The FIFA effect

October 26, 2012 in Features

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We’ve all been there. Sitting tense, shoulders hunched and eyes propped open, in front of the television screen, controller firmly perched in sweaty palms and last night’s pizza rotting in the corner. This is what FIFA (the game) does. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a first time experimenter, FIFA casts the same dark spell over all of us, and boy, do we love it.

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Boxers, Betting and Bendtner: UEFA again show themselves as idiots

June 19, 2012 in Euro 2012, Europe

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Yesterday, UEFA announced that our favourite extremely humble striker Nicklas Bendtner was fined £80,000 and banned for one competitive match. Why? For celebrating a goal against Portugal by baring a pair of boxer shorts which had the name of betting company Paddy Power across the waistband.

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FIFA mute on racism but need a change of stance

June 18, 2012 in Euro 2012, International

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It is a shame that UEFA and FIFA’s romanticist attitude in selecting the host nations for major tournaments has thrust up some unsavoury talking points and truly hideous incidents. Their favouritism towards selecting ‘blossoming’ nations to run the show, and not necessarily the obvious choice has frequently blinded them to the underlying issues that we are all eventually made aware of. Russia and Qatar’s respective future World Cup hosting debuts have thrust up some lively discussion with regards to climate in both cases, and the quality of the football team in the latter, whereas joint Euro 2012 hosts Poland and Ukraine have surfaced an all the more messy issue - racism.

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England - A World Class Nation?

June 15, 2012 in Euro 2012, International

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Euro 2012 has seen many world class teams take to the field. We’ve been spoilt for choice watching the current World and European champions Spain, the youthful looking German side, an unlucky Dutch team, as well the fluid passing Italians. Many more sides are also showing their world class pedigree; France, for example, have two players who would slot into any of the top Champions League teams in Ribery and Benzema, Portugal have Cristiano Ronaldo, and even Russia are showing their potential this year. But what makes a national side ‘world class’, and do England have what it takes to wear this prestigious title?

If we take the term back to its most literal sense in the dictionary, we find this: ‘Ranking among the foremost in the world, of an international standard of excellence; of the highest order’ – does this sound like the England national team? Currently, I would have to say ‘no’, but first, let’s take a look at how FIFA rate the national side.

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A Cynical Welcome To The New Rules

May 24, 2012 in International, Premier League

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Today’s news was a welcome sight for once, as two major issues plaguing the game appeared to be on their way to being eradicated. Firstly, FIFA announced that next month’s England vs Belgium friendly will also see the second round of testing for their goal-line Hawkeye technology. If I can get past my cynical alter-ego for a moment, this is undoubtedly a positive step, and one that parallels the ever-increasing importance of football. Though I bet they chose the England game because we England fans are still pissed. (Oh, couldn’t get past him after all…)

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