The British government is telling pubs not to expect the England team to succeed at the World Cup. Pubs are being allowed to stay open beyond their usual 11 pm closing time when England matches in Brazil kick off late. But a Home Office assessment of the relaxation of licensing laws says that “there is a high probability that (England) will not be playing in the later matches.” Citing betting information, the government says there is only a 54 percent probability that England will advance from its group, which includes Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica, and an 11 percent chance of progressing past the quarterfinals. England, which won the World Cup in 1966, went out in the round of 16 in 2010. The forecast was not based on the predictions of a soccer-loving civil servant but drawn from the odds offered by online betting exchange Betfair. Few fans believe that a youthful squad can replicate that triumph in Brazil.
German federation comes under fire
The German football federation has come under fire on social media for partly covering an anti-fascist sign at a stadium during the national team’s practice in Hamburg. Joachim Loew’s team practiced on Monday at the St. Pauli stadium, which for years has had a large sign across one of the stands reading “No Football for Fascists”. The second-division Hamburg club has a large leftist fan base.During the practice, the fascist part of the sign was covered with a green cover so that only the words “No football” were visible. National team spokesman Jens Grittner said the federation had understanding for the fans’ anger and said “these are values with which we identify”. He said the federation opposed “any form of discrimination, racism and fascism”. The St. Pauli club said Tuesday it didn’t understand the move and thought only advertising banners would be removed. Germany play Poland in a friendly later Tuesday.
CONCACAF going for 2026 World Cup bid
Aggrieved at missing out on the chance to host either the 2018 or 2022 World Cups, the governing body for soccer in North and Central America and the Caribbean is adamant it should be given the 2026 tournament. CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb said it was only fair that the region should be awarded the 2026 World Cup after losing its place in the queue when the world’s governing body FIFA scrapped its rotational policy after selecting Brazil as the 2014 host. The subsequent decision by FIFA to award the 2018 tournament to Russia then 2022 to Qatar meant that CONCACAF would have to wait at least 32 years between tournaments after the United States hosted the 1994 World Cup. “From a CONCACAF perspective, our focus for the World Cup is 2026,” Webb said. “That’s not about the USA hosting the World Cup, for us it’s about a confederation standpoint. CONCACAF was obviously hard done (by) when (the) rotation stopped.
Fifa official: racism fines disrespectful
FIFA’s anti-racism chief Jeffrey Webb has called on national soccer associations to start implementing tougher sanctions to rid the game of discrimination, describing the use of monetary fines as “disrespectful” and little more than a “slap on the wrist.” Jeffrey Webb, the chairman of FIFA’s Anti-Racism and Discrimination Task Force, said that while the world and regional bodies had introduced strict new laws to combat racism, some national leagues were ignoring the proposals and being too lenient. Webb singled out the Spanish football federation for criticism after it fined La Liga club Villarreal 12,000 euros ($16,500) after a fan threw a banana at Barcelona’s Dani Alves. “You saw the incident that happened in La Liga and of course you’ve seen the punishment, which is very, very unfortunate,” Webb told a select group of journalists at a meeting in midtown Manhattan on Tuesday. “I thought it was very disrespectful, to be honest with you.”