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World Cup

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Nigeria backs down on ban

African wire services are reporting that the Nigerian Goverrnment has lifted its ban on the national team taking part in international competitions.   The decision has been widely welcomed and means the end to a very tricky crisis in international football.

World Cup sponsors are happy bunnies

For me the World Cup is coming alive.   I have got over the disappointment over the manner of England's exit and the early disappearance of my second teams:  the United States (where I have lived and worked) and Chile (which I have visited twice recently and met the then President).   Germany's demolition of a talented Argentinian team showed just how good their young team is, particularly with the skill and creativity of Schweinstiger (and gives me another team to support on the 'lived and worked' criterion).   Perhaps Englands's 4-1 [4-2] defeat doe

Sports supremo waits for outcome of World Cup bid

The Coalition Government's sports minister Hugh Robertson is determined to sort out what are generally agreed to be dysfunctional governance structures of the national game at the Football Association (FA).   However, he recognises that it would be best to wait for the outcome of England's 2018 World Cup bid in December.

Fifa give Nigeria deadline

Fifa tried to be conciliatory after the Nigerian Government banned the Super Eagles from international competition for two years following  their poor performance in the World Cup.  But now their patience has been exhausted and they have given Nigeria until Monday to withdraw the ban or face suspension from Fifa.

Nigeria risk wrath of Fifa

After the woeful performance of the Super Eagles in the World Cup, President Goodluck Jonathan has suspended the national team from international competition for two years.   This decision is not likely to go down too well with Fifa who have already warned France about political interference in football.

Should there be goal line technology?

Should goal line technology be used in football?  Most England fans would have said 'yes' immediately after the decision which denied Lampard a clear goal against Germany.  However, it could be argued that a world class referee should have recognised that the ball had crossed the line or that his assistant should have done even though he was not in line with the goal but had a clear enough vantage point.  

Blatter warns Sarko

Fifa supremo Sepp Blatter has sent a stern message to President Sarkozy of France warning him not to get involved in football matters or France may be banned from international competitions.   Fifa has strict rules which aim to keep politics out of football, although in practice this is rather difficult.  Even the harsh military regime in Argentina got a popularity boost when the national team won the World Cup.

Financial problems for FA

The Football Association was under pressure from the Coalition Government over its governance structures even before England's exit from the World Cup.  These pressures have now intensified.  But in addition to those problems the FA faces serious financial challenges.


In summary these are:


1. Sponsorship deals are on a four-year cycle and are about to run out.  Will sponsors be enthusiastic about renewing?

Should Premiership run England team?

Wigan boss Dave Whelan thinks that the Premiership should take over running the England team.  It's a bit of an off the wall idea that won't go down well with those who think the Premier League is the problem not the solution.   But I suppose there is a kind of crazy 'world turned upside down' logic to it.  Certainly he has a point when he talks about the Football Association being an amateur body running a professional game.

The inquest begins

It was England's worst ever defeat in the finals of the World Cup.  Now an inquest begins that will rumble on for weeks and indeed months.   If England's overall performance had not been so inept and the German win so well deserved the focus might have been on the wrongly disallowed goal.  There will still be discussion of the need for goallline technology, but Sepp Blatter has said no and Fifa is his personal fiefdom.