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

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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.

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

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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.

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Andrew Warshaw: Is the lack of fanfare at the London 2012 football draw a sign of things to come for the tournament?

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There were no oooos and aaahhhs from either the dignitaries or the media seated respectfully in the bosom of the national stadium.  Not much of the usual celebrity spotting.  In fact, a minimum of razzmatazz.

Compared with the equivalent events preceding the World Cup and European Championships, it was all rather low key.

Yet there was no doubting the significance of today’s Olympic football draw at Wembley for organisers of London 2012.

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Andrew Warshaw: Turkey’s risky mega-events bidding game could see it drop the ball and lose everything

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Over breakfast at an Istanbul hotel a couple of weeks ago, I asked one of Turkey’s leading Olympic officials which was the more important: staging the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020 or hosting football’s European Championships the same year.

“What we want above all is to secure one big event,” Ali Kiremitciogly, a prominent member of Istanbul 2020, diplomatically replied, hedging his bets the best he could.

He knows full well that hosting both mega-events in the same summer would be out of the question.

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Andrew Warshaw: Until FIFA learns from its tainted past Pieth’s reform proposals carry little weight

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It was billed as a “historic day” for FIFA in terms of its reform process but what happens now? It’s one thing being accused of failing to sufficiently investigate corruption allegations against its members. But it’s quite another actually doing something about it.

Anti-corruption guru Mark Pieth’s eagerly awaited report into FIFA’s recent conduct may have been hard-hitting in its conclusions and suggested firm ways of rebuilding trust. But until and unless FIFA acts on the recommendations the cynics will still swirl around football’s world governing body.

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Andrew Warshaw: Incidents like Saturday’s remind us that football is not more important than life or death

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It was one of those dramatic “I was there” occasions – but for tragic reasons. The day when football took a back seat and the fragility of human life took over.

Anyone who was at Tottenham’s White Hart Lane stadium on Saturday cannot fail to have been emotionally moved by the harrowing scenes of Bolton Wanderers midfielder Fabrice Muamba collapsing with heart failure.

Never in all my years of covering the game have I seen so much collective shock and distress among players, 

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Andrew Warshaw: Will Valcke’s Bagshot Blunder prove to be his final downfall?

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The sudden decision to call off FIFA general secretary Jérôme Valcke’s planned trip to Brazil this week has once again cast world football’s number two in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.

Valcke was due to make the latest of his many World Cup inspection tours, this time to Recife, Brasília and Cuiabá, but the visit was postponed in what appeared to be a deliberate trouble-shooting exercise by his boss, FIFA President Sepp Blatter.

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Andrew Warshaw: The FA had no choice but to take away Terry’s captaincy

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Under British law, you are innocent until proved guilty. So why, many neutral observers are asking, was John Terry stripped of the England captaincy when his trial doesn’t take place until July?

It’s a fair question and one which will continue to be debated in pubs and at football grounds across the country in the months ahead.

The answer is – there is no easy answer. In fact, the Football Association board was put in an unenviable position.

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Andrew Warshaw: Never before has Swiss football dominated so many column inches

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The stereotypical view of Switzerland is a country of chocolates, cuckoo clocks, mountainous beauty, cheese, private bank accounts, watches and rigid efficiency.

Having lived there many years ago, I discovered several other things, both good and bad. Flexibility was never one of the authorities’ great strengths but on the plus side I was struck by  the contrast of quiet serenity allied, perhaps surprisingly to some, to a thriving cosmopolitan culture, depending of course which city you are in.

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Andrew Warshaw: Blatter needs to publicly respond to Warner’s allegations

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Revenge, the old saying goes, is a dish best served cold.

The proverb suggests that a vengeful act is more satisfying as a considered response when it is least expected.

Jack Warner may, over the years, have had a reputation for spontaneous outbursts of rhetoric but the wily old fox appears to have timed his latest tirade to perfection. In other words, just as his old mate Sepp Blatter – no longer on his Christmas card list – is trying to clean up the organisation.

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Andrew Warshaw: One year on from the World Cup ballots and the scepticism is showing no sign of slackening

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Happy Anniversary? Depends where your allegiances lie. But my, how time flies.

Exactly a year ago today, December 2, we were sitting in the cavernous Messe in Zurich eagerly awaiting the results of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup ballots.

You could almost cut the tension with a knife as one after the other, the candidates gave their final presentations in a bid to get over the line after months of painstaking,

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Andrew Warshaw: Gary Speed suicide shows high-profile football figures not immune to pressures of life

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Bill Shankly, the legendary former Liverpool manager, is remembered for many things, not least his famous remark – paraphrased by all and sundry since – that football isn’t life and death, it’s far more important.

If ever that observation, made in good faith at the time by a passionate man who lived and breathed the game, was shown up to be somewhat of an exaggeration, it is right now as the football world continues to take stock of Gary Speed’s untimely death.

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Andrew Warshaw: How much longer can Teixeira survive?

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How long can Ricardo Teixeira possibly last as the increasingly tarnished head of the 2014 World Cup organising committee? Unpopular in his own country and embroiled in all manner of scandal, Teixeira is the great survivor.

While those around him – the latest being Brazilian Sports Minister Orlando Silva – have either resigned or been kicked out, Teixeira, like a cat with nine lives, seems to wriggle out of every crisis that envelops him and his country.

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