Recent posts in my Football Category

October 20, 2012

Maybe the time has come for football’s black power salute?

Maybe the time has come for football’s black power salute moment. However uncomfortable it will be.

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October 14, 2012

The vexing issue of managing football comments on a newspaper website

On Friday I was involved in a Twitter conversation with Guardian journalists Sean Ingle and Sid Lowe about the value of comments underneath football stories on newspaper websites.

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June 20, 2012

A Euro2012 victory for the Guardian’s live blogging tools

The Guardian hit an exciting milestone last night with our Euro2012 coverage - the first time that an England game has been live blogged using our new system.

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May 14, 2012

The Premier League finale brought out Twitter’s churlish side

The climax of the Premier League brought out an astonishing display of churlishness amongst non-footie fans on Twitter.

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November 27, 2011

Gary Speed

Like many people today I was shocked by the awful news of Gary Speed’s death. I watched him play for Leeds United nearly every game of their 1991-92 campaign that saw them win the title.

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September 16, 2010

Infographic: The futility of the Europa League

I've been talking and writing a lot recently about data driven journalism and data visualisations, and how there is no point doing it for the sake of it, but that you should do it to tell a story. And so I thought I'd try my hand at one. I want to tell you a story about the futility of the UEFA Europa League.

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August 13, 2010

Strictly Championship and below for me this season

The Guardian has launched a new blog to cover The Football League, at the same time as I am trying a thought experiment in ignoring the Premiership, and hoping it goes away...

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July 12, 2010

Pundits and predictions...the World Cup according to the English press

To celebrate the end of the World Cup, I've made a short video which shows English newspaper front pages going from declaring that England had an "E.A.S.Y." draw, to saying that the players have let their country down. Along the way, it seems like a psychic octopus was outperforming the nation's football pundits. And none of them offered to resign either...

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February 27, 2010

The Sun relying on 'copyright thieves' Google and Yahoo! for their Wrightys XI campaign

Despite Murdoch's stance that search engines steal his newspaper's content, The Sun are using search keywords as the main marketing thrust for their 2010 FIFA World Cup competition.

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February 1, 2010

Page Three plugs 3D

The Sun was plugging Sky's experimental live football 3D service - even on Page Three!

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January 29, 2010

African Cup of Nations online coverage review: Part 4 - British and American online newspapers

I started this series looking at some of the British press coverage in print of the African Cup of Nations, and today I wanted to look a little bit further at online coverage in the main papers. My impression - and this is an unscientific one - is that there has been more coverage of the tournament than in previous years. I think this is in part because it allows news organisations to gear up for covering another football...
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January 28, 2010

African Cup of Nations online coverage review: Part 3 - African newspapers

I've been looking at online coverage of the African Cup of Nations, and yesterday I was looking at newspapers in four of the countries taking part - hosts Angola, alongside papers from Algeria, Cameroon and Egypt. Today I've got some screengrabs and notes from the online newspaper coverage of three other African nations - all of whom reached at least the quarter-finals. Ghana The Daily Graphic has its roots in the British Mirror group, and is now state-owned. Their...
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January 27, 2010

African Cup of Nations online coverage review: Part 2 - African newspapers

In the second part of this series looking at coverage of the 2010 African Cup of Nations, I have reviews of online news sources from four of the nations taking part: Angola, Algeria, Cameroon and Egypt.

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January 26, 2010

African Cup of Nations online coverage review: Part 1 - UK

During the course of this year's African Cup of Nations tournament in Angola, I've been reviewing news coverage in the UK and in Africa itself. In the first part of this series, I look at how, before a ball was kicked, the terrorist attack on the Togo team made print front pages in the UK.

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January 5, 2010

Evening Standard fails African Cup Of Nations geography test

Whilst the Evening Standard gets confused about whether the African Cup Of Nations is being held in Angola or Ghana, The Guardian is making available an open public sporting events calendar which knows for sure.

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December 7, 2009

Africa in the FIFA World Cup: Part 6 - The noughties and beyond...

Part 6 of this series looks at the 2002 and 2006 World Cups, and the prospects for African teams now that the 2010 draw has been finalised.

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December 4, 2009

Africa in the FIFA World Cup: Part 5 - The nineties

Today, preparations for South Africa hosting the 2010 World Cup reach a new peak with the draw for the opening group stages in Cape Town. To mark the occasion, all this week I've been blogging about the history of African nations competing in sport's most prestigious competition - from Egypt in 1934, through the wilderness years, to an increased African presence during the seventies and eighties. Today it is the turn of the nineties, and a focus on the...
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December 3, 2009

Africa in the FIFA World Cup: Part 4 - The eighties

With the draw for the 2010 World Cup Finals in South Africa taking place tomorrow, this week I've been blogging about the history of African teams taking part in the finals. So far I've looked at the thirties, the wilderness years and the seventies.      Today it is the turn of the eighties, with a look at the tournaments held in Spain and Mexico. Africa in the FIFA World Cup: España '82 The 1982 World Cup Finals were the...
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December 2, 2009

Africa in the FIFA World Cup: Part 3 - The seventies

On Friday, in a no doubt over-long and over-complicated ceremony with lots of mentions of complicated factors like 'national co-efficient', the draw will be made for the 2010 World Cup Finals. Africa will be represented by hosts South Africa alongside Algeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Nigeria. It wasn't always the case that Africa had so many spots in the finals. Over the last couple of days I've been posting about the history of African teams in the Finals,...
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December 1, 2009

Africa in the FIFA World Cup: Part 2 - The wilderness years

On Friday, the draw will be held for the first World Cup Finals to be held on African soil. To celebrate, I've been looking at the history of African teams taking part in the world's biggest sporting tournament. Yesterday I started with a look at the 1930s, when Egypt became the first African team to take part in a World Cup Finals in Italy in 1934. When the tournament resumed after the interruption of the Second World War, it...
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November 30, 2009

Africa in the FIFA World Cup: Part 1 - The thirties

Africa in the FIFA World Cup
A series of posts looking at the history of African teams appearing in the World Cup, from Egypt in 1934 to South Africa hosting in 2010.

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November 20, 2009

"Thierry Henry and the net" piece on Guardian PDA blog

Having gone on and on and on about comments on The Guardian site this week, I was a little bit nervous what might happen 'below the line' on a piece I wrote for the PDA Blog yesterday: "Thierry Henry and the net: Fifa report whitewash and anger on Twitter". In the end I seem to have got away with just a couple of comments along the lines of 'Journalist gets paid to write article that claims people discuss current affairs...
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November 18, 2009

"1966 and all that..." - Contrasting England's 1966 and 2018 World Cup bids

Tonight we'll be finding out the final qualifiers for next year's World Cup Finals in South Africa. Press attention has also been focused on England's bid to host the 2018 or 2022 edition of the tournament. Personally, I'm of the opinion that the reason FIFA abandoned their continental rotation system and introduced this double round of bidding was because they didn't get to go on lots of exotic junkets during the bidding process for 2010 and 2014. Imagine the...
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October 23, 2009

Twitter - dangerous hunting ground for paedophiles. And The Sun's football correspondents

Given that today's front page article described Twitter as 'a free and easy hunting ground for paedophiles seeking to lure kids for sex', was it the best timing for The Sun's North East football correspondent Steve Brenner to be opening lots of new accounts on a service where his paper says 'pornographic pictures of young girls are also freely available'?...
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October 8, 2009

So was it the Express or The Sun that 'saved' the England game?

I suggested earlier in the week that as part of the marketing operation, the UK's national newspapers might be giving digital sports rights agency Perform an easy ride over their decision to make England's World Cup game with Ukraine available only via pay-per-view Internet streaming. I didn't realise that some of them would be promoting their non-exclusive involvement in an affiliate selling scheme as if it was God's own gift to the England football fan. I'm sure Geoff Marsh...
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October 6, 2009

Revenue share deal spikes newspaper guns about England's pay-per-view Internet World Cup qualifier

The confirmation that England's World Cup match against Ukraine will only be available pay-per-view on the Internet reminds me of 2000, when an away game against Finland was only available on short-lived and obscure pay TV service u>direct. Perform, the rights holders this time around, have made a shrewd move in allowing newspaper websites to sell the game on a revenue share basis. Whilst I'm not suggesting filthy lucre has unduly influenced editorial decisions, it is certainly a lot...
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September 22, 2009

The Guardian's children's comics: Part 2 - Roy of the Rovers

Last week The Guardian and The Observer published a series of reproduction comics from the 1970s and 1980s, and yesterday I blogged about some of the transformations they illustrated in the relationship between reader and publisher. Today I want to focus on examples from the 19th December 1981 issue of Roy Of The Rovers. The 'team chart' One of the weekly features of Roy Of The Rovers was a chart for you to fill in to track your team's progress....
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September 5, 2009

In praise of Wikpedia's football coverage

When the English language version of Wikipedia recently passed the 3 million article mark with an entry about a Norwegian soap star, Andrew Keen was moved to tweet that he didn't know whether to laugh or cry. But there are some things that Wikipedia does much better than any 'real' news organisation. The European qualifying for next year's FIFA World Cup in South Africa includes some complicated maths about teams finishing second in their group qualifying for a play-off, but...
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August 26, 2009

Celtic fans take over Kings Cross Underground noticeboards

For a while today, Celtic fans managed to redecorate Kings Cross Underground Station with their own take on the important information they needed to know about getting to Arsenal's Emirates Stadium for their Champions League play-off tie. At first glance I thought it was an example of London Underground being extra helpful to visiting fans to London, but I soon realised that the poster had been put together by fans of the Queen's Celtic themselves (© Fivers passim) This was...
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June 13, 2009

Is peer-to-peer streaming of international football showing the game a new revenue model?

When I lived in Greece it was sometimes a bit hit and miss whether I got to see England games. The time difference meant they were on late in the evening, and often there were competing fixtures of more local interest, or featuring Denmark, Sweden or Norway, from where a great deal of tourists to Chania originated. It meant that during England's doomed attempt to qualify for Euro2008 I got used to the UEFA live match centre, and relied...
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June 12, 2009

Wembley on the web: Part 2 - The FA Cup Final online from Sky Sports and the BBC

Yesterday I started blogging about some of my thoughts on the live online coverage provided for the FA Cup Final between Chelsea and Everton, with a look at the websites of the two channels showing the game live, Setanta and ITV. Today I wanted to look at two networks who no longer have the rights to broadcast the game - Sky Sports and the BBC. Photo by umbrofootball Sky Sports For Sky Sports it must be a major irritation...
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June 11, 2009

Wembley on the web: Part 1 - The FA Cup Final online from ITV and Setanta

Like much of the male half of the country, on Saturday 30th May I shunned the Cup Final weather to sit in a darkened pub and actually watch the Cup Final. Unlike most, I suspect, I picked a pub with wifi so that I could also monitor the live web coverage of the game from the UK's major broadcasters. Photo by umbrofootball ITV ITV had a big-hitting line-up on Saturday, but when you visited during the game, the...
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May 17, 2009

Leeds United play-off #fail. Again.

I'm still smarting from Leeds United's failure to reach the League One Play-Off Final, after losing to Millwall on aggregate this week. On Friday thelondonpaper published a selection of online messages from fans including this one: "Billy Bremner, Nora Batty, Arthur Scargill, Kaiser Chiefs, Karen Matthews, Peter Sutcliffe, Jermaine Beckford...YOUR BOYS TOOK ONE HELL OF A BEATING!" As a parody of this famous moment of football commentary I'm sure it worked great on the forums. Reproduced in print though?...
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May 15, 2009

'Local Newspaper Week' - Being local...

This week has been, according to the Newspaper Society, 'Local Newspaper Week'. It seemed like an opportune moment to blog about some of the things I've noticed about my local newspapers since I moved to Muswell Hill. I've been collecting clippings and pictures of the Muswell Hill Journal and Ham & High Broadway since October, and so far this week I've blogged about advertising, some of the issues around local democracy and the potential impact of the local council's own...
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April 19, 2009

West Ham away shirt design #FAIL

It is always small things that are telling, and if ever there was evidence that the replica kit culture of the modern football game has become truly absurd, it was events yesterday at Villa Park. It used to be that your second 'change' strip was only worn when a clash of colours meant that you were forced to change. Nowadays, the 'away' kit is trotted out most games when you are away from home, for merchandise familiarity, rather than any...
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April 1, 2009

FIFA 2010 World Cup qualifying website review - Ukraine

During the course of the qualifying campaign for the 2010 South African World Cup, I've been reviewing the websites of England and the other teams in their group. I counted Croatia as 'done' by virtue of reviewing their website for Euro2008, and I counted England as 'done' because I reviewed the FA website back in September. It turns out that England have redesigned not just their kit but their website since then, and I suspect the Croatia review is...
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March 29, 2009

Stan Collymore scores with me on Twitter

Part of the recent buzz around Twitter in the UK has been driven by the adoption of the service by celebrities. Some of them have been using it as a pure broadcast medium, but there are also some examples of fantastic audience interaction there, and people who seem to be real naturals with the medium. One of them is Stan Collymore. Since he retired from football he has often been a controversial figure, but I've been totally impressed with the...
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March 28, 2009

FIFA 2010 World Cup qualifying website review - Wales

During the course of this World Cup Qualifying campaign, I've been reviewing the Football Association websites of England and their opponents. And when England haven't been involved in competitive action, I've been looking at the websites of the other 'home' nations. So far I've looked at Scotland and Northern Ireland, and today it is the turn of Wales. Wales have a crunch match this afternoon against Finland. Anything other than a win is almost certain to consign the Welsh...
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March 17, 2009

The mobile web's penalty shoot-out - Nokia N95 vs iPhone

Last Wednesday Arsenal's Champions League tie against Roma went to penalties - but the real shoot-out for me was in the Crown & Sceptre pub on Foley Street, between @solle's iPhone and my Nokia N95. It was 'London IA in the Pub' night, but Matthew and I were a little distracted by the game. Once it went to extra-time we nearly ducked out to a nearby pub that had Sky, but instead we ended up watching the penalty shoot-out in...
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March 2, 2009

"Nous sommes Leeds"

I'll be going to the pub tonight to watch Oldham Athletic against my Leeds United, in what used to be known as the Third Division. The last time I watched this fixture being played at Boundary Park, it was 1992, I was actually there, and the game was in the top flight. It was memorable for a couple of reasons.Firstly it was one of the few games that Leeds lost that season, as they went on to win the last...
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February 11, 2009

FIFA 2010 World Cup qualifying website review - Northern Ireland

Over the course of England's qualifying matches for the 2010 World Cup, I've been reviewing the websites of the FA and those of England's opposition. I've also been looking at the sites of the other 'home nations', using the friendly against Argentina in November as an excuse to peek at the SFA site. Whilst most national teams are playing friendlies this week, Northern Ireland are actually in World Cup action against San Marino, and so I thought I'd look...
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November 19, 2008

FIFA 2010 World Cup qualifying website review - Scotland

During the course of this year's World Cup Qualifiers, I've been looking at the FA websites of the countries that England have been playing. With it being an international friendly night, inspired by a comment from 'Uncle Wilco', I thought I'd look at the website of one of the other 'Home Nations'. Earlier in the year, when the Scottish FA were consulting with their fans over whether the expense of bringing Argentina to play in Glasgow was worth it,...
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October 26, 2008

Gelsenkirchen's scruffy World Cup legacy

A lot has been made of how the 2012 London Olympics will leave a 'lasting legacy' for the capital in terms of infrastructure investment and regeneration. One thing that is important for the bid team is to make sure that a couple of years after the Olympic circus has left town, people can actually see the effect. I thought about this whilst I was in Gelsenkirchen, a host city at the 2006 World Cup Finals. The VELTINS Arena was one...
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October 11, 2008

FIFA 2010 World Cup qualifying website review - Kazakhstan

As England progress through their Word Cup Qualifying group, I've been reviewing their FA website and those of their opponents. I won't actually be getting to see England's sold out match against Kazakhstan today as I'm actually in Gelsenkirchen for the deciding final round of the World Speedway Championship. That, however, hasn't stopped me trying to get to grips with the Kazakh website. Kazakhstan The Kazakh team has been torn between East and West since they became affiliated to...
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September 13, 2008

$num XL passengers stranded somewhere

It is a commonly held belief that arithmatic in the UK has declined following years of dumbing down, A-level grade inflation, and Play School being replaced by Tikkabilla. There was a great example of how random numbers have become in the Chipwrapper news feed yesterday. BBC News: Thousands stranded by XL collapse Guardian: 10,000 XL passengers must pay to fly home Daily Express: 85,000 holidaymakers stranded as XL holiday firm collapses Daily Mail: 300,000 British tourists hit by XL collapse...
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September 10, 2008

FIFA 2010 World Cup qualifying website review - England

England started their attempt to qualify for the 2010 South Africa World Cup at the weekend, with an away game against Andorra. Tonight, they face what is expected to be by far their toughest test in the Group 6, an away match in Zagreb, Croatia. Although I can't say I fancy the Ukraine, Belarus or Kazakhstan away matches much either. During the course of the qualifiers, I'm going to be reviewing the websites of the FAs opposing England. However,...
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September 6, 2008

FIFA 2010 World Cup qualifying website review - Andorra

England begin their attempt to qualify for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa today, with an away game against Andorra, held at the Olympic Stadium in Barcelona. Cue the "there are no easy matches in international football" cliche. England will be trying to qualify from Group 6 which, alongside Andorra, features Croatia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan. It has all the hallmarks of a group which England will struggle in, and which they will be berated for by a...
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August 30, 2008

The BBC's Super Cup fixture list blooper

Last night Manchester United lost to Zenit St. Petersburg in the UEFA Super Cup. The game started at 7:45 BST, but you'd have been hard pressed to find that out in advance by visiting the BBC Sport website. It looked like a classic case of your CMS content model not having some edge cases included - the edge case being British interest in the Super Cup. Last night I was trying to find out the kick-off time, and went straight...
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July 29, 2008

60th anniversary of the 1948 London Olympics

With the 2008 edition of the Olympic Games just days away, today is the sixtieth anniversary of the opening of the 1948 London Olympic Games. Unlike the previous time that London held the games, in 1908, when they started in April and lasted most of the summer, the 1948 games had a recognisably modern two week format. London had only a couple of years to prepare, having been awarded the games ahead of Baltimore, Lausanne, Los Angeles and Philadelphia in...
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July 19, 2008

2008 Olympic "Spambush" marketing

'Ambush marketing' at major sporting events has become a prevalent phenomena in the 2000s, affecting the Olympics despite the incredibly complex sponsorship rules drawn up by the IOC. The 2002 Winter Olympics saw Sprint running a snowy campaign that associated the brand with sponsoring 'everything fast, new, and really quite amazing', whilst during the 2004 Athens games, beer Miller ran a campaign proclaiming victory in an Athens-based taste test. Athens, Georgia, mind you, but Athens nevertheless. And who can...
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July 1, 2008

Watching Euro2008 on Zattoo in the heart of the BBC

As you may have spotted in my post about last week's TechCrunch / BBC debate at Broadcasting House, I attended it with one eye on what was going on in Basel. Thanks to wifi in the art deco Council Chamber where the debate was taking place, I was able to stream the first Euro2008 semi-final between Germany and Turkey silently on my laptop. The thing that struck me was that I used Zattoo to watch the game. At 7:40pm,...
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June 29, 2008

Reaching their goal? Marketing the Euro 2008 'Score for the Red Cross' campaign online

Tonight Euro2008 reaches a climax, with Germany facing Spain in the final, and tomorrow it will be time for me to retire Euro 2008 Fansivu and the Euro 2008 edition of Chipwrapper. Both have been carrying banner adverts for the tournament's official charity campaign - "Score For The Red Cross" I just wanted to write a little bit about how difficult that was to set up. Now, I'm not knocking the Red Cross here - they've raised nearly €0.5m...
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June 19, 2008

Euro 2008: The websites - League table

Euro 2008 is now down to just 8 teams, but over the last two weeks of matches I've been surveying the websites of the original 16 finalists. There weren't any major surprises there. It seems that the larger and more prosperous nations had the best websites - and the big three of Germany, France and Italy seemed to be dominating in the online world in the way they have so often done in the past on the football field....
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June 18, 2008

Euro 2008: The websites - Russia & Greece

As the Euro 2008 group stages have progressed, I've been reviewing the websites belonging to the Football Associations of the nations taking part. With today being the last day of group games it is the turn of Group D, and Russia take on Sweden tonight, whilst my old stomping ground Salzburg hosts eliminated Greece against quarter-final bound Spain. Russia and Greece are in the spotlight for my final Euro 2008 site reviews, two languages that stretch my ability to...
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June 17, 2008

Euro 2008: The websites - France & Italy

Since the Euro2008 draw was made, probably the most keenly anticipated fixture has been tonight's replay of the epic 2006 World Cup Final between France and Italy - but few could have predicted that at the end of tonight there was the certainty that one would be eliminated from the tournament - and the possibility that both could go. I've been conducting a review of the FA websites belonging to the countries taking part in Euro2008, and today I'm...
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June 15, 2008

Zattoo (slight return)

With the climax of the Euro 2008 Group phase rapidly reaching its end, I thought it might be an idea to look again at Zattoo, the streaming TV service that gathers together all of Britain's terrestrial channels into one broadband player. What intrigues me about the service is the potential clash between sports rights holders, broadcasters and Zattoo. A month or so ago I used the example of the UEFA Cup Final, where Zattoo's streaming of ITV1 was, to my...
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June 14, 2008

Castrol's Euro 2008 Performance Index not performing on Google AdWords

As part of their sponsorship of Euro 2008, Castrol have developed a website which produces real-time performance statistics during the matches. Here, for example, are the figures from the Netherlands' obliteration of France last night. It looks like a very nice site - even if they can't spell 'defence' the European way. There is a downloadable Castrol widget for the tournament as well. It is built using Adobe's AIR, so in theory it should be cross-platform. I didn't download...
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Euro 2008: The websites - Sweden & Spain

In my series of posts looking at the national association websites of the teams involved in Euro 2008 I've so far looked at the sites that belong to Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Romania and Switzerland, Portugal, Turkey, Germany and Poland. That means I've not looked at any teams from Group D yet, and, if my ticket application had been successful with UEFA, I would have been back in my old home Salzburg preparing to watch defending European...
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June 12, 2008

Euro 2008: The websites - Poland & Germany

At the conclusion of tonight's Euro 2008 matches we will be exactly halfway through the group stages of the tournament, and with one co-host already eliminated, anything other than a victory against Poland tonight could see the same fate befall Austria in Group B. On Matchday 2 I reviewed the websites belonging to the Austrian and Croatian Football Associations, before their opening fixture in Vienna. Today I'm looking at the other two teams in the group who are all...
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June 11, 2008

Euro 2008: The websites - Portugal & Turkey

The second round of matches in the group stage of Euro 2008 gets underway tonight, as I continue my review of the FA websites belonging to the nations taking part. On Saturday I looked at the teams in Group A's opening fixture, Switzerland and the Czech Republic. Today I'm looking at the two who make up the rest of the quartet, Portugal, who are playing the Czech Republic in Genève, and Turkey, who face the Swiss in a 'must...
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