By Andrew Warshaw
May 15 – The similarities are striking. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride. Up against a heavyweight rival. Eager to reward a football-mad nation with the ultimate prize. Just as underdogs and four-time losers Morocco are desperate to upset the odds and land the 2026 World Cup, so Turkey are equally determined to make up for lost time and hold the 2024 European Championship finals after three demoralising failures.
May 15 – British-based German internationals Mesut Ozil and Ilkay Gundogan, both of Turkish origin, have been lambasted by their national federation and German politicians for posing for photos with Turkey’s controversial President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
By Andrew Warshaw and Paul Nicholson
May 14 – Despite the Greek authorities going to extraordinary lengths to maintain order by flying in a Spanish referee to take charge of last weekend’s domestic cup final, a season of unprecedented turmoil was capped by yet more trouble – on and off the pitch.
May 14 – UEFA’s decision to stage next week’s Champions League final in Kiev “needs explaining” according to Liverpool’s head of club and supporter liaison.
By Paul Nicholson
May 11 – At the end of a season of unprecedented turmoil and allegations of corruption that have pointed to matchfixing and match manipulation within the highest administrative levels of the Greek game, the Hellenic Football Federation (HFF) have finally decided to fly in a non-Greek referee for the final match of its season.
May 11 – Outgoing Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says the introduction of a European super league, resisted for years by football’s authorities, is “inevitable” and says Premier League matches will ultimately be moved to midweek.
May 8 – Goodwill messages are continuing to pour in for Sir Alex Ferguson, one of world football’s most iconic managerial figures who is recovering in hospital after undergoing emergency surgery for a brain haemorrhage.
By David Owen
May 8 – All cup competitions produce shock results, but the century-old Coupe de France must be in a league of its own.
May 4 – In what must be virtually a unique scenario, Besiktas kept their word on Thursday and failed to turn up for the controversial resumption of their abandoned Turkish Cup semi-final second leg at Fenerbahce.
May 2 – Safe standing areas in the top two divisions in English football is to be debated in Parliament on June 25 after a petition to have the matter discussed reached 100,000 signatures last week.
By David Owen
May 1 – Nuri Şahin has struck a blow for footballer-intellectuals, gaining admittance to the uber-prestigious Harvard Business School in the United States.
April 27 – The Turkish Football Federation have announced that the remainder of the Turkish Cup semifinal, abandoned because of crowd trouble by Fenerbahce fans, will take place on May 3 behind closed doors – but Besiktas say they will refuse to turn up.
April 27 – UEFA, which has recently unbundled its women’s competition rights from its men’s competitions, has issued a tender for the supply of the Official Match Ball and Lifestyle Partner for the 2018-21 cycle of women’s competitions.
April 24 – They may have been second to the punch in terms of submitting their bid book to host the 2024 European Championship finals but Turkey hope they will be first when the vote takes place in September.