Wednesday 15th June

Hamm, Hamburg, Berlin

Group A FIFA WM Stadion Hamburg 15.00

Ecuador v Costa Rica

Group B Olympiastadion Berlin 21.00

Sweden v Paraguay

Heard German radio paying homage to their football team, first thing in the morning with a song called Deutschland Weltmeister immediately followed by another song which contained the numbers 54, 74 & 90, obviously referring to their past victories. It was refreshing to hear something different, as in the stadiums they still revel in the spirit of ’96 with the borrowed anthems of”Fußball’s Coming Home” and “All Together Now”.                                                               I had been warned that the was due to break and sure enough it rained in the morning, but the afternoon although cloudy, saw temperatures of 25 degrees.   My revisit to Hamburg revealed less tickets available outside for Ecuador v Costa Rica than Ivory Coast v Argentina! There has also been a sign outside two of the games I have been to offering €2000 for England v Sweden tickets, I am confident he is not going to the game.   This was my first 3 p. m. kick off and the heat had been bearable. The finish of the match before 5 p. m. and a brisk jog through the park ensured I was at the train station in plenty of time to be  in Berlin for the 9 p. m. kick off where I had a bed for the night available to me.   This journey was tame compared to the one I heard of yesterday. I met a scout for Hibs who had been to Leipzig in the afternoon then caught a plane to Köln, and taken a taxi to Dortmund in order that he could see Spain v Ukraine and Germany v Poland.   Arrived at Berlin in time to pick up a ticket from the Paraguayan F.A.