World Cup diary: Lifetime doesn't mean lifetime when Fifa is involved
Football's governing body essentially guffawed in the faces of 3,000 owners of special tickets at the Maracana who thought they would get into the tournament for free
'Perpetuity' - "the state or quality of lasting forever" according to Oxford. But some Brazilians have found that, as with a lot of things where Fifa is concerned, even dictionary definitions are not straightforward.
Businessman Luis Meyer Blumberg owns one of around 3,000 lifetime passes to the Maracana stadium which were issued to raise money when the iconic Rio arena was first built. Stamped "special seat in perpetuity", it entitles the bearer to entry to any event there.
Unless Fifa decides otherwise.
Good thing they weren't around in Willy Wonka's world or all the golden tickets would have gone to marketing vice-presidents at Budweiser and Visa.
“For what this piece of plastic is worth today I could virtually have bought an apartment a few years ago. Just a shame it can’t get me a World Cup seat,” Blumberg told AFP.
Blumberg bought his ticket about 20 years ago. “I had to look lively - they don’t come on the market very often. People who have them generally pass them down to their sons.” He estimates it's worth about US$40,000.
But it won't get him into any of the seven games at the Maracana after Fifa decided that rules aren't rules. Authorities in Rio paid the special ticket holders around US$2,250 in compensation. Some holders threatened legal action, but Blumberg is remaining philosophical.
“This card means I own my little piece of the Maracana,” he said. “When people ask me, ’what’s your hobby?’ I say: ’I go to see matches and concerts at the Maracana'."
Just not ones that Fifa has anything to do with.
Foul-mouthed pundit of the day
Ireland's Eamon Dunphy doesn't realise he's on air despite having been in the job for about 40 years
AMUSING BUT BAD LANGUAGE WARNING
Federales 1 Sinaloa 0
If you were a wanted drug trafficker, you might think it would be wise to keep a low profile. Stay away from crowds etc.
Or, you could do what Jose Diaz-Barajas did and head off to the World Cup.
He was arrested at Rio de Janeiro’s Tom Jobim airport on Monday night on the way to Fortaleza, where Mexico were taking on Brazil on Tuesday, Bloomberg reports.
“Barajas was one of the most sought traffickers in the United States,” a police chief told reporters. “He will remain imprisoned in Rio until his extradition to the US is determined.”
Diaz-Barajas was accompanied by his wife and two kids and had tickets to the match. Sounds like he might be watching Russia 2018 from a cosy American dungeon, however.
Video of the day:
We had a joke video a couple of days ago purporting to show the underwhelming reaction in the US when their team scores a World Cup goal, as opposed to the scenes in the rest of the world. Well, in the interests of fairness, here's the deal, from a fan screening of Ghana-USA at Sporting Kansas City's stadium. Aw, they're just like us.
Map of the day
On that note, here's the volume of tweets in America before and after their winner. Looks like people in the mid-west aren't interested in Twitter or football (probably both), while the eastern seaboard has essentially been hit by a nuke.
Surprising support of the day
Jose Mourinho binned Iker Casillas at Real Madrid to much scorn, but the Spain goalkeeper's performance against Netherlands had many admitting that perhaps Mourinho just saw the stopper's decline before anyone else.
But rather than revel in Casillas' humiliation, Mourinho insists Vicente del Bosque must stick with him.
"The goalkeeper position is a very specific one and I wouldn’t like to make a change just because of one poor game," Mourinho said in his latest Yahoo! Sports interview. "I would only change something after a bad run of form that clearly shows a keeper lacks confidence and stability and his body language suggests it would be better to change. Iker has had a fine run with the Spanish national team and he has the confidence of his coach. One bad game is not sufficient reason to change keepers."
We're pretty sure there's some sort of mind games going on here but can't quite figure out what. Maybe it'll all become clear when Casillas makes a howler in the final to hand Portugal the title.