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Uncorked Don't be wrong metatarsal-ed

Published:  18 January, 2007

All I can hear as I sit and write this are various discussions about what formation England football manager Sven Gran Ericksson should adopt now that he is likely to be without Wayne Rooney, the prodigiously and precociously talented Manchester United forward who broke a metatarsal last weekend.

It just serves to demonstrate how important football is to so many people in this country, and how a major international event like the World Cup pulls in many other people, particularly women, who would not otherwise be interested.

Needless to say, this is a huge opportunity for the drink and hospitality industries.

So many pizzas, sweet and sour porks, and chicken tikka masalas are going to be consumed, washed down with copious amounts of beer, wine and spirits in various forms, while footie fans intently watch these matches.

Pubs with huge screens will be packed to the gunnels and some of the more ingenious among the pub/restaurant trade may even promote football-free zones' to attract the disinterested minority.

I remember being in Portugal a year or so before the last European Championships, and asking various people what they were doing to exploit the football.

It seemed an ideal chance to raise awareness about Portugal.

I was met with blank looks and shrugged shoulders. An opportunity missed, no doubt.

Having been in Germany recently, I do not get the impression that the Germans are about to make the same mistake.

Nor should you.

Christian Davis