remaining four slots. The runner-up with the worst record will miss out on a playoff berth entirely.

Usually, deciding the worst runners-up would be a simple case of comparing the respective team records. But there is one small snag -- namely Group Nine, which has only five teams while all the others have six sides.

Who will be the new Captain Canada?

Photo

hockeyIt’s hard to predict who will become Captain Canada, when Canada hasn’t even picked a team.But who will lead Canada’s men’s hockey team into battle at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics will spark more debate than who will be the hockey mad country’s next Prime Minister.

With 46 of Canada’s best taking part in last week’s national team orientation camp you could not swing a hockey stick without hitting a worthy candidate.

  •