Qatar could hold the 2022 World Cup in winter

You can watch the video for this story, on the euronews website, here

FIFA’s decision to hold the 2022 World Cup in Qatar has come under criticism on a number of grounds.

One of the more practical concerns is the searing summer heat, where temperatures can reach around 45 degrees. A number of solutions were thought of to talked about to cope with this problem, such as building specially air conditioned venues, or playing the games at night.

Now FIFA Vice-President, Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein has given the strongest indication yet that the tournament could be moved to later in the year. Speaking to German newspaper, Der Tagesspiegel, he said: “I think it’s better to play in winter. This way the weather would be better for the players and the fans. I don’t see why a World Cup in Winter in Qatar should be a big problem.”

Moving the tournament to the northern hemisphere’s winter will prove disruptive for the Premier League for example, which normally plays during this period.

Angleterre victoire / France défaite

C’était – comme je le prévoyais – un match difficile, et c’est Wayne Rooney qui a marqué le but gagnant après sa suspension lors des deux derniers matchs.Cependant ce n’était pas joli à regarder et le jeu aurait pu finir autrement. En effet,Joe Hart a arrêté beaucoup de balls ce soir et cela pendant toute la compétition.Son équipe lui doit une fière chandelle.

J’ai regardé le jeu à Lyon dans un pub anglais qui diffusait simultanément les deux matchs ce soir.Je ne sais pas si vous pouvez le voir sur la photo mais on peut apercevoir à travers la porte quelques supporteurs Français qui eux regardaient le match France-Suède. Perdre 2-0 contre la Suède n’est pas un très bon résultat avant de jouer contre les favoris – l’ Espagne.Je suis sûr que la France aura besoin d’un miracle pour gagner le prochain match sans cela c’est perdu d’avance…

Mais pour nous,l’Angleterre,qui allons jouer contre l’Italie au prochain tour cela va être tout aussi difficile.Je sais qu’il faudra jouer beaucoup mieux que nous l’avons fait ce soir, mais j’ai la foi. Bonne nuit à tous.

England go through on top

It was – as I predicted – a tough game, and it was Wayne Rooney who scored the scrappy winning goal following his two match suspension. It wasn’t pretty to watch however and the game could have gone either way. Joe Hart has made some cracking saves tonight as he has throughout the competition, and the team have a lot to thank him for.

As you can maybe see from the photo, I caught the game at one of Lyon’s ex-pat pubs, and just through the doorway you can barely make out, was the French game. Losing 2 – 0 to Sweden is not a great result ahead of taking on the favourites – Spain. So I’m sure for France barring a miracle they know it’s already the end.

As for us, we take on Italy in the next round. It’ll be hard and I know we’ve got play a lot better than we did tonight, but I have faith. Good night all.

Euro 2012: Des fans de foot en folie VS une journaliste Ukrainienne

Dans quelques heures, l’Angleterre affrontera l’Ukraine pour valider son ticket pour les quarts de finale de l’Euro 2012. Au travail aujourd’hui, je pense que je peux déjà voir la défaite sur les visages de mes collègues ukrainiens. Ils semblent résignés sur le fait qu’ils perdront ce soir.

A vrai dire, je bluffe un peu. Les jeux ne sont pas encore faits. Surtout après les derniers matchs du groupe A, où la Grèce a envoyé les Russes à la maison… Après avoir vu cela, je me dis que tout est possible. Bien que nous ayons enfin Rooney dans notre equipe, je suis plutôt confiant.

Mais tout n’est pas si rose à l’Euro 2012, et je veux bien utiliser ce post pour mettre en évidence le sort des moins fortunés… les journalistes ukrainiennes. Tout ce que cette pauvre journaliste essaie de faire, c’est un simple stand-up pour la télévision locale… Mais entourée de fans néerlandais – (qui à l’époque, étaient encore en lice) – elle n’arrivera jamais à boucler son tournage. Pas de chance !


Reporter gets pwned by Dutch fans

Just a few hours away England will take on Ukraine to try for their place in the final eight in Euro 2012. At work today I think I can see defeat on the faces of my Ukrainian colleagues already, as they have resigned to the fact they’re going out.

Or actually despite my bluff it’s far from sure, especially following the last games from group A where Greece got through knocking out Russia, after seeing that anything is possible. Although as we finally have Rooney in our line up I’m quietly (or not so quietly) confident.

However it’s not all fun and games at Euro 2012, and I’d like to use this post to highlight the plight of less fortunate… Ukrainian reporters. All this poor girl is trying to do is make a piece to camera for the local news, but surrounded by Dutch fans – who at the time still think they’re in with a chance – it’s just not happening. Truly awful… Truly funny.

Denmark v Germany: How it happened

My Euro 2012 analysis of Germany’s 2 – 1 victory over Denmark. You can watch the video analysis on the euronews website here, or read below.

Germany secured their place in the final eight knocking out Denmark exactly 20 years after their surprise Euro 92 victory. Germany opened the scoring in the 19th minute, the move beginning with a throw-in which reached Müller in the box.

The midfielder then turned and cut the ball inside, where Gomez tried to shoot but missed the ball. However it was deflected and to the horror of the Danish landed straight at the feet of Lukas Podolski in front of goal. With a single strike Germany went up 1 – 0.

The Danes didn’t go down without a fight however, and just five minutes later from a corner, Michael Krohn-Dehli headed an equaliser.

The German’s waited until 10 minutes from full-time before answering this, Mesut Özil ran to the left of the Danish box and slid a cross but Klose who failed to get a foot to it. That didn’t matter however as Lars Bender was there to back him up and he smashed in his first international goal to see Germany safely through.

Portugal v The Netherlands: How it happened

My Euro 2012 Analysis of Portugal’s 2 – 1 victory over the Netherlands on June 17. You can watch the video analysis on the euronews website here, or read it below.

After Greece made it through to the quarter finals knocking out Russia a day earlier, it was looking as though there could be another upset as the Netherlands opened the scoring against Portugal.

In the 11th minute Arjen Robben dashed in from the right putting himself in position for an attempt on goal, but after drawing a defender he unselfishly fed the ball to Dutch Captain, Rafael van der Vaart on the edge of the box, who curled a spectacular ball into the left corner.

The Portuguese equaliser came in the 28th minute, starting with a poor clearance from Jetro Willems, João Pereira came in from the right hand side and fired the ball through to Cristiano Ronaldo. He took a single touch and then thumped it to the back of the net from close range.

Portugal scored again in the 74th minute once again thanks to Ronaldo. João Moutinho passed forward to Nani who was completely unmarked on the right flank. He sent a sublime cross to the Portuguese captain on the left, and where another player might have hit it straight away, Ronaldo took his time, wrong footing Dutch defender Van de Weil, before taking a composed shot to for a goal.

With this Netherlands leave the so called ‘group of death’ with no points, their worst ever performance at a major tournament.

Shock finale in Group A: How it happened

My analysis of the last two group A games of Euro 2012 on June 16. A truly amazing turn of events. You can watch the video analysis for these games on the euronews website here, or read below.

In the match between Poland and Czech Republic neither side seemed to dominate or be likely to score, the game remaining goalless until 20 minutes from full time. In the 72nd minute the Czech Republic caught Poland on the break and found them extremely exposed at the back. Milan Baros dribbled the ball forward before passing across to Petr Jiracek just outside the box. With a quick turn he hit it past Polish keeper Przemyslaw Tyton, shattering Polish dreams and securing his team’s place in the final eight.

But the huge shock of the competition so far came from the other Group A match. Despite dominating possession, passing more accurately and having the vast majority of attempts on goal Russia simply failed to score. Greece were happy to soak up the pressure and try to catch Russia on the counter attack.

In the end the goal came following a throw-in in first half injury time. Veteran Greek Captain Giorgos Karagounis exploited a hole in the Russian defence sending a thundering strike to the back of the net, knocking out one of the favourites for the competition and sending Greece through.



England v Sweden: How it happened

My analysis of the Euro 2012 match between England and Sweden on June 15. You can watch the video on the euronews website here, or read below.

England’s victory against Sweden keeps their hopes of going through to the next round very much alive, let’s see how it happened.

The first goal came straight from the text book, in the 23rd minute Steven Gerrard swung an inviting ball into the six yard area that his Liverpool team mate Andy Carroll rose and headed to the back of the net, putting England up 1-0

England continued to play well for the rest of the half but failed to capitalise on a couple of good chances so the score stayed at that.

In the second half the Swedes came out attacking straight away, and in the 48th minute goal-scorer Andy Carrol gave away a dangerous free kick.

Zlatan Ibrahimovich’s strike hit the wall but then England failed to get it clear. In the mayhem Oluf Mellberg took a powerful shot at goal, which was knocked in by Glen Johnson as he scrambled back to defend.

Just 10 minutes later the Swedes caught the English defence napping. Larsson sent an inviting cross into the box and it was once again Mellberg who was in the right place, hitting the back of the net with a simple header, 2-1 Sweden.

In response to this and Roy Hodgson immediately brought on Theo Walcott for James Milner and the substitution proved to be a master-stroke. In the 63rd minute following a corner – with almost his first touch of the ball – Walcott sent a thundering right foot to the back of the Swedish net taking the score to 2-2

Walcott continued to give the Swedish back four a hard time and in the 77th minute he drove between two defenders on the right before passing to Welbeck, who with an exquisite turn and flick of the heal got the winner.

With this result England now only need a win or a draw against Ukraine to go through to the next round.

Spain v Ireland: How it happened

My analysis of the Euro 2012 game between Spain and Ireland on June 14, which saw Ireland knocked out of the competition following a crushing 4 – 0 defeat. You can watch the analysis video here, or read below.

Spain’s 4-0 win ends Ireland’s chances of going through to the next round. The Irish side had gone into the tournament on a 14-match unbeaten run, but have gone on to concede a goal within four minutes of each half of their euro campaign.

The first in this match started with a long pass to David Silva just outside the box, a slide tackle by Richard Dunne saw the ball go loose, only to be picked up by Fernando Torres, who ran rings around the Irish defence and thumped it to the back of the net for one-nil.

The score stayed at that for the rest of the half. Then on the 49th minute came the second goal, The move began with a strike by Alonso, which was knocked to the right of the box, this was crossed to Iniesta who had been given acres of space to the left of the goal and took a shot.

Shane Given punched this ball away but it landed straight at the feet of David Silva. He still had to beat the Irish defence but the end result was inevitable, 2-0 Spain.

Spain’s third goal came in the 70th minute. Silva passed forward to Fernando Torres who outran the Irish defence and beat Shane Given to score his 30th international goal.

The fourth goal against the demoralised Irish side came thirteen minutes later beginning with a corner. The Spanish took it quickly, Silva making a short pass to Cesc Fabregas who had been given plenty of room to turn, and strike the ball at a tight angle for a brilliant finish.

Ireland v Croatia: How it happened

My analysis of the Euro 2012 game which saw Croatia beat the Republic of Ireland on June 10. Read the analysis below or you can watch the video on the euronews website here.

Slaven Bilic’s team played with an energy and directness which could cause problems for the other group C teams Italy and Spain.

Two of the Croatian goals came via the head of Mario Mandzukic, the first just three minutes in was a cross by Darijo Srna from just inside the box which was quickly headed to the right of goal out of reach of the Irish keeper..

Sean St. Ledger scored Ireland’s only goal of the game in the 19th minute, but before the half was out Croatia had scored again, a strike by Nikica Jelavić taking the game to 2-1. This goal caused some controversy as it appeared two of Croatia’s players may have been offside.

Three minutes into the second half Bilic’s side scored for a third time with a textbook manoeuvre. Ivan Perišić making a powerful strike into the box that Mandzukic was once again able to get his head to.

The header actually hit the post but was knocked in by unlucky Irish keeper, Shane Given. After the 1-1 draw between Italy and Spain Croatia sit comfortably at the top of their group.

Portugal v Germany: How it happened

My euro 2012 match analysis for the first group B game between Portugal and Germany on June 8. This tight game in the ‘group of death’ contained only a single goal seeing Germany win 1 – 0. You can watch the video of the analysis on the euronews website here, or read below.

Facing one of the favourites, Portugal relied on counter-attacks and set-pieces for their chances against Germany but played a mostly defensive game from the off.

Into the second half Portugal started to be more offensive, playing higher up the pitch, and Germany seized upon this. A German counter attack saw a deflected cross from Müller going straight to the head of Gomez who scored in the 72nd minute.

At 1-0 down Portugal went even more on the attack, changing to a loose 4-2-3-1 system, they played more urgent football with more combinations and an extra dribbler to run the German defence.

Germany defended well however and fighting off Portuguese assaults, they maintained the scoreline to clinch the win.

Russia v Czech Republic: How it happened

For the opening of euro 2012 I’ve turned football analyst. First up was Russia’s 4 – 1 victory over the Czech Republic on June 8. You can see my take on that match on the euronews webiste here. Or read below.

The opening goal after just 15 minutes was started and finished by Alan Dzagoev.

He began by passing to Konstantin Zyryanov, just inside the box, who then flicked it across goal for Alexandre Kerzhakov’s header which met the woodwork. That set the ball up nicely for Dzagoev who had moved into the box to take a shot on goal.

Just nine minutes later, the Russians extended their lead, showing the cracks in the Czech defence. Arshavin passed the ball forward to Roman Shirokov for a tidy shot on target that sailed past the Chelsea keeper for 2-0.

Václav Pilař‘s goal early in the second half gave the Czechs some hope, narrowing the score to 2-1. But as the match came to a close the Russians were relentless, Dzagoev scoring for the second time in the 79th minute, followed just three minutes later by Roman Pavlyuchenko.

The former Tottenham forward toyed with the Czech defence moving left and right until taking a shot on goal with surgical precision, and ending any hopes the Czech Republic might have had.