Stories about FIFA

Argentina – A nation in a ‘Messi’ situation

One of the most calm and cool heads under pressure, Lionel Messi steps up to take Argentina’s first penalty of the shootout in the Copa America Final. He is expected to tuck away the penalty, but to the dismay of his supporters he balloons his spot kick over the crossbar. It frantically leads to a catapult of mistakes from the Argentinians, culminating in their loss to Chile in the Copa America Final – again. Chille stun Argentina to win the Copa America final for the second consecutive time.Photo: Reuters As if losing a final wasn’t bad enough, ...

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Four reasons why Jose Mourinho will not be a good fit for Manchester United

Since the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson left Manchester United (Man Utd), the club began witnessing a downward spiral and failed to impress its fans around the world. After retiring at the end of the 2012-13 season; Sir Alex appointed David Moyes as his successor. But Moyes was sacked after a short period of 10 months due to his lack of success and Dutchman Louis van Gaal became the first non-British manager in the club’s history. Van Gaal had a successful career with the Netherlands, Spain and Germany. AFC Ajax won the Champions League title under him in 1995. But during the 2015-16 season, Man Utd, the 13 times ...

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Dear Faisal Hayat, it’s time to redeem your and Pakistan’s reputation

It all started with the Punjab elections in April, where the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) split into two factions, and until recently, both sides were indecisive about who was meant to lead the nation’s football federation. But last month, Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) finally took a decision and ruled in favour of Faisal Saleh Hayat’s faction in their executive committee meeting. Locally, things are far from cleared as the controversy over June’s elections rambles on, but the onus is back on Hayat and his associates. For months they have been boasting about their achievements on and off the field over the last ...

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Sepp Blatter resigns: Ding dong, the king is gone

I was asked to write this blog immediately after news of the FIFA scandal broke preceding the general election. I thought to wait. Despite strong objections from UEFA and of course the Americans amongst others, nothing could stop the inevitable; Blatter was re-elected without much fanfare or surprise. Gabriele Marcotti, a writer I regularly follow, titled his column Sepp Blatter wins FIFA election but football is the real loser. My Noel-Coward-wit intact, thoughts began to spill out in concurrence with the general gist of Marcotti’s article only for rumblings to emerge that Blatter was under immense pressure to resign. I thought to wait. ‘Sepp Blatter resigns’ the unanimous scream from across the ...

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Why is the shipment of bio-hazardous anthrax being overlooked, United States?

While we were still in the process of recovering from the dumbfounding FIFA fiasco and the horrendous IRS hacking, the odiously toxic news of live samples of anthrax being  shipped ‘mistakenly’ by the Department of Defence (DoD) to different parts of the country and South Korea further contaminated the airwaves. While one cannot stay away from crying bloody murder when such an incident, a rather unforgiving event, occurs, bringing back awful memories of Union Carbide and Chernobyl, Pentagon officials assured people that nothing earth-shaking took place and there were no reports of exposure to the deadly bacteria. “There is no known risk to the general public, and there are no ...

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Football’s 10 most controversial signings

With the January transfer circus in full flow, the rumours continue to spread, talks are under way, contracts are being negotiated, and the past, as it always does, makes its way to the forefront as clubs reflect back to the one that got away. There were some transfers, however, that rocked the footballing world; names that are still on the tip of our tongues — beloved heroes who turned in one second into bitter traitors. 1. Luis Figo (Barcelona to Real Madrid) It would be no hyperbole to call Luis Figo’s transfer to the Santiago Bernabeu THE great betrayal, the mother of ...

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What can PFF do with FIFA’s money?

Football, as a sport, has seen an incredible rise in popularity in our country over the last decade. Our shining stars like Kaleemullah, Hassan Bashir, Muhammad Adil and many others have consistently shown that we possess top-class talent. Yet time and time again, Pakistan as a team has failed to deliver on the international stage. Our football federation sits relaxed, as if everything is under control. It remains undeterred by Pakistan’s dismal performance. We are falling further behind to our neighbouring countries. And let’s be honest, before we dream of making it to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, we first need ...

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Does Pakistan even care about its FIFA ranking?

Fédération Internationale de Football Association’s (FIFA) method to calculate rankings has had its fair share of praise and criticism over the years, with many calling it inconsistent, while others enjoy the benefits with smaller teams making great leaps with famous wins. However, for minnows like Pakistan, the rankings are truly reflective of the team’s state of affairs. I usually don’t pay much attention to rankings but, nonetheless, it plays a key part when one is in a constant battle to promote the game and raise awareness amongst masses. And it’s no surprise that the eventual mention of Pakistan’s ranking often brings ridicule and disappointment.   [caption ...

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5 reasons Manuel Neuer deserves the Ballon d’Or

Finally, after much anticipation, the list is out. And it’s out with a bang. Three players have been shortlisted for the prestigious award and it is no surprise that this year’s trio of the planet’s best players yet again includes the giants of the football world, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. What is enthralling about this year’s award, however, is that this time it is not Xavi or Andrés Iniesta or Franck Ribery who will compete with Ronaldo and Messi – this time, it is a goalkeeper. This time it is the ‘SuperManu’, the ‘sweeper-keeper’, the legendary German and Bayern Munich goalkeeper, Manuel Neuer, who ...

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El Clásico2014: Clash of the titans, Real Madrid vs Barcelona

There are rivalries like Liverpool versus Manchester United, like AC Milan versus Inter Milan, like Pakistan versus India, and, let us say, like Imran Khan versus Nawaz Sharif. They are fierce. They are violent, and of course amazing to watch. But when juxtaposed with El Clásico: Real Madrid versus Barcelona, they are nothing. Absolutely nothing. The ultimate rivalry between the world’s two wealthiest and most successful clubs is considered to be the most ferocious, most passionate and most followed sporting contest throughout the whole globe. There is violence. There is vandalism. There is vehemence. And these are only the Vs. There is shoving, pulling, red-card-showing, grabbing, shouting abuses and ...

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