Tag Archives | Soccer

The World Cup Of Robot Soccer

In addition to the World Cup, this summer featured RoboCup — an international tournament in which teams of soccer-playing robots square off. The level of play is low, and the game is often unsettling to watch, as when a fallen robot player struggles fruitlessly to right itself, limbs flailing. The hope, however, is that by 2050, a robot team skilled enough to compete against humans will be developed.

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Germans Want To Throw Psychic Octopus Into Shark Tank

Paul the Octopus in his aquarium  tank next to a football shoe marked with the German flag colors. Photo: Tilla (CC)

Paul the Octopus in his aquarium tank next to a soccer shoe marked with the German flag colors. Photo: Tilla (CC)

You knew the psychic octopus was going to upset a lot of people in its homeland, Germany, if it predicted–correctly–a loss for their team. As AFP/The Local reports, the eight-legged wonder now needs all its supernatural powers to remain in good health:

It won’t come as much of a consolation to heartbroken German fans, but at least Paul, Germany’s now world-famous “Octopus oracle,” has maintained his perfect record predicting World Cup matches this summer…

The “psychic” creature has correctly predicted all six of Germany’s matches and, amid excruciating drama broadcast live on national television on Tuesday, plumped for Spain, causing anguish across the country.

The eight-legged soccer soothsayer was spot on Wednesday, as Carles Puyol’s semi-final header shattered Germany’s dreams of winning their fourth World Cup…

According to daily Der Westen, there have been “a host of comments on Facebook, Twitter … suggesting Paul should be fried, grilled or turned into a seafood salad or paella.

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World Cup Replica Made of Cocaine Found in Colombia

World Cup of CokeBBC News reports:

A replica World Cup trophy seized by anti-drugs police in Colombia is made out of cocaine, lab tests have confirmed. The 36cm (14in) statue was found in a delivery crate at Bogota airport.

The crate was in an airmail warehouse waiting to be sent to an address in Spain, airport anti-drug chief Jose Piedrahita said. In another development, a submarine built by drug-traffickers was found in Ecuador before its maiden voyage.

The World Cup replica was made up of 11kg (24 lb) of the drug, mixed with acetone or gasoline to make it mouldable.

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Ooh-Ah, Doctor Who!

Eric Cantona. Photo: 	Georges Biard (CC)

Eric Cantona. Photo: Georges Biard (CC)

It’s not often that the worlds of sci fi and soccer overlap, but the Daily Star reports that former French footie star Eric Cantona (his mega-success at Manchester United led to the terrace chant “Ooh-Ah Cantona”) will be part of the cast on Britain’s classic TV show Doctor Who:

Football legend Eric Cantona is set to inject a bit of Ooh Ah into Doctor Who.

The former Manchester United star is being lined up for a role as an evil alien alongside Time Lord Matt Smith. And producers are hoping the Frenchman might show off some of his famous Kung Fu moves in his baddie part.

Cantona, 44, famously attacked a fan with a high kick during a match against Crystal Palace in 1995.

But since then, the footballer has become a serious actor and had a series of roles, including a part in a Brit flick Looking For Eric.

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Are North Korea’s “World Cup Fans” Hired Chinese Actors?

korea-fans415Many of the strangest aspects of this year’s World Cup relate to team North Korea. The latest intrigue: were the throngs of “North Korean soccer fans” filling stands in the match against Brazil actually Chinese actors? The London Evening Standard writes:

Perhaps it was their identical red outfits or how their applause was directed by a “conductor” that suggested the North Koreans in the Ellis Park stadium in South Africa were no ordinary fans. FIFA officials and millions of television viewers were surprised when rows of red-clad “North Koreans” took their seats, believing the harsh regime had allowed its citizens freedom to travel.

Although they sang their national anthem loudly, the group tended only to cheer when directed by a man who stood before them like an orchestra’s conductor.

Meanwhile, another party of fans confirmed rumors they were Chinese, having obtained tickets through a Chinese sports PR agency, authorized to sell part of the North Korean allocation of 1,400 seats.

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FIFA Should Do The Right Thing For South Africa

WCSA_dvd_cvr_loCraig Tanner, director of the disinformation documentary World Cup Soccer In Africa: Who Really Wins, says that South Africa can’t afford the World Cup and FIFA should put some of its enormous TV revenues into the country; writing for the Hamilton Spectator:

South Africa is in the throes of unprecedented euphoria following the start of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. This should come as no surprise given the historic nature of South Africa’s hosting of an event of this magnitude, and the fact that the country will be the focal point of the world for the duration of the tournament.

That South Africa was considered to have the capacity to stage the tournament, and appears ready to do so, is plainly cause for national pride.

However, while FIFA will receive more than twice the amount of television licence fees than from the World Cup held four years ago in Germany, South Africa will not receive one cent of those revenues.

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