Author: Mark

The FIFA Scandals: An FBI Indictment On Us All

It’s an old joke, better heard than read, which I first heard from Irish comedian/actor Niall Toibin, who used it to showcase his mastery of Irish regional accents. The gist is that the Dublin Corporation put some public works out to tender. They got three bids. The first was £3,000 (which really dates the joke) from a Dublin builder, the second £6,000 from a Cavan builder. The third was from a Cork builder who boldly bids “nine thousand pounds!!” When asked by the Corporation officials to break this down, he declares: “Three thousand for you…………………… three thousand for me...

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How Scottish Football Journalism Works: Sky Sports News Finds Its Level

Okay, before we start, I know Sky Sports News (SSN) is not “Scottish” journalism. SSN is based in Osterley, a West London suburb famous otherwise for Osterley Park mansion… and also home to the Hurlingham Oddfellows cricket club when I played for their second XI, occasionally with distinction it must be said, in the late 1980s. However, Glaswegian SSN presenter Jim White last week went to South Africa to interview fellow-Glaswegian Dave King about the Glaswegian Rangers Football Club King now chairs. And you can’t get much more Scottish than that. Especially as Scottish money may well have paid...

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The FIFA Scandals – Andrew Jennings Strikes Again

Sometimes, sleeping pills aren’t necessary. Just read these fifteen words: “The United States Senate Commerce Sub-Committee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, Insurance, and Data Security.” The current FIFA scandals may seem tenuously linked to the US Senate. But football fans can thank a Republican US Senator (a sentence you’ll not have read often) for making that link…and to investigative journalist and now world-famous FIFA scourge Andrew Jennings for energising such a dull-sounding committee. On Wednesday July 15th, the committee talked “soccer” during a two-hour hearing designed to “Examine the Governance and Integrity of International Soccer.” This, naturally, was FIFA...

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Book Review: The Ugly Game – The Qatari Plot to Buy the World Cup, by Heidi Blake & Jonathan Calvert

The latest storm clouds over FIFA are not news to a number of people. The US Department of Justice indictment of several FIFA officials deserves to be a best-seller. But there’s already been a few over the years of the FIFA presidencies of Joao Havelange and Joseph S Blatter. In the first occasional review of the books the lazy sod’s got round to reading, Mark Murphy examines a tale of Qatari bribery and corruption, as alleged and told by the Sunday Times newspaper’s “Insight” team. Among the literary awards hopefully coming to Heidi Blake and Jonathan Calvert’s tale of...

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Wimblemund 2015 – Day 14, Out

Serena Williams (USA) bt. Garbine Muguruza (E) 6-4, 6-4 Novak Djokovic (RS) bt. Roger Federer (CH) 7-6(1), 6-7(10), 6-4, 6-3 Wimbledon has its two Singles champions for 2015, but with a total of nine such titles behind them already, neither needs a lot of introduction. It was Novak Djokovic’s third Wimbledon crown and the first time that a man has retained the trophy since his opponent in the final Roger Federer did it in 2007. Federer was insurpassable in his semi-final with Andy Murray and, as a result, whipped an already partisan crowd into a frenzy of anticipation of a fairytale...

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