Brazil 2014. Something for the weekend

John McCormick:
John McCormick: a quiet weekend at home

Here on Saturday the Suarez affair was bubbling under a bit, but quietly. It appeared Liverpool had not had any documentation from FIFA so didn’t know how or if they could proceed, although they have been told they are not eligible to appeal against the ban. That strikes me as unfair, given that they are innocent this time and FIFA’s action hurts them more than it hurts Uruguay.

I do wonder if England’s stance against alleged corruption was playing on anyone’s mind when the decision was made. If Suarez played for Real Madrid would the decision have been the same? I’m not convinced it would.

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South Africa: the World Cup in letters


It’s over. Well done South Africa. Congratulations Spain. And here, using the letters of the host nation, is the first of our looks back on the 2010 tournament …


– Spain, worthy winners on the night, and just about overall, in a generally unimpressive event

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Netherlands v Spain: a Dutchman’s World Cup ‘Who Are You?’


Edgar Meyer – Eddie G to pals – is a passionate Feyenoord fan, which will instantly endear him to those Sunderland supporters who established loose links with followers of that club a few years ago (probably a result of Mackems finding work in Rotterdam). There’s also a hint of Spanish in Eddie’s cosmopolitan family background, but he’s paying the price for earlier good fortune by living, for now, in Doncaster. Oh, and he’s approaching Sunday’s final in confident mood …

Salut! Sunderland: Not a classic World Cup, in most people’s eyes, but your country is in the final. Are you surprised to have got through or were you always confident?

I knew we’d reach a far round, definitely the quarters, maybe the semis, when we ended up with Brazil in the Quarters and beat them, I got alot more confident about going all the way.

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1978, corned beef and dirty wars: World Cup memories (4)

Where to next? Don’t cry, it’s Argentina that Pete Sixsmith recalls for the fourth chapter of his World Cup book of memories. Another England-free tournament, more crushed Scottish hopes and a final that tore up the romantic script …

No England yet again as Don Revie’s flops failed to make it to Argentina. But Scotland did go and were, in the eyes of many of their fans, and their manager, Ally McCleod, outside bets to bring the trophy back to Glasgow.

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1974, Cruyff and Tito: World Cup memories (3)


Pete Sixsmith‘s World Cup reminiscences reach 1974. It was a year the Scots made it to the finals and England didn’t, Johan Cruyff should have ended up in the winning side and didn’t and Marshal Tito would have made Pete’s day by turning out on the left wing for Yugoslavia, but also didn’t …

This was the first tournament where they played for the “new” World Cup, Brazil having won the right to keep the old one in in perpetuity (which translated as 13 years, the time it took for someone to steal it).

It was staged in the Federal Republic of Germany (West) and it came at the end of my teaching career at Broom Cottages Secondary Modern School as it was subsumed into Ferryhill Comprehensive School.

England didn’t make it to the finals, having been knocked out by a splendid Polish team. How these names roll of the tongue: Gregor Lato, Jerzy Gorgon, Kazimiersk Deyna, Robert Gadocha, Zbigniew Gut and Jan Tomaszewski.
They really were a good side and had had little trouble dumping a poor England team out of the qualifiers, sending Sir H’Alf to spend more time with his family.

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