So, the FIFA World Cup™ final draw is just around the corner and now we have the complete guests list:
- Côte d’ Ivoire
- South Africa (host country)
- Korea DPR
- Korea Republic
- North, Central America and Caribbean:
- New Zealand
- South America:
As you can see, there are some important teams which have been left behind, such as Czech Republic, Russia, Sweden and Ireland.
The FIFA World Cup™ to be held next year will certainly miss terrific players who will not take part in the competition due to their team’s disappointing performance.
Andrei Arshavin is one of them. Guus Hiddink (Russia’s coach) has been known to build up successful and winning teams however his reputation could do nothing last night to prevent his team from falling against Slovenia in the second leg of the play-off to decide one of Europe’s remaining 4 tickets to the summer competition.
Arshavin who took Euro 2008 by surprise and has been one of the Arsenal’s biggest assets in the Premier League, will watch the final rounds of the tournament from home, hoping to get another opportunity to shine with his national team in Euro 2012 to be co-hosted by Poland and Ukraine. Needless to say these two nations will miss next year’s FIFA World Cup™ too.
Juan Roman Riquelme is another top player who will not be participating in the tournament but not due to his team’s lousy performance during the qualifiers, but to a high-profile disagreement with Argentina’s controversial boss Diego Maradona, who might also miss the first matches by reason of the coarse language and profanities he uttered addressing to Argentinean journalists after his team qualified. A formal investigation is now underway and the former star might not be allowed to sit on the bench for the next official matches if FIFA concludes his actions violated the established regulations and “fair play” principles.
Shay Given, goalkeeper from Republic of Ireland will not be attending the FIFA World Cup™ either as a result of Thierry Henry’s hand ball control. Yes! France attacker Henry used his hand to control the ball before he passed it to Gallas who scored without trouble, last night at the second leg of the play-off between Republic of Ireland and France.
It is clear to me that Henry pulled one of the nastier actions in football history, and his “handball skills” will be remembered for a long time as a deception to this sport and to the “fair play” spirit. France is now going to the FIFA World Cup™ but leaves a disgusting taste in the mouth for all of its fans and football lovers around the world.
It is too early to try to predict which team will have a best shot at the title but we may be able to hypothesise with more accuracy after the final draw, which will take place in Cape Town on early December.
November 19th, 2009