Archive for the World Cup Category

Commentary: Sordid state of China’s soccer game [People’s Daily]

Posted in China, Corruption, Japan, south Korea, World Cup on April 9, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

April 2, 2011

Excessive love for money is the root of all evils.  Even people in the sports world are not free of this craze for money as more in-depth reports on the arrest of three soccer referees have unfolded.

Lu Jun was arrested for taking bribes from local soccer teams.  Before being exposed, he was known as the "golden whistle" for his "integrity".  He officiated in two matches at the 2002 World Cup finals in South Korea and Japan.  Praising the clean soccer administration in the rest of the world, Lu had lashed out at the "black whistles" scandal in China and recommended the setting up of a supervision regime in the country.

Alas, even Lu himself has fallen victim to Mammon.

The other two arrested are Zhou Weixin, an official from Guangzhou province, and Huang Junjie, an active FIFA (or international) referee since 1998.

Such arrests suggest the integrity of China’s soccer world is indeed at stake.

China has become a sports superpower, winning numerous impressive international trophies but never in men’s soccer, the most popular game in the world that Brazilians lovingly call jogo bonito, or the beautiful game. The national men’s soccer team has often performed poorly at the international level, and corrupt practices like match-fixing and illegal betting are to blame for that.

In February, the Chinese Football Association (CFA) announced that during the final weeks of the Super League, half time would be extended from 15 to 30 minutes.  It was intended to kick off all second-half games in the league at the same time and prevent referees and players from fixing the outcome of matches.  But the move is controversial, because it goes against FIFA rules. Continue reading

Fidel Castro: “The Führer’s swastika would seem to be Israel’s banner today” [Granma.cu]

Posted in Anti-fascism, France, Gaza convoy / Gaza blockade, Iran, Israel, Obama, Palestine, U.K., UNSC, USA, World Cup on June 21, 2010 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Havana.  June 11, 2010

Reflections of Fidel

A blow waiting to happen

(Taken from CubaDebate)

[excerpted]

…It would not be at all strange that both Israel and the United States and its close allies with a right to the veto in the Security Council:  France and Britain, would want to take advantage of the enormous interest aroused by the football World Cup to calm international opinion, indignant at the criminal conduct of the Israeli elite troops facing the Gaza Strip.

It is thus highly probable that the blow will be delayed for a few weeks, and even be forgotten by most people in the hottest days of the northern summer.  One will have to observe the cynicism with which Israeli leaders respond to press interviews in the next few days, when they will be bombarded with questions.  Opportunely, they will set about raising the severity of their demands before squeezing the trigger.  They are anxious to repeat the history of Mossadegh in 1953, or to take Iran back to the Stone Age, a threat that pleases the powerful empire in its dealings with Pakistan.

The state of Israel’s hatred of the Palestinians is such that they would not hesitate to send one and a half million men, women and children from that country to the gas chambers in which millions of Jews of all ages were exterminated by the Nazis.

The Führer’s swastika would seem to be Israel’s banner today.  This opinion is not born of hatred, but of the sentiment of a country that gave solidarity and shelter to the Jews when, in the harsh days of World War II, the pro-yanki government of Batista tried to send back from Cuba a boatload of Jewish refugees escaping from France, Belgium and Holland on account of Nazi persecution.

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