Germans pile on the pressure on as Blatter says Qatar must change

Blatter 6

By Andrew Warshaw
November 21 – Just days after Amnesty International’s explosive report into what it described as the endemic mistreatment of migrant workers in Qatar, FIFA president Sepp Blatter has wracked up the pressure on the Qatari authorities to ensure the safety of those working on 2022 World Cup projects.

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David Owen: Bosnia aside, my fix of new World Cup blood is drying up before its time

More than 83 years after 13 teams contested the inaugural competition in Uruguay, the flow of FIFA World Cup debutants has slowed to a trickle.

Of the 32 countries who have fought their way through to next year’s showpiece in Brazil, only Bosnia and Herzegovina have never been to the World Cup finals before. It was a similar story three years ago in South Africa where Slovakia were the only newcomers.

The only previous occasion when there was just the one newbie came the first time the competition visited Brazil,

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Aussies get a handle on self promotion and push the Twitter boundaries

Aussie twitter team sheet

By Tom Parsons
November 20 – Football Federation Australia (FFA) has come up with a new way of displaying their players names on official team sheets for their international home games. Instead of the traditional name and number combination that has served clubs and countries well over the years, the FFA introduced their squad by putting their Twitter handles on the team sheet for their 1-0 win over Costa Rica at Sydney’s Allianz Stadium this week.

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Lee Wellings: How strong is the African World Cup challenge?

It was a goal so beautifully created and finished it almost made you forget the cold.

Victor Moses was involved twice, and cleverly fed full-back Francis Benjamin. A great cross was finish with international class, by Shola Ameobi.

This moment of perfection came during Nigeria’s thrilling 2-2 draw with Italy in London. No doubt, the African champions can play. But are they contenders to actually win the World Cup in Brazil?

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Osasu Obayiuwana: A chat with a (penitent) match-fixer

Considering the cold fact that Mario Cizmek is set to spend a minimum of 10 months in prison, for accepting money to fix six Croatian first division matches in the 2009/2010 season, the 38-year old is surprisingly calm about what awaits him.

He spoke frankly about his criminal activity at the last ‘Play The Game’ conference in Denmark, an international event that tackles the uncomfortable issues of ethics and good governance in sport.

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Gibraltar makes world debut with a draw against Slovakia

Gibraltar fans

By Andrew Warshaw
November 20 – All eyes may have been on the four nail-biting playoffs but the most historic European encounter Tuesday night took place in the Algarve region of Portugal where tiny Gibraltar staged their first full international since winning their 14-year battle to become UEFA’s 54th and smallest member.

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