1. This will be the 21st World Cup. 2. The first qualifier was played on March 12, 2015 between Timor-Leste (the national team of East Timor) and Mongolia. Timor-Leste won 5-1 on aggregate but the games were later awarded to Mongolia after it was revealed that Timor-Leste had fielded ineligible players. However, the decision took so long that Timor-Leste had already progressed, so Mongolia were not reinstated. Perhaps it was an omen… 3. This will be the penultimate World Cup with 32 nations. From 2026 onwards there will be 48 teams. 4. Iceland and Panama have qualified for their first ever World Cup. 5. One hit wonders. The list of teams to play one World Cup makes for great reading. It's a long one, but here are some of the nations not often heard of in world sport, let alone on its biggest stage: Wales, Jamaica, Cuba, Kuwait, Iraq, Indonesia, Haiti and Canada. 6. The distance between the easternmost (Kaliningrad) and westernmost (Ekaterinburg) host … [Read more...] about 100 things to know ahead of the 2018 World Cup in Russia
2006 world cup england
The triennial results from the Programme for International Assessment (Pisa), due on Tuesday but trailed in the Sunday press, have become education's equivalent of the football World Cup. And the performance of the British teams is just as mediocre, giving more leverage to politicians determined to get a few easy cheers from slagging off teachers. In the 2009 tests the UK was around average, with England, Scotland and Northern Ireland roughly on a par, and Wales doing even worse. The English and Scots did better than Peruvians, as you'd expect, but they were not up there with the Chinese, Singaporeans, Koreans, Japanese or Estonians and Poles. Little change this time, apparently. So much for Tony Blair's "education, education, education", for it was under his regime that the 15-year-olds who took the latest tests in maths, science and reading in 2012 got most of their schooling. Michael Gove will take that as vindication of his policies, which involve transforming everything from … [Read more...] about Don’t let dubious Pisa league tables dictate how we educate our children
“I seem to remember, in the early 2000s, Arsenal having three different strips with three different sponsors; their home kit displayed Dreamcast, their away kit, then gold, was emblazoned with JVC and their third kit, a navy blue number, showed Sega on the front,” writes Elliot Leaver. “Can someone confirm if this is true and, if so, whether other clubs have had similar scenarios?” Matt Kersley has a correction: “Elliot Leaver is remembering incorrectly; the away shirts had Sega and the blue third shirt kept Dreamcast; the JVC deal ended at the end of the 1998-99 season.” David Craig can add some more detail and perhaps offer an explanation behind the three-kit, two-sponsor scenario. “I was always told that they had that odd arrangement due to fear of causing offence in Europe as Sega is the Italian word for ‘wanker’. When they played Fiorentina, they had intended on wearing their away kit but were apparently politely asked not to, … [Read more...] about Which football clubs have had different shirt sponsors home and away?
"Manchester United's win at Newcastle last week was their 11th in a row in the league," notes Michael Strutter. "Is that a record for the top flight in England or even Europe?" The short and long answer is 'no', but they aren't far away from an English top-flight record. That belongs to Arsenal, who scorched to 14 consecutive Premiership wins in 2002, 13 of them to clinch the title at the back end of the 2001-02 season. That 13-match winning streak began and ended with victories over Everton; they then beat Birmingham in the first game of the 2002-03 season before drawing at West Ham. Three other English sides have won 14 in a row in what was then the Second Division: Manchester United (1904-05), Bristol City (1905-06) and Preston (1950-51). All of which is knocked into a cocked one by the achievements of Martin O'Neill's Celtic. After drawing the first game of the 2003-04 season at Dunfermine, they won the next 25 until they were held at home by Motherwell in the middle of March. Even … [Read more...] about Have Manchester United just set a record for consecutive league wins?
Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman led the stars at the 2019 Strictly Come Dancing launch - which took place on the final Bank Holiday Monday of the summer. Stepping out in the baking London heat, the glam duo, who co-host the annual BBC dance contest, looked thrilled to be back as they strutted onto the stage, hand-in-hand, to greet the crowds at the inaugural event for the 17th season. Claudia, 47, ditched her usual black attire, wowing in an elaborate sparkling trouser-suit. First ladies: Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman led the stars at the 2019 Strictly Come Dancing launch - which took place on the final Bank Holiday Monday of the summer Loving life: Stepping out in the baking London heat, the glam duo, who co-host the annual BBC dance contest, looked thrilled to be back as they strutted onto the stage Here come the girls: The dazzling duo walked out hand-in-hand to greet the crowds at the inaugural event for the 17th season Loving life! The duo seemed in … [Read more...] about Strictly Come Dancing launch 2019: Tess Daly slips into a velvet gown as Claudia Winkleman makes a bold style choice in glittering scarlet suit