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Football news

Written By: - Date published: 9:11 am, March 4th, 2011 - 71 comments
Categories: sport - Tags: , ,

Hopefully this will manage to get some mention amid the earthquake news tonight, as we could do with some more upbeat stories to keep the pecker up:

New Zealand has won the rights to host the U20 Football World Cup in 2015.

New Zealand Football Chairman Frank van Hattum:

“Put simply, it’s huge.  Outside the FIFA World Cup, the U-20 event is about as big as it gets, and for FIFA to award us the honour and responsibility of hosting is a great vote of confidence given its scale, significance and world-wide interest.”

Bid winner NZF chief executive Michael Glading:

“… significantly bigger than the Commonwealth Games.”

We will host the next Messi / Ronaldo / Rooney / Maradona on these shores.  With up to 200 nations competing for places, and a cumulative TV audience of about half a billion watching.  It’s highly likely that the world’s biggest football nations will qualify and we’ll have the likes of Brazil, Spain, England, Germany and Argentina on our doorstep.

Our success in hosting the 1999 U17 World Cup and 2008 Women’s U17 World Cup played a big part in getting us the tournament, as well as hosting this years Rugby World Cup.  The All Whites being the only unbeaten team at the World Cup 2010 no doubt helped too!  This should help New Zealand Football push on from that success and solidify some of the gains into creating the next batch of All Whites to perform that well.

Canada’s 2007 hosting of the tournament was worth almost $350 million, so it should help the economy a fair bit too.  Christchurch will be top of the list for being one of the 6 host cities, so should help them with their long term recovery too.

As a pseudonymous author I claim no particular inside knowledge of football, just a keen interest, so the information and ideas in this story may be of less value to you, the reader, as I have not declared my life story as an ordinary person with verifiable facts.

I should declare that I back Liverpool, so all the opinions in the article could be tarnished and invalid if you’re a Chelsea fan.

71 comments on “Football news ”

  1. higherstandard 1

    Liverpool !! Being a pinko is forgiveable but now you’ve gone to far.

    Great news for soccer NZ though !

    • swordfish 1.1

      The Beautiful Game t’is my favourite Game – played it competitively (Saturdays) and socially (Sundays) from age 8 to 31. Like you Bunji, Liverpool is the team I worship (though perhaps just a little less so now than in their 70s / 80s heyday).

      @higherstandard: Great news for FOOTBALL, not “soccer”.

      (Edit: Oh, I’ve just scrolled-down and seen Bunji and Morrissey arguing over this very issue).

  2. Olwyn 2

    Brilliant news!
    As for the Farrar-Cactus jibes, I have a far greater problem with the raft of right-wing columnists whose allegiances are undeclared, so that they are able to palm off their politically driven rants as coming from a neutral, status quo position. Unlike them, The Standard has its colours nailed to the mast, so that it hardly matters if individual contributors remain anonymous.

  3. The Voice of Reason 3

    “… significantly bigger than the Commonwealth Games.”

    That’s diplomat speak for bigger than the Rugby World Cup. This really is a coup and congrats to Glading and the rest of the NZFA. I can’t wait!

    Oh, and West Ham ’til I die, if anyone’s interested.

  4. Kevin Welsh 4

    Fantastic News Bunji!

    After the outstanding hosting of the U17 World Cup in 1999 it was only a matter of time before we got another.

    The Scum are in for another loss this weekend. YNWA.

  5. Morrissey 5

    That headline should be “Soccer News”.

    [Bunji: Only if you’re American]

    • Morrissey 5.1

      Or Canadian. Or a New Zealander. Or an Australian. Or Japanese. Or Korean…

      • Bunji 5.1.1

        Would that be if you played for New Zealand Football, Football Federation of Australia, the Japan Football Association or the Korean Football Association?

        I did learn that Canada is still Canada Soccer Association though, I thought United States Soccer was the last left after we changed our terminology. But as we don’t reside in North America, and the rest of the world agrees, I’ll stick with “football” to describe the game that is played primarily with one’s foot and a ball.

        • Morrissey 5.1.1.1

          “New Zealand Football” only changed its name from the more sensible and non-ambiguous “Soccer New Zealand” in 2005, following a directive from John “Possumhead” O’Neill. He had become Australian Soccer Federation CEO after he was sacked as CEO of the Australian Rugby Union. His directive to start calling soccer “football”, in direct contravention of popular usage, was an act designed simply to irritate his former Rugby mates.

          In Japan and Korea, just like the other countries I mentioned, the game is called “soccer”. If they talk about “football”, they mean American football, in the same way New Zealanders mean rugby football.

          • luva 5.1.1.1.1

            Anyone who lives in the UK will know the term soccer is coming into use, The popular Saturday morning show Soccer AM is a magazine football type show. http://www.socceram.com/

            And Soccer Saturday is the Sky Sports 6 hour show that comment on all four leagues on Saturday afternoons.

            So really it is a churlish argument over what the correct name is.

            • tea 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Term soccer has always been in use as in Pro Evolution Soccer, The Soccer Tribe and Nicky Hornby novels.

              That is not the point. Football= round ball. And I’m not even a diehard.

              Soccer is a shortened version of Association Football- soc-soccer.

              • Professor Longhair

                For someone who claims he is “not even a diehard”, you seem to be dying pretty darned hard—and publicly. Not to mention digging your own grave in the most humiliating fashion.

                • tea

                  wow.

                  It seems there is a whole whack – or at least one with access to two IP addresses- right wing guys out there who are terrified of the thought of…..of…..of…..um….football being called football in New Zealand. Absolutely terrified and defensive.

                  Both terms are in use- and congratulations to NZF for winning this bid for NZ.

          • tea 5.1.1.1.2

            Piss off Morrisey and go fuck yourself while feleciating Dick Taylor

            As they say in common usuage for go troll somewhere else.

            However you want a fisking- why not ask Richard Loe?

            http://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=10707527
            He says:

            Follow football – give yellow cards to the simulators

            “Jimmy Cowan’s “Hollywood” that got Ma’a Nonu sent off on Friday night got up my nose a bit – and I wonder if the lawmakers need to have a look at it.

            In football, they call it ‘simulation’ when footballers fall down in the penalty area or in general play and try and win a penalty or a free kick for their team.”

            If Richard Loe can figure it out but you can’t that would make you as thick as pig shit.

            [lprent: we tolerate insults if they are not pointless as part of robust debate. I am not seeing too many points in here. And moderators determine who is trolling. All you can to is to express it as an opinion saying why. Asserting it is outside the bounds. ]

            • tea 5.1.1.1.2.1

              Sorry Lyn:

              point is if Richard Loe calls football football, I don’t think there is any case for saying that rugby players call rugby football. Or being a rugby snob.

              but yes. Sick of pricks lick Mr Taylor, Parore and the rower who were petty minded and small minded at the Halbergs. Sorry for the bad words, they did describe my feelings rather accurately though.

              • lprent

                It wasn’t what you said, it was more that you didn’t explain why you said it. That tends to devolve into flames, so I tend to step in first with a warning if I see it happening. It is easier than doing it later.

                Personally, just to stir the debate, my attitude to sport is that if I am not playing it, then I don’t care. I also can never figure out why people place any emphasis on watching it apart from the traffic congestion it causes.

            • Morrissey 5.1.1.1.2.2

              I’ll leave it to the moderator to sort out your rather sad attempts at abuse. I’ll deal with the one rather vacuous argument you did manage to put forward, viz. “why not ask Richard Loe?”

              You seem unaware of the fact that the Herald has a house policy (you can look up what that means in your own time) of obeying the mischievous 2005 John O’Neill directive to always call soccer “football”. So you can be sure that some zealous Herald sub-editor corrected Loe’s original manuscript (that is, of course, generously assuming that Loe, and not some poor Herald sports hack, actually wrote it.)

              Since the O’Neill directive of 2005, the Herald has, like the main radio and television stations, required the use of “football” for the game those journalists as well as their readers, listeners and viewers, all call “soccer”. You’ll have noticed, however, that this is breaking down everywhere: New Zealand newspapers are more and more returning to headlining their soccer stories and results as “Soccer”. Radio journalists have relapsed into calling soccer not “football”, but soccer. Several of them, including Jim Mora, Brian Crump, Noelle McCarthy, Michael Laws, Paul Holmes and Mike Hosking, have openly complained on air about having to call soccer “football”, when football is understood by everyone to mean rugby football.

              Television sports reporters, on the other hand, are on a much tighter leash. So you’ll see those sad slaves Hamish (“Biffa”) McKay, Andrew (“Slobber”) Saveloy and Jenny-May (“Eventually”) Coffin doggedly remain on-message as they are forced to read auto-cues engraved with (for instance) “the Phoenix football team”. Next time you see them read the sports news, though, take a good look at their faces: they look about as happy as a raccoon reduced to eating shit off a wire-brush.

              • tea

                Wow you are really sad.

                you say Michael Laws is unhappy calling football football? QED case closed buddy.

                It must be the end of the world if they called football football, the pinko spazz homos will be running the world!! I’m sure the ‘football is soccer’ brigade are glad to know that someone like you is on the case to make sure the forces of civilization are not destroyed by incorrect usuage.

                Incidently, one has to wonder how you are so knowledgable about racoons and their wire brushes?

                • Morrissey

                  “Pinko spazz homos”? …

                  What the…????

                  Oh!

                  That was a joke!

                  Buwahahahahahaha!!

                  Say, tea, do you mind if I write that one down?

  6. billy fish 6

    Excellent news and hopefully a good whack of the income from that will get down Christchurch way.
    Logically the two major hosting cities should be Wellington and Christchurch with a nice spread to the provences and other cities.
    I don;t think we could expect a similar $350M that Canada got due to the distance factor but it should be significant

    Sunderland and Phoenix!!!

  7. SHG 7

    Soccer… that’s the game where you get to roll around on the ground screaming and holding your face when the ball bounces into your shin, right?

    • billy fish 7.1

      only in the Spanish, South American and Italian leagues

    • Craig Glen Eden 7.2

      no we are talking football.I think you are talking Rugby like as in the All blacks where they wear eye liner, grab each others grutch constantly them all dive on each other on the ground. The game where the smartest thing that they is ” it was a game of two halves”.

      At Kevin Welsh, the scum aye well at least we always rise to the top son.

      There’s only on United, thats Man United!

      Congrats To NZ Football and Frank V, good work Franky.

    • Morrissey 7.3

      SHG, the point we are making here is not enhanced by tired (and false) stereotypes. You should leave that sort of unfunny idiocy to the likes of boors like Murray Deaker.

  8. Olwyn 8

    The name of the game is Association Football, and people say “rugby” more than they do “football” for that game anyway. Since there is the further rugby distinction between league and union, league people abbreviate this simply to “league” – I have never heard the expression “league football,” although it may be used somewhere or other. Furthermore, it should not be forgotten that rugby is the derivative game.

    • Morrissey 8.1

      Just to help you with a few points you’ve got wrong, Olwyn….
      1.) “…people say “rugby” more than they do “football” for that game anyway.”
      The terms are synonymous in New Zealand.

      2.) “I have never heard the expression “league football”
      No you haven’t. They say “league” or more usually, just “football”.

      3.) “…it should not be forgotten that rugby is the derivative game.”
      That’s not true. Both the association and rugby games derive from folk football games stretching right back to ancient Rome. It might be a good idea for you to do some reading on this fascinating area of sporting history.

      • Olwyn 8.1.1

        I more often hear “rugby” or “league” said as an abbreviation of rugby football. I am aware that both of these games were codified in the 19th cent, and I like to think, perhaps mistakenly, that association football derives from the central tradition and rugby is an offshoot. That it is plays a part in rugby’s own mythology as I understand it, with the Ellis guy grabbing the ball and running with it. The game involved seems to predate both codes, but from what I have read it did involve not touching the ball with your hands. I do know that other similar games go back to the ancient world, and the guy playing episkyros in this picture is demonstrating a move that would be more at home in association football than rugby.
        http://expertfootball.com/history/soccer_history_mediterran.php

  9. Olwyn 9

    And since we are all displaying our colours, “Go the Gunners!”

  10. Colonial Viper 10

    It was always “Soccer” when I was at Primary, Intermediate and High School.

    • SHG 10.1

      “Football” is just “whatever the dominant football code is in your region”. In NZ football is rugby, in Australia football is Australian Rules, in the USA football is American Football.

      TBH I think the fixation on the term “football” among some soccer fans is a sort of colonial hangover. Please call it football like they do in Mother England! They probably yearn to sing God Save the Queen before internationals too.

      • Olwyn 10.1.1

        England managed to colonise the world without leaving a decent recipe, unlike other colonial powers some of who at least offered recipes for nice pastries etc, in exchange for domination. But England’s great gift to the world has been codified sports. Others are often better at them than the English are, but almost all of the truly international sports seem to have started life in England.

      • Craig Glen Eden 10.1.2

        Put the drum down SHG. When you are using Aussie and America sports fans as your base for truth you are truly lost. The Amercans also call Baseball the world series and the Aussies actually think other nations play Aussie Rules and what’s more they are a fronted when you tell them its a stupid bloody game designed by convicts for convicts.

        • Fisiani 10.1.2.1

          The world series in baseball was originally sponsored by a newspaper called The World. It is not a megalomaniac name as many think.

          capcha confused

          • billy fish 10.1.2.1.1

            Urban legend Fisi
            Originally it was Championship of the World then it was World’s Championship Series until finally the World series

    • Morrissey 10.2

      It still is, in every primary, intermediate and high school in NZ and Australia.

  11. Fisiani 11

    Great news that the under 20 FOOTBALL World Cup is coming to New Zealand.
    Now if only we could get a visit from the greatest football team in the world…….. Celtic.

    • Morrissey 11.1

      My friend, you know as much about soccer as you do about baseball history.

      The greatest football team in the world?—either the Canterbury Crusaders or Stade Toulouse.

    • Willie Maley 11.2

      Fisiani, you’re a right winger and you support Celtic!!! WTF?
      At least you have one right 🙂
      Hail Hail

  12. Herodotus 12

    “I should declare that I back Liverpool” – Bunji. In that case thanks for the 3 points this week. Perhaps thanks to you EPL will be playing games at the Olympic Stadium instead of Upton Park. Pity you were not so generous in the F.A final a few years ago.
    great news now we just have to find a way of getting people to fill the stadiums.

    • The Voice of Reason 12.1

      C’mon you Irons!

      The switch to the Olympic Stadium has helped me make up my mind about a holiday in the UK next year. I want to see the Hammers play at Upton Park before the shift to the atmosphere free zone that is any dual use football stadium. It’s bad enough having to watch the Pheonix from half a mile away, let alone being one of twenty thousand fans lost in a 60,000 seater white elephant when WHUFC are playing at home.

      Still, as my Toffees loving mate Podge says, the great advantage of the Olympic stadium is that the fans will be too far away to see how badly the Hammers are playing.

  13. The greatest game in the world ever! Not only the professional game but the amateur game plus the kids playing in the streets and parks with make do goals posts .Wonderfull.! I sincerely hope that it will overtake rugby in Aotearoa .Its already being played by more young people than rugby in NZ.
    And dont forget the wonderful football played by womens teams.
    The best team ever Spurs Super Spurs every time.Supported by every good Jewish/ Yidish Londoner .

  14. tc 14

    fantastic news and well done Soccer NZ….I call it football as that’s what it is (ball game played with the feet) and globally that’s what it’s called (asia aside) and is known by in its country of origin.

    We call it whatever that works in identifying it correctly being a rugby dominant nation but globally football’s a goliath whereas ruby hardly rates a blip.

    As were nailing colours to masts it’s southampton/athletico madrid and AC Milan and I hardly watch anymore after avidly watching through the 80’s/90’s as most games are lifeless dull affairs with far too may negative tactics now at the pinnacle of the pro game.

    The fear of losing and leaving the lucrative top tiers of leagues around europe have stifled attractive football….drawing all away games and winning half your home games keep you in most top leagues now so most games look like one teams parking the proverbial bus in the final third.

    Which’s why this is will be a great tourney as U20 play attractive open style with few inhibitions….that tends to get discouraged in the majors in favour of solid defensive rigour (yawn)

    • Morrissey 14.1

      Interesting post, tc. You raise some pertinent points…
      1.) “I call it football as that’s what it is (ball game played with the feet)”. True enough. But that applies to rugby football too.

      2.) “…globally that’s what it’s called (asia aside)”. Really? The United States and Canada are in Asia now? And Australia and New Zealand? (Well, I guess Jim Bolger said we’re an Asian country, so there must be something to it! It is Australasia, after all…)

      • fatty 14.1.1

        The only thing more boring than a scrum or a lineout is a rugby fan…the good thing about the Christchurch earthquake is that we won’t be subjected to truckloads of rugga meat-heads when the RWC comes here.
        Glad to see we have a major sports tournament coming to our country in 2015, that roid-ridden circus gathering in September will put me to sleep. It would put most of the world to sleep too, but they won’t be watching.

        • Morrissey 14.1.1.1

          Our friend “fatty” springs into life with a dyspeptic anti-football rant. Amidst the burning resentment, even hatred, he does raise a couple of good points.

          1.) “fatty” is right to say that scrums and lineouts are boring. They are indeed boring, and hopefully one day will be abolished. To someone (like “fatty”) determined to see only the worst of something, then the boring bits are all he will see. He’ll be utterly oblivious to the athletic brilliance of, say, French rugby at its most sublime…
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdXqtYVynRU

          Now, doubtless there will be a few diehard football-haters like “fatty” who would watch that and still proclaim to whoever is willing to listen that it is “boring”. The rest of us will just marvel at the spectacle of players like Lamaison, Magne, Dominici, Benazzi, Ntamack and Lomu in full flight and appreciate why in France it is rugby that is called the beautiful game.

          2.) “fatty” is also on the ball when he states that “a rugby fan” is even more boring than a scrum or lineout. Of course, in reality that’s not every rugby fan—though extremists and fanatics like “fatty” will say it is. But it’s perfectly true that there is a small but highly vocal minority of rugby fans in New Zealand that are utterly, irredeemably boring. They know hardly anything about the game—in fact, they probably know less than “fatty”—and can be heard virtually every time you tune in to that refuge of the terminally bewildered, Radio Sport. Their bellyaching and their lack of insight into the game is matched only by their almost complete ignorance. And the members of the public who ring them up are not much better.

          • tea 14.1.1.1.1

            Also the self righteous, verbose, self-assured argumentative type on a blog that is not in their own backyard of thought.

            Sheilas, Wogs and Poofters is a tone of endearment from the non-football Aussie populace, there is a similar one from NZ bigots that is quoted in the Tom Scott play about his father. Surely you knew that?

            Play some good rugby, win a world cup and avoid the scurges of professionalism and then rugby will win back some respect from me. Oh, and show respect when others put in amazing performances and achieve great things.

            What’s there to be so afraid of?

            • Morrissey 14.1.1.1.1.1

              Your post is, yet again, adjective-rich but barely coherent. The one thing that is interesting is the thought that you would imagine I have anything in common with the sort of halfwit who slagged off poor old Johnny Warren like that. My name is Morrissey, not Murray Deaker or Martin Devlin.

              Your formula for winning back “respect” is fatuous.

              • tea

                It wasn’t a formula for winnning respect Morris. It was a suggestion you show some.

                You suggested what I said in a previous post was a joke. It wasn’t. It was an echoing of the stereotyping and abuse that has been poured on the round ball game in Australasia by people like yourself and those media types you mentioned, whatever you call it. Witness the hoopla over the Halbergs.

                The respect has already been won by the All Whites, The White Ferns, The Phoenix and by NZF who won this bid.

                • tea

                  Edit: Oh and Auckland City FC. 5th best club in the world….

                • Morrissey

                  Unlike you, I have shown respect in every contribution I have made to this thread. Nowhere have I suggested that one game is better than another, nor have I called anyone “thick as pig-shit” or “a sad fuck” or made rancid anti-homosexual jibes, as you have done. Nor have I once, let alone repeatedly, made empty-headed allegations that football fans (either soccer or rugby) are “right wing”.

                  You say that “respect has already been won by the All Whites”. Perhaps you need a reality check: the All Whites got to the World Cup via a qualifying group that every serious soccer fan agrees should not even exist, then at the tournament proper failed to win a match in the weakest group. In fact, Italy was so awful that there was a government inquiry after the tournament. New Zealand was the lowest-ranked team (32nd of 32) in the first round, both in passes executed and in shots made at goal. Slovakia, one of the dullest and most limited teams at the tournament, had them chasing at shadows for 89 minutes and 59 seconds of the match. Against Paraguay in the crucial final group game, they played with a timidity and awkwardness that was compared by many to the disastrous low farce of David Tua’s title fight against Lennox Lewis ten years earlier.

                  Yet people like you feel duty-bound to insist that this display of mediocrity “won respect”. That is not a view that is shared by the players who took part in the tournament. They realized that they had failed, and they were devastated after the limp draw against Paraguay. When people like you try to portray that as something worthy of worshipful respect, you do a disservice to the players and coaches, who have higher ambitions than you are willing to grant them.

                  • The Voice of Reason

                    “Yet people like you feel duty-bound to insist that this display of mediocrity “won respect”. That is not a view that is shared by the players who took part in the tournament. They realized that they had failed, and they were devastated after the limp draw against Paraguay.”

                    I think you’re way off Morrissey. The All Whites got a fair bit of credit for their efforts in all the media I followed during and after the tournament. Even getting there it is an astonishing effort, given that 160 or so other countries didn’t make it. Compare that with the RWC, where any country gets to have a go as long as they can round up 15 blokes who have a pair of boots, a basic grasp of the rules and a valid passport.

                    Going through unbeaten is a rare achievement that most other nations have not come close to matching. If it wasn’t for a blatant dive we would have beaten Italy, too.

                    I’d be interested to know the source of your comment about the players’ views. Where do you get that info from?

                    • Morrissey

                      Some very good points made by the aptly named “The Voice of Reason”. Hopefully the following answers will provide some clarification of my views…

                      1.) “The All Whites got a fair bit of credit for their efforts in all the media I followed during and after the tournament.”
                      They did, and they deserved it. But they don’t deserve the condescension of low expectations. The players were shattered by their failure to beat Paraguay; they were far more hard-headed and realistic than the NZ reporters. The role of the media is surely to inform and analyse, not just to act as cheerleaders.

                      2.) Even getting there it is an astonishing effort…
                      Through Europe, South America or Asia, yes. Through Oceania and Bahrain, less so.

                      3.) …the RWC, where any country gets to have a go as long as they can round up 15 blokes who have a pair of boots…
                      Oh, come on now, there’s some slight exaggeration there. But you do have a point.

                      4.) Going through unbeaten is a rare achievement that most other nations have not come close to matching.
                      Scotland did the same in 1978. But, yes, the New Zealand team did very well. I acknowledge that.

                      5.) …the source of your comment about the players’ views…
                      It was widely reported at the time; Ryan Nelsen was bitterly disconsolate on the radio shortly after the Paraguay match.

                  • tea

                    I think 3 out of the top ten performances by players at the world cup (sorry in that terrible rag the Guardian- pinkos) is respect. Across all teams from the over 100 eligible nations.

                    Do I think they should have attacked against Paraguay more? Yes. Does that make it mediocre? Definitely not. They came to play before the cup, and in it. They played as a team, together aware of their limitations and playing beyond themselves at times.

                    They have won respect, just not from a section of the patriarchy in their home country.

                    I admit though to equate rugby fans/right wing and soccer fans/left wing is wrong. But if Paul Holmes and Michael Laws say it…

                    • Morrissey

                      Good Lord! A civilized and well written response from our friend “tea”.

                      1.) I think 3 out of the top ten performances by players at the world cup…is respect.
                      Fair enough. They did well.

                      2.) …(sorry in that terrible rag the Guardian- pinkos)…
                      With the greatest of respect, I think you should be careful about trusting the Guardian as a source of information or assuming that it has liberal or humane institutional values. A few years ago, it unleashed a particularly stupid woman called Emma Brockes to write a vicious and dishonest opinion piece about Noam Chomsky. No serious paper would have tolerated such a travesty—but the Guardian did. It is a disreputable and disgusting publication, which is not taken seriously by serious people. Have a look for yourself….
                      http://www.medialens.org/alerts/05/051104_smearing_chomsky_the_guardian.php

                      3.) I admit though to equate rugby fans/right wing and soccer fans/left wing is wrong.
                      Actually, to be fair to you, a lot of rugby fans and the rugby establishment are indeed right wing.

                      4.) But if Paul Holmes and Michael Laws say it…
                      See my above comments about Emma Brockes, and multiply by a factor of five.

  15. BLiP 15

    A soccer story on a political blog? WTF!!

  16. fabregas4 16

    No prizes for guessing whom I support. The Under 20 world cup is huge. If played today for example Jack Wilshere (IMHO the most exciting footballer in the Premier League) would probably be here. I’m taking a month off in the hope of bumping into Liam Brady and Arsene Wenger on a scouting mission!

    • The Voice of Reason 16.1

      If you want to play with your namesake, best you skip Brady and Wenger and look out for Cruyff and Guardiola, coz Barca’s where he’s gonna be after the summer break, que? That Wilshere does look quality though, so maybe you won’t miss Cesc too much. Maybe not even as much as you miss winning trophies ; )))

      • fabregas4 16.1.1

        I’d be happy to wager that Cesc will still be Arsenal skipper in 2011/12. But you are correct with little Jackie Wilshere looking so promising when he does leave it won’t be so bad.Re the trophies I’ve been supporting The Arsenal since 1972 so have travelled through the non trophy mid seventies and the dismal early eighties. This is nothing compared to that and whilst I like winning as much as everyone else (possibly more) Arsenes Arsenal do make simply watching worthwhile like no other team in my footy watching days ever have (except maybe the Villa team of Shaw, Morley, Cowans et al).

  17. Luva 17

    It is a great game that is still unfortunatley supported by thugs. It really is the only sport in the world where opposing fans have to be kept apart in the stadium, where booze is banned and where police on horses patrol the streets. Let’s hope that element doesn’t come to nz

  18. tea 18

    Gosh Morrisey really is a sad fuck.

    still nice of him to give the standard hits.

    • Morrissey 18.1

      Ah, the immoderate Mr. “tea”! Just looking at the time you posted this, my friend, it’s quite touching to see your apology to the moderator just one hour and 22 minutes later, after she yellow cards you for a similar tantrum.

      Leaving aside the four-letter abuse, there does seem to be one point you were trying to make, but I’m beggared if I can work it out: you spoke of “the standard hits”. Could you enlighten those of us on Planet Earth as to what you mean?

  19. tc 19

    Globally I meant in so far as where the bulk of professional players are and it enjoys the status of being the number one sport such as europe and south america. Oz had over 60 pro’s in european leagues in the 90’s probably 3 figures now that’s why our WC efforts were so awesome in comparison to theirs.

    Asia/america it’s a long way off and it’ll never catch grid iron/basketball/baseball in the nth america’ so the use of the term soccer is to act as a differentiator….it also predates rugby so nah nah na na nah as a witty intelligent signoff.

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  • Crown speeds up engagement with takutai moana applicants
    The Crown is taking a new approach to takutai moana applications to give all applicants an opportunity to engage with the Crown and better support the Māori-Crown relationship, Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Andrew Little says. Following discussions with applicant groups, the Crown has reviewed the existing takutai moana application ...
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    11 hours ago
  • Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment (AODT) Court opens
    The Minister of Justice, Kris Faafoi, and the Minister for Courts, Aupito William Sio, have welcomed the opening of a new Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment (AODT) Court in Hamilton. The AODT Court (Te Whare Whakapiki Wairua) addresses situations where substance abuse and offending are intertwined. “New Zealanders have told ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • EU and UK FTAs top of list for first ministerial trip since COVID-19
    Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor today announced details of his planned visit to the United Kingdom and European Union next week, where he will hold trade and agriculture discussions to further New Zealand’s economic recovery from COVID-19. The visit will add political weight to ongoing negotiations with both the EU ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Arihia Bennett to chair Royal Commission Ministerial Advisory Group
    Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu chief executive Arihia Bennett MNZM has been appointed chair of the newly appointed Ministerial Advisory Group on the Government’s Response to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch mosques. “Twenty-eight people from diverse backgrounds across Aotearoa have been selected for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Medical Association General Practitioners' Conference, Rotorua
    Ki ngā pou maha o te whare hauora o Aotearoa, kei te mihiTo the pillars of our health system I acknowledge/thank you Ki te ope hapai hauora o roto o tēnei rūma, kei te mihi To our health force here in the room today, I acknowledge/thank you He taura tangata, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Karangahape Road upgrades are streets ahead
    The upgrades to Karangahape Road makes the iconic street more pedestrian and cycle-friendly, attractive and environmentally sustainable, Transport Minister Michael Wood and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said at the formal celebration of the completion of the Karangahape Road Enhancements project. The project included widening footpaths supporting a better outdoor dining ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to APEC business event
    E ngā tumu herenga waka, ākina ā ngaru, ākina ā tai ka whakatere ngā waka ki te whakapapa pounamu, otirā, ki Tamaki o ngā waka Tena koutou katoa… To the great leaders assembled, who guided your waka through turbulent times, challenging waters and you continue to navigate your respective waka ...
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    2 days ago
  • Pause on Quarantine Free Travel with Victoria extended
    Following an assessment of the COVID-19 outbreak in greater Melbourne, New Zealand’s Quarantine Free Travel pause with Victoria will continue for a further seven days, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. There are now 93 cases associated with the outbreak in greater Melbourne, spread over four clusters. Contact tracing efforts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Supplier Diversity Aotearoa Summit: Navigate 2021
    *** Check with delivery *** A mihi to all who have contributed to making today a success – starting with you! As you have explored and navigated government procurement today you will hopefully have reflected on the journey of our people so far – and how you can make a ...
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    2 days ago
  • Pukemiro School to close
    Pukemiro Primary School near Huntly will close following years of declining roll numbers, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. “I’ve consulted with the School Commissioner, and this decision acknowledges the fact that the few remaining students from last term are now settled at other nearby schools. “I want to thank ...
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    2 days ago
  • Govt acts to protect NZers from harmful content
    New Zealanders will be better protected from harmful or illegal content as a result of work to design a modern, flexible and coherent regulatory framework, Minister of Internal Affairs Jan Tinetti announced today. New Zealand currently has a content regulatory system that is comprised of six different arrangements covering some ...
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    2 days ago
  • Consultation on exemption of new builds from proposed tax rules
    The Government has today confirmed new builds will be exempt from planned changes to the tax treatment of residential investment property.  Public consultation is now open on details of the proposals, which stop interest deductions being claimed for residential investment properties other than new builds.   “The Government’s goal is to ...
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    2 days ago
  • Speech for Predator Free 2050 Conference
    Introduction E ngā mana E ngā reo E ngā iwi Tēnā koutou katoa   Ka huri ki ngā mana whenua o te rohe nei. Tēnā koutou He mihi hoki ki a tatou kua tau mai nei i raro i te kaupapa o te rā Ko Ayesha Verrall toku ingoa No ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New stock exchange to help grow small businesses
    A new share trading market, designed as a gateway to the NZX for small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), has been granted a licence by the Government. Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister, David Clark said Catalist Markets Ltd will provide a simpler and more affordable ‘stepping stone’ for SMEs to raise capital. “This ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Visa extensions provide certainty to employers and 10,000 visa holders
    Changes to onshore visas will provide employers and visa holders with more certainty, Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi has announced. Around 10,000 Working Holiday visas and Supplementary Seasonal Employment (SSE) work visas due to expire between 21 June 2021 and 31 December 2021 will be extended for another six months to ...
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    3 days ago
  • Border class exceptions approved for more farm workers and vets
    The Government has approved border class exceptions for an additional 200 dairy workers and 50 veterinarians to enter New Zealand, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today.  “It is clear from conversations with the dairy and veterinarian sectors that they are facing workforce pressures. These border exceptions will go a long ...
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    3 days ago
  • More freezers and South Island hub to support vaccine roll-out
    A South Island hub and 17 new ultra-low temperature freezers will help further prepare New Zealand for the ramp up of the vaccination programme in the second half of this year, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. The new freezers arrived in New Zealand on 27 May. They’re currently being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech at the release of Climate Change Commission's final advice
    Good morning – and thank you Prime Minister. Over the last three and half years we have been putting in place the foundations for a low-carbon Aotearoa that will be a catalyst for job creation, innovation, and prosperity for decades to come. In that future, many of our everyday tasks ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Achievable blueprint for addressing climate change released
    Report says Government making good progress on emissions reduction, but more action required Meeting climate targets achievable and affordable with existing technology Economic cost of delaying action higher than taking action now Benefits from climate action include health improvements and lower energy bills All Ministers to help meet climate targets ...
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    4 days ago
  • Speech to release of Climate Commission final report
    A few years ago in a speech in Auckland, I compared climate change to the nuclear free movement of roughly four decades ago. And I did so for a few reasons. Firstly, because the movement of the 1980s represented a life or death situation for the Pacific, and so does ...
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    4 days ago
  • Appointment of Judge of the High Court
    Auckland Barrister Michael Robinson has been appointed a Judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today. Justice Robinson graduated with a BA and an LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland in 1996, and commenced practice as a solicitor with Brookfields in Auckland.  In 1998 he travelled to London ...
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    4 days ago
  • Government takes action to improve protections for subcontractors
    The Construction Contracts (Retention Money) Amendment Bill – which provides greater financial protection for subcontractors, has passed its first reading today. The Bill amends the retention provisions in the Construction Contracts Act 2002 (CCA) to provide increased confidence and transparency for subcontractors that retention money they are owed is safe. ...
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    4 days ago
  • 1 million more Pfizer doses to arrive in July
    Pfizer has scheduled delivery of an estimated 1 million doses of vaccine to New Zealand during July, COVID1-9 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “These consignments will double the total number of Pfizer doses we have received this year to more than 1,900,000 – enough to fully vaccinate almost 1 ...
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    4 days ago
  • Long-term home of the Independent Children’s Monitor identified
    The Independent Children’s Monitor (Te Mana Whakamaru Tamariki Motuhake), which is currently located within the Ministry of Social Development (MSD), will become its own departmental agency within Government. “Following the recommendations of several reviews, Cabinet agreed in 2019 to build a significantly expanded independent monitor for children in care,” Carmel ...
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    4 days ago
  • Racing Integrity Board members announced
    The new Racing Integrity Board will be up and running from July 1 to ensure high standards of animal welfare, integrity and professionalism in the racing industry. Racing Minister Grant Robertson today announced the appointments to the new Board: Sir Bruce Robertson KNZM – Chair Kristy McDonald ONZM QC Penelope ...
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    4 days ago
  • Govt crackdown on organised crime continues
    A major operation against multiple organised crime groups with international links will make a significant dent in drug harm and violent offending linked to organised crime networks, Police Minister Poto Williams says. “I want to take an opportunity to congratulate the Police for their role in Operation Trojan Shield. This ...
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    4 days ago
  • Farm planning framework supports farmers into the future
    A new framework, agreed between Government and industry, will make it easier for farmers and growers to integrate future greenhouse gas emissions and freshwater regulatory requirements into their farm planning, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said. “The Good Farm Planning Principles Guide out today, provides guidance for how farmers can organise ...
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    4 days ago
  • Enhanced Task Force Green Approved for Canterbury
    The Government has activated Enhanced Taskforce Green (ETFG) in response to the Canterbury floods. The Minister of Social Development and Employment, Hon Carmel Sepuloni says $500,000 will be made available to help with the clean-up. The flooding in Canterbury has been a significant and adverse event damaging farmland, homes, roads ...
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    4 days ago
  • Connecting rangatahi to the soil
    A Jobs for Nature project to raise 480,000 native plants in nurseries across South Auckland will provide work for communities disproportionately affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19, Acting Conservation Minister Ayesha Verrall says. The Mana in Kaimahi project is being run by Te Whāngai Trust Board and will establish ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Roll out of high-resolution elevation mapping begins
    The first tranche of mapping data from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF)-LiDAR project is now available to the public from Toitū Te Whenua Land Information New Zealand. LiDAR data, which creates 3D baseline elevation information, will deliver multiple uses over the coming decades to councils and regional industries. “This mapping ...
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    5 days ago
  • Champions of Pacific education rewarded in Queen’s Birthday Honours
    Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio said the Queen’s Birthday 2021 Honours list show that across Aotearoa New Zealand there were many champions of Pacific education. “Education is so vital to the success of Pacific people that it’s truly fitting that a number of educators have been honoured this ...
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    6 days ago
  • PM congratulates Queen’s Birthday Honours recipients
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has added her congratulations to the New Zealanders recognised for their contributions to their communities and the country in the Queen’s Birthday 2021 Honours List. “This group represents decades of services across many areas, and those honoured highlight how many New Zealanders are going above and ...
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    6 days ago
  • Change of status for Rangiriri kura
    A change of status for Te Kura o Rangiriri sees it become a designated character school within the Māori-medium network, Associate Minister of Education Kelvin Davis announced today. “This kura has been providing Māori immersion learning since 2003 in the historic town of Rangiriri, so I’m delighted that it is ...
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    7 days ago
  • APEC trade ministers’ unite on COVID-19 vaccine steps and rejuvenating the WTO
    APEC trade ministers today committed to speeding up the cross-border flow of vaccines and related goods to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. This followed the completion of the APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting chaired by Minister for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor early this morning. “As we face the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Further consultation for Melville schools
    Formal consultation is set to begin on specific options for the future of schooling in South West Hamilton, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says. “Recent engagement has shown that the schools and community want a change to Year 7-13 schooling for the area.  “I am now asking the Boards of Melville ...
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    1 week ago
  • Primary schoolkids dig trees for Arbor Day
    A new Arbor Day initiative announced by Forestry Minister Stuart Nash will see thousands of primary school children get the chance to plant native trees in their communities. The initiative is open to more than 2,400 primary schools. It is a partnership between Te Uru Rākau/NZ Forest Service and the ...
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    1 week ago
  • NZ Upgrade Programme kept on track
    The Government is increasing its investment in the New Zealand Upgrade Programme (NZUP) to support New Zealand’s economic recovery. Over two thirds of the projects will proceed as announced despite increased costs due to COVID, with modifications being made to others. “NZUP is already supporting over 1,000 jobs with 13 ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Northern Pathway gets green light
    The Government is committed to the Northern Pathway with its preferred option being a separate structure for walking and cycling alongside the Auckland Harbour Bridge, Transport Minister Michael Wood announced today. Geotechnical investigations and testing has determined that building a structure connected to the Auckland Harbour Bridge is not possible ...
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    1 week ago
  • Quarantine Free Travel pause with Victoria to continue, planning underway for managed return flights
    Following the Victorian Government’s decision to extend their lockdown restrictions,  New Zealand’s Quarantine Free Travel pause with Victoria will also be extended for a further six days, with a further review due on Wednesday 9 June, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. I acknowledge this extension will cause further inconvenience ...
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    1 week ago
  • Housing supply to be sped up in major changes to New Zealand’s building laws
    New building laws passed today will support housing supply and affordability, improve trust and confidence in the building sector and support the use of new, innovative and efficient building methods, Building and Construction Minister Poto Williams announced today. The changes passed in Parliament today are the first phase of a ...
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    1 week ago