Two of the strangest names in world football, but newsworthy all the same.
USVI, United States Virgin Islands started their 2014 World Cup campaign with their first ever win, 2-0 at home in the capital, Charlotte Amelie on the island of St. Thomas v British Virgin Islands last Sunday. Alderman Desmond and Reid Klopp scored a goal in each half. Nicknamed 'The Dashing Eagles', the match was played at Lionel Roberts Park. The return leg will be played on Tortola, at Shirley Roberts Recreation Ground in Road Town, the capital on 10th July.
USVI are 200th and BVI are 193rd in the FIFA rank of 2008 listed countries. Don't expect to see either team at the Maracana Stadium in 2014, but its great to see these small island nations enjoying 'the beautiful game.'
Borussia Moenchengladbach, 'the Foals', play at Gladback Park, but this month it is one of the venues for the higly successful, well attended and exciting FIFA Women's World Cup 2011.A couple of years ago I went there to watch Germany v Wales. Last night it was full for Germany 4 v France 2 and will host one of the semi-finals next week.
We now have some mouth watering quarter-finals this weekend: USA v Brazil; England v France; Germany v Japan; Australia v Sweden.
You have to applaud the Germans. Those of us you enjoyed FIFA World Cup 2006 and 1974 as I did, would expect a first class tournament. 83.000 at the match at Olympiastadion, Berlin between Germany and Canada, and other full and near full stadiums and the tickets are not cheap either.
Contrast this with empty stadiums in various Mexican cities for the FIFA U 17 World Cup. Mexico has had lots of FIFA tournaments in the past, including two World Cups in 1970 and 1986 and surely we should be having these age groups tournaments in developing countries and smaller ones not big enough to host the World Cup itself.such as Malaysia, New Zealand, Finland, Belgium, Uruguay, Georgia, Ireland..
In my opinion we should award the FIFA Futsal World Cup to Qatar, played indoors, in the Emir's Palace,with gold plated shower heads, and give the 2022 World Cup to a real country, not a tiny one that BOUGHT IT!!!