I am writing to you from New Delhi India. So far my journey has taken from Ottawa - Montreal - Amsterdam - Athens - Cairo - Kuwait - Delhi - Dehra Dun - Delhi. Leaving Ottawa was a little crazy and we were a lot closer to missing our flight from Montreal to Amsterdam than I would have cared for, but we made it without any problems. We then flew from Amsterdam to Athens, as we were flying over Macedonia, the Captain announced on the intercom that everyone had been awarded two penalties. Landing in Athens, I was able to go out sight seeing and enjoy the novelty of watching football in the evening. Unfortunately I was not able to watch Canada battle Poland, but I was able to see Greece make it two the World Cup. The commentary of the match was obviously in Greek, and when Greece scored I initially thought it may have been offside as the commentators didn't get terribly excited, but it was onside and sent Greece to South Africa. I was also surprised that I didn't hear the streets erupt in celebration which was fine with me as I needed some rest as I flew to Cairo the next day. I was able to get online briefly during the Greece match, so I was aware of the Egypt - Algeria before arriving in Cairo. Once there I noticed huge numbers of riot police stationed near our hostel. The taxi driver told us that they were there because of the Egypt-Algeria match. Apparently there were huge crowds in front of the Algerian Embassy burning Algerian flags. This is an aspect of football that bothers me. We have the positive examples of Turkey & Armenia re-opening relations because they had to play each other in World Cup Qualifying, and then we have the negative example of Egypt and Algeria breaking off relations because of there match. First off I think that FIFA was cowardly in not punishing Egypt before their match after fans attacked the bus with the Algerian team on board injuring three players. I realise that there is a certain amount of gamesmanship in keeping a team awake etc. However I feel quite comfortable saying that throwing rocks at the bus carrying the team crosses the line by a considerable distance. FIFA should have acted immediately and played the game in an empty stadium, as they would have done in Europe. The fact that the governments of both countries got involved was a little ridiculous. Algeria had a complaint that the Egyptian security did not do enough to protect their players, but recalling the Ambassador is a little extreme. It was almost comical to see presidents sparing with each other over fights between people at a football stadium. That said, what is most sad is that the people in each country followed their governments example and acted like children, with both sets of people doing considerable damage to businesses owned by nationals of the other country. I think that FIFA needs to come down hard on both countries to prevent this sort of ridiculousness from happening again. Can you imagine what would happen to Ireland if they recalled their ambassador to France, burned French flags, trashed Renault dealerships, and French Restaurants? That aside I had a wonderful time in Egypt and the Pyramids are definitely worth a visit.
From there we went to India, via Kuwait. I was hoping to catch the Stoke - Portsmouth match at the Kuwait airport given that our lay over coinsidered with the time of the match. However there are no televisions in the Kuwait airport. Nor was I able to find a reliable wifi connection. So I was blissfully unaware of what was transpiring at Pompey, until I caught a headline roll across the bottom of an Indian newscast saying that Darren Ferguson was the new Pompey boss. This told me that we had lost to Stoke and were still bottom, and that Pompey had some cash because we wouldn't have been able to sack Hart if we didn't. I thought that Fergie Jr. was a brave choice especially since Peterborough weren't exactly lighting up the Championship. However the next day I was able to jump on the net and saw that in fact Avram Grant had taken over. I feel better with Grant at the helm than with Fergie Jr. Hopefully he will get us to stay up. Though having missed the match with United as I was travelling down an Indian highway at the time. It sounded like Sam & Matt's prediction from Canadian Terrace Talk that Dindane was the Chad Barrett of the Premier League, could be bang on. It did seem like Pompey under Grant was like Pompey under Hart, we played well but we didn't get the result. The way things are going I am worried that people will be saying Portsmouth play good football and they will be a strong Championship side.
Things are going well, I reach Australia in 3 weeks at which point there should be more regular updates, I hope that you are all well, Cheers