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  • Published: Jun 8th, 2012
  • Category: Soccer
  • Comments: Comments Off on Goal-Line Camera Technology Trials Come To Football

Goal-Line Camera Technology Trials Come To Football

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Austrian Forward Rubin Okotie tries to score o...

Austrian Forward Rubin Okotie tries to score on Congo Goalkeeper Destin Onka at the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup. Onka makes the save. Shot at Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After years of anger, relief, frustration and torment caused to fans, and just as many years of back and forth discussion with FIFA, the Football Association has agreed to trial Hawk Eye goal-line technology in an upcoming football game.

Having been a fundamental and vital part of sports such as tennis and cricket for some years now, many angered and amazed football fans have spent decades watching FIFA blow off requests for the technology to find its place in the beautiful game, but weeks of talks between the association and Haw

k Eye – the technology’s originators – has finally seen it brought to the table – or rather the field.

The technology has actually already been trialled once before in the Hampshire Senior Cup final earlier this month, though there were considerably less critical eyes paying attention than there will be at the expected 85,000 capacity Wembley sell out of England v. Belgium on June 2nd.

How it works

The technology will work through six cameras installed at each goal line feeding video footage through to a small collection of testers who will be analysing the results. Even the game’s officials will be kept ‘out of the loop’ in the process, meaning that if there were a disputed incident in the trial games the technology would have no influence over the final decision.

The Hawk Eye system runs in competition against GoalRef; a system that utilises low magnetic fields which, when passed through fully by a ball, detects the change and instantly sends the report to the game’s officials through encrypted radio signals. Due to the nature of the procedure, a small chip is required to be embedded within the football.

A decision

GoalRef is set to be tested on the same day in the Denmark v. Australia friendly, and the Football Association Board say that a successful result with either technology could lead to the approval of goal-line technology in a meeting at the beginning of July.

Of course, this approval may depend largely on whether there are any such disputes in the trialling games in the run up to the meeting, and so for possibly the first time in history we may be part of a whole host of football fans desperately praying for an incident of this nature.

We could also be tempted to ask what the decision would be if such an upset were to occur in the trials of one system but not the other – surely the Board could not approve one system over another purely on the basis that they have seen it in action? Whatever the answers, these are set to be some of the most excited friendlies in quite a while.

Rob actively wrties about technology and sport for online glasses experts Direct Sight.

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  • Author:
  • Published: May 23rd, 2012
  • Category: Boxing, Soccer
  • Comments: Comments Off on Top 3 Inspirational Sporting Figures

Top 3 Inspirational Sporting Figures

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English: Bust portrait of Muhammad Ali, World ...

English: Bust portrait of Muhammad Ali, World Journal Tribune photo by Ira Rosenberg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When it comes to sports, inspiration figures are truly sights to behold. When riding solo, they emulate brave knights, talismanic in battle. When part of a team or squad they resemble army generals, victorious due to their war conduct. Here is a celebration of sport’s most inspirational figures over the years.

Muhammad Ali

The first sportsman to coin the quote ‘I am the greatest’, Muhammad Ali owns this phrase because he simply is the greatest ever boxer to had lived. In fact it wouldn’t even be possible to begrudge Ali claiming he meant the greatest ever ‘sportsman’, when he uttered what was to become his infamous catchphrase.

His speed was incredible, precision tremendous and power mind boggling. Ali was a man of extraordinary talent and charisma. The most entertaining in and out of the ring, Ali’s title as ‘the king’ is hard to dispute.

Sportsmen are often appreciated for their worth away from the actual sports cameras and in front of the interview cameras. Ali also excelled tremendously in this aspect, giving viewers limericks, poems, banter and some truly memorable quotes.

Arkle

Three Cheltenham Gold Cups, Two Hennessy Gold Cups, the Whitbread Gold Cup, Irish Grand National, King George VI and Gallagher Gold Cup speak for themselves. In fact, if I’d just put these accolades as the justification behind this fine horse’s inclusion on our list, it would have sufficed. But that would have been unjustifiable to Arkle, as his praise transcends justification.

As demonstrated in his career defining race in the 1965 Gallagher Gold Cup at Kempton (www.kempton.co.uk) which saw the thoroughbred soar past the 16lb lighter Mill House in just a few strides, Arkle is truly something special.

A simple YouTube clip of him in action would be enough to understand my reasoning behind Arkle being included.

Steven Gerrard

How can Steven Gerrard’s brilliance be put into words? Simply the greatest player to ever grace the Premier League, Gerrard has it all. A leader, an inspiration, a sportsman of exceptional ability and the highest calibre, Gerrard possessed an almost supernatural knack to score the greatest goals in the most important circumstances.

From his screamer against United and Fabien Barthez, to his dream strike against Olympiakos (and we all know how important that goal went on to be), to his magnificent performance in Instanbul that saw him converted as a right back while the match went on, to his super goal against West Ham in the final of the FA Cup, and many more ridiculously superb instances – Gerrard is simply the best.

Tahar Rajab is a British sports freelance writer

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XI Gifted Footballers

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When it comes to talented footballers there have been many and this XI is by no means definitive. These guys are picked for their footballing gifts rather than achievements, which means there is one or two you might not normally find in fantasy line-ups and as such, there are a few controversial omissions too. There is no denying they are amongst the best to have ever played the game. However this team, if it were to play together it would probably be considered a little temperamental. I’ve gone for a basic 4-4-2 line up, plus a keeper.

Keeper – Lev Yashin

This Polish cat between the sticks was known as the Black Spider because of his black kit and unbelievable ability. He is the only goalkeeper to have been named European footballer of the year. He played for Moscow Dynamo in the 50s and helped them to win five league titles and three cups.

Left Back – Roberto Carlos

Tough choice, but for his attacking flare, apocalyptically powerful left foot and love of a freekick he makes the starting XI. Closely pushed all the way though by Paolo Maldini who is the epitome of Italian football in his defensive solidity.

Right Back – Carlos Alberto Torres

There hasn’t been a better attacking right back in the history of football and of all those that have come close, they were copying a mould set by this guy. He also captained the 1970 World Cup winning Brazil team, you know the one? Yup that one, considered the best team of the modern era ever…

Centre Back – Lillian Thuram

Simply one of the best defenders of all time. He also scored twice for France in the 1998 World Cup 2-1 semi-final victory of Croatia after his side had gone behind. The team went on to win the tournament defeating Brazil in the final. Not bad at all.

Centre Back – Lothar Matthaus

Ok, this might be a little controversial, considering Lothar is remembered mainly as a box to box midfielder. However, he played a-plenty at the back too. And any player described by Maradona as the ‘best rival I’ve ever had’ is a shoo-in.

Centre Midfield – Franz Beckenbauer

Franz would complement Lothar impeccably creating a German spine of efficient ferocity, the two would be almost interchangeable. Nicknamed ‘Der Kaiser’ Franz is the only man to captain and manage World Cup winning sides.

Centre Midfield – Zinedine Zidane

Now for some real flair. ‘Zizou’ is arguably the greatest modern footballer. Gifted, creative, inventive and took France to World Cup (scoring twice in the final) and Euro titles in 1998 and 2000. He has been FIFA World Player of the Year three times and has also won the European Champions League. He is literally ‘the business’ and as if this wasn’t enough he came out of retirement to captain and single-handedly drag France to the 2006 World Cup Final were he scored and was then sent off. His crime was a spectacular head butt to Italian defender Marco Materazzi after he’d goaded Zindane with a lewd insult about his sister. Zidane. Is. A. Living. Legend.

Left Midfield – Garrincha

This guy was amazing. He played for Brazil in the 50s and 60s and was referred to by the people of Brazil affectionately as the ‘Joy of the People’ and the ‘Angel with Bent Legs’. A dribbler extraordinaire Garrincha was born with a deformed spine, a right leg that bent in and a left leg that was six centimetres shorter than his right. Brazil never lost when he and Pele played together. One famous moment for this footballing genius was dribbling past four defenders, beating the keeper then rather than slotting into an empty net waiting for a defender to get back, beating him again and then scoring. He was also along with Pele one of the instigators of what is often referred to as the best three minutes of football ever played, the opening of Brazil vs USSR in the 1958 World Cup Finals.

Right Midfield – Paul Gascoigne

I had to have an Englishman in the line up, and this guy is a one of, and one of the best to have ever played the game. Ok, he played centrally but I’d have him drifting in from the right. Gazza was mercurial in his style of play, able to ‘see’ the game like no one else. And who can forget the tragedy of the 1990 World Cup semi-finals where he received a yellow card and instantly began to sob at the thought of missing the final should England go through. What passion! As it turned out, they didn’t.

Forward – Pele

It’s Pele. Do I need to say anymore?

Forward – Diego Maradona

Diego had ability to burn, but was plagued by a cocaine addiction. Nevertheless his talent is undeniable and the goal he scored against England in the 1986 World Cup, the one where he dribbled past what seemed like the entire team, not the one where he punched it into the net, is among the best of all time. He captained the team to victory in the same tournament.

And that is the starting XI. What a team! As I make it there are four World Cup winning captains and at least three players with serious addiction problems… interesting. The talent, the gifts they had when the ball was at their feet is what we most closely align with them though. Icons of the game each and every one. What a beautiful game!

When not tweaking his fantasy football team John Evans contributes to the two websites Wedding Digest and Gifts Today.

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  • Author:
  • Published: Jan 31st, 2012
  • Category: Soccer
  • Comments: 2

Preparing for Each of Your Soccer Games

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English: A Stanton Junior High soccer player e...

Image via Wikipedia

When you decide that you want to play soccer, you should take the time that you need to be sure that you are safe.  There are a lot of people that get injured playing soccer and you want to take the time that you need to research how you can ensure that you are preventing soccer injuries.

First, you should be sure that you take the time that you need to understand how you are going to be wise about the way that you are going to prepare for a game.  Whether you are playing indoor soccer, outdoor soccer or street soccer you want to be sure that you are ready for the game.

To ensure that your body is ready you will want to make sure that you can stretch out your muscles.  When you are stretching you want to make sure that you are also warming up your muscles so that they are able to stretch as far as they can before you start playing.

Soccer is full of quick movements that can be very detrimental to tight muscles.  Make sure that you take the time that you need to understand how you are going to stretch out all of your muscles so that you can be sure you are able to move quickly without hurting yourself.

As you are playing soccer you will use a very specific set of muscles.  Throughout the game, you may find that you are not only using the specified set of muscles but that you also end up using all of the muscles throughout your body as you are running, twisting and turning to make a goal.

To ensure that you are able to minimize your chances of being injured, you should be sure that you are warming up.  As you stretch your muscles you will also want to lightly jog around the entire field so that you can get an increased amount of blood flow into your muscles.

Second, you should be sure that you take the time that you need to understand how you are going to dress when you play soccer.  There are a lot of people that do not realize how they are to suit up to ensure that they are safe and those that are playing with them and around them are safe.

Make sure that you take time to find a good pair of soccer cleats.  There are a lot of people that have a hard time understanding that when they are shopping for soccer cleats they will want to find the cleats that are molded or ribbed instead of the cleats that have the screw in rips.

When you are using the screw in tips you will find that you have a higher risk of injury.  The only time that these tips are going to be more beneficial than risky is when you are playing on a wet field or even a field that has tall grass and is being slippery because there is no traction.

Third, you should be sure that you are wearing shin guards.  When you are shopping for shin guards you have to make sure that you take the time that you need to find the protection for your shins that will ensure you are able to play safely without running into any problems.

As you are playing with your shin guards you have to make sure that you understand that people are going to be kicking your shins.  Throughout the soccer game you will find that people will accidentally or purposely hit your shins with their cleats and you will need the proper protection.

Fourth, you should be sure that you take the time that you need to be sure that you are wearing soccer socks.  The soccer socks that you are going to wear will ensure that the shin guards you are wearing will not slip all over your leg or even fall off when you are playing.

Make sure that you take the time that you need to understand how you are going to be wise about the way that you are preparing for each soccer game.  As you are wise about the proper preparation for your soccer games you can be sure that you are as safe as you can possibly be.

Playing street soccer is a great way to work out and keep your body healthy. Take time to play soccer consistently so that you can be sure you are enjoying your exercise.

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The State of English Football Today

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Soccer

Soccer

The English Premier League is widely regarding as one of the most competitive leagues in world football. And yet, since it’s inception in 1993 only four teams have managed to win the title: Manchester United (12 times), Arsenal and Chelsea (3 times) and Blackburn Rovers (once).

Other teams have attempted to break this domination, usually with the help of some hefty foreign financial backing, including Liverpool, Tottenham and, most recently, Manchester City. As the form begins to settle down for the 2011/2012 season the old familiar faces are appearing at the top of the table and the rest will be left fighting for scraps or desperately trying to avoid relegation.

So where do we get this complacency about our league? Is it the influx of foreign players? Perhaps. But the novelty of watching the biggest names on the international stage plying their trade at Stamford Bridge or Old Trafford has surely worn off. The effects on our national team have been well documented with no sign of a trophy to add to our 1966 World Cup. Hopes of anything appearing in the trophy cabinet any time soon will have taken a dent with our recent scrambled qualification for Euro 2012 via a 2-2 draw in Montenegro and our “star player” sent off for a loutish kick that would have been better suited to a Sunday pub team.

What is perhaps more remarkable is the fact that the collective debt of those clubs fortunate enough to enjoy life in the Premiership is a staggering £3.3 billion. This is often blamed on ridiculous transfer fees and enormous wages needed to attract the biggest names from around the world. Chelsea smashed the record to prize Fernando Torres away from Liverpool for £50 million. Spurs and, possibly future England boss, Harry Redknapp bemoaned the huge amount of money being spent on players and then tried to force Chelsea to go to £40 million to buy Luka Modric. As good a player as he is…is he really worth £40 million? So why is nothing being done to put a stop to it?

The cream of the Premiership are forever boasting about their youth squads and yet the fill them up with youngsters snapped up from abroad. Every year they farm out these “promising youngsters” either on loan deals or to the lower divisions. As long as the Premiership continues to be run in the same way as the country, piling debt upon debt as if there is no tomorrow, then nothing will change.

We have already witnessed the decline of the League Cup into a reserve team competition. The F.A. Cup is heading in the same direction as the emphasis is put on the so-called “Champions League”. It is not a league, it is a cup which is dragged out by its qualifying pool stages before the knockout stages begin. The theory goes that our home-grown talent will benefit from playing with the best on the European stage. In reality it is a gravy train for the big boys. Our best young talent has to gain experience by watching from the substitutes bench and hoping to get 20 minutes during the qualifying stages.

So what became of the good old English game? Players ankle-deep in mud, hoofing it up to the big centre-forward. Well that still exists but is the reserve of the less-fortunate teams that get to compete against the super-rich. Every now and then they will use home advantage combined with a wet and windy British winter to stun their wealthier rivals and send them packing. However, when the points are added up at the end of the season the gulf in class is clear for all to see.

So is our Premier League the best club competition in the world or is it a sell-out of our national game to the television companies and a playground for wealthy investors? You will have to draw your own conclusions.

This is a guest post written by Harvey Mayson, Harvey is a writer for libertygames.co.uk a football tables specialist.

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Public Displays of Terrible Sportsmanship

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Credit: bc-fotografie

Throughout history, many professional sports personalities have taken their competitive edge to the next level, by not being able to keep their frustrations and anger sealed. Usually, such unsavoury acts of sportsmanship are witnessed by the public eye and, as a consequence, their careers are forever tarnished. Here’s a look at the sporting personalities who have committed foul play, a heinous hack, or generally flipped out in front of the cameras for the viewing world to see.

 

Mike Tyson

This is perhaps one of the most notorious displays of terrible sportsmanship – the infamous WBA heavyweight championship match between Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield. It was to be a fight which was expected to see an end to Mike Tyson’s career, and one which neither fighter nor referee, Mills Lane, will ever forget. The first two rounds were like any other heavyweight title fight, with both men looking very hungry for the big shots and the even bigger win. There was an accidental, stray head-butt from Holyfield in the second round, cutting Tyson just above is right eye, which he didn’t take kindly too. In retaliation, Tyson resorted to feasting on of Holyfield’s ears in the third round. The bites resulted in Tyson being disqualified from the match, having his boxing license revoked and getting hit with a $3million fine, plus legal costs. During the aftermath Tyson was also very close to serving a prison sentence but got off lightly a year later when a decision was taken to restore his license.

Watch the video here

 

Zinedine Zidane

The French football superstar didn’t have the best of ends to his untarnished professional career after getting sent off in the 2006 World Cup final for assaulting Italian superstar Marco Materazzi. Zidane had already announced his plans to retire and everyone knew that the 2006 World Cup final would be the last game he ever played, but it was to be one of the most memorable of his career. Sadly it won’t be remembered for the way he gave France the lead after scoring in the first 7 minutes, but for his intentional head-butt to the chest of Marco Materazzi, after he apparently insulted his sister.

Watch the video here

 

Kevin Muskat

Football has certainly seen its fair share of fouls over the years: some accidental, some that were a result of the offending player simply losing their cool. The former Wolverhampton and Millwall star Kevin Muskat, who now plays for Australian side Melbourne Victory, had the worst end to his final season as a professional footballer after his horrific scissor kick tackle on Melbourne Hearts Adrian Zahra, which has also been hailed as one of the worst football fouls ever.

Watch the video here

 

Eric Cantona

This is one of the most notorious displays of a sports personality losing their head, which is still a talking point fifteen years on. Something that will haunt Cantona for the rest of his life. Sadly it’s the only thing people remember him for. It was to be a comment which Crystal Palace supporter, Mathew Simmons, wishes he had kept for pub banter. After Simmons supposedly made a comment about Cantona’s mum, the Manchester United super star saw red and preceded to flying kick the spectator over the side-line barrier. Cantona was banned from the game for nine months and was given community service. Simmons is still receiving threats, to this day, for causing the incident.

Watch the video here

This expose of naughty sports personalities was brought to you by Home Leisure Direct – suppliers of popular table sports equipment including air hockey, football and pool tables throughout the UK.

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