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Farce and ineptitude reign in Warsaw

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Phil McNulty | 06:34 UK time, Wednesday, 17 October 2012

In Warsaw

England's World Cup qualifier with Poland was already dead in the water with U2's "Beautiful Day" ringing out in a moment bursting with irony as rain danced off a surface that resembled a swamp.

The DJ inside Warsaw's £400m national stadium may have taken his big chance to show off a neat line in black humour as the city was hit by a deluge, but credit was in short supply elsewhere on a night that endured a slow, tortuous descent into farce.

Bob Marley then crooned "We'll Be Together With A Roof Right Over Our Heads" from his classic "Is This Love?" - the twist in this little tale being that the roof that provides a spectacular adornment to this arena was not over anyone's head.

When Italian referee Gianluca Rocchi finally put this game and those waiting to watch it out of their rain-soaked misery at 10.05pm local time, Warsaw was also awash with embarrassment and anger at what had unfolded.

A Poland fan is chased by a steward as he invades the pitch

Fans resort to providing their own entertainment on a night which resembled a pantomime. Picture: AP

Warsaw was in the grip of a downpour for several hours yet no-one had seen fit to close the roof over this monument to modern sporting architecture and soon it was too late. Too much rain had fallen for the roof to be closed.

International football at elite level was supposed to be above this sort of breakdown. What was the point of having the roof if it could not be utilised in times such as this?

So thousands of Polish supporters whistled their derision when they were finally informed the game was off and 2,500 England fans who paid for the privilege of watching rain fall and must now consider the possibility of being out of pocket if they stick around for Wednesday's rearranged 16:00 BST fixture.

Polish FA media officer Agnieszka Olejkowska fronted up to take the flak and, asked about future weather prospects, replied: "I'm not a fortune teller."

This was not really the point. Surely a swift glance at the weather prospects for Tuesday - and it was dank, foggy and soggy from very early afternoon - should have persuaded the Polish FA or Fifa delegate Danijel Jost to order the relevant buttons to be pressed on the roof.

Instead what we saw was an embarrassing decision-making vacuum, a strangely compelling pantomime that became more gruesome, at least in the context of the spectacle, by the minute.

Closing the roof had been discussed on Monday but the decision was taken to leave it open and trust to the weather. Unwise.

This stadium, in its own way, is a thing of beauty, with a spectacular tower hanging over the centre circle and housing huge television screens as its centrepiece. And yet it was also part of the problem.

As the rains fell, water cascaded off the giant central structure in a circle around the centre of the pitch. It was the first sign of trouble ahead.

The roof only takes 20 minutes to close but the sheer weight of water meant this could not be done. The drainage system could not cope with such a continuous downpour so a sell-out crowd of 58,000 looked to the opened heavens and an opened roof in powerless frustration.

England's goalkeepers came out to warm up but were swiftly summoned back before the body language of manager Roy Hodgson and his staff screamed a very obvious reluctance to have anything to do with this game.

What followed was almost a black comedy. Rocchi, accompanied by his assistants and the whistles of an increasingly agitated crowd, conducted an inspection which merely confirmed the pitch was unplayable.

Announcements about pitch inspections are usually the preserve of Test cricket and an utterly pointless second one taken 45 minutes after the first - when all that could be gleaned was that the surface was now 45 minutes wetter than when it was last inspected. It was an abject exercise in rank futility.

In the meantime, a pitch invader, chased by a steward who inevitably slipped into a pool of indignity, brought some light entertainment with a magnificent dive before being removed to a drier, better place.

It was as close as it got to entertainment. Indeed, Rocchi's second visit was more a glance than an inspection. One roll of the ball, one very small roll, was enough to confirm inside 30 seconds what most of us knew much earlier. All back on Wednesday.

This whole process summed up the inertia of the night. It was a decision anyone could have taken at least an hour earlier and only strung out the agony of the night for the soaked supporters.

Throughout there was not a single sighting of anyone or anything resembling groundstaff. No attempts to drain the pitch by human hand. Presumably the notion goes, 'why have groundstaff when you have a roof?' Well, the flaws in that particular theory have now been brutally exposed.

At just after midnight in Warsaw the rain had finally relented and the tarpaulin-like roof was locked into place above a surface that finally showed signs of draining. The stadium was virtually deserted and staff were on what was described as "red alert" to get ready for Wednesday's rearrangement.

More showers are forecast but with the roof in place all seems set fair, although there are now understandable fears in the England camp about the state of a surface that looked patchy even before it was subjected to a prolonged drenching throughout this miserable Tuesday.

"This is our shame", said one downcast Polish journalist as we made our way out of the stadium. Strong words - too strong - but this is a proud country and they knew plenty of eyes were on them.

We will all reassemble on Wednesday afternoon but whether the atmosphere greeting England will be as hostile as it would have been on Tuesday remains to be seen.

If there was one plus, it at least allows the game to be played with a significant historical footnote. 17 October 2012 is exactly 39 years to the day since one of Polish football's landmark moments, when goalkeeper Jan Tomaszewski kept Sir Alf Ramsey's England at bay and out of the 1974 World Cup.

Comments

Page 1 of 5

  • Comment number 1.

    Hindsight is a wonderful thing, Phil.

  • Comment number 2.

    26 paragraphs on rain. I thought Adrian Chiles earned his money last night but this is an achievement of equal magnitude.

  • Comment number 3.

    Forecast was rain (it was raining at 12.00 and was forecast to continue doing so). There is a roof. Shut the roof. Play the game. Simple.

  • Comment number 4.

    Complete joke. Ineptitude of the highest order.

    I feel for the fans who made the journey.

  • Comment number 5.

    I felt very sorry for the referee, he had to consider the fans, TV and others and go through procedures before he called the game off. I had to have had a good idea the game could not be played, but he had to follow the process laid down. If he had called the game off earlier then some may have said he acted too quickly. The real rogues were the authorities who dallied around with the closing roof until it was too late to close it. They were in the background and out of the way, the poor referee was seen by all. The ground will have to drain well if they want to play later today otherwise it will be farce added to farce. Maybe the stadium should try investment in a weather forecaster.

  • Comment number 6.

    There is no excuse for the stadium roof being left open whilst the rain ruined the playing surface.

  • Comment number 7.

    Is knowing before the game that it will rain hindsight ?

  • Comment number 8.

    Oops! I meant 'he had to have had' not 'I'. As for Adrian Chiles, an even bigger joke than the weather and stadium put together. He was always a bit of a joke, remember how he ratted on young Thatcher years ago? I would watch more footy on ITV but for him. Luckily he had a good panel opposite who were able to make up for his amateurish presentation skills.

  • Comment number 9.

    Hmm, don't worry I'm sure FIFA will deal with this issue much more firmly than they will Serbia.

  • Comment number 10.

    As a Polish fan I have to say people here are in red-hot anger at the authorities and feel shamed by such a show of incompetence. I personally think it should be a walkover for England - we screwed up, we should pay for it. And compensate the fans who traveled for the game as well. Some heads simply must fall because of this.

    That's what is sick about Polish football. Those people who are supposed to "manage it"...You've seen how that played out. Good fans, some good players, wonderful history and potential for much more - and that's how it usually ends. The fancy stadium run by people you wouldn't trust to oversee a school football grounds...

  • Comment number 11.

    The whole thing was a disgrace to modern football , we have seen other International events cope much better. What sort of a pitch will they have today, I wonder?

    NB I thought ITV, Chiles and Co. did well by sharing their problems in keeping it going .

    Let's hope for better things today.

  • Comment number 12.

    Does anyone else hear the collective sigh from the premier league managers who will now face having a delay in getting their prized possessions back from international duty before Saturday's games? Just hope the players don't play with one eye on the weekend and fear of injury from playing on, what will probably be, a less than perfect surface.

  • Comment number 13.

    Do not be to hasty to ridicule others lack of foresight after all it was not to long a certain weatherman at the BBC assured the whole country there was no hurricane on its way many roofs caved in on that day.

    IMO the game should have gone ahead regardless of the state of the pitch, the conditions were ideally suited to the plodding ingerlish and kick and chase, what is the world coming to when 22 grown men cant handle a bit of rain.

    i thought the Ref played a blinder and on closer inspection demonstrated that it was indeed possible to both kick and throw the ball with considerable accuracy to boot.

    I am disappointed Ukraine seemed not to offer much of fight on home turf .

    Up the Arsenal and roll on when the real games recommence.

  • Comment number 14.

    Bad for the fans bshot here should be no excuses for the footballers. One more night in a five star hotel for our poor, busy footballers whose next working day is Saturday. Just two days off for them now not three. It's a tough life.

  • Comment number 15.

    Well what can you say about it last night? Odd? Farce?

    Surprised they didn't put the roof on early on before the match, maybe they will do next time.

    As Hahaha pointed out, it's a shame as the weather conditions would have suited "kick and run" tactics.

    On another note, congratulations to Northern Ireland on a courageous draw against Portugal. 4 games in and Russia have already managed to open a 5 point gap on their rivals!

  • Comment number 16.

    There will be complaints if one of the England players gets injured this afternoon. Clearly the preference (by someone) was to play the match with the roof open unless absolutely necessary. My guess is that the person who decided to keep it open didn't know that if the volume of water reached a certain level the roof could no longer be closed. I've never thought of football as being blessed with wonderful administrators at any level of the game from FIFA down, so this kind of problem should hardly come as a shock.

  • Comment number 17.

    What channel is the game being showed on later guys?

  • Comment number 18.

    So what will be the upshot of last night, then? My predictions:

    2 Tournament ban for Poland, due to reduce revenues for Football Governing bodies because less people around the World watched this match and billboards were viewed 48% less in total.

    8-game bans for the England goalkeepers for ignoring Batters warm-up regulations 2011 (tm, sponsored by McDonalds, "I'm loving it, Sepp's loving it, are your kids loving it yet?") which clearly state that all sponsors be visible on kit during warm ups which, once started, must last no less than 21 minutes for men, and 23 minutes with tighter kit for women.

    3. Serb under 21 team - 3 hours community service in a local chain of a well known fast food outlet. Service can be completed by a player proxy (the coaches mum) if required.

    Sorted.

  • Comment number 19.

    The whole point of having a roof is to prevent this kind of thing from happening. The thing closes quicker than the roof on Centre Court, for heaven's sake! This is a monumental error from every angle.

  • Comment number 20.

    I wonder if the Poles wanted to allow the pitch to deteriorate as much as possible to allow them the best chance of success. I can see no other reason why the roof would not be closed.
    Was this theory discussed among the press last night?

  • Comment number 21.

    @5

    Not sure whether to feel sorry for the referee. I always thought it was the referee's duty to ensure that a game can be played in "normal" conditions. Whether or not one could have judged at 9am if the weather was going to take a turn for the worse is something I cannot judge, given that I was not in Warsaw. But surely a downpour of some sorts must have been anticipated - the weather can be fairly precisely predicted for around 12 - 16 hours and I don't understand why nobody felt responsible for looking at the situation there and then. The roof could have been closed and we wouldn't have had this farce.

  • Comment number 22.

    It's a heavy downpour and they have a roof... For what possible reason could any of them have for not closing the roof? Was the roof broken? Did it run out of batteries? Was a bird stuck in the mechanical system? Someone please explain!

    And don't even get me started on the England/Serbia U21 game! Serbia won't get a ban but they will get a tiny fine, FIFA and UEFA will claim there is no problem with racisim and it will all be swept under the rug.

  • Comment number 23.

    Can't help thinking that the ineptitude started along time ago when the stadium architect designed it with a closing roof to keep out the rain that can't be closed when it is raining. What was the worst case scenario the designers considered for goodness sake?

  • Comment number 24.

    @7. rw1969 wrote:

    Is knowing before the game that it will rain hindsight ?

    Writing 26 paragraphs about the subject after the event is hindsight.

  • Comment number 25.

    Even though I don't think Adrian Chiles should present sport, his dry sense of humour was much needed last night!

  • Comment number 26.

    2.At 08:11 17th Oct 2012, RubberNutz wrote:
    26 paragraphs on rain.
    ____________________

    Too much time on your hands if you counted them!!

  • Comment number 27.

    @25

    " .. dry ... " LOL!

  • Comment number 28.

    And yet this city awash with "ineptitude" still manages domestic league games after a full inch of snow falls overnight. Who could possibly imagine a nation's football being brought to a standstill in those horrendous conditions. Oh, wait...

  • Comment number 29.

    Anyone see the Portugal vs Northern Ireland game last night? NI worth the point?

  • Comment number 30.

    There was a time when a forecaster who got the weather right more than half the time was credited with clairvoyance; now we have satellites, it's a surprise if they get it wrong. Looks like Polish football bosses haven't heard of satellites.

  • Comment number 31.

    According to one woman they interviewed last night they were expecting heavy rain - but couldn't predict a downpour.

    It's the kind of farce we normally have in Britain [it's the wrong kind of snow].

    By the time the ref went out for a third time to 'test' the pitch I though I was watching a Monty Python sketch!

  • Comment number 32.

    30.
    At 09:22 17th Oct 2012, GrampaGrumpy wrote:

    There was a time when a forecaster who got the weather right more than half the time was credited with clairvoyance; now we have satellites, it's a surprise if they get it wrong. Looks like Polish football bosses haven't heard of satellites.
    ________________________

    Or forks. Or groundsmen.

  • Comment number 33.

    Phil McNulty;

    Football expert
    Drainage expert
    Friends of 'The England Camp'
    Poet ;o)

  • Comment number 34.

    If the Polish coach -Waldemar Fornalik- has had a big say in ensuring the roof should stay open to act as a leveller and benefit his team, as reported, then FIFA need to come down on the Polish FA like a ton of bricks on this kind of idiotic gamesmanship.

  • Comment number 35.

    Brilliant hat-trick by Andy Carroll last night! Great result for the lads!!!!

  • Comment number 36.

    itv football need to learn from test match special or wimbledon on the bbc when it come rain breaks or delayed starts. what they were saying was said over and over again in various forms.

  • Comment number 37.

    @21

    The referee is given a pitch - it should be up to him to decide if it's safe to play on or not, nothing to do with TV etc. It's also not his responsibility to get the pitch in a suitable condition, that's a total failure of whoever was running the stadium.

  • Comment number 38.

    "Farce and ineptitude reign in Warsaw"


    I didnt know the BBC Football team were running the event.



    btw Alan Green was an utter disgrace.

  • Comment number 39.

    This was a a mess up all round. As a Poland fan I agree it was an error of judgement not to close the roof in time especially as the rain continued throughout the day. But what the referee was doing throughout is completely beyond me! When he finally came on the pitch to inspect it it was way to late. And if both teams need to agree to close the roof, what are the guidelines when they can't agree like last night?
    I can't help but say it is sad after the Poland / Ukraine euros went so well after all the bad publicity that was cast over it before hand. However in my opinion a number of problems arose in a number of different governing bodies last night and all need reviewing!

  • Comment number 40.

    31.At 09:24 17th Oct 2012, BaggiosPonytail wrote:
    According to one woman they interviewed last night they were expecting heavy rain - but couldn't predict a downpour.
    _____________________

    I read on the other blog that apparently there's some rule that if the team train with the roof open 1 day before the match then it has to stay open, and vice versa. Not sure if there is ANY validity to this???

  • Comment number 41.

    34.At 09:33 17th Oct 2012, geofpearson wrote:
    If the Polish coach -Waldemar Fornalik- has had a big say in ensuring the roof should stay open to act as a leveller and benefit his team, as reported, then FIFA need to come down on the Polish FA like a ton of bricks on this kind of idiotic gamesmanship.
    __________________________

    Let's be honest, if the downpour and waterlogged pitch was going to favour anyone, it would be England and their hoofball tactics. Gerrard and Carroll would be in their element.

  • Comment number 42.

    That was planned!!!

  • Comment number 43.

    @ 13 What is your nationality? If you're not English, why do you support an English club team?

  • Comment number 44.

    Anyone watch the Great British Bake Off instead?

  • Comment number 45.

    @32 Baggio

    with respect I fail to see what possible use " forks " would have been there are now mechanical methods to improve the air flow through the soil.

    To improve airflow and drainage to the said surface requires the introduction of the
    humble but very industrious Mole its a very cost effective method to deal with
    surface water and i am surprised the water authorities here have not looked into
    using the humble Mole to combat the very serious flooding problems we have here in the UK after a few hours of rain.

  • Comment number 46.

    #44
    Watching bakers making Fondant Fancies is arguably better than watching the national team most of the time.

    If it's going to rain, close the roof. If it then doesn't, open it again. Is it that hard?

  • Comment number 47.

    No surprise. Go to an old Eastern Bloc country and it's like taking a trip back to the 70's. Last night was so amateurish it was laughable.

  • Comment number 48.

    I blame Luis Suarez

  • Comment number 49.

    The debacle in last season's 6 Nations was bad enough(France v Ireland, match postponed when players were in the tunnel). I guess they had the excuse that there was no under soil heating(inexplicable in a stadium in Europe) but to have the facilities and not use them is beyond comprehension.
    The Polish FA should bear all costs.

  • Comment number 50.

    With the TV cameras hovering around the tunnel while the ref did his inspections and such, it was a real eye-opener to see just how many blue-blazered 'officials' seemed to be milling around.

    Like a sea pulled by the tide, they ebbed and flowed, seemingly all connected to the ref by an invisible umbilical cord - he walked up the tunnel, they all walked up the tunnel. He walked back, they all walked back. Thirty or forty of them.

    But here's the thing. It didn't look like a single one of them, y'know, actually *did* anything. I wonder how much they get paid - and how I would go about getting a piece of that action?

    Prawn sandwich anyone?

  • Comment number 51.

    •Comment number 46.
    At 09:47 17th Oct 2012, Weallfollowunited wrote:
    #44
    Watching bakers making Fondant Fancies is arguably better than watching the national team most of the time.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    :D

    As my wife had commandeered the tv to watch the bake off I decided to check the radio coverage. Alan Green hit a new low (difficult I know) for biased whinging reporting. I had to turn off, the guy is an embarrassment.

  • Comment number 52.

    Whilst i would never want to see every football match played in some sort of hermetically sealed vacuum, i do find it strange when facilities designed to enable matches to be played despite bad weather are not used. I don't understand why at the first sign of a few spits of rain, or at the very most, 30mins of constant rain these roofs aren't closed.

    Worst case scenario is that a football match is played under a roof when it needn't be, better that than the opposite. Am i missing something? Do these roofs require puppies or children as fuel to move? It just seems ridiculous that for the sake of pressing a button x hundred/thousand England fans are now trying to work out the practicallity of spending another day and night in Warsaw, not to mention the fact that we'll also have to sit through Adrian Chiles and his "look what i saw in the crowd" idea of presenting once more.

  • Comment number 53.

    @43

    I am what is known as a " Heinz 57 " and Arian ( alas without the blonde hair )

  • Comment number 54.

    44.At 09:44 17th Oct 2012, parkthebuskickandrush wrote:
    Anyone watch the Great British Bake Off instead?
    ___________________

    It was a bit of a joke that the john guy won.....

  • Comment number 55.

    First off, hands up who ended up watching more of Portugal v Ireland than they thought might otherwise be possible? I was gonna get my football fix last night one way or another!

    Anyway, it IS a pretty poor show and I guess someone will carry the can for not making the right decision. But, no one got hurt, no one has died etc etc so let's keep things in perspective.

    I was amused by the way ITV soldiered on though I think Roy Keane might flip a lid if his pants are brought into the proceedings much more.

    I wonder how this will impact on the game though? Will it have the same sense of occasion or will players be too busy thinking about this weekends games? (Some on Friday for local Poles if I heard correctly.)

  • Comment number 56.

    47.At 09:47 17th Oct 2012, charlie wrote:
    No surprise. Go to an old Eastern Bloc country and it's like taking a trip back to the 70's. Last night was so amateurish it was laughable.
    _____________________

    Nice bit of xenophobia to start the day.........

  • Comment number 57.

    43.
    At 09:44 17th Oct 2012, aries22 wrote:

    @ 13 What is your nationality? If you're not English, why do you support an English club team?
    -==-=-=-=-
    maybe becuase 70% of the players in the "english" prem are not English.... dont be such a wum

  • Comment number 58.

    29.At 09:19 17th Oct 2012, Theres_something_about_joe wrote:
    Anyone see the Portugal vs Northern Ireland game last night? NI worth the point?

    _______________________________________

    I saw the 2nd half , N.Ireland deserved their point, and at no time did they park the bus in front of the goal.

    In summary , Ronaldo was pants (again) , Roy Carrol had a blinder , and there was some poor finishing from the Portuguese.

  • Comment number 59.

    55.
    At 09:53 17th Oct 2012, MrBlueBurns wrote:

    First off, hands up who ended up watching more of Portugal v Ireland

    =-=-=-=- Portugal vs Northern Ireland buddy..... that like saying the wales v poland match was rained off last night..... you'll start merder!"!!!

  • Comment number 60.

    What a storm in a teacup! Considering Poland has been playing catch-up since the 90s after our allies were kindly left in the hands of the post-war communist bloc, it's a miracle that they have the sort of facilities that they do for football - the vast majority of other European countries don't. They will not benefit from this slight error in judgement, and if there was any sense, the Polish FA will be held accountable for no more than sorting out the travelling English fans with another night's stay and filling today's empty seats with free tickets for Warsaw school-kids. Well done to them for getting the fixture rearranged swiftly, and I hope it's a great game for both teams.
    And well done to John for winning probably the most watched, and equally damp, British bake-off final!

  • Comment number 61.

    #48
    I understand his agent has already been on the phone to the owners requesting similar conditions at Liverpool's next home game. Apparently seeing those fans on the pitch diving and sliding without any hint of a graze is his dream.

  • Comment number 62.

    Whatever happened to the likely lads?

    On the plus side, the Spain v France was excellent.

  • Comment number 63.

    why has poland not simply been docked the points? they are responsible, they should pay the price. in any rational world this would happen - as it does at most other levels of football. It would soon put a stop to 'i'm not a fortuneteller' quips. but this is FIFA....

  • Comment number 64.

    55.At 09:53 17th Oct 2012, MrBlueBurns wrote:
    First off, hands up who ended up watching more of Portugal v Ireland than they thought might otherwise be possible? I was gonna get my football fix last night one way or another!
    __________________________________

    I watched France thrash Spain 1 - 1 , how France did not win is beyond me.

    Then the 2nd half of the Portugal vs N.Ireland game with ear plugs as the wife was screaming and swearing at the tele :)

  • Comment number 65.

    45.
    At 09:47 17th Oct 2012, HaHA CharadeYouAre2 wrote:

    @32 Baggio

    with respect I fail to see what possible use " forks " would have been there are now mechanical methods to improve the air flow through the soil.
    ____________________________

    It makes a good headline though "No fork in clue"...

  • Comment number 66.

    lol, yes parkthebuskickandrush, did you see James drop the cake? lol ... Not David :)

    As I understood it ... the 2 sides decide on the roof position, the Poles wanted it open, they didn't expect a flood! And because it was torrential, roof couldn't be closed due to weight of rain and windy conditions.
    There is under-soil heating, so any rain "quickly" evaporates, so the pitch should be ok. Let's hope it's a decent game, atmosphere (or lack of?) should help England (if we need it!) to a draw at least.
    Just checked, listings a bit slow, but ITV1 from 3.30pm for armchair viewers.

  • Comment number 67.

    62.
    At 09:58 17th Oct 2012, Frank Black wrote:

    Whatever happened to the likely lads?
    ________________________

    I've no idea. I wouldn't recommend they watch the highlights though ;-)

  • Comment number 68.

    64.At 10:03 17th Oct 2012, repo wrote:
    I watched France thrash Spain 1 - 1
    ______________

    Have you been speaking to Patches recently? Sounds an awful like something he would say! ;)

  • Comment number 69.

    62.At 09:58 17th Oct 2012, Frank Black wrote:
    On the plus side, the Spain v France was excellent.
    _______________________________

    Benzema and Ribbery just ripped Spain apart in the 2nd half.

  • Comment number 70.

    #64 repo

    Until Portugal equalised, there was almost no sound at all other than the laughably bias but humourous commentators who were writing eulogies about the victory and counting down the clock from about 65 minutes! The fans woke up though when they pulled level.

    Bit damp there as well. In AUTUMN of all times!

  • Comment number 71.

    #66
    If they have a roof that doesn't work in the rain, it's as useful as an umbrella that you can't use in the rain.

  • Comment number 72.

    As a nation we are certainly known for talking about the weather, when there is nothing else to talk about.

    We are now doing it en masse.

  • Comment number 73.

    @71 Weallfollowunited

    It looked like Hodgson had decided, no matter how hard the rain was coming down, that he was not going to open an umbrella. Maybe it's in the job description now - thou shalt not hold a brolly under any circumstances...

  • Comment number 74.

    @69 repo

    Yes agreed! Although Spain should have made it safe first half.

  • Comment number 75.

    70.At 10:06 17th Oct 2012, MrBlueBurns wrote:

    Bit damp there as well. In AUTUMN of all times!

    _____________________________________________

    Porto is in the grim North about 200 miles from Lisbon and 400 miles from the Algarve. Usually there is a 5ºc difference between Lisbon and Porto , and Porto does get more rain.

    But saying that it is raining quite heavy today in Lisbon, but last weekend people were on the beach it was 26ºc , very nice :)

  • Comment number 76.

    Elsewhere: It will be interesting to hear what Sepp (they should just shake hands)Blatter blathers after the disgraceful scenes in Serbia last night.

  • Comment number 77.

    68.At 10:05 17th Oct 2012, Eduard_Streltsov_Ghost wrote:
    64.At 10:03 17th Oct 2012, repo wrote:
    I watched France thrash Spain 1 - 1
    ______________

    Have you been speaking to Patches recently? Sounds an awful like something he would say! ;)
    _____________________________

    Says he , who uses "pub standard" and "plodder" on a regular basis :)

  • Comment number 78.

    English fans complaining abou the pitch? Remind me, how many times has the new £750 million Wembley stadium pitch been returfed? At the weekend we were promised a sunny warm Saturday and a rainy Sunday by the BBC. And what did we get? Rain all day Saturday and a warm sunny Sunday. No satelites in England? And aren't English cricket wickets prepared to suit the home team bowlers?

  • Comment number 79.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 80.

    54.At 09:52 17th Oct 2012, Eduard_Streltsov_Ghost wrote:

    Come on Eddie John totally deserved it. The other guy James choked when it came to final! ;-)

  • Comment number 81.

    If there was not a roof the game couldn't be played today. It is sunny now.
    The rain was very very heavy and the roof drainage system couldn't clear the water fast enough to be able to deploy the roof.
    FIFA, the Polish FA and the English FA have to all agree before a game is played under a roof. All 3 footballing bodies were responsible for not making and decent decisions.

  • Comment number 82.

    @58

    Again? When else do you reckon he's turned in a poor performace, in Portugal's last game, because he's been good for Real?

  • Comment number 83.

    1.Killingholme- Hindsight doesnt come into it when you have weather forecasts. Ever heard of those? Roof should have been closed on Monday, end of story.

  • Comment number 84.

    77.At 10:13 17th Oct 2012, repo wrote:
    Says he , who uses "pub standard" and "plodder" on a regular basis :)
    ___________________

    I just find it strange that Frank Black has not pulled you up on the "patchesisms" as he did me............Conspiracy I say!!!

    France or Deschamps obviously learnt a thing or two from the Euros. Signs that Spain are not as invincible as everyone thinks? OR just a bump in the road?

    What about Portugal....now 5 points behind Russia. Like I said yesterday, could it be like the U-21s all over again?

  • Comment number 85.

    @78

    It may have had to been returfed, but games are never abandoned.

  • Comment number 86.

    czerwonadupa @78

    English fans complaining abou the pitch? Remind me, how many times has the new £750 million Wembley stadium pitch been returfed? At the weekend we were promised a sunny warm Saturday and a rainy Sunday by the BBC. And what did we get? Rain all day Saturday and a warm sunny Sunday. No satelites in England? And aren't English cricket wickets prepared to suit the home team bowlers?

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The new pitch, it was the same with the old Wembley pitch, they blamed 'the Horse of the Year Show' for years. Mind you I can understand how dozens of showjumpers can churn a pitch up.

    As for the English wicket preparation, tell me a nation that does not prepare it for the home team.

  • Comment number 87.

    80.At 10:17 17th Oct 2012, clummers wrote:
    54.At 09:52 17th Oct 2012, Eduard_Streltsov_Ghost wrote:

    Come on Eddie John totally deserved it. The other guy James choked when it came to final! ;-)
    __________________

    HAhaha but if it was JUST based on the final performance then why have all the other 12 episodes before that? Why not just get them to bake the final cake at the end?

  • Comment number 88.

    @84

    Bumps in the road. All teams have them even the seemingly unbeatable.

    After their much hyped "demise" before the final in the euros, I would wait until the actually lost a game or had a poor run, before anyone starts talking about a reduction in quality

  • Comment number 89.

    Apparently the roof was left opened on English side insistence on playing under open roof. Poles obliged but when the deluge begun it was too late to close it. End of story. Adrian Chiles is an idiot. Oh yeah, couple of groundsmen with forks would solve the problem, really?

  • Comment number 90.

    82.At 10:18 17th Oct 2012, Theres_something_about_joe wrote:
    Again? When else do you reckon he's turned in a poor performace, in Portugal's last game, because he's been good for Real?
    _____________________________

    That is what everyone wonders about in Portugal.
    The headlines in the sports papers today are "Portugal played without Ronaldo" and "where was Ronaldo ? "

  • Comment number 91.

    Well, it's embarrassing for Poland, a farce they and England could have done without.

    But I'd prefer this ten times over to the violence and ugliness in Serbia, where the U21s were targeted by racial abuse once again, and then assaulted after the final whistle. The Poland incident was incompetence: Serbia showed us something much darker. Well done to the U21 boys, I hope we all stand with them.

  • Comment number 92.

    87.At 10:21 17th Oct 2012, Eduard_Streltsov_Ghost wrote:

    The other 12 episodes are a knock-out like the group stages in football. He did wonderful to get to the final but fell at the final hurdle. We have seen this story hundreds of times before.

  • Comment number 93.

    89: Numerous contradictions around though isn't there? Adrian Bevington said the decision rested with the Polish whereas the Polish say it was a joint decision.

  • Comment number 94.

    "The roof only takes 20 minutes to close but the sheer weight of water meant this could not be done. The drainage system could not cope with such a continuous downpour..." I still don't get this? Are we saying the roof will never cope with such a downpour even if already closed, or that the roof can't be closed during a heavy downpour? Please explain...

  • Comment number 95.

    @ 44 (parkthebuskickandrush): Funnily enough my wife decided to record Great British Bake Off and another program (Holby City was it? I can't remember, it's all drivel anyway!) at the same time while she went off ice skating, leaving me with a TV that couldn't tune into the football (or lack of it) anyway! Even more fortunately, I'm off work today so I'll get to see the crowd fallout at 1600BST with regards to the Italian referee (if he's still there) and the Polish national coach.

    On another note, I hear that the FA is considering reimbursing the English fans who went there. Errrm, why? Shouldn't that be the Polish FA's job?

  • Comment number 96.

    88.At 10:22 17th Oct 2012, Theres_something_about_joe wrote:
    Bumps in the road. All teams have them even the seemingly unbeatable.
    _________________________________

    Without Pique and Puyol Spain look very vulnerable in defence.

  • Comment number 97.

    92.At 10:25 17th Oct 2012, clummers wrote:
    87.At 10:21 17th Oct 2012, Eduard_Streltsov_Ghost wrote:

    The other 12 episodes are a knock-out like the group stages in football. He did wonderful to get to the final but fell at the final hurdle. We have seen this story hundreds of times before.
    ____________________

    Hahahha! I knew you'd say that. I was forced to see it because the missus was watching it when I got back from the pub. It's as big a sham as all the other guff like x-factor and strictly etc etc

  • Comment number 98.

    On an unrelated note, did anyone expect the cold efficient Germans to let a four goal lead slip? You can expect it from the Arsenal but Germany???

  • Comment number 99.

    @89 (Zigzag): Ahhh! That's the reason why the FA are reimbursing the English fans!

  • Comment number 100.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

 

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