FIFA WORLD CUP 2014: RIOTS, DENGUE & INJURIES
This blog is starting to look like a pure country football blog, which activates only during big tournaments of the sport. The last post was from the EURO2012 tournament!
The World Cup will start on 13th June 2014, which is this weekend and a Friday! Friday the 13th! I have zero knowledge on Brazilian politics but The Simpson's episode demonstrated how bad corruption is in that country when they tried so hard to bribe Homer. Speaking of corruption, there has been a lot of noise recently on the alleged corruption that is involved in the voting of the hosts for the 2018 Russia and 2022 Qatar World Cup. Sponsors including Adidas, Coca-Cola and Sony have raised the matter to FIFA to investigate the issue thoroughly, giving Blatter intense pressure to be responsible. Anyway, all wrong things that will go wrong had gone wrong for this World Cup and FIFA even before a ball is kicked. Reports of rushed work on the unfinished facilities like the stadiums to stadiums like Sao Paulo & Natal which have not passed the safety inspection fully by the fire department.
First, there were riots protesting about the public transport fee hike, poor public services, corruption and the high cost of hosting the World Cup as well as neglecting the social projects and housing. I am unsure how much this will impact or disrupt the programs for the one month tournament period. FIFA is under so much pressure that they are forced to issue a nine-point, three-page document addressing issues such as tournament funding, tax exemptions and ticket pricing.
Next, we have fears of dengue fever outbreak in a big scale (epidemic) with high number of cases reported in one the host cities, Campinas.
Finally, we have injuries. An issue that will directly impact the Beautiful Game to reach its climax. Some notable absentees are Falcao, Gundogan, Montolivo, Reus, Ribery, van der Vaart & Walcott. There is a longer list with some big names not called by their respective teams at all. Others are not fully fit yet like C.Ronaldo and D.Costa. I just hope the injury list will not continue to increase before and during the World Cup. It is as bad as it can get by now!
Apart from that, there was news about the Cameroon’s World Cup squad refusing to board a plane due to take them to Brazil for the World Cup because of disputes over bonuses, which I think was just resolved.
Anyway, all problems aside, I still am going to support Spain to go all the way. The Simpsons said Germany will win it. From the history of the tournament, no European team has won it on the South American soil. The other big guns will be Germany, Argentina and Brazil. The dark horses will be Italy, Portugal, Uruguay and Belgium. The only disruption that may affect Brazil for their opening match is the potential absence of their coach, Scolari to attend to the funeral of his nephew, who died in a car accident yesterday.
Some matches during the group stage that are worth watching (GMT+8):
Brazil VS. Croatia, 13 June, 4am
Spain VS. Netherlands, 14 June, 3am
England VS. Italy, 15 June, 6am
Argentina VS. Bosnia, 16 June, 6am
Germany VS. Portugal 17 June, 12am
Brazil VS. Mexico, 18 June, 3am
Spain VS. Chile, 19 June, 3am
Uruguay VS. England, 20 June, 3am
Belgium VS. Russia, 23 June, 12am
Netherlands VS. Chile, 24 June, 12am
Cameroon VS. Brazil, 24 June, 4am
Italy VS. Uruguay, 25 June, 12am
It is definitely difficult to predict the results of the competition as upsets do happen during the tournament from the past. For me, 3 major things affect the results. Luck, form and health of each teams throughout the tournament determine how far each team can go in the competition. Nevertheless, it is still fun to come out with the likely outcomes before a ball is kicked.
Here are my thoughts for the outcomes of the competition.
Group A: Brazil, Croatia
Group B: Spain, Netherlands
Group C: Colombia, Ivory Coast
Group D: Uruguay, Italy
Group E: France, Switzerland
Group F: Argentina, Bosnia
Group G: Germany, Portugal
Group H: Belgium, South Korea
*DISCLAIMER: The outcomes are just predictions by the author. The author is not responsible if you lose your bets solely by following his predictions. If he can predict everything to be 100% accurate, he might as well quit everything he does now & become a full time fortune teller.