Saturday, April 12, 2008

South Africa's President weighs in on Zimbabwe

Okay, so this isn't about placing a bet on the World Cup. This isn't about betting or the World Cup in general. This is about the elections in Zimbabwe (which you probably could have bet on at some point.)

South Africa's President, Thabo Mbeki, has an hour long meeting with the Zimbabwe president, and shortly afterward, said that the election stalemate was not a crisis and that the election committee just needed more time before releasing the results. Why it is taking so long is very odd.

It has been 14 days since the presidential election was held, and most people think that the ruling party in Zimbabwe lost the presidency to the opposition MDC. The delay in releasing the results has caused people to think that the current party is trying to manipulate the results and do this during the period of delay.

South Africa's president said that the 2 weeks period since the election is normal in Zimbabwe politics and that people should not be worried about the results.

There were recent riots in Kenya over their election results. I don't this would in anyway effect the World Cup.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

World Cup Qualifiers – European Zone

The European Zone begins it’s qualifiers beginning in August of 2008, and just what, you can bet on the World Cup First Stage Qualifiers.

For these purposes, Europe is divided into 9 groups (8 groups of 6 teams and 1 group of 5). The 9 group winners will qualify for the 2010 World Cup. The best 8 teams that don't win a group will have a playoff against each other for 4 additional World Cup spots awarded to the zone.

The first group consists of Portugal, Sweden, Denmark, Hungary, Albania, and Malta. Portugal has to be the odds on favorite to win this group, but I don’t think that Sweden and Denmark are such pushovers. This would be a fun group to bet on and watch, but I do expect Portugal to win it.

The second group (Group 2) is made up of Greece, Israel, Switzerland, Moldova, Latvia and Luxembourg. No one in this group really jumps out a team that will dominate, but I like either Greece or Switzerland to go the World Cup.

Group 3 has the Czech Republic, Poland, Northern Ireland, Slovakia, Slovenia, and San Marino. I would expect to see Poland or maybe the Czech Republic come out of here. I would like to see Ireland, but I doubt that would happen.

Betting on Group 4, I would have to put my money on Germany. They match up against Russia, Finland, Wales, Azerbaijan, and Liechtenstein. Russia or Finland might give Germany some problems, but even so, they should be able to win this group easily.

Group 5 has a very good Spanish team going against Turkey, Belgium, Bonsia-Herzegovina, Armenia, and Estonia. I would bet on Spain to dominate this group.

The British are coming to group 6, and they should no problem conquering this one. England goes up against Croatia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Andorra. I feel bad for all the other teams in this group, because they really have not shot.

Group 7 has France, Romania, Serbia, Lithuania, Austria, and the Faroe Islands. If I got any kind on odds on France to make it to the World Cup, I would take them.

Italy will be the team to come out of Group 8. They are matched up against Bulgaria, Republic of Ireland, Cyprus, Georgia, and Montenegro. Ireland should really stop playing as North and South and create just 1 team. They might be a lot better then.

The last group is 9. The five (only five) teams that make up this group are Netherlands (who I would bet on), Scotland, Norway, FYR Macedonia, and Iceland. I can’t see anyone but the Netherlands coming out of this group.

Well that’s the list for teams that are trying to get to the World Cup out of the European Zone. We’ll have to wait a bit to see who makes it, but it should be fun!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

South Africa is in the World Cup

I didn't realize this until now, but appartently the World Cup host country gets an automatic bid into the tournament. I guess that makes sense, and you really can't say that it fair. The locals want to watch, root for and bet on a local team. And the local team should be damn competative. In 2006, Germnay go a lot farther than any odds makers where saying they could. Yes, I'm proud to have bet on them in the 2006 World Cup to win their group. They were favored, but I bet big and cleaned up. Unfortunately, I stopped betting on them after that.

In 2010, I'll probably place a bet on the South African team to come out of their group, if not win it. It always seems like the home teams do better than people would expect them to. Honestly, I'm not sure how home teams don't get more respect. They don't have to travel or deal with jet lag. They don't have to sleep in hotels for weeks on end. They should be familiar with even field that they play on. And they should be surrounded by family and friends.

Anyway, the good news for South Africa is that they are in the World Cup. I think more than a few people will bet on them to come out of the group too. This guy probably will. After all, I'm sure to bet on the World Cup. Might as well bet a home team.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Early World Cup Groups

World Cup 2010 will be held in South Africa, and the people of Africa are thrilled. This should be a big boost to the local economy of the continent and a great way to help spread the customs of the local people to the world. New stadiums are under construction adding a boost to the construction industry. Tourism is going to go through the roof during the games. And sponsorships will be at an all time high for the country.

Teams most now get ready to compete for the qualifying rounds of the tournament. The bracket draw for the preliminary matches happened in November of 2007 in Durban. Here all 170 teams participating found out who they would be up against to qualify of the 2010 tournament.

For this drawing, all teams were grouped into one for 4 zones as follows:

European Zone – Made up of the heavy hitters like Italy, England, France, Spain and others.
African Zone – Made up of African teams from South Africa to Ghana.
Asian Zone – Made up of teams from the Middle East (Iran) to Japan and Australia.
North, Central American and Caribbean Zone – Consisting of teams from the USA to Jamaica.
South American Zone – Strong teams like Brazil and Argentina
Oceanian Zone – From New Zealand to Fiji

Each zone has different brackets with a different number of seeds advancing to the FIFA World Cup in South Africa. As time goes by, we will take a look at each zone and see how many teams will advance and how the different groupings will play out.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

World Cup - Soccer is the biggest game in the World

Soccer aka Football to the rest of the world, is the most watched and the most bet game across the planet. It is sick the amounts of money wager on this sport. More money is bet on the World Cup than any other event in the world. Sure worldwide, people watch the Olympics, they watch the Super Bowl, they might even watch the World Series (Hello Japan). But people don;t watch any single event more than they watch the Football World Cup.

Of course there are a few other World Cup's as well. There is the World Cup of Cricket, the World Cup of Rugby, the World Cup of Beer Pong, etc.

The next World Cup is in 2010 in South Africa. South Africa is at the bottom of Africa and produces a lot of Diamonds. They also have some great casinos there. I even think that online gambling is legal there, and they have a few online sportsbooks and casinos based in South Africa.

The 2014 World Cup will be held in Brazil. Land of the carnival, the real Madri Gras. Countries are currently submitting bids to try to host the 2018 World Cup.