Author: Mark

Ireland’s World Cup Car Crash 

“Jesus, Mary and Joseph” is a polite, religious Irish version of a phrase which rhymes with “clucking bell;” the reaction, surely, of many Ireland fans watching their team’s humiliating World Cup exit on Tuesday. And probably a better bet in Ireland’s midfield diamond than the one Denmark ran lanes through at will. When the end came, it was as difficult to watch as much of the football Ireland have played under Martin O’Neill’s management, although some of Denmark’s football was at the opposite end of the quality scale. Christian Eriksen and his manager Aage Hareide had reason to say...

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FIFA: The Repugnant Jack Warner – Justice At Last?

“Inside World Football” website editor Paul Nicholson recently wrote that repugnant former Fifa vice-president Jack Warner was “believed to be one of the kingpins at the centre of the corruption within Fifa and his own regional confederation.” That “belief” is strong among Fifa corruption observers. The only problem with proving it in court is getting him to court, as Warner has fought a two-year Trinidad and Tobago High Court campaign against extradition to the United States, where he has been sought since the famous 20th May 2015 US Department of Justice indictments against Fifa officials. However, he recently lost...

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Football & The Law: Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That

America’s late-night “genuine fake news” programme “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” has a segment called “Ain’t nobody got time for that,” speed-covering the swarm of news items part-caused by “Donald Trump did WHAT?” tales. “Ain’t nobody” had full time for the football legal stories which have taken significant turns this week. There I was, researching repugnant Fifa ex-Vice-President Jack Warner’s legal attempts to escape justice for his repugnant criminality (sod “allegedly,” he couldn’t lie in bed straight, that man) when, suddenly… Blackpool, the “Paradise Papers,” Fifa and the “Paradise Papers” again. Fascinating revelations, affirming football peoples’ flaky relationship...

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FA Fluff and Other F…oul Ups

It’s a running joke on English comedian John Oliver’s American cable TV show “Last Week Tonight.” Footage of Trump telling consecutive lies, with Oliver declaring “WE GOT HIM!” to cue huge celebrations. But…they hadn’t “got him.” Trump lies don’t matter. “He didn’t know what he was talking about. I thought that was meaningful,” Oliver concluded, his voice tailing-off in near-despair. I was as near-despairing when England’s Football Association hierarchy received the backing of their board, despite their woeful showing in parliament on October 18th. FA chairman Greg Clarke, chief executive Martin Glenn, technical director Dan Ashworth and human resources...

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The Under-17 World Cup: The England Kids Are Alright

A mostly great final to sum up a mostly great tournament, with almost precisely the right result. England’s under-17 success in India, on the back of the under-20’s triumph in Korea in June, has had England’s jingoistic media drooling over the senior team’s prospects in Qat…well…in 2022 anyway, although basic arithmetic and probable playing conditions suggest that 2026 is a better prospect (especially with qualification places available to 25% of the world). There is, of course, plenty of opportunity for potholes to emerge on the paths to senior glory. Basic arithmetic and definite playing conditions suggested that Brazil’s youth...

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