Thursday 26 April 2018

World Cup Diary: Scale of justice Over the top

There is much debate in these parts about the 56 special World Cup courts that have been running for the past three weeks. The discussion has focused around the cost effectiveness and, also, if such speed in dealing with cases and the severity of punishment will be applied when the eyes of the world are elsewhere.

Twenty-eight people have been convicted for a variety of indiscretions, some serious, others not so much.

The first gang to rob a group of journalists were landed with mammoth 15-year sentences and even those who commit relatively minor offences are getting hammered -- like the man who tried to steal a duvet from an unlocked minibus hired by a World Cup tourist, who has received 20 months in jail.

Otherwise, the 1,500 officials in these courts are mostly idle, with a cost of around €180,000 per conviction. Meanwhile, serious cases related to incidents which occurred long before the World Cup remain unheard. It doesn't add up.

mcDowell plays second fiddle

With the World Cup dominating the news and sports pages, there wasn't that much reflection on Graeme McDowell's US Open win or, perhaps more pertinently, the challenge of local boy Ernie Els.

Most of the main newspapers carried the reports from US-based press agencies, which means the focus is on the American stars who didn't win rather than Ireland's latest Major champion.

The event was covered live here on one of the seven Supersports Channels, but it was American production packaged for overseas. The commentators spent most of the final round predicting McDowell's demise, before his calm play on the 18th hole silenced them once and for all.

Wish you were here

Mark viduka


He may be past his best, but the Aussies have lacked a target-man in this tournament, with Viduka's contribution central to a strong showing four years ago in Germany. They've struggled to replace him and even a half-fit version might have been of some use here. Alas, he has retired from the game after attempts to coax him back failed.

afrikaan word of the day


Boring, or lacking excitement. While some of the early games were quite 'morne', it's improved, with the notable exception of England's draw with Algeria.

bet of the day

Slovenia to beat England @ 7/1.

Fabio Capello's men should really get over themselves and prove too strong. But 7/1 is an insulting price on the evidence of Slovenia's first two games.

Irish Independent

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