Category: FIFA

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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FIFA’s Garcia Report: Reaction & Ridicule

So, disgraced Fifa ex-president Sepp Blatter is NOT a woman trapped in a man’s body. Prince William did NOT try to sell his place in-line to the UK throne to Qatar. And the repugnant Jack Warner is NOT one of the most repulsive human beings on the planet never to have committed murder. No, wait, that last one IS true. What Fifa call the “Report on the Inquiry into the 2018/2022 FIFA World Cup Bidding Process (the so-called “Garcia Report”),” named after its primary author, the Fifa Ethics Committee (EthCo) Investigatory Chamber’s then “independent” chair, United States ex-attorney Michael...

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FIFA’s Video Assistant Referees: How VAR Should They Go?

The Video Assistant Referees (VARs) experiment at the just-finished Under-20s World Cup in the Korean Republic was undoubtedly successful. As was the system itself, largely. Whether the people running it were as successful is a different matter…and possibly doesn’t matter. The primary object of any experiment is to subject its subject to vigorous, wide-ranging scrutiny, to determine how it would work under as many different circumstances as possible, and highlight any problems, potential or active. This experiment certainly did that. Amid the fabulous Eurosport commentary-box set-to during the Italy/Zambia quarter-final, one issue emerged above all. A poor overall understanding...

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Infantino Trumps FIFA

Among the millions of words from American political pundits and satirists about Donald bloody Trump, NBC’s Saturday Night Live broadcast the straightest-to-the-point, last… well… Saturday night. The previous Thursday, Trump told NBC journalist Lester Holt that he fired Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) director James Comey while thinking about “this Russia thing,” the Comey-led FBI investigation into the nature of the Trump’s presidential campaign team’s links with Russia, and their role in Trump’s election victory last November. (NB: “The nature” of those links, not “if” they existed. One for the politicos there). On SNL, Michael Che’s “Holt”, got Alec...

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FIFA: Infantino & The Blatter Playbook

Nothing’s changed. All current Fifa stories, emerging and on-going, could have been written almost anytime this century, simply by replacing “Infantino” with “Blatter.” If The Who’s Pete Townshend could charge for using the line “meet the new boss, same as the old boss,” in these stories, he could buy Fifa (too?). Current president Gianni Infantino has played roles of sorts in controversies in all Fifa confederations. Predecessor, “the disgraced Sepp Blatter” (to give him his full title), distanced himself from them, as if they weren’t Fifa’s constituent parts. By contrast, Infantino is keeping very quiet about trying to control...

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