Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Soccer highs

Metro came and went, the Blizzard came and went. It seemed soccer just wasn't going to get a foot in the door in Toronto.

But soccer has arrived in T.O. big time, thanks to Toronto FC, a new stadium and the Toronto Sun's recognition of the thousands of soccer fans in the GTA.

Monday's Sun coverage of the Canada-Chile FIFA Under 20 World Cup game Sunday was extensive, but one of the first web sites we ran across had a negative mention about the Toronto Sun.

"A lameass reporter for the Toronto Sun bitches & moans about how tough it is covering the event. Shut up!" says the Du Nord blog.

The comment is below numerous links to media sites reporting on international soccer games, which on their own earn a mention for soccer fans in search of wider coverage.

The Du Nord blog links to Stephen Brunt's mostly positive Olympic Stadium coverage for the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star's special report on the Under 20 World Cup.

It is just odd that the only mention of the Sun is a negative comment about Bill Lankof's column.

Should we count that as one yellow card for Bill?

Speaking of soccer, a TSF reader wonders why the 50,000-seat stadium formerly known as SkyDome wasn't chosen for the World Cup games. Probably would have sold out there as they have at Olympic Stadium in Montreal.

1 comment:

  1. Well, as you know I know a little about soccer.

    I was at the Chile-Canada game it was fun. I was sitting with a bunch of Chileans, but it didn't stop me from supporting Canada as vocally as I could - joined by a group of other Canuks in the section. It was all good fun and in good sport.

    I'm also a season ticket holder for the Toronto FC games and those are just a blast. Best money I ever spent!!

    I suspect the reason the Rogers Centre (it will always be SkyDome to me however) wasn't booked was because there were too many conflicting Blue Jay dates, the BMO field was built and the city invested in it on the premise of bidding for the U20 WC and finally, the turf is not FIFA approved. They would have to replace the entire turf as they did for some exhibition games a couple of years ago, and for the length of the tournament and the Blue Jays and other events in between, it was just too much.

    Also, they never expected to sell out . . . 20,000 tickets is quite a feat.

    Finally, when will all the media in this town stop talking about how amazing it is to see 20,000 people at a game screaming, singing and yelling. Get over it. That was April's story. Isn't it about time we started treating soccer as a legit sport and concentrate on what's on the field?

    Canada lost because Chile out classed 'em. Simple. We had one decent shot on net but other than that, all our passes were misplaced in the middle of the park. It was a night of give away and scrambling to clear the back lines . . . not pretty for Canada.

    Maybe when the media start looking at soccer seriously instead of a novelty we'll start to get some real coverage. The Globe's Larry Millison is very good and Steve Brunt has made some interesting insights in his column.

    For Bill to whine about coverage pulls the story out of reality and back into the novelty aspect.

    Ian Harvey
    Professional Writers Association of Canada
    Canadian Freelance Union