World Cup 2006 Blog

From our reporters in Germany

Gutted in Nuremberg

MartinALMOST INSIDE THE FRANKENSTADION, NUREMBERG - I'm sat here on some concrete steps, staring at the Frankenstadion not 30 metres away, listening to the cheers and jeers of the Ghana v USA crowd.

Why no closer? Because I bought a cancelled ticket off a tout and am now stuck in the eerie no-man's land between the outer security checkpoint and the entance to the stands.

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How we get the footy fixtures to you

LONDON - I know this is the World Cup blog but it's also a notable day for domestic football in that all next season's fixtures were published.

I asked Mark Mitchener, one of the stalwarts of our team of football journalists here in London, to blog about what it takes to get them to you.

To outside observers, the fixtures may seem to appear magically at the appointed hour of 1000 BST on the BBC Sport website and on Ceefax - but the preceding hours are a hive of activity here at BBC Sport Interactive Towers (inside Television Centre in London's White City district).
We are sent the fixtures under strict embargo from the Press Association (PA), around an hour and a half before the publication time, so we can get them ready for 10am. Luckily, we made it - just!

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The old and the new in Nuremberg

paul_fletcher.gif NUREMBERG - Cultural excursions don't appear to have been a particularly high priority for fans at the World Cup - there is just too much football to watch.

But here in Nuremberg the situation is different because the area around the Franken-Stadion carries the indelible mark of history.

Quite simply, it is difficult to reach the ground without seeing some reminder of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi party, which used the stadium as a marching ground in the 1930s.

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Knockout games on BBC

LONDON - We have agreed with ITV which of the knockout games will be shown on which TV channel:

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German comedy ha ha?

mandeep_sanghera.gifFRANKFURT - Don't ask me why but I've found myself watching German football entertainment/comedy shows on telly a couple of times.

As I don't speak German, I haven't got a clue what they're babbling on about but the fact that they're taking the mickey out of events at the World Cup still draws me in.

And despite the language gap, it's obvious some elements of football humour are the same as back home.

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Suggest an England track - follow-up

paul_atherton.gifWow, what a response! Thanks to everyone who suggested a piece of music to accompany an England montage.

There were some brilliant suggestions and people clearly put a lot of thought into it. It looks like you lot are as passionate about your music as you are about football!

Make sure you look out for our coverage of England v Ecuador on BBC ONE on Sunday to see what music was used.

I’ll follow this up again next week with one of the producers who will explain what music he/she chose, and why.
And if you have any other music suggestions for any upcoming games (Togo v France anyone?), then please do let us know!

Oh, and here's a little football chants quiz you might want to try.

The other side of the World Cup

nigel_adderley.gifLEIPZIG - Iran verses Angola never looked like a match which would live long in the memory and the quality of the football in the Zentralstzadion means it certainly won't, but it at least showed that even in the cut-throat, mercenary world football now chooses to live in, the Olympian ideal of simply taking part re-sufaces now and again.

Iran were already out but it didn't stop thousand of their fans clogging up Leipzig's pretty market places at lunchtime, while Angola had a slim chance of beating Mexico into second place but in their heart of hearts they seemed to know they weren't going to be good enough.

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Bruce Arena's evening stroll

paul_fletcher.gif NUREMBERG - You, the readers, decided that we should watch Holland versus Argentina on a big screen rather than try to buy tickets for a dead-rubber match between Ivory Coast and Serbia & Montenegro at the Allianz Arena in Munich.

One was a fairly low-key draw between two teams keeping their powder dry for forthcoming encounters, the other sounded like an electrifying match betweens two sides desperate to leave the tournament with some points.

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