Association football, more known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport; the game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal. Association football is one of a family of football codes, which emerged from various ball games played worldwide since antiquity; the modern game traces its origins to 1863 when the Laws of the Game were codified in England by The Football Association. Players are not allowed to touch the ball with hands or arms while it is in play, except for the goalkeepers within the penalty area. Other players use their feet to strike or pass the ball, but may use any other part of their body except the hands and the arms; the team that scores most goals by the end of the match wins.
If the score is level at the end of the game, either a draw is declared or the game goes into extra time or a penalty shootout depending on the format of the competition. Association football is governed internationally by the International Federation of Association Football, which organises World Cups for both men and women every four years; the rules of association football were codified in England by the Football Association in 1863 and the name association football was coined to distinguish the game from the other forms of football played at the time rugby football. The first written "reference to the inflated ball used in the game" was in the mid-14th century: "Þe heued fro þe body went, Als it were a foteballe"; the Online Etymology Dictionary states that the "rules of the game" were made in 1848, before the "split off in 1863". The term soccer comes from a slang or jocular abbreviation of the word "association", with the suffix "-er" appended to it; the word soccer was first recorded in 1889 in the earlier form of socca.
Within the English-speaking world, association football is now called "football" in the United Kingdom and "soccer" in Canada and the United States. People in countries where other codes of football are prevalent may use either term, although national associations in Australia and New Zealand now use "football" for the formal name. According to FIFA, the Chinese competitive game cuju is the earliest form of football for which there is evidence. Cuju players could use any part of the body apart from hands and the intent was kicking a ball through an opening into a net, it was remarkably similar to modern football. During the Han Dynasty, cuju games were standardised and rules were established. Phaininda and episkyros were Greek ball games. An image of an episkyros player depicted in low relief on a vase at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens appears on the UEFA European Championship Cup. Athenaeus, writing in 228 AD, referenced the Roman ball game harpastum. Phaininda and harpastum were played involving hands and violence.
They all appear to have resembled rugby football and volleyball more than what is recognizable as modern football. As with pre-codified "mob football", the antecedent of all modern football codes, these three games involved more handling the ball than kicking. Other games included kemari in chuk-guk in Korea. Association football in itself does not have a classical history. Notwithstanding any similarities to other ball games played around the world FIFA has recognised that no historical connection exists with any game played in antiquity outside Europe; the modern rules of association football are based on the mid-19th century efforts to standardise the varying forms of football played in the public schools of England. The history of football in England dates back to at least the eighth century AD; the Cambridge Rules, first drawn up at Cambridge University in 1848, were influential in the development of subsequent codes, including association football. The Cambridge Rules were written at Trinity College, Cambridge, at a meeting attended by representatives from Eton, Rugby and Shrewsbury schools.
They were not universally adopted. During the 1850s, many clubs unconnected to schools or universities were formed throughout the English-speaking world, to play various forms of football; some came up with their own distinct codes of rules, most notably the Sheffield Football Club, formed by former public school pupils in 1857, which led to formation of a Sheffield FA in 1867. In 1862, John Charles Thring of Uppingham School devised an influential set of rules; these ongoing efforts contributed to the formation of The Football Association in 1863, which first met on the morning of 26 October 1863 at the Freemasons' Tavern in Great Queen Street, London. The only school to be represented on this occasion was Charterhouse; the Freemason's Tavern was the setting for five more meetings between October and December, which produced the first comprehensive set of rules. At the final meeting, the first FA treasurer, the representative from Blackheath, withdrew his club from the FA over the removal of two draft rules at the previous meeting: the first allowed for running with the ball in hand.
Other English rugby clubs followed this lead and did not join the FA and instead in 1871 formed the Rugby Football Union. The eleven remaining clubs, under
2017 FIFA Confederations Cup
The 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup was the 10th and final FIFA Confederations Cup, a quadrennial international men's football tournament organised by FIFA. It was held from 17 June to 2 July 2017, as a prelude to the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Russia was announced as the host on 2 December 2010 after the country was awarded the hosting rights of the 2018 FIFA World Cup; the matches were played in four different stadiums across four cities: Saint Petersburg, Moscow and Sochi. It was the first time Russia has hosted the tournament, the third time the Confederations Cup has been held in the European continent; as hosts, Russia qualified automatically for the tournament. The final tournament was played in two stages: a latter knockout stage. In the group stage, each team played three games in a group of four, with the winners and runners-up from each group advancing to the knockout stage. In the knockout stage, the four teams competed in single-elimination matches, beginning with the semi-finals and ending with the final match of the tournament.
A third-place match was played between the two losing semi-finalist teams. The defending champions, who won the previous three Confederation Cups, failed to qualify for the first time since 1995 following their loss on penalties to Paraguay in the quarter-finals of the 2015 Copa América. 2015 AFC Asian Cup winners Australia became the first team to qualify from multiple confederations, having represented the OFC in 1997, 2001 and 2005. This was the first Confederations Cup to feature the video assistant referee. World champions Germany won their first title following a 1–0 win over Chile in the final; the eight competing teams were the host nation, the reigning FIFA World Cup champions, the six holders of the FIFA confederation championships. If any team qualified for multiple berths, the next best-placed team from their continental championship would have qualified. After Russia secured a spot in the tournament as the hosts, Germany were the first team to qualify via competition, after winning the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
The final match saw the Germans clinch the country's fourth world title through a 1–0 extra-time win against Argentina. Australia were the next team to qualify after beating South Korea 2–1 after extra time, in the 2015 AFC Asian Cup Final; this victory marked Australia's first Asian Cup win since their move from the Oceania Football Confederation in 2006. It was the first time a team had become champions of two confederations, following Australia's four OFC Nations Cup titles. Chile were the fourth team to secure a spot at the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup after defeating Argentina 4–1 on a penalty shoot-out following a 0–0 draw after extra time, in the 2015 Copa América Final; as 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup champions, Mexico's qualifying path saw them face 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup champions United States in the 2015 CONCACAF Cup play-off match. The new format, in which the two most recent CONCACAF Gold Cup winners compete to decide the representative team of CONCACAF, was won by Mexico 3–2 after extra time.
New Zealand were the sixth team to qualify for the tournament after defeating Papua New Guinea 4–2 on a penalty shoot-out following a 0–0 draw after extra time, in the 2016 OFC Nations Cup Final. Portugal were the seventh team to qualify, after defeating host nation France 1–0 after extra time, in the UEFA Euro 2016 Final; the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations winning team, took the eighth and final spot with their 2–1 win against Egypt in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Final. This was the first time in FIFA Confederations Cup history that three national teams from any single confederation participated in the tournament; the following teams qualified for the tournament. Four cities served as the venues for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup. All four venues were among the 12 used for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. On 8 October 2015, FIFA and the Local Organising Committee agreed on the official names of the stadiums used during the tournament; the full schedule was announced by FIFA on 24 July 2015. Russia was placed in position A1 in the group stage and played in the opening match against New Zealand at the Zenit Arena in Saint Petersburg on 17 June.
The distribution of the knockout stage matches was as follows: The Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg hosted the final on 2 July. The Kazan Arena in Kazan hosted the first semi-final on 28 June; the Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi hosted the second semi-final on 29 June. The Otkrytiye Arena in Moscow hosted the third place match on 2 July; the draw took place at the Tennis Academy in Kazan. For the draw, the eight teams were allocated to two pots. Pot 1 contained the hosts Russia and the three highest-ranked teams in the November 2016 edition of the FIFA World Rankings: Germany and Portugal. Pot 2 contained the remaining four teams: Mexico, New Zealand, the winners of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations, won by Cameroon on 5 February 2017 to complete the line-up; the eight teams were drawn into two groups of four, with each group containing two teams from Pot 1 and two teams from Pot 2. During the draw procedure, teams were drawn into alternating groups, assigned a position within the group by drawing another ball
The Fédération Internationale de Football Association is an organization which describes itself as an international governing body of association football, fútsal, beach soccer, eFootball. FIFA is responsible for the organization of football's major international tournaments, notably the World Cup which commenced in 1930 and the Women's World Cup which commenced in 1991. FIFA was founded in 1904 to oversee international competition among the national associations of Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland. Headquartered in Zürich, its membership now comprises 211 national associations. Member countries must each be members of one of the six regional confederations into which the world is divided: Africa, Europe, North & Central America and the Caribbean and South America. Although FIFA does not control the rules of football, that being the responsibility of the International Football Association Board, it is responsible for both the organization of a number of tournaments and their promotion, which generate revenue from sponsorship.
In 2017, FIFA had revenues of over US $734 million, for a net loss of $189 million, had cash reserves of over US$930 million. Reports by investigative journalists have linked FIFA leadership with corruption and vote-rigging related to the election of FIFA president Sepp Blatter and the organization's decision to award the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar, respectively; these allegations led to the indictments of nine high-ranking FIFA officials and five corporate executives by the U. S. Department of Justice on charges including racketeering, wire fraud, money laundering. On 27 May 2015, several of these officials were arrested by Swiss authorities, who were launching a simultaneous but separate criminal investigation into how the organization awarded the 2018 and 2022 World Cups; those among these officials who were indicted in the U. S. are expected to be extradited to face charges there as well. Many officials were suspended by FIFA's ethics committee including Michel Platini. In early 2017 reports became public about FIFA president Gianni Infantino attempting to prevent the re-elections of both chairmen of the ethics committee, Cornel Borbély and Hans-Joachim Eckert, during the FIFA congress in May 2017.
On May 9, 2017, following Infantino's proposal, FIFA Council decided not to renew the mandates of Borbély and Eckert. Together with the chairmen, 11 of 13 committee members were removed; the need for a single body to oversee association football became apparent at the beginning of the 20th century with the increasing popularity of international fixtures. The Fédération Internationale de Football Association was founded in the rear of the headquarters of the Union des Sociétés Françaises de Sports Athlétiques at the Rue Saint Honoré 229 in Paris on 21 May 1904; the French name and acronym are used outside French-speaking countries. The founding members were the national associations of Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland; that same day, the German Football Association declared its intention of affiliating through a telegram. The first president of FIFA was Robert Guérin. Guérin was replaced in 1906 by Daniel Burley Woolfall from England, by a member of the association; the first tournament FIFA staged, the association football competition for the 1908 Olympics in London was more successful than its Olympic predecessors, despite the presence of professional footballers, contrary to the founding principles of FIFA.
Membership of FIFA expanded beyond Europe with the application of South Africa in 1909, Argentina in 1912, Canada and Chile in 1913, the United States in 1914. During World War II, with many players sent off to war and the possibility of travel for international fixtures limited, the organization's survival was in doubt. Post-war, following the death of Woolfall, the organisation was run by Dutchman Carl Hirschmann, it was saved from extinction but at the cost of the withdrawal of the Home Nations, who cited an unwillingness to participate in international competitions with their recent World War enemies. The Home Nations resumed their membership; the FIFA collection is held by the National Football Museum at Urbis in England. The first World Cup was held in 1930 in Uruguay. FIFA is headquartered in Zürich, is an association established under the law of Switzerland. FIFA's supreme body is the FIFA Congress, an assembly made up of representatives from each affiliated member association; each national football association has one vote, regardless of footballing strength.
The Congress assembles in ordinary session once every year, extraordinary sessions have been held once a year since 1998. The congress makes decisions relating to FIFA's governing statutes and their method of implementation and application. Only the Congress can pass changes to FIFA's statutes; the congress approves the annual report, decides on the acceptance of new national associations and holds elections. Congress elects the President of FIFA, its general secretary, the other members of the FIFA Council in the year following the FIFA World Cup. FIFA Council — called the FIFA Executive Committee and chaired by the president — is the main decision-making body of the organisation in the intervals of congress; the council is composed of 37 people: the president. The Executive Committee is the body that decides w
2008 Summer Olympics
The 2008 Summer Olympic Games known as the Games of the XXIX Olympiad and known as Beijing 2008, was an international multi-sport event, held from 8 to 24 August 2008 in Beijing, China. A total of 10,942 athletes from 204 National Olympic Committees competed in 28 sports and 302 events; this was the first time that China had hosted the Summer Olympics, but the third time that the Games had been held in East Asia, following the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo and the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. These were the third Olympic Games staged in a socialist country, after the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, Soviet Union, the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia. Beijing was awarded the 2008 Games over four competitors on 13 July 2001, having won a majority of votes from members of the International Olympic Committee after two rounds of voting; the Government of the People's Republic of China promoted the Games and invested in new facilities and transportation systems. A total of 37 venues were used to host the events, including twelve constructed for use at the Games.
The equestrian events were held in Hong Kong, making this the third Olympics for which the events were held under the jurisdiction of two different NOCs. The sailing events were contested in Qingdao, while the football events took place in several different cities; the official logo for the 2008 Games, titled "Dancing Beijing", featured a stylized calligraphic character jīng in reference to the host city. Beijing Olympics was watched by 3.5 billion people worldwide. Longest distance for an Olympic torch relay The event sets numerous world and Olympics records in the history of Sports, is the most expensive Summer Olympics of all time and second most expensive overall, after the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi; the opening ceremony was lauded by spectators and numerous international presses as spectacular and spellbinding, by many accounts "the greatest in the history of Olympics". An unprecedented 87 countries won at least one medal during the Games. China won the most gold medals, with 48, became only the seventh different team to top an overall Olympic medal tally, winning a total of 100 medals overall.
The United States placed second in the gold medal tally but won the highest number of medals overall, with a total of 112. The third place in the gold medal tally was achieved by Russia. Beijing has been selected to host the 2022 Winter Olympics. Beijing was elected as the host city for the 2008 Summer Olympics on 13 July 2001, during the 112th IOC Session in Moscow, defeating bids from Toronto, Paris and Osaka. Prior to the session, five other cities had submitted bids to the IOC, but failed to make the short list chosen by the IOC Executive Committee in 2000. After the first round of voting, Beijing held a significant lead over the other four candidates. Osaka was eliminated. In the second round, Beijing was supported by a majority of voters, eliminating the need for subsequent rounds. Toronto's bid was their 5th failure since 1960. Members of the IOC did not disclose their votes, but news reports speculated that broad international support led to China's selection from developing nations who had received assistance from China in the construction of stadiums.
The size of China, its increased enforcement of doping controls, sympathy concerning its loss of the 2000 Summer Olympics to Sydney were all factors in the decision. Eight years earlier, Beijing had led every round of voting for the 2000 Summer Olympics before losing to Sydney by two votes in the final round. Human rights concerns expressed by Amnesty International and politicians in both Europe and the United States were considered by the delegates, according to IOC Executive Director François Carrard. Carrard and others suggested. In addition, a number of IOC delegates, athletes expressed concern about heat and air quality during the Games, considering the high levels of air pollution in Beijing. China outlined plans to address these environmental concerns in its bid application; the Oxford Olympics Study 2016 estimates the outturn cost of the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics at US$6.8 billion in 2015-dollars and cost overrun at 2% in real terms. This includes sports-related costs only, that is, operational costs incurred by the organizing committee for the purpose of staging the Games, e.g. expenditures for technology, workforce, security, catering and medical services, direct capital costs incurred by the host city and country or private investors to build the competition venues, the Olympic village, international broadcast center, media and press center, which are required to host the Games.
Indirect capital costs are not included, such as for road, rail, or airport infrastructure, or for hotel upgrades or other business investment incurred in preparation for the Games but not directly related to staging the Games. The Beijing Olympics' cost of US$6.8 billion compares with costs of US$4.6 billion for Rio 2016 and US$15 billion for London 2012. Average cost for the Summer Games since 1960 is US$5.2 billion. On 6 March 2009, the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games reported that total spending on the games was "generally as much as that of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games", equivalen
Melbourne Victory FC
Melbourne Victory Football Club is an Australian professional soccer club based in city centre of Melbourne, Victoria. Competing in the country's premier competition, the A-League, under licence from Football Federation Australia, Victory entered the competition in the inaugural season as the only Victorian-based club in the newly revamped domestic Australian league. Recognised as the most supported and the most successful club in the league to date, Victory has won four A-League Championships, three A-League Premierships, one Pre-Season Challenge Cup and one FFA Cup, the only club to have won all four domestic trophies in the modern era of Australian soccer, they have previously competed in the AFC Champions League on six occasions with the 2019 campaign confirmed to be the seventh occasion. Their furthest placement in the tournament was the 2016 campaign, where they were knocked out in the Round of 16. Although Victory are supported across the whole Melbourne metropolitan area, as well as regional cities in the state, it is based in the city centre.
The club's home ground is the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, playing a majority of home matches at the venue, with the larger Docklands Stadium utilised for matches such as derbies and finals. As well as this, the club has an agreement to play a single match at Kardinia Park in Geelong every season; the club operates two other football departments, with youth & reserves team competing in the National Youth League and National Premier Leagues Victoria 2 and a women's team competing in the W-League. The NYL/NPL, W-League home matches are played at various locations across Melbourne, including Lakeside Stadium, Kingston Heath Soccer Complex as well as the senior team's various venues. Melbourne Victory's club colours are navy blue and silver, which encompass the traditional state sporting colours of Victoria; the home kit consists of a navy blue shirt with a chevron which fades from white at the bottom to navy blue at the top, paired with navy blue shorts and socks. The away kit is all white, with the shirt featuring a yoke consisting of a design reminiscent of the clubs home ground AAMI Park, set inside an off-centre chevron.
In the Victory's inaugural A-League season, only the club badge displayed a chevron, known colloquially as the "Big V", a symbol traditionally used by the Victoria Australian rules football team. From the 2006–07 season the away strip was changed to a grey shirt with a white chevron on the front; this was an immediate hit with the club's supporters, from the 2007–08 season onwards Melbourne's home shirt sported the white chevron on the front. A new kit was introduced for the 2008 AFC Champions League due to AFC rules requiring kits to have player numbers on the front of the uniform as well as the back, which would not fit well with the'V' on the Victory's regular kit. For the 2009–10 season, Melbourne changed their away shirt to be a reverse of their home shirt. In 2010, Melbourne wore the TAC'seatbelt' shirt against Perth Glory in a charity event to raise awareness for the necessary use of seat belts in cars. Adidas were announced as the club's official kit manufacturer for five years beginning in the 2011–12 season, after the initial deal for Reebok to supply all A-League clubs had expired.
The new kits were announced via the club's YouTube channel, featured a controversial change to a fluoro yellow away shirt. For their 2013–14 kits, Melbourne Victory received backlash from supporters, as the away kits featured a much lighter blue, bearing a large resemblance to fierce rivals Sydney FC. A number of different songs have become synonymous with Melbourne Victory, being both sung by supporters and played over the PA at different moments before and after games. "Stand By Me" by Ben E. King; this is sung as the team enters the pitch prior to kick-off, with fans holding their scarves above their heads throughout. "Seven Nation Army" by The White Stripes. The chorus melody is chanted as a goal celebration, with fans waving their scarves in the air as they sing, it has been adapted as a player chant for striker Besart Berisha. "Victory The Brave", a rearrangement of Scotland The Brave, penned by Jim Keays of The Masters Apprentices. This has long been played after every home win, but has been criticised by fans for sounding too much like a song for an AFL team, rather than something more traditionally seen in football.
"The Horses" by Daryl Braithwaite. Beginning in the 2015–16 season, members of the South End started singing The Horses after a win, as an alternative to Victory The Brave. Although something of a joke, it has gained traction with some supporters, is now played over the PA system at the conclusion of Victory The Brave. Melbourne Victory plays the majority of its home games at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, known as AAMI Park. Games considered to be "blockbusters", which include derbies and finals matches, are played at the larger Docklands Stadium, known as Marvel Stadium; the club currently plays one league match a season at Kardinia Park in the neighbouring city of Geelong. The football club was based at the 50-year-old Olympic Park Stadium, where they played all home matches during the 2005–06 A-League season; this stadium had seated areas only on the wings, with standing-room sandy terraces on the north and south ends. The average crowd during the first year was 14,158, 77% of its capacity of 18'500.
As a result, the match-day atmosphere would prove to be a marketing asset not just for Melbourne Victory, but for the rest of the league. It proved to be a major factor in the club's decision to relocate home games to Docklands Stadium known as'Telstra Dome', from the 2006–07 season onwards, for both safety reasons, and
Australia national under-23 soccer team
The Australia national under-23 soccer team represents Australia in international under-23 soccer and at the Olympic Games. The team is controlled by the governing body for soccer in Australia, Football Federation Australia, a member of the Asian Football Confederation and the regional ASEAN Football Federation since leaving the Oceania Football Confederation in 2006; the team's official nickname is the Olyroos. Australia's first two appearances in the Olympic Games saw the senior men's team participate, but in 1992 the eligibility was restricted to players under the age of 23, while in 1996, it was decided to allow teams to choose three over-age players in the final Olympic squads; the team has represented Australia at the Olympic Games on five occasions, in 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008. The team represented Australia at the AFC U-22 Championship tournament in 2014 and has qualified for the 2016 AFC U-23 Championship; the Australian national under-23 team made its international debut in 1967, when it took part in a triangular tournament against New Caledonia and New Zealand in Nouméa.
Australia lost its first game 2–1 on 6 November, won its second 1–3 on 10 November, with Gary Manuel supplying goals in both games. The team would next played eighth years in 1974, in a tour of Indonesia, sponsored by the Australian Government. During the tour, coached by Eric Worthington, won all three match against the host nation, it would be another 16 years before the team competed in international competition of any kind. In August 1990, Australia played a series of friendly matches in Europe under coach Eddie Thomson; the first against Switzerland ended in a 0–0 draw. The second match was played against the League of Ireland XI, ended in a 2–2 draw, with goals from Gary Hasler and John Gibson. Australia's final match was lost 2–0 against Czechoslovakia. Arguably Australia's most successful Olympic football tournament, the squad coached by Eddie Thomson contained just two overseas based players: KV Mechelen striker Zlatko Arambasic and Club Brugge midfielder Paul Okon, as the rest of the squad hailed from NSL clubs.
The squad saw Mark Bosnich, John Filan, Tony Vidmar and Tony Popovic, most Ned Zelic, who had single-handedly gotten the Olyroos to Barcelona with a sensational double strike in the second leg play off against the much admired Dutch team, take part before commencing their successful careers in Europe. Drawn with Mexico and Ghana, the Olyroos would take on the Africans in Zaragoza in their first round fixture. An early goal on 12 minutes, a long range free kick by Mohammed Gargo set the tone for Ghana as they held onto that lead until the 83rd minute when it was extended to 2–0 by Kwame Ayew. Ayew grabbed another on 89 minutes before Tony Vidmar scored a consolation goal for Australia on 91 minutes to bring the score to 3–1. John Filan was dropped after this game after coming under heavy criticism for failing to put up a wall for Ghana's first goal, the green Mark Bosnich was brought in, cementing his spot in the side for the Olympics. Two days in Barcelona, Zlatko Arambasic opened the scoring after 20 minutes as Australia lead Mexico 1–0 until the 63rd minute when Jorge Castañeda leveled the tie at 1–1, the game would finish this way which meant that Australia would need to win their last group stage game to proceed to the knock-out stages.
The Olyroos put in a performance worthy of note as the entire team began to fire on all cylinders, winning 3–0 against Denmark to book a spot in the quarter-finals. The game saw one first half goal by John Markovski and two second half goals thanks to Damian Mori and Tony Vidmar. Australia and Ghana progressed to the knock-out stages where Australia were tied to play against Sweden in Barcelona. In front of 30, 000 spectators at the Camp Nou, John Markovski put Australia ahead after 30 minutes. A 53rd-minute strike by Shaun Murphy put the Olyroos 2–0 up until Patrik Andersson scored one back for Sweden on 62 minutes; the game stayed at 2–1 and the result sent the Olyroos to the semi-finals where they would face Poland. At the Camp Nou in front of 45,000 spectators, Poland struck on 27 minutes, taking the lead after a goal from Wojciech Kowalczyk. Australia, hit back on 35 minutes when Adelaide City striker Carl Veart equalised. Just before half time though, Mark Viduka lashed out at a Polish defender, earning himself a straight red card, leaving the Australian's a man down against a Polish side who were technically gifted all over the park.
Poland came to life in the second period, putting on a dazzling display of soccer and scoring five goals in the process, which saw a hat-trick from Andrzej Juskowiak and an own goal from Shaun Murphy, to take out the game at 6–1. In the Bronze Medal game, Australia would meet up with group stage outfit Ghana, who took the lead when Isaac Asare scored after 19 minutes and winning the game 1–0, the result left the Olyroos to claim fourth spot at the tournament, as Spain would finish in first place after beating Poland 3–2. Eddie Thomson took a young squad to the United States, which included Aurelio Vidmar and Steve Horvat as the overaged players, the squad was combined of 7 overseas players out of the 18 men squad. A young Mark Viduka was in his second year at Dinamo Zagreb in Croatia and Kevin Muscat had just signed with English Premier League club Crystal Palace. Drawn into Group B with European heavy weights Spain and France, as well as Saudi Arabia, the Olyroos would lose 2–0 to France in their opening clash thanks to goals from Robert Pires and Florian Maurice, as Australia's Danny Tiatto saw a red card just after 24 minutes.
A 2–1 win over Saudi Arabia earnt the Olyroos their first 3 points of the campaign. Peter Tsekenis scored a
Wellington Phoenix FC
Wellington Phoenix Football Club is a New Zealand professional football club based in Wellington. It competes under licence from Football Federation Australia. Phoenix entered the competition in the 2007–08 season after its formation in March 2007, by New Zealand Football to replace New Zealand Knights as a New Zealand-based club in the Australian A-League competition; the club is one of the few clubs in the world to compete in a league of a different confederation from that of the country where it is based. Ernie Merrick was the head coach following the resignation of founding coach Ricki Herbert late in the 2012–13 season, until his own resignation on 5 December 2016. Andrew Durante has been the club captain since the 2008–09 season succeeding from the inaugural captain, Ross Aloisi; the club's highest achievement is reaching the A-League Preliminary Final in 2010. The club plays matches at a 34,500-seat multi-purpose venue in Wellington, their home kit consists of yellow stripes. During the stages of the 2006–07 A-League season, Football Federation Australia removed New Zealand Knights A-League licence due to the club's financial and administrative problems and poor on-field performance.
After the resignation of the New Zealand Knights board, FFA transferred the licence to New Zealand Soccer, which administered the club for the rest of the season before its subsequent dissolution. FFA provided NZS a provisional A-League licence to sub-let to a suitable New Zealand team to enter the 2007–08 A-League season. FFA set an application deadline to NZS and subsequently delayed that deadline to give more time for potential applicants in New Zealand to apply along with NZS support. While NZS was given a chance to apply with a new sub-licensee, a Townsville-based consortium, Tropical Football Australia expressed interest and prepared an A-League application to replace the place held by the Knights. However, TFA pulled out with the understanding of the FFA's preference to retain a New Zealand team for the league. TFA resubmitted its bid in the following year as a potential A-League expansion franchise under the name of "Northern Thunder FC", changed to "North Queensland Thunder", however this bid died after expansion for the 2007–08 season was cancelled.
After much delay, the final amount needed for the application came from Wellington property businessman Terry Serepisos in the latter stages of the bid. Serepisos, the club's majority owner and chairman, provided NZD $1,250,000 to ensure the beginnings of a new New Zealand franchise and a continuation of New Zealand's participation in the A-League. FFA finalised a three-year A-League licence to New Zealand Football who sub-let the licence to the Wellington-based club; the new Wellington club was confirmed on 19 March 2007. The name for the new club was picked from a shortlist of six, pruned from 250 names suggested by the public, was announced on 28 March 2007. Serepisos said of the name, that "It symbolises the fresh start, the rising from the ashes, the incredible Wellington support that has come out". Despite the backing of FIFA, AFC president Mohammed Bin Hammam stated that due to AFC criteria the Wellington team must move to Australia or disband by 2011. However, in an interview aired on SBS on 21 December 2008 FIFA president Sepp Blatter stated unequivocally that "It is not the matter of the Confederation, it is the matter of the FIFA Executive Committee...
If Wellington will go on play on in Australian League as long as Australian league wants to have them and Wellington wants to stay Both association in this case, New Zealand Soccer and Australian Football are happy with that we will give them the blessing. The Confederation can not interfere with that.". In the 2009–10 season Wellington Phoenix became the first New Zealand side to reach the playoffs of an Australian Football competition when Adelaide United beat Brisbane Roar 2–0 in the 26th round, it meant that Brisbane, which before the match was the only team, outside of the top 6 that had a chance of making the playoffs, no longer could. The Phoenix overcame the Central Coast Mariners on Friday the 12 February 2010 to finish fourth place which meant it would host a historic playoff game against Perth Glory on 21 February 2010; the Phoenix beat Perth by penalty shootout. Phoenix hosted a home game against Newcastle Jets on 7 March after the Jets won its away game against Gold Coast United by way of penalty shootout.
The Phoenix won in extra time 3 -- 1. In the Preliminary Final against Sydney FC, the Phoenix lost 4–2 in controversial circumstances. After being locked at 1–1 through goals from Chris Payne for Sydney and Andrew Durante for Wellington, Payne missed a header and deflected the ball into the goal off his hand. Andrew Durante, marking Payne went straight over to the linesman, but the goal stood. "I went straight to the linesman. I knew 100 per cent. I spoke to the ref at halftime about it and he said it wasn't deliberate. It's pretty funny that one; such a big game and such a big occasion, for something like that to change the game is disappointing." Sydney FC strikers Alex Brosque and Mark Bridge both scored break-away goals as Phoenix pushed forward. Eugene Dadi added a late consolation goal. Phoenix striker Chris Greenacre said. "It just rips the heart out of you. We got back in the game with a good goal and that takes it away from you, it wasn't to be. I think, they played some good football but I thought we had withstood it OK.
If we went into hal