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2010 Football World Cup
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LesBleus



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 1:59 am    Post subject: France Not Among World Cup Top Seeds Reply with quote

France Not Among World Cup Top Seeds
By JEFFREY MARCUS AND JACK BELL

Update | 11:28 a.m. After the World Cup Organizing Committee announced the eight seeded teams Wednesday for the tournament in South Africa, FIFA’s executive committee announced its tack on match fixing and other competitive issues.

The eight seeded nations (all placed in Pot 1) are South Africa (the host), Brazil, Spain, the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Argentina and England. The seedings were based on FIFA’s October world rankings and geography.

Notable by its absence is France, which was ranked No. 7 in the latest rankings and No. 9 in October, but has fallen under a cloud of controversy after Thierry Henry’s nefarious handball against Ireland. “The Hand of Gaul” helped send the French to the finals in South Africa.

Henry could be disciplined by FIFA and may face a suspension that would keep him out of World Cup matches. ‘‘The disciplinary committee will open a case into the behavior of Thierry Henry in the match against Ireland,’’ Sepp Blatter, president of FIFA, told a news conference in Cape Town.

‘‘It is not a question of it being Thierry Henry or another player,” Blatter said, according to Reuters. “But it was blatant unfair play and was shown all over the world.

‘‘I am not saying that Thierry Henry will be punished, what I am saying is that he will be examined by the disciplinary committee.’’

Blatter also apologized to the Ireland Football Association for commenting publicly on its request for a 33rd spot at the World Cup in June. The request was dismissed.

Also dismissed was the proposal to add referees behind each of the goal lines at next summer’s tournament. The current system, with one referee, two assistant referees as linesmen and a fourth official on the sideline, will remain in place for the World Cup. Additional referees or new technology, like video replay, will have to wait, Blatter said.

Blatter also announced that the executive committee backed an “international task force” to address illegal gambling and match fixing in soccer, saying that FIFA has the backing of Interpol. Details in a FIFA press release were scant.

For the World Cup, the 24 unseeded teams were placed into three different pots for the World Cup draw on Friday. The United States was placed in Pot 2, along with the two other Concacaf representatives (Mexico and Honduras), teams from Asia (Australia, Japan, North Korea and South Korea) and Oceania (New Zealand).

Pot 3 has the teams from Africa (Algeria, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Ghana and Nigeria) and South America (Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay).

Pot 4 has the rest of the teams from Europe (Denmark, France, Greece, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Switzerland).

No two teams from the same confederation (except UEFA, the European region) can be drawn into the same group, which means the United States could be in a group with two European teams and an African or South American team; or Brazil or Argentina, an African team and a European team from Pot 4. (George Vecsey discussed the machinations that could be either fortunate or disastrous for the Americans.)

The presentation, which begins on Friday at noon, Eastern, will feature the Academy Award winning South African actress Charlize Theron assisting FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke at the draw. A number of other African celebrities will be featured and most of the World Cup coaches will be on hand.

Nobody ever said it would be easy for the Americans. What do you think of the possible groupings for the United States?
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LesBleus



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 4:51 pm    Post subject: The first French matches Reply with quote

The first three teams Les Bleus will have to play against in the first round are South Africa, Mexico and Urugay. Not too bad, none of the really big boys - but let's not be too optimistic, remember how in Korea, Sénégal beat France 2-0, France never recovered and was ignominiously eliminated in the first round.

And this time, everyone will watching us like hawks and slam us for the least little seeming infraction. So let's keep our fingers crossed.
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LostInTranslation



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 6:20 pm    Post subject: Following the World Cup Matches Reply with quote

I wonder if X could be prevailed upon to do a spreadsheet like he did last time, with all the teams, the matches, and the standings, that we could update as the matches are being played? That would be very cool. Cool

How about it, X? Or anyone else who knows about spreadsheets? Please, guys (or gals)?
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 3:36 pm    Post subject: Togo soccer team leaves Angola tournament Reply with quote

Togo soccer team leaves Angola tournament
By SAMUEL PETREQUIN, AP Sports Writer
Sun Jan 10, 12:28 pm ET


AP – Angolan soccer fans parade near the airport in Cabinda, Angola, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2010.

CABINDA, Angola – Togo withdrew from a continentwide soccer tournament and its players reluctantly prepared to leave Angola on Sunday. A separatist leader warned that violence would not end with the deadly ambush on the team bus that killed three and injured eight.

It took a call from Togo's president to persuade the players to leave the African Cup of Nations; they said they wanted to stay and compete in honor of their assistant coach, a team spokesman and the Angolan bus driver who died.

The government dispatched the presidential plane to Angola to retrieve the team, but the prime minister said they would move slowly to accommodate the wounded. Togo's Prime Minister Gilbert Houngbo said Angola had not done enough to protect the team after Friday's attack in Cabinda — the oil-rich region in northern Angola which has seen occasional separatist violence.

"We fully understand our government's decision to leave because they didn't receive enough guarantees for our security," forward Thomas Dossevi told The Associated Press Sunday. "We as players, we wanted to stay to honor the memory of our dead people, but both positions are understandable."

Togo team captain Emmanuel Adebayor, speaking in an interview with France's RMC radio Sunday, said the team finally decided to "pack our bags and go home" after the Manchester City striker got a call from Togo President Faure Gnassingbe himself urging them to return.

"That's what made the difference," Adebayor was quoted as saying in a transcript of his interview on RMC's Web site.

Togo's Prime Minister Gilbert Houngbo said in Togo's capital, Lome, that "Angola and the African Football Confederation have not taken adequate security measures to ensure the safety of the Togolese national team."

Dossevi said all team members would go to Lome together before rejoining their respective soccer clubs, some in Europe.

Saturday, most of the top officials of the African Football Confederation, known by its initials in French as CAF, went to Cabinda, where the attack took place and where some of the injured were recovering, and implored Togo to stay.

CAF president Issa Hayatou said he'd received a guarantee from Angola Prime Minister Antonio Paulo Kassoma that security would be beefed up for all teams and at all venues.

In a telephone interview Sunday with The Associated Press, Tiburcio Tati Tchingobo, minister of defense in the self-declared Federal State of Cabinda, denied his Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda forces, known as FLEC, were responsible for the ambush. He added that whoever was responsible was sparked by a level of frustration that could lead to more violence.

He said his group had no objection to the African Cup of Nations tournament, even with play in Cabinda.

"The tournament can go on, but we are worried about security. We don't have any problem with our fellow African brothers," he said, reached on a satellite phone number and saying he was in Cabinda.

In a communique Saturday, Tchingobo's self-proclaimed independent government said it was irresponsible of CAF's Hayatou to have ignored warnings from separatists that matches should not be held in Cabinda.

The Angolan information minister blamed FLEC for the attack on the Togolese team. In Sunday's exclusive interview, Tchingobo said that was "Angolan government manipulation, to tarnish our names, to make us out as terrorists."

Portugal's state-run Lusa news agency said FLEC claimed responsibility in a message on Friday.

The conflicting reports could stem from divisions among pro-independence groups in Cabinda. Several claim the name FLEC.

Cabinda's armed groups have been weakened by factional fighting. But periodic announcements from the Angolan government that the Cabinda uprising has been quelled — either by force or negotiations — have been followed by new outbreaks of violence.

The Angolan government has denied charges from international human rights groups its military has committed atrocities in Cabinda. In Sunday's exclusive interview, Tchingobo said he feared the attack on the Togolese team would spark a crackdown by Angolan forces in Cabinda after the tournament ends.

"Angola should recognize that we are a sovereign state," Tchingobo said. "They should pack up and go."

The separatists argue Cabinda, an oil-rich region cut off from the rest of Angola by a strip of Congo, is distinct culturally and historically. The Angolan government rejects such claims, and its decision to stage part of the African Cup in Cabinda — building a new stadium there for the games — reflects its determination to keep control of the region.

Angola has been struggling to climb back from decades of violence, and its government was banking on the tournament as a chance to show the world it was on the way to recovery.

Cabinda's unrest was unrelated to — and often overshadowed by — the broader civil war.
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LesBleus



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PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 3:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Following the World Cup Matches Reply with quote

LostInTranslation wrote:
I wonder if X could be prevailed upon to do a spreadsheet like he did last time, with all the teams, the matches, and the standings, that we could update as the matches are being played? That would be very cool. Cool

How about it, X? Or anyone else who knows about spreadsheets? Please, guys (or gals)?

That would be an excellent idea. Maybe we should contact X directly. He's our only techie around here and, as far as I know, the only one who can do that. Me, I'm hopeless with a spreadsheet. Embarassed
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