Thursday, July 02, 2009

Zidane match rescheduled to July 12

I haven't written much about the "Zidane and Friends" series of charity exhibition matches being played across Canada this summer, as they really don't appeal to me. Sure, there's some interesting players supposedly involved, including the legend himself, but at the heart of it, it's just "an oldtimers' game", as my father referred to it in our conversation this morning. There's much better and more interesting soccer going on in MLS and the USL, and that takes more of my attention. The Toronto match was interesting , but still lacked many of the promised names [Larry Millson, The Canadian Press], so I wasn't overly concerned about following the Vancouver one set for July 4.

However, some interesting news came out today. Reports spread across the Vancouver media landscape today that Zidane hurt his back [Full Time: Vancouver's Soccer Show in town while watching the Canada Day fireworks with his kids and might not be able to play. Funnily enough, bizarre as that is, it's not even comparable to some of the more unusual sports injuries. The organization has confirmed the "freak injury" and cancelled the July 4 game at B.C. Place, rescheduling it for July 12. That's quite the quick recovery from a back injury, though, especially for an aging star like Zidane; we'll have to see how he's doing closer to the date. The organization says they'll refund all sold tickets and allow people to buy new tickets if they want; it will be interesting to see how many people who had tickets to the original event decide to buy tickets for the new one.

One thing this tour does show is the sometimes fragmented nature of the Canadian soccer landscape. In Millson's article (linked above) on the Toronto match, organizer Ahcene Adlani blamed a lack of support from the Canadian Soccer Association for the diminished rosters. Now, the CSA certainly has no obligation to support this kind of endeavour; they've got plenty of their own events to organize, including the recently-completed Voyageurs Cup and the upcoming Gold Cup. Most successful events in Canadian soccer are supported by the CSA or the clubs, though, so it's important to have at least one of those groups on your side. I don't know the details of Adlani's conversations with the CSA or with the Canadian clubs, so I can't comment on why his efforts didn't gain support from them. However, trying to go your own way, as Adlani did, is a difficult road to take, and one that's certainly made more difficult when you get freak injuries like this. Kudos to him for the attempt to do something cool and raise money for charity; let's hope that it still works out despite the Zidane injury.

[Cross-posted to The 24th Minute]

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous4:56 PM

    Everywere you read, the match has been put back to july 12th but thats not even confirmed yet, their no tickets for sale. Also the promoter is a liar....theirs no Eto or Barthez! the only all-star is Zidane and for 100$ we should see some magic. What kind of plays can he do if he is passing to some nobody (probably the promoters brother) and putting around the field...what a disaster!