Friday, March 31, 2006

World Cup fever

or not. there is not much of it here, to be sure. Earlier this week, Spain's 6th free to air analogue channel, la sexta, launched (the 2nd such channel this year. not much sign of an analogue switch off here, mrs jowell) with the astonishing news that it had won the rights to show half of the 64 world cup games with the other half being shown on digital canal+.

had this happened in the UK - ie none of the games on the established channels - pages 1,2,3 etc would have been cleared and questions asked in the house. here? it barely made page 25 of the sports paper. how many people will actually see the games on la sexta is another question. we get a very bad picture here and the channel is offering a free aerial booster to all block of flats . how and when it will get done i dont know.

The causes of world cup apathy are two fold. first, too much energy goes into supporting club teams for there to be any left over for the national side. second, spain are diabolical underperformers at the world cup. they nearly always qualify but never get past the quarter final. ranked sixth in the world, this explains their odds of 12-1.

of course other factors apply in barcelona. we are, er, not actually in spain as far as many are concerned, while with Xavi still injured, we may see Spain take the field with just one Barca player, the monumental Puyol, or the same number as Mexico, Portugal, Brazil, Argentina ...

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