March 10, 2014 by David Bolt
Last week saw international football being played all over Europe, with friendly games giving most of the European teams going to this summer’s World Cup another chance to experiment with different players and formations, or just to give players a little more international experience.
However, one of those international games was a little different from all the others. For a start, there weren’t any national flags or symbols on display and no national anthems were played before the game. That didn’t matter too much to the host nation however, as it was their first ever international game; a game which for years seemed unlikely ever to happen. That nation is Kosovo, who hosted Haiti on Wednesday night.
November 21, 2013 by David Bolt
It’s not often I can write something in praise of FIFA and UEFA. However, last week, they may have helped to broker a deal to end a bitter dispute between two nations (in terms of playing football, anyway) and to bring in one of the largest European nations currently outside of FIFA and UEFA in from the football wilderness.
Cyprus is an island nation in the east of the Mediterranean Sea. Throughout history, Cyprus has been subsumed into the various empires that have existed in the Eastern Mediterranean, ending up as part of the Ottoman Empire. The population of Cyprus was split, mostly between people of Greek and Turkish extraction, with about 75% being of Greek origin and about 25% of Turkish origin.
November 16, 2013 by Sean Charles
October 12, 2013 by David Bolt
By Tuesday night, something incredible may have happened in European and World football.
One European nation may well have taken a giant step towards becoming the smallest ever country to qualify for the World Cup by securing a place in the playoffs, meaning they would be just one two-legged tie away from making the World Cup.
This team has scored more goals in qualifying than much stronger teams like Spain, France, Portugal, Serbia and Croatia and has managed to defy the odds in order to give themselves a real shot at making history.
October 12, 2013 by Sean Charles
September 24, 2013 by David Bolt
You may have noticed that FIFA two weeks ago delayed the publication of its ranking list. This wasn’t due to any technical problems, but because the ranking of two African teams was dependent on the results of a decision taken by FIFA’s disciplinary committee.
The ranking list was of great importance as the draw for the third and final round of World Cup Qualifying in Africa (CAF), with the ten group winners from the second round being drawn into five two-legged ties, with the five winners advancing to the world cup. The ten teams are split into two pots of five, with one team from each pot being drawn against each other. Which pot a team is put into is determined by their FIFA ranking.