World Cup 2006 Blog

From our reporters in Germany

My soul is crumbling

claire_stocks2.gifLONDON - "My soul is crumbling," was how one Australian described the pain of their last-minute defeat to Italy on Radio Five Live.
To some England fans who have suffered decades of heartbreak, often also at the hand of perceived cheating, or penalties, or both, it may seem sweet justice that their Antipodean cousins get to drink from the same sour-tasting cup so early in their fledgling foray into football.
But you have to feel for them, don't you. Don't you..?

"So Cruel" said Australia's Daily Telegraph, though it also predicted the 23 players would make a motza from their participation.

Prime Minister John Howard was widely quoted saying he was "brokenhearted".
"The team has been fantastic and the country is so proud of them. They performed way above where they were rated and it's just a very cruel way to lose...right on the knocker like that." Welcome to the World Cup, John.

The heartache must have been even worse for those tens of thousands of fans who stayed up through the night to watch the action on outdoor big screens - and then had to go to work. (There was only a bit of bother in Melbourne, which has a big Italian population.

John O'Neill , chief executive of Football Federation Australia, said the manner of defeat was "excruciatingly cruel," and revealed that many players were in tears in the dressing room afterwards.

One also has more than a sneaking suspicion that the Aussie handwringing will have been slightly more pained due to the mysterious absence of star player Harry Kewell. Not because of a manly sort of injury like Phillipe Senderos' smashed up nose/dislocated shoulder but because of... gout.
(Hiddink did his best to protect Kewell, previously ribbed by fans for his peachy bottom after his wife Sheree Murphy's I'm A Celebrity indiscretions, trying to explain away his absence thus: "He got a reaction from the previous game, an inflammation of his joint. That's why he was on crutches because it takes off a little bit of the weight off his ankle.")

Some may feel the Aussie celebrating-glorious-defeat (don't Brits have the monopoly on that?) is going a little far, with talk of an Australia Day gong for outgoing coach Guus Hiddink and a homecoming parade.
("We'd like to see the ticker-tape parade here in Melbourne {whether} the Socceroos win, lose or draw," Victorian Sports Minister Justin Madden said before the match.)
Hiiddink, perhaps more experienced in judging the scale a second-round exit, is not so keen.

Aussies may also be interested in this take on "impartiality in sports broadcasting" from China's most popular TV commentator.
According to the Associated Press, this is how Huang Jianxiang relayed the moment when Fabio Grosso went down under Lucas Neill's "challenge" in the last 10 seconds of the match to the millions of Chinese viewers on state-run CCTV.

Penalty! Penalty! Penalty! Grosso's done it,
Grosso's done it! The great Italian left back! He succeeded in the glorious traditions of Italy! Facchetti, Cabrini and Maldini, their souls are infused in him at this moment! Grosso represents the long history and traditions of Italian soccer, he's not fighting alone at this moment! He's not alone!

More was to come when Francesco Totti converted the spot-kick.

Goooooal! Game over! Italy win! Beat the Australians! They do not fall in front of Hiddink again! Italy the great! Left back the great! Happy birthday to Maldini! Forza Italia! The victory belongs to Italy, to Grosso, to Cannavaro, to Zambrotta, to Buffon, to Maldini, to everyone who loves Italian soccer! Hiddink ... lost all his courage faced with Italian history and traditions ... He finally reaped fruits which he had sown! They should go home. They don't need to go as far away as Australia as most of them are living in Europe. Farewell!

Huang later said he couldn't remember what he had said in the heat of the moment and his preference for
Italy was because he had commentated on Serie A for many years.
"I'm more familiar with Italian players ... and I don't like Australians indeed. I was hoping they'd do badly."

Finally, some rumours resurfacing that Barcelona may be interested in taking Neill from Blackburn and Brett Emerton may have sparked the interest of AC Milan.
Claire S, blog editor

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 12:56 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Matthew wrote:

I suppose the question emerges, which do you prefer; the energetic yet biased display by Huang, or the apathetic incompetent commentating by the ITV bunch. Even Motson for the Beeb has seemingly lost his way in the World Cup, although allowances must be made for having to sit next to Lawrenson all the time.

Well done Hiddink; an excellent display, and he's correct to not want a victory parade. Let the fans and players realise that only one position matters and is worth celebrating; 1st. Russia will I'm sure be celebrating his imminent arrival; far more than England will be welcoming Steve McClaren!

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  • 2.
  • At 12:58 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • The Gaffer wrote:

Claire,

It'd be interesting to make a list of the countries who have been knocked out of this tournament thus far due to poor refereeing decisions.

Australia is one, for sure after that penalty incident.

The United States was also robbed when the referee awarded a penalty against them in the Ghana match. Even though the match would have been 1-1 if the penalty wasn't awarded, it was the turning point of the game, and could have given the US some hope.

Can anyone think of any other countries who were knocked out for similar reasons?

Cheers,
The Gaffer
www.EPLTalk.com

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  • 3.
  • At 01:04 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • robin bate wrote:

Can anyone in football, let alone Italian football, be in the smallest bit pleased that Italy have been invited into last 8 of WC, because an Italian forward fell over an Ozzie defender in the Oz goal mouth and the referee did not fancy another 30 minute splus in the heat. If Italy are so desperate to see their name scratched on the WC trophy then they are welcome to it. Let sportsmanship and football rein, and let the Italian seamy side be overwhelmed by truth and skill.

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  • 4.
  • At 01:11 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • David Auger wrote:

So Australia lost the Rugby World Cup to Engalnd (on home turf), lost the Ashes and are out of the football World Cup before Engalnd - I detect a very welcome trend.

Here's some pommie sympathy:

Aussie Aussie Aussie!
Out out out!

Go home, Aussie, go home, go home!

They won't have far to go, most of them live in Europe anyway :-)

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  • 5.
  • At 01:15 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Ralph wrote:

So the italian forward did what he can do best, he took a dive and the ref gave him this very questionably penalty. Imagine the outrage in Italy if this happened the other way around.

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  • 6.
  • At 01:23 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • wes wrote:

the greatest peice of commentary i have ever heard.that man deserves some kind of award.

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  • 7.
  • At 01:28 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • DaveH wrote:

I'm no great fan of Australia in general (I don't have any logical reason for that - I just don't like them much..), but it's wrong for anybody to go out in the way that they did. Their team has shown tremendous spirit, and have played with a total lack of fear and a high level of commitment. They should be highly commended.
I wish that England would play with such abandon - an attitude that says, "this is our best game - can you match it?" The problem is that nobody expected the Aussies to win - except the Aussies - but the England team are expected to win, and therefore fear losing.

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  • 8.
  • At 01:35 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Peter wrote:

Last time Australia played England in the rugby, Australia won.

Last time Australia played in England in football, Australia won.

England has won one series in the Ashes in the last 20 years.

The World Champion in the Superbikes is Australian.

As an Australian I'm proud of our efforts, not only in the World Cup but across so many sporting arenas.

We have a population which is one-third that of England and yet we show time and time again that we are able to compete on the World stage in numerous sports, often beating our 'motherland'.

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  • 9.
  • At 01:36 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Australian Fan wrote:

As an Australian with Chinese heritage I am very disappointed in this muppets comments about Australia. Each person should have the right to have an opinion but yours is sh%t mate!!!

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  • 10.
  • At 01:38 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Sami wrote:

Robin...
"seamy?"
"let Italy be overwhelmed by truth and skill?" - I am assuming you are implying that Italy possess neither truth nor skill...

Did you watch the match?

I will not for one moment try and defend that that was a good decision by the ref to award a penalty - HOWEVER Italy have suffered SO much from bad referee decisions - 1) in that match (Materazzi red card? - I don't think so) and a couple of the yellows were quesionable, Gattuso getting told off when HE was barged?! - 2) they have also suffered shoddy decisions in the rest of the tournament and 3) in the previous world cup - anyone remember that Korea match - SHOCKING REFEREE!!!

Also - there have been other bad decisions for other teams and sadly and frustratingly - that's just part of the game - if they go in your favour then you're not going to complain, and if they go against you - then you will..

I will also defend the fact that whereas Italy may not be constantly electrifying on the pitch, they are highly skilled, managing to defend like kings and hold off the Australians from scoring despite being one man down... Buffon is a genius and Cannavaro too. Really the best defence ever.

I do feel for the roos as it's an awful way to go out and I know how I would feel... but to accuse Italy of not playing fairly or with skill is just inaccurate and short sighted.

FORZA AZZURRI.

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  • 11.
  • At 01:42 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Nigel wrote:

Sympathy? For the Australians? Like the same sympathy they show us?

You are surely, surely, having a laugh?!

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  • 12.
  • At 01:43 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Driver wrote:

It never ceases to amaze me that England fans feel how they are unjustly treated over the years and are at the wrong end of cheating. I seem to remember a fair bit of cheating from them as well, not to mention that they have won a world cup final on a 'goal' which should have never stood. All they can come up with is always the 'Hand of God' incident, but looking at it objectively, there should have been only one winner in that game that day and that was Argentina. You were thoroughly outclassed and that first goal alone because of its sheer brilliance should have counted for at least three goals. In 1986 for once we had a deserved winner in the competition and English fans should stop bleating on about it. There are a lot more 'smaller' countries than England who genuinely have something to complain about, Australia now being one of them.

Oh and on a different note, please stop all that nonsens about how it's always the foreigners that cheat. I've seen numerous English players fall down like a sack of bricks at the slightest hint of contact (including your self-proclaimed 'star' Rooney) to put that theory forever to fairyland.

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  • 13.
  • At 01:53 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Tom wrote:

It is always nice to see the Aussies lose!

It is probably because I am a tiny bit jealous of their usual success but i think I could swallow it a bit more easily if they weren't SO UP THEMSELFS!!

So for a good 5 mins yesterday i just let myself go and laughed out-loud continuosly from the penalty decision until the final whistle - BRILLIANT!!!!

bye - bye aussies - i hope you can fit your heads throught the plane doors!

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  • 14.
  • At 01:54 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Hooky wrote:

I have enjoyed watching my first football tournament, being this years world cup, but it is moments like the penalty that cost Australia the match against Italy that give reason why football will never be popular in our county. Poor sportsmanship does not sit well with any Australian.

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  • 15.
  • At 01:55 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • PJ The Womble wrote:

It's obviously just a coincidence that there's all this hoo-hah about corruption in Italian football at the moment. To suggest that the referee made anything but a simple honest mistake with that penalty would be the work of a liar and a communist :-)

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  • 16.
  • At 02:04 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Dustaz wrote:

Ooof, that chinese commentator was harsh.

Really unlucky on the australians. Every neutral in the global audience was rooting for them.

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  • 17.
  • At 02:04 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Rossini Silveira wrote:

I would accept if Australia had performed poorly....And if Italy had scored fairly even in the last second...

BUT to lose after such a great performance and with a penalty that was not a fair decision.

ITS ROBBERY !!!! The Referee should have been sent off for unfair play!!!!

The Italians should be up for the OOscars - great acting.

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  • 18.
  • At 02:12 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Anonymous wrote:

Old Italian proverb "If at first you don't succeed, Dive and Cheat"

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  • 19.
  • At 02:12 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • steve winter wrote:

I am fed up with the English media. It seems that because they have so much spare time between England games they have to continually stir. I really believe that most of the media would prefer a 'story' even if it meant England were to lose, rather than even if England were to boringly win the world cup.
They spout loyalty yet are unpatriotic. Most of the fans support England, most media criticise negatiely. We know England are not playing well, we know they defend too deep and get nervous when ahead, yet we cheer them on. We know we have a clever manger, clever in that he tricked the FA into making them think he was going to go to Chelsea and they raised his salry to an unbeleivable level, We know it is the FA that needs reforming. We fear that in the future England will play like Middlesborough (Oh help !).
The media harp on about everything yet construvtive ways forward. if England win they will spout all sorts of fanfare yet I suspect they hope we lose so they can then comment their ignorance as to why we lost. They are losers who have achieved nothing or else poachers with no gamekeepers around, They complain about referees when it is the players who are ruin games (Portugal v Holland).
We are stuck with the media as the only means of communicating to us yet ist has been more than usually woeful this World Cup.
I have enjoyed the football, agonised when England played, grateful they are still in, and hope they can overturn some tasty teams ahead of them, yet have not enjoiyed the media one bit, they have been spoiling it for me.
Steve

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  • 20.
  • At 02:13 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Billy Towers (UK) wrote:

Very harsh way to go out.
But bearing in mind the horror tackles committed by Lucas Neil in the past it couldn't happen to a nicer fella.

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  • 21.
  • At 02:15 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • chris wrote:

Who's Huang 'ping pong'.What was the score last time Australia played England ohh thats right 3-2. Where's China in the world cup? must have another Bye. We dominated the match against the Divers l mean Italians. We took the defeat like real men, imagine if it was ltaly that copped the penalty they would be crying and winying. We performed and stuck by our team unlike the English. Even there own media turns on them. We are threat to recon with ask Japan ask Croatia ask Brasil. We are not a nation to complian but we are a nation that loves our sport not matter if it was table tennis or even lawn bowals, and we always has fun no matter the circumsatnces. Iam only 16 and i had a tears in my eyes when we made it through to the final 16. Iam a Proud aussie Born and Bred here.

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  • 22.
  • At 02:16 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Tony wrote:

Don't seem to recall England losing before where a penalty was the last kick in regulation. At least when its a shoot out you get to see which team has more bottle. I guess having been almost shafted by Poll and now done over by the Italian's, Australian football has finally come of age.

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  • 23.
  • At 02:17 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Sophie Arkinstall wrote:

Australia's defeat to Ital was exactly that - so cruel. The Australians put such a great side together, very fit and under the mastermind coach of Guus. I was absolutely shattered when they lost; I also have family in Australia and know how they feel. I too believe that FIFA and the refs where bias towards more traditional football nations eg. the many controversial decisions in the Brazil group game and the game against Italy. On the world stage in a sudden death situation with the scores tied up - teams can not afford for referees to give ridiculous decisions (especially at the end!) It's Obvious that if the game went for another 30mins Australia's fitness would have seen them through plus the fact that Italy have lost all recent shoot outs. All I can say – that was so cruel and a tragic end, and Australia for host country 2014!!!

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  • 24.
  • At 02:21 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • geoff wrote:

sack fifa,the refs,bring in video replays to save football.

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  • 25.
  • At 02:30 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Lee Shack wrote:

I have played and watched football since a child and I dont think I have seen a more outrageous decision as that penalty , it seems that the referees are more important than the players when determining results and that is the greatest tragedy. It was so obviously a contrived penalty and this should not happen in such an important match!
Re. Italy v Australia

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  • 26.
  • At 02:32 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • kevin yuan wrote:

i am a chinese and i am living in london. i watched the match yesterday afternoon. to be honest, as a fan of Italian team, i do not think the win Italy over Australia was justified. on the contrary, i really feel for austalians, they played so well in the most time of the match. the CCTV commentator was stupid when he blurted out all those souless comments. has he not learned that what a mess in Italian domestic football right now? if that is the "great tradition", let's forget football. his comments only represnt his personal point of view, and i am sure there must be a lot of critism out there towards him. i respect the australian players in this world cup, they have been fighting so bravely. in addition, welcome australia to join Asia Football Association, they will provide impetus to the development of Asian football.

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  • 27.
  • At 02:32 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Kim wrote:

Why don't they use instant replay during the World Cup particularly on controversial calls like this? With the stakes so high, it only seems to make sense.
I think it's horrible that games involving any team are decided on questionable calls like this. It diminishes the respectability of the game and taints the results. My prediction is that Italy won't make it past the next round. Luck and arrogance only takes you so far.

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  • 28.
  • At 02:35 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • The Dustbin Lid wrote:

As an Englishman who has spent years being beaten by Aussies (Cricket, Rugby, Athletics Etc..) there was a small part of me that felt a slight pang of happiness at Italy's late penalty. But at no time did I feel there was any justice in it, the Aussies played so well and ran Italy all over the park and could have scored. But this great game of ours awards nothing to teams who don't score goals, Australia didn't and Italy did, end of story. It's just a pity that the end of the story had to be manufactured by an Italian falling over and Australian and a seemingly partially sighted referee giving a penalty for it! A great shame, but that's football and the Aussies had just better get used to it, everyone knows we poms have had to!

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  • 29.
  • At 02:35 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Michael wrote:

Oh, look, Mr Stephan Blunt is back with his conspiracy theories. Don't forget the one about the German beer industry. They want Germany-England as a final so that they can sell more beer to the fans from the island... :-)
Back to more serious matters: The Aussies played a great tournament and didn't deserve to go like that (foul or not). Portugal on the other hand didn't deserve to move on. So how about we write to FIFA to make a minor change... :-)

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  • 30.
  • At 02:45 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • alex wrote:

it was heart breaking to see us gown down, with so little time left, i think it was a blatent dive by grosso, as moore had already cleared the ball before he took a tumble. and i think its better that we celebrate what we have achieved in this cup, than whinge and moan as brits have done for...well since the world cup started.

finally, to the chinese commentator, if our two countries meet in the next asian cup, you will be left to rue what may have been and to tell your compatriots that "AUSTRALIA HAVE WON, WON,WON, i may not like them, but what a lesson they have showed Chinese football." GO AUSSIE!!!!!

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  • 31.
  • At 02:45 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Jake Fontana wrote:

A cruel blow for the Aussies indeed.

Unfortunately the Azzuri have proven themselves to once again be the masters of cynical, 'win at all costs' football.

I know there are some that view Australia's defeat yesterday with a certain amount of schadenfreude, yet given that the World Cup is supposed to be a 'festival of football', to use a cliched phrase, they should be applauded for the postive way they played football yesterday. There was clearly a belief and pride about the Socceroos yesterday that makes me, as an England supporter, envious.

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  • 32.
  • At 02:48 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Craig Hoxton wrote:

Stick to cricket and egg-chucking, Skippy.

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  • 33.
  • At 02:49 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Jools wrote:

I believe that if it had gone to extra time Australia had it in the bag. A decision like that right on the final whistle just seems a bit dodgy doesnt it? Come on Fifa, sort out a proper 4th official as they have in rugby and rid the glorious game of football from these ridiculous decisions made by inept officials time and time again.

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  • 34.
  • At 02:49 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • fraser wrote:

what a load of b.s!!!!

you heartless git, its so typical what has englands heartache got to do with it, australia lost a very dodgy penalty decision in the third minute of injury time and you take the piss because they are a little bit gutted and then you say its alright because they now can feel englands pain, that penelty decision was blatent bad luck that cannot be reflected on the spectacular display from the australian team, any pain felt by the english is because their team is crap!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • 35.
  • At 02:51 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Terry wrote:

Oz woz robbed

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  • 36.
  • At 02:56 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • geoff wrote:

sack fifa,the refs,bring in video replays to save football.

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  • 37.
  • At 02:57 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • super_si wrote:

I'm an ex pat English man living in Sydney, I watched the game live in a packed bar last night. I couldn't believe the ref's decision to award a penalty to Italy's Fabio Grosso, after he decided to fall (rather than step) over Lucas Neill's already prone body. Neither could my old mates in UK - who texted me within minutes of the final whistle. He so blatantly got it wrong. If you look at the replays he just looks like an idiot and once more (just like Maradonna's 'hand of God' incident) his error sent a worthy team out of the competition under very dubious circumstances.

Admittedly he gave a harsh red card decision earlier in the game, that saw Italy's Materazzi leaving the pitch early; but as I've stated, the clear cut error that ended Australia's run of luck was just incredible.

Something needs to be done about the quality of refereeing in this great competition.

http://expatworldcup.blogspot.com/2006/06/italy-v-australia-bar-cleveland.html

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  • 38.
  • At 02:58 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • brad wrote:

And the Oscar goes to....ITALIA best performance for a leading actor

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  • 39.
  • At 03:01 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Jim wrote:

No question of sympathy, Aussies wouldn´t want it. This is football, win or lose. But, fair to say the socceroos have done a fantastic job, played some great footy, shown great heart and dished out some great suprises.

It´s desperately cruel to lose in that way to blatant cheating right at the death, but that´s when it´s going to happen, when the Italians know they can´t win fair they´ll take any scrap they can get away with. That´s my recollection after many years of watching international football.

Sadly this competition has been littered with players whining on the ground in the hope of a treat from a referee. And, more often than not they have got it. Not so much to be said for manliness, fair play and honour in this situation..

In the end though, the Aussies can take pride from everything they´ve done in this competition and, maybe, accept that they´ve learnt some things along the way. Next time round they´ll know to snap up the goal opportunities that come their way and bury the oppo so there´s nothing left to chance.

However, this world cup has also been a catalogue of wasted opportunities (many from England), so there´s quite a lot of teams who ahouldn´t be bleating on their way home for going without a trophy to show.

Well done Aussies, great job, make sure you´re back next time.

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  • 40.
  • At 03:07 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Alex wrote:

OK, I'm not too bothered about partiality of the Chinese commentator - fact is that what he said is gut-bustingly hilarious.

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  • 41.
  • At 03:09 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Luciano wrote:

Everybody seems to forget the dubious reason for which Australia """"outnumbered"""" Italy, that is a non existent straight red card given at the begining of second half. Unfair to Italy, I'd say.

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  • 42.
  • At 03:09 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Minarwan wrote:

The Football Federation of Australia (FFA) are trying very hard to build the image of football (aka soccer) in Australia. Joining AFC, qualifying to the World Cup, starting the A-League and pushing hard to do well in the World Cup Final are all aimed to get the country embracing this sport.

So, it is understandable if the medias try to put a positive spin on Australia's elimination from the World Cup. Losing by a dubious penalty, in the dying seconds of the game is obviously not one scenario which the FFA want to have. The longer the Socceroos stay in Germany, the more attention this football code can get from the nation.

For your information, other leading football code in the country have had established fan bases and very succesful businesswise. It is a tough nut to crack and it is a battle out there. The Socceroos' recent World Cup campaign have been followed by both the "old" football fans and those who just joined in recently. It is important to keep these new sets of fans interested in football in the future by printing a positive spon and showing them that "fair play" does exist in the game.

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  • 43.
  • At 03:10 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Andrew Martin wrote:

Although thrilled at the performance of the Aussies, my main impression of the World Cup is of the disgraceful performances of the supposed top referees in the world. So many matches altered by unforgivable errors with usually higher ranked teams being favoured by the referees over the lower ranked teams. With the current crisis in Italy, the thought of corruption is very strong. I haven't talked to many people who will follow soccer over Aussie Rules football after this World Cup

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  • 44.
  • At 03:11 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Alan wrote:

Isn't it amazing how when the game is almost at an end and one team is winning, the other team seems to be accident prone and always fall over, then they make a meal of it, but if the referee pays no attention to them, their really really bad injury that had them rolling around on the floor in agony, magically heals itself and so the charade carries on. Football everybody calls it, im not sure what to call it but its not football, its some sad twisted soap opera of family affairs, where the referee is the parent of all the childeren on the pitch. Why do we watch this trollop?

Action needs to be taken against these "result manipulating" girls. If a replay prooves a player is faking a foul and injury. he should be sent off. Red card, no yellow, just sent off and banned from the rest of the tournament for time wasting and trying to manipulate the end result by means other than playing football.

There will probably be no players left to play football if that rule was introduced, other than brazil because they know how to play the beautiful game without cheating :o)

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  • 45.
  • At 03:14 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Bob wrote:

I believe the referee should n't have awarded that penalty to Italy. so I think it was hard lurk for the Australians.

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  • 46.
  • At 03:16 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • robbie wrote:

This article is a load of babbling nonsense!

Australia did amazingly well, all credit to them. And if they had drawn England at any stage of this competition then the Aussies would be going through to the next round.

For a country of such large population, England have been appalling and utterly terrible to watch. They have been exceedingly lucky with the calibre of their opposition in the group stages and then Ecuador should have beaten them! England are too full of their own self importance and this arrogant attitude makes them completely dislikeable - not because other nations are jealous, but rather they just cant be bothered listening to it, because it's all crap! Not to mention their thug supporters!

Congratulations Australia - you did very well indeed! Don’t pay any attention to English jibes, no one likes them anyway!

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  • 47.
  • At 03:17 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • brad wrote:

The commentator was so off his face he had no idea what he was saying and only knew the italians names,so he can be forgiven but Australia which is one third the population of England and we seem to beat then at everything, they win one ashes in twenty years and they think they have the holy grail, it will be very short lived, count the medal tally in the Olympics and that is laughable for the UK, in rugby they won the cup and we have since beaten them convincingly, in rugby league they never stand a chance. Having said all that I honestly hope they can win the World Cup and please let one english fan tell me that Australia was not hard done by the referee, infact in the game with Japan and Croatia they got a very bad deal, Good luck England and do us proud

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  • 48.
  • At 03:18 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Dion Fotopoulos wrote:

So those Aussies get a dose of reality. We have suffered on the world stage and so should they. Those Aussie don't belong in our Football World Cup. Don't the German's have a word for those who revel in other's misfortune's?

Australia played great, all us Aussies are proud. We lost, there will be no inquiry, life will go on.

Now, this is where Australia get's the last laugh. All that talent that goes to Aussie Rules and Rugby League, well guess what? You ain't seen nothing yet Football world, the Aussies are coming.

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  • 49.
  • At 03:21 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • nigel genis wrote:

Hey what do you think Harry Kewell with gout at 27. Time to join the wife in the jungle and layoff the rich mans food!!!I think a move from Liverpool will be on the cards

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  • 50.
  • At 03:31 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • tom wrote:

Australia did amazingly well, all credit to them. And if they had drawn England at any stage of this competition then the Aussies would be going through to the next round.

For a country of such a large population, England have been appalling and utterly terrible to watch. They have been exceedingly lucky with the calibre of their opposition in the group stages and then Ecuador should have beaten them! England are too full of their own self importance and this arrogant attitude makes them completely dislikeable - not because other nations are jealous, but rather they just cant be bothered listening to it because it is crap! Not to mention their thug supporters!

Congratulations Australia - you did very well indeed! Don’t pay any attention to English jibes, no one likes them anyway!

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  • 51.
  • At 03:31 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Tom Canning wrote:

This was the greatest dramatic role played by that Italian full back and he should be nominated for next years Oscar - it was even better than Maradonas "hand of God" goal against Englend when the referee went blind

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  • 52.
  • At 03:33 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Larry Barnett wrote:

Again the referee has become under fire for what was never a penalty during the Italy/Australian game. This years World Cup has seen more and more terrible calls by various referee's, some can't count, some never consult their linesmen and some are just incompetent. It is a shame like many games this year an d in the past have been decided by calls that should never have been. I know referees are human just as the players are, but when a player makes a mistake action is take right there and then,why not do the same to referee's who make the same mistakes.

Have two referees assigned to every match and change them when needed.

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  • 53.
  • At 03:35 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • super_si wrote:

I'm an ex pat Englishman and I watched the Italy/Australia game live in a packed Sydney bar last night. I don't think anyone could believe the ref's decision to award a penalty to Italy's Fabio Grosso, after he decided to fall (rather than step) over Lucas Neill's already prone body. Neither could my old mates in UK - who texted me within minutes of the final whistle. He just so blatantly got it wrong. If you look at the replays he looks like an idiot and once more (like Maradonna's 'hand of God' incident) his error sent a worthy team out of the competition under very dubious circumstances.

Admittedly he gave a harsh red card decision earlier in the game, that saw Italy's Materazzi leaving the pitch early; but as I've stated, the clear cut error that ended Australia's run of luck was just incredible - especially with them playing so well throughout. Extra time might have seen a different team progressing.

Something needs to be done about the quality of refereeing in this great competition.

http://expatworldcup.blogspot.com/2006/06/italy-v-australia-bar-cleveland.html

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  • 54.
  • At 03:35 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Fudge Man wrote:

Italy are cheats. The penalty was a poor acting move i hope they lose the next round. All them poor ozzies.

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  • 55.
  • At 03:36 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Maurice Anthony Rose wrote:

Maybe next time Australia should consider having some "Black" players on their Side. There "are" Black people in Australia, aren't there? I think there are one or two Aboriginal Native Australians, Australasians, who can play Football in that country. I'm not saying "racism" exactly, but you saw the same thing with Germany. No Black players on the pitch, Germany couldn't score, until they subed on the one Black person in all of Germany who proceeded to assist on the winning goal for the Germany team. I'm just sayin' is all.

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  • 56.
  • At 03:40 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • victor . o. otabor wrote:


The refering at this world cup is appaling!! How a referee of such standard could be hoodwinked into submission and allow such clear robbery of a penalty beats me hollow!!

FIFA should get their acts right before the next one in South Africa.
The Italian mafia was at work against Australia and cheats won the day not football. Shame!!

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  • 57.
  • At 03:54 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Nerissa Menzies wrote:

It is very sad that you have to slate the Aussies. They have been 100 times more exciting to watch than England, so why don't you just remember that when you watch your boring team play again.....
Bad sportsmanship doesn't get you anywhere!!

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  • 58.
  • At 03:57 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • stephen wrote:

This was the real Italian job, forget the film. What a way to lose!! FIFA could as well have asked the soceroos to stay away

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  • 59.
  • At 03:57 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Tom wrote:

I'm an Aussie who's rather proud of the way we played in our four games. To make the second round and then push one of the best teams going around all the way after 32 years of missing World Cup qualifications is a great effort. Well done boys, am looking forward to seeing you do well again in South Africa.

Best of luck to the Italians for the remainder of the tournament. I thought they played very well last night, especially at the back, and deserve their spot in the quarter finals.

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  • 60.
  • At 04:06 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • tim wrote:

Why all the bleating? If you're going to defend like muppets, expect to get punished. You simply can't go to ground like that in the penalty area and not expect some sort of contact. Atleast the bar staff of london will return to work now the convicts are out.

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  • 61.
  • At 04:14 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Robert Attard wrote:

I refer to your article stating the Erikson has done something that no other manager has done it before for England. I would like to point out that in 1982 under the management of Ron Greenwood, England had won all their three group matches i.e. 3-1 against France, 2-0 against Checkoslovakia and 1-0 against Kuwait.

Regards,

Robert.

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  • 62.
  • At 04:18 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Jimbo from Oz wrote:

Thank you for reminding us all of how un-Australian this sport is. This sport may indeed wet our interest for a few weeks every four years in much the same way the Olympic games wet our interest in other obscure sports. 4 weeks is about as much soccer as any aussie can stomach.

Sorry but 22 nancy boys dancing around a field, throwing themselves on the ground, removing their shirts when they win and crying when they lose isn't our thing. My guess is we can stomach this sort of thing for approximately 4 weeks once every 4 years. So we'll be back.

I'm glad its over. I'm glad the trance my country has endured for the past 2 weeks has been lifted. We can now all go back to concentrating on the real world cup which starts next year.

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  • 63.
  • At 04:18 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Jimbo from Oz wrote:

Thank you for reminding us all of how un-Australian this sport is. This sport may indeed wet our interest for a few weeks every four years in much the same way the Olympic games wet our interest in other obscure sports. 4 weeks is about as much soccer as any aussie can stomach.

Sorry but 22 nancy boys dancing around a field, throwing themselves on the ground, removing their shirts when they win and crying when they lose isn't our thing. My guess is we can stomach this sort of thing for approximately 4 weeks once every 4 years. So we'll be back.

I'm glad its over. I'm glad the trance my country has endured for the past 2 weeks has been lifted. We can now all go back to concentrating on the real world cup which starts next year.

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  • 64.
  • At 04:19 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Jimbo from Oz wrote:

Thank you for reminding us all of how un-Australian this sport is. This sport may indeed wet our interest for a few weeks ever four years in much the same way the Olympic games wet our interest in other obscure sports. 4 weeks is about as much soccer as any aussie can stomach.

22 nancy boys dancing around a field, throwing themselves on the ground, removing their shirts when they win and crying when they lose.

I'm glad its over. I'm glad the trance my country has been in for the past 2 weeks has been lifted. We can now all go back to concentrating on the real world cup which starts next year.

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  • 65.
  • At 04:23 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • steve wrote:

What's up with the refs at this World Cup??!! They are getting the card out way too quickly. Seeing red? Are they all retired bull fighters?

I can see that this years winner is going to be all down to a dubious sending off - or 3

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  • 66.
  • At 04:34 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Andrew Philippou wrote:

I wonder what the Australians have done to Huang.
The win certainly belongs to Grosso as he dived to get a free kick. As most Italians do. If it was in Serie A he would have been booked. But thanks Huang we will remember you.

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  • 67.
  • At 04:35 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • LiquidSnake wrote:

If Luiz Felipe Scolari beats Sven-Goran Eriksson for the third time, perhaps he will get to keep him!

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  • 68.
  • At 04:39 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Justin Kelly wrote:

yes well, we will see them in the Asian Cup wont we...

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  • 69.
  • At 04:39 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Linda wrote:

Sure hope England don't win. They must be the only country on earth to boast about a win they achieved 40 years ago. If that's what we have to put up with now imagine how life will be if they win a world cup in 2006.

Of course if they lose it won't be because the team is overrated. It won't be because they were outplayed either. 'We was robbed' is what will be screamed from the streets of stuttgart (or wherever) as they demolish the place in an angry temper tantrum worthy of a five-year-old.

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  • 70.
  • At 04:40 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Michael Whisson wrote:

Is the picture of the World Cup which appears at the top of your website suffering from a "wardrobe malfunction", or is it a trick of the light?

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  • 71.
  • At 04:43 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Michael Whisson wrote:

Is the picture of the World Cup, which appears at the top of your page suffering from a "wardrobe malfunction" or is it a trick of the light?

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  • 72.
  • At 04:44 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Paul O'Connor wrote:

Why would anyone be gutted for Australia. I mean, they were crap, really awful. Not that Italy were great, but even if they played till the end of the millenium Australia wouldn't have scored.

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  • 73.
  • At 04:44 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Paul O'Connor wrote:

Why would anyone be gutted for Australia. I mean, they were crap, really awful. Not that Italy were great, but even if they played till the end of the millenium Australia wouldn't have scored.

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  • 74.
  • At 04:57 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • aco_69 wrote:

The chinese bit at the end is hilarious, thanks for that. I now want to meet mr. Huang and shake his hand even though maybe he was a little bit harsh on the australians.
Being a fan of italian football I'm happy that they went through with an incredible defensive and tactical game; I must admit though that of all of the teams they could have thrown out I hated to see it was the socceroos (great country, fairplay and they were so well put on the pitch).
The penalty was a harsh decision but not as harsh as the red card shown to Materazzi; that changed what was a pleasant game into a chess board game of defense and waiting.
Please also remeber that England is second only to one team for unlucky exits from tournaments and that is Italy itself. Never been thrown out of a competition from open play since 1986, only team to loose a final on penalties etc. etc.

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  • 75.
  • At 04:57 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • J in Eire wrote:

Who'd be gutted for Australia? Probs the same ppl who'd be gutted for Ireland. A country so crap they didn't even qualify.

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  • 76.
  • At 05:00 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Isaac wrote:

I think the commentator shows that us Chinese might not be quite ready for hosting the World Cup just yet...

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  • 77.
  • At 05:10 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • J in Eire wrote:

If an Australian commentator said publicly that he didn't like Chinese people he'd be sacked and would never work again. But this kind of xenaphobia is voiced in Asia fairly frequently. So we're used to it. Tis like water off a ducks back =)

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  • 78.
  • At 05:25 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • andrea wrote:

Forgive me but I'm starting to be a little bit confused.
There were no unfair tackles all thorughout the match; Materazzi was sent off for a foul that probably was only a yellow or not even that.
The match was the clamest of this tournament, no acting, no stupid fouls, no aggressive attitude.
And now the english and aussies are talking about play acting? I cannot see any reference to this "penalty and dive" on any other foreign newspaper. Why is everybody so harsh with Italy? They have demonstarted more than once that luck is not on their part and specially the referees are against them. What is this novelty now?
I feel for the australians for loosing the game at the last second on a dubious call; but if someone is to blame is not for sure Grosso (who didn't dive but just fell) but the referre who made a bad decision (like all of the other games so far).
To lash out at a whole country is unfair and doesn't show from all of these mourners any fair play.

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  • 79.
  • At 05:41 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • J in Eire wrote:

Andrea,

You seem to be implying that England and Australia are some sort of Alies. I don't think you'd find too many Aussies backing England at any sport and vice versa. There would be a great many more Aussies and English people supporting Italy than each other.

You're going to notice the match reported differently in Australia than anywhere else simply because there are accepted practices in Soccer that established soccer nations seem to be quite happy to accept that just don't go down well with Australian people. Australian reporters are reporting the match from an Australian perspective. The australian perspective is that taking a dive is unsporting. Australian perspective is that not making any effort to stay on your feet when you clearly could have stayed on your feet, is tantamount to taking a dive.

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  • 80.
  • At 05:43 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • jim warren wrote:

As a whinging pomme who spent 2 years in australia (returned to england in august 05)i found very interesting to see this particulally un australian team fail to capitalize against italia. Whilst all the whinging aussies are moaning about the decision they seem to have forgotten that they should have wrapped up the game well before italia's penalty. I grudgingly respect how the aussies play sport, they go for the throat with supreme over confidence and brashness (and a bit of skill) and this combines to make them a supreme winning team in cricket, rugby league, athletic, hockey. I could go on, they also transmit this self belief in playing national sport of Aussie rules. It seemed so strange to me that if they had only translated this attitude to the game against italy they would have one. Instead they seemed scared to take the advantage, not knowing what to do with a clear physical and psycological advantage. I was supporting australia in this game but i couldn't help but smile as the commentators asked why the australians were playing so spinelessly. How un australian of you

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  • 81.
  • At 05:47 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Rolf Habich wrote:

So the Aussies are out, and the English still in. How cruel Dame Fortune can be. AUS had been so much better than ENG. And to be squeezed out on account of a more than dubious ref decision after some very special feat of Italian artistry - in acting, that is.
Keep your heads up high, Aussies! We enjoyed you!
And ignore the jeers from the little motherland: they are just frustrated.

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  • 82.
  • At 05:58 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • andrea wrote:

J in Eire, I know that english and australians don't love each other in sports but let me say that aussies are learning (at least in this occasion) from the english how to be blind.
I really don't believe that Grosso dived although I believe that the ref has got it wrong. Australia was penalized too much, Italy probably didn't deserve to win lie this but it was no cheating from them, just an error from the ref (should Grosso have told the ref he was wrong? yes in an ideal world but no australian would have done the same, don't kid me).
Italy has been playing badly but fairly compared to many other countries; they have to with what is happening at home. It looks as though everybody was waiting for the minimum accident to start bragging against Italy.
And rememeber that Italy has got out of the last world cups always on ref mistakes and on penalties, we should know how much it hurts. But we always blamed the referee, not the other team.

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  • 83.
  • At 05:59 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • YZ wrote:

I can imagine in what way Huang Jianxiang has
commented although I didn't watch TV. He doesn't like England as well. But it only represents himself, not all Chinese fans who love English football and the Premiership.

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  • 84.
  • At 05:59 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • kateG wrote:

As an aussie living in this fantastic country(UK)for the past thirteen years I, like nearly every other aussie I know, have and will continue to support England whilst they remain in this competition...hopefully all the way to Berlin! The past few weeks I have never been prouder to be an aussie though. A passionate follower of the premiership, I watch my football religiously and yet I have rarely been overwhelmed the way i have been, with the never-say-die attitude of my countrymen. They did themselves proud. What pisses me off though is reading the few bigoted and dare I say...jealous... comments of a few England fans. "Go home Aussie"....and "if you can get your big heads through the door" to name just a couple. No one who understands ANYTHING about the game of football should be pleased when such blatant cheating is rewarded. Everytime a player like Totti gets a penalty like that it simply reinforces the attitude that cheating is worth it. We had our chances and we didn't take them...fair enough. Had we lost to a goal or in a penalty shoot-out...fair enough. To lose to cheating...it's never right and it's never funny...sadly, as FIFA won't utilise technology (replays...what're they?!?!)...it's football.
Finally, despite the petty jealousies and bigoted comments of a few xenophobes I remain hopeful that the England boys will find some passion and get better and better and....oh lord, Baddiel and Skinner are in my head now...It's coming home, it's coming home....AAArgh!

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  • 85.
  • At 05:59 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • andrea wrote:

J in Eire, I know that english and australians don't love each other in sports but let me say that aussies are learning (at least in this occasion) from the english how to be blind.
I really don't believe that Grosso dived although I believe that the ref has got it wrong. Australia was penalized too much, Italy probably didn't deserve to win lie this but it was no cheating from them, just an error from the ref (should Grosso have told the ref he was wrong? yes in an ideal world but no australian would have done the same, don't kid me).
Italy has been playing badly but fairly compared to many other countries; they have to with what is happening at home. It looks as though everybody was waiting for the minimum accident to start bragging against Italy.
And rememeber that Italy has got out of the last world cups always on ref mistakes and on penalties, we should know how much it hurts. But we always blamed the referee, not the other team.
I know that the aussies are great sportsman and have fair play in their blood; but with this whinging attitude they are proving me wrong.

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  • 86.
  • At 06:02 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • J in Eire wrote:

Cricket, Rugby League, Rugby Union, Baseball, Softball, Netball, Diving (not that thing you do on a soccer field), Swimming, Shooting, Gymnastics, Archery, Pole Vault, middle distance running events, Darts, Surfing, beach Volleyball, Volleyball, Hockey, rowing, fencing, squash, tennis, cycling, weight lifting, ameteur boxing, motor racing (look up V8 at wikepedia), motorcycle racing, basketball... did I miss anything?

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  • 87.
  • At 06:10 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • mrbooks wrote:

Three words for our Southern hemisphere cousins: they were robbed!

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  • 88.
  • At 06:11 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • JP wrote:

It's interesting to see the "anti-Australian" comments from the English on here. Supporting anyone but Australia it seems? Does no-one else see the irony after all the accusations of Scottish/Welsh/Celtic "anti-Englishness" that have been thrown around. Now I can heartily cheer when England go out on penalties and point any one who complains back to this thread!

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  • 89.
  • At 06:13 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • J in Eire wrote:

Regardless of the controversy Italy did do well defensively to prevent us from scoring whilst one man down.

The Red card should have been a yellow card. Not sure what the ref's reasoning was there.

I would have prefered a bad decision that had one or even two of our players sent off rather than a bad decision that we couldn't claw our way back from.

As for what australia was up to for the rest of the game. We were playing with 1 striker. I believe the idea was to hold them off until extra time and then hiddink was going to be able to send in another striker.

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  • 90.
  • At 06:17 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Brian wrote:

This World Cup has been a disgrace when it comes down to referee's decisions. The Aussies were robbed, not just against the Italians but in their other matches too. There's one short and simple answer....bring in VIDEO EVIDENCE. If other sports can do it then soccer can too. FIFA, get your fingers out and stop soccer becoming the biggest cissies game in the world.

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  • 91.
  • At 06:24 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • J in Eire wrote:

JP,

What I find funny is how our sense of fair play is being attacked by the English =).

When England go down due to a bad ref decision (perceived or real) they'll throw a massive temper tantrum and destroy several cities in the process.

That's how they deal with it.

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Fate is a thing that may play against Australia. It does not necessarily need to consider how you played or what your performances were as your fate stands against you. Italy is not in their full form but they have chance to do better in the coming matches as they will have some confidence after this match because Ukraine is waiting for them in the quarter final. Australia played well in this world cup it is not a matter of being surprised if some of their player get invitation from the European clubs.

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  • 93.
  • At 06:35 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Tas wrote:

I have an idea that will make it all fair to the WC and give something for all those great English fans to celebrate. England should give up their position to Ghana. This way we can watch this exciting team in the next round and the current English team can be put out of its miserable existance. So unfair to have bad teams go through on luck and Ghana to be out having had to play Brazil in this round.

Let's put it to a vote for all the English fans to decide: Replace the English team with Ghana.

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  • 94.
  • At 06:55 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Vince wrote:

Typical and expected aussie reaction. If they were that better than the italians, they should have scored when they had the numeric advantage but they were unable to even do that. The aussie WC tally is ONE win, one draw and two losses i.e. 4 points out of a potential 12! Draw your own conclusions.
I have lived in the UK for 12 years now and have also spent some time in OZ and, without being biased, the Aussies are the worst team to loose against (as they will rub it in no end) or to win against (as they will whine no end).
The italians deserved to win. Get on with it and get yourselves a life (outside sport that is. You know, arts, sciences, multiculture,....)

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  • 95.
  • At 07:19 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Massimo NorthItaly wrote:

Italians divers and bad referee. After Americans, Australians are complaining. You can run, you can jump, you can also sing a nice song while playng football, but if you wanna win you have to score! When is 11 against 10 and you are not able to put the damned ball in the net you have to go home! Baaaad losers!

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  • 96.
  • At 07:53 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Jackie Yuen wrote:

His 'impartiality' is no differnent than ALL the english-speaking medias. So before you throw stones, leave your glass house. Pass the yourself a Kleenex box!

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  • 97.
  • At 09:19 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • J in Eire wrote:

Ah here we go. Make up your own minds...

http://homepages.nyu.edu/%7Ecma295/dive.gif

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  • 98.
  • At 09:54 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • zargorn wrote:

The Australian defenders let the Italians enter the 16 yard box and had to tackle to stop them. The defender did NOT hit the ball. It probably was a dive (can't be sure) but it was a dive with a BIG invitation from the Australian defence.

But the US and Australia had all opportutinties to decide the match themselves. But they did not take them. Its theese kind of matches that can be decided by a penalty. But after 90 minutes of not scoring and after a tackle in the 16 yard box without hitting the ball I think its not appropriate to say that the ref is to blame. If you gamble you can loose ...

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  • 99.
  • At 10:18 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Ben wrote:

At first I thought he was being sarcastic and recalling great Italian diver of the past. What a glorious moment for Italian football, he fell down in the box...

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  • 100.
  • At 11:47 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • NL wrote:

Being an Italy fan you may say i am bias, but i don't believe that Italy played exceptionally well nor do i believe Australia played brillantly.

I do believe that if Australia were going to win that match they would have won during the 20 mins we were down to 10 men. Australia played a fair game but unfortunately they were just not good enough.

So whether Italy won in the 94 mintue or on the fourth penatly after extra time, there would have been some comment or excuse/reason for them not deserving to win.

Every team has a fair chance in this competition and everyone one will play both good and bad, but the last eight teams are full of world class football players and that includes most of the italian team.

Congratulations to Buffon because without him our team could be in trouble.

We all know that the godfather made italy famous for the maffia but please if you believe that we are paying anyone then you seriously need to check the news out and look at the state of our economy.

All i can say is we all know and australia ukraine quarter would have been a joke.

May the best team win!!!

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  • 101.
  • At 11:48 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • NL wrote:

Being an Italy fan you may say i am bias, but i don't believe that Italy played exceptionally well nor do i believe Australia played brillantly.

I do believe that if Australia were going to win that match they would have won during the 20 mins we were down to 10 men. Australia played a fair game but unfortunately they were just not good enough.

So whether Italy won in the 94 mintue or on the fourth penatly after extra time, there would have been some comment or excuse/reason for them not deserving to win.

Every team has a fair chance in this competition and everyone one will play both good and bad, but the last eight teams are full of world class football players and that includes most of the italian team.

Congratulations to Buffon because without him our team could be in trouble.

We all know that the godfather made italy famous for the maffia but please if you believe that we are paying anyone then you seriously need to check the news out and look at the state of our economy.

All i can say is we all know and australia ukraine quarter would have been a joke.

May the best team win!!!

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  • 102.
  • At 11:48 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • NL wrote:

Being an Italy fan you may say i am bias, but i don't believe that Italy played exceptionally well nor do i believe Australia played brillantly.

I do believe that if Australia were going to win that match they would have won during the 20 mins we were down to 10 men. Australia played a fair game but unfortunately they were just not good enough.

So whether Italy won in the 94 mintue or on the fourth penatly after extra time, there would have been some comment or excuse/reason for them not deserving to win.

Every team has a fair chance in this competition and everyone one will play both good and bad, but the last eight teams are full of world class football players and that includes most of the italian team.

Congratulations to Buffon because without him our team could be in trouble.

We all know that the godfather made italy famous for the maffia but please if you believe that we are paying anyone then you seriously need to check the news out and look at the state of our economy.

All i can say is we all know and australia ukraine quarter would have been a joke.

May the best team win!!!

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  • 103.
  • At 12:07 AM on 28 Jun 2006,
  • J in Eire wrote:

>All i can say is we all know and australia ukraine quarter would have been a joke

Yep. Looks like the ref thought that too.

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  • 104.
  • At 12:26 AM on 28 Jun 2006,
  • J in Eire wrote:

There are a couple of things the Italians and English ppl commenting here don't seem to realise.

Firstly, this isn't about weather the best team won. Both teams were robbed of an opportunity to see who was the best team. It started with the dubious red card and ended with the dubious penalty. If this penalty occured with even 5 minutes to go we would have had a fighting chance and if we'd lost on that basis we'd be happy enough to concede.

Secondly, it isn't Italy or the ref on trial in the minds of Australians. We're used to being involved with sports that have a much stronger code of ethics. What's on trial in our minds is soccer and whether we should bother with it in the future. I know I certainly won't. The first game I ever sat through was during this world cup and I have to say i'm not impressed with the sportsmanship or the quality of referees. The only thing that made this low scoring boring game interesting was our involvement in a sport we're not traditionally involved in at such a high level. What's upsetting all the australian soccer fans is the fact that so many of us who've had our interests wet over the past two weeks.

Others have questioned why Australia wants to celebrate their success. To understand that you'd have to understand the administrative battle fought over the last few decades to get us there. Oceania is the only continent with no wildcard entries and being trapped in that continent has limited our ability to gain any experience against strong international teams. It's almost like certain traditional soccer powers want to keep us out having observed our success in other sports.

I piss on this game and I will have nothing to do with it in the future. There are another 2 million people like me.

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  • 105.
  • At 12:47 AM on 28 Jun 2006,
  • Richard Harrison wrote:

Ah well J, there are 2 billion people around the world who think football is superb and will be watching all the way to the final.

I can't believe people still think it wasn't a penalty! One of the most cast iron penalties in this world cup so far. (and I'm including Spain's against France in this) It was a foul, it was in the box, its a penalty. Whatever stage of whatever game.

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  • 106.
  • At 01:06 AM on 28 Jun 2006,
  • J in Eire wrote:

Appeal to popularity is a logical fallacy.

I don't expect that 2 billion people to share my culture and values. What is made clear is that soccer is not compatible with my culture and values.

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  • 107.
  • At 03:53 AM on 28 Jun 2006,
  • FIFA needs to embrace change.. wrote:

http://www.time.com/time/europe/2006/wcup/technophobia.html

http://www.time.com/time/europe/2006/wcup/refs.html

All I can say, is that Australia did the country proud, it has made many aussies realise the passion, and emotions of the world game.
And for our 1st outing since '74, we have done a marvellous job, despite the odds.
Countries who have a richer footballing history than Australia certainly have cause for concern. Italy for example who have a higher population base, and who live and breathe football, are very lucky to "escape". Credit to Lippi for making the right tactical changes at the right time.
One thing's for sure, is that Australia will keep progressing and improving in this sport, in a rather short space of time, we will surprise many again. For a small country population wise, we can compete at the World Cup, and come in the top 8 at the Olympics... so we have many sporting achievements to be proud about... whereas Italy have what??? corrupt footballers under investigation.... Athletically inferior in many sports..Caio.

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  • 108.
  • At 04:46 AM on 28 Jun 2006,
  • Nik wrote:

The referee was correct in giving the penalty: the penalty was valid!

I watched the replay quite a few times, and it's a clear penalty. Grosso dribbled the defender, and the defender, realizing that Italy was about to score, moved his body and his head to prevent Grosso from passing and make him fall.

Watch your videos again!

Moreover, Italy deserved to win.

They showed yet again that they have the best defense in the whole World Cup. Australia did not have a single goal opportunity in the whole match, while Italy had many.

Italy went down to 10 men and played the whole second half in 10 -- but not only they managed to keep their watertight defense, but they also managed to attack.

In fact, the penalty was awarded when -- after playing 45 minutes in 10 men, an Italian defender still had the determination and the force to dribble 2 Australian players in their penalty area, and was took down just as he was about to serve the ball to the forward who was about to score.

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  • 109.
  • At 05:11 AM on 28 Jun 2006,
  • Robert Marshall wrote:

Sorry? We have to feel sorry for the Australians?

We are talking about the same Australians who sounded car horns and shouted obscenities outside the England team's hotel the night before the final of the Rugby World Cup?

I presume the official who so ungraciously threw the runner's up medals at the Australian team (after they had fought so hard to get back into the game and earned my admiration) was also Australian?

I feel sorry for them in that they do not have the strength of character to accept defeat, undeserved or not, without complaint or bombastic boasting.

.. and please stop referring to us as 'the Motherland' - even ironically. I am NOT your Mum. If I were, I would clip you round the ear in an attempt to teach you that winning isn't everything. The England squad in Euro '96 did more for football, and the country, than any other squad before or since. Despite these comments, I wish some of my countrymen would be half so partisan. I don't care if England struggled in their last match. I will remember Beckham's face-splitting grin for a long time. He had 'proud to wear the shirt' written all over him.

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  • 110.
  • At 05:33 AM on 28 Jun 2006,
  • Dave S wrote:

‘Appeal to popularity is a logical fallacy’, J in Eire?

Is that why you said ‘there are 2 million people like me’?

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  • 111.
  • At 06:05 AM on 28 Jun 2006,
  • Robert Marshall wrote:

Pardon me for asking, j in Eire, but what exactly is a 'logical fallacy'? Perhaps being a footie fan I am too 'uncultured' to understand. As for sharing your 'values', what values are represented by tracking down anyone in the (hated) English league who had the slimmest of ties to Eire to build a 'national' team. Why are you on this blog anyway? Sit down. Relax. Now listen carefully. You are not in the World Cup because you are not very good at anything except the Eurovision and obscure sports that nobody else plays. To quote Millwall 'Nobody likes us? We don't care.'

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  • 112.
  • At 07:00 AM on 28 Jun 2006,
  • Aussies wrote:

TO all australians,

For those that followed the World Cup because Australia was in it, don't be disheartened
at the way we were knocked out. I'm sure, just as I have, I will be following football, and supporting
the sport in this country. Having had a taste for the "beautiful game", the ups, and downs... the emotional
rollercoaster... i want more!!

I am Ecstatic at Australia's progress, with preparation in under a year, defeating Uruguay at the qualifiers,
and then achieving what we did at the World Cup.

The FFA and fans, can only look to the future, and build towards it.

We were never expected to win the world cup, let alone qualify, and Australia have performed beyond expectations, hence
the british press ranked us no.1 as over-achievers of the tournament.

Fellow Australians who knock Football, why?... its people like you that has hindered football in the past...
As Australians we should support the national team, regardless... its our country...
Besides, only Football, can gather 2.21 million people in Australia to wake up in the wee hours of the morning
to watch our boys take it to the superpowers of the game.
Perhaps now, the football powers, will be more than happy to come to Australia to partake in "friendlies" against us, which
will only help to develop our technical proficiency.

I'm sure with Neill, Kewell, Cahill, Bresciano, Grella, Culina, Emerton, Sterjovski, Schwarzer (still keen)
all young enough to be at the Next World Cup...combined with our fringe players, and younger players in Europe, we can build
a decent squad.

The windfall from Australia's success at the World Cup, not just financially but what they have done for the game is priceless.

And yes, Italy, win or lose, will go back to a disgraced League... under investigation, along with most of their national players.
That's perhaps why any victory, they are so eager to take.

France to upset Brazil, Argentina to end German hopes, Ukraine to upset I-Ties, and England to defeat Portugal.
England vs Argentina final... with England avenging their 1986 loss, forever burying the "hand of god".

Would be great to see Australia vs England , contesting friendlies or a Johnny Warren Cup, best of 3 games....would be Awesome!
(hope your reading this John O'Neill/Frank Lowey)

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  • 113.
  • At 07:48 AM on 28 Jun 2006,
  • Cecelia wrote:

Credit to the socceroos, who played fantastic soccer in the world cup. No on expected them to qualify, and no one ever expected them to make it to the second round.

Congratulations to Italy for making it through to the next round, I hope you have further success.

What shocks and angers me here is the racial abuse and anti-Australianism being thrown around. Not just in China, but in England as well. So much for the game that unites the world.

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  • 114.
  • At 08:53 AM on 28 Jun 2006,
  • Chris Burton wrote:

I am amazed by some of the ridiculous comments above about Australians and sport.

As an Englishman I was overjoyed when England beat Australia in the Rugby World Cup. Why ?? Because it happens so infrequently. Why ?? because 95% of the time the Australians play better than us as a team and can rarely if ever be justifiably accused of failing to perform below their potential.

I would much rather watch any team that goes out to play the game fairly and maybe loses - but with honour that to have to suffer watching another rubbish English performance in this world cup where the players must think that they only need to show up in order to deserve a win.

Well done Australia - keep up the good effort and one day you will be rewarded in this sport as in others. Many years ago English teams used to have a similar attitude but alas those days are possibly gone for ever......

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  • 115.
  • At 09:34 AM on 28 Jun 2006,
  • loofer wrote:

As an Australian, I think people are missing the point over the "We Were Robbed" feeling that is going on here.

It's not that we were robbed of winning, we were robbed of seeing who was the better team.

I wasn't happy about the red card given to Italy, and I wasn't happy that we didn't capitalize upon the advantage.

I am however bloody well p****d off that I didn't get to watch another 30 minutes of interesting football.

You wouldn't have seen this same outpouring if Italy had converted one of their excellent opportunities.

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  • 116.
  • At 11:18 AM on 28 Jun 2006,
  • NL wrote:

Look all decisions affect teams good or bad.

When Italy weren't awarded the penalty against Ghana, that clearly should have been as it was a dirty dirty foul, did you hear them complain?

Whinging and complaining gets you no where.

For those you australians fans that have only watched "SOCCER" because Australia were in it, then you don't know how unfair a game can be and i tell you no one knows that better than the Italians, so don't talk to us about unfair.

Every team and every player given that oppotunity would have taken that penalty.

When the Aussies whip the Italians at Rugby do we blame it on unfair decsions or cheating no we take it, as we know that we are not as good or not as strong.

So please all those aussies out there just realise that you will never be as strong or as good as Italy at football!

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  • 117.
  • At 11:44 AM on 28 Jun 2006,
  • Rolf Habich wrote:

RE: post 114
Chris, please accept my highest respect for fairness and sense of proportion. This is the English way as I learned it at school. But I am fairly old - 64 - and in the meantime much has changed for the worse: a lot of jingoistic rubbish
has inundated the media.

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  • 118.
  • At 11:56 AM on 28 Jun 2006,
  • J in Eire wrote:

Dave S,

My refernce to 2 million people wasn't used as evidence of anything. It was merely trying to explain what the real problem is for aussie soccer fans. There are 2 million of us who couldn't give a shit about this game 4 3 weeks ago and who have now gone back to not giving a shit about this game. More of a prediction than a statement of fact though and some might not agree.


Robert Marshal,

You can google 'logical fallacy' and while you're there do a bit of a search on some of your country's disgraceful history.

Not sure where to start on your comments or even if I should bother. Firstly I thought I made it pretty clear in my comments that I am Australian. I don't have a drop of Irish blood in my body. I chose Ireland as a place to live over the UK because of it's superior economy.

I find it odd that you'd have a go at Ireland for implementing the grandfather rule to their advantage when England has done the same in the past. In fact England once had an Australian born player on their team.

Furthermore, in contrast to your views of the Irish, this country is far more pro-British than any other nation i've ever visited. Nearly everyone I know is supporting England in the world cup. Corination st and East enders even get prime time tv coverage on Irish channels! The irish don't hate you they just don't want to be part of your country.

Personally the only reason I don't want to see England win is because I know we'll still be hearing about a 2006 win in 2046 just like we're still hearing about a 1966 win in 2006.


To those critisizing Australian sportsmanship,

Should England lose how is your country going to deal with it? Burn some cars? Riot some towns? Injur some inocent bistanders whether they be men, women or children?

How many English soccer hoooligans have been arrested so far in Germany? 400? 500?

How many Aussie fans have been arrested even after our loss? None.

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  • 119.
  • At 12:07 PM on 28 Jun 2006,
  • J in Eire wrote:

Terry Soukoulis,

It always astounded me how so many Aussie's of Italian and Greek decendency find it so easy to turn everything into an argument about racism and xenophobia.

I was once called a racist by an Italian-Australian because I didn't watch the tv show 'Pizza'. Now i'm being called anti-multi-cultural by a greek-Australian for having only a short lived interest in soccer.

My ancestry isn't aboriginal and I consider myself to be as much an immigrant to Australia as you are. Furthermore, I know live in Ireland and AM an immigrant and in the minority.

Having said that, tasi is a beautiful state and i'd love to live there =)

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  • 120.
  • At 12:11 PM on 28 Jun 2006,
  • Stronzi wrote:

I am still finding it amusing that some people actually believe that OZ had it harsh. The fact is they were never going to score against Italy, their only chance would have been penalties. The red card decision was MUCH worse than the penalty - Grosso was already being fouled before the amateur defender Neill went to ground in front of him in the box - an English ref said last night on news that it was a penalty - simple as that.
Get over it - Italy were the better team, they were always going to win - Aussies can learn from it and come back in another 32 years and perhaps do better.
Maledetti!

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  • 121.
  • At 12:39 PM on 28 Jun 2006,
  • Andrew wrote:

Brad and Robbie
I like your mature views.
Where are India and China in this World Cup with their populations of over 1 billion? They should have won every tournament in every sport for ever.

The way for the Aussies to have won was by scoring a goal or two but they didn't look like scoring even if the game had gone on for a couple of hours.

It was naive to throw yorself on the floor in your own six yard box against any top football side. Every side looks for penalties. This is well known and a reality in the game at this level.

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  • 122.
  • At 12:40 PM on 28 Jun 2006,
  • Andrew wrote:

Brad and Robbie
I like your mature views.
Where are India and China in this World Cup with their populations of over 1 billion? They should have won every tournament in every sport for ever.

The way for the Aussies to have won was by scoring a goal or two but they didn't look like scoring even if the game had gone on for a couple of hours.

It was naive for a defender throw himself on the floor in his own six yard box against any top football side. Every side looks for penalties. This is well known and a reality in the game at this level.

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  • 123.
  • At 12:53 PM on 28 Jun 2006,
  • J in Eire for prime minister wrote:

J in Eire
Don't move to Tasi, move to the moon or somewhere further away

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  • 124.
  • At 01:16 PM on 28 Jun 2006,
  • zahid maqbool wrote:

Italy did not rob anyone, Infact the italians were robbed by the refree who reduced them to 10 man.. and who really thinks the australians were caable of winning, first half no shot on goal second half chances created on set pieces and australia could not pose any threat to the italians.. admit or not it was hiddink's failure against lippi, as australia were out of attacking options....

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  • 125.
  • At 01:16 PM on 28 Jun 2006,
  • zahid maqbool wrote:

Italy did not rob anyone, Infact the italians were robbed by the refree who reduced them to 10 man.. and who really thinks the australians were caable of winning, first half no shot on goal second half chances created on set pieces and australia could not pose any threat to the italians.. admit or not it was hiddink's failure against lippi, as australia were out of attacking options....

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  • 126.
  • At 01:25 PM on 28 Jun 2006,
  • Timbo wrote:

Is Speedo sponsoring some of the world cup teams? Based upon the standard of top class diving of late one would be forgiven to believe so.

If the Italians only way of scoring and winning is by cheating then it’s very sad for the game of football - the world over.

The referee should be parceled with no blame. Yes the referee should have had better judgment than to have given a controversial decision in the last second of a game. However Italy should have shown themselves to be a fair team and not created the situation in the first instance. What’s very sad is that Italy went out of the 2002 world cup under the cries of bad refereeing (wasn’t Hiddink’s team on the other side of the rotten smell last time?) . Instead of being good sports this time around Italy appear to have chosen to drink from the same poisoned chalice that knocked them out of the competition four years ago. Simply said - the sooner that cheating is ridden from football the better. Unfair play shouldn’t be part of the game – no matter what team is involved in the crime - it stinks! All we want to see is 22 men kicking a bag of air around with athleticism and footballing skill – no deviousness or incompetent refereeing. Get an official behind the goal and bring in the use of video footage to eliminate the trend of contentious decisions, crucial errors and the downright dirtiness that is sallying to soil the beauty of the world game.

Age may overcome youth . . . . . but treachery will never overcome skill – remember that kids : )

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  • 127.
  • At 02:39 PM on 28 Jun 2006,
  • teretzka wrote:

Are you a desperate?
What about that england,look like who
does't have a head and require a swedish head?
That is the outrage that the english deserve not the chinese.
Have same poor sarcasm about it?
Your sincerely Teretzka

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  • 128.
  • At 02:40 PM on 28 Jun 2006,
  • Nick wrote:

I'd like to offer a different Aussie perspective:

1) Of course Italy, England et al. have better sides; they've been playing at this level and achieving much more for much longer, and deserve to be recognised for this. No one I know seriously thinks Australia is at that level at this point in time. Understand though that Australia has taken huge strides compared to a few years ago. Previously we'd have kicked away possession against a team like Italy and been hammered for it, whereas this time we've at least controlled the ball better and stood half a chance of scoring. We've got a long way to go, but it's a start, and this for me is the yardstick against which we should be measured. (And by the by, if Italy is 'obviously' so much better, why did it take them 93 mins to score against such a supposedly awful side when they had a number of golden chances?)

2) While Lucas Neill's tackle was certainly ill-judged and ill-advised, if you look at the replay from the angle behind Grosso, he clearly reaches his left leg back and to the left just before he goes over him. Surely that's simulation, as there's no reason to do that if you're genuinely playing the ball. I can't blame the ref as it didn't look that way from his angle in real time, and sure no nation is immune from it, but I can't understand the ease with which so many people shrug it off as part of the game; it's a violation of the rules! Surely we should at least consider video replays and/or extra refs to reduce its incidence, or perhaps just abandon the rule and accept simulation as legitimate play, as the current situation doesn't effectively enforce the rule. Is anyone suggesting the latter?

3) I can't stand Aussies who endlessly berate the English over their sporting performance either... England were deserving Ashes winners last time (and probably rugby too, the Wallabies really are sh*te of late), and here's looking forward to a good contest later in the year. It's a shame that your soon-to-be ex-manager's tactics at this WC appear to be shackling some quality English players (and I seriously hope he doesn't become the next Aus manager), as I'd dearly love to see them perform to the best of their undoubted ability.

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  • 129.
  • At 02:42 PM on 28 Jun 2006,
  • J in Eire wrote:

As has already been mentioned, this has nothing to do with who would have won.

Please, if you can't be bothered reading previous posts don't bother commenting.

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  • 130.
  • At 02:51 PM on 28 Jun 2006,
  • J in Eire wrote:

Ozies exposed to british media are driven to this sort of thing. British sporting teams are constantly overrated and everyone seems to believe the hype. Fair play to England for winning the world cup in 2003. But if you were to believe the british media you'd think they were better than every other team by a huge margin. They barely scraped through most of their games, including one against samoa and of course the grand final.

Times that sort of hype by about 1000 when it comes to soccer.

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  • 131.
  • At 03:10 PM on 28 Jun 2006,
  • Al wrote:

I personally wanted Australia to win that game, not because I like them or their sports (I have no opinion either way on that) But because I wanted them to meet the England team in a competetive tournament and learn once and for all that playing them in a competitive game is very very very different from playing them in a 'friendly' game when all the key England players know in advance that the result of this game doesn't matter, and they will only playing in either the first or second half (while all key players where in the middle of incredibly grueling premiership and champions league schedules). While there was a mathematical possibility (no matter how remote) of England getting an opportunity to show Australia that they still had some way to go before they could realistically say "we are a better footballing nation than England" (unfortunately playing your hearts out against a team that hasn't really turned up does not really qualify that statement, although our antipodean friends seem to think otherwise).

NB: I must also state for the record that the Australian team did very well at this world cup and greatly exceeded most other nations expectations of them and given the quality of their players (mainly trained in England / Europe ), their work and team ethics along with their dedication to master sports I do feel it will not be too long before they can say they are on a par with England in this sport (which is a shame, then all we will have on them in curling! lol).

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  • 132.
  • At 03:34 PM on 28 Jun 2006,
  • Robbie75 wrote:

I must say that I really do not understand all this simpathy for the Australians.

1. Before materazzi was sent off for what should have been a booking, Italy had 7 or 8 clear scoring chances and on the technical side it was a no-contest.

2. Australia had the advantage of being a man up for 40 minutes thus having most of the possession but lacked the know how to do anything with it and never really managed to breakdown their defence, infact they could still be playing now and still it would be 0-0.

3. All this cheating stuff is nonsense, enyone with reasonable football knowledge will tell you that a defender that goes on his backside in the box is a dead defender.

And as a neutral spectator(Scottish),I want to see real football nations in the latter stages of the cup, those are the real world cup games.

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  • 133.
  • At 03:59 PM on 28 Jun 2006,
  • Sonya wrote:

I continue to be amazed at the very one-sided British coverage of the WC by the BBC. I am not surprised many all across the board share this opinion. It is sad as the BBC has generally been very diverse in its opinions. This blog typifies the commentators using their stuck-up British attitudes to comment on the state of the world. You think the Chinese got carried away? Come over to Latin America and see the passion in commentating. Finally, it is ironic that the blogger talks about a Chinese bias ... this whole website reeks of a British one.

Cheers,
Sonya from Lima.

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  • 134.
  • At 04:09 PM on 28 Jun 2006,
  • emma wrote:

Thank you Robbie75 for some unbiased commentary.
Italy were the better side, and deserved their place in the quarters, but the Aussies are understandably upset about a bad refereeing decision. If Materazzi hadn't been sent off, Italy would have finished them off much more quickly.
I also think that it's overstating it to say that Grosso cheated/deserves an Oscar blah blah. He was just doing his job.

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  • 135.
  • At 04:41 PM on 28 Jun 2006,
  • Wallaroo wrote:

Its not that we lost, its how we lost that is irritating to Australians. None of us expected to defeat a team like Italy, with its past soccer history and its higher population and the fact that Italians regard soccer as a second religion. Most Australians expected to lose by a score of around 2-0.

In regard to the red card incident. Before the tournament started, all players and teams were warned by the Head of Referees that any two footed lunging challenge would be subjected to a red card. This is exactly what happened and why he was red carded.

I am horrified by the attitude of the English on this board regarding Australia. My first team is of course, Australia, my second team has always been and will always be England. You may not like to hear it but yes, most of us do regard you as our Motherland and have an abiding love and respect for you.

99.999% of Australians couldnt give a rats about soccer and really have only been interested in it because an Australian team was playing for only the second time in history. We felt great excitement over our win against Japan because it was not only our first win ever in a world cup, but our first goal ever. Yes, it hurt us when the coach of the USA was quoted as saying Australia was only there to make up the numbers and would be one of the first teams eliminated and to have the opinion from the Italians that 'Australia did not belong on the same pitch as the Italians'.

I don't believe that what we have seen in the World Cup so far has done soccer in Australia any favours and I believe soccer will be the loser over the abysmal refereeing ALL of the second and third tier teams have endured. However, as a small country with a proud sporting history, IF the sport can grow in Australia, don't expect us to fade into the background. We will return bigger and better. And thats not an idle threat.

BREAKING NEWS

Australian Arrested in Rome!

In a just in story, an Australian man has been arrested in Rome for assaulting an Italian soccer supporter.

The Italian suffered a broken leg, a minor heart attack and immediate onset of diabetes.

The Australian man is being held in custody

The Italian man experienced a complete recovery within 2 minutes of the Australian being led away by police.

Witnesses to the attack noted that the Australian was 20 metres away at the time of the attack.

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  • 136.
  • At 05:03 PM on 28 Jun 2006,
  • Wallaroo wrote:

Might I suggest you open this link and scroll to the bottom and click the link for the pictures.

http://www.smh.com.au/news/aussie-update/you-were-robbed-say-brits/2006/06/27/1151174192571.html

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  • 137.
  • At 05:08 PM on 28 Jun 2006,
  • J in Eire wrote:

I wonder for how long the English will continually mis-use the word 'antipodes'.

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  • 138.
  • At 05:16 PM on 28 Jun 2006,
  • Mario wrote:

Australia-Italy take the same 90 mins and change the finale.
No penalty. Australia to win in extra time with Italian players exausted (10 vs. 11).
With Materazzi unjustly sent off would that have been a fair outcome? What would you all be saying now?
Go back and watch Italy-South Korea in 2002! Now was that fair?
Or remember how Sweden and Danemark agreed on and drove to a 2-2 draw at Euro 04 to have Italy kicked out?
Dear Australians no hard feelings, but welcome to planet football!
Sometime you win, sometime you lose.
Keep loving the beautiful game....

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  • 139.
  • At 05:22 PM on 28 Jun 2006,
  • J in Eire wrote:

>as a neutral spectator(Scottish),I want to see real football nations in the latter stages of the cup.

That's where your neurtrality dwindles away. And I believe the ref and probably FIFA would have been of the same opinion =)

Yes it would have made a joke of the sport if Australia made it. Good thing the ref had an opportunity to put an end to that threat.

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  • 140.
  • At 05:27 PM on 28 Jun 2006,
  • J in Eire wrote:

>3. All this cheating stuff is nonsense, enyone with reasonable football knowledge will tell you that a defender that goes on his backside in the box is a dead defender.

But that's the point. We're viewing this from the perspective of those without much soccer knowledge. We're all wondering if it's worth bothering with this stupid girls game in the future.

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  • 141.
  • At 05:48 PM on 28 Jun 2006,
  • M in Eire wrote:

http://homepages.nyu.edu/%7Ecma295/dive.gif
Decide for yourself...
Ok. It was a penalty.

Failure to play ball + obstruction of opposing player + CONTACT with opposing player = Foul
I don't think any hypothetical 'video jury' would have any doubt that a penalty should be awarded.
To suggest cheating by the Italian is ludicrous...
I think any true neutral with a knowledge of football will know that a defender who makes a sliding tackle in the box, misses the ball and gets the man is in for a spot of bother.

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  • 142.
  • At 06:17 PM on 28 Jun 2006,
  • Wallaroo wrote:

Why should any team be prepared to accept at best, incompetant referee or at worst, match fixing, just because our competitors were the victims of similar injustices in the past? Shouldn't the aim be to clean up soccer instead of 'well, we had to put up with that in 1986 (or whatever date) now its your turn'?

As Australians, do we really want to be part of this unsporting but accepted behaviour? Are we up to dabbling in such manipulation, scandal and graft? Do we really wish to win the World Cup because our team has the best cheats or is able to pay the highest bribes?

Or shall we simply retain soccer in this country as a health pursuit for under 10s, which it what its current status is in Australia.

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  • 143.
  • At 06:29 PM on 28 Jun 2006,
  • J in Eire wrote:

>misses the ball and hits the player

hmmm.... i'd agree except that's not what hapenned. Yeah he missed the ball but he didn't hit the player. The player hit him.

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  • 144.
  • At 07:56 PM on 28 Jun 2006,
  • philly wrote:

The next time I hear an Australian talking about us whiging Pommes I'm going to be physically sick.
You were never going to beat them, you were handed a golden gift with the non exhisting sending off, and not once did you manage to pierce their rocksolid defence. That's football, if you cant take advantage of certain details you are out.
Anyway, you could hardly describe the Australian team as underdogs, nearly all of them play in the top European leagues and earn millions.

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  • 145.
  • At 08:12 PM on 28 Jun 2006,
  • Anonymous wrote:

Isn't it outrageous?
The English referee has paid the price for his yellow card blunder in the Australia versus Croatia game when he booked Josip Simunic three times.
Your sincerely Teretzka

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  • 146.
  • At 08:17 PM on 28 Jun 2006,
  • teretzka wrote:

Isn't it outrageous?The English referee has paid the price for his yellow card blunder in the Australia versus Croatia game when he booked Josip Simunic three times.
Your sincerely teretzka

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  • 147.
  • At 09:23 PM on 28 Jun 2006,
  • Jackie Yuen wrote:

I find it interensting that the english-media is so biased. What it is more interesting is that others like Sonya(#133) in Lima Peru(?) agree. So is all the complaining about Huang justifiable or simply angry that journalist is not 'towimg' the english-media line.

p.s.English-media is all news outlets from..Australia,US,UK,Canada,India,
Eire...

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  • 148.
  • At 05:42 AM on 29 Jun 2006,
  • Well done wrote:

Well, it seems even the Italian press has slammed its own team...
http://www.theworldgame.com.au/home/index.php?pid=st&cid=72787

Well done socceroos... you have shown the world, the qualities of sportsmanship, and what it is to be MEN.
No matter what happens, the country will only get better at football... but hopefully not too good, because you already dominate so much in world sport... geez... why can't us poms be as good.. Cheers, and you guys are inspirational.

http://www.theworldgame.com.au/home/index.php?pid=st&cid=72798


Gli italiani sanno che erano fortunati e qualunque cosa siate sempre scimmie corrotte. Ecco perché Seria italiano A è in esame. 10 contro 11 chi si preoccupa? , siete ancora scimmie corrotte.

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  • 149.
  • At 09:10 AM on 29 Jun 2006,
  • marco wrote:


As an Italian im happy at the result but before we all jump
the gun and shout cheat and argue from emotion there are a
few things that must be considered.

1)The penalty was given for the arm blocking the path of the
forward and was viewed as obstruction. A meal was made out
of it and the attacker should not of gone down as he did but
in the last minute down to 10 men - he used his heart and
not his head, its not right but sadly part of the game,
decisions go for and against you - just like the sending
off. Italy have been on the receiving end of them for some
time (2002 the latest one)

2)Hiddink got it wrong. As great as he is and he can't be
faulted but he didn't get it right on the day. Australia
pass the ball around well (and keep it) but they are not
clinical in front of goal, he should have brought the big
men on sooner to give more options and use the extra man on the overlap when the ball is knocked down, he
attacks too much, although good to watch some teams (like
italy) can absorb pressure and hit on the break. This can be
damaging. Australia need an Australian coach to typify the
grit, heart and determination they have and develop their
own style of play.

3)People have to remember Australia did well, they play with
so much heart and grit which will win over many people but
tactically they are poor - this can only come with time and
as more players play in Europe it's only a matter of time
before they can sustain challenges.

4)It's hard to break italy down when they have 11 men with
10 they will defend deeper, they did well.


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  • 150.
  • At 10:24 AM on 29 Jun 2006,
  • J in Eire wrote:

FFS. Here we go again being told Italy would have won anyway. Read the godam thread.

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  • 151.
  • At 01:41 PM on 29 Jun 2006,
  • sexkitten wrote:

LoL, the commentary was top class. The aussies were outclassed by the italians for most of the match anyways.

The italians couldve been like 2 goals up if they had been more lucky. Granted the penalty was not fair, neither was the red card. In the end, the better team won and thats cool with me

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  • 152.
  • At 03:10 PM on 29 Jun 2006,
  • VZ wrote:

We might still be hearing about the 1966 England's WC title 40 years later, but at least it was a victory. In 40 years from now, we will still hear of how the Aussies "were robbed/cheated" in the 2006 WC!

And why do you have to change the subject of the initial post to things like "we don't care (when you obviously do!), we are better than the brits or any other nation at any other sport". What does that have to do with this discussion? It all sounds a bit childish to me.

Yes, you are a nation of only 3 millions people compared to 60 millions in England but every single one of you seems to be a whiner and a sore looser to me! for a nation that prides itself (quite rightly) in its sporting culture, you appear devoid of any sporting spirit. If you want people to like you, you have to grow up and learn to loose graciously.

A neutral observer from Belgium (which I'm sure, will now receive masses of criticism. How dare such a small insignificant contry think such things of Australia!)

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  • 153.
  • At 05:02 PM on 29 Jun 2006,
  • Wally Lewis wrote:

In real football if someone falls to the ground a stretcher comes out and carries them off. Then they usually miss their next few games on top of that. They don't get up and start playing again. What a pitiful sport this is

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  • 154.
  • At 05:13 PM on 29 Jun 2006,
  • Wally Lewis wrote:

>We might still be hearing about the 1966 England's WC title 40 years later, but at least it was a victory. In 40 years from now, we will still hear of how the Aussies "were robbed/cheated" in the 2006 WC!

Yeah like we didn't hear that from you when you lost the european cup thingy! We constantly hear about you being robbed in this silly game and we constantly hear about what terrible losers you all are when you go rioting each time your highly overrated team loses.


>Yes, you are a nation of only 3 millions people

Ummm... i think you mean 20 million

>compared to 60 millions in England

ummm... I think you mean 60 million in the entire United Kingdom

>but every single one of you seems to be a whiner and a sore looser to me!

Yes yes, we're all very loose aren't we.

>If you want people to like you, you have to grow up and learn to loose graciously.

Perhaps we need more experience at losing. Lets see... Total number of English soccer hooligans arrested in Germany: 422 during this world cup. Total number of Australian soccer hooligans arrested EVER: 0.

Youre country's sportsmanship is pathetic for a country with so much experience at losing.

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  • 155.
  • At 04:45 AM on 30 Jun 2006,
  • malanie wrote:

Are you an Aussie?I'm a Chinese girl, I like Australian team very much, I think they are laudable because they acquired so good result for only the first time they entered the final of World Cup.
I think Huang's behavior is very unprofessional, and most of our Chinese think so, We think he act more like a fun than a commentator in that match.
But believe me, your Australian team still have many supporters in China.^_^

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  • 156.
  • At 04:51 AM on 30 Jun 2006,
  • malanie wrote:

Are you an Aussie?I'm a Chinese girl, I like Australian team very much, I think they are laudable because they acquired so good result for only the first time they entered the final of World Cup.
I think Huang's behavior is very unprofessional, and most of our Chinese think so, We think he act more like a fun than a commentator in that match.
But believe me, your Australian team still have many supporters in China.^_^

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  • 157.
  • At 07:53 AM on 30 Jun 2006,
  • marco wrote:


Australia have to take it on the chin.

Australians need to learn about football inorder to understand it. You were not robbed, you should of had the game wrapped up long before then.

basic facts

1.You were poor infront of goal
2.You pass well but cant finish, you didnt use the extra man
3.Any professional should know the rules of the game, you go down and put your arm up and block and it will be a penalty, thats what happened be it a bit harsh but why take the risk.

take the game game for what it was.

Italy played well and even with 10 men and attacked against 11 australians who couldn't finish

This is not a bad sport as everyone suggests, you just dont understand its beauty, we don't judge AFL so don't judge football.

At the end of the day a billion people will watch the final more if they had tv's so it can't be that bad.

ps

your not the Ayran race of sport you think you are. The poulation arguement is rubbish if you want to take that road that you have a poulatiopn of 20 million and have won all these world cups (at colonial sports where only 10 countries take part) then we could say....

uruguay have won two world cups (at a global sport) with a population of 3 million so surely they are the best? no?

It's flawed in so many ways
If you really want a detailed explanation as to why your arguement is flawed i will provide one!


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  • 158.
  • At 10:16 AM on 30 Jun 2006,
  • Wally Lewis wrote:

>Australia have to take it on the chin.

Yes we do. We need to accept that that's the way soccer is and then we need to decide if we want to be bothered with this sport in the future. I've made my decision.

What I am finding so hillarious though, is the fact that ppl from your country, who will probably riot when they lose against portugal, are questioning our sportsmanship.

I've already moved on. Tis wimbeldon now. How's your overrated Henman doing? Usually nobody hears about players ranked as lowly as Henman. that changes when their English tho.

With regards to your comment about us only being good a colonial sports, I guess you missed the last 10 olympic games and probs don't bother too much with tennis either.

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  • 159.
  • At 10:24 AM on 30 Jun 2006,
  • Wally Lewis wrote:

>uruguay have won two world cups (at a global sport) with a population of 3 million so surely they are the best? no?

Yes i'd say that is quite impressive.

BTW aussie rules is a poofters sport.

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  • 160.
  • At 01:04 PM on 30 Jun 2006,
  • marco wrote:

wally im italian you muppet.

who gives a rats about olympics and tennis? they are for poofters but you are only good at them because

- you have the favourable weather (dont see too many aussie winter olympians) furthermore how many track events to you succeed at?

- your government invests heavily in them (as oppose to spending money on aid, defence, increasing a trade surplus and overseas investment) your not in the G8 are you?

Austrailans are not as good as you guys think you can swim and thats about it. you need to learn how to lose


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  • 161.
  • At 01:24 PM on 30 Jun 2006,
  • Eric wrote:

Do u know, all chinese are talking about Huang's words now.
I like him ,and like his commentary. But he works in CCTV,the state run televion,so he must pay attention to the effact of the politics.

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  • 162.
  • At 01:25 PM on 30 Jun 2006,
  • The Don wrote:

Walleroos - get a grip and wake up - OZ have a very long time to go before you will be anywhere near as experienced as Italy or any other world class team like Brazil, Argentina or Germany.
Why be so bitter? Cahill, who is a cheating dingo anyway, dived in the Italy box during the game too!
Its football - that's what makes it so great! I'm glad Totti nailed a perfect penalty as the last kick of the game to put OZ out - it was justice for all the other decisions that went against them. Deal with it.

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  • 163.
  • At 03:38 PM on 30 Jun 2006,
  • Wally Lewis wrote:

>who gives a rats about olympics and tennis? they are for poofters but you are only good at them because

ummm.... A hell of a lot of people.


>your government invests heavily in them (as oppose to spending money on aid, defence, increasing a trade surplus and overseas investment) your not in the G8 are you?

ummm.... I guess your unbiased media didn't report the billion dollar aid injection to the tsunami appeal. We were involved in both world wars and just about everying in-between including both gulf wars, korea, vietnam et al. We are currently peace keeping in the solomon Islands, East Timor, Afghanistan and Iraq.

And despite all that spending our economy is booming and from a fiscal point of view the country is being managed very well thank you!

Hey i'll be rooting for Uruguay tonight. Can't see your crap team beating them (not without ref help anyway).

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  • 164.
  • At 03:43 PM on 30 Jun 2006,
  • Wally Lewis wrote:

>- you have the favourable weather (dont see too many aussie winter olympians) furthermore how many track events to you succeed at?

Oh yeah and Italy has such terrible weather! What a crock. Actually we came home with a nice little swag of medals at the last winter olympics. The most hilarious was the speed skating. That was our first gold ever. We won it because all of the other competitors fell over and our guy was so far behind them he wasn't affected. =) But we don't brag about it as though we're great at speed skating. If anything it's just plain funny.

BTW Italy, how's your economy doing? *Grin*

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  • 165.
  • At 04:02 PM on 30 Jun 2006,
  • Sammontana wrote:

Uraguay?!
You have just proved you really don't know about football ROTFL!
Just to help you out:
Italy V UKRAINE - 8pm

FORZA AZZURRI

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  • 166.
  • At 04:05 PM on 30 Jun 2006,
  • marco wrote:

No one cares about tennis, they really dont apart from the skirts but even then they can be average our economy is great if we didn't have corruption it'd be even better.

You gave tied aid so it's not really aid is it?

I didn't say italy had bad weather just that the climate in oz promotes more outdoor activity hence you succeed at certain sports.

BTW you have a rubbish kit

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  • 167.
  • At 04:38 PM on 30 Jun 2006,
  • The Don wrote:

Wally by name, Wally by nature
>Hows your economy doing????
What kind of pathetic thing to say is that?
BTW, why are the future of OZ (all the people between ages of 18-30) all in England working in bars? Dont you have schools as well as drongos?

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  • 168.
  • At 04:55 PM on 30 Jun 2006,
  • Wally Lewis wrote:


>Hows your economy doing????
>What kind of pathetic thing to say is that?

Errrr... the kind of thing you say in response to somebody having a dig at your country's economy...

>BTW, why are the future of OZ (all the people between ages of 18-30) all in England working in bars?

ummm... because Australian ppl can get a working holiday visa only when they are between the age of 18 and 27 which entitles you to holiday and work in that particular country for a maximum of 2 years but there's a restriction that you can't work in the field of your career. Ireland offers something similar but only for 1 year. If you don't meet that criteria the only way to get a working visa is to have established skills in fields such as IT, engineering, construction and nursing. There are also lots of ppl who fit that description.

I never professed to know anything about soccer.... in fact I said many times I couldn't care less about it. I do find it funny though that the follower of such a feminine sport would have this kind of dig at tennis *grin*

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  • 169.
  • At 05:07 PM on 30 Jun 2006,
  • The Don wrote:

Wally, you sad individual - what the hell are you doing on this blog then? Go and flip a shrimp on a barby and play tennis with your other knowledgeless mates.
L8r

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  • 170.
  • At 05:30 PM on 30 Jun 2006,
  • Wally Lewis wrote:

>I didn't say italy had bad weather just that the climate in oz promotes more outdoor activity hence you succeed at certain sports.

Italy is subtropical, Australia is Tropical, Subtropical and Temperate.

If by tied aid you're talkng about the interest free loans, that makes up only part of the aid package. It is aid.

Yep. Us aussies are just way better than everyone else.

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  • 171.
  • At 05:53 PM on 30 Jun 2006,
  • Wally Lewis wrote:

>what the hell are you doing on this blog then?

Yeah bye. Enjoy your wogball world cup.

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  • 172.
  • At 06:06 PM on 30 Jun 2006,
  • Wally Lewis wrote:

>Wally, you sad individual - what the hell are you doing on this blog then? Go and flip a shrimp on a barby and play tennis with your other knowledgeless mates.

Ok will do. As long as you don't wash your greasy hair, slip into an armarni suit and drive a scooter to work.

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  • 173.
  • At 01:42 AM on 01 Jul 2006,
  • Anonymous wrote:

FUCK THE WOGS

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  • 174.
  • At 02:39 PM on 01 Jul 2006,
  • marco wrote:


tied as in conditions are attached.

I heard that a few of the aussie team were cheering on italy........ most of your team are italian for that matter eh?

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  • 175.
  • At 02:41 PM on 01 Jul 2006,
  • SallyMac wrote:

Ah.. the sophisticated and elegant australians have given us a taste of their great culture once again!
What a bunch of twats you are!!

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  • 176.
  • At 08:09 PM on 01 Jul 2006,
  • Robert wrote:

That is what someone like you deserve,to lose.

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  • 177.
  • At 01:06 AM on 02 Jul 2006,
  • Anonymous wrote:

You're next Italy. This will be a German world cup.

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  • 178.
  • At 02:05 AM on 02 Jul 2006,
  • No no Italy wrote:

Deutschland gewinnt

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  • 179.
  • At 02:09 AM on 02 Jul 2006,
  • n ozy wrote:

Stoopid soccer. If a game hangs on so fine a thread, if the players can garner fouls with such blatant pretense and if the refs are of so poor a quality then it's stupid. Just too consequent on chance. Not worth the time.

Indeed it really does make it a game - not a contest.

(It's been reported that Viduka noticed another Italian hand in the melee; the ref couldn't look away quickly enough. Point: Italy and its paying fans are far too valuable to be upstaged by a little coutry from the antipodes. So the ref took the last few seconds to make it right.)

Feed them bread and circuses if you will but let's not pretend it's close to being a worthwhile joust.

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  • 180.
  • At 02:15 AM on 02 Jul 2006,
  • n ozy wrote:

Stoopid soccer. If a game hangs on so fine a thread, if the players can garner fouls with such blatant pretense and if the refs are of so poor a quality then it's stupid. Just too consequent on chance. Not worth the time.

Indeed it really does make it a game - not a contest.

(It's been reported that Viduka noticed another Italian hand in the melee; the ref couldn't look away quickly enough. Point: Italy and its paying fans are far too valuable to be upstaged by a little coutry from the antipodes. So the ref took the last few seconds to make it right.)

Feed them bread and circuses if you will but let's not pretend it's close to being a worthwhile joust.

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  • 181.
  • At 02:24 AM on 02 Jul 2006,
  • N ozy wrote:

Ah.. the sophisticated and elegant australians have given us a taste of their great culture once again!
What a bunch of twats you are!!

-=-=-=--=-=-=

If you actually believe that you're more racist than s/he is.

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  • 182.
  • At 12:54 PM on 02 Jul 2006,
  • Jon Jones wrote:

>Ah.. the sophisticated and elegant australians have given us a taste of their great culture once again!
What a bunch of twats you are!!

As someone educated in Australia I'm capable of recognising the fact that one moron making a stupid comment is not a reason to attack an entire nation of 20 million people. I guess that's a sophistication you lack.

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  • 183.
  • At 02:43 PM on 02 Jul 2006,
  • Beau wrote:

Portugal 3 DEFEATS England 1 on penalties...pathetic.

I spose you poms will keep riverting to the rugby world cup and ashes whenever your poor form in sporting events is raised.

Oh well I suppose you all need something to keep your mind off the shit weather and bad teeth.

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  • 184.
  • At 11:39 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Anonymous wrote:

GO LLEYTON HEWITT!

GO ROBBIE MCEWAN!

GO DARREN LOCKYER!

GO GEORGE GREGAN!

GO YOU GOOD THINGS!

OZY OZY OZY OI OI OI

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  • 185.
  • At 07:48 AM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • marco wrote:


but they didn't help you in germany.

Why are people bashing England when it's a debate about Italy and Australia?

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  • 186.
  • At 10:20 AM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Anonymous wrote:

>but they didn't help you in germany.


Yeah sure it's only soccer. Who cares.

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  • 187.
  • At 10:22 AM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Anonymous wrote:

>Why are people bashing England when it's a debate about Italy and Australia?

Because the poms used this thread to bash aussies.

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  • 188.
  • At 10:31 AM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Anonymous wrote:

Just had a read through the thread. I hope this isn't a good sample of Italian culture. Because if it were i'd be thinking you're a bunch of arrogant, elitist and pompous eurotrash. Having visited Italy I certainly didn't find that to be the case. But that of course is still only anecdotal evidence.

I'd like to think you're simply the scum of your own society in much the same way that several biggoted taunts have eminated from the scum of our society.

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  • 189.
  • At 03:10 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Want a tissue? wrote:

PREDICTION: Lots of Italian soccer fans will be crying like girls tonight =)

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  • 190.
  • At 05:54 AM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Anonymous wrote:

Its great to see a guy with so much passion for the game, indeed for Huang it must be far more than a game, it must be life itself. I am glad he was so enthused with the event, who wants a cold and lifeless commentator, you want a guy who believes with all his heart in what he is saying. Bravo Huang, well said!

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  • 191.
  • At 12:14 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • marco wrote:

your right i cried!

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  • 192.
  • At 04:01 PM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • andrew wrote:

nobody paied the referee, so we beat australia and that's it, i know it's cruel but australia couldn't win the cup........and we won.
Thank you Italy one of the best team in the hystory of soccer, the best now

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