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Socceroos drawn in tough group
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The draw will be conducted today in Costa do Sauipe and it will make or break the World Cup for some teams.
I think the way the seeding has come up for the 2014 edition of the World Cup will throw some interesting groups and some of them could be very difficult.
The eight seeded teams are Brazil, Spain, Germany, Argentina, Colombia, Belgium, Uruguay and Switzerland and these teams will be in pot 1.
Itís interesting to see that European powerhouses Italy and the Netherlands are not seeded and so they will be in the unseeded European pot. These are two teams which reached the final in 2006 and 2010 but find themselves unseeded because they were not in top seven when the seeding cut was made.
So itís quite possible to have one group with Brazil, Ivory Coast, Netherlands and Japan. That would be a very tough group and I hope that doesn't happen. You can replace Netherlands with Italy and it will be a tough group.
The Socceroos are in pot 3 and they are guaranteed to have one unseeded European team and either an African or unseeded South American team. However, if they are in a group with a seeded South American team then they will have an African team in the group just like 2010 in South Africa.
I am hoping that the draw will throw some interesting groups.
Many thanks to all the people who have taken time to read the various posts on this blog throughout the year and also those who have spared their time to post a comment or two.
These hasn't been any design changes to Owatalk this year but behind the scenes there has been a few changes and hence the improved email notification for example.
Next year is FIFA World Cup year and I look forward to a number of posts around that plus the usual stuff in F1, tennis, Melbourne, Zimbabwe and so on.
About a fortnight ago I tried to phone a mobile phone number in Zimbabwe and on the first attempt I hang up because the phone just kept on ringing with nobody picking it up.
After a while I tried to phone that number again and I realised that I had been charged more than $4 for the previous unconnected call and so I went ahead and tried to phone again.
This phone rang again but with no response but when I tried to use the card for the third time all the $10 credit was used up.
It was then I decided to phone the customer number on the back of the card and all my money was refunded.
I was told that I should always check the balance on the card to see if my card has been erroneously charged after an unsuccessful call.
This means I have to make a total of three calls each time - the initial call, the next call to check how much credit still remains on the card and then the third call to phone customer services.
But last week I had a similar experience and this time with the Happy Calling phone card.
After making an unsuccessful call which was charged I phoned the customer care to query the $4 plus that had been charged on the card.
The guy I talked to said the money had been restored and I should check in ten minutes.
On checking there was nothing and after a day there was nothing and I just decided it was easier not to use that card again.
This is a total ripoff I think. I have talked to a few people and they just phone but don't complain and sometimes a whole $10 card is finished without making a single call.
Also why should customers be expected to call each time and why is that the message is not written on the card.
Because this is happening a lot the customer care numbers must also be free calls.
I wonder if other people have had a similar experience but for me its time to look for alternatives.
I hope you will all have a wonderful time and loads of fun. Owatalk will continue into the new year and your readership and continued support has made this blog what it is now.
Have a good time, cheers.
I think it would have been very sad if Cousins had failed to get an AFL team for next year and therefore the fact that Richmond has decided to give him a second chance is commendable.
I think what he did was wrong but he served his punishment and deserves a second chance and I think after a year out of football this time he will be focussed to cover up for lost time.
Whether that will mean he will perform better for Richmond I don't know. I don't watch many AFL matches but next season I will try to go and watch him play for the Tigers.
The onus is now on Cousins to make sure he returns the trust the Tigers have given him and the chance they have given him to revive his career.
I hope you will all have a wonderful time and loads of fun. I hope to find some time before the end of the year to post about the cricket at the MCG and perhaps the Christmas football in the English Premier League.
I was a bit surprised that Thorpe decided to quit and I hope he has taken the best decision for himself and wish him all the best in his new adventures.
There has been a great debate over the last two days whether he would retire or just miss the 2007 FINA World Championships being held in Melbourne and I was more or less swayed by the argument that he would be back in time for the Beijing Olympics.
I think he found out that there was nothing more for him to achieve in swimming and hence the need to look for new challenges.