Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 29th 2014 Contents A56
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt June 29, 2014
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PORT OF SPAIN
COLIN EH CROFT
At times last week, especially Thursday, I was
very positive while being also sure that I was still
fully alive and kicking, that my entire sporting life
was being levitated upwards way past purgatory.
On Thursday, Fifa World Cup football featured USA
versus Germany, Ghana vs Portugal, Belgium vs South
Korea and Russia vs Algeria, final matches of initial
Group Stage of this year’s competition, all relevant
matches, as teams either wanted to win to avoid others,
or to qualify for the knockout stage.
It was also day one of the crucial third and final
Test under revamped ICC overseen series, featuring
West Indies and New Zealand at Kensington Oval in
Barbados, the 50th Test there, with WI again doing
spectacularly well, dismissing the Kiwis for 293 before
close of the day’s play, after the visitors, winning the
toss, had batted first.
Fighting for television recognition and visual impor-
tance too this World Cup season was perhaps the best
tennis tournament around, LTA’s 2014 tennis com-
petition at Wimbledon, England.
This must be the closest anyone alive could have
come to whatever they would call “sporting heaven!”
I am also sure that you would know that I had said
repeatedly that in the wide world of sports, I enjoy
football, boxing, athletics, cricket, cycling and grid-
iron football, in that exact six-pack order.
I even had to hear that my favourite sporting lady
of all time, Serena Williams, had done similarly well
in London last Thursday, as I had no time to spare
to see her, not wanting to miss any football or crick-
Fifa World Cup Brazil has been sensational, and we
have had only two weeks of competition. The next
two weeks could be totally out of this world but less
adventurous, considering qualifying teams for round
of 16, and remembering too that, onwards, it is simply
win or go home.
Everyone, especially progressing players, all of us
too, needed that rest day on Friday, to catch our col-
lective breaths. Amazingly, there were 136 goals in 48
games from initial stage in Brazil. Whew!
I started Fifa World Cup thinking that Germany
would win it all in Brazil, with outside bets on Portugal
and Italy, but with hopes that Germany would meet
Argentina in the final come July 13.
Italy and Portugal are gone but “Orange Brigade”
Holland, “Yellow Band” Brazil, surprising “Blues”
France, plus flying, tough Chileans, Columbians,
Uruguayans, Costa Ricans and Mexicans, and more
gritty and mature Swiss, Germans, Belgians and Argen-
tinians, are still around, looking for more glory!
USA, along with first time to the second-round-
stage highest FIFA-ranked African nation Algeria,
another African nation, Nigeria, and Greece; four
probable spoilers; had also qualified for the knock-
out stage. Look out for all sorts of fireworks, caginess
and upsets this coming week, starting yesterday.
On the Luis Suarez’s “biting” situation, I reiterate.
As suggested when he bit Chelsea player Branislav
Ivanovic in 2013, I am sure that if Suarez was playing
against the West Indies team that I played in and he,
Suarez, bit anyone, then I guarantee that he would
have no more “problem” after that. He would never
have bitten anyone, nor anything again after that
since, if not dead, he certainly would have been badly
wounded and toothless.
Anyway, it is extremely pleasant, sobering even, to
understand and appreciate how well Concacaf has
done, with Costa Rica, USA and Mexico still repre-
senting us to better things. Only Honduras failed.
No-one will say it now, perhaps never, as we in
these parts forget quickly, but most of that opportunity
for an added team of Concacaf is thanks to that extra
half-place made possible by former Fifa vice president
Austin “Jack” Warner.
When Germany played USA, I was not like President
Obama, viewing the game from Air Force 1 but Trotters
Sports Bar in Port of Spain provided similar ambiance
for this adopted son of USA.
I expected Germany, so vastly superior, to win but
also hoped that USA would qualify. So it emerged.
Great empathy for Ghana’s elimination, after
they had salvaged a massive draw versus Germany,
best game of the tournament so far, while being
aggrieved at not being paid. If only Ghana could
have had the same commitment, passion, and
fitness against an improved Portugal.
Maybe, Ghana was just mentally spent but
one wonders how could Ghana’s football admin-
istrators be so inept and self-centered, not realising
that their guys represented 25 million Ghanaians?
With no trust for their administrators, it is
little wonder that Ghanaian players demanded
their US$3 million payments owed to them in
Meantime, at Kensington, lanky Sulieman
Benn bowled his heart out again for WI, taking
five NZ first innings wickets for 93 runs from
26.2 probing overs.
Fast bowler Jerome Taylor looked stale but
opening bowling partner Kemar Roach operated
much better, at least keeping most deliveries up,
inviting drives, thus getting 4-61 from 18 cred-
By the time you read this, WI should have a
sizable lead over NZ, looking for that series win,
while Brazil and Uruguay could have been elim-
inated too. Anything is possible in Brazil and
Our world is in sporting heaven
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