We are officially in the midst of the women’s World Cup, so I’ll say two things before I get to the ramble:
- I strongly encourage reading all the things linked in the women’s World Cup open threads, because they’re very good.
- South Africa had a great arrival before its game against Spain, and we should all watch it:
South Africans showing up to World Cup games remains the best entries pic.twitter.com/yB7UCGZAQz— Miriti Murungi (@NutmegRadio) June 8, 2019
Ramble of the Day
I continue my women’s World Cup thoughts with a small observation from yesterday’s action. England took on neighbors Scotland in Nice and beat them 2-1, and while the game was plenty of fun, I have something else to mention in case you didn’t see it.
I hadn’t realized there was officially a World Cup coach outfit for head coaches of English national teams. I only realized when my mother asked who was coaching England after seeing him from behind. I quickly found out that the only reason she asked was because she saw Neville from behind, and he looked exactly like Gareth Southgate.
It’s an interesting move for either the Football Association, who has gone from identical kits for the men’s and women’s teams to identical uniforms for the team’s coaches, or from Neville. Perhaps he thinks the waistcoat will bring some good luck, or that he might create a Phil Neville effect after waistcoat sales went up in England last year. (This second theory feels a little bit weak, considering Neville would never get credit for beginning the trend.)
There’s probably a question to be asked of who wore it better, but these two men wear them exactly the same down to the hair and shoes, wear the ensembles well-fitted, and basically have the same hair style. Really, the only distinction is their faces, and I’m not about to go there.
It does make me wonder, if the FA did decide to go with the one World Cup outfit for the head coaches, if the two men were involved in the process. It is possible, in that case, that some style expert was called in to make the choice. It is a look that stands out on a touchline, even if it looks a bit like a flight attendant’s uniform.
It is noteworthy that Southgate has barely worn the ensemble since last year’s men’s World Cup, and that he also was not wearing one during England’s Nations League third-place match. It does have me wondering if there is just the one outfit.
It would make sense that Neville’s sporting it now; a World Cup definitely trumps a made-up tournament (sorry not sorry, UEFA), but let’s talk about the suit itself. I don’t obviously have either Neville’s or Southgate’s measurements, but a quick Google search tells me they’re essentially the same height: Neville is 5’11”, and Southgate 6’0”. At this point, I’d like to believe the theory.
tl;dr: What if Gareth Southgate and Phil Neville are actually wearing the same outfit?
Links of the Day
Afghanistan Football Federation president Keramuddin Karim has been banned for life by FIFA after investigators established he was guilty of sexual assault.
Chelsea has appealed its two-window transfer ban to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Mexico’s Miguel Layún revealed he will miss the Gold Cup after having a cancerous tumor removed. He has been cleared to play by doctors following a rest period.
Brazil’s Formiga has become the first person, male or female, to play in seven World Cups after starting her side’s opening match of the women’s World Cup against Jamaica.
Today’s longer read: Tariq Panja on the recent arrest of FIFA vice president Ahmad Ahmad and football’s #MeToo moment for The New York Times