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European Championship Stories: 1984 – Le Veritable Roi Michel

They’ve been playing for one hundred and nineteen minutes on this balmy Mediterranean evening at le Stade Velodrome in Marseille and nothing, so far, has been able to separate the two teams. France, who sailed through the group stages of the 1984 European Championships, have surprisingly met their match in Portugal, who, prior to this…

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February 28, 2012
Ian

European Championship Stories: 1960 – Cold War Football

There are plenty of people, not least within the governing bodies of football itself, who would have it that football and politics don’t mix. This is, of course, bunkum, whether we like it or not. The game holds such influence over so many people that it sometimes seems impossible for politicians not to be able…

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January 24, 2012
Ian

My Favourite Match: France vs Portugal, The 1984 European Championships

Football matches come, of course, in all shapes and sizes – the critically important and the relatively inconsequential, local derbies steeped in decades of mutual loathing and round-trips which measure thousands of miles and have never been undertaken before. Occasionally, though, context isn’t everything. Every once in a while, a match can suck an audience…

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August 28, 2011
Ian

The 2011 Womens World Cup: A Possible Revolutionary Encounter

Back in 1950, Harry Keough perhaps summarised best the general attitude toward the quality of the American game that might still hold true in some quarters of the international football community. After the postal worker and semi-professional defender considered England’s now legendary 1-0 loss to the US in Belo Horizonte, he quipped, “Boy, I feel…

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July 13, 2011
Ian

England Lose World Cup Match On Penalty Kicks

Perhaps, on a bookshelf in the offices of the Football Association at Wembley Stadium, there is a leather-bound book called “How To Get Knocked Out Of  A Major Tournament”. It’s a well-thumbed tome, of course, and the England team at this year’s Women’s World Cup couldn’t help but crib from its extensive advice in getting…

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July 10, 2011
Ian

The 2011 Women’s World Cup: Group A Preview

It’s now less than two weeks until the 2011 Women’s World Cup starts in Germany, and over the next couple of weeks or so we’ll be taking the time to bring you a quick run-down of all of the teams that are taking part in this year’s competition. FIFA had considered increasing the number of…

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June 13, 2011
Ian

France Fall At The First

In England, it isn’t difficult to run into Francophobia. Sometimes it feels as if a range of feelings from mild dislike to irrational, rabid hatred are hard-wired into our DNA. As such, those of us that like (or even love) the country that lies just the other side of the English Channel can find ourselves…

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June 22, 2010
Ian
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