Whoever said there is magic in football was apparently right. If not, how come 32 nations began the race and it is now left with four to determine who eventually captures the most coveted soccer cup in the world?Last week Argentina, Netherlands, Brazil and Germany took their chances further afield.Germany edged out France, Argentina denied Belgium the opportunity, Brazil took out Colombia and Netherlands got the scare of their lives when minnows Costa Rica took them to regulation time only to succumb during penalty shootouts to bow out.Brazil — Will go against Germany on July 8 and it is possible that the Brazilians would put their striking cylinders on but winning narrowly against Colombia should give the Brazilians another opportunity to make it to the finals on July 13th.Germany — Lothar Matthaus who lifted the most precious trophy in 1990 as captain of the German team is aware that Germany has reached the semi-finals for the fourth time in succession and may be keen to go all the way. Against Algeria, the team was sloppy but it would seem that Germany picks up their game one at a time. Against Brazil is quite another story and many are waiting to celebrate.Netherlands — Their luck came against Mexico and got scared by minnows Costa Rica, surviving on penalties. Arjen Robben and his team-mates should know by now that this is the time to shine. Against Messi, the Dutch can no longer allow situations to take them by, and Louis Van Gaal can find a way to ensure a chance for the finals.Argentina — Put up some performance against Belgium but playing against Netherlands should remind Messi and co that they have work to do. Against Belgium, Messi could not drive home a begging chance, but the Dutch cannot be tempted with such chances and Angel Di Maria and Pablo Zabalet will need more support for the finals on July 13.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
…forced to borrow money to maintain families Security Guards attached to the offices of the Region One Regional Democratic Council (Barima-Waini) are calling for their payment, which they have not received since January.The unpaid workers were previously employed with another security firm, whose contract was not renewed when the coalition Government took office.According to one security officer, his family ‘s wellbeing is dependent on the money he earns as a security guard, since with “the nature of the job and the shift system, persons employed cannot find the time to cultivate their farms, and as such depend solely on their salaries to maintain their families.”He added that enquires regarding payments directed to Assistant Regional Executive Officer (AREO) Renitta Williams are being met with the same response each time: “Payment is on its way”.Forced to borrow money to sustain themselves and their families, the workers are calling for urgent intervention and assistance in resolving their current plight.Just on Wednesday last, security guards of Region Five picketed the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) calling for termination of the contract with the firm they are currently working with.This firm, according to reports, has failed to pay its workers since December last.The guards, who were at a breaking point, withdrew their services from several key agencies in the region to support a call for the regional administration to terminate the contract with the company to provide security to schools, hospitals and other Government agencies.Katty Fraser, a mother of two, said her daughter is currently hospitalised, but she has no money to supply her needs.Another guard, Vernetta LaRose, a mother of eight, who resides at Number 22 Bel Air, West Coast Berbice, said the guards were told they must open an account at a specific commercial bank, into which their salaries would be paid.The picketing action of the guards were reportedly met with hostility from the Region 5 Executive Officer, Ovid Morrison, who ordered them out of a section of the RDC compound.Region 5 Chairman, Vickchand Ramphal, in a meeting with the guards, voiced his hope that the Government would intervene on the guards’ behalf, as his engagements with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the firm had proved futile.