Friday, December 10, 2010

Tassie loses two more games, and another perspective on Qatar's successful World Cup bid

Photos (Top to Bottom): Steve Darby was Tasmanian coaching director in 1981 and attended the International Coaches' Convention in Sydney; Rothmans Gold Medal winner Wolfgang Stuetzel also attended, as did the author, who was coach of Metro at the time [PlessPix]

Tasmania has lost its latest two games at the NTC Challenge in Canberra.

Tasmania went down 1-0 to the Queensland Academy of Sport and then lost 2-1 to the NSW Institute of Sport.


Qatar have recently been criticised for being a non-entity when it comes to world football.

But, what people conveniently forget is that that they were a power in youth football for quite some time.

In 1981, they actually reached the final of the FIFA World Youth Championship for under-20 teams.

That tournament was held in Australia and I was lucky enough to see a semi-final and the final in Sydney.

I was in Sydney, together with Steve Darby, the State director of coaching, and Wolfgang Stuetzel, a former Rothmans Gold Medal winner and coach of Ulverstone at the time, as Tasmania’s three coaching representatives at the International Coaches’ Convention conducted in conjunction with the 1981 World Youth Championship.

Indeed, I was in the same hotel as the Qatar and West German teams and watched several training sessions by both sides.

I was able to meet the Qatar coach, Evaristo, a Brazilian, who played for both Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Evaristo de Macedo Filho, to give him his full name, was a world star in his playing days. He is 77 years old now, but is still recognised, respected and admired in Brazil.

The Qatar side had money to burn when I saw them. They flew into Sydney in their own jumbo jet. And no, I don’t have a photo of it, so relax some of you readers who are sick of my aircraft photos accompanying my match reports involving the Newcastle Jets. The players would go on massive shopping sprees in the city, returning with all manner of goods that later sometimes occupied the hotel corridors.

It rained heavily on the eve of the final and on the morning of the match, and the look on the faces of the Qatar players said it all. They had rarely seen rain and weren’t looking forward to the game.

Psychologically, they were beaten before the game, and that’s how it turned out.

West Germany won 4-0, but at least Qatar had reached a world cup final.

Before their psychological trauma because of the rain, Qatar feared no one and gained in confidence during the tournament.

They were in group A, based in Brisbane, and came second to Uruguay, having beaten Poland 1-0 and drawing 1-1 with the USA. Their only loss in the group stages was a 1-0 defeat against Uruguay.

In the quarterfinals, much to Evaristo’s satisfaction, they downed Brazil 3-2 in Newcastle.

I saw them beat England 2-1 in the semi-final at the Sydney Cricket Ground and one of the Qatari scorers, Badit Bilal, was quoted as saying that his side’s success changed things for football in his country.

The members of that Qatar team of 1981 were appointed as ambassadors for the nation’s bid for the 2022 tournament, together with Gabriel Batistuta of Argentina, Holland’s Ronald De Boer, Saudi Arabia’s Sami Al Jaber and France’s Zinedine Zidane.

Compare that to Australia’s line-up for our bid, which included Paul Hogan and the Governor-General, but no world-renowned soccer identities.

Incidentally, West Germany were only in the 1981 tournament because Holland had declined to enter. The Germans had finished 9th in the European Under-18 championships in the spring of 1980, which served as the qualifying tournament.

England, Poland, Italy, Holland, Spain and Romania had qualified.

Melbourne hosted Group B, consisting of South Korea, Italy, Romania and Brazil. Group C was based in Adelaide and Canberra and consisted of Egypt, Spain, Mexico and West Germany.

Group D, based in Sydney and Newcastle, consisted of England, Cameroon, Australia and Argentina.

Australia finished second in the group and were knocked out 1-0 by West Germany in a quarterfinal played in Canberra.

West Germany reached the final by downing Romania 1-0 in Melbourne. Romania finished third, accounting for England 1-0 in the match for third and fourth places which was played in Adelaide.

I hope this puts the respective bids into a better perspective.

As a footnote, the only West Germany player from that 1981 side who became a star was Roland Wohlfart, who scored in the final.

He went on to join Bayern Munich and was the top scorer in the Bundesliga in 1989 and 1991. He also played for Saint-Etienne and MSV Duisburg and represented his country in just two senior internationals.


Anonymous said...

There are only 200k real residents in Qatar and over half of them leave when It's summer time because It's to hot.

Qatar don't even have there own national team players they just buy them.

What a joke having it in Qatar.

Anonymous said...

so i am not the only one sick of pictures of aircraft in Newcastle Jets news...

Walter said...

Actually, there are only two of you who have complained about the aircraft photos. You don't have to look at them. It's my blog, so I'll continue to use them.

Anonymous said...

Walter keep up the good work with the photos I love the aircraft photos it makes the articles even more special, yours in football richard flood

Anonymous said...

Keep it interesting Walter. If they want boring shit let them read the Mercury.We love you Walter

Unknown said...

qatar is the middle east pic...........they deserve it so does russia to hell with the rest especially usa.........any country that still calls football 'soccer" should take a walk

Unknown said...

i was at the qatar final too walter pissing with rain....i remember in the semis a qatari took a penalty, it hit the post and he hammered in the rebound then was confounded by the refs decision to chalk the goal off

Unknown said...

it should be mandatory to get a tag....anons get a tag

Anonymous said...

Brilliant article, Walter. An absolute gem.

Nice to see a counter perspective to the jingoism manifest in some other articles in Australia.

Anonymous said...

Good article Walter, I also attended a few of the games including one of the semis and the final. I would hazzard a guess and suggest that World Cup final would not go ahead in today's game. Just too wet. It did take a lot of the skill out of the game and it was unfortunate for the Qataries as they had played some lovely football throughout the tournament. BH

Anonymous said...


Good article. This should appear in the bigger media outlets in soccer of Fox Sports, The Age and The World Game.

Anonymous said...

Terrific article with a different perspective.

Well done!

Alf Ramsey

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 5:32 pm

I lived in the Middle -east, close to Qatar. I thought it had 750 000 to 1 million population.

Sage article Walter, which was also well composed and well written.


Anonymous said...

1. Athlete development (football or otherwise) is compromised by the ego of coaches. Put athletes in a team with a coach in charge and the coaches want to win. The best players (regardless of relative age diffeerences etc) will get the majority time and development principles are compromised.

2. Tasmania cannot and never will produce players of Natinoal potential standard in the same quantities as other Australian jurisdictions other than Northern Territory.

3. National Championships provide a forum for State vs State in a competition. Institute Challenges are all about talent identification for potential AIS, National Teams.

4. NTC/TIS players are coached to play in multiple positions (other than GK) in the 1433 system.

Put these 4 things together and the best solution for Tasmania is:

A) Only National potential standard football players receive a scholarship with TIS/NTC. (ie don't add inferior players just to make up a squad of 16).

B) These TIS/NTC players receive coaching and mentoring from TIS Football Coach. They are released to Clubs for Club training and games under an agreed plan with the Club.

C. Institute Challenge is run by selecting teams randomly from a hat containing all NTC athletes in Australia (or hats to ensure mix of positions). No State vs State concept.

This would ensure that when our most deserving athletes go to Institute challenges they wil have a fair opportunity and not be compromised by playing in a team of 16 substandard Tasmanian's that loses every game.