Take the case of the worthies from Asda who challenged their Argentinian colleagues to a soccer match during the annual W-M shareholders' convention. All was set for a serious clash until Sven-Göran Eriksson's lads dumped the Argies out of the competition. Alas, when the Asda boys trotted out to play, some two hours later, there was no sign of their South American store colleagues. They had presumably gone somewhere to drown their sorrows. Not to be outdone, the UK players started a match between themselves, only to be beaten 20 minutes later by the soaring temperatures. Ah, well. Meanwhile, could the UK grocery industry be responsible for all those empty seats at the World Cup? Execs at the major mults have been comparing notes and realised there have been very few trips to cheer on our lads (or any other country's lads for that matter) in South Korea and Japan. This contrasts with the last World Cup in France four years ago, when if you wanted to arrange a business meeting with the top brass, Paris was the place to be. Nevertheless this deficiency allowed entire head office teams to watch that incredible match with Argentina together, and some saw a rarely glimpsed side of their bosses. Wild horses wouldn't persuade me to divulge the identity of an ambassadorial figure in the industry who was so overcome by the tension in the closing minutes that a four-letter expletive escaped his lips. {{COUNTERPOINT }}

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