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Crowd violence yesterday "broke out for a second day in Marseilles, as opposing fans hurled rocks and bottles at each other during England's match against Tunisia," according to Nicholas Woodsworth of the FINANCIAL TIMES. The trouble began on a city beach where the game was seen on a large screen. After England's first goal, "drunken England supporters threw bottles at the crowd," and the "violence quickly spread" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 6/16). As of 9:00pm, 16 people were arrested and 22 had been treated at local hospitals. Fifty people were arrested and 35 hospitalized on Sunday night during fights in Marseilles. In N.Y., Christopher Clarey wrote, "Hooliganism, soccer's recurring headache, turned Marseilles into a city of tear gas for the second consecutive day" (N.Y. TIMES, 6/16). In Houston, John Lopez: "The continued problems involving the Hooligans cast a pall on what has been a fast-paced, high- scoring and relatively peaceful tournament" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 6/16). USA TODAY's Fred Coleman, on the English hooligans: "They are drunk. They are violent. They are racist. And they are in France, starting to bloody the festive atmosphere of the World Cup soccer championships" (USA TODAY, 6/16). Header over WASHINGTON POST story: "English Fans Incite More Violence." British Prime Minister Tony Blair called the group of fans "a complete disgrace to the country." Pele said, "Until now, (the World Cup) was so nice -- a lot of goals, everyone very happy. Now, we have this problem" (Steven Goff, WASHINGTON POST, 6/16). The FINANCIAL TIMES' Patrick Harverson writes that the fans' actions "have done nothing but harm England's chances of hosting the World Cup in 2006" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 6/16). TEAR DOWN THE WALL: Nike said it was taking down posters featuring former soccer player Eric Cantona from its World Cup park in Paris after a French group said "they smacked of fascism." Nike's posters "used stark 1930s- style graphics, including a dictator-like image of Cantona, and slogans such as 'Young people of the world, football is calling you! Come and join us!'" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 6/16).
By losing "millions of dollars" during the first three Goodwill Games, Ted Turner has shown that "making money is not his primary motivation in staging the event," according to Richard Sandomir of the N.Y. TIMES. Turner said yesterday at a news conference, "You don't evaluate everything by whether or not you make a profit. Mother Teresa didn't make a profit." Sandomir reports that so far, the 15-sport event has sold 130,000 of the 600,000 available tickets. Turner: "It's early yet" (N.Y. TIMES, 6/16). IS EVENT "A BUST"? In N.Y., Chris Isidore writes that with a $200M price tag and "modest viewership expectations," Time Warner will be "closely" watching the games. Univ. of MA Sports Management Assistant Professor Jay Gladden: "It could very well be the last gasp for the games. Particularly with the (Turner-Time Warner) merger, this event now ultimately has to answer to shareholders." Goodwill Games President Mike Plant said that organizers "always expected late ticket sales and have been holding back on their marketing efforts." Plant: "This is a very challenging city in which to promote and sell an event. ... [I]t would have been foolish for us to have a blitz when people in New York weren't going to focus on it for a couple of months" (CRAIN'S N.Y. BUSINESS, 6/15). Also in N.Y., Paul Schwartzman wrote that the Games "are generating less-than- heated interest among fans and within the sports industry." Grey Advertising's Jon Mandel: "No one cares about it; no one knows about it." A senior mayoral advisor, who spoke on the condition of anonymity: "It's probably going to be a bust." But Games spokesperson Michael Llewellen said, "The buzz is building" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 6/14).
ABC's coverage yesterday afternoon of the USA-Germany match earned a 4.4/12 overnight rating (THE DAILY). In St. Louis, Tom Wheatley calls ABC's coverage of the match "incompetent." Wheatley: "Brent Musberger anchored the studio coverage at his melodramatic worst." Noting Musberger's question, "Do we have a chance?," Wheatley wonders, "Why do U.S. broadcasters turn into jingoists when a U.S. national team is at play?" (POST-DISPATCH, 6/16). NUMBERS: USA TODAY's Rudy Martzke shows that ABC's weekend overnight ratings are down from '94 and reports, "Soccer fever, as expected, has dwindled in the USA, with the World Cup being played in France." ABC's Belgium- Holland opening match on Saturday earned a 2.4 overnight, down 49% from '94's 4.7 opener. Sunday's Jamaica-Croatia overnight of a 2.6 was down 67% from '94's 7.8, a match that featured the U.S. team. For more ratings, see (#32).