Andrew Warshaw: When being English doesn’t mean being born in England

Andrew Warshaw

Just as the summer transfer window slammed shut across Europe, so a far more significant development took place in the English Premier League which has split experts down the middle.

The new eligibility rule, restricting top-flight squads to 25 players throughout the season – of whom at least eight have to be home-grown – is regarded as a long-overdue revolution by those in favour and a dangerously backward step by those against.

The reality is probably somewhere in between.

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Andrew Warshaw: World Cup was Africa’s last chance for long time

Andrew Warshaw

Now the vuvuzelas have been put away and South Africa is returning to some semblance of normality, attention will inevitably turn to if and when the African continent will stage the World Cup again.

Whilst the event matched or exceeded expectations both in terms of infrastructure and organisation, the reality is that  Africa will almost certainly have to wait at least a generation before it can again embrace the infectious colour and collective enthusiasm that have been hallmarks of the past month.

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Andrew Warshaw: Are FIFA embarrassed? They should be

Andrew Warshaw

The line of questioning thrown at FIFA spokesman Nicolas Maingot the morning after the night before Frank Lampard’s already imfamous “goal-that-wasn’t” included the words laughing stock and embarrassment. You can understand why.

When football’s lawmakers ditched goal-line technology once and for all just over three months ago, FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke said he hoped the decision did not come back to haunt the organisation at the World Cup.

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Andrew Warshaw: No-one is celebrating the Jabulani

Andrew Warshaw

Jabulani means “celebrate” in Zulu. But you would have to go a long way to find anyone, anywhere - player, coach or fan - remotely happy when it comes to the controversial ball being used in the World Cup.

After the vuvuzela, nothing has generated greater debate. Watch any game and watch freekicks flying over the bar, outfield players struggling with their control, passes being overhit and goalies fumbling.

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Andrew Warshaw: Blatter must fear after stampede South Africa 2010 will send out wrong message

Andrew Warshaw

They were the kind of images FIFA President Sepp Blatter and his right-hand man, South Africa 2010 organising committee chief Danny Jordaan, least wanted to witness. 

“World sees our soccer shame,” trumpeted the front page of Johannesburg’s main newspaper above several gruesome images.

One a  terrified child, another a blood-stained fan with one eye half-closed; a third a frightening melee of confused supporters trying to find their feet after crashing into a gate.

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Andrew Warshaw: Wembley pitch can only damage 2018 World Cup prospects

Andrew Warshaw

The national stadium is supposed to represent the maximum a country can offer, an iconic venue that provides the best possible platform for deciding the outcome of the most important fixtures.

A venue that should give players the freedom to express themselves, managers the ability to change tactics without fear of accident and fans the unique experience of watching football at its most expansive.

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