This week’s football review – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Albania, Argentina and FIFA Scandal
Congratulations to Albania who qualified for their first ever major tournament after defeating Armenia to finish above Denmark in Group I. They will be joined by Northern Ireland who finished top of Group F and Wales who, along with Belgium, qualified from Group B. The Welsh have not played in a major tournament for over 50 years while Northern Ireland have not played in a major competition since 1986. Well done to the so-called ‘weaker’ sides.
Not such a good weekend for Argentina or Brazil – the two powerhouses of South American football – as they were beaten in their opening World Cup qualifying matches. Brazil lost to Chile in Santiago, while Argentina fell to Ecuador at home and lost star striker Aguero with an injury that means he will miss their next game against Paraguay. There is a long way to go but already both Brazil and Argentina are ‘playing catch up’.
More bad news for the football world as both FIFA president Sepp Blatter and UEFA boss Michel Platini are provisionally suspended from their posts over allegations about payments made. The FIFA story seems to be getting uglier each week.
major tournament: The European Championship or World Cup finals
so-called: People had thought they were weaker but in reality this was not so; a well-believed opinion that was challenged.
powerhouses: The traditionally strong teams in a region
fell to: Lost to
‘playing catch up’: Already are behind the leaders
provisionally suspended from their posts: They are not allowed to work while the investgations take place
allegations: These are accusations – they have not been proven.