Posts Tagged ‘FIFA World Cup’

chris-toby2For us football fans, it’s been like waiting for Christmas but the FIFA World Cup is finally here with hosts Brazil kicking off against Croatia in Sao Paulo today.

I’ll be flying to Brazil next week with my son Toby for what promises to be the football trip of a lifetime. We’ll be seeing six games, including England’s games against Uruguay and Costa Rica and two quarter-finals. During the trip I’ll be contributing a World Cup Diary to The Royal Gazette – you can read my first column here.

Oh, and just in case you’re wondering, Argentina will beat Brazil in the final.


... and that's what we think about FIFA's "branding"

As the World Cup winds down, here’s a few things I learnt about the World’s Greatest Sporting Event (FIFA TM) while on my travels.

  1. David Villa is a genius. If you think he looks quick on TV, you should see him in the flesh. His pace, vision and reactions have to be seen to be believed. This goal against Honduras (obligingly scored right in front of us at Ellis Park) was sublime.
  2. FIFA branding sucks. I know FIFA’s global sponsorship deals are what keeps the whole circus going but does every single World Cup venue and experience have to be exactly the same? Apart from packets of biltong and the Ellis Park pies, local products were excluded from the stadiums by FIFA who only allowed Coca-Cola drinks, watery Budweiser beer and the blandest of hotdogs. Oh – and you could only pay by Visa.
  3. England really were that bad. As Alexi Lalas told a perplexed fellow ESPN panelist Steve McManaman after the 0-0 debacle against Algeria, “maybe they’re just not that good”. No, Alexi, they were much worse … (more…)