Every other summer for football fans, there is a World Cup or a European Championships to enjoy, but when they are not on, it can be a quiet time. It is usually transfer speculation that keeps people busy. Although, hearing that a potentially promising young player that might turn out to be half decent, might sign up for a new club, and then finding out that the deal has fallen through and in fact it wasn’t even a remote possibility in the first place, is not overly exciting for most of us.
There is actually nothing like real football, and despite no major tournament for European teams this year, there has been no shortage across the globe.
The Nations League finals didn’t last too long, with just the semi-finals and the final. But there was a Copa America, with Brazil, unsurprisingly as host nation, claiming the title, beating Peru 3-1 in the final.
The African Nations Cup, taking place in Egypt, is ongoing with the semi-final line-up taking shape.
Also, we witnessed the Concacaf Gold Cup, which saw Mexico beating USA 1-0 to lift the cup.
The biggest drama and most entertaining spectacle, however, came with the Women’s World Cup.
There was a high level of skill and quality on show, and, also a bit of comedy thrown in along the way. Quite a few games were open and end to end. Holland edged Japan 2-1 in the round of 16, which was a cracking game. USA just about got the better of the host nation France by the same score line in the quarter-finals which was another contender for match of the tournament. The event saw huge crowds for the women’s game, and record television viewing figures. Hopefully this attention it received will help the game continue to grow.
One of the downsides was the use of VAR, which turned farcical at times. Players were stood over penalties for 6 minutes while the referee looked at the same replay countless times on the sidelines.
Important goals were wildly celebrated before being disallowed for being a centimetre offside.
Spectators in the stadiums and at home were left wondering what was going on at times.
We will have to hope this will improve greatly before it is introduced to the Premier League for the first time this coming season.
Written By Matthew Drew