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New research from Comet* shows that the family unit may be placed under pressure during the forthcoming Euro 2004 tournament. Many people will spurn watching the game with their family in preference of viewing them with others such as friends (43%), work colleagues (15%) or even on their own (29%). In order to help protect the family however, Comet has come up with the ultimate Bluffer's Guide to Euro 2004.

Euro 2004 is coming this summer, which is great news for football fans, but bad news if you don’t know your Arsenal from your elbow. Help is on hand though, Comet, the leading electrical retailer, has come together with Gabby Logan, ITV's knowledgeable face of football to help footy widows and novices with a guide to Bluff Your Way Through Euro 2004.

Of those respondents who will be watching Euro 2004, the top five reasons given for what will put them off watching the games with certain people were:
People who are bored by the game (61%)
People asking silly questions (53%)
People shouting or cheering at the wrong time (43%)
People not understanding the general rules of the game (36%)
People who are not able to discuss the game afterwards (31%)

Other reasons cited were: people not understanding the offside rule (24%), supporting the wrong team (22%) and not knowing the main players (17%).

With this in mind, Comet created the Bluff Your Way Through Euro 2004 guide with Gabby Logan, to help those who are not so knowledgeable about football or Euro 2004 understand and enjoy the game, making families more footy-friendly. In the guide, Gabby gives the low-down on:

How to behave and the language to use
The basic rules of football
Advice on who to support and players to watch out for
What to shout at the screen
And even what songs to sing!

Steven Handley from Comet vision comments, “Football tournaments, such as Euro 2004, is not only an ideal way to spend time with friends, but it is also great family entertainment. When our research showed that many people planned to avoid watching the game with their families for simple reasons such as lack of knowledge, we felt a guide will help football amateurs understand and even enjoy the game, helping to make football more family friendly.”

The Bluff Your Way Through Euro 2004 guide with Comet and Gabby Logan will be available in Comet stores, or can be accessed and downloaded online at www.comet.co.uk from May 2004.

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For more information or images please contact Robin Smith or Lucy Francis at EHPR on 07000 425 425, or email comet.pressdesk@ehpr.co.uk

* NOP surveyed 1,000 adults aged 15+ in Great Britain via telephone interview 5 – 7 March 2004. Weighting was applied to the data to bring it in line with national profiles
HOW TO BLUFF YOUR WAY THROUGH EURO 2004!

How To Act
To survive the tournament as well as saying the right things, you’ll need to act like a footy fan:
Your team scores: Jump up and down, wave your arms in the air, spill beer and hug the person standing next to you
The other team scores: Head in your hands and assume the foetal position
One of your players goes down in the area: Jump to your feet, pointing at the screen and shout “penalty”
Opponents star player shoots and misses the goal by a long way: Stand up with your arms wide apart to helpfully indicate that their shot missed the target
Ref makes a dodgy decision against your team: Raise your hands to the TV and shout “Oh come on ref”
You’ve lost: Very easy this one, fix your eyes on a spot in the wall and sit still staring blankly into space


The Lingo
If you’ve spent any time watching football with any big fans you’ll probably have realised that it comes with a language all of its own. Here we give you a quick guide of what means what:
“Reducer” – a fierce tackle put in on an opponent early in the game in order to gain physical supremacy
“Early Bath” – A euphemism for a red card, when a player gets sent off they’re the first back to the changing room, thus can enjoy an early bath
“Handbags” – when two or more players square up to each other but don’t really get into a serious brawl
“The Hole” – Area of field often occupied by a team’s most creative player just behind the strikers. A player can control their team’s attacks from this position
“Early Doors” – Refers to the opening period of a match, usually the first 10 – 15 mins


The Players to Watch
There’s more preening and posturing in your average football game that at London, Paris and Milan Fashion Weeks put together these days – so who are the head turners going to be at Euro 2004?

Our very own David Beckham changes his hairstyle as often as most men change their bed sheets, but somehow the skirt wearing, family man has been taken in to the hearts of butch British football fans

France are big favourites for Euro 2004 and will be spearheaded by the charm and charisma of fleet footed Thierry Henry – he of “va-va-voom” car adverts and master exponent of the gallic shrug

You’ve probably noticed Freddie Ljungberg, even if you don’t know it. Arsenal’s flamboyant midfielder has been plastered all over the country in his smalls as the star of a leading underwear band advertising campaign and is seen on the catwalk almost as often as the football field






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