St. Petersburg Times Online: Sports
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather

printer version

African teams can improve, Pele says

Compiled from Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times
published June 30, 2002

YOKOHAMA, Japan -- Pele saluted Senegal for reaching the quarterfinal but said he believes African teams badly need better internal organization to come up with a World Cup winner.

Cameroon, Nigeria and now Senegal have flirted with success. But Pele said they will always be held back by weaknesses at the domestic level.

"Senegal was one of the surprises of the World Cup but showed it has a bright future," he said. "But one of the problems with Africa is the same as South America with most of the stars of Brazil and Argentina playing for clubs in Europe.

"The difference with Africa is that local tournaments are not being prepared very well. They don't have strong leagues, and that's where you prepare the good players."

NO PARTY: German officials scrapped plans for an outdoor party for about 2,000 German fans in Yokohama because they haven't received permission from local authorities.

The federation said it tried for the go-ahead for a party before the final, but local officials refused it.

As compensation, the federation will organize a fan party before the Oct.11 European Championship qualifying match against the Faeroe Islands in Hanover, Germany.

JUST MISSED: Nils Eie of Oslo, Norway, missed winning $1-million Saturday by inches.

The engineer, 25, beat 15 other finalists for the chance to take home the big prize by kicking a ball through a 30-inch target from 12 yards away.

He barely missed.

Eie, who was coached by former Dutch captain Ruud Gullit, won a $10,000 consolation prize.

"Mr. Eie put a good foot on the ball, but it just didn't have enough to go in the goal," Gullit said.

"I know from experience how difficult it is to convert such a kick under so much pressure and when there is so much at stake."

BIG AUDIENCE: With 1.68-billion hits before the final, the official tournament Web site is the most popular sports event site in Internet history.

Yahoo's is expected to surpass 2-billion hits by the end of the final.

Of the viewings, 51.6 percent were in English, followed by Japanese with 11.0 percent, German 10.4 percent, Korean 8.8 percent, French 6 percent, Spanish 5.3 percent, and Chinese 3.9 percent.

FIFA credits the popularity of the site to the time difference and the fact this was the first World Cup with such substantial Internet capabilities.

JAMAICAN DEATH: Theodore Whitmore, a member of Jamaica's national team, was ordered released on bail a day after being charged with manslaughter for the death of a teammate in a car crash.

Whitmore denied driving the car at the time of the January 2001 crash, which left Steve Malcolm dead and Whitmore and another passenger hospitalized.

Back to Sports
Back to Top

© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
Contact the Times | Privacy Policy
Standard of Accuracy | Terms, Conditions & Copyright

From the Times sports desk

World Cup soccer
  • Opposites to meet in unlikely Cup final
  • Final could go to a shootout
  • African teams can improve, Pele says
  • Quick goal lifts Turkey to third

  • Auto racing
  • Family tradition drives 'other son' forward

  • Arena footbal
  • Tampa Bay takes out Georgia

  • Baseball
  • All-Star Game likely Yankees fest

  • Etc.
  • Strike a pose for inner well-being
  • Seminole squads out to keep titles
  • Kiowa Sweet Joe wins St. Pete Derby
  • All-Stars begin play
  • Highs & Lows

  • Outdoors
  • Daily fishing report
  • Fishing lobby wants to save red grouper

  • Letters
  • Criticism of Tampa police at soccer bar a real low

  • Hubert Mizell
  • Tomorrow's Ventura: pigskin picker or Springer clone?

  • Darrell Fry
  • Baltimore still losing its players

  • Gary Shelton
  • Seles remains sentimental favorite

  • Rays
  • Kennedy can't win it alone
  • Winn to find out if he's Star material
  • Rays tales
  • Individual gain may be the Rays' biggest loss

  • Bucs
  • Southern Fryed

  • From the wire

    From the state sports wire
  • Jacksonville's Spicer placed on IR after leg surgery
  • FIU-Western Kentucky game postponed because of Jeanne
  • Brown anxious to face old team for first time
  • Dolphins' desperate defense readies for Roethlisberger
  • Former Sarasota lineman sheds tough-guy image with Michigan
  • Rothstein rejoins Heat as assistant
  • No. 16 Florida has history on its side against Kentucky
  • FSU and Clemson QBs both off to slow starts