Fri, Jul 02, 2010 - Page 19 News List

World Cup Briefs

AGENCIES

■ENGLAND

MP demands inquiry

A British member of parliament (MP) is demanding an inquiry into the state of English soccer, branding the national team’s performance at the World Cup “pathetic.” England went to the tournament in South Africa with high hopes but went out on Sunday when Germany trounced them 4-1. Conservative lawmaker David Amess said on his Web site that he was so appalled by England’s performance that he filed a parliamentary motion demanding action. The motion urges parliament to voice “its great disappointment at England’s pathetic exit from the World Cup finals” and says the team “let this country and their supporters down.” It calls for an urgent inquiry into the state of the national game and says many players in England’s Premier League are “grossly overpaid and under-perform.”

■GERMANY

Ballack loss good: Matthaus

The loss of Michael Ballack ahead of the World Cup has been a blessing in disguise for Germany, former captain Lothar Matthaus said. Ballack was set to take the captain’s armband in South Africa, but his World Cup dream died when he injured his ankle playing for Chelsea against Portsmouth in the FA Cup final at the end of May. It was seen as a huge blow for German hopes in South Africa, but their young side has coped without him. “I’m genuinely upset for Michael Ballack, but I have to say his absence has helped Germany,” Matthaus told FIFA.com. “I don’t mean that in a spiteful way, but Ballack was arguably holding up a number of players who’ve now blossomed. Each of them has taken on a little more responsibility. Germany are playing with far more pace. Ballack often took a lot of pace out of the game, but that wouldn’t fit the mentality of this young team. Missing out is a personal catastrophe for Michael, but it’s benefited Germany.”

■MEXICO

Coach calls it a day

Javier Aguirre quit on Wednesday as Mexico coach, three days after the team were knocked out of the World Cup in a 3-1 loss to Argentina in the round of 16. It marked the fifth straight time that Mexico have been eliminated in the second round of the World Cup. “I’m the person responsible,” said Aguirre, adding that he’d made a commitment to reach the quarter-finals. “We didn’t qualify for the next round, and because of this one can consider it a failure,” Aguirre said. “The plan was to ... be among the best eight in the world. This was the plan. If we didn’t do it, it’s clear staying on the job is not an option.” Aguirre was appointed 15 months ago for a second stint as Mexico coach. He also coached the team in the 2002 World Cup, but was replaced after Mexico was eliminated by the US. Aguirre is Mexico’s fourth coach in four years and the fifth since Argentine Ricardo La Volpe was released after the 2006 World Cup.

■BRAZIL

Legends’ spat continues

Brazilian legend Pele’s war of words with Argentina coach Diego Maradona continued yesterday as he said the latter was not a good coach because of the troubled private life he had led. Pele, who earlier during the World Cup finals said that Maradona had only taken the Argentina coaching job because he needed the money, said Maradona’s previous troubles — which included treatment for a cocaine addiction — could only have a bad effect on the team. “He [Maradona] is not a good coach, because he had a bizarre lifestyle which cannot go down well with his team,” three-time World Cup winner Pele told German magazine 11Freunde.

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