Matt Scott: Greek football’s tragedy is a lesson for us all


“Greek football is a labyrinth.” Petros Konstantineas MP, ex-FIFA referee

Fearsome though the bull-headed Minotaur was, at least Theseus knew what he was dealing with. And if things got too hairy he could always follow the thread of Ariadne’s wool he had laid down on his way into the labyrinth’s heart of darkness. For the modern-day Greek heroes like Petros Konstantineas, the referee who bravely sought to tackle the beast in whose clutches football in that country is held,

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John Yan: To Russia with hope 出线第一

If one can believe the social media world, Team China should have already qualified for World Cup 2018. Even though the AFC has only just announced the draw for the eight groups, which is only the secondary stage of a long long qualification process for the Russian tournament.

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Inside Editorial: New world order

When CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb addressed his constituent federations for the first time at the confederation’s annual congress in the Bahamas last week, his speech was all about business, reflection on their progress to date, and setting goals for the next four year cycle. It was about setting the agenda and outlining the challenges. Three hours later, having been elected unopposed for a second term as president, he gave quite a different speech.

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Matt Scott: The Premier League relegation contagion


“Ring a ring o’ roses, A pocketful of posies, A-tishoo! A-tishoo! We all fall down.” Traditional British nursery rhyme

For centuries British children of what we now describe as primary-school age have been singing this popular tune: holding hands and dancing in a circle before falling on their bottoms together. It is widely believed (though it is disputed by some) that the song dates back to the age of bubonic plague,

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Lee Wellings: Disrespectful FA Cup clash is bad business

That English football sold its soul to television many years ago is hardly a contentious subject any more. And partly because the small screen has enabled to us to consume and enjoy more of the game from across the globe than we could ever have imagined possible. But with football and TV ever more reliant on each other, is there really a need for football to have humiliated itself for television in the way it did for the FA Cup semi-finals?

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Osasu Obayiuwana: African rule changes ensure there will be no change

A sad, very disturbing, fact remains constant, over the decades I’ve covered the African game, which is fuelling my deepening pessimism about its future – the ruthless cultivation of a reactionary climate that is extremely hostile to the desperately needed transformation of CAF, the continent’s governing body, into an organisation that will finally command the genuine respect of the global fraternity and use its political capital in the interests of those it ought to primarily serve.

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Matt Scott: The hard times are over – Villa is no longer a bleak house

“Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pound ought and six, result misery.” David Copperfield, Charles Dickens

Sixpence a year of overspending was all it took to bring misery to the burghers of 19th Century London, as Wilkins Micawber famously observed. Although life in the Premier League today could not be more different to that of Dickensian England, Micawber’s lesson is well heeded,

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Mihir Bose: So what will Blatter do after May 29?

No, this is not a joke question but a very serious one. The jokey part of it is that once on the afternoon of May 29 in Zurich, the national associations re-elect Sepp Blatter for a fifth term as President, the 78 year old will cavort on stage possibly with a football as he acknowledges the hosannas of his followers like a medieval monarch. He has done that in the past and, as in 2002,

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