Around the world Football or Soccer as it's called in America, (don't get me on about how grid iron can be called football when the foot is hardly used) is the most popular team sport. The let's call is Soccer so American's don't get confused, the "Soccer World Cup" is the second most watched sporting event after the "Olympics", with I might add the "Rugby World Cup" third in the list.
The qualifying rounds for the world cup finals which will take place next year in South Africa have been completed, and yes USA qualified, if your interested, managing to beat Honduras on the road, cruising through by virtue of an impressive home record.
However "The Beautiful Game" as it is sometimes called has it's own problems right now.
While I was over in England, Liverpool lost against Sunderland in the Premier League because of a beach ball that had been thrown onto the pitch by a Liverpool fan. The winning goal came when Sunderland striker Darren Bent's shot bounced off the inflatable ball and went in. The Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina was totally confused and tried to catch the beach ball instead of the real ball.
In Africa police quelled a riot in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, where thousands of angry Egyptian fans burned Algerian flags and set cars on fire near the Algerian embassy after Egypt's defeat by Algeria in a World Cup qualifying match which secured Algeria the last African place for next year's finals.
In the week in an the whole of Ireland were up in arms after a deliberate "hand ball" was missed by the officials allowing a goal to be scored by France which knocked Ireland out the the qualify stages. Even though the "culprit" French striker Thierry Henry admitted afterwords what he had done, which was plain for everybody except the referee and linesman to see. The football association refused to replay the game, leaving France to go through and Ireland to wait another four years.
This however was nothing compared to a disclosure this week that about 200 European football games are under investigation in a match-fixing inquiry, or so a German prosecutor reported. At least three of the games were in the Champions League and another 12 were in the Uefa Europa League. It has been called the biggest match-fixing scandal ever to hit Europe.
On Thursday police carried out about 50 raids in Germany, the UK, Switzerland and Austria, making 17 arrests and seizing cash and property. Fifteen of those arrested were in Germany and the other two in Switzerland.
Matches under investigation were played in Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Croatia, Slovenia, Turkey, Hungary, Bosnia-Hercegovina and Austria.
However all this is put in place with one non "soccer related" item that I read about this week.
'Fat for cosmetics' murder suspects arrested in Peru
Four people have been arrested in Peru on suspicion of killing dozens of people in order to sell their fat and tissue for cosmetic uses in Europe.
The gang allegedly targeted people on remote roads, luring them with fake job offers before killing them and extracting their fat. The liquidized product fetched $15,000 a liter and police suspect it was sold on to companies in Europe.
At least five other suspects, including two Italian nationals, remain at large. Police said the gang could be behind the disappearances of up to 60 people in Peru's Huanuco and Pasco regions. One of those arrested told police the ringleader had been killing people for their fat for more than three decades.
BARRY EVA (Storyheart)
Author of Young Adult Romance/Fiction book
"Across the Pond"