Reuters Soccer Blog
World Soccer views and news
FIFA has failed to act on allegations that Burkina Faso flouted rules on fielding foreign-born players on their way to qualifying for the African Nations Cup.
In doing so, soccer’s governing body has potentially opened the floodgates for other teams to do the same.
Burkina Faso’s campaign included home-and-away wins over Namibia, who alleged that in both games the Burkinabe fielded Russian-based Cameroon-born defender Herve Zengue.
The Burkinabe said Zengue had obtained nationality by marrying one of their nationals. However, FIFA statutes also say that a player must have lived in his adopted country for at least five years before he can represent their country.
The calculation of the FIFA rankings may be a mystery to many soccer fans, but the football associations are well aware of the value of a high ranking.
Having recently beaten Cyprus and Portugal to win their group and qualify for the European Championship in Poland and Ukraine, Denmark rose to joint 10th with Argentina.
You just can’t keep FIFA out of the news and the latest in the almost daily unfurling of allegations is perhaps the most devastating yet.
But just how seismic are the latest round of accusations and is there any way back Mohamed bin Hammam now?
It was no classic but Porto cemented themselves as one of Europe’s top sides on Wednesday with a 1-0 victory over compatriots Braga in the Europa League final in Dublin, surely the start of better days for the Portuguese game.
Key to this is that Porto’s coach Andre Villas-Boas and figurehead striker Radamel Falcao have agreed to stay at the club, a nice touch in the fast-paced football world where players and coaches come and go all too often.
Ask most football fans about what day in the season they looked forward to the most in the past and the FA Cup would have often topped the list, but the grand old competition is on the wane.
Just another night of footballing action and another trophy for the all-conquering Barcelona, who on Wednesday clinched their third successive La Liga title despite a laboured 1-1 draw away to Levante.
Manchester United will be hoping a similarly weary Barcelona turn up at Wembley for the Champions League final on May 28, hopefully having themselves recently won their top domestic honour, the Premier League.
On Tuesday the bank-rolled Manchester City outfit reached the Champions League qualifiers for next season and could even secure an automatic berth if they pip Arsenal to third place in the Premier League. That would be a real kick in the guts to Arsene Wenger, who has barely spent anything in comparison to City since he took over the North Londoners in 1996.
Dominating football news on Tuesday are the allegations by David Triesman to a UK parliamentary inquiry that several FIFA executive committee members asked for favours in return for their votes for England’s 2018 World Cup bid.
Startling stuff, especially with the FIFA presidential election less than a month away and a third of the 24-man executive committee having been accused of corruption.