Ukrainians play politics with assault on Russia’s 2018 football rights

Ukrainian football fans

By Andrew Warshaw
May 30 – The growing military crisis in Ukraine has led to further attempts to politicise the 2018 World Cup in Russia with Ukrainian political figures and a Canada-based pressure group calling on FIFA to strip the country of hosting rights. The demands will fall on deaf ears at FIFA as the governing body has repeatedly held the line that politics and football must remain separate.

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Blatter emphasises need for mediation not sanctions on Middle East tour

Sepp Blatter and Mahmoud Abbas

By Andrew Warshaw
May 27 – President Sepp Blatter says he is determined to resolve the impasse between Palestine and Israel as the clock ticks towards the FIFA Congress in Sao Paolo just before the World Cup when the issue is officially on the agenda amid threats that delegates might be asked to call for Israel’s expulsion. Blatter is back in the region for crucial talks with both sides but admits it could prove difficult to persuade Israel to agree to a compromise that would allow Palestinian players and officials to move freely in the occupied territories.

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FIFA issues warning to fans buying black market tickets

World cup tickets

By Andrew Warshaw
May 23 – Three weeks before the start of the World Cup in Brazil, FIFA has warned that fans could be barred from stadiums if they are found to have bought tickets from unauthorised sources. FIFA said it would cancel any tickets “discovered as illegally sold or re-sold with the bearers risking not being permitted entry.”

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The hidden message behind Blatter’s Qatar admission

Sepp Blatter 14

By David Owen
May 16 – “Yes, of course.” With these words, Joseph Blatter, FIFA’s President, sent social media networks into a frazzle today. What the boss of world football had done, under questioning on Swiss TV channel RTS, was acknowledge that FIFA’s decision to award Qatar the 2022 World Cup in the blazing heat of a Gulf summer was a mistake.

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FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 attracts hosting interest

womens world cup winners

May 12 – The rapidly growing strength of women’s football has been underlined with FIFA’s announcement that five countries have put forward bids to stage the 2019 World Cup. France and England from Europe, South Korea from Asia, New Zealand and South Africa have all declared an interest in hosting the tournament.

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Pieth’s parting shots call for Garcia to keep investigating

Mark Pieth

By Andrew Warshaw
April 24 – Mark Pieth, the Swiss governance expert appointed by FIFA to propose recommendations for change following the worst corruption-tainted period in its history, says the organisation must allow an ongoing investigation into the 2018 and 2022 World Cup ballots to take its course if it wants to retain any sense of credibility.

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