The 2012 European Championship draw, possibility of a Premier League going bankrupt. There’s a silver lining to bad news in China, but violent deaths in Argentina and the UK also make the news. These stories and more feature in this week’s good, the bad and the ugly section of the podcast. Vocabulary support can be found for the words in bold at the foot of the post.
With 4 months to go before the World Cup in South Africa, the draw for the next European Championship took place in Warsaw last weekend to decide the 14 teams that will join co-hosts Poland and Ukraine in the summer of 2012. Yes, it is a long way off and anything can happen between now and then but there are some intriguing ties to be played. Defending champions Spain should comfortably overcome Scotland and the Czech Republic to qualify, while it should also be straightforward for England who need to get past Bulgaria and Switzerland. However, it does not look so easy for Germany who will have to beat Austria, Belgium and Turkey to make the finals. Perhaps the toughest group, though, involves Italy, Serbia and Slovenia – 3 teams taking part in this summer’s World Cup in Group C. Portugal and Denmark will battle it out in Group H, Croatia and Greece will do the same in Group F while it should be between France and Romania in Group D. Group B sees Ireland drawn against Slovakia and Russia – certainly not the easiest but there is a sense that it is definitely doable. Here we go again!
Good for China as they sweep past defending champions South Korea 3-0 in the East Asian Football Championship held this year in Tokyo (see the goals here). Their opening match was a draw against hosts Japan, and with one game to play against Hong Kong, the Chinese will be confident they can lift the trophy this weekend. The win was also their first over their neighbours. They will have to hold their breath and hope Japan don’t also beat the South Korean side by a large margin in the last game of the tournament on Sunday, but as Japan and Korea are the fiercest of rivals it’s hard to see that happening. Good news for Chinese football that has had some rocky times this year with scandals in the domestic game.
And those scandals in China are still having repercussions which meant it was bad for the fans of China as the state TV channel CCTV cancelled showing the match with Japan and also hadn’t scheduled to show the games against South Korea and Hong Kong either. No explanation was given for the decision but match-fixing scandals, fighting on the pitch in the domestic game and other problems are thought to have persuaded the broadcaster to pull the programme – something that they have done before.
Unfortunately there were two football-related deaths over the weekend. First up, the Reuters news agency reported that a young Argentinian fan was shot and subsequently died as he returned home to Rosario after watching his side play against Huracan in the clausura championship. It has been suggested that the shooting may have been carried out by members of a local football gang in Buenos Aires. The other death occurred at the Britannia Stadium in Stoke when a Blackburn fan died after being hit with a bin.
sweep past: easily beat, win comfortably
hold (your) breath: wait nervously for something, have your fingers crossed
a large margin: a big score, by several goals
hard to see (something) happening: unlikely, difficult to believe
repercussions: fallout, results, affects
to pull a programme: to cancel, to not show, to not air
languish at the foot of the table: be at the bottom of the league with very little hope of improvement, seem destined to stay at the bottom
to spiral out of control: to become more and more chaotic, to have more and more problems
winding up order: a legal requirement to stop doing business, to be forced to sell the club
The Inland Revenue: the tax department of the UK government
clausura: The second of two championships played in Argentina