Friday, June 11, 2010

Facts that Figure the World Cup

FIFA's first World Cup trophy, the Jules Rimet Trophy, was permanently awarded to Brazil after they won their third world title in 1970. It was later stolen and was never seen again.
The trophy had already been stolen before when it was taken from an exhibition prior to the 1966 World cup final in England. A dog called Pickles later found it under a bush.
The current FIFA World Cup trophy remains in the permanent possession of FIFA. The winning association receives a replica until the next tournament but this is “only” gold plated.
Red and yellow cards were not introduced until 1970, although cautions and dismissals were previously listed in reports. The first player to be sent off was Peru’s Placido Galindo in the match against Romania in 1930.
Since 1990 only one team has defeated Brazil in the World Cup Finals tournament— France.
Shirt numbers were first used at the 1954 FIFA World Cup.
In 1978 France became the only team so far to play a match in the World Cup Finals tournament wearing another team’s strip. The French had arrived in Mar Del Plata to play Hungary without a change of strip, only to find that both teams planned to play in white. France had to quickly borrow some tops from the local side Atletico Kimberley.
To date the host country has always made it through the group stage to qualify for the second round.
More than 100,000 spectators have been recorded at 17 World Cup Finals matches—all of them played in either Mexico City or Rio de Janeiro.
Telstar was the first official FIFA World Cup ball and was introduced by Adidas for the 1970 World Cup in Mexico.
The most successful teams in World Cup Finals history are those which have participated the highest number of times: Brazil (all 19), Italy and Germany (17 each) and Argentina (15).
All in all 154 goals have been scored from the penalty spot in World Cup Finals tournaments.
There has been 34 own goals!
Finally think on this - a foreign coach has never managed a World Cup winning team -- which implies another penalty shootout heartache for England somewhere along the line!

Watch World Cup at Olympic Hotel

By Ajitpal Singh

Olympic Sports Hotel is a treasure trove for all World Cup fans.
The sports-themed hotel, located at Wisma OCM in Kuala Lumpur, is displaying authentic sporting memorabilia and some reproduction world cup items.
Among the items on display are the autographed jerseys from Argentina’s Osvaldo Ardiles, Brazil’s Ronaldo, Ger many’s J├╝rgen Klinsmann and also a pair of gloves signed by decorated goalkeeper Oliver Kahn.
Hotel director Ow Soon Kooi said the items have been on display for the past three weeks.
“A friend of mine brought up this idea about three months ago. We decided then on decorating the hotel with World Cup memorabilia in conjunction with the World Cup,” said Soon Kooi, a former national hockey captain.
“We have on display some of the most valuable World Cup collector’s items dating back from the 1960s.
Patrons will be greeted by posters of Diego Maradona including one on the player’s infamous “Hand of God” in the 1986 World Cup upon entering the hotel lobby.
“We managed to get these exhibits from their owners. It will be on display even after the World Cup.
“However, the most valuable item here is the framed autographed photos of Pele. The Brazilian is my favourite football player.
There are also glass showcases items such as the boots of Germany’s Franz Beckenbauer, who won the World Cup both as a player (1974) and coach (1990) and also the gloves of Oliver Kahn, which he used in the 1994 World Cup.
Football fans can also opt to watch the World Cup matches live at its cafe, which will be operating extended hours throughout the tournament.
“The hotel caters not only athletes but the general public and tourists.
“Among our recent guests were the officials from the Asian Youth Volleyball tournament as well as foreign media representatives covering the Thomas/Uber Cup Finals,” said Soon Kooi.
Olympic Sports Hotel is unique in many ways as it has conference rooms dedicated to former local sports personalities such as the late Ho Koh Chye, a former national hockey goalkeeper and local football legend Mokhtar Dahari.

Tragic start to World Cup

JOHANNESBURG: The death of Nelson Mandela’s great-granddaughter cast a shadow over the opening day of the World Cup on Friday, dampening the spirits of a nation proud and excited to be hosting the world’s most popular sporting event.
Zenani Mandela, 13, was killed in a car accident on the way home from a World Cup concert in Soweto on Thursday night, where tens of thousands of people had sung and danced with headline music stars Shakira and the Black Eyed Peas.
On Friday morning, streets in downtown Johannesburg were filled with cars and pedestrians waving South African flags and blowing vuvuzela trumpets as news that one of Mandela’s nine great grandchildren had died was emerging.
Heavy security was evident in Johannesburg and in Soweto, near the Soccer City stadium where South Africa was opening the tournament on Friday afternoon with a game against Mexico. Armored Personnel Carriers were seen on the streets, with armed troops watching traffic and stopping cars.
Johannesburg police spokeswoman Edna Mamonyane said the driver of the car involved in the one-car accident, a male, had been arrested and charged with drink-driving. Mamonyane said the driver, who police would not name, could also face culpable homicide charges.
“The Metro police found that he was drunk,” Mamonyane said. “He lost control of the vehicle and it collided with a barricade.”