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7th July 2002 - Page 3


I start with 2 words: Euro 2000. Words that are enough to excite enthusiasts of 'the Game' readily. That too when the tournament is already over. Words that remind us of one full joyous rout of some of the most enthralling, the most captivating football, dare I say, ever! Lets go to the basics first. Lets look at the game itself. It's a heady combo of power, precision, technique, beauty, passion, the list goes on. It calms and thrills, provokes and pacifies, and gives rise to a whole ocean of emotions that I shouldn't even begin to explain. For 2 years, since the World Cup, little international football has been played, and, as a result, what we had was an extravaganza of unimaginable proportions. The European Championships were under way. After gruelling qualifying, which some say are even tougher than that of the World Cup, 16 teams descended to Belgium and Holland to play the world's second largest football tournament and to vie for the coveted trophy and the inevitable 'champion' tag.Pre tournament favourites were Holland and World Cup champions France. Both had sides with superstars packed together like sardines. There were eternal under-achievers Spain, and a power packed English side. wpe2.jpg (85634 bytes)

Italy's goalkeeper Francesco Toldo (bottom) watches the ball roll into the net with Alessandro Nesta after a goal from France's Sylvain Wiltord (rear) during the European Championship Final in Rotterdam.

There was Germany, historic powerhouse and defending champions, co-hosts Belgium, Sweden, Portugal, Turkey, Romania, Norway, Denmark, last years finalists, the Czech Republic, Yugoslavia, and first timer Slovenia. The stage was set and the action doesn't get any better. Co-hosts Belgium started things off with a winning note, playing some good football and beating Sweden 2-1. There was no looking back.Holland too got of too a good start annihilating Denmark 3-0.This good form was to continue over the tournament. Then went on to beat the Czechs 1-0 and the World Champions 3-2, in one of the most exciting games of the tournament. Excitement was hardly lacking however, as England squandered a 2 goal lead to go down to a greatly talented Portugese team, 3-2. Figo's 35 yard strike will be remembered for long by all who had the fortune of seeing it. The Portugese lived up to their talents for once, maintaining their clean sheet throughout the round. They beat Romania 1-0 in a overall dull game but for the final minutes. They also defeated a struggling German team 3 nil.The Germans, on the other hand, were a disappointment. They also played highly boring football, in a thin loss to Portugal and England, not to mention the pathetic 0-0 draw with Romania.England did well to beat rivals Germany through a typical 'Shearer' header, but belied their immense potential in two brilliant games. Both were losses by the same margin to Romania and Portugal.

                                                                                                            Siddhanth Aney

Mrs Malvika Vohra LEADs

As part of the LEAD India (Leadership for environment and development) programme, Mrs. Malvika Vohra attended two international workshops. Associates from different countries, namely C.I.S., Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, Pakistan, the United Kingdom, Japan and China deliberated on the theme “Diversity & Societies in Transition.”The 14-day workshop in March 2000 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, was the first International Session of the two-year LEAD programme that Mrs. Malvika Vohra is associate with. The regional session was held in Zomba, Malawi (Africa.) It was attended by the Southern Africa, C.I.S. and Indian associates in June 2000. The theme was “Food Security and Biodiversity.”

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