Fiji Times Logo

Fiji Time: 11:27 PM on Thursday 31 July

/ Front page / Sport

Game of all ages

Rashneel Kumar
Thursday, June 12, 2014

JUST a day away before the greatest show on the earth begins, problem has started propping up.

It was Brazil in lead up to the 2014 FIFA World Cup for the delays in construction of the venues and other facility and now it's FIFA.

The governing body of football and the major stakeholders of the World Cup is in the centre of this latest controversy. More specifically FIFA president Sepp Blatter.

This could be the last World Cup for the Swiss at the helm of FIFA as pressure continues to mount on him not to stand for re-election next year.

The 78-year-old Blatter has been the president of FIFA since 1998 and during his term, the football body has come under spotlight for a number of times for alleged corruption.

Lately, the sponsors of FIFA requested an inquiry on Qatar's rights to host the 2022 World Cup, alleging corruption over the country's successful bid in 2010.

There seems to be an intense tug-of-war between continents being represented in FIFA.

Sounds very political? But when the World Cup begins tomorrow with Brazil taking on Croatia in the opening match, no one will care about FIFA.

All eyes will be on the players and what will happen on the field of play.

The stage is set, well, not really. According to reports, there was at least a city still doing the final touches on the venue.

Leaving the venue aside, here is an interesting article from Reuters which sort of gives a preview to what the "underprepared" Brazil will reveal in the upcoming month.

The Mexico squad had to pile into taxis to get to practice after their bus broke down outside their hotel in Santos earlier this week.

"Our bus has shrunk, hahahahaha," Mexican captain Rafael Marquez said on his Twitter account, posting a selfie of himself along with Marco Fabian, Hector Herrera and Alfredo Talavera in a taxi.

Talk about the off-field dramas, there seems to be a lot more to hear from Brazil.

On the lighter note, news.com.au posted the top 10 dull nicknames of the teams taking part in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

The last one takes the cake.

Cameroon - Indomitable Lions

Ever woken up in the morning and felt really INDOMITABLE? What's not to love about a team that uses one of the English language's least common adjectives? For the record, it means strong and invincible and its use is probably a throwback to the sort of olde worlde formal language used in colonial days.

Colombia - The Coffee Growers

The best sporting nicknames incite fear in the minds and hearts of rivals. These guys sound like they'll make you a lovely latte while letting you beat them 4-0. Perhaps they should have chosen the name of another addictive plant often associated with Colombia. Or perhaps not.

Greece - The Pirate Ship

The nickname of the Greek national football team suggests it will plunder and steal riches, rather than earning them gradually with hard work. Sounds a lot like the Greek economy, really. And they play about as well, according to most pundits.

Croatia - The Blazers

We'll assume they're talking about fire rather than stylish men's jackets with brass buttons.

Bosnia and Herzegovina - Golden Lilies

A quick spot of googling reveals that a golden lily formed a key part of the coat of arms of the medieval Kingdom of Bosnia, and was revived in 1992 as a national symbol. We still think it's a ridiculously effeminate nickname for a blokes soccer team.

Honduras - The Catracho

A catracho is a nickname for a person who comes from Honduras. In a similar vein, the national team of World Cup Group D contender Costa Rica is called the "Ticos". A Tico is the name for a person from Costa Rica. Don't say you never learn anything at this website, people.

Ghana - Black Stars

The good news is, it refers not to the skin colour of the participants but to the large prominent single black star on the Ghanaian flag, which in turn symbolises the emancipation of the Ghanaian people.

Australia - The Socceroos

Funny, isn't it? We are encouraged to call the game "football" now, our governing body is called Football Federation Australia and yet we stick with this old chestnut "soccer" in the name.

Germany - Nationalmannschaft

This is wrong and weird for two main reasons. Firstly, and least offensively, it translates as "international team", which is the most dour, humourless, thoroughly German nickname for a sporting team we've ever heard in our lives. Secondly, it sounds like "national man shaft", which sounds like some sort of… we'll leave that to your imagination. Ahem.

Russia - No Nickname

Russia is the only team at the World Cup with no nickname. They'll probably just go and steal Ukraine's.


Fiji Times Front Page Thumbnail

Kaila Front Page ThumbnailFiji Times & Kaila Frontpage PDF Downloads

Use the free Acrobat Reader to view.

Today's Most Read Stories

  1. PM denies claims
  2. Protest over ads on cabs
  3. 4000 farmers 'idle'
  4. Converting turtle hunters
  5. Nadolo, the X factor
  6. CORRECTION
  7. Tab on bad cabbies
  8. Climate change inspires Ram
  9. Health worry
  10. Agriculture contribution drops

Top Stories this Week

  1. Fijian woman jailed for stealing millions in NZ Sunday (27 Jul)
  2. Illegal Fijians in Tonga Friday (25 Jul)
  3. Hero's tale Tuesday (29 Jul)
  4. 10 degrees lowest yet Monday (28 Jul)
  5. New United formation Monday (28 Jul)
  6. Tafunai confident Friday (25 Jul)
  7. Million-dollar man Saturday (26 Jul)
  8. Misleading phone deals Monday (28 Jul)
  9. Iliesa Delana explains Wednesday (30 Jul)
  10. Help for illegal Fijians Tuesday (29 Jul)