Sunday 22 April 2018

World Cup Diary: Sepp dogged by airline ruse

THEY may love the World Cup in South Africa, but they sure don't love FIFA. Fifa's attempts to stifle any companies that aren't official sponsors of the tournament have resulted in catastrophic failure, particularly the incident at the Holland-Denmark game which has made Bavaria, and not Budweiser, the most talked about beer in these parts.

And it gets better. Low-fares airline Kulula ran into trouble for advertising themselves as the 'Unofficial National Carrier of the You-Know-What', which set off the FIFA watchdogs, perhaps with some reason. Kulula responded by placing an ad offering free travel to Sepp Blatter for the rest of the games.

There was no response from Sepp, but there was a response from a dog. Specifically, the owners of a Boston Terrier who changed their canine's name to Sepp Blatter and took up the offer.

Kulula, sensing the positive publicity, accepted, so the lucky mutt will be jetting around over the next few weeks. "He's really quite cute and well behaved," said a Kulula spokesman. Already, he's got a head start on the FIFA President.

french wounds to endure

THERE is no escape. No matter how much you try and 'get over' the manner in which Ireland missed out on the World Cup, any drama involving the French guarantees that the entire affair will be dragged back up again.

When the scale of the collapse in the French camp emerged on Sunday, the Gallic radio contingent received calls from their respective offices to seek out anyone Irish they could find. One tentative request queried if it would be possible to stage a group of visiting Irish journalists laughing.

Alas, they failed to secure that money shot. But having met two Iranians who, nine years on, associate Ireland with the misses by Ali Karimi in the World Cup play-off first leg -- which might have sent them to Korea & Japan -- it's dubious if time really is a healer. C'est la vie..

Wish you were here

nicolas anelka


Considering he managed to start the tournament, it's quite an achievement for Nicolas to make an appearance in this column. He's always been a complicated chap, but it's still hard to believe what's occurred, particularly when he was one of the few French players who performed against Ireland when others went missing.

afrikaan word of the day


An expression of surprise. Can be used in any variety of situations. "Yoh, that English player actually managed to pass the ball successfully to another one." That kind of thing.

bet of the day

Argentina (-1) v Greece @ 17/10

Even if Maradona rests a few of his stars, the back-up can still dismiss a poor Greek side with a bit to spare.

Irish Independent

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