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Saturday, June 24, 2006

The World Cup Effect

After more than a month, the blog continues with another post on the World Cup. If you're in Argentina right now, you already know about this, but if not, you may be a little surprised about just how intense the effect of the World Cup is on this country.

If you wanted to plan a bank robbery here in Buenos Aires, the best time to do it would certainly be during a World Cup match. When you left the bank, your getaway car would be easily able to speed away because the streets are totally empty. During a World Cup match, the entire country is indoors next to whatever television they can find. You could literally run naked down the streets during the World Cup and nobody would notice or care.

Work comes to a halt as well. This goes for people in my office as well. Everyone made it clear to me that they would be watching the World Cup rather than working. During the latest match between Argentina and Holland, everyone gathered around our office TV and work stopped for 90 minutes while we all watched the game.

I was even told by a friend yesterday that women's clothing stores are offering a 20-30% discount on clothes purchased during Argentina's World Cup matches. She explained to me that if the stores didn't offer those discounts, their sales would be dead during that period.

Today, Argentina goes up against Mexico. It isn't a work day, but the city will stop nevertheless. ¡Buena suerte Argentina!

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15 Comments:

Blogger johnny said...

Well, we made it past Mexico in a cliffhanger, and on to play Germany Friday. Needless to say, BA streets will be deserted once again for that match, to be followed by a joyous eruption, or long sad faces and shuffling strides. I watched on as the locals celebrated like crazy at the intersection of Rodriguez Pena and Santa Fe yesterday after the victory. Of course, many young faces, and it dawns on me that these younguns have not had much to celebrate for awhile. Knocked out in group play four years ago, and not long after that eight years ago. So for many, this is their first opportunity to meld as a futbol crazed, and Argentina loving, mob.
As an aside, it dawned on me why futbol is so nerve wracking. No timeouts, and essentially no stoppage of play. There is no respite from the ongoing struggle. Not such a big deal in a match that's not close, but in the Mexico match for instance, you are glued, with no time to decompress via the kitchen, bathroom, or whatever. Even halftime is not long enough for decent sex to take the edge off.:)

6/25/2006 06:23:00 PM  
Anonymous chematuco said...

Great game, shame the ref was argentine. possibly the most biased reffing performance i've seen in a long, long time (not the worst, that came from england's very own graham '3 yellows' poll and that ruskie ivanov in holland v portugal). heinze should have been sent off for a blatant professional foul, crespo's goal was based on him shoving the defender in the back and then kicking him in the head, scaloni should have been booked at least 4 times (particularly for the cynical rugby tackle to stop mexico on the break) and Ayala physically assaulted Borgetti and then Fonseca in the box in full view of the ref from 2 corners (he almost pulled fonseca's head off).

As a die-hard english footyball fan, it really pains me to say this but: COME ON GERMANY...

England playing like a bunch of planks but winning all the same...can't complain about that...England v Portugal will be 3-1 to england, despite portugal's filthy cheating tactics (as tried and tested v Holland). It's a shame such talented players (and i'm talking about Italy, Argentina and Portugal here, Spain aren't so bad) have to resort to cheating. If they just got on with the game and played, like northern european teams, it'd make for a much better tournament. FIFA should be cracking down on diving, time-wasting, professional fouls and niggly little fouls designed to break up play and slow the game down, but i doubt they have to the balls to do so. Let's hope football and not a bunch of cheats wins through...

6/26/2006 04:19:00 PM  
Blogger Ted said...

chematuco,

As usual, you couldn't be more wrong.

6/27/2006 12:06:00 AM  
Anonymous chematuco said...

Wrong about what? Perhaps if you explained in what way i was wrong you might be better able to disprove what i'm wrote.

The ref in the Argentina game got the big decisions wrong (the 'offside' goal that wasn't given was the linesman, not the ref). he very, very obviously favoured Argentina. Anyone with a vague knowledge of football could see that. Unless you've spent your life going to matches and watching pretty much every possible live game on telly then i'd suggest you're underqualified to comment.

Argentina referee: from www.guardian.co.uk minute by minute report:

"46 mins Heinze's also bloody good at messing things up, it turns out! He lets a ball out from the keeper roll over his foot and Fonseca is onto it. Until Heinze absolutely hacks him down, that is. The ref has only shown a yellow, but Ayala was never going to get there and Fonseca would have been one on one with the keeper."

"83 minutes Scaloni's just clattered into Zinha in a tackle a rugby player would be ashamed of - and not been booked!

Mexican player Jared Borgetti who "stopped just short of saying the game had been rigged in Argentina's favour but he questioned two decisions by the Swiss referee Massimo Busacca that had a direct impact, he felt, on the outcome."

"He [the referee] said he sees it but it was not intentional," Borgetti said, his tone incredulous. "Why not? Is it normal? Pah! Always it goes for Argentina. For Fifa and the World [Cup] the Argentina jersey is more important in comparison to Mexico. They are good players. But for me, in this match Mexico plays better."

And Hernan Crespo all but agreeing:

Argentina's first goalscorer, Hernán Crespo, recognised Mexico's valiant performance but disagreed with Borgetti's overall assessment. "Mexico played very well," he said. "They took a lot of risks and made us play a very open game. I don't really want to talk about the refs. You think they are the right person to do the job, but you know maybe the refs will make a mistake."

portugal cheating? Quote edwin va der sar and marco van basten:

"The thing that upsets me is the Portuguese players look up, work out whether their opponent has already got a yellow card or not, then act in a certain way. I know this is the World Cup, but that is not very nice."

and:

Marco van Basten agreed that Portugal's mastery of deception was the reason behind Holland's World Cup exit. "The difference between our team and Portugal was that they were just a little bit more experienced," said the former Milan and Ajax striker. "We saw all of the tricks and time wasting."


Headline from Chilean newspaper about Italy match:

"Mama Mia! Que robo! Italia avanza con un penal inventado."

So, you see Edward, i'm not just inventing things. But perhaps if you knew more about the beautiful game you wouldn't have suggested i was completely wrong.

6/27/2006 09:46:00 AM  
Blogger Wyatt said...

I noticed in reading La Nación that the overnight ratings for the Argentina-México game was 76% or something. I couldn´t help but think that, while high, that the number was UNDERSTATED. (Everyone else was surely visiting friends or family...watching...or else crammed into a bar in front of one of the pantallas grandes that have sprouted like weeds. The explosion of alegría when Maxi Rodriguez scored...horns blowing, lights flashing on-and-off, people screaming from every balcony...was...ahem...like one gigantic collective orgasm.

I wonder if the World Cup Effect might go so far as to be a good predictor of stock prices on the MERVAL...or a change in street crime statistics or babies born...Who knows? BUT...I don´t have time to think about it now...The Brasil-Ghana game is coming on in a few minutes and I need to find a spot at the bar to watch!

WYATT

6/27/2006 11:28:00 AM  
Blogger johnny said...

Chematuco has a point about the calls and non calls in The Argentine vs Mexico match. If his logic holds up watch for Germany to get the calls Friday. Argentina will have to play much better to win. Heinze had a horrible performance and better be up to snuff. It's the Italians who have had the lion's share of the luck to this point. Benefitting from poor calls against the USA and Australia, and now getting the weakest link (Ukraine) in their next match. They could make it damn near to the finals and so far have looked like mierde.

6/27/2006 02:10:00 PM  
Blogger Ted said...

It's no surprise to me that players and coaches from the losing teams complain about the refs. It's also no surprise to me that an England fan complains about calls going in Argentina's favor. Neither is any real evidence of anything.

6/27/2006 02:28:00 PM  
Blogger Ted said...

I suppose I'd be upset too, though, if I were an England fan and even the "pitch" was against my team.

http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=372669&cc=5901

6/27/2006 02:41:00 PM  
Anonymous chematuco said...

the fact is, the ref in argentina v mexico made a series of awful and very pro-argentina decisions that were obvious enough for even my argentine mates to adimt to seeing. i can understand a ref blowing up for a dive (that's a mistake based on being conned and anyone can get conned) but the bad decisions he made weren't based on argentina's play-acting, they were based on him seeing blatant fouls, blowing up for them but not taking the necessary actions according to the laws of the games and FIFA's pre-tournament directives. I'd be surprised to see him again in this world cup. nothing to do with me being english, edward, just the plain facts of the matter obvious to anyone with even a passing knowledge of football.

I'd expect the germany v argentina match to be pretty evenly reffed. it's the big teams against the smaller teams that get the big calls, rather like the non-existent penalty given v australia yesterday and i'd have expected the big 50-50 calls to go england's way v ecuador as well had anything major occurred. there's, unfortunately, an unconscious pressure from on high that makes referees nervous and makes them favour big teams (in argentina v mexico, the decisions were NOT 50-50). Or, in the case of italy, the pressure isn't so unconscious. It comes in the form of loadsamoney or being locked in the changing room by the owner of juventus. match-fixing cheats.

if anything, in the germany v argentina game i'd expect the ref to be a little more pro-argentina so as not to come under suspicion of being a 'homer'. It often happens in the big matches (think Man U v Arsenal, Liverpool v Everton or Yeovil Town FC v Bristol City) that the ref desperately tries to prove he's not a homer and tips too far the other way.

6/27/2006 03:00:00 PM  
Anonymous pablomai said...

minute 89 Messi scores,the linesman says off- side and the tv replay says goal,if the refferee would had been for Argentina that was his best chance to show it, but he said off-side, then Argentina scores again, that would be 3 to 1.

6/27/2006 09:29:00 PM  
Anonymous chematuco said...

As mentioned before, it was the linesman and not the referee who overruled the goal. The referee was nowhere near enough to make a judgement call on an offside and anyway, refs always follow their linesmens' flags. so, basically, the referee had nothing to do with argentina's legitimate goal being ruled out. but he did have to do with everything mentioned above.

6/27/2006 10:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

get lives now...

6/29/2006 08:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ref's don't always follow the line's mans calls.
Look at Elizondo (Argentine ref) who went against the lines man correctly in the south Korea game - perfect refereeing.

It was the ref's decision in Messi's goal, it was the ref's mistake.

Simple as that.

England have shown sweet FA yet stumbled through, you have your luck we have ours.

6/30/2006 06:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

THEY LOST!!!! YEAH!!!!!! Now maybe these ULTRA ARROGANT JERKS will learn some humility!! Aufwiedersehn!!! LOL!!!

6/30/2006 03:14:00 PM  
Anonymous pablomai said...

lets remember that argentina is the Olimpic Champion , Gold medal, in Futbol , and also in basketball.

7/02/2006 03:41:00 AM  

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