Skip to main content

Do you know your football?

Haresh Says, as published in Mailsport every Tuesday, will be known as Ultras Tonjol FC throughout the World Cup.



AND suddenly everyone is an expert when it comes to football. 
From the six-year-old who aspires to be the next Norshahrul Idlan Talaha to the uncle that is forced to squint his eyes while watching Dutchman Arjen Robben dazzle in front of the Spanish defenders before scoring Holland’s fifth goal in the World Cup on Saturday.
It amazes me how some people speak when it comes to football; criticising the lineups of world renowned coaches to scrutinising the antics of world class players whose salary is even more than the gross domestic product of some nations. The media too often have plenty to say.
As some of my friends would say to critics: “If you think you so terror, you play-lah.”
But this is the beauty of football. There is always room for the hardcore fans and armchair critics. Ironically, listening to them is way better than the rubbish some politicians tend to say.
However, football is beyond chanting ‘Germany!’ (who by the way, will win the tournament) or jeering England striker Wayne Rooney each time he touches the ball.
How much do we really know about football?
Here are some quick facts about the beautiful game as we embrace the World Cup.

It started in China

According to Fifa.com, the very earliest form of football for which there is “scientific evidence” was an exercise from a military manual dating back to the second and third centuries BC in China. 
“This Han Dynasty forebear of football was called Tsu’ Chu and it consisted of kicking a leather ball filled with feathers and hair through an opening, measuring only 30-40cm in width, into a small net fixed onto long bamboo canes. The players were not permitted to aim at his target unimpeded but had to use his feet, chest, back and shoulders while trying to withstand the attacks of his opponents. Use of the hands was not permitted.”
Sadly, China is no where to be seen in this World Cup ... or even at the last World Cup ... heck even at the 2006 edition. Despite its history and huge population, the Republic has only qualified once — in 2002.
China had also banned ‘Football Manager 2005’ after its Ministry of Culture said the game “posed harm to the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.” 

England — home of football, only one World Cup.

Football flourished in the British Isles from the eighth to the 19th centuries, as described by Fifa.com. But it saw opposition. The game was punishable by law during the 100 Years’ War between England and France (1337 to 1453) as “it prevented subjects from practising more useful military disciplines”. The Scottish kings of the 15th century prohibited the game, as evident in the decree proclaimed by the parliament convened by James I (1424), which read: “That na man play at the Fute-ball”.
But football later prospered in England, making it the nation’s No 1 sport. Despite its rich history, England has only won the World Cup once — after beating West Germany 4-2 in the 1966 final. 

Balls are important

Most modern footballs are stitched from 32 panels of waterproofed leather or plastic. Sports manufacturer adidas has been providing the official ball for the World Cup since the 1970 edition in Mexico. 
The 2014 World Cup ball, called Brazuca, features six identical panels. The brazuca was tested for two and a half years, involving more than 600 of the world’s top players from 30 teams in 10 countries across three continents. It the most tested ball by the company. Balls are very important!

Run, boy run!

Studies have shown footballers run an average of 10 kilometres each game. 

You call 5-1 embarrassing?

In 2002, Madagascar club AS Adema thrashed arch-rivals Stade Olympique I’Emyrne 149-0 in a national league game — the largest score in football history. That’s an average of one goal scored every 0.65 minutes. Spain fans shouldn’t feel that bad. It was only 5-1 after all.

The Cup

The Jules Rimet Cup was the first Cup. It was introduced in 1930 and renamed in 1946 after the founding father of the World Cup, who was also the third Fifa president (1921-1954). It was stolen in 1966 while on display in England but was later found in a suburban garden by a dog named Pickles. In 1983, the Trophy was stolen in Rio de Janeiro and never found. The current trophy is the work of Italian artist Silvio Gazzaniga.

Get the name right

It is called football, bola sepak (Malay), futebol (Portuguese), fußball (German), voetball (Dutch) and futbol (Spanish), among others. Only the ignorant call the game soccer.

Here’s hoping for a fun-filled World Cup.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What went wrong with KL SEA Games?

145 gold medals.
It's the best Team Malaysia has ever achieved since the inception of the SEAP Games in1959.
The 29th edition of the SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur ended yesterday. The opening ceremony dazzled those at the stands and viewers at home while the performances during the closing ceremony yesterday jogged plenty of musical memories to many.
Our athletes, the real superheroes, brought smiles through their heroic display. They made everyday a happy day.
Kudos to the officials - from the coaches, the National Sports Institute and National Sports Council - for their hard work in ensuring our athletes perform to their best.
But it was not all memorable.
From

'World fashion disaster' in KL

World Fashion Week Asia 2017 ended over the weekend.

And the launch on Friday at Palace of the Golden Horses at Mines Resort City just outside Kuala Lumpur turned out to be a forgettable night.

Why?

It was poorly organised.

Just as many are trying to get over the nightmare witnessed throughout the KL SEA Games, the organiser of World Fashion Week Asia 2017 has made it look like Malaysians seem to have lost it when it comes to hosting major events and hospitality.

Here's why.

Royal protocol ignored

1. The Sultanah of Terengganu Sultanah Nur Zahirah was invited to grace the event.
    a. There was no holding room for the Sultanah and VIPs accompanying her.
    b. The Sultanah was invited on stage without anyone accompanying her there (a big NO NO if anyone knows protocol involving royalty).
    c. The event dragged on till 11.30pm, way past the cut off point of the very many events I've attended with members of the royal family present.
   d. The Sultanah was forced to walk all t…

Klang run 'illegal', says Sports Commissioner

UPDATE (Dec 11; 11.58am): Sporting events approved by Sports Commissioner's Office will be posted on the Youth and Sports Ministry's website starting Dec 14, as revealed by the Sports Commissioner in her statement today. I'm glad the last point of my observation (as per posting right below) has been addressed.

---

UPDATE (10.57pm): A Twitter user had sent me a link by the organiser of the Klang Heritage Marathon 2017. It states that the marathon has been "postponed to Oct 14, 2018" and that they have been victims of fake news and will lodge reports with the authorities against materials with elements of defamation or fake news. Read the full statement, posted on Dec 2, here.

---
ORIGINAL POST

A Klang City International Marathon 2017 pacer suffered serious injuries after she and two others were hit by a car

Turns out that the organiser of this morning's event, Earth Runners International Group Sdn Bhd, DID NOT submit any application to the Sports Commissioner&#…