EDitorial ± 28-Jun-2006

World Cup 2006, Day 20

Wot ... no ... footy. The World Cup Chair stands vacant, redundant as Graham Poll's Rolex. Sitting there in the FIFA-endorsed furniture while catching up on last week's House would have been just plain wrong. Roll on Friday's encounter between the irresistible force -- Hulk Hogan, aka Argentina -- and the immovable object -- Andre the Giant, aka Germany. Something's gotta give, fight fans.

It's possible to view the upcoming quarter finals as a battle between the conquering consonants (Brazil, France, Germany and Portugal) and the valiant vowels (Argentina, England, Italy and Ukraine). Note that the South Americans lead the way in each quartet, rather ominously.

That's already a moral victory for the vowels -- four out of five, or 80% -- but what would it have taken to complete the Panini-esque set? Well, of the 207 associations who've paid their subs to Sepp Blatter, there's only one -- count it -- beginning with the letter 'O'. No clues, but they finished runners-up in group 3 of the Asian draw, behind Cagey Tomato's Brazilian-baiting team and ahead of India and Singapore. Anagramatically, you get cheerful Chomsky's first name.