Argentina’s such a diva

In what I feel is one of the funniest stories to come out of the World Cup so far, the list of demands made by Argentina to the University of Pretoria’s High Performance Center, where they will be staying for the duration of the cup, has been made public. And wow, what a list!!

Included in these demands were:

  • ten hot dishes a day, as well as 14 different salads for every meal
  • three different pasta sauces for every meal and at least three desserts
  • braai once every three days
  • ice cream available all day
  • six playstations for the players to use
  • all the rooms to be painted white

On top of those crazy demands (14 salads, really??), the sinks and toilets in the two washrooms reserved for Maradona had to be replaced. The bidet that has been installed includes a heated seat.  Yes, you read right: a heated seat. Diva much, Maradona??

Other teams had much simpler, less crazy demands.

  • Brazil requested lots of coffee and cookies, and no chocolate, as well that the pool be heated to 32°C
  • Slovakians have asked for two table tennis tables and an electronic dartboard
  • North Koreans have asked for Korean rice with all meals and the exclusive use of an entire floor of the hotel
  • The Italians are bringing their own gym equipment, as well as their own pasta
  • The Mexicans are bringing their own priest

It’s almost like J.Lo and Brangelina are staying there, not athletes!! Oh, well, I guess everyone needs somewhere to unwind and relax during the crazy, stressful month that is the World Cup. Still, 14 salads??

~Suz

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Copa América

So I thought I’d mention a few more of the insanely crazy big soccer tournaments that are held throughout the world.  The World Cup, although the biggest and only one to encompass all regions, is not the only international competition.

Copa América is South America’s top soccer tournament.  It’s run by CONMEBOL, South America’s soccer league.

Twelve countries participate: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela.  There are two spots for two invited countries.  Mexico has been one of those invited since 1993.

This year’s invited countries are Mexico and Japan. Unfortunately, due to a proposal by UEFA (Europe’s soccer union), there is a chance that both of these two countries will not compete in Copa América.  I’ll update this once I know more and FIFA makes a decision.

The 2011 Copa América is being held this year in Argentina from June 15th to July 15th.

In South America, this tournament is huge.  However, in North America, I’m not even sure it’s broadcast if you don’t have a Spanish station or GoalTV.  So If you are interested, I sugest you look into one of those channels or find it online.  I’ll do what I can to link it here once it starts.

-Suz

Groups and match schedules

So as I’ve mentioned before, the groups stage is the first part of the World Cup competition. Teams are divided into eight groups of four teams each, and two teams from each group go on to the knockout stage.

Now, there is a method to how they pick the teams for each group, but I’m seriously lost on it. No matter where I read it, it just seems to not make sense.

Here’s what Wikipedia says about it: “Eight teams are seeded, including the hosts, with the other seeded teams selected using a formula based on the FIFA World Rankings and/or performances in recent World Cups, and drawn to separate groups. The other teams are assigned to different “pots”, usually based on geographical criteria, and teams in each pot are drawn at random to the eight groups. Since 1998, constraints have been applied to the draw to ensure that no group contains more than two European teams or more than one team from any other confederation.”

If that helps you, congratulations. You are officially smarter than me.

Anyways, I’m just gonna give you the list of groups. Each one links back the the FIFA profile on that country. Feel free to check them out.

Group A:  South Africa, Mexico, Uruguay, France

Group B: Argentina, Nigeria, Korea Republic (South Korea), Greece

Group C: England, USA, Algeria, Slovenia

Group D: Germany, Australia, Serbia, Ghana

Group E: Netherlands, Denmark, Japan, Cameroon

Group F: Italy, Paraguay, New Zealand, Slovakia

Group G: Brazil, Korea DPR (North Korea), Côte d’Ivoire, Portugal

Group H: Spain, Switzerland, Honduras, Chile

Th matches start June 11, and will run for a month.  A list of matches can be found here on the FIFA website.

-Suz