Do Androids Dream of Electric World Cup Victories?

(this post courtesy VOA’s Urdu Service)

Pakistan doesn’t have a team competing in the 2014 World Cup, which opened today in Brazil. In fact, football is often an afterthought in the cricket-mad country.

(SPOT QUIZ: When was the last time that the Pakistan national team qualified for the tournament? Answer at the end of this post)

But that’s not stopping a group of Pakistani university engineering students, from putting their mental and physical energy into a different sort of World Cup.

Students of Pakistan’s Center for Advance Studies in Engineering are angling to compete in the 2014 Robo Cup, to take place in Brazil on the sidelines of the actual football tournament.

Vice Chancellor Shaukat Hameed Khan told VOA’s Urdu Service that the purpose of the competition is to develop teams of football-capable robots to play against human beings, possibly by 2050.

“When Pakistan’s team played in the Street Child World Cup this year, it had a positive impact. Now, our national team could not go but if our robots go, it will be good for the future of soccer in Pakistan.”

Each robot cost about 400,000 rupees ($4,000), paid largely by the students themselves. Unfortunately Pakistan’s government has refused to pay the cost of the trip, so Khan said he is seeking help from the private sector.

Check out what the World Cup of the future may end up looking like:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06Ji1bzdLDA

(SPOT QUIZ ANSWER: Pakistan has never competed in the World Cup, though the Pakistani Football Federation is making serious investments in the sport that may pay off in coming years)

They Have to Win...and They Can Do It

Cameroon’s Ambassador to US Hails the Indomitable Lions

Cameroonians around the world are hoping that their national football team, The Indomitable Lions, live up to their name and play some indomitable football in the coming weeks.

Among the team’s biggest fans? His Excellency, Joseph Bienvenu Charles Foe-Atangana, Ambassador of Cameroon to the United States. We recently visited the Ambassador, who shared his excitement on the upcoming games, and his best wishes to the team:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1hyfG1-wtk

“I am delighted that our team has been placed in Group A with Mexico, Brazil, and Croatia. We are very proud of our players as they will make their 7th appearance in the World Cup,” the Ambassador said. “Football has become a sport of our culture.”

The Indomitable Lions make their World Cup 2014 debut the tournament against Mexico on June 13 at Arena das Dunas in Natal, followed by matches against Croatia on June 18, and Brazil on June 22.

Will Cameroon’s dreams be dashed before the end of group play? Or will they stun favorites Brazil…and the world? See for yourself by following the latest World Cup news here at VOAFootball.com, and on Facebook and Twitter.

World Class Headaches for a World Cup Tournament

Sao Paulo Transit Strike Threatens Tournament Kick-Off (UPDATE)

UPDATE: Late Wednesday, Sao Paulo transit workers ended their three day strike, meaning the city’s transit system will be up and running for the start of the World Cup. But as VOA reports, although the strike is over, lingering effects could make it difficult to get around.

Original story:

The World Cup is only a day away, but despite all the preparation and planning, a transit strike could have a major impact on the tournament.

As VOA reports, transit protests in Sao Paulo – the site of tomorrow’s opening match – have caused numerous traffic problems. But transit workers have agreed to meet today to possibly end the strike, which would open the city’s public transportation system just in time.

Will the strike be resolved? Or will it impact the start of the tournament? Follow VOA Football on Facebook and Twitter to see.