May, 2012

  1. Blatter opens a door for Kosovo… will Gibraltar be next?


    May 31, 2012 by David Bolt

    Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini

    At the recent FIFA Congress in Budapest, amidst his usual bungling, and a strange statement calling for Franz Beckenbauer to look for an alternative to penalty shootouts, despite him calling for penalty shootouts to be used to decide tied group games at the World Cup a few years ago; Sepp Blatter pushed through his executive permission, much to the chagrin of Serbia and their close political ally Russia, for Kosovo to start playing friendlies against FIFA teams.

  2. Pinochet, The Cold War, and the Most Pathetic Match Ever Played


    May 29, 2012 by Vadim Furmanov

    November 21, 1973. Estadio Nacional. Santiago. The match to determine the final participant of the 1974 FIFA World Cup is about to take place between Chile and the Soviet Union. The Chileans take the field and line up for the national anthem. They wave to the fans and kick off. But this is no ordinary World Cup qualifier. It is, rather, one of the most absurd sights ever seen on a football pitch. The reason? The Soviets are not there. Chile dribble the length of the field unopposed and roll the ball into an unguarded net, a strictly symbolic goal to ensure victory. The story behind this mockery of a match is yet another example of the inevitable intersection between sport and politics, a narrative of Cold War intrigues spilling over onto the pitch and producing what the legendary Uruguayan author Eduardo Galeano deemed “the most pathetic match in the history of football.”

  3. Picture of the Week: Thank You Pep


    May 28, 2012 by Rami El Chamaa

    Pep Guardiola's trophies with FC Barcelona

    Pep Guardiola's trophies with FC Barcelona

  4. Fun facts about Euro 2012


    May 27, 2012 by Rami El Chamaa

    • Ireland is the only squad that doesn’t have any players from its own domestic league while England is the only squad that only has players from its own domestic league-system.
    • Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy, MLS) and Christian Wilhelmsson (Al-Hilal, Saudi Pro League) are the only two players that play outside of Europe
    • The oldest player in the tournament is Kostas Chalkias (38 years old). The youngest is Jetro Willems (18 years old).

    Kostas Chalkias (38 years old)

    Kostas Chalkias (38 years old)

    • There are 3 coaches that are not from the country they are coaching:

              Fernando Santos [Portuguese] coaching Greece

  5. The curious case of Venky’s: Astute Indian business people or ‘confused’ cowboys?


    May 25, 2012 by Andrew Howells

    Venky’s could have taken a step towards reconciliation with angry fans by making the decision to sack Steve Kean and by bringing in an experienced manager and chairman to set plans into motion to help Rovers bounce right back from the Championship. Instead, Kean, labeled by Venky’s as ‘unsackable’, is seemingly set for a stay, with Venky’s set to continue running the club themselves.

    As the owners march on, making puzzling, baffling and incomprehensible decisions, are they really successful, intelligent business people or simply plain ‘confused’?

    The case for astute business people

  6. Could Prandelli have hurt Italy’s chances at Euro 2012 with his squad selection?


    May 24, 2012 by Jeremy Lim | Italian Football Editor

    For the first time since 2006, the Italian national team can stake a major claim of having a reasonable chance of winning the European finals. Coach Cesare Prandelli has worked wonders with the Azzuri, incorporating a meritocratic squad selection process as well as balancing out experience and vitality by mixing the old with the young.

    In such a way, the wisdom of Gigi Buffon, Andrea Pirlo and Andrea Barzagli are ably complemented by the energy of international upstarts Claudio Marchisio, Sebastian Giovinco and Angelo Ogbonna. With Italy breezing through the qualification process, the nation eagerly looked forward to see what Prandelli had in store for them as he announced his 32-man preliminary squad.

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