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Sunday, June 15, 2014

Arena da Amazônia ~ Italy beats England - WAGs, Barmy Army and more...

Heard of Barmy Army or WAGs… !!

Arena da Amazônia (Amazon Arena) is the name of a football stadium in Manaus with an all-seater capacity of 46,000…. Even before the match,  England Manager Roy Hodgson criticized the location of the stadium saying the extreme heat of Manaus would make it difficult for players. The Mayor of Manaus later went on to claim that anyone who criticized the stadium or the city would not receive the best welcome. Manaus  or (formerly) Lugar de Barra do Rio Negro, is the capital city of the state of Amazonas in northern Brazil. It is situated at the confluence of the Negro and Solimões rivers.  The city was founded in 1693-94 as the Fort of São José do Rio Negro. It was elevated to a town in 1832 with the name of "Manaus", an altered spelling of the indigenous Manaós peoples, and legally transformed into a city  in 1848. Manaus is located in the middle of the Amazon rainforest, and access to the city is primarily through boat or airplane. The culture of Manaus, more than in any other urban area of Brazil, preserves the habits of Native Brazilian tribes.

At Manus stadia, Italy held out against diligent England to earn a 2-1 win, courtesy of goals from Claudio Marchisio and Mario Balotelli, which leaves them second on goal difference in Group D at the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil. Daniel Sturridge had equalised soon after the Juventus midfielder had opened the scoring, but Cesare Prandelli's side held on to their lead for the second time following an early goal after the break.  For England, this was a strange kind of World Cup defeat. England played well, but lost. Went for it, but lost. Had many of the best chances, but lost.

Have read about Neville Cardus, the famous writer and critic on Cricket – another Neville is attracting attention as fans brand him 'dull' and 'robotic' - even police force join the online mockery, saying his voice will calm crowds.  Daily Mail reports that Neville was brought in as co-commentator by BBC for England vs Italy – and BBC faced a backlash over Phil Neville's commentary of England's World Cup opener last night - with even police joining the online mockery. The former player co-commentated alongside BBC regular Guy Mowbray as England crashed to a 2-1 defeat to Italy in their first group match; his comments were branded 'robotic' and 'depressing' by critics on Twitter, who joked that they struggled to stay awake during his 'monotone' coverage of the late-night game.  South Warwickshire Police  joined making fun of his performance during a series of safety messages. They tweeted: 'At least we know Phil Neville won't stir the crowds in the pubs into a frenzy. Drink sensibly.'

On the field, Mario Balotelli headed the decisive goal as Italy emerged 2-1 winners over England in another high quality World Cup match. Ahead of the game, Italian paper Gazzetta Dello Sport predicted Azzurri win by 2 goals - albeit the prediction was for the war of WAGs (the wives and girlfriends). The newspaper claimed  their women outclassed the partners of the England team in an article headlined ‘WAGs absent – Italy triumphs in the battle of the wives.’ ~ and on-field the English stars did anything different.

Fanny Neguesha (L), fiancee of Mario Balotelli  and Carolina Marcialis (R), wife of Antonio Cassano of Italy,

Barmy Army is a semi-organised group of English cricket fans which arranges touring parties for some of its members to follow the English cricket team on overseas tours. The group, then less organised, was given its name by the Australian media during the 1994 - 1995 Test series in Australia, reportedly for the fans' audacity in travelling to Australia in the near-certain knowledge that their team would lose, and the fact that they kept on chanting even when England were losing quite badly. It was co-founded by Paul Burnham and is a limited company - claims it wants to "make watching cricket more fun and much more popular". The group uses flags, banners, songs and chants to encourage the team and crowd participation in their activities.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

15th June 2014.

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