Asian Cup Diary - Day 3: Hangovers

Hangovers, as a reflective old timer on a deathbed will tell you, is often not worth your while.

The experiences of rather unpleasant physiological and psychological effects from your antics the night before often leave you in a terrible state for the day ahead.

On the contrary a football hangover, an over-consumption of the beautiful game often leaves an individual with adrenalin rushing through their veins, thirsting for more action.

And those who are lucky enough to own Foxtel will have experienced something akin to that, with Fox Sports delivering 19 hours of live football action across their ever expanding network. 19. #whatthefox?

Their coverage, which included continuous coverage of the English Premier League as well as the Asian Cup matches live, was perfect, as it set up the tone for day three’s matches.

And with a tournament as big as the Asian Cup, you’d expect stadiums to be filled with those Sunday league players who are enjoying their offseason. Nope.

Prior to the match, The Diary was half hopeful that yesterday’s match between the UAE and Qatar would have drawn a bigger crowd than its mediocre 5,500 or so followers.

Canberra Stadium, of course, can fit up to 25,000 spectators at a time, and a quarter-full stadium really is disappointing.

Meanwhile, Melbourne Rectangular Stadium fared better than its Canberran counterpart with 17,712 at Iran vs Bahrain.

Put simply, crowd figures are results of public promotion, and a lack of free-to-air coverage for such a big event has greatly hindered its ability to reach the peripheries.

The same, though, could not be said for Omar Abdulrahman, who, after yesterday’s performance, would undoubtedly have gained a greater following.

The Australian public do not shy away from respecting talented players from other nations, and Omar is one of them.

His dazzling runs, quick feet and his ability to telekinetically link up with teammates, most notably Ali Mabkhout, was delightful to watch and had most fans salivating over his silky skills. No wonder they call him the Middle Eastern Messi!

Iran coach Carlos Queiroz meanwhile could not hold back from lambasting FIFA for holding back that World Cup money due to international sanctions, which have been detrimental to Iran’s future in the sport.

So while we all continue enjoying this football hangover of ours, The Diary believes it’s time Sepp Blatter got out of his.