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World Cup diary: Iran vs Nigeria. Who to support?

16 June 2014

16 June 2014

So – Nigeria versus Iran, then. I wonder who Boko Haram were cheering for, surrounded by their infidel abductees in some sand-blown, bilharzia riven hellhole. I was cheering for our new allies, Iran. We are told every year – since about 1986 – that African teams will take world football by storm. And they never do. They’re as useless as were Zaire in 1974. But that won’t stop the BBC spending our licence fee money on the African Cup of Nations, for political reasons.

And then earlier, an enormous pleasure to watch Portugal’s pouting moppets, each of them seemingly named after a seaside donkey, thoroughly thrashed by good ol’ dependable Germany. The Portuguese suffered a red card – one of the donkeys, “Pepe”, having a little hissy fit right in front of the ref. For those of us who want some team from the Hanseatic League to win the cup, Germany are emerging as a good bet. The flamboyant Dutch, wonderful in their destruction of Spain, always flatter to deceive.


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  • kevinlynch1005

    The answer as to who to support in this case is determined by (a) looking at the betting odds and (b) taking a view on comparative value and (c) staking accordingly.

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      A couple of aspirins may help, Alyssa.

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        ………..and one of them interweb grammar check gizmos.

  • The Masked Marvel

    Rod, the BBC will spend licence fee money to cover the African Cup and similar jollies simply because they can. Being the world’s largest broadcaster, spreading the tentacles, sticking the hand in pockets everywhere, is far more important than any politics. That end justifies any means. You know what they’re like.

  • Gwangi

    The referee, of course!

  • Marquess of Salisbury

    It must be said that the African countries by-and-large have been somewhat disappointing in this World Cup perhaps we’ll see an improvement from now on.

  • dado_trunking

    Zinedine Zidane made headbutting socially acceptable.
    It was wrong what happened yesterday – we must accept progressive change, when will FIFA finally catch up?

  • John Lea

    No luck, Rod, it’ll be another great ‘Fenian’ nation which once again holds the cup aloft. Brazil or Argentina I should imagine. But don’t be too downhearted, the Hanseatic nations will still have a better GDP, long after this wee footie festival is over.

    • Kitty MLB

      Italiano?

      • John Lea

        Doubtful, Kitty, quarter-finalists at best.

        • Dat Pham

          The biggest contenders so far have Been Holland and Germany. I would love to see the two in final, if that does happen.

      • Hexhamgeezer

        I got 11-1 on them reaching the Final……….worth me £5 punt IMHO

        • Kitty MLB

          I agree as well.

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    • Lagos1

      But he couldn’t get Nigeria a goal.

    • Hexhamgeezer

      Can he fix sani-flow blowback?

  • Jez

    I have Iran & Russia in the office sweepstake.

    Iran did well! :)

  • DougS

    That No 23 in the pic’ looks like Amadinnerjacket.

    I had wondered what had happened to him since standing down prior to the 2013 (clearly) democratic Iranian elections.

  • Mr Grumpy

    Sorry if this makes me come across as a humourless obsessive, but I’m a little surprised that a knowledgeable chap like you needs to ask that question about Boko Haram. The answer is of course that playing or watching football are capital offfences.

  • Hexhamgeezer

    Gawd awful game not improved by our ex ‘exciting young prospect’ S Ameobi trundling on to show the world what he’s been doing in the Prem since time began. Crane hanging Shia mentalists versus the vibrant diversity of the 419ers.

    Shame they both couldn’t lose.

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  • Flintshire Ian

    Was I mistaken in seeing attractive young women in the crowd wearing Iran’s colours without the benefit of a head scarf never mind the hotel room’s curtains? I hope that they manage to avoid the morality police when they get back.

    • global city

      Yes, I noticed them too, as no doubt did the Revolutionary Guard. Their death warrants are no doubt already written.

      • Jez

        Shut up mate.

        • global city

          It is funny how critique of an evil regime so often is taken as some wider slander of the country/society.

          I’m with all those who wish to be free of the mad Mullahs….. aren’t you?

          • Dat Pham

            If your original comment was meant to be a “critique” of the regime, and not a lazy jab at another country, or “They are backwards and we are not”. Then I missed it, mate.

            • Wessex Man

              Then you missed it mate.

              • global city

                He did!

            • global city

              I am a bit of a student of the history of that part of the world and the fact that a truly sophisticated society is in the grip of a bunch of religious lunatics just makes it even more depressing than usual.

              I certainly do not think that Persians and their civilisation are ‘backward’ at all, but I despise the current political regime.

  • john king

    Personalty I couldn’t give a tinkers, football only exists to divert the masses and cover the scandalous abuses of freedom by our betters.

    • John Lea

      would love to hear Robbie Savage make this point prior to Uruguay game.

  • NicolaiFriedrichdelaMotte

    “We are told every year – since about 1986 – that African teams will take world football by storm. And they never do.” Just like Brazil. Brazil is the country of the future forever. Or the BRICS. Why in God´s name is South Africa included in this list?

    • mattghg

      Brazil has won the World Cup 5 times, and twice since 1986. What on earth are you blathering on about?

      • stearl33

        I don’t think he’s talking about football.

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