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Lewis Wiltshire | 12:07 UK time, Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Like Fabio Capello, we at the BBC Sport website have known most of our plans for the World Cup for months, but also like the England boss, we are still making some last-minute alterations and tweaks on the eve of the tournament.

We publicly launched our World Cup site on 11 May - as we marked one month to go until the tournament - and my how that month has flown.

I will try to explain here, with two days to go until that first game between hosts South Africa and Mexico, what our offering on this website will be during the World Cup - what's already there and what you can still expect to see.

We have had a lot of positive feedback about the site already - the way it matches up in look and feel to BBC Sport's overall theme of "the World Cup from the Rainbow Nation", and the way we have showcased video archive, data such as fixtures, results and scheduling information, and our on-screen presenters and pundits.

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The video archive in particular has been very well received. We have tried to present this by tournament , by player , by team and via the memories of legendary broadcaster John Motson, who has covered every World Cup since 1970 and interviewed every England manager since Sir Alf Ramsey.

We hope you have enjoyed the range of video with apologies to our users outside the UK, who are not permitted to watch it on our site under the terms of our World Cup contract.

Once the tournament starts, we will have live video in the UK of every game that's on BBC television, and highlights of both our own games and those on ITV. The games that are live on ITV television will be streamed on their website.

It sounds really simplistic, but one of our main aims was simply to let everyone know what was coming up, when it was coming up, and how you could follow it. Hopefully we do that via our fixtures and results page, our groups page which lets you see how the tournament will unfold, and our BBC coverage page, which explains what you will find on the BBC and who our key presenters and pundits will be.

Which brings me to the use of those big names on the website. I have mentioned World Cup Motty, but we will also be getting access to some of the experts whose views will be seen and heard across BBC TV and radio this summer.

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Clarence Seedorf, Jurgen Klinsmann and Emmanuel Adebayor will be on our TV sofa and also appearing on this site, along with our regulars such as Gary Lineker, Alan Hansen, Mark Lawrenson, Alan Shearer and Lee Dixon. Everton manager David Moyes has joined the likes of Graham Taylor and Chris Waddle in the Radio 5 live commentary booths, and we will also be bringing their views to this site too.

In addition, there will be blogs from in-house talent like Football Focus presenter Dan Walker, our Sports Editor David Bond, sports news correspondents Dan Roan and James Pearce, and web journalists Phil McNulty, Paul Fletcher, Chris Bevan and Jonathan Stevenson.

If you use social media, there's more to be found there. On Twitter we have a list of tweeters whose contributions are also being displayed on the right-hand side of our World Cup homepage. You can follow the whole list here.

And if you use Facebook, Phil McNulty has a page there and you can also become a fan of Match of the Day, getting updates throughout the World Cup and also during the domestic Premier League season about the most popular TV football show in the country.

I haven't mentioned our usual service of live text commentary, live data, match previews and reports. The hugely popular text commentary service will be provided by two journalists in South Africa (Jonathan Stevenson in Johannesburg and Chris Bevan in Cape Town) as well as others back in London.

We have completely rebuilt the live match page which these commentaries sit in, and some of you will have seen the public try-outs we gave this new service recently. We will run another full, public test of this service on Thursday, and then we'll be into Friday's action.

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Match reports will be written both in South Africa (by those two guys, plus Phil McNulty and Paul Fletcher) and also from London. And we'll have photo galleries every day, plus don't forget our World Cup Photo Album where we are aiming to get the players taking part in the tournament pictured with members of our audience. Have you had your picture taken with a World Cup footballer? Send it to us via that page.

Finally, have you tried our Team Tracker and Predictor? This tool allows you to follow a team through the tournament, getting updates, reports and video highlights (if you're in the UK) and also you can work out who is going to win the greatest footballing prize of all by predicting the winners at every stage. Please do try it out and send it round to your friends too!

I am happy, as always, to answer any queries here about our World Cup coverage here on this blog and you can also follow me on Twitter where I answer queries about the BBC Sport website on a daily basis. I will be in London for the tournament, but our web editor in South Africa, Howard Nurse, is also available on Twitter for questions.

Enjoy the greatest show on the footballing earth, everyone ...

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Thanks for all this - will there be any details of specifically mobile coverage?

    I know the Trust vetoed the iPhone (and other smartphone) apps which were to deliver live streaming, which I think is a huge shame....

    For ITV games I can stream on my iPhone but for BBC ones it looks like I will be back to the pocket TV I bought for the 2002 Wold Cup - 8 years later and still on the same technology. I hope for the next World Cup there will be mobile streaming - the pocket TV is analogue and the signal will have been switched off by then!

  • Comment number 2.

    Would there be any way of getting a transcript for the video content (especially the interviews etc)? I realise that it's a lot of work but at the moment large parts of your coverage are inaccessible to people with hearing difficulties - it would also allow international readers to participate in the debate around, for example, Motson's videos.

  • Comment number 3.

    Hi womble - there will be live video on our mobile site, as well as highlights clips, text commentaries, fixtures, scores/results, tables and top stories. Sometimes the mobile video bit is harder to explain, because it has more variables such as handset, network, tariff, etc.

  • Comment number 4.

    I WANT A BBC SPORT IPHONE APP PLEASE!!! Any chance of this happening in the near future?


    Also the World Cup site seems to of had a slightly new look with navigation at the top, is this how the rest of the site will look soon?

  • Comment number 5.

    I thought Harry Redknapp and Roy Hodgson were meant to be involved as well?

  • Comment number 6.

    I have been calling for this for ages, but I still want a printable world cup wallchart PDF.
    I missed out on the newspaper freebies at the weekend and this would be just so much easier to print a few off for office and home etc.
    It's a very simple thing to make, just base it on the 2006 template.

  • Comment number 7.

    Have to say, the World Cup site looks very good. I'm looking forward to living and breathing the world cup - with all the highlights and blogs on here, I won't have much time for anything else!

  • Comment number 8.

    Lewis, I love the "World Cup from the Rainbow Nation" theme - I arrived in South Africa a couple of weeks back and the atmosphere at the moment is amazing. Cape Town seems to have been a touch slower to catch up with the vibe compared to Johannesburg where I'm based at the moment - the human chain in Sandton today was a magnificent sight and the crowd was buzzing with optimism when the local Bafana team went past.

    Looking forward to the coverage on BBC - I just hope your microphones can handle the cacophony of the vuvuzela orchestra though... I think it'll certainly be a talking point of the 2010 World Cup especially after the opening match this Friday!

    ps: it's lousy that we can't access the video clips you have on these blogs here in South Africa.. surely that should be available abroad too?

  • Comment number 9.

    First i'd like to start by saying that i know FIFA World Cup kick off times are not down to the broadcasters, such as the BBC and ITV, and is down to FIFA themselves. However, i can't seem to get an answer from their offical site so i'm asking you.

    The final matches in each group (22-25 June) are to be played at the same time (i.e. two games are to kick off at 3pm and another two at 7.30pm in these final day's of the group stages.)

    When the BBC has the broadcast rights to two games at the same time, depending on wheather the games are in the afternoon or the evening, one will be on BBC1 while the other will be on the BBCs Red Button service or BBC3. ITV broadcast rights for two games at the same time means one game will be on ITV1 while the other will be on ITV4.

    My first question would be why have FIFA chosen to have two game's kicking off at the same time on the same day?

    My second question would be how does this get round the fact that World Cup Football is one of the "Crown Jewels" in British sports broadcasting and should therefore be on a "free-to-air" channel (BBC1, BBC2, ITV1, CH4 OR 5)and shown live? If, like alot of people (although, thankfully, not myself) you don't have access to either BBC Red Button, BBC3 or ITV4, and you don't have access, either, to Catch Up TV services or internet broadcast's how will you be able to watch the games that are not on either BBC1 or ITV1? Will they be repeated, in full, on these channels or will it just be highlights?

    Another thing that comes to mind as i write this, and flik through the TV listings' Pages, is that some ITV1 camesare being repeated, in full, in the early hours of the morning the following day on BBC3. How & why is this, and are ITV able to show BBC broadcast games in the same way?

    It would be very intersting to know the reason's behind such decision's and the problem's/soulution's they cause/implement for the broadcaster's, such as yourselves, as i'm a keen follower of most sport's and take a very keen interest in how, why and when broadcaster's choose to put such sport content out on their channel's.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this, rather long post!!!

    yours Adam Brinkley... (a sport's fan).

  • Comment number 10.

    Hi all - sorry for the slight delay in responding.

    Hi lollipop - we always make sure core content is in text format too. Some complementary content, like Motty's videos, are in video only, but if it's essential info, rather than 'colour', it will be in words too. We couldn't possibly transcribe all of our video, I am afraid.

    Robinho - there will be an app out soon if you are outside the UK. The one with video in it, for UK users, has not yet been cleared to go live by the BBC Trust. As for navigation, yes, that could very well be the way we go across the whole site. Those decisions will be taken after the World Cup when we will be planning the next re-launch of this site.

    Brede - yes, Harry and Roy will both be appearing as BBC TV pundits. They signed up later than the others, so I forgot to add them to this blog. Thanks for reminding me.

    DJ - we will not be offering a PDF wallchart but the current issue of the Radio Times, which is still available, has one.

    Swindon - thanks so much.

    Michelle - interesting despatch from the host nation, thanks! As I explained in the blog, we are simply not allowed to offer video action outside the UK under the terms of our contract.

    Adam - like you say, that's a question for Fifa, but I believe it is to ensure fairness and parity, so that one team does not play knowing the result of the other game in advance. As for where they are shown, that is the best either broadcaster can do given the scheduling of those ties. All BBC games will be available here on this website too, and ITV's on their site.

    As for us showing each other's games, we will both highlights of each other's matches. It's only live, when the games are going on, that the rights are exclusive.

    Hope that helps. Best regards to all, Lewis.

  • Comment number 11.

    Lewis, so there is no chance of watching the BBC world cup streams on iPhone or iPad in the UK? ITV is launching a web app for iPhone, means that only BBC streams will be missed.

  • Comment number 12.

    Lewis, I wonder if you could inform the loyal license fee payers as to how many people the BBC are paying to cover all of the aspects of the world cup and what will be the estimated total cost. I will understand if there is a slight delay while you contact the accounting and planning departments, No need to send me the details, an itemised statement on here will do.

    If any of the bloggers, twitters and pundits have paid their own fare's, expenses and hotel charges and are doing their bit at no cost to the British license fee payer, then I salute them in their attempt to lift the mood of depression felt by the millions of average Joe's who are stuck in the UK, listening to the reports of doom and gloom, record national debts repayments, job cuts, benefit cuts and wage freezes from our political leaders..


    Thank you in advance..

  • Comment number 13.

    #9 - The reason the final group games are played at the same time is because of the "Shame of Gijón" in the 1982 World Cup. You can read a bit more about it on Wikipedia:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Germany_v_Austria_%281982%29

  • Comment number 14.

    Will the TV coverage reduce/cancel out the noise of the vuvuzelas? or will there be an audio option excluding it?

  • Comment number 15.

    Will there be an option to listen to Radio 5 commentary on BBC1 via the red button again?

  • Comment number 16.

    sakahn - although we have not been able to launch an app for the iPhone and iPad, customers of all major UK mobile networks will be able to follow our live world cup video coverage via our mobile browser service, across a wide range of devices (including iPhone, iPad, Android, etc).

    You will also be able to listen to Radio 5 live's match commentaries and watch highlights clips after each game.

    It should appear here when the live action starts:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/mobile/bbc_sport/football/world_cup_2010/videohighlights/index.shtml.

  • Comment number 17.

    mambo - we addressed the issue of numbers of staff in South Africa in this blog http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/sporteditors/2010/03/world_cup_2010.html

  • Comment number 18.

    The BBC cover football very well and I bet at the end of the world cup coverage they will be best.

  • Comment number 19.

    Hi

    Just been looking through your fixtures and noticed the Spain Honduras match isn't showing (think it should be on 21 June). Don't know if there are any others missing.

  • Comment number 20.

    I've just noticed that you have missed out half of the games from Group G on your World Cup fixtures page.

  • Comment number 21.

    Is there any way to get in touch with the match commentators in the World Cup about their pronunciation of two Spanish (actually Barca) players? I live in Spain but much prefer to watch the match on BBC by satellite rather than listen to the totally inane Spanish commentary, but for me it's spoilt by the way they say Xavi and Puyol (my son's hero!, and I know the Beeb prides itself on saying things right, so I hope you can send this to the right people!!!

    Xavi is pronounced like Chavi (short a) not Chaahvi as they insist on saying, and Puyol is PuYOL, not PUyol, as Motty always says.

    BTW, even the Spanish commentators don't say Puyol right - it's a Catalan name - and as for foreign names, well all I can say is they're incomprehensible a lot of the time, even if you think you know what they meant to say!

  • Comment number 22.

    On a different tack, is it possible with modern tech to cut the noise of the "vuvuzelas", It sounds as though the whole game is about to be invested with the world's largest insect attack. It seems to grate. It may be that I'm used to a crowd rather than those local horns! I hope they can filter it down a little, hard against 10s of thousands I know, but if they can't, this could spoil this month I've been looking forward to for a long time.

  • Comment number 23.

    Can someone at the BBC tell me if it's possible to have alternative commentary without that dreadful vuvuzela noise? Even commentary just with the commentators and no sound from the stadium. This is ridiculous it gives you a headache and I can't see many people putting up with this.This is a major turn off and will have people turning off in drove.

  • Comment number 24.

    All this money spent on the World Cup and the Audio is AWFUL. A thousand swarms of angry hornets are swamping the coverage. If the planning didn't involve organising the audio so that the horns could be separated from the commentary then someone needs garotting.

    Richard Slatter
    Asahwell, Herts

  • Comment number 25.

    It says everything about tonight's BBC Match of the Day highlights that there was time for a joke line-up of the presenters - but not to mention the line-ups of the teams actually playing.... I think I counted 5 minutes of football in a 30 minute programme. The clips were cut so short you couldn't get any sense of the match at all. Please please think again...

  • Comment number 26.

    Why must you let your online match commentary be contaminated by mindless drivel of others on twitter and SMS??

    e.g. \\From ...: "I’m on holiday in Corsica watchin the game in a bar..."\\

    Why do you spend money moderating that trash? Is the delete button not working?

    If you must insert them, at least give the rest of us an option to turn them off/hide them as they are only a distraction.

    I'm outside UK and the BBC online commentary is the only option for following a live match. Please don't spoil it with the inane comments of random strangers.

  • Comment number 27.

    Hi - a couple of you have mentioned the fixtures page and I received a tweet about it too. There have been issues with it - I'm sorry. Data was disappearing from the page and then going back in, somewhat randomly. Our developers were on to it yesterday and I think those pages are OK now?

  • Comment number 28.

    Can I add my voice to those asking for the vuvuzelas to be optional? I'm sure they could be filtered out or at least reduced considerably by a filter. Certainly it's possible to have an additional commentary stream with no stadium noise at all. If it isn't made available I'm going to have to watch with the sound off to avoid migraines. Any response, Lewis?
    David

  • Comment number 29.

    Everyone I speak to says they are not now going to watch many games because the noise from those vuvuzelas is already driving them mad!

    If you can't persuade FIFA to ban them then you need to apply some electronic noise cancelling or this World Cup is going to be the biggest flop ever.

  • Comment number 30.

    Please,please someone tell Mick Mcarthy to get upbeat he just moans all the time. If you dont want to be there mick get yourself home, cos your boring us.

  • Comment number 31.

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

  • Comment number 32.

    World Cup coverage. Can you please switch down the volume of the crowd as the noise of those trumpets is most annoying and spoil the enjoyment. My wife won't listen and has left the room!!!!

  • Comment number 33.

    Firstly, congrats on the World Cup section of the website, which is well organised and has a great many excellent features - possibly too many excellent features.

    Whilst I enjoy the embedded video clips in World Cup news articles, I'm finding that they slow page loading down considerably, to the point where I just give up and don't bother reading the article.

    All round, though, the BBC are, yet again, putting the amateurs in charge of ITV to shame. The ITV website is bobbins, their TV coverage is dreadful, and their commentators always seem to be watching a different game to the rest of us. If 5Live commentary could be synced to ITV's TV broadcast, then I could get rid of Clive Tyledsley once and for all!

    I hope your rights negotiators are ready to hammer ITV to secure the rights to the cream of the knockout stages.

  • Comment number 34.

    Please BBC cut out them vuvuzelas. I can't watch any football. Never in the field of human sport, has so much been spoiled for so many, by so few.
    Cancel them out please, or use your broadcasting muscle to get them banned. Everyone I speak to says the exact same. Please help your viewers BBC.

  • Comment number 35.

    HELP! I fully understand why BBC cannot make the video of the World Cup available outside the UK, however why is the BBC Five Live audio coverage not available?

    For the first match of the Cup, I was able to get the live audio broadcast working off the BBC 5 Live website here in France (part of Europe . . . ) for about 20 minutes, then it cut off. No live coverage was available for any subsequent match.

    Is there any way around this? I know FIFA can and does restrict game footage, however anyone who wants to should be able to watch the game and stream their own voice commentary over the internet globally if they want to . . . or is even that small freedom no longer possible in today's increasingly preposterous media environment?

    Hopefully you can rectify this situation for all your die-hard BBC fans around the globe before too many matches have come and gone?

  • Comment number 36.

    As an "armchair spectator" the constant drone of the vuvuzela horn this is really spoiling my enjoyment of the World Cup. Surely in this age of digital TV it's possible to offer ; 1. No ground sound just studio commentry or 2. Find the frequency of the "drone" (and that's what it is - 90+ mins of annoying drone) and selectively "White noise" it out, come on boffins, get it sorted !! - Audio options please BBC & ITV ! I'm sure the solutions going to be no sound + radio commentry, the World Cup will be over before FIFA / WCC bans these things. David Evans

  • Comment number 37.

    Bob in Bury - thanks very much for your kind words about our site.

    To everyone asking about the vuvuzelas, I am only responsible for the website, not the TV coverage, so I can't really talk about the effects myself, but I did get this BBC statement from the TV team in South Africa.

    "We have already taken steps to minimise the noise of the vuvuzelas by reducing the volume of the match effects to lower than normal. However we will continue to monitor the situation, and if the vuvuzelas continue to impact on audiences' enjoyment of the World Cup we will look at what other options we can take to reduce the volume further."

  • Comment number 38.

    Please, please save our ears and sanity from the noise of the vuvuzelas! My wife & I are so irritated and disturbed by it that we've given up watching World Cup games other than those involving England. Many of our friends are also finding their listening and viewing completely spoiled by the senseless noise. You can't even hear the proper crowd reactions because of it. I feel sorry for the players in the middle of it.

  • Comment number 39.

    PLEASE, please, please can't you do something about the dreadful noise during the worl cup.
    We just can't listen to it and keep having to turn off.
    I'm sure it would be classed as torture if prisoners were subjected to it.
    It's even hard to bear it long enough to watch the highlights.
    As a result we find we are losing interest and it is such a disappointment

  • Comment number 40.

    Lewis, if you're responsible for the website tell me this: why does the website "recognise" me as a UK viewer for content purposes (for those not in the know there are two versions of the News/Sport front pages depending on where the BBC servers think you are connecting from) - and then tell me that the content of BBC Radio 5 Live/webstreaming is "not available in my area" ... all of which are from when I'm in London.

    How quickly will this be fixed?

  • Comment number 41.

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

  • Comment number 42.

    What the hell is going on with your ‘so called’ experts? Even those ex-professional players who should know better. Let me tell you about the ball.

    Remember all the crosses that are over hit ……… the ball.

    Remember all the free kicks which you say are poor ………… the ball.

    Remember all the poor handling by the goals keepers (and that includes two goals) ………. THE BALL.

    It doesn’t swerve or curve in one direction, it ‘wobbles’ in the air, not rocket science. We at home can see it, why are the experts baffled?

    And why do we always seem to introduce a new ball with different ‘flight’ characteristics during important tornaments?

    Pat

    (An ex-pat in Spain)

  • Comment number 43.

    Lewis, we don't want you to take the flak for the vuvzelas spoiling our enjoyment of live matches - where CAN we share our views with those responsible for the coverage (especially the audio)?

  • Comment number 44.

    Why are there no scores and clock on permenant display on the bbc1 coverage?

  • Comment number 45.

    The noise that pervades the world cup matches continues to be a big problem - how about just being able to hear the commentators and not the ambient noise. This would be a great use of the red button. The fans can make as much noise as they like and we can watch the match and hear the commentators. For this evening the family has just turned it off.

  • Comment number 46.

    Please Please Please Please!! BBC you must be able to do something re these horns, constant monotone noise that drowns the atmosphere for those that are stuck back here. We rely on the enjoyment and the expereinece of this major event, by the skills that our major Broadcasters can bring. I have really made an effot to try and ignore it, but i have now given up its no sound for me now! and everyone talks about this i know and they say its spoiling the event for them. Unless the BBC can do something by creating a fabricated atmosphere, or raising the voices etc, i am sure many more genuine fans are going to give up.

    I was not able to attend this world cup and was looking forward to a TV / Radio Feast but not now ! It does not look like FIFA will budge so between you guys and ITV what more can be done?

  • Comment number 47.

    I watched the BBC coverage of part of the Italy match yesterday and if that had the effects mike turned down I hate to think what it was like before. My hearing is generally ok but it was a struggle to hear the match commentators, the alternative 5live audio was slightly better but the background din was still there. Is it possible to offer an alternative audio with no effects? Those droning "vuvuzelas" add nothing to the atmosphere of the games and certainly make it less likely I will be watching.

  • Comment number 48.

    So far I have been unable to watch more than a couple of minutes of a match online without it freezing/losing the connection altogether. I appreciate that it's hard to anticipate the number of people wanting to watch the games online, but when you advertise the games are available online, surely you should make sure they are watchable.

  • Comment number 49.

    I am so glad I didn’t waste time & money to go to South Africa as there would be no escape from those infernal vuvuzelas inside the grounds. Imagine having to put up with that racket for 2 hours.
    Having said that, I don’t think they should be banned, even if FIFA or the SA authorities had the guts to do so, unless it is proved that they are a health hazard.
    If the Bafana Bafana want to blow their brains out, just let them.
    The BBC & ITV must know the strength of feeling against the vuvu, and if they have the technology, they should filter out or decrease the volume of the vuvu considerably.
    Apparently, ESPN in the US have successfully done so.
    If our broadcasters don’t have such technology, why don’t they provide a commentary only service without crowd noise. Let’s face it, nothing else can be heard above the buzzing of the vuvu, so no atmosphere would be lost.
    I use the mute button, but it is weird watching the matches in silence. I have even tried muting & listening to Radio 5 Live commentary, but they still have the vuvus. WHY for goodness sake.
    We must all pressure BBC & ITV to do the right thing.
    I have emailed both of them to do more for their viewers.

  • Comment number 50.

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

  • Comment number 51.

    The BBC TV red button coverage offers the TV commentary or the 5live version. How about a 3rd option of just a commentary without the moronic drone from a section of the crowd.

    Until this happens I can't stand watching the World Cup and have currently switched over from the Brazil match on ITV to watch a Top Gear repeat.

    The viewer figures for the first week a this World Cup should shake up the men in suits into action.

  • Comment number 52.

    I know there's been a lot of teams complaining about the ball during the World Cup.
    Is it possible it's something to do with being in the Southern Hemisphere, similar to the water going down the plughole in the opposite direction in Australia etc?

  • Comment number 53.

    i need a question answered.....

    played....w...d....l...against.....for....pts...

    england 3 0 3 0 3 3 3
    france 3 0 3 0 3 3 3
    germany 3 0 3 0 3 3 3
    spain 3 0 3 0 3 3 3

    in above ,make belief group who would go through as winner and runner up..? as all teams have same amount off points...goals scored..for and against as each game playes ended as a 1-1 draw.....
    also how the winner and runner up be chosen and why?

  • Comment number 54.

    Yes! Great pronunciation for the Spain match. And to be honest, after disliking thew noise at first I find I'm getting used to the vuvuzelas, or at least the toned down version on TV today. I even heard the "ooogh" of the crowd in one match a couple of days ago as someone came close to scoring. Of course if you're obsessed with the noise I suppose it's all you hear, but if you can learn to put up with it.... (and it IS here to stay, it seems)

  • Comment number 55.

    It unforgivably harsh to call for a ban of the Vuvuzela.
    He was a great servant to both Hamburg & Germany.
    Who will ever forget his equaliser in the 1970 World Cup quarter-final
    against England.
    More respect for Vuvuzela please. !!!!

  • Comment number 56.

    I am the Deputy Headteacher of Heathfield Primary School in Bolton and we are following the German World cup team as part of a international blogging project! Our Germany Blog can be found at: www.germany.blogtheworldcup.net

    I am trying to find out where I can ask if the MOTD team could give the blog a mention before the Germany game on Friday? You only need to spend 1 minute on the blog to see what fantastic things the pupils have been doing! Truly amazing considering they are only 10 years old!

    I really hope you can get this information to the team before the show tomorrow!!

    Thanks very much!

    David Mitchell

  • Comment number 57.

    Sirs,
    Please ask the match comentators to stop whinging about the referee's. The Germany v Serbia was a whingers delight.

    Also can we have constant statements that the ball is MUCH lighter penalised with duck tape over their mouths.

    The allowed maximum, minimum weight differential is 25 grams, that is to say .88184905 oz.

  • Comment number 58.

    As a member of an ever-diminishing group of people who actually watched the 1966 world cup live it strikes me as fairly obvious what is happening to England during their current efforts.
    It takes both skill and luck to win the world cup and what England had by the barrowload in 1966 was luck. They rode their luck, they pushed their luck and they got away with it to an unbelievable degree but this was never recognised by the media – the pundits all claimed that England had won the Cup because they were the best team in the world. A ridiculous claim, really – if the competition had been replayed the next month England would probably have struggled to get out of the group stages. A ridiculous claim but one which most people seemed to believe – including Scotland; when Scotland beat England just a few months later the Wembley turf was torn up and Scottish support suddenly thought they had the best team in the world – a belief which unfortunately lasted until the embarrassment of Argentina in 1970.
    If England appreciated just how lucky they were in 1966 they might just put less pressure on their players – and their team, with luck, might do quite well in these major championships. But Lady Luck has a healthy amount of self-respect; if she is taken for granted she will leave you for someone more appreciative.

  • Comment number 59.

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  • Comment number 60.

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  • Comment number 61.

    I feel I should perhaps add this to my earlier post here.
    What I feel the current England squad is lacking is the feeling that they should just "go for it". They seem afraid to take chances but perhaps once their backs are really against the wall they'll realise there's no point in being careful.
    If you don't push your luck you don't get any. The 1966 team seemed to know that instinctively – this team needs to learn it.

  • Comment number 62.

    Can someone put it to Gary Lineker and his team of experts how much England are missing David Beckham the player. Either in a starting lineup or coming on from the bench. Wright-Phillips nor Lennon or Milner have been able to replace him. I bet Capello would love to have him on the bench. They are missing his crosses and one thing is sure he would 100% fighting for England.

  • Comment number 63.

    I have just learned that a UK university participated in the re-engineering of the actual ball used in this World Cup by FIFA.

    In my humble opinion, it serves England right in that case. There is a universal sacred principle: if it ain't broke (as we say in the US, don't fix it).

    There was absolutely no good reason on earth to tamper with the conventional ball every kid in the world learned to play with. There is no good reason on earth for the professional tournaments to be played with a different kind of ball than the children have played with in the schoolyards.

    Horse races are run using standard horses. Basketballs, volleyballs, hockey pucks do not undergo re-engineering. Heaven forfend that anyone should ever tamper with a cricket ball or an American baseball!

    Only in FIFA do we increasingly find a senile leadership that needs to have its head examined for fiddling with what does not need fine-tuning.

    Between the swerving, loopy balls that go twice as high at the least tap as they are meant to, and the infernal din of the vuvuzelas, the South African World Cup has been reduced to the most forgettable, unappealing one ever held... FIFA owes South Africans an apology, and possibly a do-over: minus the vuvuzelas, and played with the conventional ball.

    And yes, it is no more "racist" nor "culturally insensitive" to proscribe vuvuzelas than to ban smoking in public venues. The godawful noisemaker is every bit as much of a health hazard as are cigarettes -- and the damage is worst for children, teens & pregnant women.

    Shows you how much Fifa bosses care about the constituencies: only about raking in the money with who cares what kind of service!

    See you in Brazil, with no vuvuzelas (I trust they will be banned by WHO as a deafness-inducing nuisance) and the old ball -- or never again, anywhere. And I am not unique in that expressed wish.

    Adidas, you have to make amends. Who ever heard of a ridged, grooved "ball"? This is NOT golf.

  • Comment number 64.

    Can anyone tell me what music / song / artist is played at the beginning of the BBC coverage of the world cup? It was also used in the promo ads for the build up to the games - its really brilliant and I'd like to buy a copy if I can. - thanks for any assistance

  • Comment number 65.

    If there is one lesson to be learned by the BBC it is that, they should never again send Chris Hollins to represent the corporation or the country at any major or sporting event, anywhere in the world.

    Since he arrived in South Africa, he has done nothing but moan, whinge and complain about almost everything he can think of. Before the games started, he was complaining almost every day about the weather. Once the games got under way, he complained at every opportunity about the vuvuzelas, now - even before the match again Slovenia - he is complaining about the state of the pitch. (Totally ignoring the fact that England's previous performances weren't exactly brilliant on the good pitches)

    With this man and his cliche laden remarks getting world coverage, is it any wonder that the rest of the world regard the English as a nation of whingers? Please, please, please rein him in.

  • Comment number 66.

    @Derek Watson (#64) the song is calle "Rainbow Nation" and it's by the Dallas Guild. The BBC are using the 'Soviet Science Mix'.

    It's 2 mins 38 secs long.

    If anyone knows a longer mix (because the song is excellent), post it here!

  • Comment number 67.

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  • Comment number 68.

    Boy, do I feel stupid posting this. I'm Dutch - but not a soccer/football fan. I know - it's rare, but it happens.

    As such, I have no working knowledge on how the FIFA 2010 World Cup actually works. There's groups, points, big flowcharts full of flags and connecting lines, web pages full of amazing details, down to what the players ate for lunch yesterday... but can anyone point me to a link that describes the simple basic rules of it all? I would love to get caught up in the frenzy this time - but simply don't know what's going on, exactly.
    (believe it or not: www.fifa.com does not have any information on its site either).

    Sorry, football fans, for taking up blogspace with such a basic question - and thanks for your understanding.

  • Comment number 69.

    Have been watching Brazil v Portugal. The game was not good but the worst thing was the constant negative comments from your commentators who repeatedly spoilt any chance of enjoyment of this poor game by being extremely negative.

  • Comment number 70.

    Hi Luuk. I have always liked the Netherland teams and I think this one has done well. Sorry don't know where to find the basic rules except in a rule book you can buy in most sport shops. Basically the game involved 2 teams of 11 players. One goalkeeper who can handle the ball and 11 outfield players who cannot handle the ball. The ball has to be put into the opponnenta goal and this can be done by kicking it, heading it or having it bounce off of and part of the body expect if the arm/hand has been moved to divert the ball. That is a foul. For a foul that Referee will blow the whistle and indicate what type of foul it is. He will raise his arm if it is an indirect free kick which means when the team awarded the foul kicks the ball it cannot go directly into the goal and must be touched by another players before the ball is active and in play. If it is a direct foul the Referee will not raise his arm and the players taking the free kick can kick the ball directly into the goal if he wants. From a free kick awarded after a foul the player taking the kick can kick the ball in any direction but if he kicks it back to his goalkeeper his goalkeeper cannot use his hands and must then kick the ball. Same thing is a player passes the ball back to his goalkeeper at any time during the game. If the ball goes out of the pitch to either side a throw in is awarded to the team that did not put it out of play. That throw in can be thrown in any direction and if thrown forward the attacking team players cannot be offside. Players are offside if there are less than two players from the other team between them and the goal they are attacking. When tackling the other team players or heading the ball playes must be going for the ball and not attacking the opposite team player. When tacking for the ball the boots must not be up and showing the boot studs because that is dangerous and high kicks close to an opponent are are also a foul. If the ball is put out behind the goal line by the defending team a corner is awarded to the attacking team who will then kick the ball from the corner into the penalty area. If the defending team deliberately fouls inside their own penalty area the referee will blow the whistle and award a penalty for the attacking team. One of the attacking team will put the ball on the penalty spot and then kick it towards the goal trying to beat the keeper. The keeper cannot move until the ball is kicked and all other players must stay out of the penalty area before the ball is kicked. That's about it.

  • Comment number 71.

    Sorry Luuk a couple of typing errors in my last message. There are of course only 10 outfield players. Also I should mention to decide if a player is 'offside' his position must be looked at 'at the time' the ball is kicked forward to him by his teammate. If there are two players from the defending team between him and the goal he is attacking 'at the time the ball is kicked forward' he is not offside. But if there is only one player from the defending team between him and the goal he is in an 'offside' position. It is a bit more complicated because if the player in an offside position is 'not active' i.e stops playing and takes no part in the attack the Referee can allow play to continue.

  • Comment number 72.

    What the TV pundits seem to completey overlook is the fact that every England player in the Premiership is surrounded by world class overseas team mates who can lift their performance and make them the players they are. BUT, when only England players are thrown together they become lack luster and toothless (Nobby Stiles withstanding! RIP)
    All we hear is "they play fantastic in the Premiership" but "they" are not just the England players. England players simply can't gell as a unit and some have developed egos beyond their actual capabilities and bolstered by a fanatic and deluded press.

  • Comment number 73.

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  • Comment number 74.

    I tend to agree with Armagedoncoming. The egos of multimillionare England players have been part of the problem. Teams with more younger less well known players often play much better because they will work harder for success and to reach the top of their game. They will usually be better team players instead of having 'superstar' attitudes. Look at the way Japan played as a team working hard for each other. I still cannot understand why Beckham was there? He was a great player but he should not have been part of the England set up. Saying he could inspire the other multimillionare players is nonesense. Several of the senior players were not too happy with his 'prima dona' style when he was England Captain and I cringed whenever he referred to 'My Team' when he talked about the England Team. 'Our Team' would have been more inclusive. I also cannot understand why Crouch was not put on to completely change they dynamic of the game. Why put on Heskey who was not going to provide anything different. The whole concept of Rooney being better with Heskey was wrong from the beginning. I believe Crouch could have laid off balls to Rooney and with Gerrard and Lampard supporting from midfield England would have been a far more effective attacking team. Whilst Crouch is not perhaps the fastest forward his ball control is good and he lays off good balls to other players as well as being good in the air and with his shots on goal. I like Gerrard but sadly he is not a good Captain on the field! He tends to lead by showing his own enthusism,skill and passion for the game but he is far too quiet when it comes to motivating other players. He does not get involved. I remember a number of Liverpool players obviously heading for trouble with the Ref in several important games and Gerrard did nothing to speak to them or get involved guiding them how to calm down or improve their game. I do not like Terry very much but at least he is a leader on the field however his standard of play has gone down since his sponsorship/personal problems. Lacking a strong leader on the pitch is just one of the many problems England has. The time has come to bring in young keen fast attacking players with only one or two old hands to steady the ship and one of them would have the respect needed to be Captain. A hard central defender like Terry or Jamie Callagher but younger and faster (it's a pity King is not fit because he has the best defending brain of the lot) and a midfield distributor of the ball like Alonso was for Liverpool will do. Where can we find them?

  • Comment number 75.

    First we need to reduce the number of games our players play. Reduce the number of teams in Premier League, and play no games in January.
    Capello made many mistakes in S Africa. The team was tight, not relaxed and having fun, look at them in the tunnel for each game. Against Germany when we were tied we should have someone
    ( J Cole ) covering why the two center backs were up. Why was Rooney not tried up top with Gerrard behind for part of a game.
    We really missed Scholes in midfield, and Adam Johnson. We still do not have a player who can bring the ball up from the back.
    We are not as bad as we think. In all four games we played 10 men ( no Rooney) and still only lost one game. The Lampard goal would have made the Germany game much more interesting.
    Capello now has the job of cleaning house for the older players as we are build for Euro Cup and WC 2014. James, Heskey, Lampard, Ferdinand, Carragher, Barry etc. They still have life in them but we are building a new team.
    If we make the semi round of Euro 12 then extend Capello's contract for the World Cup 14.

  • Comment number 76.

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  • Comment number 77.

    Now left with only one prediction - will Spain defy or fall in line of predictions by Octopus the Paul? Read from the blog in the following weblink

    http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QKVTLUMG3BFYP55U2K762HL66Q/blog/articles/193485?listPage=index

    Deepak

  • Comment number 78.

    The final was very dissapointing. Howard Webb had a very difficult task but his reluctance to send off players allowed the game to become a tackling nightmare. His initial showing of Yellow cards were no doubt his way of telling the players he was going to keep strict control of the game but then failing to send players off for second bad fouls was a signal that he wanted to keep everyone on the pitch. Failing to give a Red Card for that horrible high kick directly into the Spanish players chest was a bad mistake and the linesman and Ref not seeing that a shot was deflected for a corner to Holland near the end was also a bad mistake which near the end of the game could have kept the ball well away from the Holland goal area. But it was a very difficult game to referee and the players themselves should be condemed for their lack of professionalism in the way they threw themselves into tackles without thinking. Many of the bad tackles were not in crucial areas of the field where some degree of 'get stuck in' is an acceptable part of stopping the opponent at all cost. I have supported Holland over the years and generally like the way they play but time and again Holland players let themselves and the side down by loosing their tempers. I was hoping that several individuals would not do that in the final but it seemed that many in the team were just too pumped up to play good football. I remain a fan of Holland but a bit ashamed for the way they blamed the referee after the game because had the ref been stricter Holland, not Spain, would have had more players sent off.

  • Comment number 79.

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