Saturday, June 16, 2018

World Cup Technology: Put to the test

The very measure that was supposed to bring clarity and fairness to the game has left rather a cloud at the beginning of the 2018 FIFA World Cup TM Russia. Var was used for the first time in the French match against Australia. Socceroo, Joshua Risdon tackled Antoine Griezmann (France) in the penalty box as the Man of the Match, was bearing down on goal. Referee Andres Cunha initially waved play on, but was alerted by the VAR observers there was an infringement.

He stopped the game to look at the video replay, he was presented with edited footage from two angles which appeared to show the defender did not make contact with the ball. However there was other footage from behind the goal which suggested Risdon's tackle appeared to make contact with the ball before following through on Griezmann. On his return to the pitch pointed to the spot. A clear penalty but Risdon was not red carded. Replays of the event appear inconclusive as to whether or not the Australia right-back got a touch on the ball before bringing down the Frenchman. If he did it was not a penalty, but if he did not touch the ball and impeded the player preventing a clear scoring opportunity , the defender should have been sent off.

Moments later, a clear handball from Samuel Umtiti (France) on a cross into France's penaly box gave Australia a penalty. Mile Jedinak converted in the 62nd minute. Despite this professional foul taking place within the penalty box , no action was taken against the Frenchman. who should have recieved a red card.

Later in the 81st minute, Paul Pogba (France) scored the winning goal in the 2-1 game with a lob over the keeper’s head which bounced off the bar behind the goal line before bouncing back into the keeper’s arms. Goal-line technology was used to confirm the ball had crossed the line after bouncing down off the crossbar.

(Video Courtesy: ESPN FC Youtube Channel)

Telstar 18: The Baw's burst

Inspite of all the scientitic testing and ‘bla ‘ from adidas about their new Telstar 18, being tough and durable, it burst during the game between France and Australia. A strong tackle on Lucas Hernandez (France) by Trent Sainsbury (Australia)sandwiched the ball and it burst.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Nike refuse to supply boots to Iran due to White House Sanctions

According to VOA Persian TV, Nike said its refusal to provide Iranian players with boots at Russia 2018 was down to the White House’s decision to re-impose US sanctions on Iran as part of its exit from the 2015 nuclear deal.

Nike had previously said in a statement: "The sanctions [from the White House] mean that, as a US company, we cannot provide shoes to players in the Iran national team at this time.”

Many of the players have boot contracts with Nike but now face playing without their Nike soccer cleats. Iran head coach, Carlos Queiroz understandably, has revealed his anger at Nike after they refused to supply football boots to his players. He believes his players have been brought closer together by Nike’s decision to cut their supply of World Cup kit. It has been reported the late decision disrupted Iran’s preparations, with some players having to buy their own footwear from Russian shops or even ask club team-mates for help.

(Video Courtesy: Sky Sports News Youtube Channel)

Iranian born Socceroo, Daniel Arzani will continue to honour his contract with Nike despite the sports manufacturer refusing to supply Iranian players with football boots for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Nike’s Australian branch is responsible for providing equipment to the overwhelming majority of the Socceroos' squad and the supply falls outwith the US ban.

Iran won their group opener after Morocco's Aziz Bouhaddouz scored an own goal in stoppage time to give Carlos Queiroz's team the three points and top spot in Group B thanks to a draw later on Friday between Spain and Portugal. Nike-less Iran recorded only their second-ever win in a World Cup, 20 years after beating the U.S. at the 1998 World Cup. Now there is an irony.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Héctor Castro (1904 - 1960)

Hector Castro was born in 1904, Montevideo. As a young boy (aged 13), he accidentally amputated his right forearm while using an electric saw to cut wood. This did not stop him from playing football and in 1923/24 sesssion, aged 19, he signed for Club Nacional. His team went onto win three Uruguayan Championships (1924, 1933, 1934), before he retired in 1936.

He made his debut for the Uruguay national football team in November 1923. He played his final match for la Celeste in August 1935 having played 25 times, scoring 18 goals. Castro neither asked for nor received special consideration for his handicap and often put his stump to good use by pushing other players out of the way as he lept to head the ball. He was loved by his fans and respected by his peers. Off the field he enjoyed the fast life and had a reputation as a ‘bad boy,’ with his drinking and gambling antics. Several times he had his life threatened but dismissed any attempt to imtimidate him as a player.

'El Divino Manco' (meaning 'the one-handed god') was picked for his National Team and scored Uruguay’s first-ever World Cup goal, against Per. He also scored the winning goal at the FIFA World Cup final in 1930. Héctor Castro played twenty five times for his country scoring twenty goals. After he retired from the playing, he went on to coach Nacional, and won the Uruguayan championship in 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943, and again in 1952.

(Video Courtesy: FIFATV Youtube Channel)

Ball girls at the World Cup Opening

For the first time there will be ball girls at the FIFA World Cup TM opening showpiece. A group of 14 Russian girls will act as ballgirls in the opening match of the World Cup. The girls come from the girls’ cadet school football team from the city of Agryz in Russia’s Republic of Tatarstan, and have been specially trained to quickly and properly throw footballs. The girls were chosen from teams aged 13-16 by players of the Russian national squad. Sevenhundred and seventy six (776) children would work as ball boys and ballgirls at the 64 match tournament.

(Video Courtesy: Ruptly Youtube Channel)

FIFA World Cup TM Commemorative Coins

Government Mints issue Commemorative coins to commemorate some particular occasion or special event, like the FIFA World Cup. Commemorative coins do pre-date the 1960s, but became a more regular feature after this time. These coins have distinct designs with reference to the occasion for which they were issued. Some coins serve only as collectors’ items, but many mints issue commemorative base metal coins for regular circulation. Prior to World War II, commemorative coins were always made of precious metals. Gradually, the use of precious metal coins became increasingly restricted, and almost abandoned about 1970. Coins made from precious metals ceased to be circulating currency, used in everyday transactions.

The increase in coin collectors world wide created a demand for commemorative coins. Hence forth, the coins were divided into two types; those made from base metal and issued as everyday currency, Circulating commemoratives are intended to be used for commerce, but the design will only be issued for a limited time, is intended to draw some attention to a specific event or person ; and non-circulating medal-like coins made from precious metal for collectors only. Non-circulating legal tender (NCLT) are coins which are legal tender, and can in theory be used to purchase goods or services, but are not intended to be used in such a manner. Rather, they are intended to be used only as souvenirs, and are often produced in gold or silver with a proof finish.

Circulating and non-circulating commemoratives are usually issued jointly and the events these coins commemorate, such as the World Cup, are chosen based on a perceived market, rather than events of significance to the country. Almost every nation has issued commemorative coins, but those countries with smaller domestic populations direct their non-circulating commemoratives towards the international market.

Governments anticipate commemorative issues such as coins, bank notes and postage stamps, encourage local people to collect them as keepsakes, thereby taking them out of circulation. The cost of producing these is a fraction of their face value, and when taken from circulation, this constitutes a profit to the government. This is called seigniorage, and can generate millions to a national treasury.

Numismatics describes the systematic study of currency and includes the collection of currency, including coins, tokens, paper money, and related objects. Coin collectors, on the other hand keep coins or other forms of minted legal tender. To the serious collector, the grade of the coin is a main determinant of its value, but most collectors are hobbyists, and amass a collection purely for the pleasure of it with no real expectation of profit. Since the beginning both medals and coins have become popular souvenirs of the FIFA World Cup TM.

At first commemorative medals were struck and avidly collected by enthusiasts.

The 1966 FIFA World Cup TM, was hosted by England. The National team went on to win the final and all manner of memorabilia from this period became highly collectable. The mascot was World Cup Willie and a medal keepsake was struck featuring the cartoon character.

Other more rare commemorative medals were struck for collectors.

In 2016, the Royal Mint marked the 50th Anniversary of England’s victory at the 1966 FIFA World Cup TM, with a limited issue of a set of coins which feature the original design by Royal Mint coin designer Emma Noble, who was inspired by England’s 1966 FIFA World Cup™ logo. The set includes Brilliant Uncirculated, Silver Proof and Gold Proof coins. A donation from each of the official 1966 World Cup coins purchased will be made to The Bobby Moore Fund.

By 1970, many smaller promotions sprang up, including the Esso World Cup Coin Collection. Esso (now part of the Exxon Mobil group) commissioned 30 coins depicting the England squad for the FIFA World Cup TM. The coins were made of solid metal alloy and wrapped for distribution through petrol stations. The coins were given away with every gallons of petrol purchased. Cleverly the sealed pouches meant the coins were offered unseen making it necessary to swap duplicates if the collection was to be completed. Esso supplied a free red card with 30 slots to hold the coins. A blue mounting board made of thick carboard could be bought from Esso petrol stations for 2/6. The board had pre-cut holes to mount the coins. A very rare, set of coins was made of solid bronze by the Franklin Mint for presentation by the Esso Petroleum Company Ltd. Sir Alf Ramsey was presented with a Sterling Silver set by Franklin Mint.

In 1990, Esso reprised their coin collection to celebrate the Home team qualification of both Scotland and England to the World Cup finals in Italy.

Other countries including, Ras al-Khaimah, an emirate of the United Arab Emirates issued circulating commemoratives coins fr the 1970 FIFA World Cup TM.

More commemorative coins were issued for the 1974 FIFA World Cup TM Germany.

These coins are from Argentina to commemorate 1978 World Cup TM Argentina.

The People's Republic of China issued un-circulated commemorative coins which were sold abroad, not in China. The set struck at the Shanghai Mint , included one gold, one copper, and two silver coins. The theme was commemorated as a modern Chinese coin series despite the fact that China failed to qualify for the group stages. The 1982 12th FIFA World Cup ¼ oz gold coin bears a glaring error in the inscription on the reverse face. The incorrect character is the final one of the reverse inscription, and should be 赛 sai4, meaning competition. Only 1261 gold coins were minted, making them highly collectable . The coins were designed by two female contributors: Zhong Youqin designer of the gold, silver and copper coins of the 1980 Winter Olympics and 1980 China Olympic Committee series; and Chen Yanyin artist and leading female in the world of oil painting and sculpture in the PRC.

Both Spain and Ethiopia issued commemorative coins for regular circulation.

The celebrate the 1986 FIFA Wolrd Cup TM Mexico Non-circulating commemorative coins were struck including a gold 1986 Mexico 250 Peso 1/4 oz Proof Gold World Cup Coin. Mexico also issued commemorative base metal coins for regular circulation.

Monday, June 11, 2018