2010 FIFA World Cup: Day 3

13 June, 2010 at 11:00 (GMT+01:00)

By Alex Andronov

Sidepodcast F1: Timo Glock, Nico H├╝lkenberg and Sebastian Vettel support the national side, who play Australia today.

Credit: Vladimir Rys/Bongarts/Getty Images

Timo Glock, Nico H├╝lkenberg and Sebastian Vettel support the national side, who play Australia today.

Hi this is World Cup Day 3 and this is Alex Andronov. I am writing this from my holiday in France where the world cup also takes place, it being the cup of the entire world. During the England vs USA match this is how the situation looked here. Inside the room at the end of the video the television was on and we could hear sort of what was going on (well in theory above the angry bees).

Lets deal with the tie situation...

So in the England game yesterday there was a tie between the teams and this has caused a small amount of angst. But that's fine don't panic we are prepared. The English invented football and we are used to these kinds of things. Famously you can play Cricket for five days, stopping for lunch each day, and still not have a winner. In fact we are so keen on disappointment that in cricket there are two ways not to have a winner. You can have a draw which is that nobody won the game (you have to get all your opponents out to win) or you can have a tie when both teams scored the exact same score. The equivalent difference in F1 terms would be a tie being two divers driving over the line at exactly the same time whereas if nobody completed the race then it would be a draw (no silly half points).

The problem is that, in football, there isn't really a good system to deal with ending the game with a single winner. Extra time was introduced relatively recently*, and only as recently as 1970, penalty shootouts were brought in. But the problem with penalty shootouts is that they aren't the same as the rest of the game they are just one aspect. It's like somebody saying in F1, lets just have qualifying instead of the race. It might be fun, and exciting, but it's too much of just one bit of it. It used to be, back in the beginning that the teams would share the trophy if they teams tied. The point being that if neither of them wanted to win it then neither of them deserved to win it had to be a tie.

When asked yesterday what would happen if everyone tied all the way through I nodded sagely and said, "Goal difference". But, "No", they countered, there can't be goal difference if everyone tied". "Ahhh," I said, "well, then it goes to most corners and stuff I think."

This is the kind of knowledge I bring to these kind of discussion, I think that's probably why I'm doing this guest post.

(Actually it would be the ones with the most scored goals because of course everyone could have been tieing all over the place but with different numbers of goals, if it's still tied after that they just draw lots for it!!!)

Perhaps this is all a bit involved...

If you've been reading all of this and thinking, "see this is why I don't like football it's all this crazy rules and everything" then I have decided to explain the situation in terms that should be understandable by everyone.

First of all there are some people who shout: "Goal!!"

These are the fans, like you and me.

Then there are the some people who shout: "Referee!!!"

These are the other fans, who know about the rules.

Then there are those who look knowledgeable and say: "Offside"

These are the referees and Christine.

Then there are the 20 odd people who run around and kick the ball and things

These are the main players who have cool names like "Striker" and "Goal Attack".

Then there are 2 people who can touch the ball

These are the goal keepers or "Goal Defence"

And that's it

Although I may have got a bit confused with netball towards the end

Who is playing today

Today we have the crunch match of Algeria versus Slovenia, followed by local boys Ghana versus the mighty Serbia and finally relative newcomers Germany versus Australia.

  • Algeria v Slovenia - 12:30 (GMT +1)
  • Serbia v Ghana - 15:00 (GMT +1)
  • Germany v Australia - 19:30 (GMT +1)

One last thing...

Haven't you got a song that we can listen to about football which will get stuck in our heads for the whole of the tournament and drive us mad?

Yup.

[youtube id="45NOP1OA-EQ"]

* I have actually had a bit of trouble tracking down the exact date that it was introduced. I mean we all know that stoppage time was introduced in 1891 after the Stoke vs Villa match when the Villa goalkeeper kicked the ball out the ground to stop there being a chance of an equalising goal (the equivalent of Rascase and Schumacher) but extra time seems a bit more mysterious.

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