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Day: January 29, 2013

The 2013 African Cup Of Nations: Groups A & B Come To A Climax

Group A The one advantage of Group A’s first round being a goalless bore was that no-one could ensure qualification until the final round; though after that first round, some might have settled for no-one ensuring qualification at all. But tournaments “need” the hosts to reach the knock-out stages otherwise they become unwatched, unwatchable bores – apparently. So Group A’s denouement gave us all we could wish for; drama, wonky commentary box mathematics and the hosts going through. Oh… and the quality of the football, even if most of it was played in Durban by Morocco against a South African side which quickly reverted to the nervous shambles of its opening match. The real possibility of qualification had also dawned on Cape Verde, which gave them enough jitters to make even this insipid Angola team look competent in Port Elizabeth. This collective nervousness nearly proved fatal. South African goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune loused up almost everything in the opening stages. And after a couple of scary kick-outs and one good save, Khune let Issam El Adoua head home a corner from feet rather than yards – the keeper’s punch closer to braining the scorer than clearing the ball. There was a comic element to Angola’s opening goal, too, the heavily-bandaged full-back Amaro’s cross turned into the net by Cape Verdean centre-back Neves’s arse…Angola on the scoresheet at last and an...

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The Football Governance Follow–Up: “Football Is [Still] The Worst Governed Sport In This Country”

The tone of it all is everything. You don’t have to read particularly closely between the lines of the independent committee for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s follow up report into football governance to be able to hear the clear exasperation with governing bodies that have chosen to do nothing about the recommendations of their findings from last year. Tucked within the 143 pages of the report is a very clear warning for the Football Association, the Premier League and the Football League: the decision not to act upon their findings might have been taken, but this apparent ignoring of it all doesn’t mean that the matter has merely gone away. All concerned now have twelve months to get their houses in order or face the possibility of legislation which will force them to do so. What has, perhaps, been more instructive than anything else in terms of framing the findings of the committee has been that their viewpoint is a truly independent one, unhindered by vested interest through seeking governance that would benefit one over another. If nothing else was to come from this entire process, then we could at least console ourselves with the knowledge that we now have something approaching a definitive guide to what we should feel entitled to expect in terms of governance. No, the report makes clear, football clubs are not...

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Match Of The Past: Notts County

We continue our archive series of matches of the clubs in Football League One with Notts County, and six matches from the years between 1926 and 1994. First up is some quite extraordinary film footage of the team in action against Fulham in the Fifth Round of the FA Cup at a packed Meadow Lane from February 1926, while our second match sees them traveling to London to play Crystal Palace in a Second Division match from April 1979. Our next two matches come from the club’s spell in the First Division during the first half of the 1980s, home matches against Nottingham Forest from 1982 and against Watford from 1984. We then finish off with two matches from the 1990s, a home FA Cup match against Manchester City from 1991 and a League Cup match from the 1994/95 season against Tottenham Hotspur. You can follow Twohundredpercent on Twitter by clicking...

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It Will Take More Than Public Money To Municipalise Football

In an interesting and thought-provoking article in the Guardian this morning, Sean Ingle decided to address a question which has occasionally been asked by football supporters before. Considering that there are publicly supported because they are perceived to be in the wider interest of society as a whole, and considering that at least of some of these – the National Opera, we’re looking quite plainly in your direction – might it not be justifiable to treat our football clubs as institutions of cultural importance in the same way and offer them a similar level of public subsidy? It’s an appealing idea. After all, all football clubs – including lower division and non-league clubs – carry a benefit to a community that is measurable in some respects and less obviously tangible in others, and what look, on the surface, like what should be a tiny amount of money to an entire community in a broad sense could often be enough to keep the wolves from a football club’s door in times of dire straits. The question at hand, however, is obviously far from straightforward, and the most obvious issues with the notion of giving public money to football club’s are fairly straightforward. Firstly, and most obviously, football clubs are businesses, in competition with other businesses. When their clubs get into trouble – or, indeed, when they need any sort of...

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