June 1, 2014
It was a tough decision to make but More Than a Game will not be travelling to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
MTAG does not feel comfortable travelling to Brazil aware that FIFA and the Brazilian authorities have squandered billions on white elephant football stadia and further redistribution from the poor to the rich when instead they could have worked towards improving the lives of the millions of poor in Brazil. The ongoing protests throughout Brazil remind us that the citizens of that country are extremely unhappy that so much money has been wasted.
The ludicrous costs of attending Brazil 2014 also convinced us that it was a financial waste of time to attend this tournament. We will watch the tournament on the TV but sadly we will not attend.
Hopefully, More Than a Game will return in July 2015 at the South American Copa America, due to be held in Chile.

 
 
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Tickets go on sale today for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brasil. Have had this date scrawled in the diary for some time thinking it would be the usual first ticket stage free-for-all of previous tournaments when you had a pretty decent chance of picking up a few tickets if you applied before the masses. Instead though they are so late getting their act together for 2014 that this first stage is nothing more than a massive ticket lottery, which runs from today until mid-October. Doesn't matter when you apply between now and then; your name will go into a virtual hat.
Back in 2006 they ended up with six applications per ticket available. Imagine the ratio will be much higher this time. I also reckon tens of thousands will buy and get tickets and then change their minds about going to Brasil nearer the time. The cheapest tickets are running at $90 for first round matches for foreigners. You could always buy a cat 4 from a local once you get out there instead, with some Brazilians only paying ten quid for the pleasure. After all, if you apply now for first round games, you have no idea which teams you are going to end up watching. Ecuador v Gabon for $175 anyone? 
 
 
Friday, August 2, 2013
OK, it isn't exactly spring (as previously promised) - midsummer, in fact, in northern Europe - but More Than a Game finally begins our Brazil 2014 blog today. Why has it taken so long to start blogging about Brazil? After all, the ongoing nation-wide protests in Brazil were certainly one of the biggest global talking points of 2013 to date. And then there was the Brazil-hosted Confederations Cup and this week's visit by the new pope. Well, the explanation is that we continued to focus our efforts on our Sierra Leone project, which took us right through until the end of June...while the last month has been all about enjoying the much-shorter-than-we-would-wish-it-to-be northern European summer.

More Than a Game has also been prompted back into action this week having been asked by numerous individuals in the space of a few days 'what are your plans are for Brazil?' Will you still be going? What project does MTAG have planned? How long will you be there?
Mael Griffon, recently returned from a stint living in Tolyatti in deepest Russia, was the most recent person to ask me about our plans; yesterday, in fact, at football training. Mael is planning to travel to South America early next year and has already kindly offered to get involved in our 2014 project. Jeffrey Young, Johan Nordby and Michael Finch are three other friends who have recently expressed a strong commitment to getting on board in Brazil.

Yes, we are still planning to travel to the 2014 Brazil World Cup - God willing - and we will definitely have a project in place that we really hope will help improve the lives of others in some way; and raise awareness of some worthy causes. Just what the project will be and when it will start is still uncertain but we are at least finally sitting down and brainstorming ideas. And, yes, the Brazil 2014 blog has finally begun today... 

...oh yeah, and, by the way, if you are planning to go to Brazil please drop us a line and let us know about your plans. Maybe you can help More Than a Game's project - when it is announced - in Brazil next summer, or meet up somewhere on the road for a cold sundowner beer. 
 
 
Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Brazil 2014 blogs will begin appearing here in spring 2013. For the time being, More Than a Game is focusing on its Sierra Leone fundraising activities. We have big plans for Brazil and will reveal these later in the year.
 
 
Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tuesday saw the third round of Brazil 2014 European qualifiers with no major shocks. Georgia looked like pulling off the biggest upset of the evening against reigning World and European champions Spain. However, a goal four minutes from the final whistle gave the Spanish a 1-0 victory after Georgia had earlier hit the post. Wales were humiliated 6-1 away in Serbia, while Northern Ireland could only manage a draw with lowly Luxembourg, who had narrowly lost to Portugal four days earlier. 

On an evening when only four of the 24 European fixtures ended in draws, Ukraine managed to pick up a point at Wembley against England, who needed a Frank Lampard penalty to salvage a point. Meanwhile, Bosnia made it 12 goals in two matches with a 4-1 victory over Latvia, while Belgium showed once again that they are becoming a force to be reckoned with after they drew 1-1 with Croatia.

The next rounds of European qualifying matches take place on October 12 and 16. 

Serbia trounce Wales 6-1:

Results from September 11 in full:

Cyprus 1-0 Iceland

Israel 0-4 Russia

Georgia 0-1 Spain

Romania 4-0 Andorra

Bosnia-H 4-1 Latvia

Bulgaria 1-0 Armenia

Norway 2-1 Slovenia

Turkey 3-0 Estonia

Slovakia 2-0 Liechtenstein

Hungary 1-4 Holland 

San Marino 0-6 Montenegro

Serbia 6-1 Wales

Sweden 2-0 Kazakhstan

Switzerland 2-0 Albania

Austria 1-2 Germnay

Belgium 1-1 Croatia

Greece 2-0 Lithuania

Italy 2-0 Malta

Northern Ireland 1-1 Luxembourg

Poland 2-0 Moldova

England 1-1 Ukraine

France 3-1 Belarus

Scotland 1-1 Macedonia

Portugal 3-0 Azerbaijan

 
 
Monday, September 10, 2012

The European section of the Brazil 2014 qualifiers finally got under way on Friday evening with some close calls rather than upsets for a number of the more fancied teams. Iceland's 2-0 victory over Norway and Bulgaria's draw with Italy were perhaps the biggest surprises of the night but the likes of Portugal and France were also made to sweat. Ireland needed two late goals to avoid defeat in Kazakhstan, Croatia narrowly slipped past Macedonia and France edged Finland 1-0 away from home. 
Greece had to come from behind to beat Latvia 2-1 in Riga in monsoon-like conditions, Portugal flattered to deceive in their 2-1 win over lowly Luxembourg, while Germany could only manage three goals at home against the Faroe Islands.

There were though emphatic away performances for Bosnia and England with Bosnia winning 8-1 in Liechtenstein and England, who are now undefeated in eight matches under new boss Roy Hodgson, running out convincing 5-0 winners away to Moldova.

Highlights of Bosnia's eight-goal drubbing of Liechtenstein, with two players helping themselves to hat-tricks:
Russia 2-0 Northern Ireland

Azerbaijan 1-1 Israel

Kazakhstan 1-2 Eire 

Georgia 1-0 Belarus

Liechtenstein 1-8 Bosnia-H

Estonia 0-2 Romania

Malta 0-1 Armenia

Croatia 1-0 Macedonia

Lithuania 1-1 Slovakia

Albania 3-1 Cyprus

Andorra 0-5 Hungary

Finland 0-1 France

Latvia1-2 Greece

Montenegro 2-2 Poland

Holland 2-0 Turkey

Slovenia 0-2 Switzerland

Bulgaria 2-2 Italy

Germany 3-0 Faroe Islands

Iceland 2-0 Norway

Luxembourg 1-2 Portugal

Moldova 0-5 England 

Wales 0-2 Belgium

Scotland 0-0 Serbia

Denmark 0-0 Czech Republic

Highlights of Portugal's narrow victory over Luxembourg, with Luxembourg taking a shock early lead:
 
 
Thursday, August 16, 2012

With just a couple of weeks to go until European teams begin their 2014 World Cup qualification campaigns, many pitted their wits against teams from Africa, South America and Asia this week. Here is a round-up of all the international friendlies:

Albania 0-0 Moldova

Japan 1-1 Venezuela

South Korea 2-1 Zambia

China PR 1-1 Ghana

Russia 1-1 Ivory Coast

Armenia 1-2 Belarus

Azerbaijan 3-0 Bahrain

Bulgaria 1-0 Cyprus

Luxembourg 1-2 Georgia

Norway 2-3 Greece 

Sweden 0-3 Brazil

Ukraine 0-0 Czech Republic

Denmark 1-3 Slovakia

Austria 2-0 Turkey

Croatia 2-4 Switzerland

Hungary 1-1 Israel

Montenegro 2-0 Latvia

Belgium 4-2 Holland  

Estonia 1-0 Poland  

Germany 1-3 Argentina

Macedonia1-0 Lithuania

N Ireland 3-3 Finland

Serbia 0-0 Ireland  

Slovenia 4-3 Romania

Wales 0-2 Bosnia-H

England 2-1 Italy 

France 0-0 Uruguay

Scotland 3-1 Australia

Iceland 2-0 Faroe Islands

Portugal  2-0 Panama

Puerto Rico 1-2 Spain

Paraguay 3-3 Guatemala

Canada 2-0 Trinidad and Tobago

Costa Rica 0-1 Peru

Ecuador 3-0 Chile

El Salvador 0-2 Jamaica

One of the best goals was undoubtedly this superb effort from Estonia's Vassiljev in their 1-0 victory over Poland:
 
 
Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Starting to put together the new More Than a Game Brazil 2014 blog. We have a very big project planned for Brazil 2014 and expect to make an announcement about that in October. In the mean time, we will bring you news about the qualifying campaigns from around the world as 40 African teams, 10 Asian nations, 53 European countries, 12 nations from North, Central America & the Caribbean, 8 teams from Oceania and 9 national federations from South America fight it out for the right to compete at Brazil 2014.
 

    More Than a Game's Brazil 2014 World Cup blog & adventure

    Group A
    Croatia
    Serbia
    Belgium
    Scotland
    Macedonia
    Wales
    Group B
    Italy
    Denmark
    Czech Republic
    Bulgaria
    Armenia
    Malta
    Group C
    Germany
    Sweden
    Ireland
    Austria
    Faroe Islands
    Kazakhstan
    Group D
    Holland
    Turkey
    Hungary
    Romania
    Estonia
    Andorra
    Group E
    Norway
    Slovenia
    Switzerland
    Albania
    Cyprus
    Iceland
    Group F
    Portugal
    Russia
    Israel
    Northern Ireland
    Azerbaijan
    Luxembourg
    Group G
    Greece
    Slovakia
    Bosnia
    Lithuania
    Latvia
    Liechtenstein
    Group H
    England
    Montenegro
    Ukraine
    Poland
    Moldova
    San Marino
    Group I
    Spain
    France
    Belarus
    Georgia
    Finland

    Africa

    Group A
    Ethiopia
    Central African Republic
    South Africa
    Botswana
    Group B
    Tunisia
    Sierra Leone
    Equatorial Guinea
    Cape Verde
    Group C
    Ivory Coast
    Tanzania
    Morocco
    Gambia
    Group D
    Sudan
    Ghana
    Zambia
    Lesotho
    Group E
    Congo
    Gabon
    Burkina Faso
    Niger
    Group F
    Nigeria
    Namibia
    Malawi
    Kenya
    Group G
    Egypt
    Guinea
    Zimbabwe
    Mozambique
    Group H
    Benin
    Algeria
    Mali
    Rwanda
    Group I
    Libya
    Congo DRC
    Cameroon
    Tongo

    Asia

    Group A
    Korea
    Iran
    Qatar
    Uzbekistan
    Lebanon
    Group B
    Japan
    Iraq
    Australia
    Oman
    Jordan

    North, Central America & Caribbean

    Group A
    USA
    Jamaica
    Guatemala
    Antigua & Barbuda
    Group B
    Mexico
    Costa Rica
    El Salvador
    Guyana
    Group C
    Panama
    Canada
    Honduras
    Cuba

    Oceania

    Group A
    Tahiti
    New Caledonia
    Vanuatu
    Samoa
    Group B
    New Zealand
    Solomon Islands
    Fiji
    Papua New Guinea

    South America

    Chile
    Uruguay
    Argentina
    Ecuador
    Venezuela
    Colombia
    Bolivia
    Paraguay
    Peru







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