Andrew Warshaw: Are the old perceptions still the reality?

When Sepp Blatter praised FIFA’s ship for emerging from troubled waters as the waves lapped gently against the shores of Mauritius last week, cynical heads turned away in barely suppressed mirth. “How many times have we heard that before?” was their silent refrain.

As self-proclaimed “captain” of that ship, Blatter was in congratulatory mood as he cajoled his audience to show their appreciation of past misdemeanours being replaced by a new era of transparency with a collective round of applause.

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Andrew Warshaw: A classic tale of football powerbroking

Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al-Khalifa’s runaway success in becoming the new leader of Asian football – on paper only until 2015 but in all probability far beyond – was about as clearcut as you can get. But it nevertheless contained all the elements of a classic Shakespearean plot: revenge, intrigue, conspiracy theories, false promises – and just as many questions as answers.

Revenge, says the old cliche, is a dish best served cold.

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Andrew Warshaw interviews Hassan Al-Thawadi on his bid for FIFA’s executive committee

During the increasingly fractious battle in Kuala Lumpur to become President of Asian football, it has been conveniently overlooked amid the political in-fighting that the position is effectively transitionary and only for 18 months.

Potentially far more significant is the other separate vote for a spot on the FIFA executive committee – the most powerful elite gathering in world football. Not least because it is a four-year term as distinct from just keeping the seat warm for possibly someone else.

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Andrew Warshaw: It is hard to get a turkey to vote for Christmas – reform ins and outs

When FIFA President Sepp Blatter told the world over two years ago that his organisation would clean up its act and enter a new era of transparency after sinking to a low following an unprecedented period of corruption, supporters took him at his word while cynics – of whom there are a fair few – looked to the heavens and questioned whether it would really happen.

Since then there have been hundreds of column inches written about the Great Reform Process designed pull FIFA into the 21st century and which comes to head on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius at the end of next month when 209 member nations vote at FIFA’s annual congress on the need for change.

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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,

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

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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.

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

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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,

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

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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,

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

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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.

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

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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,

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

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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,

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

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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,

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

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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.

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Andrew Warshaw: Blatter once again escapes the net of culpability

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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,

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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.

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