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Football: Women’s World Cup tussle moves focus off FIFA, back onto the ball

  • June 24th, 2015
  • Posted by EU Australia

World Cup canada 2Exciting times at the World Cup in Canada, even if Sepp Blatter, “Mister Football” now under a huge dark cloud, might be missing from the stands on Final day.

Among the excitement, the Matildas, from Australia, have also got into the top billing.

GOOD SEASON IN CANADA

World Cup canada 1Celebrating a good season for the home team on home turf, with Canada in the final Eight (facing England on Saturday), Canuck media are now asking if the troubles of the governing body, FIFA, will cloud the Final next month.

The Canadian Press agency has reported that while Mr Blatter (picture, below) has been scheduled to turn up for the big match, since scandal claimed several of his executives and forced his own foreshadowed departure as President, there’s the chance of a glaring no-show.

Said the Toronto Star this week: “Blatter was originally scheduled to attend the July 5 final in Vancouver. But in the wake of the corruption scandal surrounding the world governing body of soccer, his travel plans became to be determined.”

BACKGROUND ON BLATTER

Blatter SeppThe Sepp Blatter story continues with his undertaking to step down; see this summary at the break, from the Guardian on 2.6.15:

“Sepp Blatter has dramatically quit as FIFA president, days after he was defiant in re-election for a fifth term and sparking a flurry of speculation over the future of world football and the fate of the next two World Cups in Russia and Qatar…

“Under intense pressure from ongoing investigations by the FBI and Swiss prosecutors that have already led to 18 senior football executives being charged in the US on charges of money laundering, tax evasion and racketeering, Blatter said he had decided to step down. But the 79-year-old Swiss, who defeated his Jordanian challenger Prince Ali bin Al-Hussein on Friday despite the mounting crisis, said he would stay on for at least six months to allow time for a proper election to replace him between December 2015 and March next year. Hours after Blatter stepped down there were reports in US media that he was being investigated by US authorities as part of their corruption inquiries.”

BACK ON THE PITCH – QUARTER-FINALS LINE-UP

Matildas Canada 2015Back on the pitch, in Canada, in-form relative outsiders like the Canadians and the Matildas (picture), might have dared to start thinking that the availability of an empty seat at Vancouver, could be a chance for Mum or Dad to come and see the Final after all.

Formation of the bracket of eight teams for the Quarter Finals has seen the South American teams drop out, leaving three European (England, France and Germany), and three from the Asian conference (Australia, China and Japan), plus Canada and the United States.

The Matildas, after defeating Brazil 1-0 in their knock-out match on 21.6.15, take on Japan this Sunday in Edmonton. Japan, impressively, knocked out the Netherlands.

See match preview and video from  Sydney Morning Herald commentator Dom Bossi, http://www.smh.com.au/sport/soccer/matildas-happy-to-face-japan-in-womens-world-cup-quarterfinal-20150624-ghwnad.html

MEN PLAY SPORT TOO

socceroos footballmedia.netLooking on from a distance, the Australian men’s side, the Socceroos (picture), have been on tour, playing friendlies in their long lead-up to the 2018 World Cup.

Punctuated by their victory in the Asian Cup in January (defeating Korea 2-1 in extra time at Sydney, on 31.1.15), they have suffered one defeat in non-tournament matches played this year, at the hands of Korea (1-0), turning the tables a few days later (2-1). They’ve had draws with Germany (2-2) and Macedonia (0-0), and wins against China, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Oman and the UAE.

Cricket World Cup 2015The January victory in the soccer set the scene for a golden end-to-summer for sports goers in Australia, when the Cricket World Cup came to Australia and New Zealand. For the record, the host teams played the final, against each other, in Melbourne, on 29.3.15, Australia winning with seven wickets in hand.

See video, Cricket World Cup “magic moments”: http://www.icc-cricket.com/cricket-world-cup/news/2015/features-and-specials/87701/cwc-15-in-review-14-magic-moments

Reference

Dominic Bossi, Matildas happy to face Japan in Women’s World Cup quarter-final, SMH, Sydney, 25.6.15. http://www.smh.com.au/sport/soccer/matildas-happy-to-face-japan-in-womens-world-cup-quarterfinal-20150624-ghwnad.html, (25.6.15).

FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 (Home), Zurich, 6.6 – 5.7.15.  http://www.fifa.com/womensworldcup/matches/round=268032/match=300269501/match-report.html, (25.6.15).

Football Federation Australia, Sydney, (Home), Matildas riding wave of Aussie support, (Video). http://matildas.footballaustralia.com.au/ (25.6.15)

The Guardian, Manchester, Sepp Blatter to resign as FIFA president after 17 years in role, 2.6.15. http://www.theguardian.com/football/2015/jun/02/sepp-blatter-fifa-president-resigns, (25.6.15).

ICC, London, CWC 15 in Review, (Video), http://www.icc-cricket.com/cricket-world-cup/news/2015/features-and-specials/87701/cwc-15-in-review-14-magic-moments, (25.6.15).

James Maasdorp, Asian Cup: Australia wins first title …, ABC Australia, Sydney31.1.15. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-01-31/australia-socceroos-win-asian-cup/6060038, (25.6.15).

Toronto Star, Toronto, FIFA mum on whether Sepp Blatter, secretary-general are coming to World Cup final, 24.6.15. http://www.torontosun.com/2015/06/24/fifa-mum-on-whether-sepp-blatter-secretary-general-are-coming-to-world-cup-final, (25.6.15).

Pictures  Wikipedia, FIFA, Matildas, ICC

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