The Great World Cup Germany 2006

The 2006 FIFA World Cup (officially titled 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany, sometimes referred to as the Football World Cup) finals are scheduled to take place in Germany between 9 June and 9 July 2006. Qualification for the tournament is now complete, with all 32 competing teams confirmed. The 2006 finals are the 18th to be contested.

A total of 12 German cities have been selected to host the World Cup final tournament. The stadium capacities shown are all seated capacities. Many of the stadiums have higher capacities for German domestic football matches as some of the seats are replaced with terraces.Starting from Germany 2006, the winner of the past World Cup had to qualify for the Finals. Only the host nation qualifies automatically from 2006 on.

In the qualification process for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the six FIFA confederations were allocated a share of the 32 spots available on the basis of the strength of their teams. The final distribution was as follows:Europe – represented by UEFA : 51 teams competing for 13 places (Germany qualified automatically as host nation for a total of 14 places) ;Africa – 51 teams;South America -10 teams;Asia – 39 teams;North, Central American and Caribbean -34 teams;Oceania – 12 teams.

For the first time ever, the defending champion (Brazil) does not qualify automatically. The hosts (Germany) will retain their automatic spot. In 1934, the defending champions (Uruguay) declined to participate and the hosts (Italy) had to qualify, but in the tournaments between 1938 and 2002 (inclusive), the hosts and the defending champions had automatic berths.

The original distribution of places between the six confederations called for Oceania to be given one full spot in the final 32; however, this idea was seen as giving Australia a virtually certain place in the finals, being by far the strongest footballing nation in their region. This decision was reconsidered in June 2003 and the previous distribution of places between Oceania and South America was restored.

The main surprises in European qualification at World Cup Germany were the absences of 2002 third-place finishers Turkey (eliminated by Switzerland after a momentous playoff), 2004 European Champions Greece (eliminated by the Ukraine), and established sides Denmark (eliminated by the Ukraine as well), Russia (eliminated by Portugal), and Belgium (eliminated by Serbia-Montenegro and Spain). In Africa, 2002 quarter-finalists Senegal (eliminated by Togo) and established sides South Africa, Cameroon, and Nigeria (eliminated, respectively, by Ghana, C?te d’Ivoire, and Angola) unexpectedly missed the trip to the Finals. The other zones saw no major upsets.While representing Oceania, from the beginning of 2006 Australia is part of the Asian Confederation, and will represent Asia in following World Cups.

If teams are even on points at the end of group play, the tied teams will be ranked as follows:greater number of points obtained in matches between the tied teams,goal difference in matches between the tied teams,greater number of goals scored in matches between the tied teams,goal difference in all group matches,greater number of goals scored in all group matches,a play-off on neutral ground, with extra time and penalties if necessary (in qualifying),drawing of lots (at the final event).This is a change from the 2002 FIFA World Cup, where total goal differential was the first tiebreaker.

Thirty-two years after the last football World Cup in Germany, the 2006 FIFA World Cup will again take place in Germany. For the first time after the reunification of both German states, the entire world will look to the New Germany, situated at the heart of Europe.

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The Most Popular Liverpool FC Merchandise

There is no doubt that Liverpool FC is one of the truly great soccer clubs of the world. Admittedly in recent years they may not have dominated the game in the way they did in the 1970s but the truth is that they have always made their impact felt at the highest level of European soccer.

And so it is hardly surprising that Liverpool has thousands of ardent fans scattered all over the world. Many of these fans never lose a single opportunity to feel closer to their club. One way of doing this is by getting hold player's shirts and other playing kits and memorabilia that can easily be found in stores selling Liverpool merchandise.

Actually there is a very wide range of different stuff that you can buy. Even with the team shirts you will have to choose between the shirts the boys usually wear for their home games and what they would ordinary don for away matches. Or if you are a really serious fan you can make sure that you get both the strips.

As is the case with other soccer clubs, Liverpool FC player's shirts are amongst the most popular merchandise that fans look to own so as to identify themselves with this great soccer club. There are even fans who purchase the complete team set right up to the goalkeeper.

Liverpool merchandise can also be a great idea if you need to get a gift for somebody whom you already know is a fan of the club. However it may be a good idea to start by finding out what memorabilia they already have so that you do not end up getting them something that they got a long time ago.

Another Liverpool item that is wildly popular are the hats if you have watched Liverpool games on TV you may have noticed what most fans like wearing. The most popular hats are called the beanies and will usually be decorated with the Liverpool colors and may sometimes even have the names of players and shirt numbers they usually wear.

Fans usually prefer to have the names of Liverpool legends on these hats. One such Liverpool soccer player who is a true legend is Steve Gerard. Although at a tender age he even had a trial with Manchester United, Gerard ended up signing his first professional soccer contract with Liverpool. The amazing thing is that in his first season he always looked pretty nervous and not the kind of player who would make any impact at Anfield. But in the 2000-2001 season Gerard exploded. Not only did he score 10 goals but he was clearly a very key member of the team that ended up winning both the FA cup and were also UEFA champions.

Who can forget Gerard's enormous contribution to that sensational Champions league victory where Liverpool came from behind having conceded 3 goals by half time and ended up winning. This determined player won man of the match then.

And so you will understand when Liverpool fans seem to be crazy about Gerard wearing all kinds of team memorabilia and Liverpool merchandise that has his name or shirt number on it.

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A Profile of Samuel Eto’o

One of the ironies of Samuel Eto’o playing for FC Barcelona is that he originally joined arch-rivals Real Madrid, who immediately put him out on loan; first to second division CD Leganes; then to first division Espanyol after playing just one league match for Madrid; and finally to Mallorca. He did so well at the latter club that they signed him for a club record and became the highest scorer in the history of the club with a total of 54 goals between 2000 and 2004.

The Cameroon striker signed to FC Barcelona after a series of negotiations between Barcelona, Mallorca and Real Madrid who had retained an option on him. On one hand Madrid didn’t require him in the team as they already had two strikers in the form of Ronaldo and Raul; on the other hand they didn’t want him to play for Barcelona, a club that was looking for a quality striker to cement the attack after they were unable to come to an agreement with midfielder Edgar Davids, who had spent the second half of the 2003-2004 season on loan to the Catalan club.

With Eto’o in place as striker and Ronaldinho as attacking mid-fielder, Samuel Eto’o quickly proved to be good value for money and scored a total of 24 league goals in the 2004-2005 season. Although he helped FC Barcelona to take the league title, he narrowly missed the title of top goal scorer in La Liga.

However, at the celebrations that followed at the Nou Camp he gave speech in which he openly criticised Real Madrid, apparently venting the bitterness he felt for being passed over by the club in favour of being put on loan. He later had to retract his statement and issue an apology.

The following year Samuel Eto’o was able to improve of his league score and with a total of 26 goals he narrowly took the «Pichichi» crown, just one goal ahead of David Villa from Valencia. His strong performance on the pitch saw him also score six Champions League goals, helping to propel Barcelona all the way to the final against Arsenal. He was strongly implicated in the result as first the Arsenal goalkeeper was sent off for a foul against Eto’o in the first 20 minutes; failing to capitalise on the one man advantage, Eto’o equalised in the 76th minute from a pass from Larsson and Belletti scored the winning goal a few minutes after.

On the basis of a strong season Samuel Eto’o was awarded the title of UEFA Champion’s League Best Forward as well as Best African Player for the third year running.

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IPL 2013 at a Glance

In 2013, the Indian Premier League is stepping into its 6th edition with a significant change in its sponsorship. It is no longer the DLF IPL. The popularly known DLF IPL is now going to be called Pepsi IPL as PepsiCo has replaced IPL as the title sponsor of this glamorous and celebrity hyped cricket tournament. The 6th session of this cricket tournament is a just a month away and will begin on April 3, 2013 at Eden Gardens, Kolkata with an extravagant opening ceremony followed by the 1st match of this tournament to be held between 2012 IPL champion Kolkata Knight Riders and Delhi Daredevils.

The 5-year Rs. 250 Crore contract with DLF ended last year and the company did not apply for the renewal of this contract. Meanwhile, PepsiCo grabbed this opportunity and made a 5-year contract with the BCCI for Rs. 396.8 crores for the next five years which will continue till 2017. Apart from this major change in sponsorship, many other amendments have happened in this tournament. After the termination of the Kochi Tuskers from the IPL in 2012, Deccan Chargers is the second team which has been terminated from this tournament this year. Last year, nine teams participated in the tournament. So, after the termination of the Deccan Chargers, the organizing body of this tournament, BCCI, invited Hyderabad based bidders to form another team to replace the Deccan Chargers. Sun TV Network won the bid and has a new team called Sunrisers Hyderabad which was purchased at a cost of Rs. 85.05 crores per annum.

Also, there have been huge additions and subtractions in the player list as well. On February 3, 2013, the 2013 Pepsi Indian Premier League Player Auction was held where thirty seven cricketers were bought by all the nine teams for a total sum of US $11.89 million among which the highest amount was paid for Glenn Maxwell, the Aussie all-rounder. Mumbai Indians bought him for an eye-popping amount of US $1 million along with Ricky Ponting. Pune Warriors India bought Michael Clarke once more after last year. The most significant reshuffling was noticed in the Royal Challengers Bangalore team which bought the maximum number of players in the auction – a total of seven: four overseas and three Indians. Sunrisers Hyderabad bought six players in the auction; five overseas players and one Indian. Among the 37 cricketers who were bought in the auction, only fourteen players are new while the rest have been reshuffled. The only uncapped cricketer who was sold in this auction was Nathan Coulter-Nile. Mumbai Indians bought him.

With a lot of changes in the entire IPL 2013 season, this tournament is ready to rock the entire cricket world once more. All the nine teams: Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Daredevils, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Kings XI Punjab, Kolkata Knight Riders, Mumbai Indians, Pune Warriors India, Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bangalore are ready to add more colors to this much hyped cricket tournament.

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Impact of Brexit on English Football

Brexit, the word came into existence in early months of 2016 when Britain firstly announced its exit from EU. The statement quickly spread a turbulent wave in the whole world especially to the other members of EU. At that time, none was able to understand what was happening and why Britain is having this exit. Numerous meeting and press conferences took place in no time, but nobody could get any clear idea about the upcoming consequences of this exit by the UK. Everyone was waiting to know how the UK will vote for this exit. 51.9% of votes were in favor of Brexit and rest 48.1% votes went against it. EU nationals knew that it was going to be a big change for them, especially the players who play football. The players knew that the UK's exit from EU may originate lots of changes in the system they are part of.

Now, after one year of Brexit's referendum, the UK has finally invoked Article 50 of Lisbon treaty on 29th of March, 2017 leaving most of the premier league clubs in fear of its impact. Following are the parameters which may get affected and impact the English football big way:

1) Freedom of Movement: In accordance with four fundamentals of freedom by the EU, it is the right of the citizens to move freely among the member states for the purpose of employment. Now as Britain has left EU, it will not at all be easy for the EU nationals to enter the UK. This kind of restriction on citizens will clearly impact the citizens to work, especially those who play football. These football players will not be able to work with the UK football clubs that easily as it was before Brexit. Unless the UK government gets into some agreement with an individual member state of EU considering "Freedom of Movement", the EU citizens have to face uncertainty. Such an uncertainty among the players is going to have a bad impact on their game and career. It was because of Freedom of Moment only that these players were able to work for various clubs of EU without any work permit. After Brexit, things are never going to be the same. The players have to get a work visa to work with football clubs in the UK and it won't be that easy.

2) Work Permit: The second major impact which Brexit may create for the English football players is the requirement of a work permit to enter and work in the UK. The players who were working with various football clubs in the UK without any Visa issues will now have to obtain work permit before entering the UK. The complex part is that there is a set criterion to have a work permit. Similar issues will be faced by non-EU players, who will apply to FA for a governing body endorsement before a work permit can be issued to them by their Home office. Considering this impact, the Premier League clubs have urged Britain's government to find out some protective measures from being impacted by Brexit. They want the UK government to provide an exemption of work visa to the footballers so that they can freely play for their respective clubs in Britain. Otherwise, it will be difficult for the football clubs in the UK to hire the players from Europe. Therefore, it is extremely necessary for Britain to preserve its 44-year relationship with EU.

3) Devaluation of Currency: Since June 2016, when Brexit was proposed, the value of British Pound is certainly decreasing against Dollar. This devaluation of the UK's currency is definitely going to affect the life of football players who are playing for the UK football clubs as they will earn less in comparison to post Brixit earnings. Moreover, it will be easy for Non the UK clubs to pick football players easily from the UK as they will have to pay less salary to those players who understand pounds. Moreover, this devaluation of the UK's currency will remain uncertain unless there are some bilateral agreements signed between the two parties, the UK and other left members of EU. Therefore, this downfall of a pound is surely going to affect the lives of footballers playing in Premier League. They may have to face financial losses and many other changes in their life. For few of them, it can also be tough to continue their career as a footballer which can be a big issue for them to resolve.

4) The tension between the FA and the Premier League: Due to Brexit, there is a sense of uncertainty surrounding the potential implications of football law. Those who are leading the football clubs in the UK are also tensed and uncertain about how they are doing to operate after Brexit. According to the record charts of Premier League, the highest percentage of goals scored by EU nationals in the Premier League is of Chelsea and it's 76 percent. That means the Blues will suffer the most post Brexit. Moreover, 74 percent of the players from Chelsea are either an EU national or they hold a second EU nationality. It will become extremely tough for Chelsea to easily operate because of Brexit. As per the football authorities in the UK, there can be restrictions on Bosman transfers, which will restrict the UK clubs to hire EU players to play for their club in Premier League. Even FA is planning to create some new opportunities for the young players of England, who want to play in England. Whereas, the Premier League clubs are focusing on their player squads to face and survive the upcoming competitions.

5) GBE: It stands for "Governing body endorsement". According to FA's work permit criteria, now the Non-EU / EEA footballers will have to receive GBE from their respective sports governing body to get a work visa and play for the respective clubs. Those players who have participated in the minimum percentage of senior competitive international matches for their national teams in two years duration before they have applied for a work visa, do qualify for GBE. In case any player doesn't qualify for GBE, then that player will be evaluated on points based system. These points are given on the basis of the amount of transfer fee paid by that player and the basic salary offered to the player as compared to other players in a league. These points are also awarded on the basis of that player's performance while playing for his previous club. At the end, the player who qualifies for this points based system gets the visa and those players who cannot qualify, they do not get a work permit for play for respective football clubs.

Length of Issue of GBE:
Governing Body Endorsements should be issued for a period appropriate to the period of
approval for sponsorship or the tier under which the application is being made, that is:
As a Sponsor – Tier 2 or Tier 5 – for 4 years.
Migrant Tier 2 Sport
Initial application – length of contract or up to three years maximum, whichever is the
shorter period.
Extension application – length of contract or up to two years maximum, whichever is
the shorter period.
Migrant Tier 5 sporting – length of contract or up to 12 months, whichever is the
shorter period. No in-country extensions are possible.

If stated in their governing body endorsement requirements, governing bodies may endorse an individual player for a shorter period than the employment contract, for example, a season. If this is the case, the individual player must be made aware that their certificate of sponsorship and consequently entry clearance or leave to remain will be limited to the length of the endorsement and will not be for the length of the contract.

6) Opportunity for young English Players: Along with other negative vibes, Brexit has also created an opportunity for young English players who were yet unable to be the part of the first team. The authorities from FA want to see the world class Premier League where the world class players will be playing and not the average international players. They are going to give a chance to the domestic players who do have the potential to compete with international players. Then, Premier League will be a platform for them to showcase the talent they have by playing football along with top notch footballers. The authorities have addressed that they are not trying to be in a fight with Premier League by calling these youngsters. Rather they are finding a sensible way round that works for all, the players, the governments, Premier League, and FA. It will neither be an open door policy for any player to come and play in Premier League, nor it will be straight no to the foreigners. It will just be the best display of football for all of us. In March 2017, it has been announced by EFL that there will be an increase in the number of home-grown players on team sheets from six to seven from the upcoming season. Also, they had put forward an agreement which says that at least one club developed player will be added to each team for any EFL league from the 2018-19 campaign.

Taking a closer look at the above-mentioned points, anyone can figure out that Brexit is definitely going to have an impact on English Football, if not much then at least some. The players have to face lots of new situations which they may find tough to resolve but, there is always a solution to the problem. Let's hope that the government of the UK and FA, and EU collectively find something effective for the citizens and especially the footballers from both sides.

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History of Middlesbrough Football Club

Middlesbrough Football Club was originally founded in the late 19th century. The club had varying degrees of success but it wasn’t until the times prior to the 2nd World War that the team was in good enough shape to challenge for the major trophies. This team graced by the likes of England internationals like George Hardwick and Wilf Mannion although never winning a trophy, was said to have been capable of going on to win the league had it not been for the outbreak of the war.

It wasn’t until the 70’s arrived that the club had any degree of major success again. This team, containing the likes of David Armstrong and Greame Souness coached by the great Jack Charlton formally a Word Cup winner with England had been the best seen for a while. The promotions seen over this period although impressive produced no trophies to behold.

Into the 80’s the club almost went into liquidation, and if it wasn’t for the financial assistance of a consortium lead by the now chairman and successful businessman Steve Gibson then the club might has disappeared. A boost to the re-emergence of the club in 1986 was funds appreciated by the sale of a number of talented youngsters who had come through the youth system, including but not limited to Gary Pallister and Colin Cooper.

In successive years after the take-over ‘Boro’ as they are affectionately know by their fans cemented themselves as a side good enough to get out of the 2nd tier league but not quite good enough to stay in the top league for very long. An example of this yo-yoing nature being the inclusion of Boro in the very 1st year of the ‘Premier League’ but relegation the year after.

In 1994 Boro attracted probably their highest profiled manager to date in the shape of former England and Manchester United captain Brian Robson. Using the crutch of the squad left to him by his predecessor Lennie Lawrence swell as some good decent professionals like Nigel Pearson and Steve Vickers, who had been brought in, he took the team back into the Premiership. A new season in the top league and the moving into a brand new 30,000 all seater stadium saw a new sense of belief and optimism around the town. This sense of belief was backed with funds and with the captures of the likes of then England international Nick Barmby and the magnificent Brazilian international Juninho the club had one of the best teams in a long time. Boro were to retain their premiership status in the years following, and with the captures of the likes of Champions League winner Fabrizio Ravinelli and the Brazilian powerhouse Emerson football fever was taking over the town. Riding this support the team went on magnificent runs in both the League and FA Cup. Disastrously heartache would soon follow though and Boro fell at the final hurdle in both cups and as if to add insult injury a deduction of 3 points for failing to turn a team out against Blackburn saw the club relegated back to the 2nd tier.

Although the relegation would see the team lose Juninho and Emerson, they were able to capture the high profile Paul Merson and with hope still high the club was dominant in both the League and League Cup seeing them win promotion straight back into the top league and reach the final of the League Cup. The successive season would see boro retain their premiership status but seasons after saw results getting progressively worse culminating in the decision by the board to bring in the experienced former England coach Terry Venables to work alongside Robson. The decision bore fruit and the club was to avoid relegation. Support for the club was dwindling though and change was wanted. The upshot of this being the reluctant sacking of Robson and the bringing in of the then Manchester United assistant manager Steve Mclaren.

Mclaren would bring solidarity to a haphazard team with his strong work ethic and love of professionalism. The football was boring to watch but the team was never to look like relegation material. With this new professionalism and continued financial backing the club would cement their position in the top league, putting behind it the yo-yoing years. Another cup final soon followed and this time Boro were the victors leaving with their first ever major trophy in the shape of the League Cup. This victory would see Boro’s first ever qualification for Europe. The following season would see Boro qualify again for Europe with their best ever Premiership position. The season following this would see Boro push all the way to the EUFA Cup Final, making McClaren the most successful manager in the club’s history.

McClaren though, on the back on his triumphs has recently left the club for the dizzy heights of coaching England. The club has now a great set of players, a great setup, as well as top class youth and reserve teams. With this and recent successes, and the likelihood of continued financial backing, a new manager with worthy credentials I would have thought is only around the corner. And whatever future this brings for the lowly north east football club is yet to be written.

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