World Cup Goal-line Technology

Posted June 11th, 2014 at 11:51 am (UTC-4)
3 comments

Brazil 2014 LogoBrazil 2014 marks the first time goal-line technology is used at the 32-nation football jamboree.

Fourteen cameras – seven focused on each goalmouth – will be used in all 12 World Cup stadiums in Brazil.

The cameras will record 500 images each second, and a computer will process the frames.

Within a second of a ball crossing the line, the referee’s special watch will vibrate and flash “GOAL.”

The small German start-up company GoalControl created the technology, which has been used for years in sports such as cricket, rugby, tennis and American-style football.

A ball crosses the line of a goal during a demonstration of goal-line technology at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo: Reuters

A ball crosses the line of a goal during a demonstration of goal-line technology at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo: Reuters

On the eve of the World Cup, the company demonstrated the goal-line technology at Brazil’s famous Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, where the final will be played July 13th.

Officials from GoalControl and FIFA, world football’s governing body, say the system is 100% accurate.

GoalControl CEO Dirk Broichhausen. Photo: Reuters

GoalControl CEO Dirk Broichhausen. Photo: Reuters

During the demonstration at Maracana, GoalControl CEO Dirk Broichhausen mentioned a controversial incident at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

England’s Frank Lampard was denied a goal against Germany when his shot hit the bar and officials failed to spot the ball had bounced down just behind the line.

If it had been ruled a goal, England would have tied the Round of 16 match at 2-2, but Germany went on to win, 4-1.

The Lampard controversy is credited with helping persuade FIFA to adopt the goal-line technology.

FIFA officials say they’re sure they can trust the new technology, and more than 2,400 goal-line tests of the equipment have been carried out at several stadiums in Brazil ahead of the World Cup.

Sonny Young
Since 1999, host Sonny Young has delighted listeners and viewers with a lively presentation that combines humor, props, sound effects and correspondent reports from Africa and all over the globe.

Cameroon’s Young Lion Olinga Achieving World Cup Dreams

Posted June 8th, 2014 at 10:40 am (UTC-4)
4 comments

Fabrice Olinga celebrates his goal against Celta Vigo in 2012 when, at age 16, he became the youngest goalscorer in Spanish First Division history. Photo: Reuters

Fabrice Olinga celebrates his goal against Celta Vigo in 2012 when, at age 16, he became the youngest goalscorer in Spanish First Division history. Photo: Reuters

Cameroonian striker Fabrice Olinga, who celebrated his 18th birthday May 12th, will be the youngest player at the World Cup football tournament in Brazil.

Born in Cameroon’s seaport commercial capital of Douala, Olinga developed his skills at the Samuel Eto’o Foundation, established by the country’s four-time African Footballer of the Year.

Eto’o, now 33, was even younger than Olinga – at 17 years and three months – when he played in his first World Cup for Cameroon at the 1998 tournament in France.

Olinga considers Eto’o a hero, describing the elder statesman of The Indomitable Lions of

Cameroon's captain Samuel Eto'o (#9) in action against Germany June 1 in a World Cup warm-up match. Photo: AP

Cameroon’s captain Samuel Eto’o (#9) in action against Germany June 1 in a World Cup warm-up match. Photo: AP

Cameroon as a legend who has achieved a great deal.

Fabrice Olinga says he’ll be proud to play alongside Samuel Eto’o in Brazil, but it’s doubtful Cameroon’s German coach, Volker Finke, will give him many minutes at football’s premier event. Finke used Olinga as a substitute in Cameroon’s World Cup warm-up matches.

Regardless of his playing time in Brazil, Olinga says he’s “living a dream” by being selected for Cameroon’s World Cup team.

Fabrice Olinga with his Malaga teammates in 2012. Photo: Reuters

Fabrice Olinga with his Malaga teammates in 2012. Photo: Reuters

He recently completed his first season for the Belgian club Zulte Waregem, on loan from Spain’s Malaga.

The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon will kick off their World Cup campaign June 13th when they play Mexico in Natal, Brazil.

With host country and five-time world champion Brazil the big favorite in Group A, Cameroon is expected to fight it out with Mexico and Croatia for a berth in the knockout stages.

 

 

 

 

Sonny Young
Since 1999, host Sonny Young has delighted listeners and viewers with a lively presentation that combines humor, props, sound effects and correspondent reports from Africa and all over the globe.

World Cup’s Group of Death

Posted June 1st, 2014 at 2:50 pm (UTC-4)
3 comments

Sonny makes his point in the Penalty BOX with, from left to right: Peter Clottey, Joao Santarita and Andre Mendes.

Sonny makes his point in the Penalty BOX with, from left to right: Peter Clottey, Joao Santarita and Andre Mendes.

The Voice of America’s Penalty BOX was the venue for a lively World Cup discussion about Group G, widely regarded as The Group of Death, at the upcoming football extravaganza in Brazil.

I joined Andre Mendes, Joao Santarita and host Peter Clottey for the soccer chat, as we focused on the strengths and weaknesses of Germany, Portugal, Ghana and the USA.

On paper, Germany and Portugal, currently ranked #2 and #3 in the FIFA world rankings, are the favorites.

But as Joao warned early in our spirited analysis, there are upsets and surprises at the World Cup, including the 2002 competition, when the underdog USA surprised Portugal, 3-2, in its opening match in Suwon, South Korea.

The USA used that victory over Portugal 12 years ago as a springboard to the quarterfinals, the best World Cup showing ever by the Americans since they reached the semifinals at the inaugural 1930 FIFA World Cup in Uruguay.

Five days before the Americans upset the Portuguese, I was in the Seoul World Cup stadium

Senegal's Papa Bouba Diop (19) scores against French goalkeeper Fabien Barthez (R) in the 2002 World Cup's opening match. Photo: Reuters

Senegal’s Papa Bouba Diop (#19) scores against French goalkeeper Fabien Barthez in the 2002 World Cup’s opening match in Seoul, South Korea. Photo: Reuters

when Senegal stunned defending champion France, 1-0, on a goal by Papa Bouba Diop, in the tournament’s opening match.

Like the Americans, the Senegalese used that upset victory to build momentum for a surprising run to the quarterfinals.

Ghana also surprised many World Cup fans four years ago when it reached the quarterfinals before suffering a heartbreaking loss to Uruguay on penalty kicks (4-2) at Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The Black Stars of Ghana were led by Serbian coach Milovan Rajevac at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

Ghana's World Cup coach James Kwesi Appiah. Photo: AP

Ghana’s World Cup coach James Kwesi Appiah. Photo: AP

This time around, the Black Stars are guided by James Kwesi Appiah, an assistant under Rajevac at the 2010 World Cup, and now the first Ghanaian coach to lead the team to football’s premier event.

Appiah says he’s very proud to be the first indigenous coach to take Ghana to the World Cup.

He also realizes the Ghanaians might have a psychological advantage over the Americans, as the teams prepare to play each other June 16th in their opening World Cup match in Natal, Brazil.

Ghana has eliminated the USA from the past two World Cups – in the group stage at Germany 2006 and in the Round of 16 at South Africa 2010.

Appiah’s coaching counterpart for the USA, Juergen Klinsmann, starred for Germany at three World Cups, scoring a total of 11 goals on football’s greatest stage.

The USA's World Cup coach Juergen Klinsmann. Photo: AP

The USA’s World Cup coach Juergen Klinsmann. Photo: AP

In addition, Klinsmann coached host Germany to a third-place finish at the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

He compares the USA’s opening match against Ghana to a World Cup final, something he’s quite familiar with since he played in the 1990 championship game in Rome, where the then West Germany edged Argentina, 1-0, on a late penalty kick by Andreas Brehme.

Klinsmann knows it’s imperative to pick up three points and a victory against Ghana, because up next for both teams in The Group of Death are European powers Germany and Portugal.

Looking ahead to June 16th, Klinsmann says simply, “We must beat Ghana.”

Sonny Young
Since 1999, host Sonny Young has delighted listeners and viewers with a lively presentation that combines humor, props, sound effects and correspondent reports from Africa and all over the globe.

Very Tall Tacko Fall From Senegal

Posted May 28th, 2014 at 2:28 pm (UTC-4)
1 comment

He’s 7’5″ (2.26 meters) tall and Elhadji “Tacko” Fall is attracting attention for his height and his basketball potential.

The 18-year-old Senegalese giant came to the United States in 2012 and he just finished his junior (third year) season at Liberty Christian Prep in central Florida.

In a phone interview with the Voice of America’s Daniel Brown, Tacko talked about how he started playing basketball.

Tacko says former Chinese star Yao Ming inspires him when he’s on the court. The 7’6″ Yao is only slightly taller than Tacko, and he was hobbled by lower leg injuries before retiring from basketball in 2011.

Basketball observers say Tacko will need to improve his strength, mobility and overall skills if he is to reach the NBA like Yao.

Yao, though, started playing the game at a much younger age (9) than Tacko, who first picked up a basketball shortly before coming to the USA.

So there’s plenty of room for improvement, and as one coach told me back in my younger days, “you can’t teach size.” And Tacko definitely has a lot of that!

Tacko Fall says he hopes to play basketball at the collegiate level, and I’m betting he gets a few scholarship offers.

Tacko is also an outstanding student. He says if the basketball doesn’t work out, he wants to be a biochemist.

Sonny Young
Since 1999, host Sonny Young has delighted listeners and viewers with a lively presentation that combines humor, props, sound effects and correspondent reports from Africa and all over the globe.

World Cup Penalty Box Music Video

Posted May 6th, 2014 at 4:54 pm (UTC-4)
1 comment

A few of my talented Voice of America colleagues are featured in this music video celebrating football’s World Cup and a new discussion series, Penalty Box, that is kicking off ahead of next month’s soccer extravaganza in Brazil.

Heather Maxwell, the host of our Music Time in Africa radio program, the VOA’s longest running English language show, is on lead vocals.

Heather is preparing for a trip to Rwanda and Cameroon. While Rwanda’s national football team, nicknamed Amavubi (The Wasps), has never qualified for the World Cup, let’s give a Sonny Side of Sports SHOUT OUT for The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon, who will be making their African record seventh World Cup appearance in Brazil.

Amish Srivastava

Amish Srivastava

Longtime VOA Engineer Greg Burns is on drums in the video, while VOA colleagues Amish Srivastava and Peter Clottey are on percussion.

Amish is the creator of Penalty Box, while Peter will be hosting the lively and entertaining World Cup video series.

Another VOA Engineer, Curtis Bynum, provides

Curtis Bynum "working the boards" in one of the VOA studios.

Curtis Bynum “working the boards” in one of the VOA studios.

back-up vocals in the video. Curtis loves to work the mic, as well as the controls in our studio, with glitzy aplomb.

Rick Barnes, a Telecommunication Manager who supervises Curtis, Greg and other VOA Engineers, plays bass in the video.

You might also recognize a few other friendly faces, including Yours Truly admiring the dribbling skills of Vincent Makori, our Africa 54 host, at the 38-second mark.

More kicks are coming at the World Cup and with Penalty Box.

 

Sonny Young
Since 1999, host Sonny Young has delighted listeners and viewers with a lively presentation that combines humor, props, sound effects and correspondent reports from Africa and all over the globe.

Boston Strong For City’s 118th Marathon

Posted April 18th, 2014 at 11:47 am (UTC-4)
3 comments

A "Boston Strong" banner hangs at Rowes Wharf in Boston. Photo: AP

A “Boston Strong” banner hangs at Rowes Wharf in Boston. Photo: AP

My friend Todd Gothberg says he experienced a wide range of emotions after last year’s deadly Boston Marathon bombings, and in his book, Believe, he describes them: “Shock. Sadness. Despair. Anger. Regret. Guilt. Relief. Peace.”

Todd finished his 15th Boston Marathon about an hour before the blasts on Boylston Street which killed three people and wounded more than 260.

2013 Boston Marathon bombing survivor Karen Rand, center, waves to the crowd as others injured in the blasts, Celeste Corcoran, left, and her daughter Sydney, second from left, and Roseann Sdoia, right, are honored at a recent Boston Celtics basketball game. Photo: AP

2013 Boston Marathon bombing survivor Karen Rand, center, waves to the crowd as others injured in the blasts, Celeste Corcoran, left, and her daughter Sydney, second from left, and Roseann Sdoia, right, are honored at a recent Boston Celtics basketball game. Photo: AP

In the wake of the tragedy, the city adopted a simple slogan, “Boston Strong,” to both remember the dead and injured and celebrate courage, leadership and community.

On Monday, April 21st, Todd and about 36,000 other runners will line up for the 118th Boston Marathon.

Todd says “Boston Strong” is all about a unifying spirit and strength that goes well beyond the physical traits required to finish a marathon.

He says it’s also about a group of athletes who gather once a year not to race against one another, but to race with one another.

Brothers J.P. and Paul Norden, who lost their right legs in the bombings, walk the Boston Marathon course with friends and family on the first anniversary of the attack. Photo: AP

Brothers J.P. and Paul Norden, who lost their right legs in the bombings, walk the Boston Marathon course with friends and family on the first anniversary of the attack. Photo: AP

Tom Grilik, executive director of the Boston Athletic Association, which will stage the marathon on Monday, says the slogan means “to be borne on by an inner and enduring strength, and it means, above all, that we never, ever give in to anything.”

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick says “Boston Strong” is about “the triumph of community itself,” and it’s a reminder of “how few degrees of separation there are between us.”

Sonny Young
Since 1999, host Sonny Young has delighted listeners and viewers with a lively presentation that combines humor, props, sound effects and correspondent reports from Africa and all over the globe.

Obama Celebrates Boston Sports

Posted April 2nd, 2014 at 2:46 pm (UTC-4)
3 comments

Red Sox slugger David "Big Papi" Ortiz presents a team jersey to President Obama. Photo: AP

Red Sox slugger David “Big Papi” Ortiz presents a team jersey to President Obama. Photo: AP

U.S. President Barack Obama recently celebrated two of Boston’s oldest and most cherished sporting traditions: its annual marathon and its eight-time World Series champion baseball team.

During a White House ceremony honoring the Boston Red Sox, President Obama credited the team with helping heal and unify a city scarred from last year’s deadly Boston Marathon bombings that killed three people and injured more than 260 others.

“Sometimes, sports seems like it’s trivial, it’s just an entertainment,” said the President. “And then, every once in a while, you’re reminded that sports represents something else and it has the power to bring people together like almost nothing can.”

Running shoes memorial near finish line of 2013 Boston Marathon

Running shoes memorial near finish line of 2013 Boston Marathon

The Boston Marathon and the Boston Red Sox have brought people together for more than 100 years. The marathon was first run in 1897, and the baseball team began playing games four years later, in 1901.

President Obama said in winning the 2013 World Series title, the Red Sox played an essential role in renewing the spirit of Boston, and that spirit will be on full display April 21st: “The world will return to Boston and run harder than ever and cheer louder than ever for the 118th Boston Marathon.”

2014BostonMarathonLogoThe Boston Marathon is run annually on the Patriots’ Day holiday in Massachusetts, and as part of the festivities, the Red Sox traditionally play a home game at Fenway Park.

When the Red Sox host the Baltimore Orioles April 21st, there will surely be loud cheers at Fenway Park, as well as on Boylston Street, where thousands of runners from all over the world will cross the finish line for what promises to be a very emotional 118th running of the Boston Marathon.

Sonny Young
Since 1999, host Sonny Young has delighted listeners and viewers with a lively presentation that combines humor, props, sound effects and correspondent reports from Africa and all over the globe.

Ayanleh Souleiman Earns Athletic Glory For Djibouti

Posted March 11th, 2014 at 3:05 pm (UTC-4)
4 comments

Ayanleh Souleiman is Djibouti's first gold medalist at a world athletics championship. Photo: Reuters

Ayanleh Souleiman is Djibouti’s first gold medalist at a world athletics championship. Photo: Reuters

Ayanleh Souleiman says he started running in 2008 after watching the Beijing Olympics on television.

Now 21-years-old, the athlete from the small Horn of Africa country Djibouti appears ready to run for a medal in 2016 when he makes his Olympic debut in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Souleiman was hoping to compete at the 2012 London Olympics, but he missed the competition because of a leg injury.

At the recent world indoor championships in Poland, he turned in a dominant performance in the men’s 1500 meters final, leading from almost start to finish.

After crossing the finish line, Souleiman quickly congratulated runner-up Aman Wote of Ethiopia, and then he listened to the Djibouti national anthem, played at an athletics stadium for the first time at a world championship.

Ayanleh Souleiman (R) hugs runner-up Aman Wote of Ethiopia. Photo: Reuters

Ayanleh Souleiman (R) hugs runner-up Aman Wote of Ethiopia. Photo: Reuters

At the 2013 world outdoor championships in Moscow, Souleiman won a bronze medal at the shorter 800 meter distance.

His gold medal in Poland was applauded by international track commentators, who say it could be a sign of even greater Olympic glory to come for Souleiman and Djibouti.

 

 

Sonny Young
Since 1999, host Sonny Young has delighted listeners and viewers with a lively presentation that combines humor, props, sound effects and correspondent reports from Africa and all over the globe.

Beckenbauer Backs Libyan Football

Posted March 3rd, 2014 at 9:44 am (UTC-4)
Leave a comment

Franz Beckenbauer Photo: Reuters

Franz Beckenbauer
Photo: Reuters

German football great Franz Beckenbauer is backing Libya as it prepares to host the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations tournament.

During a recent visit to the capital, Tripoli, the 68-year-old Beckenbauer participated in a ceremony to launch the building of a new 60,000-seat national stadium that will be used for the Nations Cup.

Beckenbauer’s visit is validation for a country that originally was awarded the hosting rights to the 2013 Nations Cup. But because of the revolution that overthrew Muammar Gaddafi, the Confederation of African Football, CAF, moved the tournament to South Africa.

Beckenbauer remembered a message from the late South African icon Nelson Mandela about the power of sports in highlighting what the Nations Cup can do for Libya. You can check out his remarks at the 58-second mark of this Sonny Side of Sports video.

Beckenbauer helped Germany win the World Cup as a player in 1974 and as a coach in 1990.

His trip to Tripoli came a few weeks after Libyan fans celebrated their first major international

A young man waves the Libyan flag in Benghazi after the country won this year's African Nations Championship football tournament. Photo: Reuters

A young man waves the Libyan flag in Benghazi after the country won this year’s African Nations Championship football tournament. Photo: Reuters

football title.

Libya defeated Ghana, 4-3 on penalty kicks, in Cape Town, South Africa, in the final of the African Nations Championship, a competition for home-based players in Africa.

Libya 2017 will mark the 60th anniversary of the Africa Cup of Nations tournament. This will mark the second time Libya has staged African football’s premier event.

The first was in 1982, when the Libyans lost to the Ghanaians (7-6), again on penalty kicks.

 

Sonny Young
Since 1999, host Sonny Young has delighted listeners and viewers with a lively presentation that combines humor, props, sound effects and correspondent reports from Africa and all over the globe.

Haile Gebrselassie Sets The Pace In London

Posted February 19th, 2014 at 1:00 pm (UTC-4)
Leave a comment

Haile smiles at his gym in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa. Photo: Reuters

Haile smiles at his gym in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa. Photo: Reuters

The man regarded by many as the greatest distance runner of the modern era will lead perhaps the best marathon field ever assembled in London on April 13th.

Ethiopian great Haile Gebrselassie has agreed to be the pacemaker for the elite men in the British capital.

The plan is for Haile, who will be five days shy of his 41st birthday, to take the top men to the 30-kilometer point in about one hour and 28 minutes – or about 4:43 per mile.

Then Haile will step aside and let the younger athletes see if they have what it takes to break the marathon world record of 2:03:23, set by Kenya’s Wilson Kipsang last year in Berlin, Germany.

Kipsang will be on the start line in London, part of a sensational African field put together by race

Haile Gebrselassie has set 27 world records during his great career. Photo: Reuters

Haile Gebrselassie has set 27 world records during his great career. Photo: Reuters

organizers. Another Kenyan, Emmanuel Mutai, the London Marathon course record holder (2:04:40), will also be testing his speed, as will Ethiopia’s Tsegaye Kebede, the reigning London Marathon champion.

In addition, Uganda’s Stephen Kiprotich, the reigning world and Olympic champion, will be running London, and so will two more Olympic champions who are making their marathon debuts: Somalia-born Mo Farah of Britain and Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele, the world record holder at both 5,000 meters and 10,000 meters.

Haile and British star Paula Radcliffe, the current women's world record holder in the marathon, at a news conference in Vienna, Austria. Photo: Reuters

Haile and British star Paula Radcliffe, the current women’s world record holder in the marathon, at a news conference in Vienna, Austria. Photo: Reuters

In an interview with “The Energetic” Andy Edwards, longtime Sonny Side of Sports track analyst, Haile Gebrselassie says he’s never seen such an outstanding collection of running talent in one marathon, and the chance to run with such stellar athletes was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up.

Haile adds that his good relationship with London Marathon organizer Dave Bedford was his other main reason for taking on the pacemaker duties.

After London, Haile Gebrselassie is scheduled to run the Hamburg Marathon in Germany in May, when he will take a shot at the over age 40, masters world record of 2:08:46, set by Mexico’s Andres Espinosa in Berlin in 2003.

 

 

Sonny Young
Since 1999, host Sonny Young has delighted listeners and viewers with a lively presentation that combines humor, props, sound effects and correspondent reports from Africa and all over the globe.

About

Sonny Side of Sports is an energetic and action-packed look at both world and African sports, broadcast on radio, TV and the Internet. Since the show’s creation in 1999, host Sonny Young has delighted listeners and viewers with a lively presentation that combines humor, props, sound effects and correspondent reports from Africa and all over the globe.

The Sonny Side of Sports is broadcast Monday through Friday at 1630 and 1830 UTC/GMT. And on Fridays at 1730 UTC/GMT, Sonny has an expanded 30-minute sports show.

Brighten your day by tuning in the Sonny Side of Sports!

» Listen to the latest show

Facebook

Latest Videos

Contact

E-mail
sonny@voanews.com

Telephone
+1.202.205.9942
When you hear the VOA identification press 60

Postal Mail
Voice of America
Room 1613
330 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20237
USA

Archives