Let us start with a statement of the obvious; the World Cup has now reached the second round stage. Not only that, but by way of the very British virtues of feigning an interest in tennis and reveling in seeing it rain on people’s Glastonbury parade, we have survived a day without football as well. Before the barren no-mans’ land between Group H and Round of 16 1A departs us though it is time to take stock of the popular STAND World Cup Sweep.
First up, let us remember why we are doing this and who we are doing this for. As you will have seen from the picture, I was delighted to stick my signature on a cheque for £64, and send it to Doncaster Women’s Aid this week. It won’t go far, but it will hopefully support their cause and, by sticking a big picture of it on our home page and social media make people take notice too. Already this World Cup, we have seen the same damning depressing stories that accompany major football tournaments, the very real problem of rises in domestic violence and abuse. Football, whilst it may be very exciting and at time emotional, is ultimately just a game. It is not an excuse.
So of those 31 of you who joined us in supporting this cause and enjoying the World Cup, we have reached the point where we sadly have to day goodbye to the following 16 of you. Some made valiant efforts (Australia, Iran), some imploded spectacularly (Cameroon), and some just about turned up (England, Russia). Thank you one and all.
For the remaining few we move on to the second round, and the fixtures that shape up as follows. God speed all of you, and may your teams remember the spirit of football and play with a smile on their faces before they face ultimate crushing realism in the face of unnerving defeat to the mighty Americans. USA! USA! USA!
Saturday 28 June
Sunday 29 June
Monday 30 June
Tuesday 1 July