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.

Read more …

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.

Read more …

Rapid’s changed management aims to build a new Austrian empire

Rapid Vienna

By Paul Nicholson
November 19 – One of Europe’s most iconic clubs is undergoing a revolution, Viennese style. SK Rapid, better known to most European fans as Rapid Vienna, has a new president, plans for a new stadium and is targeting a new era as one of Europe’s top clubs in the world’s best city to live in according to Mercer’s latest Quality of Living ranking.

Read more …

Nsekera loses battle for Burundi FA to former rebel fighter Ndikuriyo

Lydia Nsekera

By Andrew Warshaw
November 19 – President Sepp Blatter’s personal choice as the first elected female member of his executive committee has been ousted by her own federation after nine years in charge. Lydia Nsekera, elected to FIFA’s inner sanctum amid considerable pomp at this year’s Congress in Mauritius, has been replaced as head of the Burundi football association, an untimely blow to global efforts to increase the influence of women football administrators.

Read more …

Al Thawadi focuses on delivery and preparing a welcome for the world in 2022

Hassan Al Thawadi

By Andrew Warshaw, chief correspondent, in Doha
November 19 – Almost three years after steering Qatar towards arguably the greatest upset in World Cup bidding history, Hassan Al Thawadi is still a driven man. Whilst hardly a week goes by without some new development raising questions over Qatar’s suitability to stage the 2022 tournament, the organising chief bullishly refuses to let himself get distracted, tackling the negativism head-on whilst remaining focussed on the job at hand.

Read more …