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Analysis and Comment (24)

Corruption thrives in environments that have poor oversight and big money. EPA/Steffen Schmidt

Why stamping out corruption in FIFA won’t be easy

The limited release of FIFA’s investigation into corruption allegations surrounding the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cup was supposed to allay the ever-increasing perception that corruption…
Qatar and Russia have been cleared of corruption in their successful World Cup bids. EPA/Walter Bieri

Promises, promises – but FIFA just can’t admit it has a problem

FIFA appears to have cleared Russia and Qatar of any wrongdoing in their successful bids to host the 2018 and 2022 world cups. Its report recognises that mistakes were made but downplays the level of improper…
In the wake of a controversial new report clearing Qatar’s successful World Cup bid, FIFA has never appeared more foolish, deluded and self-serving. EPA/Walter Bieri

Scandals are forever for FIFA as World Cup hosting saga drags on

Hans-Joachim Eckert, chairman of the independent Adjudicatory Chamber of football governing body FIFA’s Ethics Committee, announced on Thursday that his committee had exonerated Qatar and Russia over the…
FIFA president Sepp Blatter (left), pictured with Russian president Vladimir Putin, was booed at the World Cup final because he continues to be the face of what is wrong with FIFA. EPA/Alexey Nikolsky

FIFA is back to its core business – but Platini should replace Blatter

Delays in stadium construction. Poor working conditions for World Cup workers. Massive budget blowouts. Nationwide protests. Ignoring the needs of millions of struggling Brazilian families. All of these…
The Castelao stadium in Fortaleza was the first of Brazil’s World Cup stadiums to receive green certification. Pedroichimaru/Wikimedia Commons

The real story behind Brazil’s ‘greenest World Cup’

This year’s World Cup was supposed to be the “greenest ever”, with FIFA taking measures to account for the event’s greenhouse gas emissions, including an estimated 2.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide…
Already many thousand more toy armadillos, but probably fewer real ones. Tânia Rêgo/ABr

Brazil and FIFA have failed to protect their World Cup mascot

Charles Darwin ate one on his trip to Brazil. Apparently it tasted more like pork than chicken. My nine-year-old, football-mad, half-Brazilian son could identify one on his World Cup merchandising and…
FIFA’s chief medical officer is adamant there’s no doping in football … but experience says otherwise. Gabriel Corbacho Bermejo/Flickr

Doping in football – does it make the game any less beautiful?

It is often said that football is the beautiful game, resistant to the kinds of doping seen in cycling, baseball or less beautiful games of the same name. Much like Australia’s confidence before its “blackest…
FIFA suggests that 270 million people are involved in playing or officiating football around the world, with billions also tuning into the World Cup every four years. EPA/Sebastiao Moreira

It may be the World Cup, but how global is the ‘world game’?

In 1863, the newly formed English Football Association (FA) drew up and published the first Laws of the Game of football. The aim was to provide a set of universal rules to govern the various forms of…
FIFA, led by president Sepp Blatter, is under fire once more for its decision to award hosting rights for the 2022 World Cup to the Gulf nation of Qatar. EPA/Atef Safadi

Qatar saga shows why FIFA should return football to the fans

Qatar did not win the right to host football’s World Cup in 2022 legitimately. That was impossible. Awarding the World Cup to Qatar was clearly not about passion for the game, nor about offering communities…
Worthy winners? Anthony Stanley

Hard Evidence: what is the World Cup worth?

Ever wondered what the World Cup is worth? When Italian sculptor Silvio Gazzaniga designed the current trophy in 1971, it was worth US$50,000. Now the trophy is estimated to be worth US$10m. The World…
Qatari football fans celebrate … but for how much longer? Manaf Kamil

FIFA lawyers would find it hard to strip Qatar of the World Cup

Reports in the Sunday Times that improper secretive payments of millions of pounds were allegedly made to officials supporting Qatar’s bid for the 2022 World Cup have led to calls for the Gulf state to…
Yaya Toure: subjected to racist chanting. van Sekretarev/AP/Press Association

Football racists score own goal against the beautiful game

It has been suggested by Sepp Blatter that Jeffrey Webb, FIFA’s vice president and the head of FIFA’s anti-discrimination task force, might succeed the Swiss administrator as President of FIFA. This support…
There are better – and easier – ways to cool athletes in extreme heat. Nick Bedford

Chill out: FIFA World Cup ‘cooling periods’ should be put on ice

The international soccer community has been bitterly divided over the decision to award the 2022 FIFA World Cup to Qatar: beyond appalling stories of the working conditions of immigrants building stadiums…
When the sporting gods smile at Australia, we go to Rio, but Brazil has long been on the international business map. AAP

All business roads lead to Rio

We have recently witnessed Brazil being hit by mass protests not seen since the days of the military dictatorship, but apart from the Socceroos going to the 2014 World Cup and the Rio Olympics in 2016…
Despite recent appointments of women to sporting leadership positions, comments from FIFA president Sepp Blatter show there is still a long way to go for true equality. EPA/Walter Bieri

FIFA and the NRL kick goals, but is it ‘game over’ for female leaders in sport?

The recent appointments of Moya Dodd to FIFA’s Executive Committee and Raelene Castle as CEO of NRL club Canterbury Bulldogs mark significant milestones for women’s presence in sport leadership. For the…
The USA’s Christine Rampone celebrates with Hope Solo after defeating Japan in the Olympic football final. Anthony Devlin/PA

Sexism, sport and how Blatter took his eye off the ball again

Sepp Blatter, the 77-year-old president of FIFA, the international governing body of football, has put his foot in it – again. Having made suggestions in 2004 that women in sport should wear tight shorts…
It’s obvious: better referee performance is better for players and better for spectators. Right? AAP Image/Joe Castro

Sports referees should take performance-enhancing drugs

Late last week football (soccer) website football365.com reported that FIFA, the international governing body for the world game, is considering forcing referees to pass fitness tests prior to games. This…
Iranian soccer players cry after FIFA cancels their match due to the nature of their headware. EPA

Storm in a headscarf: FIFA was wrong to ban hijabs in soccer

Five years after ruling against the wearing of headscarves by female football players, the sport’s world governing body FIFA has taken initial steps to lift the hijab ban. In March 2012, the International…
Workers building a stadium in Brazil for the 2014 World Cup. Questions linger about the process that saw Qatar granted the 2018 event. AAP/Fernando Bizerra Jr

Moneyball: why sporting organisations need to start playing by the rules

Rangers Football Club, the historically Protestant half of Glasgow’s “Old Firm” (the other half being the Catholic Celtic) has entered financial administration to prevent UK tax authorities installing…

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