T.N. Raghu

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Club culture blamed for English, Italian flops

The early exits by England and Italy from the World Cup have raised calls for changes in the make-up of club teams in the EPL and Serie A. English and Italian clubs are accused of relying on foreign players, ahead of home-grown talent, in their single-minded pursuit of success.

Fifa sorry, changes stance on referrals

Fifa, the world football governing body, has decided to “discuss goal-line technology” in a meeting of the International Football Association Rules Board next month. The controversial events at the on-going World Cup have compelled football’s bosses to soften their protracted resistance to technological aids.

Brazil too hot for Chile

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Chile had been using a national flag recovered from the debris of a house flattened by an earthquake in their country earlier this year for inspiration. Chilean players had revealed that the flag, a fixture at their official team hotel here, was one of the reasons for the South American team’s bullish run. But patriotic fervour wasn’t enough to help Chile upset Brazil in the round of 16.

Fifa rules out use of video referral system

Two calamitous incidents on Sunday haven’t moved Fifa. The world football governing body has rejected calls for the introduction of technology to help on-field officials.
Referees failed to spot an England goal against Germany and an off-side goal from Carlos Tevez was allowed to stand in Argentina’s round of 16 win over Mexico.

1966? History doesn’t repeat itself

England tumbled out of the World Cup after suffering a 1-4 defeat at the hands of Germany in the Round of 16 here on Sunday. But Germany’s comprehensive final result was marred by a glaring refereeing error a few minutes before the break.

It’s time Kaka took to flight

Under the shrewd stewardship of Dunga, Brazil look compact and competitive. But the five-time champions are some distance away from being invincible. They certainly cannot take Chile for granted when they take on Marcelo Bielsa’s team at Ellis Park on Monday in an all-South American round of 16.

German machine rolls on

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In the end it was an embarrassment for England, as Germany handed them a 4-1 hiding in the last 16 of the World Cup here. The hyped-up blockbuster clash degenerated into a bout between a heavyweight boxer and a flyweight challenger after the break at Free State Stadium here on Sunday.

Germany, England in big bash

England’ Dad’s Army face Joachim Loew’s German colts in a round of 16 match on Sunday that fans of both sides will walk upside down to watch. Mental strength will come into sharp focus in the heavyweight meeting of two storied rivals.

Spaniards finally get into rhythm

Fans and aesthetes can rejoice. Spain avoided the first-round quicksand that had consumed France and Italy, with a 2-1 win over Chile in Group H here on Friday. The rewards for the hard-earned result are a place at the top of the pool and a meeting with Portugal in the next round.

Honda in top gear for Japan

Danish supporters were bullish ahead of their team’s last 16 meeting with Japan on Thursday. “We are going to slaughter the Japanese,” crowed one. Yes, there was a slaughter at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium. But it wasn’t the “lambs” that perished as a Honda-powered Japan sent their supposed predators home in ignominy with a 3-1 win in Group E.

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I want to begin with a little story that was told to me by a leading executive at Aptech. He was exercising in a gym with a lot of younger people.

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