BBC BLOGS - David Bond

Archives for July 2010

Olympics feels wind of more austere times

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David Bond | 08:43 UK time, Tuesday, 27 July 2010

On a recent visit to London's almost-finished Olympic Stadium I asked Lord Sebastian Coe, the figurehead of the 2012 Games, if he would still have launched the bid to stage sport's biggest and most expensive event if he had known the global economic downturn was just around the corner.

His response was an emphatic, unequivocal yes.

Without the Games, he argued, the British economy would have missed out on a major stimulus at a time when it needed it most.

Without the Games thousands of jobs for local workers would not have been created or contracts won by British companies.

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South Africa and the World Cup changed forever

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David Bond | 19:46 UK time, Monday, 12 July 2010

2010 World Cup: Johannesburg

As Spain's triumphant players returned to joyous scenes in Madrid, the rest of the world was reflecting on a tournament which may have transformed South Africa but left some people with mixed feelings.

It is hard to believe now, after a month which has gone more smoothly than anyone here could have expected, that for years there were doubts over South Africa's ability to organise this event.

Fans would be stabbed and robbed, it was claimed. The transport system would break down and the stadiums would not be ready.

Yes, there were problems. Some of my BBC colleagues were mugged in Johannesburg; the Durban airport fiasco meant many supporters with tickets to the semi-final between Spain and Germany did not get in to see the game, and corporate fans turned their back on the World Cup, leaving Match, Fifa's hospitality partners, out of pocket.

But fears about crime and security were largely unfounded. More than 3m enthusiastic vuvuzela-blowing fans went to matches at stadiums which were magnificent. Whenever problems arose they were often overcome by a helpful, smiling volunteer.

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La Liga strength aids Spain success

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David Bond | 16:20 UK time, Saturday, 10 July 2010

2010 World Cup: Johannesburg

The Premier League claims to be the best in the world. It may be the richest, but after its clubs went backwards in the Champions League last season and England's failure here, there must be doubts over whether it can truly be seen as home to the world's best players.

The line-ups for Sunday's World Cup final between Spain and the Netherlands are a good case in point.

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Goal-line technology moves a step closer

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David Bond | 20:08 UK time, Thursday, 8 July 2010

World Cup 2010: Cape Town

Jerome Valcke's fascinating interview with the BBC will certainly offer encouragement to those campaigners and supporters who have long argued for the introduction of goal-line technology into the beautiful game.

And although the Fifa general secretary does not specify which solution he favours, it is clear a wind of change is finally blowing through world football's governing body.

It may be too late for England manager Fabio Capello, who insisted after the second-round defeat by Germany that Uruguayan referee Jorge Larrionda's failure to spot Frank Lampard's shot had crossed the line changed the game.

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Europe makes stylish statement

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David Bond | 12:36 UK time, Wednesday, 7 July 2010

World Cup 2010: Cape Town

Netherlands' semi-final victory over Uruguay ended the remaining South American interest in this World Cup and ensured that Africa's first final will be a battle between the old powers of Europe.

Having dashed the last African hope by beating Ghana so unfairly at Soccer City last Friday, Uruguay's 3-2 defeat will have left many fans inside Green Point Stadium feeling that justice was done.

The Dutch victory meant Luis Suarez's 'Hand of God' moment will be little more than a footnote when the history of this wonderful tournament of surprises comes to be written.

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Competing interests hamper youth development

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David Bond | 19:09 UK time, Monday, 5 July 2010

World Cup 2010: Cape Town

Anyone searching for an illustration of the deeper problems in English football - highlighted again by this World Cup - should look no further than the game's response to a report by Richard Lewis, the chairman of Sport England, published three years ago.

The "Review of Young Players' Development in Professional Football" was produced when Lewis was still running the Rugby Football League and was supposed to provide a new structure for youth development in English football.

A brief history of what happened to his 64 recommendations is enlightening in the context of the debate the game is now having after England manager Fabio Capello's ageing side was taken apart by a resurgent young German team just over a week ago.

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Stars fail to shine at World Cup

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David Bond | 21:38 UK time, Saturday, 3 July 2010

2010 World Cup: Cape Town

This World Cup was supposed to provide the stage for the greatest players on earth to shine.
 
But following Argentina's stunning 4-0 defeat by Germany on Saturday, the big five of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, Kaka and Didier Drogba have all returned home from South Africa earlier than expected.
 
Between them, just two managed to get on the scoresheet - Drogba and Ronaldo. All showed flashes of brilliance but many observers have been left scratching their heads as to why they were unable to deliver in the finals.
 
As Argentina coach Diego Maradona contemplated his own future this weekend, one of the greatest players ever to grace the World Cup was asked to reflect on why it was that stars like Messi, Rooney and Ronaldo had failed to dazzle.

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FA allows Capello to carry on

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David Bond | 20:15 UK time, Friday, 2 July 2010

Johannesburg

The timing may have been a surprise but the decision was not.

Having asked England manager Fabio Capello for two weeks to reflect on the disaster in South Africa, the Football Association brought forward its self imposed deadline to Friday afternoon, throwing their support behind the Italian.

Whether Sir David Richards, the chairman of Club England and vice chairman of the FA, ever intended to request such a long period of reflection is uncertain. What was beyond doubt was Capello's anger at being asked to hang on while the FA blazers dithered.

Sensing that they could not waste any time, the FA got to work immediately. Even as the team flew home from South Africa on Monday, arriving back at Heathrow on Tuesday morning, the signs were already looking good for Italian Capello.

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