Date: 3 Dec 1997 23:15:01 -0700
From: mazzare@primenet.com (Ariel Mazzarelli)

Late breaking news:

December 3, 1997 (Rueters): In yet another blow to England's quest for a
world cup, FIFA refused the FA request to change the venue of the final 
match to Wembley should England make it that far in the tournament.

During the prolonged negotiations, the FA offered to play the final in 
Paris if France also advanced to the final match, but this gesture was 
not sufficient to sway FIFA.

The changing of a scheduled venue during the World Cup is not unprecedented,
since in 1966 the semifinal match between England and Portugal was moved to
Wembley in order to give Eusebio an opportunity to play in the world's most
prestigious grounds. 

Since FIFA has already granted the possibility for dual hosting of the 
finals, the FA felt confident that because of England's long tradition, 
close proximity to France, and security considerations, the request would 
be granted. When some delegates objected loudly, however, the tide 
turned against the FA. 

Afterwards, there were some bitter words directed at the FA. "Typical 
cheating from these people, what will they think of next?", shouted a 
representative from a South American delegation.

The FA issued a terse statement. "No sense in crying over spilt milk, 
we will just have to celebrate under the Arch de Triumph". 

My condolences,


Date: 04 Dec 1997 11:38:44 +0100
From: Steve Jones 

Shortly afterwards the representative was struck down by Lightning in
what was described as an act of judgement by the Pope.  The CBF will begin
looking for a new President from Havalenge's family as soon as possible :-)

(Is it true that the Argentinia side want the drug test to consist of the
question "Are you taking drugs ?")

Date: 4 Dec 1997 12:32:55 GMT
From: jaworsky@yallara.cs.rmit.edu.au (Markian)

The Italians, hoping to avoid yet another "group of death" stated they 
did not want the following teams in their group :

England, Yugoslavia, Croatia, Austria, Scotland, Denmark, Belgium, 
Bulgaria, Norway, Paraguay, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Tunisia, Sth Africa,
Cameroon, Nigeria, Morocco, Sth Korea, Japan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, USA,
but welcomed the idea of meeting Jamaica.

In response, FIFA secretary Sepp Blatter stated that Italy would just 
have to make do with the random draw :

"Italy's group will consist entirely of random opponents, just like 
that of The Netherlands and Belguim's group."

Subject: You can bet the farm on this one
Date: 4 Dec 1997 16:43:01 -0700
From: mazzare@primenet.erase2mail.com (Ariel Mazzarelli)

A: Brasil Morocco Scotland Norway
The euros really suck in this group

B: Cameroon Italia Chile Austria
Italia-Chile might be fun

C: France South Africa Saudi Arabia Denmark
Denmark sucks

D: Nigeria Bulgaria Paraguay Espa~a 
Espa~a won't benefit from its kick 'n bitch tactics in this company

E: Netherlands Belgium Mexico South Korea
Pretty soft group for the Dutch

F: Yugoslavia Germany Iran USA
Iran will irrelevantly convert the infidels

G: Romania England Colombia Tunisia
They don't deserve 2nd place, but they'll bribe the right people to get it

H: Argentina Croatia Jamaica Japan
FIFA really screwed us but we'll make it through anyway

Italia / Brasil Bye Bye Brasil
Cameroon / Morocco Cameroon speaks French, so they're playing at home
France / Bulgaria They couldn't choke twice in the same decade, could they?
South Africa / Nigeria The African champs have the edge of an easier schedule
Netherlands / Germany Germany sucks
Yugoslavia / Belgium Did I mention that Belgium really sucks?
Croatia / Romania That Boksic guy impresses me
Argentina / England One (almost) wonders what they'll bitch about this time

Gosh, only one South American team in the final 8...

France / Cameroon The tactic of threatening to test some nukes will work here
Italia / South Africa I believe that this result is in the FIFA rulebook
Argentina / Netherlands Think about it, these clowns lost 4-1 to England
Yugoslavia / Croatia I'd watch this one from a safe distance, say, Greenland

Argentina / Italia Maldini is even worse than Passarella
France / Yugoslavia The hosts graciously deny the Yugo request for new 
players to replace the 14 injured in the previous match 

3rd place:
Who gives a fuck


Argentina / France FIFA blunders by threatening to declare yerba mate, 
chimichurri and gambetas as banned substances, so not even Passarella can 
save the hosts

Best player trophy: Ronaldo

Subject: Re: Finally, a fair draw from FIFA
Date: 05 Dec 1997 11:01:37 +0100
From: Steve Jones 

mazzare@primenet.erase2mail.com (Ariel Mazzarelli) writes: 
> Bite me, envious ones...

I can't wait to hear the "Jamacia are much better than you think" excuses :-)

Subject: Re: Where are all the paranoid conspiracy theorists ?
Date: 05 Dec 1997 11:19:48 +0100
From: Steve Jones 

conhosh@ix.netcom.com(Phil Converse) writes:
> Don't tell me they have fled rss for more fertile pastures, perhaps to
> run for office.

Scotland got their own form of group of death (any group with 4 teams).
Netherlands and Belgium together again.
Non-seeded England with weakest seed Romania,
USA v Iran,
France pull an Asian team and an African team they have beaten in the last
couple of months.


Hell I could almost be Portuguese :-)