Qatar World Cup stadium resembles a vagina

Designed by AECOM in association with Zaha Hadid Architects, the new 40,000-seat Al Wakrah Stadium is a proposed venue for matches during the Qatar 2022 World Cup.

AECOM said of the proposed design: “Inspired by the dhow boat that carried generations of local fishermen and pearl divers, the stadium weaves together Qatar’s past with its progressive vision for the future.

“Sustainable materials and practices will be used throughout the stadium and the pitch and spectator stands will be cooled to a perfect temperature for football.”

Hassan al-Thawadi, the general secretary of Qatar’s 2022 committee said: “Al-Wakrah is the first of six stadiums already in the latter stages of the design process, our committee has issued 10 major tenders to the market encompassing project and design managers and stadium-operation consultants.”

When the feedback reaches the committee they may wish to rethink the design. The general consensus is that the stadium resembles a woman’s vagina and in this most conservative of countries, that’s not going to go down too well.

Back to the drawing board.

Felix Magath believes it’s time for Bayern Munich to quit Germany

Felix Magath believes Bayern Munich should leave the Bundesliga as a result of its pre-eminence in German football.

The Bavarians won the treble last season and have now won the Bundesliga title on 22 occasions, with only Borussia Dortmund, winners the previous two years, a realistic rival to their league crown.

Magath has coached eight different teams in the Bundesliga, including Bayern,bur he believes their dominance is such that the time has come for them to be excluded from domestic competition.

“You would have to exclude them from the domestic competition – a Europe League would be more telling,” the 60-year-old told Hamburger Morgenpost.

“I see the league as a competition where first place is permanently assigned to Bayern Munich.

“The clubs that play constantly in the Champions League have huge advantages.”

Indeed they do, but they enjoyed similar advantages in 2011 and 2012 and yet on neither occasion did they win the title. And it’s not as if their current dominance is without precedent: since the Bundesliga was established in 1963, Bayern have always been the dominant team in German football.

Shola Ameobi scores our Goal of the Day

A great cross and a smart finish from Shola Ameobi during Nigeria’s 2-2 draw with Italy.

Quote of the Day

“I think Falcao will be the best player at the World Cup. He has great qualities and a team that supports him at all times. He is smart and very technical and that is why he is one of the best centre forwards in the world.

 I am proud to be the coach of a team which has Falcao. He is a unique player and any coach would want to have him in their team.”

Colombia coach Jose Pekerman predicts great things for Radamel Falcao.

Steven Gerrard talks the talk about Germany

Speaking ahead of Tuesday’s friendly meeting with Germany, England captain Steven Gerrard believes his side are a much stronger proposition than the last time they faced Joachim Low’s side.

England were soundly beaten 4-1 in the last encounter between the two nations at World Cup 2010 in South Africa. The intervening years have not exactly suggested a narrowing of the gap between the two sides, but Gerrard thinks England are in a much better shape this time around.

“I’d say we’re better now,” said Gerrard, presumably convinced than an influx of Southampton players was all that was needed to transform England into a world class side.

The evidence of Friday night’s defeat to Chile suggests otherwise, but Gerrard thinks otherwise.

“We’re a lot stronger. If we were to meet Germany tomorrow in a World Cup, I don’t think we’d leave the pitch having been beaten 4-1,” he added.

“There is a good mix of youth and experience in the squad at the moment. We are all moving forward and improving all the time.

“If you look at how they’ve performed in recent tournaments and where they’re ranked, then maybe we are slight underdogs. But if you look at both squads and both starting XIs on Tuesday night, I wouldn’t say we’re huge underdogs, no. Maybe slight.”

“I have never gone out on to a pitch scared of anyone,” the Liverpool captain added.

“I’ll openly admit I’ve gone out and thought: ‘Our backs are against it today’ when I’ve come up against Barcelona in the Champions League.

“But I’ve never gone in scared. I’ve always gone in with the idea of it being a great opportunity to be the underdog for a change and that the underdog can come out on top.”

As rallying cries go it’s hardly Churchillian from Gerrard, but it does, at least, demonstrate a refreshing sense of realism from the man wearing the captain’s armband.