Iraqis boycott Gulf Cup in protest at lost hosting, AFC steps in with warning

Gulf Cup logo

By Andrew Warshaw
October 10 – Just when it is striving to enter a new era of unity and cohesion, Asian football has been rocked by a spat between Iraq and Saudi Arabia over the next Gulf Cup of Nations due to be held late next year or early in 2015. The competition, featuring the six member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), plus usually Iraq and Yemen, is little known outside the region but hotly contested whenever it takes place.

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David Owen: Why England should not pin their hopes on Adnan Januzaj

Nations over the centuries have found different ways to enhance their prestige.

They have waged wars; they have erected great buildings; they have cultivated institutions of artistic excellence.

We in Britain should take great pride in the fact that today, in the year of the Football Association’s 150th anniversary, one of the most popular ways in which nations strive to achieve this is by excelling in sports many of which were invented by our 19th century ancestors.

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Mihir Bose: Why Harry’s lost world will never come back

Harry Redknapp could never be accused of being a toff, let alone an intellectual. Yet his autobiography, Always Managing published by Ebury Press, a book that brings his story up to date following on from an earlier book 15 years ago, has some profound observations on how football has changed in this country. It should spark debate, if not some soul searching, among those who follow the people’s game.

What Harry is mourning is how the beautiful game has turned viciously ugly compared to his youth.

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Gulati wants tougher bid rules, and then the US may go for 2026

Sunil Gulati 4

By Andrew Warshaw
Ocotber 9 – The United States will only seriously consider going for the 2026 World Cup if the bidding process is changed and FIFA’s rules are tightened up, US Soccer federation president Sunil Gulati declared today. Gulati, one of the newest members of FIFA’s executive committee, said his country was still bruised over their crushing 14-8 defeat by Qatar for the 2022 tournament and would not be prepared to go through the expense and stress of bidding again unless there was more clarity.

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Clemente defies safety warnings to take over as Libya’s new coach

Javier Clemente

By Mark Baber
Ocotber 9 – Just days after US Army Delta Force snatched high-profile al Qaeda member Anas al-Libi from outside a mosque in Tripoli, and amidst Libyan jihadi calls for the country’s “courageous youth” to launch kidnappings of Americans, the Libyan Football Federation (LFF) has announced the appointment of 63-year old Javier Clemente as the new national team coach.

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