Left wing, right wing, no wingers

POLITICS AND FOOTBALL are no strangers. Organising bodies such as FIFA, UEFA and the Olympic committees marinate themselves in political intrigue and there has often been a whiff of corruption about FIFA, dating back decades. The most recent debates about Qatar and the World Cup rekindled deep-rooted concerns about the legitimacy of bidding and selection processes – discussions that will go on beyond the 2022 … Continue reading Left wing, right wing, no wingers

Embracing football’s new Industrial Age

FOOTBALL, as a business, grew out of the industrial revolution in Britain and certain parts of Europe. Hence, the early winners in the game were mostly from industrial cities and Europe’s infant conurbations. In England, the early growth was in the north and the midlands, two areas that really fuelled the development of the nation’s commercial prowess. As industrial Britain declined in the 70s and … Continue reading Embracing football’s new Industrial Age

Left wing, right wing… no wingers: politics and football

POLITICS AND FOOTBALL are no strangers. Organising bodies such as FIFA, UEFA and the Olympic committees marinate themselves in political intrigue. There has often been a whiff of corruption about FIFA, dating back decades. The most recent debates about Russia, Qatar and the World Cup rekindled deep-rooted concerns about the legitimacy of bidding and selection processes. Beer and sandwiches for the number 10 Football has … Continue reading Left wing, right wing… no wingers: politics and football

Commentary Box: Leading cities are not always top football cities

IT goes without saying that for football fans who like a trip abroad, the ideal excursion is a combination of culture, football, food, drink (!) and meeting people from different corners of the world. If, like me, you tick all of those boxes when you go on a jaunt, then you inevitably form some form of judgement about the world’s great footballing cities. I’m starting a … Continue reading Commentary Box: Leading cities are not always top football cities

Soccer City: Mostar – scarred and symbolic

ON July 11, 2018, HSK Zrinjski Mostar kicked-off the UEFA Champions League campaign in Trnava in an empty stadium – Slovakia’s Spartak were being punished by UEFA. The Bosnia & Herzegovina champions were beaten 1-0 and drew the second leg 1-1 in Mostar – the Champions League run was short-lived. Zrinjski won the Bosnia & Herzegovina Premier league in 2018 for the fourth time in … Continue reading Soccer City: Mostar – scarred and symbolic

Football Media Watch: Opportunity knocks for France

FRANCE may have gone wild with delight in response to the country’s second World Cup win, but there were still some dark clouds to contend with as Didier Deschamps and his players danced in the rain. CNN said France’s World Cup victory, with a team made up primarily of black and Muslim players, “may have been perceived internationally as a collective celebration of an ideal … Continue reading Football Media Watch: Opportunity knocks for France

Brexit, the end of the football world as we know it

HARRY Kane has been appointed captain of England, possibly the nearest the nation will get to a “Roy of the Rovers” figure leading the team into battle. Kane has already delivered the kind of message the hordes will want to hear from the man with the armband, “England can win the World Cup.” Even the most myopic England fan will chuckle at this, but Kane, … Continue reading Brexit, the end of the football world as we know it

Turkeys voting for Christmas: The end of the World Cup as we know it

WE ALL know that FIFA is a political beast and that FIFA grandees are all fully paid-up members of the self preservation society, but in this time of populist movements and tales of the unexpected, we should not be surprised that football’s worldwide controlling body has voted to increase the size of the World Cup by an astonishing 50%. This latest FIFA decision will probably … Continue reading Turkeys voting for Christmas: The end of the World Cup as we know it

Infantino’s crusade – who really wants or needs it?

WHAT exactly is FIFA up to with regards to the World Cup? Is it hell-bent on destruction of what is supposed to be the premier football event on the planet? Only this week in Dubai, FIFA President Gianni Infantino claimed the FIFA federations are all in favour of expanding the World Cup to 48 teams. Doubtless they have been won over – especially in the … Continue reading Infantino’s crusade – who really wants or needs it?