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Author: Mark

The 2015 Under-20 World Cup – Sweet (Round Of) Sixteen

And now, live from the man who told you that “with my forecasting prowess, the US look a decent each-way bet”, the next instalment of teenage-plus Fifa football fun and frolics in New Zealand… Signs of taking football too seriously, no. 1: Racing around to finish early morning chores in time for British Eurosport highlights of Uzbekistan v Austria Under-20s at seven o’clock in the morning. In fairness, the Uzbeks’ two-nil win over aimless Austria wasn’t half bad (i.e. the first half was). Something went on in all the last-16 matches at the Under-20s World Cup, which could not...

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The 2015 Under-20 World Cup: Fiji’s Fall

Fiji, managed by oddball Aussie Frank Farina, not Fifa, managed by slimeball Swiss Sepp Blatter, were the four letters which, nearly shook the football world this weekend. Sadly, however, their opponents in the Under-20s World Cup on Sunday were the “jammy dodgers” qualifiers for the last sixteen of a so far absorbing, occasionally thrilling tournament. Uzbekistan, for it was they, qualified in second place in Group F, even though their record wouldn’t have qualified them AT ALL as one of the four best third-placed teams (New Zealand, Senegal and Mali all had four points, Hungary had three points and...

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Gamed By The FAI? FIFA & The Irish Question

The 783rd sub-plot to the current FIFA drama is possibly one of the smallest in pure financial terms, a €5m loan to the Football Association of Ireland (FAI). However, the “official” reason exposes yet again (again) FIFA’s appalling lack of spending control and discretion, as if it needed further exposure. FIFA thought it worthwhile to part with the money to dissuade the FAI from pursuing them through the courts. The legal dispute’s origins are well-known. On November 18th 2009 France were one-nil down in the second leg of their World Cup qualifying play-off with Ireland at Paris’s Stade de...

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Two World Cups For The Price Of One

FIFA have had a busy post-Congress week. Yes, there’s been “all that Blatter and co stuff.” But we also have two World Cups for the price of one (actually, rather less than one, if the FIFA indictment is true). The Women’s World Cup begins in Canada this weekend. This will be extensively and impressively covered by the BBC. So there’ll be no bumping of the coverage to accommodate rich-advertiser-friendly Show Jumping magazine programmes – hello British Eurosport. And 200% will be following the host country’s quest to right the wrongs of their Olympic semi-final defeat to the United States...

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Our Business Is Our Business: The Murky World Of Jack Warner

So, while the football world focuses on the resignation of Joseph S Blatter as self-declared “president of everybody”, and (maybe) just before the words “immunity from prosecution” burst everybody’s bubble, here’s a reminder from MARK MURPHY of a week in the life of one of Blatter’s staunchest supporters. And, yes, Mark DID have to extensively bloody rewrite this at the very last minute. Thanks Sepp. Of all the names on the United States Department of Justice indictment of FIFA officials, Jack Warner’s brings the biggest smile to my face. The repugnant Warner, erstwhile FIFA vice-president, Central American CONCACAF region...

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