Monday, June 12, 2006

The kick off

I've supported some obscure teams for some obscure reasons in my time. There was the 1998/99 season, when I followed Real Mallorca because their goalkeeper had announced that he was retiring at the end of the year in order to spend more time with his family before judgement day, and I wanted to see if he would be lifted bodily into heaven as the rapture took him just as a Villareal corner curled towards the six-yard box (he wasn't). Then there was USA '94, when I supported Ireland because my great-granddad was Irish and I naively thought that the players in Big Jack's team also traced their lineage back to Eire (they didn't). And I was a season ticket holder at Morecambe for the 2000/01 season (don't ask).

But, this World Cup, you need not fret about where to lay your affections, as the boffins at WDM UK in London have invented the inestimable Who should I cheer for? team chooser. Whether you want to back the underpaid underdogs, the forward-thinking nation that shells out for healthcare, or, perhaps out of nostalgia for Roger Milla, the nation that lives longest, you can pit any two teams against each other on their economic, ethical and environmental stats. Go to www.whoshouldicheerfor.com.

Up here in the frozen north, which isn't really frozen at all this week, we've decided to honour Der Weltmeisterschaft with this blog, where we'll attempt to bring you the global justice campaigner's take on the Greatest (Football) Show on Earth (tm). Oh, and inevitably at some point Italy will get knocked out and I'll treat you all to an apopleptic rant about how it was because they never have any width and have forgotten how to counterattack. I'll bet you can't wait.

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