Andrew Warshaw: A slow creep towards a Winter World Cup

Every time you ask FIFA whether they would sanction switching the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to the winter, you get the same answer: only if Qatar, as the host nation, officially requests us to do so.

And every time you ask Qatari organisers the same question, you also get the same answer: only if we are asked to do so by FIFA as world football’s governing body.

It’s a clever tactic,

Read more …

Andrew Warshaw: Cypriot football searches for unification across a fractious political divide

Andrew Warshaw_IWF

When Greek and Turkish Cypriot football officials staged their  landmark re-unification talks this week, among the keen observers waiting in the winter sunshine for the eagerly anticipated arrival of the respective federation leaders was 81-year-old Sevim Ebeoglu.

Sevim, perhaps more than anyone else, epitomises what it would mean for the Turkish side of the divided island to be re-integrated with its once friendly neighbour.

Read more …

Andrew Warshaw: Football wasn’t born in Qatar overnight just because of 2022

Andrew Warshaw_IWF

It is just over two years since that momentous December day when Qatar stunned the footballing world by winning the race to stage the 2022 World Cup by a landslide.

At virtually every turn since, Hassan Al-Thawadi and his campaign team have had to cope with negative reporting about the methods used by the tiny Gulf state to achieve one of the most jaw-dropping results in the history of sports event bidding.

But if you think Al-Thawadi – the razor sharp,

Read more …

Andrew Warshaw: The global clamour for goal-line technology is finally bearing fruit

Andrew Warshaw_IWF

Did the ball cross the line? It’s a question fans have been asking ever since the 1966 FIFA World Cup final when England striker Geoff Hurst’s extra time goal against Germany was dubiously yet innocently allowed to stand by the Swiss referee on the advice of his Soviet linesman.

The other more pressing question is why nothing has ever been done, in the 46 years since, to avoid countless similar occurrences of the referee getting it wrong,

Read more …

Andrew Warshaw: Time waits for no man, not least when it comes to Chelsea’s short-termism

Andrew Warshaw_IWF

Here we go again – just like clockwork. Only this was arguably the cruellest cut of all.

Six months after winning the greatest prize in European club football – the one Roman Abramovich craved from the moment he walked through the door – Chelsea have brutally cast aside the manager who brought it about, one who gained legendary status virtually overnight.

Time waits for no man, not least when it comes to football’s mantra of short-termism.

Read more …

Andrew Warshaw: Will UEFA come down on Serbia enough to cut out racism in football once and for all?

Andrew Warshaw_IWF

Throughout this week, UEFA has been trying to spread the message that racism – indeed any form of discrimination – has no place in European football.

Champions League and Europa League games were dedicated to transmitting the message that the fight against racism will be given utmost priority.

The campaign could not have been more timely, with racism at the forefront of the game following not only the John Terry affair but,

Read more …

Andrew Warshaw: Has Terry jumped rather than waiting to be pushed?

Andrew Warshaw_IWF

John Terry says his decision to quit playing for England broke his heart but will the footballing public be as sympathetic towards him as he might hope?

Whatever the verdict in his Football Association (FA) disciplinary hearing, there seems little doubt that at the end of Terry’s international career, opinion will be split over the legacy he left and how he should be judged.

Terry’s announcement, three months short of turning 32,

Read more …

Andrew Warshaw: After “indefensible wait to get to the truth” more must be done to secure justice for the Hillsborough victims

Andrew Warshaw_IWF

A huge stone has been unturned and a whole lot of worms have been found crawling about underneath.

This is just one of a number of emotion-packed remarks I have heard on radio and television in the wake of the new Hillsborough stadium disaster report that revealed such a monumental cover-up and which has rightly made worldwide headlines.

So overwhelming was the stench of corruption uncovered by those who admirably and painstakingly produced the stomach-churning fresh evidence that some of the relatives of the 96 fans who died at Hillsborough are reported to have fainted when reading about the slurs on their sons and daughters,

Read more …

Andrew Warshaw: Team GB continue to break new ground for British women’s football

Andrew Warshaw_-_IWF

Thirteen years ago, during a trip to California, I watched the United States beat China in a nail-biting penalty shootout at the famous Rose Bowl to clinch the women’s World Cup amid intoxicating euphoria.

It was an awesome spectacle in front of a staggering 90,000-plus crowd – made even more so by Brandi Chastain becoming an overnight celebrity by ripping off her shirt at the finish and swinging it in the air, pictures of which were immediately flashed around the world.

Read more …

Andrew Warshaw: Blatter once again escapes the net of culpability

Andrew Warshaw_IWF

Another corruption scandal exposed, more top names disgraced – and once again Sepp Blatter has seemingly slipped through the net of culpability.

No-one in sports administration has become more of an expert in the “not me, Guv” stakes over the years than the FIFA President who has once again distanced himself from any wrongdoing, this time in the explosive ISL bribery case.

By acknowledging that he was the person referred to as P1 in  Swiss court documents which FIFA published and which lifted the lid on an affair that has marred his 14-year Presidency,

Read more …

Andrew Warshaw: IFAB giving the OK to goal-line technology cannot come soon enough

Andrew Warshaw

What goes around comes around. Ever since Frank Lampard was denied a clear goal when he crashed a shot against the underside of Germany’s crossbar at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, the clamour for goal-line technology has become increasingly louder.

Fast forward two years to the 2012 European Championship in Donetsk last night and that clamour has now become a deafening roar.

This time England were the ones that had all the luck.

Read more …

Andrew Warshaw: Slow trains, kind strangers, antique computers and compelling football, welcome to my Polish Euro 2012

andrew-warshaw-one-can-only-hope-that-euro-2012-doesnt-end-in-tears

Some spread themselves out on restaurant seats, in shop doorways or on any piece of concrete they could find a spot to catnap. Others sat quietly, frequently yawning, peering longingly at their watches, drinking countless cups of coffee. The younger ones, faces still painted, scarves still brazenly hanging from their necks, continued the revelry of the previous few hours, laughing and joking, laden with cans of beer and dried sandwiches.

Welcome to Poznan railway station as we waited,

Read more …

Andrew Warshaw: One can only hope that Euro 2012 doesn’t end in tears

Andrew Warshaw

Racist chanting, fans clashing with police, Governments threatening a boycott over Ukraine’s human rights record – and all manner of other negative publicity on an almost daily basis. Nobody can say European football’s governing body weren’t warned.

Later this week, I am travelling to the 2012 European Championship to try to see for myself just how risky UEFA’s decision was in granting the tournament to Poland and Ukraine.

In all likelihood,

Read more …

Andrew Warshaw: How Spurs’ Champions League spot was unjustly snatched away in the blink of an eye

andrew warshaw_24-01-12

Didier Drogba’s Champions League-winning penalty in last Saturday’s heart-stopping shootout in Munich may have been the greatest moment in the history of Chelsea football club but it also exposed arguably UEFA’s cruellest, most unjust regulation.

Just a fortnight ago, Chelsea came sixth in the Premier League equalling their worst, repeat WORST, position for a decade.

Under normal circumstances such a poor return by one of the richest clubs in the world would have relegated them to the Europa League.

Read more …

Andrew Warshaw: Will the poisoned chalice of managing England present Roy Hodgson too much pressure?

Andrew Warshaw_new_byline

Penny for Harry Redknapp’s thoughts. Just when neutral fans everywhere were anticipating an imminent call from the English Football Association to the man dubbed the “people’s choice” to be the next England manager, the favourite to replace Fabio Capello has been overlooked in favour of Roy Hodgson.

The move has inevitably led to a media frenzy and emotion-packed accusations that  the FA have bottled it, that yet another major blunder has been made by the inner sanctum responsible for choosing Capello’s successor.

Read more …