WITH suggestions that a winter World Cup may be needed to allow winning bidder Qatar to host the 2022 footballing showpiece, an inspired suggestion has been put forward by the Mirror – play the tournament at night. In his article here, journalist Ed Malyon proposes a nighttime tournament, which would allow the tournament to go ahead in cooler temperatures, still in summer and at a time to suit audiences in Europe and America to boot.
He says: “An idea which, rather surprisingly hasn’t really surfaced as an alternative despite making all the sense in the world – or at least as much sense as a World Cup in Qatar can.
“Play it at night.
“Breathtakingly simple, but also sane.
“Average temperatures at midnight are nearly half that of the daily high during the summer, the time difference would make it perfectly acceptable for viewing audiences in Europe and the Americas and, best of all, there is no need for widescale disruption to the majority of the world’s domestic leagues.”
He does add however though that “with this being FIFA though, the very presence of common sense is likely to rule any idea out of the running”.
Inspired. no? Made me think.
THE National Football Museum in Manchester has been awarded official Designation by the Arts Council – the first time a sporting collection has been granted this status.
The unparalleled collection of football history at the museum has been officially recognised for its significant collection of football history by the Designation scheme.
Objects including the winning ball from the 1966 World Cup and a shirt from the world’s first international football match in 1872 have now been formally recognised for their historic and cultural importance.
National Football Museum’s Deputy Director and Head of Collections, David Pearson said: “We are truly proud that our outstanding collection has won Designation status.
“Not only are we the only sporting collection to win such an honour but it also endorses our view that football heritage is central to English culture and modern society.”
ONLY mad dogs and English football teams go out in the midday sun – domestic football needs a shake-up if England are to compete at the Qatar World Cup, say researchers.
The 2022 season will have to be cut short, and England will need to travel to Qatar at least a month in advance, if they are to stand any chance of success at the World Cup, according to sports science experts at the University of Bedfordshire.
The results of testing in simulated conditions close to a Qatari summer show that England need to head out to the country as soon as possible, as well as adjust their playing style to a slower game.
Former FA employees and member of England’s Italia ’90 backroom staff, Professor John Brewer, who now heads the department, said: “Physical performance and decision-making will be impaired in hot conditions.
“The research we have done in our environmental chamber has involved simulating the demands of football matches in environments that come close to replicating conditions in Qatar.
“The results are unsurprising; but we’ve also found that players’ bodies could adapt to the extreme conditions if the squad arrives in Qatar early enough.
“In order for this to happen, the FA would need to look at the fixture calendar, in conjunction with the Premier League, to ensure players can finish the domestic season in very good time. England then need to meet up as a team and travel to Qatar at least four weeks in advance to acclimatise to the temperature and play some preparation games.”
He added: “The high-tempo game we see in the Premier League on a regular basis may not be the type of football that can be sustained for 90 minutes or extra-time and penalties in a World Cup.
“If you like to see a style of play that sees the ball being passed around at a lower-tempo, then I think that’s what we’ll see in Qatar.
“England will need to modify their tactics as countries used to playing at a low-tempo in hot conditions will hold an advantage.”
ENGLAND take on San Marino in a World Cup qualifier tomorrow.
So to liven up proceedings while San Marino park the bus and England toil for the first half and hour before scoring, here are some fun San Marino facts for your reading pleasure.
San Marino are currently ranked joint-207th and last in the FIFA rankings, level on zero points with Bhutan and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
San Marino have only won one match in their history, a 1-0 friendly success over Liechtenstein in April 2004.
Davide Gualtieri, who scored the fastest goal in World Cup qualifying history after eight seconds against England in 1993, is now a computer salesman.
None of the teams in the seven-team Sammarinese League have their own ground. Instead, five neutral grounds are used on a rotating basis.
Aldo and Davide Simoncini made history against Sweden in 2010 when they became the first twins to score own goals in the same international match.
THAT sound you heard last night, that clicking sound, that was the sound of England clicking into place.
Now I know in my heart of hearts that we’re not going to win the World Cup in Brazil next summer, but last night England did go tantalisingly close to giving back a glimmer of hope to the nation’s fans.
Because not only did we beat Brazil, it wasn’t an undeserved result.
England, with close to a full strength first team that you could only imagine Roy adding one of two players to if he had an injury-free squad, outplayed Brazil, who may be under-par by their standards but should still be the match of any team on the international stage.
The goat-like figure of a frustrated Neymar and an impotant Ronaldinho unable to pull the strings contrasted to the English midfielders’ performances such as the bustling Jack Wilshere and quarterback Steven Gerrard.
We had pace and penetration, but also patience and probing play. Sure we wobbled at the back and let Fred in, but overall we played our way to victory over the 90 minutes.
So for now Rule Britannia, God Save the Queen, etc.
Until the next friendly, that is…
ITALY coach Cesare Prandelli says if his team win the World Cup, he’ll have a mohawk.
The Azzuri boss says that his AC Milan strikeforce of Mario Balotelli and Stephan El Shaarawy have as much talent as they do style, and if they fire him to the title he’ll gladly go under the clippers.
He said: “It’s an advantage for us that Balotelli can work alongside fellow Milan striker Stephan El Shaarawy on a daily basis. They have enormous potential.
“If we win the World Cup in Brazil then I’ll get a mohican like theirs.”
Well Goaltastic knows who he’ll be cheering on in Brazil 2014, then.
AN EVENING of football banter with Alan Birchenall and Archie Gemmill takes place in Loughborough on December 6.
The evening at the Swan in the Rushes kicks off at 8pm. The evening will also include a charity auction for Rainbows Hospice, one of Alan Birchenall’s chosen charities.
Legends Reunited spokeswowan Sarah Roberts said: “We’re really pleased to bring Scotland , Forest & Derby County legend Archie Gemmill to Loughborough in conjunction with Foxes favourite Alan ‘The Birch’ Birchenall.
“We presented an evening with them earlier in the year and they were really comical together – two very different careers and achievements , making them an interesting combination
“Archie talks openly about his famous goal in the 1978 World Cup against Holland , the hope and expectation on the Scottish nation but also about his club success with both Forest and Derby.”
Tickets are £10 each from the venue or from 07967 714224