Sometimes Weird Uncle Fiver stares meaningfully at nothing in particular, lets out a wistful sigh, followed by a long burp, and explains that soccer is more than fights and racial wars. There is also, he says, football. Then he gives a long burp, followed by a wistful sigh, and turns on the television. In fact, at least 17 channels show the action of players kicking a ball back and forth with varying degrees of accuracy. In some cases it is only archive footage – for example the duel between Wrexham and Walsall from the preliminary round of the Sherpa Vans Trophy 1987 or perhaps the European Cup melee 1960 between Real Madrid and Barcelona, ​​when the English referee Reg Leafe a man from the Game performance by not allowing four Real Madrid goals for reasons that have never been adequately ventilated.

Sometimes the footage is live. For example, this week Weird Uncle Fiver was pleasantly surprised to find that the end of Euro Need 2020 did not raise the curtain on continental competition: there is a lot more thrill and intrigue with the CONCACACACACACACACAF Gold Cup underway. Hooray! Who will win it? The 97-time champion Mexico or the 58-time champion USA! UNITED STATES!! UNITED STATES!!! or, um, Qatar? Well why not? After appearing as a guest at the Copa América 2019 and accompanying Luxembourg and Azerbaijan in the qualifiers for the EN 2020, the private property from the Arabian Peninsula has sent a team to the Gold Cup next year as part of its further preparations for human rights in the World Cup it is supposed to align in a golden air-conditioned laboratory.

By the way, football. The thing here is, Qatar’s team is pretty good. They have already proven this by winning the last Asian Cup and provided further proof by defeating Luxembourg on their trip through Europe, but before they suffered a shock draw against the Republic of O’Ireland. But they started with three goals against Panama on Tuesday, hitting back each time as a game that slowly started off as an offensive extravaganza kicked off their Gold Cup season. Afterward, Panama’s manager admitted that his charges were happy to get away with one point. “Although the game was almost lost, the players never gave up,” said Thomas Christiansen, who was once responsible for Leeds United for eight minutes. “The truth is, I am very happy.”

So the tournament is going really well, even if the favorites got off to a sluggish start: After a draw with Trinidad & Tobago in the opening game, Mexico will have to achieve a significantly better performance against Guatemala this week. Meanwhile the USA! UNITED STATES!! USA !!!, who started their campaign with a 1-0 win over Haiti, face Martinique in a game already seen as something to watch when you have nothing else to do.


“If the Tories were to deal with racism, they would suspend the MP who was shouting and shouting in between” [Tyrone Mings] from membership in the [Conservatives]- Angela Rayner responds after Tory MPs shouted “Labor” in Parliament when Keir Starmer mentioned the English player’s reaction to Priti Patel. Yes there we are.

The state of affairs, earlier. Photo: Reuters TV / Reuters


“Following Graham Humphrey’s suggestion to resume the old penalty shootout debate (yesterday’s Fiver letters), my preferred solution would be as follows. If no goals are scored in 120 minutes: Go to the penalty shootout. If the results are even after 120 minutes (with goals): Admit the game to the team that scored in the first 90 minutes. If 0-0 after 90 minutes and let’s say 1-1, 2-2 etc. after 120 minutes: The game is awarded to the team with the best disciplinary record in the course of the tournament (red cards 3 points, yellow cards 1 point) and if still the same, then on to the disciplinary record countback from the final. If the teams still can’t be separated, go to the penalty shootout. In my opinion, this would: a) encourage offensive football from the start of the game (and possibly also in overtime); b) promote fair play throughout; and c) Use penalties only as a real last resort. Oh and d) England wins Euro Not 2020! It came home ”- Allastair McGillivray.

“Why isn’t there a corner countback in the case of an AET stalemate? Corners are an indicator of which team is attacking more, and knowing that they can determine the outcome would encourage defenders to keep the ball in play. Now for the abolition of the offside law … ”- Trevor Townson.

“My suggestion is that one of the teams should keep the trophy half the time before the next tournament – that is, two years between the World Cup or European Championship – and then have a game at halftime to determine which team can keep the trophy, the rest the remaining term. Only if the half-time game is a draw after extra time should it go to penalties. It would mean that both fans would go happily after the original finale and I would suggest that the emotions are not that high ”- Alan Mannings.

“In your picture on Monday you had former England goalkeeper Peter Shilton, all six feet tall, next to Tom Cruise and with very little height difference. Either Shilton has a bad case of osteoporosis, or he wasn’t much taller than Diego Maradona, and explains how the bantam of the barrio got over him to clap their fist into the hand of God. Or was Cruise on Oprah’s couch? ”- Paul Landaw.

Send your letters to And you can tweet The Fiver anytime via @guardian_sport. Today’s winner of our Priceless Letter of the Day is… Paul Landaw.


Lincoln City chief executive Michael Appleton has been diagnosed with testicular cancer and the tumor is due to be removed this week. “This is pretty routine surgery and the signs are suggesting I should be back on my feet in no time,” he said.

Get well soon, Michael. Photo: Jasonpix / Rex / Shutterstock

Birmingham goalkeeper Neil Etheridge is hospitalized for Covid-19.

Portsmouth are investigating allegations that members of their U18 squad directed racist slurs against the English players who missed the penalty shootout against Italy.

Harry Maguire says his father damaged his ribs in Sunday’s Wembley rush. “It was scary – he was scared and I don’t want anyone to experience that at a football game,” said Maguire.

Maguire’s Manchester United and England teammate, Marcus Rashford, is in need of shoulder surgery.

Roberto Rosetti, chairman of the Uefa Referees Committee, supported in an astonishing list the decisions that led to Raheem Sterling conceding a penalty in England’s semi-final against Denmark and Jorginho missing a red card for his tackle against Jack Grealish in the final.

And Arsenal are back, losing 2-1 to Hibs in a preparation match after receiving a particularly slapstick start.


Here is a roundup of the transfer offers you may have missed.

A UK team was supposed to be a one-off Big Sports Day in 2012, but after missing out in Rio, a team will compete in Tokyo’s women’s competition. Here is Suzy Wrack on a long and bumpy road.

Team GB on the way.Team GB on the way. Photo: Alex Davidson / Getty Images

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