Category: Latest

Video Assistant Referees: A Step Too VAR?

Graham Poll would have LOVED it. Every time there was a controversial incident, and he was hardly averse to them, the cameras would have been on him to see if he would refer it to the Video Assistant referees (VARs). And when decisions were reached, the cameras would still be on HIM as he strutted around (and he WOULD strut) making said decision clear. The VAR system is under full tournament trial in the World Under-20s Cup Finals, currently wowing about 3,000 people-per-game in the Korean Republic, now that the hosts are out. It was tested in last December’s...

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Morecambe: Fewer Owners, More Questions

On 23 February I posted about the complexity of the situation at Morecambe. Since then it has become a case of… Less Owners – More questions for the Shrimps. As events unwind at Morecambe and putative owners fall by the wayside, more puzzles seem to reveal themselves. The opacity of the football world and the endemic frustrations evoked support the arguments for the need for more transparency in the dealings around the game. If the club’s finances are hidden, how can fans be sure of the future stability of their club? Current events at Morecambe have provoked a number...

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The 2017 Under-20 World Cup: V For Victory

Far beneath Fifa’s, some might say on-going, corruptive deceit and abuse of patronage lies the laudable ambition to make football a truly global game. The fruits of the honest endeavours in that direction are visible at the current U-20s World Cup in the Korean Republic, where the group stages have produced results such as Zambia 2 Portugal 1 and, drumroll, Germany 3 Vanuatu 2. And if those weren’t refreshingly surprising enough, England have won their Group…in considerable style. For the first time in recent years, a squad truly representing England’s late-teenage talent is at the World U-20s, with past...

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Celtic’s European Cup: Understanding Lisbon

Just watch the game. You’ll understand. Even though Celtic completed an unbeaten Scottish Premiership season last Sunday, the focus was far less on the 34 wins and four draws this season than on one win 50 years ago. Likewise, the previous Thursday, when Celtic ran lanes through a disinterested Partick Thistle, in front of a stand-full of fans with banners and flags replicating those carried and waved in Lisbon’s Estadio Nacional on May 25th 1967. But if you watch the game, you’ll understand. If you aren’t a Celtic fan, “Lisbon Lions” fatigue possibly set in ages ago. Some old...

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Tottenham Hotspur: Goodbye To The Lane

There was a neat personal symmetry to Tottenham Hotspur’s farewell afternoon to what is already the “old” White Hart Lane. My first-ever trip there was my first-ever football match. 10th November 1973. Then, as now, it was Spurs v Manchester United. Then, as now, Spurs went two-up. Then, as now, United pulled one back. Then, as now, it finished 2-1. So, while Sky Sports were doubtless desperate to for referee Jonathan Moss to award a penalty when Dele Alli was tripped as he entered the penalty area with stoppage-time about up last Sunday, I was pleased that the next...

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