Ready, Set - Kick the Thing!

cartoon: goal!
According to experts, this is a legal goal
- so long as you kick your own team-mate.

Links to Fútbol Mundial '98:

Paris:- Sunday, 31. May 1998:- A reader in Chile sent a terse request last week for information about the World Cup in France, so I took a look around to see what the Web could turn up.

I looked for Spanish-language sites, and was not overly impressed by what the major search engines turned up. After checking some of the URLs, half the sites were rejected for one reason or another. Then, as an afterthought, I decided to see how many German and Italian sites I could find, the search engines turned up little - and essentially nothing for Italy.

Metropole's own links to newspaper sites gave better results; this is the best way to find what there may be, especially if you want obscure sources. But at the end I still had nothing for Italy.

'Surfing the Web' is not something I do often. Usually I'm looking for something that can be found with a one-word search, and it usually gets 'found.' Football and soccer are not 'one word' - in multiple languages - and this was part of my problem. Unhinged 'Java' scripts were another part, and I don't know how many crashes they caused. Some sites have pages overloaded with images, or animated graphics - not good for quick check-ups.

Below you will find Metropole's long-standing links from the 'Au Bistro' column. These are followed by what I turned up for Fútbol. Then there is a link to Libération's steadily updated 'Mondial 98' page and its associated links. The list ends with some major 'search' sites, where you can expect a lot of traffic. Linda Thalman 'found' Cameroon's team and it got added too.

This page will be updated during the World Cup Championship matches in France if I think it is absolutely necessary. To ease access to it, this page will be added to each weekly issue until there is a winner. After that, Metropole will have non-Sports News about France's 'Tour de France' until the end of July.

But First: The SportsBar!

While real SportsFans begin hanging 22 on Fridays, those at the SportsBar, known as the Football Café go to junior league matches on Saturdays while waiting for the World Cup championship to begin. Their girlfriends go too unless it is raining or they have important shopping to do. After the game, all retire to the SportsBar to drink boiling hot World Cup SportsCafé. Three cheers and a huge alobalob! for the Football Café and for the single-mindedness of the SportsFans!' This is it: more than 10,000 pages!

Less uplifting are the 'official' Web sites: represented by the FIFA - which stands for Federation International - and the French Organizing Committee, known to all far and wide as the CFO. I don't what the initials stand for, just like RATP does not sound like métro to me.

Unique World Cup News - From Issy!

The Paris suburb, next to Paris-Expo, of Issy-les-Moulineaux has had 11 youngsters, aged between 17 and 25, in training for six months, to be 'cyber-reporters.' With a little help from Issy and France Télécom, they have formed a 'Cyber Team' of Web reporters to 'cover' the World Cup '98.

Their reports from Issy are to appear on a city-sponsored Web site, starting Wednesday, 10. June. As soon as I get the URL for it, I'll post it on this page.

What's Issy got that's worth covering? Well, there's the WC'98 International Press Centre at Paris-Expo, the Eurosport TVsign: l'equipe headquarters, the editorial offices of 'L'Equipe' - the daily sports paper - and TVRS 98, the outfit that will be sending out all worldwide TV coverage.

The info and management software for the event is by Sybase and they're in Issy too, but I don't think there will be much exciting news here unless they suffer a repeat of the recent 'Atlanta' fiasco.

The young reporters will be known as 'Cyti 98' - which is not a spelling mistake. Eric Legale of Issy-Media sent me this info on behalf of his boss, Andre Santini, the Deputy Mayor. Both of them hope the youngsters will impress everybody enough to get full-time media jobs out of the deal. So do I.

Fútbol Mundial '98 Links:

Libération - Mondial 98 - follow this link for constant updates and fair commentary. For example, there is a site called 'Stade de France,' which Libération says is a 'heavy loader.' Extensive links also point to African sites and even to a religious site, for those whose team is in trouble.

Anti-Football Site - Anti-SportsFans:
  • 'Down With Football Madness' Site - recommends pouring 1O,000 litres of de-grass on the pitch on the eve of the opening game at the Stade de France. Boo! Also proposes, in French, the idea of dropping 80,022 cream pies from hot-air balloons on hardcore SportsFans. Double-Boo! Linda Thalman, who only champions the Cameroon team, doesn't like this site at all.
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