The Five Billion Person Party

Notes of a wandering American soccer fan

Archive for June, 2009

Green wrist bands = game over

Posted by steigs on June 23, 2009

During these days of turmoil in Iran, six Iranian national teamers wore green wristbands during their recent World Cup qualifier against South Korea in Seoul (a 1-1 tie).  A high profile way to show support for those demonstrating against the apparently rigged election.  After all, Iranian tv had to show the qualifier, right?

Knew there’d be some payback didn’t you?  The Guardian:

According to the pro-government newspaper Iran, four players – Ali Karimi, 31, Mehdi Mahdavikia, 32, Hosein Ka’abi, 24 and Vahid Hashemian, 32 – have been “retired” from the sport after their gesture in last Wednesday’s match against South Korea in Seoul.

They were among six players who took to the field wearing wristbands in the colour of the defeated opposition candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, which has been adopted by demonstrators who believe the 12 June election was stolen.

Most of the players obeyed instructions to remove the armwear at half-time, but Mahdavikia wore his green captain’s armband for the entire match. The four are also said to have been banned from giving media interviews.

The fate of the other two players who wore the wristbands is unknown. None of the team members were given back their passports upon returning to Tehran after the match, which ended in a 1-1 draw – a result that ended Iran’s hopes of qualifying for next year’s tournament.

I’d like to see other footballers wear green wristbands in solidarity with their courageous fellow players.  Be a great gesture at the Confederations Cup, particularly given the resonance of South Africa as an example for peaceful political evolution.


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The Kun-Maradona-Riquelme situation

Posted by steigs on June 23, 2009

Otherwise known as “When life imitates Dream Team, Argentina National Team edition.”  Courtesy of Kickette:

Kun [Aguero]  was a nat’l team regular until earlier this month when he was benched for the Argentina NT loss to Ecuador.

– Instead of seeking solace with his fiancée, or spending all his free time dribbling a football, he visited a night club in the Palermo district of Buenos Aires the evening of June 10. He was wearing a black shirt and white cap. Neither of which, we suspect, were his best clothing options.

– Reports say he was accompanied by a blonde. And dancing with a blonde. And leaving – via the back door at 5 a.m. – with a blonde.

– The club PR person confirmed the baller spotting and dance floor antics.

– Kun’s gal, Giannina is definitely not blonde. Neither is their son, Benjamin or her father, Diego Maradona.

– We’re gonna say with 99.9% certainty that the Aguero family tree does not include any blondes either. 

– Rumors swirl and eventually land on Pia Martinez, a topless Argentinean model. She once dated Real Madrid’s Gago but after a video tape of them having sex popped
up, they broke it off. She claims a case of “always blaming the naked chick”
and denies the stories. She says after her rendezvous, publicly and privately, with Gago, “no guys will touch” her.

First, if her pictures are accurate, I refuse to believe that “no guys will touch” Pia Martinez.  More importantly, you’d think if you would marry Maradona’s daughter, you wouldn’t mess around with her — let alone when Diego is the national team coach.  Hmm.  Though it does sound like the kind of thing Maradona would have done back in his day.  A case of do as I say, not as I did…

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