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World Cup diary - Japan goes wild

Published: 28 Jun 2010 - 08:13:27

Celebrations for Japan's 3-1 victory over Denmark on Thursday were on the wild side, to say the least.

River police were mobilised, after some revellers got into difficulties whilst frolicking in the Dotonbori River, Osaka.

Television viewing figures showed that over 41% of the Japanese television audience watched the match, despite it finishing just before 5.30 am, local time.

CLEAN WORLD CUP

This summer's World Cup is the fourth consecutive tournament to be free of doping, so far.

To date, over 450 players have been screened during the tournament. Over 190 of these checks have occurred on match days.

Diego Maradona, one player who did test positive for a banned substance at USA '94, is now coach of a fine Argentina side. Whoever said 'cheats never prosper' obviously didn't possess a magic wand like Maradona's left foot.

BALLS UP

FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke has acknowledged that something may be wrong with the official World Cup ball, the Jabulani.

"We're not deaf. FIFA is not unreceptive about what has been said about the ball."

Robert Green will thank his lucky stars that he will not take full responsibility for that horror show against the USA.

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER

The idea of using extra assistants at football matches is to potentially be pushed forward by FIFA, with possible implementation at the 2014 World Cup.

With England's disallowed goal proved right and just by television replays, the move has come too late for the Three Lions.

"One thing we are discussing is two additional assistants," said FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke. "This is to support referees to make decision-making easier and to have more eyes helping him to make decisions."

The irony of this news cannot be understated, as Argentina's opener against Mexico yesterday was offside, yet the replay of the 'goal' was shown twice, while the referee and his assistant conferred on the sideline

CHRISTINE - I AM NOT A WAG

The only WAG news is that Christine Bleakley has claimed that she does not wish to be known as a WAG - not because it is rhyming slang - but because it has negative connotations as far as supporting oneself goes.

"I think it is really important to be independent in life, do your own thing, and be able to pay your own way," said the beauty from Newry.

The only thing that Christine might be paying for in the near future is a portrait of beau Frank Lampard in an England shirt - an occurrence which may be coming to an end if a coach with kahunas gets the probably vacant England job.

Aside from that, Christine says "If you look at photos of me, you'll find more pictures of me in gym gear than dresses."

After much trawling of my usual internet database for such pictures (without results), I have emailed Ms Bleakley and requested some photos of her in said gym gear, hopefully whilst lunging, though video would be preferable. I will post them as soon as they arrive.

HERR WE GO AGAIN

Germany knocked England out of the World Cup after a 4-1 victory at the Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein. Miroslav Klose and Lucas Podolski put the Germans into a 2-0 lead after just 32 minutes, five minutes before Matthew Upson pulled a goal back with an assertive header.

Within 60 seconds of this, Frank Lampard volleyed against the bar from the edge of the penalty area, before watching the ball bounce at least six inches over the line.

'Play on', said Uruguayan referee Jorge Larrionda. England pushed on in the second half, but Germany hit England with two devastating counter-attacks, the first on 67 minutes and the next three minutes later, both resulting in goals for Thomas Mueller.

MARADONA MARCHES ON

Argentina dispatched Mexico by three goals to one at Soccer City, Johannesburg to set up a blockbuster of a quarter-final clash with Germany.

Carlos Tevez's headed opener on 26 minutes was clearly offside.

Seven minutes later, Mexico's Ricardo Osorio inexplicably passed the ball to Gonzalo Higuain to easily finish and double the lead.

Tevez sealed the match on 52 minutes, thrashing past Oscar Perez from the edge of the penalty area. Javier Hernandez scored a sublime consolation for Mexico on 71 minutes, turning past Martin Demichelis before thrashing the ball past Sergio Romero.


DSG


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FOOTBALL.CO.UK BLOGGER:Tom Littlefield
Seen as the heir apparent to Jan Molby until an underactive thyroid gland curtailed this youngster’s development, Tom Littlefield will now concentrate on making a “big pitch” (pun) during South Africa 2010. As Barnet’s staunchest Gooner, he is well placed to judge good football. So, while the England team provides your compulsory tournament displeasure, Tom will look to rouse your enthusiasm for the beautiful game (and WAGS) in the oasis of oratory that is his World Cup Diary.

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