Ukraine versus England was the first football match the be shown exclusively via the internet, and an earth-shattering 500,000 watched, woo hoo! I’m guessing that those who chose to listen to the radio commentary instead, did so because they, like me, found the idea of gathering around a monitor a little too reminiscent of that rather Stepford-esque family in the late ’90s AOL adverts.
Once the match was under-way, it was action packed. Unfortunately, not all the action was of the top quality football variety. First, Ukraine fans blotted their copybook by stupidly hurling flares onto the pitch, then England goalkeeper, Robert Green, was sent off following an incident that was not entirely his fault – he came out too late following a mistake by Rio Ferdinand.
Stalwart David James came on, watched the subsequent penalty go wide and made several fine saves, although even he couldn’t stop the ball which bounced in off Ashley Cole taking Ukraine to victory.
Anyhow, I’m sure you’ll agree it was an eventful match. So have a guess what the topic of one post-match discussion was.
a) Hooliganism and how it could be dealt with?
b) The unique circumstances of the broadcast?
c) The reliability of Rio Ferdinand?
d) Is David James too old to play for England?
If you chose d, you are correct! Radio 5 devoted some time to discussing James’ age, and whether he should be amongst the keepers England take to South Africa. Hmm. I’m guessing they didn’t watch the match either.