T.N. Raghu

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Three Lions fail to roar in big circus

England are in a mess and everybody knows that. A team that had been hyped up to go all they way are perched precariously on the edge of a precipice now.
After a dreadful performance against Algeria on Friday, the Three Lions’ will face an unbeaten Slovakia in a win-or bust match at Port Elizabeth on Wednesday. Fabio C

Diego leaves hosts forlorn

The dream is over, almost. South Africa’s hopes of advancing to the next round from Group A were dealt a serious blow after they lost to Uruguay 0-3 here on Wednesday.
The festive atmosphere at Loftus Versfeld Stadium failed to inspire South Africa. Bereft of imagination, the hosts never came close to scoring. Their first shot on goal, an innocuous one at that, came in the 68th minute.

Brazil wriggle past North Korea


Brazilian supporters had swarmed Ellis Park on Tuesday night in the freezing cold to see their team “hammer North Korea” in a Group G match. But the anticipated rout didn’t materialise as the Samba Boys could only scrape through to a 2-1 win.

Vuvuzela creates a stir amongst local fans

World Cup local organising committee chief Danny Jordaan’s reported comment on a possible ban on the noisy vuvuzelas has caused quite a stir here.
Fans, local and foreign, are aghast that an instrument that symbolises South African football may be taken away. Even though an LOC spokesman, Rich Mkhondo, has reiterated that the plastic trumpets are not under any threat, many fans aren’t convinced.

Never say no is Mundra mantra

Mundra Omprakash never gets tired of watching sports. The 60-year-old resident of Nagpur has been to a number of mega sporting events either as a fan or as a volunteer from the 1982 Asian Games in New Delhi. The Indian’s volunteerism has taken him to three Olympics — two Winter editions and one Summer Games at Athens and an Asian Games. “My wife, Premalatha, accompanies me to all places. She is in South Africa as well. We always go as a pair,” he laughed.

Mandela’s Soweto house close to his heart

No. 8115, Vilakazi Street, Orlando West, Soweto, Johannesburg is an address most South Africans are familiar with. The address is now a pilgrimage centre for foreign football fans. Former South African president Nelson Mandela lived at a quaint little house bearing No. 8115 from 1945 to 1958.

The power of 10

In football, the No.10 jersey is revered. The number has an aura that has eluded others in the same family. Okay, No.10 is the basic part of the decimal system and it offers a sense of completeness, alone or in multiples.

All in the family for 3

Argentina coach Diego Maradona’s selection of first XI at the World Cup may not go down well in the legend’s household. Maradona will incur the wrath of his younger daughter, Giannina, if he omits Sergio ‘Kun’ Aguero from the line-up because she is married to the Atletico Madrid forward. Aguero and Giannina have a son, Benjamin.

Upsets part of World Cup folklore

More often than not every football World Cup has witnessed an upset of such intensity that it has left the fans shell shocked.

Sorrow in store for marquee names who missed the bus

The World Cup in South Africa will bring joy to millions of people around the globe. But for Messrs Andrey Arshavin, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Petr Cech, Luka Modric and Dimitar Berbatov, the football carnival will be a painful reminder of their teams’ failure to qualify for the mega event. Watching television and reading newspapers may not be easy for the five stars from June 11 to July 11.

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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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