Reuters Soccer Blog

World Soccer views and news

FIFA fails to act in naturalisation row

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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.

Danes the winners in FIFA numbers game

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By Phil O’Connor

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.

Soccer Break Friday – Time to say goodbye

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Blackburn Rovers. Wolverhampton Wanderers. Wigan Athletic. Blackpool. Birmingham City. Five teams, two must go. Who will it be?

Nervy times ahead then for these five Premier League strugglers. Sunday will be traumatic and full of twists.

Soccer Break Thursday – Power to Portugal

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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.

Soccer Break Tuesday – Blatter unbeatable?

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Short and sweet today. Is Sepp Blatter really “unbeatable” ahead of the June 1 election for the FIFA presidency?

It would appear so, though under his leadership the sport’s governing body has come under fire for alleged corruption.

Soccer Break Friday – R.I.P FA Cup?

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When I was in a French campsite in the 1990s a Dutchman caught wind of the fact I was English and immediately asked “Do you know the scores in the FA Cup semi-finals?”

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.

Soccer Break Thursday – How to stop Barca?

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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.

Soccer Break Wednesday – Money buys success

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Cash, dollars, bucks, dough, call it what you want, it paves the way for football clubs to be successful.

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.

Soccer Break Tuesday – corrupt game?

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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.

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