Torres, with a tremendous personal effort, put Spain on top and left them the Champions of Europe for 2008. They deserved the win over Germany and earned the Championship with a fantastic performance throughout the entire tournament. While it had been a long time coming, this current crop of Spanish players, so ably coached by Luis Aragonés, proved that quality and great attacking football is fun to watch and also the way to win.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Mexico qualified with their win on PKs over Costa Rica for the FIFA U20 Women's World Cup in Chile later this year in November. Along with Mexico, the USA and Canada had already qualified by making it to the Championship game, which was finally won by Canada 1-0. Watch the 3 teams celebrate their success. The CONCACAF Championship has been played in Puebla, Mexico.
P.S. I am Chairman of the FIFA event in Chile. See you there.
Logan Blazer debuted during the World Cup in Germany in 2006. This week he turned 2 during another major international tournament, the Euro 2008. I had planned on being in Vienna, but some dental issues kept me grounded and, on the plus side, I was able to share day of celebration with Logan in Connecticut.
It was a really special day with all the grandchildren and great nieces and nephews gathered together while Jason conducted a masterful barbecue.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Rips Mugabe as 'Tragic Failure'
(Blogger's note: It is the time that everyone joins Nelson Mandela in condemning the democratic failure in Zimbabwe and the brutality of Mugabe and his followers... Chuck Blazer)
LONDON (Post Wire Services) - Nelson Mandela lashed out at Robert Mugabe's oppressive and corrupt government yesterday, in his first public comments on the crisis in Zimbabwe.
The former South African president, addressing a dinner gathering in London, where he's celebrating his 90th birthday, said there is a "tragic failure of leadership" in Zimbabwe.
Mandela had been criticized for his failure to condemn the regime of Mugabe - who, like him, was a black revolutionary leader who replaced a white minority government.
Also yesterday, Queen Elizabeth II stripped the tyrannical Mugabe of his ceremonial knighthood, in a highly unusual move meant to show Britain's revulsion at his violent regime.
The queen acted on the advice of Foreign Secretary David Miliband, who said Mugabe should have the royal honor revoked because of widespread bloodshed and intimidation of Zimbabwe's opposition leader and party members before the presidential runoff tomorrow.
Britain, the former colonial ruler of Zimbabwe, and the United States have said they won't recognize the election results because opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has withdrawn his name in order to stop the violence.
Mugabe was appointed Knight Grand Cross in the Order of Bath in 1994.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown said that Britain no longer recognized Mugabe as Zimbabwe's legitimate leader.
"This action has been taken as a mark of revulsion at the abuse of human rights and abject disregard for the democratic process in Zimbabwe over which President Mugabe has presided," Britain's Foreign Office said.
Independent human-rights groups say 90 people have died and tens of thousands have been displaced from their homes since Tsvangirai won the first round of the presidential election on March 29, but did not gain an outright majority.
Tsvangirai, who withdrew his name from the ballot on Sunday, has taken refuge at the Dutch Embassy in the capital city of Harare.
Yesterday, he said the outcome of the final vote would not be accepted either by Zimbabweans or the world and called for the African Union, backed by the United Nations, to intervene.
Mugabe, 84, is now certain to be elected to extend his 28-year rule.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu also called for peacekeepers to be sent to Zimbabwe.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Little did I know that as I wrote my blog about Charlie Dempsey less than four weeks ago while we were at the FIFA Congress in Sydney, that it would be the last time I would see my jovial Scottish friend alive. I am glad that the occasion was a happy one and that the memory I will carry of Charlie was of his gratitude that he had been recognized by me for the single act of causing the 2006 World Cup to be played in Germany.
Early this morning I received the advice that at the age of 86, Charlie had passed away and was being remembered by all his friends with a smile and a wink in their eyes.
Charlie, I wish you many rounds of perfect Golf, my friend, and may your glass never be short of Guinness.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
This week in New York has been focused on the launch of the CONCACAF Champions League.
Two major events will take place this week. The draw of the teams for the Preliminary and Group Phases of the Tournament and the development of the game schedule consistent with their league schedules, broadcasting requirements and sporting criteria.
Along with this we have outfitted our Television Studios with a new Virtual Set, which can be used for many future programming opportunities. The installation of it and testing with tools needed to do the draw has been a rigorous time with these processes overlapping on each other. Nonetheless, by tomorrow morning, Wednesday, we will be ready to produce the draw recorded in our studios and then send out to the media visual images of the draw and the result of the Preliminary pairings while we retire to two days of work to make the draw done for the group stages meet all the stakeholders requirements. That Round's results will be distributed on Monday after all broadcasters and league's have been able to confirm the value of our efforts.
Monday, June 9, 2008
The finals turned out to be an extraordinary experience. The CONCACAF Futsal tournament in Guatemala for the qualifying for FIFA's Futsal World Cup later this year in Brazil, climaxed in one of the most exciting finishes and celebrations. Let me share with you some of the passion that is part of my job and life...
Sunday, June 8, 2008
Governor of New Jersey John Corzine (far left) and Chuck Blazer (far right), bearded brothers, talk about the World Cup and the enthusiasm that Government officials have in supporting a potential bid for 2018. A brand new marquee stadium is now under construction adjacent to Giants Stadium that would be a jewel in any bid as the classic football stadium. U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati (left) and New York Soccer President Sal Rapaglia (right) looked on as the bearded enthusiasts talked in glowing terms about the new environment for Soccer in America. Both U.S. Senators, Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez were also prominent in their attendance at the sold out USA v Argentina match played tonight.
The match was the highlight of the night. The USA earned their point with good, positive attractive football and 0-0 draw against Number One ranked Argentina. It was a full house at Giants stadium of 78,862 in a great bipartisan atmosphere and matched by exciting play for 90 minutes on the turf. This was a good night for U.S. Soccer and a good night towards 2018. No one can deny the enormous potential of the USA as a great host.
Saturday, June 7, 2008
Raccoons are normally not seen around the park in the daytime. The night, with their sparkling eyes, is their domain. Recently Rocky has gotten very bold and has been raiding the trash receptacles on a daily basis in front of people. Today we got to catch a picture of him in the act and then running off to enjoy his conquest in private.
Unlike Rocky, Max has to work for his lunch and along with the many musicians and street performers in Central Park on a Saturday, Max lends song and dance to a musical troop who have owned that corner of the park for decades.
Rewarded as any good bird should be, Max is treated to a street side cafe with Mary Lynn and me at Rue 57. A lovely bistro at the corner of 57th Street and the Avenue of the Americas, Max takes full advantage of his perch and sips some water, enjoys the pasta and eats banana and berries for dessert. He is a great lunch companion and thrills all the children, both young and old who find him eating out on a Saturday afternoon.
The last time I saw Ken Naganuma we exchange big hugs which reflected the true friendship and admiration we shared over the years of service in FIFA and with the World Cup in Japan.
Ken was the man, with a wonderful facility for English, who made his warm and friendly presence amongst the FIFA family a symbol of Japan's hospitality and graciousness.
It was very sad news to hear that our friend succumb to pneumonia last week at the age of 77.
Sunday, June 1, 2008
The organizational skills of FIFA are unparalleled. When it comes to the organization of events, no one does it better. The Draw for the Women's U-17 World Cup New Zealand 2008, held tonight in Wellington was no different. Impeccable organization and a hosting and local organizing committee who were up to the task and added those special touches to make the event uniquely Kiwi.
The videos here are not about the draw but about the elements around it. My welcome speech, music to entertain us, dance to fascinate us, a press conference to inform us and a tradition Maori challenge as they led us to the official banquet. Enjoy them. They were fun.
The actual draw conducted by Jim Brown and Tatiana Haenni was perfectly explained and well executed. Congratulations to all who made this possible.