- World Cup games ‘under threat’ from match-fixing syndicates?
- The Guardian names ‘Top 100 World Cup stars’
- Rooney, Drogba, Fabregas, Toure reveal World Cup dreams
- Professor Steven Hawking predicts England’s top World Cup goalscorer
Match-fixers to target World Cup Group Stage?
The 2014 World Cup in Brazil is just days away, but fears that the games could be targeted by match fixers have appeared today, with the news that Nigeria’s friendly with Scotland on Wednesday was flagged up by the National Crime Agency.
Match fixers were reportedly targeting the African side’s World Cup warm-up game, and FIFA’s head of security Ralf Mutschke has said that he cannot give Brazil 2014 a clean bill of health, saying that the last round of group games are in danger.
According to Mutschke, who spoke to the BBC, the following is all true:
- Certain teams and groups have already been identified as vulnerable to fixers
- The last round of group matches, involving teams with nothing to play for, are most in danger
- Warm-up games are also under threat
- Fixers have already approached players and referees
- The fix of choice will focus on the number of goals in a match
FIFA have been working for the past two years to prevent the tournament from being effected by fixers, with Mutshke heading up the operation.
Zizou, Pele and Maradona in Guardian’s ‘Best 100’
Meanwhile, ‘The Guardian’ have released their 100 greatest World Cup players, with Pele, Diego Maradona and Zinedine Zidane making it into the top 10.
The list was formulated with the help of World Cup legends Zico and Lothar Matthäus, and is certainly fun reading ahead of kickoff in South America on June 12th.
Rooney aims low in ‘World Cup Dream’ campaign
Some of the World Cup’s biggest stars have revealed their individual dreams for the summer tournament, with the likes of Wayne Rooney, Cesc Fabregas and Didier Drogba taking part in a 15-part video series for the BBC.
Rooney, one of the great hopes for England, was quite conservative with his dream, in which he merely wishes to entertain the English fans, and make his country proud.
The Manchester United striker came under criticism from former teammate Paul Scholes this week, who said that Rooney should and could be dropped if he ‘is not up to scratch in the warm-up games or in the first World Cup match against Italy’.
You can imagine that another personal dream of Wayne’s is now to prove Scholes wrong!
Hawking backs Daniel Sturridge
Finally, the world famous theoretical physicist Professor Steven Hawking has he believes England’s top scorer at the tournament will be.
The scientist has been working with the BBC to provide a statistical look at the upcoming World Cup campaign, and claims that Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge is the most likely to be among the goals in Brazil, with Wayne Rooney bearing the pressure of not having scored in the previous two World Cups he has been involved in.
Professor Hawking told Newsnight:
“It’s clearly between Rooney and Sturridge. I’m going to say Sturridge. You don’t need to be a great mathematician to work this out. If you look at goals per minute in this year’s Premier League then Sturridge scores once every 108 minutes, compared to Rooney once every 144 minutes.
“The ratios were similar last season. In addition to this, I think psychological factors will be on Sturridge’s side. He is in the form of his life and Rooney is playing with the albatross of never scoring in the World Cup finals around his neck.”
Read more: Soccerlens’ World Cup News