Sunday was a remarkable day in the world cup more for the goings on, off the pitch than what happened on it. On the pitch Brazil qualified for the last 16 with a 3-1 win over Ivory Coast, and are now 4/1 favourites with most of the bookmakers to lift the trophy.
The main talking point from that match was the pathetic play acting of Abdelkader Keita to get Kaka sent off. Keita went over clutching his head after bumping into Kaka’s shoulder off the ball, there was then the obligatory over reaction from the Ivory Coast players, and the referee issued Kaka with a second yellow, despite clearly not even seeing the incident.
Dunga thought it was a joke, whereas Sven thought Kaka got what he deserved. Sven’s excuse that Brazil scored with a handball was a pretty limp reason for backing the sending off though. Hopefully Fifa will choose not to call it violent conduct, meaning kaka will only miss the last group match.
If Fifa are to act on the incident, then surely punishing Keita for his behaviour would be seen as a more appropiate action from footballs governing body.
The French are also up to no good with the players refusing to train in support of the disgraced Nicolas Anelka, how they can back a man who said what he did to coach Raymond Domenech is beyond me. We then witnessed the extraordinary footage of Patrice Evra clashing with fitness coach Robert Duverne, the pair had to be kept apart by Domenech himself.
FFF team director Jean-Louis Valentin quit his role as a result of the team refusing to train saying “As for me, it’s over. I’m leaving the Federation. I’m sickened and disgusted.”
We then had it all, the sight of Raymond Domenech reading out a statement from the players explaining their actions. Just what is going on? The lunatics are clearly in charge of the asylum now, it’s all quite remarkable.
Then we had John Terry giving a revealing press conference during which he said “if it upsets him, so what?’’ Refering to the imminent team meeting with Fabio Capello in which Terry claims the players will be making their feelings known. This comes on the back of David James’ less than supportive comments about only finding out the team 5 minutes before boarding the bus, after Friday’s calamity.
There are also stories doing the rounds that the players want Joe Cole involved and a change in formation, it will be interesting to see what Capello does on Wednesday. Will he be told what to do by the players? Or will he be his usual self and stick to the formation that got England to South Africa so successfully?
Only time will tell, and apparently the FA are now concerned that Capello might even quit if the team fails again on Wednesday. After removing the get-out clause in hs contract just before leaving for South Africa, the FA has again left itself with a potentially large egg on it’s face.