I’ve managed to take advantage of my between-gigs status to watch just over half of the World Cup matches. To satisfy my curiosity, I regularly needed answers to two questions: “What are the group standings?” and “What’s on today?” You’d think that FIFA.com would be the place to find them, but you’d be wrong.
To figure out what’s on, I’m using this web calendar from Britain’s Sky Sports, which plonks the matches, timezone-corrected, right into the Google calendar I look at 20 times a day. Pleasingly, it’s auto-updating the playoff fixtures as the group standings settle down.
To understand the group statuses, I do a Google Search for “world cup standings”; this puts the Group A status at the top of the results window and gives you a one-click link to see all eight groups. Yes, you can go to the FIFA group-standings page but it weirdly omits the goal-differential number, which is all-important in a small-group low-scoring round-robin tournament setup. Yeah, it gives you GF and GA, but I thought computers were supposed to do routine arithmetic for you. Pro tip: On your mobile, turn the device sideways to see the full standings in the search result.
FIFA’s site actually isn’t bad. Aside from not providing the answers to the two most-asked questions about what’s going on.