Thursday, June 29, 2006

Smoky pubs win it

After a few gloomy days I've finally plucked up the motivation to post again.

And so we have another results post from our (elastic) weekly poll and it is a fairly even spread this week for the queation of:

Where would you most prefer to watch a football match?

In a smoky pub unable to decipher the commentary: 5 votes
At home with a fridge full of beer nearby: 3 votes
In a hot tub: 3 votes

Once again not exactly a huge response but I don't care. I voted for the first option but actually haven't been in many smoky pubs this World Cup since the Red Lion Club went smoke-free just before the start of the tournament.

I did like a comment from Sarah (who has a blog of her own called - The Voice of today's apathetic youth) who said:

"I voted for at home with the fridge full of beer because I don't like smoke and if you were to jump out of a hot tub and run around when someone scores a goal you're liable to slip on something and fracture your skull."

I take it that was a warning for Zagreb Kanka.

On to this week's question:

Which was the best team that was sent packing in the knockout round?

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


Greetings Kankas. I can offer you the chance of a lifetime. Read on.....

I have just been informed that the 2nd Leg of the 2nd Round match between MIGHTY HIBERNIAN and Dinaburg Daugavpils will be held in Daugavpils on Saturday 8 July KO 6pm and that if you rush your names to me soonest I can possibly reserve a ticket for you.

The ticket price is 2 Lats (which equates to 2 Pounds Sterling) so it will be just like going to see an Ankaraspor match !!!

So, don't delay - take up this offer of a lifetime before MIGHTY HIBERNIAN go on and play a famous team like Real Madrid, Juventus or Ankaragucu !!!

All the best from upbeat Eski Kanka Jim

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

And you thought Turkish commentators were bad

Turkish football commentators are bad. They have no sense of being neutral if Turkey are playing. The ball will go out and the comment is always "taç bizim". If the opposition scores the result is usually a whispered "maalesef gol" followed by silence.

But at least they don't go too over the top when reporting when Turkey are not involved (except for the other day in the Switzerland - Sth. Korea match) unlike their counterparts from China state television.

Here what Huang Jianxiang said after Grosso went down last night.

"Penalty! Penalty! Penalty! Grosso's done it, Grosso's done it! The great Italian left back! He succeeded in the glorious traditions of Italy! Facchetti, Cabrini and Maldini, their souls are infused in him at this moment! Grosso represents the long history and traditions of Italian soccer, he's not fighting alone at this moment! He's not alone!"

More was to come when Francesco Totti converted the spot-kick.

"Goooooal! Game over! Italy win! Beat the Australians! They do not fall in front of Hiddink again! Italy the great! Left back the great! Happy birthday to Maldini! Forza Italia! The victory belongs to Italy, to Grosso, to Cannavaro, to Zambrotta, to Buffon, to Maldini, to everyone who loves Italian soccer! Hiddink ... lost all his courage faced with Italian history and traditions ... He finally reaped fruits which he had sown! They should go home. They don't need to go as far away as Australia as most of them are living in Europe. Farewell!"

Check it out here. A very funny video, but still depressing of course.

EDIT: Wednesday June 26: Huang Jianxiang has apologised! Here is the letter.

Dear soccer fans and TV viewers around the country:

I have attached too much personal feeling to the match of Italian versus Australia at the end of the game last night. After I woke up this morning, I reviewed the video of the match again and I feel there are some injustice and prejudice in my comment. I will make formal apologies to viewers.

I am familiar with the Italian football and I hope that the Italians can gain a berth in the last eight, which will make the matches in the [future] more exciting, but I have mingled my feeling and the role of my job. It is not a standpoint that a TV commentator should have. I will apologise to those fans who express their dissatisfaction, opinion and criticism.

I will draw the lesson from this case and remind me of the role of my job and keep my personal feeling and job balanced. When we live broadcast the matches, we hope referees can be just, and as a commentator, I will try my best to be fair and to do a good job.

Wish every fan happiness with the World Cup matches.


Greetings Kankas. Away from World Cup Footie and all the depression of the Croatia and Aussie exits, and back to basics again.

Hibbie Kanka in Edinburgh is still recovering from our night out in Edinburgh last week, so it is down to me to update you with news on the prestigious Inter Toto Cup.

Hibernian will be playing the 1st Leg of their 2nd round match this Sunday afternoon against, and wait for this for a name.......... DINABURG DAUGAVPILS of Latvia. Perhaps Miss Zagreb Kankie can give us the pronunciation ??!!

The 2nd Leg will be played in Latvia the following weekend. So, if (I'm not going to chance my luck and say....when !!!) Hibernian beat them over the 2 legs, then they will be playing the winners of the Shelbourne (Ireland) and Odense (Denmark) match in the 3rd Round.

The winners of the 3rd Round match will then proceed into the UEFA Cup. Clear ???


All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

The day after

Still feeling terrible today after what could at best be described as a "debateable" penalty sent us out but I guess there are some good points.

It was Australia's first World Cup for 32 years and I think the rest of the world was surprised at how we played and our never say die attitude. We only just lost to Brazil and came back well against Japan and Croatia.

Getting Guus Hiddink as coach was a masterstroke but now he is off to Russia. Time to sign up another big name, but please, not Sven.

I also guess we have seen the last of Mark Viduka who given his age must surely retire from international football.

No ticker-tape parade for the socceroos but still I reckon they did us proud. I've been watching World Cups for quite a long time now but for me this was truely the most exciting.

Now that Australia are in the Asian Confederation we should be seeing more of the socceroos at World Cups in the future. There is also talk of Australia bidding to host the World Cup. Given how we ran the Olympics I reckon we would have a good chance.

Now... onto the start of the Turkish Super League.

PHOTOCAPTION: Not me but it pretty much sums up how I felt yesterday. (nicked from SMH)

Monday, June 26, 2006

The wheels fall off

I'm devastated. Totally and utterley devastated. The Italians were down to 10 men for most of the second half and still we couldn't score.

Italy played a typical Italian game, everyone behind the ball and they did well in keeping us out. I would have liked the Aussies to have a few more shots at goal from just outside the box.

I actually thought the referee had a good game(for most of the match), and the Italians weren't diving around all that much, but then came the very last seconds of the match.

An Australian defender spreadeagles himself... an Italian player, who has already played the ball through, decides that he can't jump 20 centimetres, dives wonderfully and so Italy have the penalty.

I have no idea who took the subsequent penalty kick, but it propelled Italy into the next round.

My heart sank. Australia were out. What a cruel way to go down. As I said before... I'm devasated.

While I'm proud of what our boys produced during this tournament I'm still deeply depressed.

Italy were there for the taking... but we didn't take them. Should Hiddink have brought a few more players on earlier? I don't think so. We were definately looking good just before the penalty and I reckon we would have got them in extra time.

In the end it was not to be. So Australia is gone, but only thanks to a dodgy penalty. Please, I try to keep this blog as family friendly as I can, but let me have just one indulgence.

Oz Kanka: "Referee, you were fucking shit" --- copyright Harry Kewell.

Jump on the bandwagon before the wheels fall off

A few hours until kick-off but unlike the other day when I was a wreck of nerves, I feel strangely calm today. Perhaps that is because the chances of Australia beating Italy are extremely low.

I will of course be screaming my head off during the match and the team have said they will go for it but deep down the chances of us pulling off a victory are not high.

But if we do pull off a victory, my God, it will be huge.

Quite a few people have joined the Australia bandwagon in the last few days. Of regular people to comment on this blog we now have Sir Eski Kanka, Zagreb Kanka and Gulay all supporting the Aussies. You are more than welcome by the way, the bandwagon is big.

The papers today are all talking about how Italy merely need to show up to win it but that all neutrals are supporting the Aussies. All neutrals except for The Guardian it seems.

Gary Younge has been giving a very tongue in cheek "ethical guide" as to whom to support in various matches. I give you today's:

Australia vs Italy

"A few months ago this would have been tricky. Both nations are similarly healthy and wealthy (unless you're an Aborigine, in which case you'll live as long as the average Bangladeshi). Both have immigrant-bashing tendencies, redneck premiers who encouraged them, and troops in Iraq.

But while Australia keeps going, bullish in its belligerence, Italy has made significant changes to its squad. Following the centre-left's election victory in May, all troops will be withdrawn from Iraq by the end of 2007. Prodi's predecessor, Berlusconi, took the national football chant "Forza Italia" ("Go Italy") and named his rightwing party after it. Maybe now it can be returned to the terraces. Verdict: Go Italy!"

Bugger them!

Welcome back Sir Eski Kanka

It's not much but here we have Eski Kanka showing a bit of leg, or is that knee, (calm down girls) as he poses with the darling Young Miss Brat Kanka at their Scottish party somewhere in Scotland.

Please look closely at the picture and you will see that Sir Eski Kanka has already polished off five glasses of champagne, has had a swig at someones Guiness, and has started up on an Efes as well. No surprises there.

It is great to have Sir Eski Kanka back in Ankara and I'm personally very happy for all the gifts he brought back. The only hassle is that his week in Scotland has made his accent totally unintelligible, not that I had any clue what he said before anyway.

Saturday, June 24, 2006


Greetings Kankas. Let's pause before the BIG MATCH on Monday and get back to basics.

Away from the subject of International and World Cup Footie and back to upcoming League Footie.

For those of you who are unaware of the Turkish League Scene here in Ankara, we have a `curtain raiser` every season. There is a 2 day competition called The Sportswriters Cup which is contested by ANKARAGUCU and Gencler, and 2 other teams at the invitation of the Sportswriters.

I have information about this season's competition for your diaries which is as follows -

Friday 28 July - KO 6pm - Genclerbirligi V Sekerspor
Friday 28 July - KO 8.30pm - ANKARAGUCU V Ankaraspor

Saturday 29 July - KO 6pm - 3rd Place Play-off
Saturday 29 July - KO 8.30pm - Final

No sour grapes from me (perish the thought !!!) but....... I wonder why Ankara's FIRST TEAM did not get drawn against Sekerspor ???? Interesting thought isn't it ???

More details of meeting place, etc nearer the time. Bring it on............ but first.. let's kick the `Eetallianz` out of the World Cup yessssssssssss.

All the best from upbeat Eski Kanka Jim

PS...... Oz Kanka, has my Knighthood been published in The London Gazette yet, and if so, can I now use my well earned title ????!!!!

Fifa reduces Turkey sentence

A bit of non-World Cup news today with the announcement that Fifa have reduced the bans on Turkey for the handbags at the end of the Turkey-Switzerland play-off match last November.

Turkey was originally given a six match behind closed doors on neutral grounds ban but this was reduced to just three matches after Fifa took into account the fact that the Turkish FA had apologised.

The original ban would have meant no home matches for Turkey in its bid to qualify for Euro 2008.

Emre Belozoglu and Benjamin Huggel also had their individual match suspensions reduced from six matches to four apiece.

A bit of good news for Turkey I guess.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Over the moon

I feel as if we have won the World Cup.

A pulsating 2-2 draw that we definately deserved send us through and sets up a mouthwatering last 16 match against the blue Azzurri.

Aussie Guus Hiddink would definately be knighted if we still gave away those honours but for a little while last night I thought he might have been lynched for his strange decision to swap goalkeeping duties from Mark Schwarzer for AC Milan reserve Zeljko Kalac.

Schwarzer hasn't had the best tournament so far but to change goalkeepers in the middle of the tournament is one hell of a strange decision.

As for Kalac, he is the reserve keeper for Milan and has only played a few games this season and against Greece a few weeks ago (it seems like eons ago) he didn't look too great.

Last night though was a nadir. Can't really blame him for Croatia's first goal from a beautifully taken free kick after two minutes but the second one was something he will be replaying in his head for a damn long time. It was a long range effort from Croatia and it should have been a regulation take. Instead it bobbled out of his arms and dribbled into the goal.

I thought it was all over but Harry Kewell luckily got an equaliser not long after.

At 2-2 with just a few minutes left we should have been shutting them out but then Kalac almost gave us another heart attack when he meekly threw the ball to a Croatian forward. Luckily the defence cleaned it up.

The referee Graham Poll will almost definately be going home after an absolutely inept performance. Our first penalty was a correct decision: handball by Tomas. But where was he when Viduka was rugby tackled in the box or when Tomas rose above the pack to knock the ball out with his hand... again.

Then we had the farce of the Australian-born defender Josip Simunic being given three, yes three, yellow cards before he was finally given his marching orders by Poll.

We got one decision our way though as Kewell was offside when he scored the equaliser.

If anyone thinks I'm biased about my thoughts on Poll's performance just check out this article in the Guardian. A snippet:

"England's footballers may not have yet made their mark on this year's World Cup but last night Graham Poll, the country's sole referee in Germany, certainly did with a performance that may go down as one of the most error-strewn in the tournament's history."

Onto some positives, finally.

The Socceroos went for it. They played for the win and controlled vast portions of the match. All they have to do is get in a few more shots from just outside the box. In some ways they played like they did against Japan, as if they wanted to walk the ball into the goal. "Have a go ya mug".

Once again it was a full 90 minutes performance. This was a physically (and mentally) draining match but the Aussies didn't let up. The spirit on display was real, it was the sort of stuff that us Aussies are used to from out cricket and rugby players but last night the round ball boys proved that they too are made from granite.

As I said before, I'm over the moon. Italy next up and no doubt we will be off to the Red Lion Club again.

Many many thanks are in order for the Red Lion Club boys (Rob and Peter) for letting us watch the Croatia - Australia match and keeping the club open for an extra hour (it was not possible to watch the match on Turkish television, the rights holder Kanal 1 decided to show the other match between Japan and Brazil... idiots).

Many many thanks also to Vedat for keeping me well supplied in the Efes department.

But in all my joy I also had a tinge of sadness for our own Zagreb Kanka watching the match from a hot tub in the Croatian capital. In fact, Zagreb Kanka was the main gossip item of the night. You are becoming a legend in Ankara my dear Zagreb Kanka. By the way, Smart Arse Yankee Kanka was supporting your lot, but was smart enough to actually wear an Aussie shirt so as not to get beaten up.

Now on to the next round. Can we beat Italy? Anything is possible but I think I'm actually going to try and learn the words to our national anthem, they seem to be playing it quite a bit at the moment.

PHOTOCAPTION: Kewell celebrates after scoring the late equaliser. (photo nicked from the SMH).

On to the next lot

I'm slightly late rejoicing but hey, who cares, we are through.

Lets forget the three yellow cards and the rest of the pathetic performance from the referee and lets concentrate on the Australian victory.

We played it for the win. The Croatians were clearly playing for a draw... once they had the lead.

Anyway, I'm completedly smashed and I really ought to go to bed. I'm really sorry Zagreg Kanka, but the best team won, or drew in this caae.

Australia through to the next round. I'm jumping for joy.

More, much more, tomorrow... when I hope I can see the game as it really was.

I'm still jumping!!!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Waiting to go over the top

Nerves a-jingle-jangling before the Socceroos biggest ever match. Tension is mounting before the battle in Stuttgart where the boys will take on Croatia.

Pretty much a draw will do it for Australia tonight (as long as Brazil don't stuff it up and let Japan win by a couple of goals) but Aussie Guus is saying he is going all out for the win. A loss will see Croatia through to the next round and I'll just cry into my beer.

It could well be a grudge match thanks to six of the Australian squad having Croatian background, while three of the Croatians were actually born in Australia. The police in Croatia have even put armed guards at Aussie striker Mark Viduka's house just in case he nets the winner and Zagreb Kanka gets out the hot tub and tries to torch the place.

While quite a few of the Australian players are on yellow cards thanks to some very dodgy refereeing decisions in the previous two matches, we don't have anyone red carded yet.

Kewell is also clear to play after being let off by Fifa who decided that telling a ref that he was "f.....g s..t" is okay as long as the referee then pre-empts Fifa by saying "that's it matey, your World Cup is over". One good point for tonight is that the referee is Graham Poll, an Englishman who many of the Aussie players know well due to playing in the premiership.

I'm feeling quietly confident but by kick-off time I'll probably be a wreck.

Expect something on the blog tonight. Just don't expect it to be coherent.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

England and France have failed to impress

With every team having played two games I guess it is time to wrap up the poll and launch a new one.

The question was:

Of the top teams in the World Cup, which one has most failed to impress?

And the results:

England 5
France 5
Brazil 0

I'm slightly surprised no one voted for Brazil with every commentator saying they are playing well below par, especially fatty Ronaldo, but I guess all that means is that England and France have been playing even worse.

Considering that England have won both their matches and are through to the next round it really is embarrassing that they equal a team which could well be gone in a couple of days time.

Enough of that stuff and onto this week's poll (inspired by Zagreb Kanka)

Where would you most prefer to watch a football match?

In a smoky pub unable to decipher the commentary
At home with a fridge full of beer nearby
In a hot tub

A foreign coach for Ankaragucu?

With Sir Eski Kanka in the wilds of Scotland and therefore out of contact with the civilised world I thought I had better give the latest update on Ankaragucu.

I just read on the Milliyet website that Ankaragucu have come to an agreement with German Pierre Littbarski to manage the team next season.

This is so far just an agreement in principle so nothing is certain but a move by the former German national player would be great for Ankaragucu, especially considering he already has one prestigious title to his name - he coached Sydney FC to the title of the Australian A-League earlier this year as we reported here.

Littbarski left Sydney at the end of the season after failing to agree on a new salary.

Sir Eski Kanka? Are you out there? Any chance of sending a carrier pigeon across Hadrian's Wall with your thoughts?

PHOTOCAPTION: Former Sydney FC coach Littbarski to manage Ankaragucu?
(photo nicked from the A-League website)

EDIT 6 July 06: Littbarski not coming, intstead we have Vlado Bozinoski. Small story here

Monday, June 19, 2006

What a load of rubbish

Controversy surrounds the Aussie squad at the moment concerning two of our three national pastimes.

Harry Kewell might be banned for the game against Croatia for telling the overbearing authorities who seek to reinforce the continuing hedgemony of football's ruling classes to "give us a go ya mug", or words to that effect.

Then we have the English tabloid The News of the World, failing to take the enormous piece of lumber out its own eyes, attacking Tim Cahill saying Australia could get kicked out because Cahill had contravened Fifa rules by having a bet with fellow teammates that he would score Australia's first-ever World Cup goal, which he did, against Japan.

Sticking our noses up to authority is a requirement for all Australians, as is betting. The third national pastime is, of course, drinking beer, but thankfully none of our players have been doing that in the last week or so, unlike a certain Croatian player.

The Kewell thing first. Markus Merk's performance on Sunday night was a joke. Australia did not play dirty (although I admit that sometimes we do seem to do so) and there was no way that we deserved to be on the receiving end of a foul count of something like 25 to 9.

Not only that but according to Australia's assistant coach Graham Arnold both Brazil's goals came from offside positions.

Is it little wonder then that Kewell told Markus Merk at the end of the match: "you were f-----g s--t".

Good old Anglo-Saxon words there. Grow up Markus, this ain't a cricket match.

Then we have the betting controversy. Before the Japan match Cahill had a friendly bet with his teammates that he would score first. A bet that he won and that he jokingly boasted about to an Australian paper.

Googling around in search of gossip The News of the World saw the story and decided to blow the whole thing up to make it sound like that Australia actually didn't want to score until Cahill came on.

I'm not sure of the logic there, as his teammates would surely have wanted to score earlier so as to win the bet, but Fifa ended up investigating anyway and, in an amazing piece of level-headedness not seen before by Fifa, decided against any sanctions.

PHOTOCAPTION: Harry Kewell gives the Man some quality feedback (photo nicked from the SMH as always).

EDIT (Tuesday morning) News just in that Kewell has been cleared. Watch out for great advice for the refs at the rest of the tournament.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Not quite the upset of the tournament

Not sure what I can say really. Basically I'm devastated. We were up against the best team in the world and we fought like hell but, in the end, didn't even get a goal.

My point is, just like Croatia, but unlike Turkey in the last world Cup, we were up for it. Not just the team, but also the fans. Could you hear the Brazillians singing tonight?

I don't want to make a match report because I'm too depressed. If you do want to check one out click here, or here, or here.

Tonight's performance was tough. It was an Aussie style performance. Who gives a sh*t what the reputation of the opposition is. But still it was a loss and we have to look at the calculations of how to get into the next round.

The group stands as:

Brazil: 6 points (and guaranteed top spot in the group)
Australia: 3 points
Japan: 1 point
Croatia: 1 point

For Australia to get through all we need to do is beat Croatia in the next match. Looking at their very dire performance against Japan in their 0-0 draw, my hopes are still high.

At the same time, however, I so damn wish we had blasted Brazil away. Clearly their players have better skills than our lot but at the same time they are a bunch of cheating, big-headed, nancy boys.

Our lot, on the other hand, had graft, determination and unfortunately, no luck.

I'm not sure when the next match, Australia-Croatia, is on, but by God it is set up to be a truely great match (and that doesn't even take into account Zagreb Kanka's amazing and truely loved contributions to this blog).

I'm prepared to say that I love Zagreb Kanka, in a purely plutonic sense of course, but I truely hope that we stuff Croatia, whatever night we are playing.

Bring 'em on.

Saturday, June 17, 2006


The Olympics in Sydney a few years ago saw the usual swarm of Yankee journalists descend on the city to write home about how their boys and girls won everything. These journos liked what they saw in this strange land because, for many of them, it wasn't so strange at all.

Australia is a big country, so is the USA. Aussies dress in the same sloppy manner as Americans and we both have a penchant for being extremely cocky when winning. The only real difference they could find was that crime rates were much lower in Australia and that we drive on the proper side of the road, a fact that one unfortunate Yankee journo found out the hard way.

It was thus with total surprise that these American journalists watched a USA-Cuba volleyball match. It may have been a different sport but this blog isn't big on fact checking. To sum up, the entire Aussie crowd were supporting the Cubans.

The American journalists were dumbfounded and wrote in their paper's back home how we were ungrateful so and sos and if it hadn't been for them we would all be speaking Japanese.

They had obviously never heard of the idea of supporting the underdog and so, for perhaps the first time in my life, I've actually been, as the Americans say, "rootin' for" the USA this tournament.

Now finally onto the match. I was impressed with the Yanks. They came out hard, had two guys sent off and despite this they ran for the full 90 minutes. If they had been just a tiny bit luckier they could have got away with what would have been the upset of the tournament so far.

Whereas the Italians were rolling around on the pitch as if they had been shot, the Americans took the hard hits the way you are supposed to. ie get right back up. In other words it was the Yanks who gave "soccer" the better name tonight, and not the playacting Italians (who all need a decent haircut by the way).

There was one exception to this with McBride being the only American to need sideline help, but I guess he can be excused considering he had just been elbowed in the head and the claret was flowing down his face nicely.

So well done to my Yankee cousins. A 1-1 draw with the Italians ain't so bad, and the way you achieved it showed true grit. Gee, you played as if you were Aussies tonight, and a greater compliment I cannot give.

No more writing from me until tomorrow night's post entitled "Upset of the Millenia". Let me dream a bit.

PHOTOCAPTION: Come on mate, its just a scratch. (photo knicked from the bbc)

More woeful performances

It was off to The Netherlands Embassy last night for more beers and conversation and a woeful performance by the Dutchies.

Somehow this World Cup has seen some great goals but some pretty average performances by the top teams who still seem to win (except Argentina and Spain obviously).

Last night I think Elephant Tooth Seaside were a bit unlucky. They should have been given a penalty at one stage and probably would have got it if the player hadn't then dived.

I'd add Holland to the poll on the right of the page but I'm not sure if it is possible.

Anyway, a week into the World Cup and I've manged to watch matches at three different embassies, two friend's houses and one or two at home... no wonder I can't remember Little Oz Kanka's name.

The big one is on tomorrow. Brazil v Australia and all the Kankas are expected to be at the Red Lion Club (club is opening at 6 pm by the way). The club is normally closed on a Sunday but the English are clearly looking forward to the upset of the tournament.

If only.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Great chants by the Scots

I was reading the Guardian blogs today and in between sober analysis of the German victory over Poland I found this great comment by a fellow called MouthinginMD who was in Berlin. I just had to put it here.

Best moment after the game was a singing match between the Germans and a group of Scots near hackescher markt rendered only funnier by the fact they obviously didn't understand each other.

The Germans sang "Bye bye, Poland, you are already out," and the Scots floored me with "We hate England more than you!" Unfortunately the Germans seemed perplexed by it.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Poll: Who hasn't impressed so far?

It is pretty obvious that not to many Greeks accidently find their way to the blog as is clear from the results of this week's poll.

If there was one team you would like to add to the World Cup which one would it be?

Turkey 7 votes
Greece 0 votes
Scotland 7 votes
Papua New Guinea 2 votes

Considering we had 273 unique people (as opposed to hits) for the last week checking out the blog the poll is not the most checked out item, or perhaps it was just a stupid question.

But on to the expert analysis and the only reason I can think for Scotland doing so well is that Sir Eski Kanka went to a different internet cafe each day to distort the result.

I voted for PNG and am perplexed as to who else did.

Onto this week's question.

Considering that the World Cup has been pretty good so far there have also been some fairly inept displays by some of the favourites, even if they got the results they wanted, and so...

Of the top teams in the World Cup, which one has most failed to impress?

Australia on top in Group F

So a brave and plucky Croatia went down to Brazil tonight which leaves Australia at the top of Group F on goal difference!

I have to admit that Croatia looked pretty good. I thought the second-half display in particular was excellent and with just a bit of luck they could have snatched the draw.

One positive to be taken from the match was that Ronaldo was definately looking unfit and the Brazillians in general seemed to tire badly. The one big negative is that they seem to be able to score from anywhere. They also seem to be quite good at diving.

I'd say that in spite of the scoreline Croatia seemed the better team, which augors well for Australia's match against Brazil on Sunday.

Realistically though, I thought both teams would have outclassed Australia. Let's just see what Guus Hiddink pulls out of his sleeve.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Flamin' galahs

The day after posting something in a drunken state is always interesting. But looking back at yesterday's post I reckon I didn't get too much wrong. There was nationalism and alcohol pumping through my veins at the time and perhaps I was slightly harsh on the Aussies (and the ref).

I also read a report today that the Japanese should have been given a penalty. I can't remember seeing that at all. But its in the papers and therefore must be true.

Of course the best reports to read are the Guardian's minute-by-minute reports. There is nothing better than the World Cup to bring out the best in national stereotypes and the English journalists have been saving up 32 years worth of jokes waiting for Australia to qualify again.

To set the mood for the match the Guardian gave us some interesting facts on the place I call home:

"The longest fence in the world is in Australia, and runs for over 5,530 kms. It's designed to keep dingos away from sheep, which is why they end up eating babies instead.

In London you are never further than 10 feet from a rat or an Australian.

There are 8,628,599 Australians currently living in London, all of them working in pubs and sleeping on the floor of the same house in Earl's Court.

The last recorded instance of an Australian bartender in London remembering an order consisting of more than two drinks and handing over the right change after serving it occurred on May 8, 1994 in the Walkabout pub in Shepherd’s Bush. There is a plaque on the wall in memory of this historical event.

Ray Meagher, who has played Alf Stewart in Home & Away since May 17, 1752, has called assorted fellow characters “flamin’ galahs” on 52,758 separate occasions.

Australia was the third country, after the US and Russia, to launch a satellite into orbit. Sadly it plummeted back down to earth, where Shane Warne dropped it."

All that out of the way and onto the commentary itself. A few excerpts:

"Like England, both teams today are managed by foreigners, except these ones actually have decent pedigree and know what they’re doing. Brazil legend Zico is Japan’s Mr Myiagi, while Dutch mastermind Guus Hiddink...

Mark Viduka will be confident of bagging a goal or two this afternoon. With whaling still outlawed, the Japanese are out of practice when it comes to taking out large blubbery mammals.

Anyway, it's tinny-time for the Sheilaroos now, and they'll be able to discuss their predicament over a half-time can of XXXX. There's only the kick of a ball in this game and they're far from beaten."

After getting a letter from a pissed off Japanese fan:

"Ah relax, Hiroki-san. I know they don't eat sushi at half-time, just as I know that Guus Hiddink didn't really fire up a BBQ over by the dugout. And of course these jokes aren't funny anymore - that's why they're here. My minute-by-minute reports are like Australia's A League - the place where old, once-great jokes go for one last bumper payday before they die."

And then the victory:

"John Aloisi wraps up the points for Australia, prompting 45,000 London barstaff go mental in the stands and in London bars. There won't be a pint poured in the English capital tonight.

Whisper it again - I think it could get worse round my place, when Australia beat Brazil. They may not have better players than England, but they've a much better team and aren't afraid to play the right way. Even if they do use koala bears as bicycle locks and generally behave like a bunch of big pink, feathered and girlie, shrimp-obsessed, hats-with-dangly-corks-wearing flamin ..."

God bless 'em.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Crap, but victory nonetheless

Amazing what a difference 10 minutes makes. I'm used to seeing inept displays but my God Australia really tested me today. There was a wonderful cut on the television coverage to a couple of Australian fans about half way through the second half. The two blokes looked just slightly depressed. We were depressed in Ankara as well with Australia 1-0 down and looking like we didn't have a clue.

Today's match was truely a disaster (well... except the result obviously). We were all over the Japanese but at no time did we look confident in front of goal. What happened to the spirit that kicked Holland off the pitch last week?

Japan's goal was a damn lucky one. Our keeper buggered up badly but still I reckon a foul should have been called. Afterall, just a minute before hand the ref gave a foul to Japan for something less.

But blaming the ref wouldn't be totally correct. We had the vast majority of possession but we didn't seem to have any passion. There was no speed and pressure. We just didn't look like we really wanted it.

All that of course changed in the end. Substitute Tim Cahill scored twice and then another substitute Aloisi scored deep into extra time.

We were watching the match at Aussie Jenny and Pommy Jason's house and we erupted with the result.

Some of you who are reading this may not understand the true passion on display (from us fans at least). We haven't been in any meaningful competition since 1974. Today was the first time we were able to stand up and truely celebrate.

We were crap, Japan was even worse, but by God am I happy at the moment.

Anyway, I'm posting this from Pommy Jason and Aussie Jenny's place as I couldn't wait to get something down for the blog.

Bring on Brazil!

Photocaption: The Aussies, and a couple of ring-ins, celebrate a famous victory

Little Oz Kanka puts on a show

The neverending quest to go one up on Sir Eski Kanka has until now not involved any pain to outsiders but some may argue that I've crossed the line having taught Little Oz Kanka to sing kırmızı, siyah, en buyuk, Gencler.

Check out the 11-second long video of Little Oz Kanka singing away.

I look forward to Sir Eski Kanka topping that one.

As Little Miss Sir Eski Kanka (or Brat Kanka as she once described herself) is currently at university I guess it shouldn't be too difficult for her to sing an Ankaragucu rhyme, the question is would she embarass herself in such a way.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Zagreb Kanka ups the ante

Our dear Zagreb Kanka has decided that it should not just be Sir Eski Kanka and Oz Kanka who should get their ugly mugs onto the blog with Genclerbiligi general manager Hasan Cetinkaya. And so, as a service to the world.... we present Zagreb Kanka and Hasan.

No football news today, well not much... I watched the England-Paraguay match at a packed British Embassy and had the piss taken out of me completely.

At some stage Gerrard took a free kick which went straight into the wall and John Motson, the commentator, said something like "if anything Gerrard took that too well". I stupidly responded with something like "I guess if he had buggered it up we might have scored".

That was it. I accidently said "we" and the Poms gave me crap for the rest of the match.

While I thought "we" played well, Beckham had his first good game for years, I think England have some serious problems at the back. I didn't see the Sweden T&T match but did manage to watch Argentina-Costa Rica and quite frankly looking at all the matches so far I'd put money on Equador to win the cup.

Beer, food, great people and some football (I think)

I've been waiting for ages for this World Cup to start and in the end I hardly saw any of the matches on last night. Perhaps that had something to do with the lashings of amber fluid that the German Embassy were so kind to lay on at a private function for the Kankas, or perhaps it was all the great people. I prefer to think it was the former.

Lanky Kanka Jorg informed us a few weeks ago that the embassy was putting on a small do and asked us if we would like to invite a friend or two. Some 20 friends later the invite list was closed and us lucky enough to get our names down at the embassy gate were in for a great start to the tournament.

First up, the food. Well actually I guess the beer was first but then it was on to the food.

Chicken and lamb shish kebabs were expected, and delicious, but I was very happy to see that various World Cup participating countries had their own stalls which meant I enjoyed some lovely salmon from the Swedes, sushi from the Japanese and I think I spent quite a lot of time sampling the pork products from the French stall.

As can be seen from the photo above and the photos I've put on "flickr", this was a "football shirt party". In some of the photos in that collection you can see Match Virgin Kanka Suzan wearing her favourite Gencler top, my cheap rip-off of an Aussie shirt, Carlo in his orange of Holland, Berrak had Besiktas!!!????, Cem had his Turkey (brought to you by Coca Cola), Smart Arse Yankee Kanka Dave wearing a smart arse yankee shirt and No Name Kanka wearing a German shirt!!!???

Sir Eski Kanka showed up wearing his Ankaragucu gear but was saved when, fresh from her business trip to Australia, Mrs. Smart Yankee Kanka Suzan showed up with an authentic Aussie top. I must also thank Mrs. Smart Arse Yankee Kanka for the great little bear dressed in the Aussie colours. I'll give it to little Oz Kanka as soon as I remember what his name is (ie probably not until after the World Cup).

Food, beer, stupid shirts and great people. And who better to strike up a conversation with than the various football personalities who decided to crash the party. Gulay no doubt has fond memories of "Bay Gol" Tanju Colak who seems to have put on a few pounds since his goal scoring days with Galatasaray, former Ankaragucu and Genclerbirligi coach Ersan Yanal was in fine form, as was Atilla Aytek, whom I didn't get to give my advice on how to stack elections. Damn.

We also met a fellow called Hasan Cetinkaya (pictured above) who claimed to know a certain Zagreb Kanka. Cetinkaya is the general manager at Genclerbirligi and seemed to be a thoroughly decent chap whose English was definately more understandable than Sir Eski Kanka's Scottish drawl (that may have had something to do with the fact we pinned Hasan down before he had got to the beer taps).

The football? No idea really if the Germans played well in their 4-2 victory over Costa Rica. I saw a few of the goals and in general I'd say that Germany played well but as I hardly saw any of the match itself I can't really comment. The Germans at the party seemed pretty happy but were still not confident of going all the way this year.

A few of us retired to Libby's place for more beer and the Equador-Poland match. I actually watched quite a lot of this match but as my brain was by this stage swimming around I can't actually recall very much at all. All I seem to remember was that Poland were crap and Equador pretty good. I just checked the BBC website which says Equador won the match 2-0, so basically my recollections are correct.

Thats your lot for now as I'm off to the British Embassy for the England-Paraguay match. More drunken reflections tomorrow. Possibly.

PHOTOCAPTION: Gencler General Manager Hasan Cetinkaya gives Sir Eski and Oz Kanka the gossip on who Zagreb Kanka really is.

Thursday, June 08, 2006


Greetings Kankas. With all this talk about World Cup Footie let us not take our eye of the bread and butter of League Footie !

The stop press news from here is.......................

ANKARAGUCU sign a Croatian player !

His name is Posavec Srebrenko. He is 26 years old and from what I can gather he has played for the national team in the past. However, I'm sure Miss Zagreb Kankie will be able to give us more information about our new super star in Ankara.

All the best from `Hot Off the Press` Eski Kanka Jim

The day before

The nerves are starting to jangle. Just a day before the great feast of the round ball kicks off.

I've made up labels to put on the missus and Little Oz Kanka so I don't forget their names and I've been involved in "reprogramming" two-year's worth of learning of Little Oz Kanka's brain. I'm pretty happy with myself as when he sees the remote control he now says "daddy's", rather than "mummy's". You must realise that this is akin to teaching a toddler that the family dog is actually a cat.

But back to the football itself and it is obviously not just me who is getting nervous, the Aussies are too, only managing a 3-1 win over Liechtenstein in their last warm-up match.

For some reason Turkish TV stations didn't clear their schedules to show the match live and so of course I can't give any insights, except to say that at least plenty of players were rested for the match.

Hopefully they will get their composure back next week for the first match against Japan.

In other results: Spain 2, Croatia 1.

With just a day to go I feel like a kiddie who is anxiously waiting for his birthday... Today just can't go fast enough for me.

Ah yes, before it is too late. Flying Dutchman Kanka Carlo has made up a wonderful interactive wall chart with all the dates and times of matches and which you can put in the scores of the matches and it will automatically update the group scores, who goes through etc etc. Download Wallchart.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Fines in the league this year

Some interesting statistics compiled by Hurriyet today. The total amount in fines handed out to teams by the Football Federation's disciplinary board. The list is in order of how the teams finished the league:

Galatasaray: 455,500 YTL.

Fenerbahçe: 512,500 YTL.

Beşiktaş: 251,500 YTL.

Trabzonspor: 253,500 YTL.

Kayserispor: 47,500 YTL.

Gençlerbirliği: 0 YTL (no mistake there. no fines all year).

Konyaspor: 30,000 YTL.

Sivasspor: 36,000 YTL.

Çaykur Rizespor: 42,500 YTL.

Vestel Manisaspor: 54,000 YTL.

K.Erciyesspor: 33,000 YTL.

Gaziantepspor: 81,000 YTL.

Ankaragücü: 54,000 YTL.

Ankaraspor: 6,500 YTL.

Denizlispor: 85,500 YTL.

Malatyaspor: 96,500 YTL.

Samsunspor: 74,500 YTL.

Diyarbakirspor: 67,000 YTL.

Weekly poll results: Assuming Brazil win Group F who will come second?

Time to finish up with the first poll of the blog and start up another.

The question if you've forgotton was:

"Assuming Brazil win Group F who will come second"

All up we had 32 votes and I'm sad to say that by a small margin Croatia is favourite to come second in group F.

The results:

Croatia 18 (55 percent)
Australia 14 (42 percent)
Japan 1 (3 percent)

My thoughts?

Zagreb Kanka started e-mailing her friends to jump onto the site to vote which could well have influenced the vote but at the same time I put a post on a Genclerbirligi website forum about Sir Eski Kanka being in Sabah newspaper (point being that plenty of Turkish Gencler supporters then came to our blog and as the Aussie midfielder Josip Skoko is revered by these guys and girls I wouldn't be surprised if they all voted for Australia.

In other words, I don't have a clue how to interpret the results. Lets just say that in the end it was probably very much like the survey a few years ago when Time Magazine asked its online readers to vote for "person of the century". There were various catagories and the Turks, ingenious as they are, managed to get Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of the modern Turkish Republic, on to the top of all the catagories.

Ataturk was a great man, he certainly buggered up us ANZACs at Gallipoli, but was he really "the best singer of the 20th century"?

But who cares whether internet polls are accurate or not. Lets have another. I'm hoping to make this a weekly event and any suggestions for questions are more than welcome (although not from you Sir Eski or Angara).

This week's poll, keeping with the theme of the World Cup:

If there was one team you would like to add to the World Cup which one would it be?

Papua New Guinea

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The death of innocence

Football is a game that raises one's expectations to silly heights and, usually, ends in despair for practically all involved... players and supporters alike.

But normally most kiddies are in the game for fun. I can remember playing in the Under Eights division for Saints United (a combination of Spiritus Sanctus and St. Charles primary schools in Sydney) and even though I don't think we won a single game all season I still had a great time.

The point for me in those days was that football (we called it soccer then) was just about kicking a ball about. Although there probably was a league and points being scored I can't remember anyone ever pointing out that we were most probably at the bottom of it. For me, the game was fun. Nothing else.

And so it was with true sorrow that I have learnt the sad story of Louis Moffet (6) whose experience of football is certainly not like my youthful innocent bliss but more like the grown-up reality of a dedicated supporter of Ankaragucu and Genclerbirligi... i.e. start off each season full of hope only to be denied yet again. In Gencler's case in the very last game of the season.

Young Master Moffet of Kibblesworth, Gateshead, England, entered one of those competitions that the sponsors of football, in this case McDonalds, use to promote obesity in children... sorry... interest in healthy sporting activities, and was obviously overjoyed when he found out he had beaten 50,000 other children to become one of those kiddies who holds onto the England captain's hand and would lead his heroes onto the pitch during one of the World Cup group games.

Things were definately looking good for young Master Moffet when he was told, in person, by none other than 1966 hat trick scorer Geoff Hurst that it would be an experience he would never forget.

Then, as if the child was told all at once that not only does Santa Claus not exist, that the Easter Bunny is actually lunch and that by the time he retires the weekly state pension will probably only go as far as a couple of packets of crisps, McDonalds cruelly destroyed Master Moffet's life.

Instead of leading Beckham and company out, he will instead be holding onto the hand of the captain of Germany.

"I would have liked an England game because I don't know any of the German players," said the poor little bugger, quoted here in the Northern Echo.

"I have been telling everyone I would be mascot for England. I had been looking forward to meeting the team."

I'm not sure if everyone reading this blog understands the true cruelty that has been inflicted on the boy. Could you imagine if an Armenian kid was selected to lead out Turkey, a Bosnian Muslim to lead out Serbia, or possibly even an Australian kiddie to lead out Croatia?

McDonald's have apparently apologised for any misunderstanding but I wonder if they realise they have destroyed Master Moffet's life. Every time he passes one of their so-called restaurants he will be reminded of the day his dreams were crushed.

So when you are watching the opening match of the tournament on Friday night take special note of the boy holding the hand of Michael Ballack. If he has a tear in his eye you will at least know it is not a tear of joy or even of bewilderment, but a tear that symbolises a childhood brought to a horribly short end... the death of innocence.


Greetings Kankas. Some good news coming out of Edinburgh today. After losing 2 Cup finals to Glasgow City this season, the Edinburgh Ladies of Hibernian clinched the Premier League Title. Report below courtesay of the Hibs FC Site-

After Hibernian Ladies match against Forfar Farmington on Sunday, Suzy Robertson became the second Hibs player to Captain the club to the Scottish Women's Premier League title. It was in fact the Ladies second Championship win in three years with the girls ending the League campaign unbeaten. Normally if a side goes on such a long unbeaten run they could expect to have the title sown up relatively early but such had been the fine form Glasgow City were in themselves, the outcome went right to the death with Hibernian eventually finishing three points ahead of their Glasgow rivals.

A great achievement therefore this season for Edinburgh teams. Hearts winning the Scottish Cup, and in finishing in 2nd place, qualification for the Champions League. Hibs by virtue of finishing 4th in the League qualified for the Inter Toto Cup.

So, perhaps the Hibs team can take some inspiration from their lady counterparts and go all the way in the Inter Toto, UEFA Cup and The Scottish Premier League next season ??!!

Ever the optimist !!!

Congratulations to the Hibs Ladies Team from all Kankas in Ankara, especially the Scottish ones !!!

All the best from Happy Eski Kanka Jim

Monday, June 05, 2006

A not so friendly friendly

Holland played Australia (1-1) yesterday and a "friendly" it was not.

Plenty of rough hacks from behind, many looking very cynical, and an eventual red card for Luke Wilkshire has probably made sure that Australia will not be the team that Dutch supporters will take to heart when the World Cup starts later in the week.

The match was broadcast live in Turkey (no doubt the programme organisers at Kanal 8 have seen the blog and noticed the huge interest that Turks have in the Australian campaign) and I managed to see a fair bit of it.

My impressions.

1) The Dutch are bloody good. They gave us absolutely no time on the ball in the midfield and always looked dangerous.

2) The Australians like playing it rough if need be and my guess is that this is exactly how they will play against Brazil.

3) Australian goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer has cemented his place in the first squad after pulling off some great saves.

Van Nistelrooy opened the scoring after nine minutes and for most of the first half it looked like the Dutch might run away with it. Luckily the ref missed a pretty clear hand ball by Vince Grella much to the dismay of the sea of orange in the stands.

The referee proved again just how out of step he is with his international counterparts when he awarded Australia a penalty when someone brought Mark Viduka down in the box. Hasn't the man seen the FIFA instructions (instructions that the ref in the UEFA Cup final and the man who officiated in the Australia - Greece friendly last week certainly took to heart) that Viduka is never to be given the benefit of the doubt in these situations.

Viduka stepped up to take the penalty and, yet again, managed to miss. This time the ball hit the crossbar, bounced down, hit the keeper, then hit the side crossbar, then a Dutch player tried to clear but only managed to whack into his own keeper and then, finally, Tim Cahill hit it into the back of the net.

Not long later Wilkshire was sent off but the Australians managed to keep the Dutch out.

All up not a bad result.

PHOTOCAPTION: The Aussies celebrate after Tim Cahill equalised. Phot nicked from the SMH.

In other games: Poland 1 Croatia 0. No comment

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Scottish Jim, a total Ankaragucu fanatic

By Ovgu Dogan

Sabah newspaper, Ankara supplement. Sunday June 4.

Saying that he hasn't missed a single Ankaragucu match in seven years, Scottish Jim Chalmers says, "It's amazing that Ankara people support Istanbul teams. It's time for them to stop and give support to their own teams."

Jim Chalmers has been teaching in Turkey for many years and since 1999 he has been supporting Ankaragucu by being in the stands at every match. Jim says he was introduced to Ankaragucu by former footballer Zalad and says:

"while there are teams in Ankara, it is amazing that Ankara people support Istanbul teams. Ankara people should love their city and their teams more. For our group of foreigners in Ankara who go to every match to support our team (to see) that Ankara people do not come is extremely shameful."

Chalmers says that Ankaragucu Chairman Cemal Aydin is a good chairman but he must become more ambitious:

"For the team to reach greater hights the chairman must become more ambitious. In addition if the fans fill the stands the club will earn money. In that case Cemel Aydin wouldn't be left having to sell players. Ankara businesspeople must give more help to the teams. The club should open a licensed merchandise store at the stadium."

Noting that with some foreigners in Turkey he has started an internet site which deals solely with Ankara football, Chalmers says:

"We go to every match and we show ourselves. Ankara people need to take us as an example. The many people in the group from all over the world that we have established on the internet talk about Ankara football, that is, Ankara teams.

In addition, Umut Bulut leaving the team will be a big loss says Chalmers, a total Bulut admirer.

EDIT: Mrs Oz Kanka has made a few slight changes to Oz Kankas translation. Nothing major though.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Perhaps we should stick to writing, and not playing

This blog normally sticks to reporting about sport, football in Ankara in particular, but today yours truely actually went out and played some. Cricket in Ankara. Thought it never existed? Well it does thanks to the great work of a group of expat Pakistanis.

The pitch was a just a little uneven but the organisation was excellent. We all had all the kit, two umpires of course (who had walkie talkies to inform the scorers!) and we even had a proper medic, well, a guy with medic-type bag.

As for my game, lets just say that Isaac Promise is a damn sight better at football than I am at cricket. Unfortunately the Ankara Stars lost by (I think) six wickets to the Deri of Istanbul. I was told deri means village in Urdu.

It was a fun day though, although I have a feeling the bruise on my backside is going to be bloody sore in the morning.

Photocaption: The Ankara Stars line up before play.

EDIT early Monday morning: The second match was played on Sunday and despite weary limbs and one hell of a bruise your correspondent managed to score 15 runs. Not great, but not bad either. Unfortunately the Ankara Stars went down by about 30 runs to METU.

Friday, June 02, 2006

A blast from the past

I was just going through some old newspaper clippings I have and came across this article in the TDN from the mid 90s written by someone called Noddy. A very interesting piece it is too. I reprint it in full.

For some time now rumours have been rife in the world of football that the game's governing body, FIFA, has been considering sweeping rule changes. This week, the weighty deliberations of the game's mental giants have finally resulted in action. FIFA has announced, after much consideration, the rule change that will take the world's favourite sport into the 21st century. And a bold, radical change it is too. Linesmen will, in future, be known as assistant referees.

There can be little doubt that this dramatic step will utterly transform the international state of soccer. For it is clear that the game is in trouble, and radical change was necessary. After all, if the game was any good in its present form, why is it not more popular in America? Soccer clearly has some catching up to do if it is to equal the worldwide appeal of baseball and American Football.

FIFA announced that it had considered enlarging the size of the goals, but rejected this change after it became clear that nobody, anywhere, wanted it. How narrow minded! How blinkered! This idea was clearly intended to produce higher scorelines; as Noddy's readers no doubt know, it is not uncommon for American Football teams to score 20, 30, 40 points. This must therefore be a good thing.

What has not until now been common knowledge is that FIFA spent much of its time debating a highly secret set of proposals submitted by the little nodding man himself. The time has come to reveal to a wider public Noddy's revolutionary package for the transformation of soccer.

1) Two balls! Twice the action, twice the excitement. No more waiting around for the ball to be returned from the crowd. And, to make the most of the extra goal chances that would inevitably arise:

2) Three goals! Yes, the game should be played on a triangular pitch with a goal on each side. Imagine the thrills! Spectators would hardly know where to look, so much exciting action will be swirling around the pitch -- especially sinch each match would be contested by:

3) Four teams! Perhaps playing under some kind of tag system, perhaps all hurled into action at the same time in one huge, festive feast of football.

4) Linesmen will, in future, be known as "sir".

5) Anyway, isn't there somewhat demeaning about players being obliged to kick the ball all the time? Why shouldn't they be allowed to pick it up and throw it?

6) And why should it be round anyway? This makes it harder to get a grip on. Why not a kind of ovoid shape?

These daring proposals were clearly too drastic for the greybeards and fuddy-duddies at FIFA to stomach. The world of football is the poorer for this craven refusal to face realities.

Keep watching though, people thought Noddy mad when he suggested the six-ball over and the use of pyjamas as a way to get bums on seats for cricket. The five-point try in rugby union was originally tested on the fields of Toytown and Noddy's suggestion that basketball games be reduced to the final 10 minutes is still being given serious consideration.

Wake up FIFA it's almost the 21st century.


Greetings Kankas. You will be pleased to know that The Ankara Kanka Club has now received International recognition (well..... within Turkey anyway !!!).

Yours truly was interviewed today by Ovgu Hanim of The Internationally known newspaper (well...... within Turkey anyway) SABAH, about The Ankara Kanka Club.

The interview was brief - thankfully ! I told her about why I started to support Ankaragucu, the formation of the Ankaragucu Kanka Club, the amalgamation of Ankaragucu and Gencler kankas to form the Ankara Kanka Club, the number of foreigners supporting the Ankara teams, our disgust at the lack of support from the Turkish residents of Ankara, my advice to Cemal Aydin for the future, and of course, about the Blog.

It will feature in the Sabah within the next day or two, so........ don't forget to buy a copy or check it out on the Internet.

I'm sure Oz Kanka will give us a journalistic translation and perhaps he knows the name of the Internet site for Sabah.

Look forward to hearing your reaction in due course.

All the best from Famous, but Modest, Eski Kanka Jim

Thursday, June 01, 2006

On curling, gymnastics and football

Sir Eski Kanka hates most things I like and our choice of newspapers is no different.

So just to annoy him again I've found a lovely piece in the Guardian today by Marina Hyde on various things that should not be considered a sport.

Hyde of course offends many out there and there is no way I agree with all of her conclusions but some of her stuff is priceless.

On gymnastics: "Child abuse with points"

On skateboarding: "Failure to grow up is not a sport"

On golf: "The obvious lunacy of considering something at which you can win despite being relatively old and fat allows us to dismiss golf as a pastime"

Excellent stuff. Hyde goes on to dismiss darts and snooker not to mention judo and motor racing. She has quotes Linda Smith's dismissal of that great Scottish event curling as "housework on ice".

Fortunately football is considered a sport by Hyde but I did like her finding one great anti-football quote that could only come from someone from the good ole U, S and A.

"Chuck Klosterman once wrote that "to say you love soccer is to say you believe in enforced equality more than you believe in the value of competition and the capacity of the human spirit.""

With a name like Chuck can there be any doubt that he wouldn't hate the round ball game.