December 5th, 2010

Steven Gerrard
  • scruby

Match post

13:30 West Bromwich A. - Newcastle U.
16:00 Sunderland - West Ham U.

15:00 Cesena - Bologna
15:00 Fiorentina - Cagliari
15:00 Lecce - Genoa
15:00 Parma - Udinese
15:00 Sampdoria - Bari
20:45 Catania - Juventus

17:00 Almeria - Zaragoza
17:00 Espanyol - Sporting Gijon
17:00 Getafe - Mallorca
17:00 Malaga - Racing Santander
19:00 Villarreal - Sevilla
21:00 Real Sociedad - Athletic Bilbao

15:30 Bayer Leverkusen - 1. FC Cologne
17:30 Nurnberg - Borussia Dortmund

15:00 Lille - Lorient
17:00 Nice - Marseille
17:00 Paris S.G. - Brest
21:00 Saint-Etienne - Bordeaux

20:00 Maccabi Petah Tikva - Maccabi Netanya


More on FIFA being corrupt and incompetent///The English reaction to the 2018 decision

The Guardian's Said & Done World Cup vote special: Sepp's best bits, the ExCo highlights, plus the Mail on why England really lost

How Sepp's big decision was made easier:
1) Leaked US cable describes Russia as "a rampantly corrupt, autocratic kleptocracy" run by a leader who has "amassed a massive secret fortune" by running a "mafia state" based on "personal enrichment, protection for gangsters, extortion and kickbacks, suitcases full of money, a parallel tax system and bribery estimated at $300bn a year".

2) Sepp: "Congratulations to Russia! Clearly, I am a satisfied man."

The highlights

Highlights from the last three months as Sepp set about shaping his legacy ("I'm working to make football a school of life, bringing hope, bringing emotions!"):

Best individual performance: Executive Committee member Amos Adamu – caught in the bribery sting four months after telling colleagues facing separate fraud charges how they should behave. "The public sees every football administrator as corrupt, and I cannot explain why it is so. We must always be transparent to prove them wrong!"

Runner-up: Former ExCo member Ismael Bhamjee – caught in the same sting, four years after his first one: exposed in 2006 for touting World Cup tickets at three times face value to supplement his £270 daily Fifa expenses. "I got myself in a mess," Bhamjee said at the time. "This was out of character."

Best award: Former ExCo member Viacheslav Koloskov – travelling to Asunción in October to lobby current ExCo member Nicolás Léoz for Russia's bid. Léoz (accused by Panorama of taking £450k in bribes) honoured Koloskov (who received an unauthorised £65k payment from Sepp in 2002) with an award for "services to football and its principles".

Best analysis: also from Koloskov – greeting the publication of the bids' expensive technical reports in November: "I know from my own experience that ExCo members work with little information. The inspection reports are enormous, so no one reads them."

Best timing: October – Russia's sports minister Vitaly Mutko attacks the British press for "obsessive" analysis of Russia's racism record. Also that month: Russian football agent Vladimir Abramov gives an interview to about how Nigerians ruin Russian cities with "their drugs, and ultimately, their Aids". Abramov: "Teams shouldn't have more than one dark-skinned footballer. When there's more than one they are aggressive"; plus: "I am very respectful towards blacks, but Russia isn't ready for them." FIfa's view: "Racism will not be taken into account in the bidding process … It is not an operation matter".
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  • furyyy

keep your day job lads

The Willow Foundation and British artist, Julie-Anne Gilburt have teamed up to create an exhibition of 20x20 cm canvases, each created by a different star. Well known faces from the worlds of sport, art, design, fashion, music and entertainment have drawn on their artistic skills in aid of the charity. The result is a fun, colourful and enlightening exhibition at the Catto Gallery, Hampstead, which will be open to the public from 2 to 5 December 2010.
The Online Auction Closes 6 December 2010

oh well would you look at that? Some of our favourite ballers did some of their own work as well.......

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