Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

In defence of Giuseppe Rossi

American soccer fans aren't noted for their nastiness but the reaction to Giuseppe Rossi, New Jersey native, scoring twice for Italy against the U.S in their 3-1 Confederations Cup defeat on Monday has been surprisingly vitriolic.

What has upset U.S fans is that Rossi was born and bred in the U.S. but chose to play for another country and then -- to add insult to injury -- celebrated when he scored twice against his country of birth.

Rossi has Italian parents (his father was a soccer coach) also holds Italian citizenship, moved to Parma when he was 12 and was part of the Italian club's youth scheme before joining Manchester United aged 17. He has represented Italy at youth level before joining the full national side. He now plays in Spain for Villarreal and is the subject of some pretty intense speculation linking him with a move back to one of Italy's top clubs.

There is now a facebook group with nearly 400 members called ‘We Hate Giuseppe Rossi' which features a picture of the forward with the word ‘Scum' superimposed on it. Twitter contributors have labelled Rossi a traitor and there is worse out there.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Would a unified Britain have won more than one World Cup?

Resistance to plans for a unified British soccer team for the 2012 London Olympics means the idea may well be a one-off, if it gets off the ground at all.

The four home nations are wary of setting precedents that could harm their independent status, despite their lack of success as separate entities.