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Saturday, June 10, 2006

Buy a newspaper

(Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters)
They're having fun, in Germany

Soccer-World-Exiled fans say U.S. worst place to watch action

By Claudia Parsons 25 minutes ago

NEW YORK, June 9 (Reuters) - Gloomy soccer fans in exile in the United States were drinking alone on Friday, watching the start of the World Cup that caused little more than a ripple in a country where the beautiful game is seen as just for kids.

"In the whole world this is the worst place to be," said Andy McHugh, a 38-year-old England fan sitting alone with a beer at Hallo Berlin, a German bar in midtown Manhattan.

A sign-designer who has been in the United States for 12 years, McHugh asked: "Do you know any good bars?", desperate to find a place to watch England's first game on Saturday in the company of fellow fans.

Drinking a beer at nearby Emporium Brazil, visiting German businessman Alex Gerhard said watching the games in America was not as much fun as at home in Frankfurt.

"There's no atmosphere. Soccer is not so popular," he said. But he added with a smile, "I'm going home on Wednesday."

A trader at one large European investment bank complained that managers had blocked ESPN, the cable sports network showing most of the first round games, in order to ensure employees stay glued to their trading screens.

"Don't talk to me about watching the World Cup -- it's a sore point for us here," the trader said.


The mood was more festive on West 46th Street in Manhattan, known as "Little Brazil," where bars were festooned with flags and pennants sporting the team's green and yellow colours.

Brazilian Roberto Malumut, a quantitative analyst for JPMorgan Chase, was taking a rare lunchbreak to watch the game. "We are totally crazy for it. It's in the blood."


Englishman Richard Iley, senior economist at BNP Paribas, said he'd spotted one England shirt on the trading floor but he didn't anticipate much of a stir. "I suspect the impact will be much, much bigger in London. It will be a ripple over here but it's an earthquake in the City of London," he said. (Additional reporting by Ellen Wulfhorst, Jamie McGeever and Amanda Cooper)

Do some research. There are soccer bars around the city and guides to them. Sititng around midtown isn't the answer.

posted by Steve @ 1:44:00 AM

1:44:00 AM

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