7 moments that prove FIFA World Cup is more than just football

Back in the day when I started regularly following football, one of the things that struck me most about the game was its rich history. The archives of the FIFA World Cups in particular are engrossing to say the least. The furore surrounding some of the more notorious events gives enough credence to the fact that the quality of football is not always the solitary source for noteworthy events. Some of these moments can woo the world with their brilliance, while others can make our heads fall in shame. Nevertheless, they tend to live long in the memory of those who ...

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#JusticeForFawadAlam: The lost shining star selectors love to hate

You may try and push against a wall, but it will never move, not even by a centimetre. This is the example of Fawad Alam, a relentless performer who just wants to play for his country, but can never seem to catch a break. Alam has all the necessary capabilities to perform well in international cricket, but unfortunately, fortune, or perhaps just the selectors are never on his side. Currently, Alam’s ordeal is all over social media, as he has once again been excluded from the Test squad for Pakistan’s tour of Ireland and England. There is no question ...

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Cristiano Ronaldo: How Madeira’s ‘little bee’ turned into the greatest player of all time

Visualisation of a dream is considerably easier than actually turning it into a reality. One can associate a lot of attributes with the realisation of this process but three key elements behind it are optimism, persistence and hard work. The perfect embodiment of these traits can be found amongst many successful individuals, and one such name in that prestigious list is Cristiano Ronaldo. We can all talk at length, with great detail and assurance, about how great a footballer Ronaldo is due to the benefit of hindsight. Yet this by no means will surpass the confidence of a 15-year-old Ronaldo ...

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Karma is making rounds as Roma did to Barcelona what the Catalans did to PSG a year ago

‘Historical debacle’ claimed Spanish daily, Mundo Deportivo, which is anything but far from the truth. On a night where Manchester City getting knocked out of the UEFA Champions League (UCL) should have been the biggest story, the Catalans were making the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Barca paid the price for sitting on the fence, without realising they were running into quick sand. Barcelona’s harbinger of hope, the prodigiously gifted, Lionel Messi, was not able to put the team on his back. A team which has many high calibre players, looked like an ordinary team when the little Argentinean ...

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Manchester bleeds red: The Citizens may take the title but bragging rights will stay with the Red Devils

The half time whistle signalled the end of an appalling 45 minutes of football by Manchester United. A commanding display by the Blues had them on the verge of being crowned Premier League champions. The Etihad Stadium was buzzing with delight as a perplexed Sir Alex Ferguson watched on from the stands. City had put two past David De Gea in a half where their opponents could not even manage a single shot on goal. Had Raheem Sterling been more efficient with his finishing, the match could have easily gone beyond the reach of Manchester United. Raheem ...

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Manchester Derby: Will the Red Devils stand in the way of City’s early victory?

The upcoming Manchester Derby might not have any bearing on the title race itself, but there is still a lot riding on it. In their last meeting, Manchester City virtually dashed all hopes of their rivals to mount a challenge, with a win over their arch nemesis. Now, in a few days’ time, they will have the chance to officially win the title at home against Jose Mourinho’s men. Manchester City’s David Silva scores their first goal, Manchester United vs Manchester City, December 10, 2017. Photo: Reuters It does not get bigger than this, right? Winning the title ...

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Amir’s punishment was justified, but has the world been too harsh on Smith and Warner?

The recent ball tampering scandal – SandpaperGate, as it is being colloquially referred to – continues to emanate shockwaves in the cricketing world. Both Steve Smith and David Warner have ended up losing their leadership roles, and have also been banned for one year each. Further, Smith has been declared ineligible for captaining Australia for two years, whereas Warner has been declared the same for life. In addition, both have also been banned from playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL), which will literally burn a hole worth millions in their pockets. While young Cameron Bancroft has also been banned ...

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Dear West Indies, you took a chance on us, and we are eternally grateful! Love, Karachi

It’s slowly creeping in, one match at a time. Flags are being rolled out. Hats, paint and whistles are being bought. There are inconceivable traffic jams, and mercifully long ticket lines. You’re afraid to be excited, for fear of it being taken away. You silently pray everything goes smoothly. Putting on your green jerseys, you wear your flashiest smile and plead with the cameras, convincing every foreigner that you are safe, and they will be too. You look around at the sea of green around you, and fight back the tears as, after almost a decade, you once again hear ...

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#UCLDraw: As the final eight battle it out, will the road to Kyiv lead to victory for Liverpool?

Following the round of 16 victory against FC Porto, Scousers were dreaming of all the fantastic cities that could potentially end up as their next European destination. Thoughts were already occupied with airplane and hotel bookings, which had to be made for the Champions League quarterfinal away trip. But as fate would have it, local Liverpool FC fans had to begrudgingly settle for a mere 60 minutes bus-trip down the M62 motorway, when the draws were made for the quarters in Nyon. Neither Liverpool nor Manchester City would have preferred to draw their local opponents at this stage of the ...

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ICC’s response to #SandpaperGate is shameful, but is it white privilege?

Ball tampering is probably the biggest bane to the gentleman’s game, otherwise known as cricket. By now, what transpired during the third Test between South Africa and Australia at Cape Town is common knowledge, and the blatant attempt at cheating has shocked Australians and the rest of the world alike.   FULL VIDEO OF @cbancroft4 #BALLTAMPERING. There is no doubt. From the yellow item down the trousers to @darren_lehmann sending a message on-field GUILTY! @officialcsa @ESPNcricinfo @icc BAN AND FINE should have changed ball #savaus pic.twitter.com/8LLToUECWa — Neal Collins (@nealcol) March 24, 2018 There will be those who will say, “ball tampering has happened many times ...

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