The Goal-Maker

May 13, 2006

Starting a series where we draw your attention to sidelights at the FIFA World Cup, perhaps one of the biggest sporting events on the planet. As usual, our focus will not necessarily be news, but "interesting asides."

by Aparajith Ramnath

The Süddeutsche Zeitung’s online version recently carried an interview with Helmuth Löhr, whose company Sportgeräte 2000 is the one manufacturing the goalposts for the upcoming FIFA World Cup. 

Some nuggets: apparently the goalposts are made of aluminium, and each one is welded in one piece, unlike those of other manufacturers. One of the concerns is that the dimensions of the goals should be perfectly standardised. According to Löhr, the stadium in Brussels had goal posts differing in height by 20 centimetres during the European Championships in 2000!

There are some things that we just accept are there, never wondering where they came from or how they came to be. Certainly, goalposts on a football field belong to this category. Which is why the interview with Löhr made for interesting reading. When the whistle goes off for the first match less than a month down the line, I think there's a good chance I will be thinking of batches of standardised goalposts being transported out of Hildesheim to twelve German cities!

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