It must be healthy for any sport when the established, favourite teams are upstaged by teams who are in the competition some for the first time. I would imagine it also gives hope to the teams who did not qualify this time but could well next time around. However, I don't believe you can blame the countries for the performance of the players unless you want to bring in a "Soviet" style system where good performance is well rewarded and a bad performance ends in a career at best in a gulag if not shot. I agree that some of the teams have been disappointing including Spain yesterday, that is until Fabregas came on. Ronnie can you remind me which club Fabregas, who at 19 is a star of the future, plays for? It has slipped my memory at the moment.
Islamic State destroys part of Syria's Temple of Bel, monitoring group says (Reuters)