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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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  • 55-hectares of Buller land purchased to protect native species
    Two blocks of Buller land rich in native species have been purchased by the Crown to be protected in perpetuity as public conservation land, Minister of Conservation Poto Williams announced today. Acquired via the Nature Heritage Fund, one block is in the Punakaiki River valley adjoining the Paparoa National Park ...
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    15 hours ago
  • Strengthening the relationship with India
    The Foreign Minister says an historic visit to Aotearoa New Zealand by the Indian Foreign Minister provides an opportunity to strengthen the relationship in areas like people to people exchanges and climate action. Nanaia Mahuta today welcomed Minister of External Affairs Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar with a mihi whakatau ceremony and ...
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    16 hours ago
  • Prime Minister’s Christmas Card Competition
    It’s that time of year again! If you’d like to help design the Prime Minister’s official Christmas card, here’s how to take part: Draw, paint, sketch or craft an image you’d like to see on the front of this year’s Christmas card. It can be anything you want – ...
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    17 hours ago
  • Construction starts on Taranaki’s largest ever roading project
    Associate Minister of Transport Kieran McAnulty was joined this morning by Ngāti Tama, local councillors and board members, project representatives, and community to mark the official start of construction on Taranaki’s largest ever roading project, Te Ara o Te Ata: Mt Messenger Bypass. “The work started today will make sure ...
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    18 hours ago
  • Hundreds to benefit from additional maternal health support
    The Government’s Budget 2022 investment of $10.1 million over four years in maternal mental health will result in better and more widely available care for new and expectant mothers around the country. The funding will be invested to fill gaps in care identified by last year’s maternal mental health stocktake ...
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    19 hours ago
  • Planting forests that are good for nature, climate, and the economy
    Public consultation opens on how forests are managed through the National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry (NES-PF), including: Giving local councils more control over where forests are planted   Managing the effects of exotic carbon forestry on nature Improving wildfire management in all forests. Addressing the key findings of the ...
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    22 hours ago
  • Trade Minister heads to CPTPP Commission Meeting
    Minister for Trade and Export Growth, Damien O’Connor will travel to Singapore this week for the Sixth Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) Commission Meeting. “Continuing to build on our export growth is a key part of the Government’s economic plan. Our two way trade with the CPTPP bloc accounts ...
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    2 days ago
  • Strong Government books leave New Zealand well placed amid global challenges
      Deficit half of forecast at $9.7 billion; Deficits as a percentage of GDP running better than during GFC Net debt at 17.2 percent of GDP lower than Australia, UK, US and Canada. Core expenses $2.8 billion lower than forecast. Increased expenditure during year due to COVID-related expenses through unprecedented ...
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    2 days ago
  • Ministers outline next phase of Milford Opportunities Project
    The Milford Opportunities Project is entering its next phase following a productive visit to Piopiotahi to hear directly from tourism operators, iwi and the unit undertaking feasibility planning, says Conservation Minister Poto Williams. In June 2021 Cabinet approved $15 million to fund the next stage of the Milford Opportunities Project, ...
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    2 days ago
  • Digital tools to make family violence support widely available
    Associate Minister for Social Development and Employment Priyanca Radhakrishnan has officially launched a suite of new digital tools to support people affected by family violence. “Family violence is a scourge on our society and violent behaviour of any kind is absolutely unacceptable. We are taking the important steps to modernise ...
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    3 days ago
  • Plan for big boost in GP training numbers
    More support is being given to New Zealand medical graduates training to be GPs, as the Government continues its push to get more doctors into communities. “Growing the number of GPs is vital so we can fill today’s gaps and make sure we’ve got the doctors we need in the ...
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    3 days ago
  • 142,000 Kiwis helped by Healthy Homes Initiative
    Hospitalisations reduced by 19.8 percent School attendance increased by 3 percent Employment increased by 4 percent 100,000 interventions delivered, including insulation, heaters, curtains and repairs Nationwide rollout expected to be complete by the end of the year More than 31,000 children, pregnant people and 111,000 of their family members are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister of Defence departs for Middle East
    Minister of Defence Peeni Henare has today departed for the Middle East where he will visit New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed within the region, including in Operation Gallant Phoenix in Jordan and the Multinational Force and Observers mission on the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt. The Minister will also undertake ...
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    4 days ago
  • Government funds work to clean up six contaminated sites
    The Government has announced funding to clean up six contaminated sites to reduce the risk to public health and protect the environment.    “These six projects will help protect the public from health risks associated with hazardous materials, so New Zealanders can live in a cleaner, safer environment.” Environment Minister David Parker ...
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    5 days ago
  • Government partners with industry to reduce agricultural emissions
    New Zealand’s effort to reduce agricultural emissions has taken a step forward with the signing of a memorandum of understanding by Government with agribusiness leaders, in a joint venture as part of the new Centre for Climate Action on Agricultural Emissions, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced. The Ministry for Primary Industries signed ...
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    5 days ago
  • Vosa Vakaviti sustains generations of Fijians
    The enduring strength and sustainability of Vosa Vakaviti is being celebrated by the Fijian community in Aotearoa New Zealand during Macawa ni Vosa Vakaviti – Fijian Language Week, which gets underway today. “This year’s theme, ‘Me vakabulabulataki, vakamareqeti, ka vakaqaqacotaki na vosa Vakaviti’, which translates as ‘Nurture, Preserve and Sustain ...
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    5 days ago
  • New Zealand condemns Russia’s annexation attempts
    New Zealand condemns unequivocally Russia’s attempts to illegally annex Russia-occupied regions of Ukraine, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. “We do not recognise these illegal attempts to change Ukraine’s borders or territorial sovereignty,” Jacinda Ardern said. “Russia’s sham referenda in Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia are illegitimate, and have no legal ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government provides confidence to those seeking an adventure
    With our borders opened and tourists returning, those seeking out adventurous activities can do so more safely due to the steps we’ve taken to improve the health and safety regulatory regime for adventure activities, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood has announced.  “We are seeing international visitor numbers begin ...
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    6 days ago
  • New hospital opens for Wellington children
    A new children’s hospital that officially opened in Wellington this morning offers the region’s children top-quality health care in one place, Health Minister Andrew Little says. Te Wao Nui has been built with a $53 million contribution from benefactors Mark Dunajtschik and Dorothy Spotswood, with the Government contributing another $53 ...
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    6 days ago
  • More single-use plastics banned from tomorrow
    Single-use plastic cotton buds, drink stirrers and most plastic meat trays are among single use plastics banned from sale or manufacture from tomorrow. “This is the first group of the most problematic plastic products to be banned in a progressive phase out over the next three years,” Environment Minister David ...
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    7 days ago
  • Speech to NZDF Command and Staff College
    It’s a pleasure to join you today – and I extend a particular welcome to Marty Donoghue (a member of the Public Advisory Committee on Disarmament and Arms Control) and Athena Li-Watts (interning with me this week) who are also joining me today. On the face of it, some ...
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    7 days ago
  • Milestone of half a million mental health sessions delivered
    The Government’s flagship primary mental health and addiction programme Access and Choice has hit the milestone of delivering more than 500,000 sessions to New Zealanders needing mental health support. Health Minister Andrew Little made the announcement at ADL – Thrive Pae Ora in Cromwell which provides mental wellbeing support services ...
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    7 days ago
  • Government continues to future-proof arts, culture and heritage sector
    The Government has announced further support for the recovery and resilience of the arts, culture and heritage sector as part of its COVID Recovery Programme’s Innovation Fund. “We’re continuing to secure the recovery of our arts, culture and heritage in Aotearoa New Zealand by supporting transformational initiatives across the motu,” ...
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    7 days ago
  • Government steps up kauri protection
    The Government is delivering on an election commitment to protect kauri in our northern forests through the new National Pest Management Plan (NPMP) for the forest giant and the allocation of $32 million of funding to back the coordinated effort, Biosecurity Minister Damien O'Connor and Associate Environment Minister (Biodiversity) ...
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    7 days ago
  • Russia’s Ukraine referenda a sham
    Aotearoa New Zealand does not recognise the results of the sham referenda in Russia-occupied regions of Ukraine, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta says.  “These so-called referenda were not free or fair, and they very clearly were not held in accordance with democratic principles,” Nanaia Mahuta said. “Instead, they were hastily organised ...
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    7 days ago
  • Govt invests in New Zealand’s wine future
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has officially opened New Zealand Wine Centre–Te Pokapū Wāina o Aotearoa in Blenheim today, saying that investments like these give us cause for optimism for the future. Funding of $3.79 million for the Marlborough Research Centre to build a national wine centre was announced in 2020, ...
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    1 week ago
  • Appointment of Judges of the Court Martial Appeal Court
    Attorney-General David Parker today announced the appointment of Colonel Craig Ruane, Commander Robyn Loversidge, and James Wilding KC as Judges of the Court Martial Appeal Court. The Court Martial Appeal Court is a senior court of record established under the Court Martial Appeals Act 1953. It is summoned by the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government strengthens measures to combat migrant worker exploitation
    Offence and penalty regime significantly strengthened New infringement offences for non-compliance Public register of individuals and businesses that are found guilty of migrant exploitation New community-led pilot to educate migrants workers and employers of employment rights Implemented reporting tools successfully brings exploitation out of the shadows Take-up of protective visa ...
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    1 week ago
  • Livestock exports by sea to cease
    The passing of a Bill today to end the export of livestock by sea will protect New Zealand’s reputation for world-leading animal welfare standards, Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor said. “The Animal Welfare Amendment Bill future-proofs our economic security amid increasing consumer scrutiny across the board on production practices," Damien ...
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    1 week ago
  • Extra measures to increase census turnout in 2023
    3500 census workers on the ground, twice as many as last census More forms to be delivered – 44% compared to 3% in 2018 Prioritisation of Māori and other groups and regions with lower response rates in 2018 Major work to ensure the delivery of a successful census in 2023 ...
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    1 week ago
  • Shining the light on screen workers
    Improved working conditions for workers in the screen industry is now a reality with the Screen Industry Workers Bill passing its third reading today, announced Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood. “It’s fantastic to see the Screen Industry Workers Bill progress through Parliament. The new Act will strengthen protections ...
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    1 week ago
  • Mental health resources for young people and schools launched
    Associate Minister of Education (School Operations) Jan Tinetti and Associate Minister of Education (Māori Education) Kelvin Davis have today launched two new resources to support wellbeing, and the teaching and learning of mental health education in schools and kura. “Students who are happy and healthy learn better. These resources ...
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    1 week ago
  • Progress continues on future-proofing Auckland’s transport infrastructure
    Transport Minister Michael Wood has welcomed the latest progress on Auckland’s two most transformational transport projects in a generation – Auckland Light Rail and the Additional Waitematā Harbour Connections. Auckland Light Rail and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency have named preferred bidders to move each project to their next phase, ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government supports local innovation in homelessness prevention
    Ten successful applicants in round two of the Local Innovation and Partnership Fund (LIPF) Close to $6 million allocated as part of the Homelessness Action Plan (HAP) Māori, Pasefika and rangatahi a strong focus Round three opening later this year with up to $6.8 million available. Government is stepping up ...
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    1 week ago
  • More medicines for New Zealanders, thanks to Govt’s Budget boost
    Health Minister Andrew Little is welcoming news that two more important medicines are set to be funded, thanks to the Government’s big boost to the country’s medicines budget. “Since coming into Government in 2017, the Labour Government has increased Pharmac’s funding by 43 per cent, including a $71 million boost ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government delivers ACC change to support 28,000 parents
    The Maternal Birth Injury and Other Matters Bill passes Third Reading – the first amendment to ACC legislation of its kind From 1 October 2022, new ACC cover to benefit approximately 28,000 birthing parents Additional maternal birth injuries added alongside new review provision to ensure cover remains comprehensive Greater clarity ...
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    1 week ago
  • Further cuts for East Coast tarakihi limits to rebuild numbers faster
    Commercial catch limits for East Coast tarakihi will be reduced further to help the stock rebuild faster. “Tarakihi is a popular fish, and this has led to declining levels over time. Many adjustments have been made and the stock is recovering. I have decided on further commercial catch reductions of ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Ambassador to Colombia announced
    Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of diplomat Nicci Stilwell as the next Ambassador to Colombia. “Aotearoa New Zealand’s relationship with Colombia is fast growing with strong links across education, climate change and indigenous co-operation,” Nanaia Mahuta said.  “Trade is a key part of our relationship with Colombia, ...
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    1 week ago
  • 3000 more RSE workers to ease workforce pressures
    The Government continues to respond to global workforce shortages by announcing the largest increase in over a decade to the Recognised Seasonal Employer Scheme (RSE), providing 3000 additional places, Immigration Minister Michael Wood and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor have announced. The new RSE cap will allow access to 19,000 workers ...
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    1 week ago
  • Sanctions on more of the Russian political elite
    Further sanctions are being imposed on members of President Putin’s inner circle and other representatives of the Russian political elite, as part of the Governments ongoing response to the war in Ukraine, says Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta. “Ukraine has been clear that the most important action we can take to ...
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    1 week ago