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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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  • Govt purchases enough Pfizer vaccines for whole country
    The Government has guaranteed that every New Zealander will have access to the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, after securing an additional 8.5 million doses, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. “The Government has signed an advance purchase agreement for 8.5 million additional doses, enough to vaccinate 4.25 million people. The vaccines are ...
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    48 mins ago
  • Celebrating Women in our COVID response – International Women’s Day 2021
    “This International Women’s Day I acknowledge the women who have been crucial in our COVID-19 recovery – our scientists, healthcare professionals, and essential workers – and everyone who is working every day to help women and girls achieve their potential in Aotearoa New Zealand,” says Minister for Women Jan Tinetti ...
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    4 hours ago
  • $950k funding boost for World Conference on Women and Sport
    An additional $950,000 investment has been made to support New Zealand’s hosting of the 8th World Conference of the International Working Group on Women in Sport (IWG) in Auckland in 2022. The funding comes from the $265 million Sport Recovery Package and is for Women in Sport Aotearoa, Ngā Wāhine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Celebrating Children’s Day / Te Rā o Ngā Tamariki
    Today marks Children’s Day / Te Rā o Ngā Tamariki and the Minister for Children, Kelvin Davis is asking all New Zealanders to think about their responsibility to support the lives of the tamariki in their communities and to make this a special day for celebrating them. Children’s Day / ...
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    1 day ago
  • Initial Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission report shows progress
    Health Minister Andrew Little welcomes the Initial Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission’s assessment that transformation of New Zealand’s approach to mental health and addiction is underway. “This is an important step in the Government’s work to provide better and equitable mental health and wellbeing outcomes for all people in New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Over $300m returned to COVID-hit travellers
    The Government’s Consumer Travel Reimbursement Scheme has helped return over $352 million of refunds and credits to New Zealanders who had overseas travel cancelled due to COVID-19, Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark says. “Working with the travel sector, we are helping New Zealanders retrieve the money owed to them by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Hundreds more schools join free lunches programme
    An additional 88,000 students in 322 schools and kura across the country have started the school year with a regular lunch on the menu, thanks to the Government’s Ka Ora, Ka Ako Healthy School Lunches programme. They join 42,000 students already receiving weekday lunches under the scheme, which launched last ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt’s balanced economic approach reflected in Crown accounts
    New Zealand’s economic recovery has again been reflected in the Government’s books, which are in better shape than expected. The Crown accounts for the seven months to the end of January 2021 were better than forecast in the Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU). The operating balance before gains ...
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    4 days ago
  • Over half of border workforce receive first vaccinations
    More than half of New Zealand’s estimated 12,000 border workforce have now received their first vaccinations, as a third batch of vaccines arrive in the country, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. As of midnight Tuesday, a total of 9,431 people had received their first doses. More than 70 percent ...
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    5 days ago
  • Boost in funding to deliver jobs while restoring Central Otago’s lakes and waterways
    The Government is significantly increasing its investment in restoring Central Otago’s waterways while at the same time delivering jobs to the region hard-hit by the economic impact of Covid-19, says Land Information Minister, Damien O’Connor.   Mr O’Connor says two new community projects under the Jobs for Nature funding programme will ...
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    5 days ago
  • Next stage of COVID-19 support for business and workers
    The Government has confirmed details of COVID-19 support for business and workers following the increased alert levels due to a resurgence of the virus over the weekend. Following two new community cases of COVID-19, Auckland moved to Alert Level 3 and the rest of New Zealand moved to Alert Level ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt committed to hosting Rugby World Cup
    The Government remains committed to hosting the Women’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in 2022 should a decision be made by World Rugby this weekend to postpone this year’s tournament. World Rugby is recommending the event be postponed until next year due to COVID-19, with a final decision to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Support Available for Communities affected by COVID-19
    Community and social service support providers have again swung into action to help people and families affected by the current COVID-19 alert levels. “The Government recognises that in many instances social service, community, iwi and Whānau Ora organisations are best placed to provide vital support to the communities impacted by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt announces review into PHARMAC
    The Government is following through on an election promise to conduct an independent review into PHARMAC, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Andrew Little announced today. The Review will focus on two areas: How well PHARMAC performs against its current objectives and whether and how its performance against these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Impressive response to DOC scholarship programme
    Some of the country’s most forward-thinking early-career conservationists are among recipients of a new scholarship aimed at supporting a new generation of biodiversity champions, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. The Department of Conservation (DOC) has awarded one-year postgraduate research scholarships of $15,000 to ten Masters students in the natural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Speech to ANZLF Virtual Indigenous Business Trade and Connections Event
    I acknowledge our whānau overseas, joining us from Te Whenua Moemoeā, and I wish to pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging. Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you all today. I am very pleased to be part of the conversation on Indigenous business, and part ...
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    1 week ago
  • Main benefits to increase in line with wages
    Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced today that main benefits will increase by 3.1 percent on 1 April, in line with the rise in the average wage. The Government announced changes to the annual adjustment of main benefits in Budget 2019, indexing main benefit increases to the average ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deed of Settlement signed with Ngāti Maru (Taranaki)
    A Deed of Settlement has been signed between Ngāti Maru and the Crown settling the iwi’s historical Treaty of Waitangi claims, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little announced today. The Ngāti Maru rohe is centred on the inland Waitara River valley, east to the Whanganui River and its ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Support in place for people connected to Auckland COVID-19 cases
    With a suite of Government income support packages available, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni is encouraging people, and businesses, connected to the recent Auckland COVID-19 cases to check the Work and Income website if they’ve been impacted by the need to self-isolate. “If you are required to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on passing of former PNG PM Sir Michael Somare
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has expressed her condolences at the passing of long-serving former Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare. “Our thoughts are with Lady Veronica Somare and family, Prime Minister James Marape and the people of Papua New Guinea during this time of great ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the National Māori Housing Conference 2021
    E te tī, e te tā  Tēnei te mihi maioha ki a koutou  Ki te whenua e takoto nei  Ki te rangi e tū iho nei  Ki a tātou e tau nei  Tēnā tātou.  It’s great to be with you today, along with some of the ministerial housing team; Hon Peeni Henare, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Drone project to aid protection of Māui dolphin
    The Government is backing a new project to use drone technology to transform our understanding and protection of the Māui dolphin, Aotearoa’s most endangered dolphin.    “The project is just one part of the Government’s plan to save the Māui dolphin. We are committed to protecting this treasure,” Oceans and Fisheries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New water regulator board announced as major Government reform moves forward
    Major water reform has taken a step closer with the appointment of the inaugural board of the Taumata Arowai water services regulator, Hon Nanaia Mahuta says. Former Director General of Health and respected public health specialist Dame Karen Poutasi will chair the inaugural board of Crown agency Taumata Arowai. “Dame ...
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    1 week ago
  • North Auckland gets public transport upgrade
    The newly completed Hibiscus Coast Bus Station will help people make better transport choices to help ease congestion and benefit the environment, Transport Minister Michael Wood and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said today. Michael Wood and Phil Goff officially opened the Hibiscus Coast Bus Station which sits just off the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Supporting work to protect Northland reserve
    New funding announced by Conservation Minister Kiri Allan today will provide work and help protect the unique values of Northland’s Te Ārai Nature Reserve for future generations. Te Ārai is culturally important to Te Aupōuri as the last resting place of the spirits before they depart to Te Rerenga Wairua. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Critical step to new housing deal for Pacific communities
      Today the Government has taken a key step to support Pacific people to becoming Community Housing providers, says the Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio. “This will be great news for Pacific communities with the decision to provide Pacific Financial Capability Grant funding and a tender process to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Consultation opens on proposed Bay of Islands marine mammal sanctuary
    Conservation Minister Kiri Allan is encouraging New Zealanders to have their say on a proposed marine mammal sanctuary to address the rapid decline of bottlenose dolphins in Te Pēwhairangi, the Bay of Islands. The proposal, developed jointly with Ngā Hapū o te Pēwhairangi, would protect all marine mammals of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Three District Court Judges appointed
    Attorney-General David Parker today announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges.    Two of the appointees will take up their roles on 1 April, replacing sitting Judges who have reached retirement age.     Kirsten Lummis, lawyer of Auckland has been appointed as a District Court Judge with jury jurisdiction to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government announces list of life-shortening conditions guaranteeing early KiwiSaver access
    Government announces list of life-shortening conditions guaranteeing early KiwiSaver access The Government changed the KiwiSaver rules in 2019 so people with life-shortening congenital conditions can withdraw their savings early The four conditions guaranteed early access are – down syndrome, cerebral palsy, Huntington’s disease and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder An alternative ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Reserve Bank to take account of housing in decision making
    The Reserve Bank is now required to consider the impact on housing when making monetary and financial policy decisions, Grant Robertson announced today. Changes have been made to the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee’s remit requiring it to take into account government policy relating to more sustainable house prices, while working ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Investment to reduce cochlear implant waitlist
    The Labour Government will invest $6 million for 70 additional adult cochlear implants this year to significantly reduce the historical waitlist, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “Cochlear implants are life changing for kiwis who suffer from severe hearing loss. As well as improving an individual’s hearing, they open doors to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori wards Bill passes third reading
    The Local Electoral (Māori Wards and Māori Constituencies) Amendment Bill passed its third reading today and will become law, Minister of Local Government Hon Nanaia Mahuta says. “This is a significant step forward for Māori representation in local government. We know how important it is to have diversity around ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government delivers 1,000 more transitional housing places
    The Government has added 1,000 more transitional housing places as promised under the Aotearoa New Zealand Homelessness Action Plan (HAP), launched one year ago. Minister of Housing Megan Woods says the milestone supports the Government’s priority to ensure every New Zealander has warm, dry, secure housing. “Transitional housing provides people ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Second batch of Pfizer/BioNTech doses arrives safely – as the first vaccinations take place in the...
    A second batch of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines arrived safely yesterday at Auckland International Airport, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. “This shipment contained about 76,000 doses, and follows our first shipment of 60,000 doses that arrived last week. We expect further shipments of vaccine over the coming weeks,” Chris Hipkins said. ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • $18 million for creative spaces to make arts more accessible
    The Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni has today announced $18 million to support creative spaces. Creative spaces are places in the community where people with mental health needs, disabled people, and those looking for social connection, are welcomed and supported to practice and participate in the arts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Moriori Claims Settlement Bill passes first reading
    Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Andrew Little today welcomed Moriori to Parliament to witness the first reading of the Moriori Claims Settlement Bill. “This bill is the culmination of years of dedication and hard work from all the parties involved. “I am delighted to reach this significant milestone today,” Andrew ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government action reduces child poverty
    22,400 fewer children experiencing material hardship 45,400 fewer children in low income households on after-housing costs measure After-housing costs target achieved a year ahead of schedule Government action has seen child poverty reduce against all nine official measures compared to the baseline year, Prime Minister and Minister for Child Poverty ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Entries open for the 2021 Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards
    It’s time to recognise the outstanding work early learning services, kōhanga reo, schools and kura do to support children and young people to succeed, Minister of Education Chris Hipkins says. The 2021 Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards are now open through until April 16. “The past year has reminded us ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Jobs for Nature benefits three projects
    Three new Jobs for Nature projects will help nature thrive in the Bay of Plenty and keep local people in work says Conservation Minister Kiri Allan. “Up to 30 people will be employed in the projects, which are aimed at boosting local conservation efforts, enhancing some of the region’s most ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Improvements to the Holidays Act on the way
    The Government has accepted all of the Holidays Act Taskforce’s recommended changes, which will provide certainty to employers and help employees receive their leave entitlements, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood announced today. Michael Wood said the Government established the Holidays Act Taskforce to help address challenges with the ...
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    2 weeks ago