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Categories : Asia, Asian Cup, Disorganized, Iraq, Qatar
Ok… deep breaths…
Despite the glory of the winning team being Iraq, a fairytale storyline that could not have been scripted better… the AFC Asian Cup 07 was pretty much a shambles. Hosting it across 4 different countries may have lessened the load organizationally, but it created a logistic nightmare.
Now, no single country holds the blame, and there was some excellent football played throughout the 07 Event, but serious problems existed during it.
First of all, the heat. If you’re going to hold the games in the midst of Summer, then for the love of God, hold them at night. Is it any wonder many of the tournament’s top teams didn’t always live up to expectations? Teams traveling for literally half a day to get to destinations to play the next day, or even that night. Buses not showing up on time, charter flights & hotel reservations messed up. A twenty-five minute power outage in the middle of one game. In Bangkok, selecting a stadium on the outskirts rather than the National stadium in the middle of the city cost dearly, with games not any where nearly as well attended as they should have been.
The Japanese team suffered quite a bit, the organizers messing up their charter flight just prior to the third-place game versus South Korea – it wasn’t until the Japanese officials took matters into their own hands & chartered their own jet that they could travel to the remote Indonesian island of Palembang for the game. Upon arrival, not enough rooms were booked at accommodation, and players & officials had to share rooms (the official’s room apparently resembled a cheap backpacker’s dorm – there were so many bodies!). It’s highly probable that other nations have similar horror stories. Read the rest of this entry »
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Categories : Asian Cup, Football, Iraq, Soccer, South Korea, sports, Verbeek, Vieira
Jorvan Vieira – the coach of the Iraqi National football team, who just won the Asian Cup – has quit. The absolute disorganization of Iraqi football was the reason behind not extending his 2 month contract.
Immediately after winning, Vieira announced his decision, and even tho’ pretty much everyone who had anything to do with Iraqi football begged him to stay, he has stood by his decision. Whilst stating he had no regrets about taking the job, he did say
“…I can’t fight against everybody. I’m looking for a club or a national team with good organization … here I’m doing everybody else’s job.” Read the rest of this entry »
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Categories : Asian Cup, Football, Japan, Soccer, South Korea, sports
So Japan failed to beat an undermanned South Korean unit, and their dominance of Asia is officially over. With the victory, South Korea earn an automatic berth for the 2011 event (to be hosted in Qatar – announced today!).
After an 0-0 scoreline, Japan failed to replicate the success they had against Australia, South Korea running out winners on penalties – 6-5.
Never any love lost between these two rivals, this game was no exception. Japan reached scoring distance many times, but failed to capitalize. South Korea were held at bay by yet again more excellent keeping from Kawaguchi, the Japanese skipper.
The rivalry hit it’s zenith when Kang Min-soo was sent off in the 57th minute (unfairly, as replays showed) for his second yellow card. South Korean coach Verbeek & his assistants went batshit on the referee, none more so than South Korean soccer legend Hong Myung Bo. The referee expelled all 3 coaches along with Kang from the arena. Hong tried to sneak back in during the rest period post the 90 minutes regulation time, and refused to leave – security ended up escorting him from the ground… right under the noses of FIFA president Sepp blatter and South Korea Football Association chief Chung Moon Joon.
Still, the Japanese team failed to make the extra man count. Verily, the South Koreans looked even more aggressive in attack. During the extra time, South Korean keeper Lee Woon Jae made some excellent saves… and the rest is history.
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