Its a very low key FIFA tournament...that costs loads of money and has handsomely paid 20 somethings out of colleges in the Zurich area earning $150,00 a year plus lavish expenses on the road at such events. We even have the dreaded TECHNICAL TASK FORCE, aged ex players hanging around for weeks on end with Brittany cider to produce reports that nobody reads.
The FIFA 2018 u20 Womens World Cup is half way through in four small towns in Brittany in the extreme north-west than many might be forgiven for neve rhaving heard about. VANNES, CONCARNEAU, ST MALO and DINAN, where I watched a double header in extreme heat between Brazil and Mexico followed by holders North Korea v England.. Very entertaining. Mexico's gk saved a last minute pk to hold off Brazil 3-2 while England beat the North Koreans with skill and without nuclear weapons.
Unfortunately I had to get a taxi at half time of the latter match to retun to my hotel, pick up my suitcase, go to Dinan Station and still take 5 hours with 2 changes and a 2 hour and 1 hour wait to arrive in Quimper just after midnight. There is no train to charming Concarneau 40 minutes away by a bus that seems to run only on bankers hours. The FIFA lass in charge at the hotel in Dinan told me that there was nowhere to leave a bag at the stadium. NO WAY indeed Miss FIFA. The first thing I saw at the stadium was a koisk for left luggage. Where does Gianni Infantino get these gals?
Only 16 teams from around the world with some very weak ones such as Paraguay, New Zealand and Haiti, but great experience for them. France easily won Group 1 with 7 points over Netherlands, 6, Ghana 3 and NZ 1. England topped Group 2 with 7 over N Korea 6, Mexico 3 and Brazil 1. Group 3 Spain 7, Japan 6, USA 4 and Paraguay 0. Group 4 Germany 9, Nigeria 4, China 4 and Haiti 0.
The quarter finals are on Thursday, Spain v Nigeria and France v North Korea and on Friday Germany v Japan and England v Netherlands. Both semis and the final will be in Vannes.
There was a lot of dsquiet over the pond from USA soccer fans about the failure of their team to get out of their group.
I was also in Normandy, then Brittany and finally Paris to look at hotels etc for American teams and fan groups interested in FIFA WOMENS WORLD CUP FRANCE 2019: June 07-July 07 in 9 much bigger stadiums all over France. Opener in Paris and both semi-finals and finals in Lyon. Other cities include Valencienne, Rennes, Le Havre, Reims up North, plus Grenoble, Nice and Montpellier further South, and a chance ot get to see this great country by TGV trains (very fast)..
There will be 24 teams and no double headers and the draw will take place on December 8th outside Paris at La Seine Musicale Billancourt. when we will finally know who plays who and where. I intend to be there.
How about FIFA bringing in new legislation to ban critics and anybody defaming FIFA.? A 2 year ban for a first offence from ALL football activities and 5 yer ban for furthr such action. Gianni Infantino is determined to stifle any threat to his position. Corruption has been dropped from the statutes and although bribery, misappropriation of funds and manipulation of matches and competitions remains, after 10 years no charges can be brought.