Showing posts with label World Cup. Show all posts
Showing posts with label World Cup. Show all posts

Friday, September 7, 2012

Futbol Frenzy

Today's World Cup qualifying match against Uruguay produced scenes like this one across Bogotá, and undoubtedly throughout Colombia. 

Colombia overwhelmed Uruguay 4 to 1 and kept itself in the running for the next World Cup. Hopefully, Colombia, which has disappointed recently, will make it. 

Bring up the beer. 

In the Santa Fe red light district a brothel gets into the spirit. 
With four goals, Bogotá's football fans had plenty of reasons to smile. 

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

Monday, April 11, 2011

Race to the under-20 World Cup

Ave. 26, alongside Independence Park. Will buses be running here July 29?
Colombia is to host the 2011 under-20 football World Cup. But before Colombia can use home team advantage to try to win the cup, it's got to win the race against time to have its cities and stadiums ready for Colombia's biggest-ever sports event. More info here.

The soccer World Cup starts July 29 and lasts 20 days. Bogotá officials have promised that the new Transmilenio lines will be operating, even if all the stations aren't finished yet. What do you think?

Ave. 26, which connects the airport with downtown, near the Central Cemetery.
Here, the roadwork has advanced and the stations are taking shape. 
I've also heard reports that repair work on some of the stadiums and associated facilities, particularly those in Cartagena and Cali, is behind schedule.

Rush hour traffic jam on Seventh Ave. Will visitors have to
suffer through this?
The U-20 Cup is sort of Colombia's coming-out party, its chance to show that the 'Colombia-as-failed-state' and 'Colombia-as-war-torn, drug-corrupted-wreck,' is all in the past. If Colombia does a good job on the U-20 World Cup, then, who knows, it could put itself in the running to host the REAL World Cup.

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

Monday, March 28, 2011

Colombia - World Cup Champs!

Of course, that's in futsal, not football/soccer.

Colombia pounded Paraguay 8 - 2 Saturday to win the Futsal World Cup. Sure, it's not the BIG World Cup, and playing at home might have made a little bit of a difference. But, for a soccer-crazed nation which didn't even classify for the last real World Cup, the victory's a boost.

(Foto: Minuto 30)
Futsal's a bit of a strange creature. It's basically indoor football. But nine of its ten World Cups have been won by South American teams. From Europe, only Portugal, which won the 1991 Futsal World Cup, Spain and Russia have placed in the top four.

I read in Semana that this sport shouldn't be called football or futbol, because the FIFA holds a monopoly on that word when related to sports played with round balls, and has created its own rival league with slightly different rules.

Across Bogotá you see young guys kicking round balls around on concrete courts with small goals at either end. So it makes sense for Colombia to continue to do well in this sport, and hopefully Colombia will do well again in the next World Cup, which likely won't be played in Colombia.

Colombia overwhelming Ecuador 14-0 (Photo: La Cariñosa)
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

Monday, June 28, 2010

National Priorities!

Watching the Supreme Court at Work?

This is the scene these days in the Plaza Bolivar, Colombia's seat of government. The building in the background is the Palace of Justice, which receives little spectator interest, despite huge decisions, such as the recent one nixing Pres. Uribe's hopes for a third-consecutive term.

But now that they've set up a big-screen TV in front of it, broadcasting the World Cup, the Justice Palace appears to have an audience.

Perhaps the last time that it got so much attention was when the M-19 guerrillas invaded the building in 1985.

Soccer's definitely the number one sport in Colombia. But Colombia, with 45 million people, didn't make the World Cup this year, while Paraguay, with 5 million people, and Uruguay, with 2 million, did. What makes Colombia such an underperformer?

(Incidentally, the big screen also shows propaganda for the city government.)

Written by Mike, of Bogota Bike Tours and Rentals.