With incentives like this, Russia will surely shoot to Euro glory and the top of the FIFA World Rankings in no time. Also, promises from this oligarch are probably better than promises of death and/or extortion from other Russian oligarchs…
From The Telegraph:
wealthy Russian socialite Pyotr Listerman has upped the ante in the incentives stakes. Offering not one but two models as a gift for each player who scores for Russia tonight - and we aren’t talking about motors here.
Listerman, well known for setting up rich Russians with prospective wives, said: “For each goal I’ll present two beautiful chicks. Watch the guys react.”
The modern day cupid was caught on camera making the offer to Andrei Arshavin, who seemed to be pretty well disposed to the idea.
“There are a number of bachelors in our team,” said Arshavin. “This is a great incentive.”
This has been a brilliant tournament for football fans - from Turkey’s astonishing comebacks; Holland, Portugal and Spain’s first-round flair; the desperate decline of 2006’s World Cup finalists, France and Italy; the big-match brio of Michael Ballack; and the emergence of Russia as a new force in world football.
Arshavin is a playmaker in the traditional sense. As waves of red shirts swarmed over Sweden in Innsbruck on Wednesday, with full-backs suddenly emerging in the opposing box and players interchanging with bewildering speed, the figure at the centre was always Arshavin, coaxing and cajoling, dribbling and directing. There is such an obvious flair and intelligence to his play, such an evident love for the artful, that it is no great surprise to learn that he holds a university diploma in fashion design.
I guess Arshavin is Russia’s Sean Avery.
Sure, the man scored a stunner of a free kick to take das Germans through to the second round, but instead of accepting the fact that boring long-ball play and a lack of attacking from the wings was the reason for the Germans getting trounced by Croatia, Ballack has blamed his squad’s performance on major tournament menace # 1. The WAGS…
GERMANY’S Euro 2008 campaign has been in disarray – because of a war over WAGS.
Skipper Michael Ballack is furious that his team-mates have been seeing too much of their wives and girlfriends.
But Ballack and his senior sidekick Torsten Frings were still fuming that the rest of the squad spent the day after their defeat against Croatia last week – which left their quarter-final place on a knife-edge – with their WAGS.
Ballack and Frings were the only two who did not see their partners because they wanted to stay focused on football.
Nothing like an African World Cup qualifier to drum up some North vs. sub-Saharan continental bad blood.
BANJUL, June 17 (Reuters) - Gambia has accused Algerian soccer players calling themselves “terrorists” of threatening Gambian players at a World Cup match that they would blow up their hotel with a bomb on the return leg in Algiers.
Shaggy with Klagenfurt mayor Harald Scheucher (left) and Carinthia’s head of state Jörg Haider (right) (©Rosenzopf)
Aging reggae-pop crooner Shaggy touched down in Austria for some totally bombastic Euro 2008 festivities. That’s a story in itself, but even better, the Jamaican was greeted by Austrian neo-nazi
scumbagpolitician Jörg Haider (right).
Officially Carinthia, Austria’s Governor, Haider is a racist neo-National Socialist from the anti-Jew, immigrant, and black “Freedom Party” who defends nazi atrocities on the reg.
From the BBC:
A few years later, he described World War II concentration camps as “punishment camps” and said the Nazi SS was “a part of the German army which should be honoured”.
He has also compared the deportation of Jews by the Nazis to the expulsion of Sudeten Germans from Czechoslovakia after World War II.
From the Guardian:
He saluted Waffen SS veterans, campaigned against Austria’s EU membership, railed against immigrants, attacked the cosy, corrupt political arrangements of postwar Austria. He collected the protest vote and became the model for the gathering forces of rightwing, anti-immigrant populism across Europe.
In the Feel the Rush video, Shaggy accompanies tournament mascots Trix and Flix on an intercontinental trip. The journey begins in his homeland of Jamaica and leads Shaggy to Klagenfurt’s Lake Worth, which he reaches just in time for the first game at the city’s new Wörthersee Stadion.
I’m totally getting a Chief Fiwagboola personalized shirt next season…
Manchester United’s acting captain has become Chief Fiwagboola after being given the title by King Akiolu in Nigeria.
Ferdinand, 29, is in Lagos promoting education through football and making plans to build an academy.
King Akiolu — who wore an old United shirt with his name on the back and a club scarf — conducted the ceremony at his palace.
Whoever had the idea for this website is a brilliant, brilliant person. It’s an entire blog of women from various countries cheering on their respective national stars at the Euros. I’m sure that terribly annoying floating Google text ad widget-annoyer thing is raking in trash bags full of Euros.
Booking Tip: Machochip
And if gawking at ladies from 16 different sovereign countries is not your cup of tea, fear not, some socially conscious British hippies who run some NGO called the World Development Movement created this rather compelling site that ranks each of the 16 participating countries based on social responsibility. Nations are ranked on issues such as aid spending, carbon emissions, military spending, happiness index, health spending, and more. FYI: Russia comes in dead last, and Sweden leads the way based on these stats.
I wonder how the Saudis would feel if the next time they played in Beirut they were treated to, say, the Iranian national anthem? Saudi Arabia should know better, they already poach the region’s top Sunni players from other countries, including Lebanon.
From the BBC:
Saudi Arabian football authorities are investigating an error that led to the Syrian national anthem being played before a match against Lebanon.
Several Lebanese players were visibly angry when the wrong anthem was played before Saturday’s game, reports say.
From the Guardian:
Uefa has confirmed that 157 people were arrested after violence flared before, during, and after Germany’s Euro 2008 victory against Poland yesterday.
Rival supporters clashed in the Austrian city of Klagenfurt which hosted the match, but Uefa was quick to play down reports of injuries.
“Klagenfurt reported 157 arrests during the match, mainly Germany supporters who were arrested in the city centre but the police said the situation cleared rapidly, nobody was injured and no material damage occurred,” said a Uefa spokesman.
Around 80,000 football fans were in Klagenfurt for the match, which Germany won 2-0.
The majority of those detained were rounded up after disturbances in the city centre, with 140 of those arrested coming from a group of German fans who were chanting Nazi slogans, and who included known hooligans.
“Dear Sir/Madam, We know that you are among those who do not always respect the rules during sports tournaments and, so far as we are aware, have been banned from stadiums or received some other punishment … We want you to be able to enjoy this great championship in a festive, fair-minded spirit … but please be aware that violence will not be tolerated … we hope that we will meet again in pleasant circumstances. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us”
- extracts from the letter sent by the Swiss police to 300 known hooligans today.
Booking Tip: The Guardian
Nothing like a match in Brazil, where a red card and an inflammatory gesture to the home supporters can somehow lead to pepper spray, punches, kicks, and players (and the club president!) fighting with heavy-handed cops on the pitch.
From the Guardian:
RIO DE JANEIRO, June 1 (Reuters) - A player was arrested after being sent off in a Brazilian championship match on Sunday while riot police used pepper spray as they fought with his team mates on the pitch.Botafogo’s match away to Nautico in Recife was interrupted for 12 minutes by the fighting, which ended with Botafogo defender Andre Luis being led away by around 10 officers and being taken to a police station.The trouble broke out when Andre Luis was sent off after being given a second yellow card for a tackle from behind.As he left the pitch, the furious player made gestures to Nautico supporters.Television pictures showed him being surrounded by riot police before one grabbed him from behind and immobilised him.As other Botafogo players intervened, Andre Luis broke away and a free-for-all ensued between players and around 20 officers.”The police are here to defend us and the referees,” said Botafogo’s Diguinho. “But they don’t do that, they hit us.”
This is a tragedy, George Weah… do something about this shotty infrastructure.
At least eight people died of suffocation caused by overcrowding at the stadium where Liberia faced the Gambia in a soccer match Sunday, according to published news reports in Monrovia today.
The Lone Stars of Liberia were playing their counterparts from the Gambia at the Samuel Kanyon Doe (SKD) Sport Complex in Monrovia. The game was an African Nations Cup/World Cup qualifying match
Notorious Liverpool hater and Man U. past-his-prime right back Gary Neville may have hired the wrong set of contractors to work on his pool.
From the Sun:
MANCHESTER United star Gary Neville saw Red after two Scouse builders created a cheeky Liverpool FC shrine – under his SWIMMING POOL.
Brothers Brian and Gary Greer came up with the joke tribute while tiling the pool at arch-rival Neville’s massive mansion.
They claim they buried a copy of The Kop fanzine, a match programme and a Liverpool scarf in a plastic tube.
Brian said: “We went to Neville-Neville Land to tile his swimming pool.
“While we were there we created a Scouse time capsule under the pool and tiled over the top of it. When his house is dug up in the future, archaeologists will see what a passion he had for the Red men.”
Cameroonian whiner Samuel Eto’o was accused of headbutting a journalist during a testy press conference ahead of the Indomitable Lions’ WC 2010 qualifier against mighty Cape Verde. Eto’o ended up scoring a goal in Cameroon’s 2-0 win on Saturday anyway.
Local radio reporter Philippe Bony claimed that the 27-year-old Barcelona star headbutted him after tempers flared between journalists and Cameroon players on Friday.
In the melee that followed, members of the Cameroon team confiscated television cameras and mobile phones, according to the journalists present.
“He (Eto’o) grabbed me round the neck, then headbutted me above the lip. My tooth has been loosened,” Bony told AFP.
Bony also claimed that he had suffered a double hand fracture after being set upon by Eto’o’s bodyguards. The journalist added that he intends to take legal action against the player.
Might this hurt his impending summer move to England? The Observer claims Eto’o is demanding a £7.8m yearly salary from Tottenham- three times more than any other player at the London club. Seems like a massive waste of money and might create a bitter, jealous environment in the dressing room, all for an over-his-prime moody ego-ballooned striker.