Guess who doesn’t know the rules of soccer?

“Australia was a little bit offside.” Interviewed for the ABC TV program Played, this was how FIFA boss Septic Bladder explained Australia’s failed bid to host the 2022 World Cup. Which suggests Septic needs a crash course in the rules of soccer. Because you have to be on the actual field of play — and,…

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Would the last person to leave FIFA please turn out the light?

Here’s a picture of FIFA’s executive boardroom. Yes, it would probably be right at home on a Star Trek set. But the point is, it’s empty. You see, after a night of the long knives wielded by FIFA’s ethics committee (sorry, that phrase still cracks me up), there’s no one left to run the joint….

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The killing fields of the Qatar World Cup

The 2022 FIFA World Cup will be held in a graveyard. Already an estimated 1,200 workers have died building Qatar’s World Cup stadiums and associated infrastructure. This number is expected to rise to 4,000 over the next seven years. Basically a worker a day. The International Trade Union Confederation compiled these numbers based on statistics…

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Are you trying to kill me, sport?

I’m not silly. I know being an elite athlete is about the worst thing you can do to your body. Strange as it may seem, all that fitness really isn’t good for you. So I’ve opted for what I thought was a much safer pursuit as a couch potato. Over the years, I’ve swum world…

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Who’ll take home the best World Cup hair award?

As David Beckham prepared for his recent Amazon travel documentary, wife Posh asked him what he was going to do with his hair in all that humidity. The countless exotic critters that could curtail hubby’s life — from Brazilian wandering spiders to poison dart frogs — seemed the least of her concern. Her greatest fear…

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Minnows upset the World Cup apple cart

Let’s call them the Generation Y of the World Cup. They’re the teams that don’t know their place and have scant regard for the football hierarchy. Coming into the tournament, they were largely there to make up the numbers, evolve their skills and learn from the experience. Except they never got the memo. So, these…

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Tim Cahill exits the World Cup stage

The headline said it all. “Australia Just Scored the Goal of the World Cup. Yes, Australia.” Until a few hours ago, it was hard to imagine anyone beating Robin van Persie’s flying Dutchman effort for goal of the tournament. And then Tim Cahill did this. It couldn’t have come at a better time. Just a…

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Some free World Cup advice for England

Regular readers will know I’m not generally one for helping the English out of a pickle. One of my favourite pastimes as an irreverent Antipodean is thumbing my nose at the mother country, especially in all matters sport. Please see Exhibit A, B, C and D, otherwise known as my Ashes coverage. So if you’re…

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World Cup: we’re beating Spain!

When it comes to soccer,* Australians are a blindly optimistic lot. We came into the World Cup with by far the lowest ranking of the 32 countries and then got handed the crappiest draw of any team. That’s the New York Times saying that, by the way, not just this Aussie diehard. And yet we…

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Survivor: Blatter Island

Imagine for a moment that FIFA is the reality TV show Survivor and Sepp Blatter the contestant that’s gone rogue. Delirious from a diet of media bile and the relentless glow of the public spotlight, his words and deeds become increasingly desperate and bizarre. Sitting round the campfire at night, he talks of the World…

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World Cup ads: cast your votes

In the lead-up to the World Cup, things go from bad to worse for Brazil’s government. Now it has been hit with a lawsuit for false advertising, with independent federal prosecutors arguing commercials talking up the benefits of the World Cup are “absurdly divorced from reality.” Which simply serves as an excuse for us to…

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Brazil’s World Cup countdown hits discordant note

In a game of word association, Brazil conjures many possibilities. Football. Carnival. Party. Colour. Movement. And, of course, music. Brazilian drums and samba beats that get those hips swinging as only Latino hips can. There’s also The Girl from Ipanema. And let’s not forget Peter Allen’s I Go To Rio or Barry Manilow’s Copacabana. Hey,…

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