Egypt - Egypt the dominant force in African football in the last 10 years, they have appeared in only two World Cups, 1934 and 1990 but between 1938 and 1970 they competed in only one international tournament. On October 8th 2017, during a match against Congo, The Pharaohs were on the verge of blowing their changes to qualify for a first World Cup final in 28 years. However, Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, Egypt’s star, scored a dramatic stoppage-time penalty to seal qualification with a game to spare. He was “elevated to almost mythical status” in his country: so much so that many Egyptians chose to put his name on their ballots in March national elections. After suffering a worrying injury during the Champions League final against Real Madrid, the forward was left on the bench for Egypt's first match, a defeat against Uruguay. One fan has set off for Russia on a bicycle via Jordan, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova and Ukraine. … [Read more...] about Did you know this about the World Cup’s 32 teams?
Fifa world cup qualification
This is a difficult area, and one which Sports Shorts has covered before in the case of tennis player Nick Kyrgios. Must a participant give his best efforts at all times? Does a failure to do so compromise the integrity of a match? Yet, if a draw effectively constitutes a win, can there be any criticism of a team for acting in such a way as to achieve such outcome? … [Read more...] about World Cup Qualifying: Ethics, Controversy and Covered Mouths
The US soccer dilemmaAlthough its appeal on the world stage has grown and it has been increasingly able to attract premium players (albeit usually at the twilight of their career), MLS is not a league that competes with the top European leagues in terms of quality. Commercially, MLS has been the most successful iteration of US soccer and this, together with the fact that FIFA have sanctioned the league as the only top-tier provider in the US and Canada, provides the owners with a strong hand. The reality is that some of the best arguments for abandoning the closed league system are commercial. In November 2016 the Deloitte Sports Business Group published a study analysing promotion and relegation in US professional club soccer. It noted that the current system protects loss and capital call minimisation at the expense of profit maximisation. The report suggests that if the league can (i) come to a decision on the optimum number of teams in the existing US leagues; (ii) … [Read more...] about Major League Soccer: In Defiance of FIFA
Whilst Watford FC was well within its rights to do so, the influx of such a large amount of players from the two European sides which were also under the control of the Pozzo family prompted a change to the EFL’s Regulations. In advance of the 2013/14 season, the EFL clubs (including, it should be said, Watford FC) voted in favour of a rule change which meant that only 5 loan players (whether from overseas or from other domestic clubs) could be named in a match day squad and just 4 could be from a single club (of which only 2 could be over the age of 23). … [Read more...] about Part Two – Common Ownership of Sports Teams and its Regulation in European Football
The practical consequence of Manolas’s conduct was that he was able to use up his suspension before the important World Cup qualifying matches against Croatia. Instead, he would miss only the match against Gibraltar (who are currently ranked 206th in the world), which Greece were expected to (and indeed did) win easily. With respect to Gibraltar, Manolas presumably figured that he would be of more use to his team against Croatia than he would against Team 54. … [Read more...] about Kostas Manolas – A Deliberate Yellow Card And Unsporting Conduct.