Church and football

The Norwegian football cup finals were played today, and King Harald is usually present at Ullevål to hand out the trophy to the winners. However, he had another task today. As head of the Norwegian church, he was present at the inauguration of the new bishop, Erling Pettersen, in Stavanger today.

This meant that someone had to act as replacements at the Cup finals between Molde and Aalesund. Those someones ended up being the Crown Prince and the Crown Princess, who brought their two youngest children to watch the match.  Aalesund won, and Princess Ingrid Alexandra got to help her father hand out the player trophies to both the winners as well as the losing team.

Switzerland in the World Cup?

After last night’s round of matches… there is only one round of matches left in the European world cup preliminaries. Some teams have definitely qualified, of which Denmark is one. (Things were a bit crazy in Copenhagen before the match, including Swedish and Danish hooligans crashing on the main street.)

Norway is definitely out.

It is just my luck that Switzerland is in one of the two groups where it is still not clear who will go to South Africa next year. (In the other group Slovakia and Slovenia are battling for the top spot, which is out of reach for the Czech republic.)

As far as my limited football understanding goes: Switzerland is in the World Cup if they a) beat Israel (in which case they will end with 23 points) or b) tie with Israel in the final match. (in which case they will end with 21 points). As it is, they are currently standing with 20 points, and Greece has 17 points

Should they lose to Israel, they will depend on Luxembourg beating Greece, or a tie. If Greece beats Luxembourg, and the Swiss lose to Israel – they will stand even at 20 points. In which case, Greece will finish first, and Switzerland second.  (A whole ‘nother ball game comes into play for second place should Greece lose to Luxembourg. The Swiss would qualify, but the second place might go to Latvia.)

At any rate, the Swiss have secured at least a second place in the group, granting them the play-off chance, if they should not get the first spot and automatic qualification.

Anxiously awaiting Wednesday’s matches.

Football

We’re getting into the last matches of the World Cup Qualifying stretch now. For those of you without a clue as to what I’m talking about, the sport is football or soccer, and the World Cup will take place next year, in South Africa.Tonight is another round of matches.

Some teams have already qualified, the Netherlands being one of them, and some are totally out of the running, Luxembourg being one of them. But other teams still have a chance – and one of those are Switzerland.

Despite being rather unashamedly patriotic and Norwegian, especially when it comes to sport, I cheer for Switzerland at football. (Of course, should Norway and Switzerland meet, I would probably cheer for Norway. Probably.)

I am frequently asked why I do that – most others, when they root for something besides their own national team tend to lean towards the teams that tend to win. England, France, Brazil, Italy, Portugal, and so on.

The thing is, if you’re rooting for someone you’re anticipating to win, in my view, you’ll often end up disappointed. Whereas when I root for the underdog, which Switzerland is most of the time in the football world, any victory is a great triumph – and a tie works well, too.

I started rooting for the Swiss squad during the World cup in Germany. Norway had not qualified, yet again, and if there is one thing I like when watching a championship – it is having someone to cheer for.

My second choice, after Norway, was Denmark, but they had also failed to qualify… And the same with Scotland. Instead I started my pondering.

And I ended up with Switzerland. The only problem with following Switzerland is that the qualifying matches are not airing on television anywhere near me, so I’m missing out on a bit of the fun with it.

But at least I have the good results to rely on. (Defeat to Luxembourg nonewithstanding.) So far, they’re in the lead of group 2, but both Greece and Latvia are breathing down their necks.

I’m looking forward to the final matches. As well as crossing my fingers that things go Switzerland’s way.

King Olav making waves after his death

According to this article a football team in Norfolk, England, could lose their rights to play on their home ground, 21 years after the death of the last surviving grandchild of Queen Victoria.

I’m not sure if the clause mention King Olav specifically by name, or if that is an interpretation made. Because King Olav was not a grandson of Queen Victoria, but a great grandson. The longest surviving grandchild of Queen Victoria, was Princess Alice, the Countess of Athlone, who died in 1981.

Out of the great grandchildren, King Olav was not even the longest surviving one. Carl Johan Bernadotte, Count of Wisborg is the only one of Queen Victoria’s great grandchildren still alive.

What sounds plausible to me is that the clause intended the grandchild of King Edward VII, in which case it is indeed King Olav of Norway.

It is a curious case, isn’t it?