Author: Mark

FIFA Madness: Miguel Maduro & “The Female Position”

In May, FIFA sacked “did not renew the mandate of” its Ethics Committee co-chairs, Cornel Borbely and Hans Joachim-Eckert, so as to “better reflect the geographic and gender diversity that must be a part of an international organisation like Fifa.” These “non-renewals,” and Borbely and Eckert’s piqued reactions, were headline-grabbers, reducing Miguel Maduro’s non-renewal to mid-table paragraphs of the stories themselves (including mine). After Maduro’s fascinating 72-minute appearance at a Digital, Culture, Media and Sport departmental select committee hearing last Wednesday, these roles were reversed. Maduro was non-renewed after ten months as Governance Committee chairman, at least partly for his committee...

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FIFA & Sierra Leone: Musa Liability’s Integrity Task

“Even Fifa has its limits. Doesn’t it?” So ended Nick Harris’s November 2015 profile of Fifa presidential hopeful Musa Bility, on Harris’s excellent Sporting Intelligence website, as Bility’s presidential candidature was rejected on countless (lack of) integrity grounds. “Maybe in time,” Harris mused, “it will become apparent why on earth he thought Fifa’s integrity check would be a gimme.” Harris may be right. Perhaps Fifa has no limits. After all, their just-announced a task force to address the countless integrity issues affecting Sierra Leone’s Football Association (SLFA) will be chaired by Liberian FA president and African Football Confederation (Caf)...

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Billericay Town: The Only Way Isn’t Necessarily Essex

Glenn Tamplin was background noise to my summer, merely the latest wealthy narcissist ejaculating wealth and narcissism over a non-league football club before the narcissism proves insufficient once the wealth runs out. Tamplin, the owner of Isthmian League Billericay Town, initially seemed little different to over-ambitious owners like Canvey Island’s Jeff King, Grays Athletic’s Micky Woodward and Hornchurch’s Karl Williams… even when he made himself Billericay’s manager (King did likewise at Canvey. But a closer look at Tamplin’s public persona (which strongly suggests there isn’t a private one) reveals plenty more “ejaculating.” The forty-five year-old frequently comes across like a...

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Scottish Football Goes Nuts

Football’s genuine status as “only a game” was perfectly demonstrated by comparing Scottish football’s descent into madness last week with the parallel fall and fall further into the arena of the psychologically unwell of US president Donald bloody Trump. Trump’s week of false equivalence, ignorance of history and resultant encouragement to American neo-Nazis and white supremacists has been well-documented, by far better documenters than me. Suffice to say that the clownish rhetoric, schoolboy politicking and rank-rotten refereeing which pock-marked Scottish club football’s week was many times… MANY TIMES less dangerous. For some observers, part of Scottish club football “tradition”...

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Clearing The Summer Hangover

My team, Bostik League Premier Division Kingstonian (Bostik? Evo-Stik? Rhyming adhesives and non-league football… er… league sponsorships, eh?) began their 2017/2018 season this Saturday. But I wasn’t interested. They did so at Billericay Town, tabloid press darlings, sure-to-be-wisely-gargantuan spenders and inevitable title favourites among football bookies who probably couldn’t name any non-tabloid star ‘Ricay players, let alone rationally analyse their promotion prospects. Paul Konchesky. Jamie O’Hara. Jeez, Jermaine Pennant. Players that football fans have heard of. In the Isthmian League. £35,000 weekly wage bill. In the Isthmian League. But I wasn’t interested. They did so under the management of...

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