Antlers keep Japanese interest high

THEY WERE little more than the token host nation representative to keep local interest alive, but Kashima Antlers are now one game away from the FIFA Club World Cup final. The Antlers won their second game in the 2016 competition when they beat Mamelodi Sundowns in the quarter-final game in Osaka. This follows their previous win against Auckland in the preliminary round. It has been a busy week for the Antlers as they won the J-League only last weekend, beating Urawa Reds in the final. They showed great resilience against a Mamelodi side that dominated the first period and looked … Continue reading Antlers keep Japanese interest high

A crowded house: Why the continental championships and World Cup should be aligned

LET’S be frank, qualifying tournaments have become tedious – bloated and repetitive, full of over familiarity, largely predictable (don’t say that in Amsterdam this summer) and too much cannon fodder. Sometimes, you forget if you’re watching a European Championship or a World Cup qualifier. So here’s an idea. Why not use the continental tournaments as a qualifying competition for the World Cup? You can almost hear the outrage at UEFA and FIFA headquarters, in fact, given that UEFA is in Nyon and FIFA (those characters that are still free to roam, that is) is holed-up in Zurich, they can probably … Continue reading A crowded house: Why the continental championships and World Cup should be aligned