Stories about FIFA

English Premier League: Handshakes and hypocrisy

If the English Premier League can be defined by one contest, it is the one between the two most illustrious and successful clubs, Manchester United and Liverpool FC. That is one fixture (in fact two, if you count home and away fixtures) every season that never fails to entertain you for reasons varying from sheer brilliance to absolute controversial. After the racism controversy surrounding Patrice Evra and Luis Suarez where Suarez was found guilty not based on any “evidence” but on a “balance of probabilities” (which I believe has to be the flimsiest way of deciding on one’s guilt especially in a case as ...

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Aftermath of Sepp Blatter’s (s)election

Sepp Blatter might have been re-elected as Fifa’s president for his fourth term but many question the prospect of whether his victory makes the world’s most powerful sports body any stronger. Not only were the elections held under the shadow of fierce criticism and corruption allegations, but to be honest, Sepp Blatter won the presidency not because the member associations had faith in him, but because he was the sole candidate left to elect after Mohamed Bin Hammam withdrew from the two-man contest. However, the allegations that surfaced during the elections have stained the integrity and unity of Fifa and it ...

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FIFA Club World Cup takes a leap of significance

For years, the FIFA Club world cup has proven to be a largely ceremonial trophy in minds of many. The competition is a culmination of all of the Champions League winners from each continent in a one off knock out format to crown the year’s greatest football club. The tournament tends to typically be a tooth extracting exercise for the champions of South America and Europe dismissing opponents from Asia, Africa and Central America en-route to a Europe vs. South America final – which more often than not results in heart break for the South American side that ventured over ...

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Diving needs to be a straight red card offense

Nani might just have good reason to celebrate his chances en-route to the throne of the biggest diver in world football given his recent displays, but he’ll have big shoes to fill if he manages a successful swipe of the crown; as I hear Ronaldo’s boot size is a 13.5. While I usually shy away from picking on individual players when it comes to certain aspects of the game of football, one of the few aberrations to the rule happens to be the issue of diving. A little history before I start taking names though. Diving (also conveniently referred to ...

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Will the Kampala blasts herald a wave of terror in East Africa?

Somali militant group Al Shabaab has claimed responsibility for twin blasts in Kampala, the Ugandan capital. 74 people were killed while watching the end of the World Cup final between Spain and the Netherlands, and dozens were injured. An unexploded suicide vest laden with ball bearings was also found in a disco hall, suggesting that militants planned another attack. Four “foreign” suspects were arrested in connection with the find. No doubt, this is a significant event. It represents the first time that Al Shabaab, a rebel group attempting to gain control of Somalia, has struck outside the country’s borders. However, ...

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All eyes on the octopus

The Fifa world cup has ended with a bang. As always, there was plenty of drama, tears, joy and action… along with a fair share of conspiracy theories and side stories. The most famous of course involves Paul – the octopus who had a 100 per cent prediction record this time. (It had an 86 per cent record in the Euro2008). While many are calling it a ‘psychic’ creature and are still astonished over its ‘powers’, others have called it a conspiracy of the bookies. There has been much talk that the mussels fed to the octopus had a certain ...

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World Cup 2010: Why there was more than one winner

I’ve been following Dutch Football since the first time I became cognizant of what a World Cup means, in 1998. The one thing every World Cup has had in common is that the Netherlands and Spain are two teams who have traditionally had issues of performance on the world’s greatest stage; perennial losers that never achieved what their true potential could have afforded them. The Final of the 2010 World Cup forever changed all of that, for both the teams. I could go off on a rant about missed chances, but each team had their fair share of those. We could ...

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Waka Waka Spain!

I want Spain to win the World Cup! Reason? They have never gone beyond the semi finals in World Cup history and they are the European champions so why not world champs? It is quite useless to evaluate teams on the basis of technique. Like cricket anything can happen in football.  How many times have we seen the predictions of cricket analysts proving to be as reliable as weather updates from the MET office. I could easily get away with not having a good reason for Spain being my favorite. After all this has been an upsetting World Cup. Ghana, Argentina and even Brazil….so ...

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Multi-Culti Mundial?

The 2010 World Cup officially began two weeks ago, but in reality had begun for South Africa since 2004. There are six different (language) versions of the official world cup anthem ‘wave your flag.’ They all feature K’naan and have the same cheering crowds, bright colours, contagious excitement, obligatory celebration of nationalism and of course, all celebrate the flag. They all sell patriotic pride K’naan collaborates with Nancy Ajram to produce the Arabic version, with David Bisbal to produce the Spanish version, with Jacky Cheung and Jane Zhang for the Chinese version, with Féfé for the French version. Skank did ...

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The Pakistani FIFA 2006 ball vs the FIFA 2010 Jabulani

People have been ignorant about the fact that Pakistan meets and delivers 75-85% of the world’s total football demand and consumption, annually, matching FIFA’s standards at the highest degrees. With such high quality standards and such a vast quality supply, people still feel crossed on why this year, at the FIFA World Cup 2010, Pakistani balls were only used during the practice sessions by the teams, and not in the official matches. Not to forget, this year’s official World Cup ball has come from China, known as Jabulani, meaning “rejoice” in the Zulu African language. The official World Cup ...

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