Van Gaal rages against kick-off times
The final matches in World Cup Groups A and B kick off today – but the coach of one of the Group B qualifiers has continued to criticise the staging of the tournament.
June 23rd, 2014
As Brazil look to ensure qualification by not losing their final match against bottom side Cameroon, Mexico and Croatia meet in a match that’s effectively winner-take-all – or at least some if they don’t manage to beat Brazil to top spot.
However, with the Netherlands playing fellow Group B qualifiers Chile to determine top spot, coach Louis van Gaal has again expressed his displeasure with the organisation of the tournament – but this time about the order of play, rather than the cameras obstructing his view.
While Group A matches begin at 9pm our time, both the Netherlands-Chile and Australia-Spain have already kicked off (5pm) leading to van Gaal’s confusion as to why his side have played twice after Brazil, but are forced to play before in the final match.
“Fifa plays these tricks. It’s not a good thing…It’s not fair play. I think at a World Cup the host country always has an advantage.”
That’s true. It’s really sort of why it happens in the first place – although that’s usually just a cultural boost to morale rather than a manipulation of the rules.
Personally I can see why Brazil would want their deciding game against Cameroon to be played later on: the TV audience. More people are likely to watch their home side in the later kick-off matches – Brazil have played at 4pm and 5pm their time – than they would be during the working day. As the country going to the expense of hosting the tournament, you’d think they’d be granted this courtesy.
Van Gaal’s conspiracy theories aside, we’re in for a bit of a treat once we find out who the Dutch are paired with in Round Two.