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Joel Matip – International retiree or African Cup of Nations absentee?

Joel Matip was left out of Liverpool FC’s squad for the 1-1 draw with Manchester United on Sunday afternoon following confusion as to his status with the Cameroon national team. Although Matip was not selected for Cameroon’s final 23-man squad for the African Cup of Nations, and purportedly retired from international duty after his last … Continue Reading

Chinese Football Association moves to curtail ‘irrational investment’ – are foreign player quotas or ‘home grown’ rules the solution to national team success?

On Monday 16 January 2017, the Chinese Football Association (the “CFA“) announced a raft of measures designed to carry out the requirements of the ‘Overall Plan for Reform and Development of Chinese Football’, as issued by the Chinese State Council General Office in March 2015. That plan had a long term goal to see the … Continue Reading

The demise of Canadian football: the problem with the MLS Player Roster Rules and Regulations

The time of year where football managers most readily lament fixture congestion is again upon us.  The 2016/2017 Premier League season saw 40 Premier League games over the festive period, with each club playing four fixtures between Saturday 17 December 2016 and Wednesday 4 January 2017.  Those fixtures were played on twelve separate match-days, with … Continue Reading

Glenn promises governance reform but can the FA deliver?

In October, Sports Shorts covered the release of UK Sport and Sport England’s Governance Code for Sport, which seeks to set the gold standard for sport governance.  Subsequently, In the weeks following the Code’s release, we noted that much of the media focus fell on the Code’s gender diversity targets.  This focus has continued and, … Continue Reading

Bah humbug! FIFA’s Christmas ‘gift’ to the Home Nations’ Football Associations

On 19 December 2016, FIFA announced that it was fining each of the four Home Nation’s Football Associations for “incidents during 2018 FIFA World Cup™ qualifying matches and international friendlies”.  In short, this is FIFA’s decision to fine the Home Nations for their actions in commemorating Armistice Day and Easter Rising respectively during Official competition, … Continue Reading

Pubs, football, and satellite decoder cards: the latest instalment

The Court of Appeal has recently handed down judgment in the latest in a line of cases relating to the showing of Premier League football matches in UK pubs using foreign satellite decoder cards. The Court of Appeal found in favour of the Premier League, confirming that unauthorised use of a decoder card licensed for … Continue Reading

A whole lot of pink accessories and nice smelling bibs – FA guidance causes a stir but what IS the solution to getting more women and girls into football?

On 12 December 2016, The FA found itself being openly criticised for its efforts to increase participation in women and girls football. At the centre of the criticism is a document posted on the Sussex FA’s website entitled “Considerations for increasing participation in women and girls football”.  The document is stated to have been “… … Continue Reading

The Saturday afternoon football blackout: an analysis

English fans of Spanish football may have been disappointed this weekend not to find El Clásico, the match between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid, in their TV guides.  The match kicked off at 3:15pm UK time and finished 1 – 1, with honours even, but was not shown on English television. While El Clásico represents one … Continue Reading

Mario Balotelli’s £1 Million Good Behaviour Bonus

Football Leaks, the football whistleblowing site, in conjunction with the Sunday Times, has released the results of an extensive investigation that, amongst other things, reveals a ‘good behaviour’ clause in Mario Balotelli’s 2014 Liverpool FC contract. The clause is reported to read: “If during each season of the term of this contract the player is … Continue Reading

Politics in Football: Beyond Apparel

On 2 November 2016, Sports Shorts wrote about the English and Scottish Football Associations’ request for their players to wear armbands featuring poppies. On Friday, the two teams ignored FIFA’s guidance and decided to play with the armband anyway.  Our blog post on this issue noted the thorny intersection between sports and politics and the … Continue Reading

Jonjo Shelvey: An Aggravated Breach?

On 8 November 2016, the Newcastle United midfielder Jonjo Shelvey was charged by the Football Association (the “FA”) for misconduct in relation to comments allegedly made to his opponent, the Wolverhampton Wanderers player Romain Saiss, during the sides’ match on 17 September 2016.  The FA’s press release states in full that: “Jonjo Shelvey has been charged … Continue Reading

England v Scotland: Poppies, Politics, a Prime Minister and a President

The often uneasy crossover between sport and politics has again been thrown into the spotlight this week, with the news that FIFA has turned down a request from the English and Scottish Football Associations for their players to wear armbands featuring poppies when they play each other on Armistice Day. FIFA’s decision has caused uproar. … Continue Reading

The Spanish Football Association and minors: more sanctions

On 25 October 2016, FIFA announced that the FIFA Disciplinary Committee has sanctioned the Real Federación Española de Fútbol (the Spanish FA) (the “RFEF”) for breaches relating to the international transfer and registration of players under the age of 18. According to FIFA’s press release, the RFEF was found to have: “…violated several provisions concerning … Continue Reading

The Association of European Professional Football Leagues shows UEFA a red card and terminates their MOU

On Friday 21 October 2016, the Association of European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) announced that it was terminating its memorandum of understanding (MOU) with UEFA as a result of changes being made to the qualifying system for both the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League for three seasons from 2018/2019 onward.   The EPFL … Continue Reading

No pyro, no party?

Pyrotechnics and flares are commonly used by supporters in football stadiums in continental Europe and further afield, often by groups colloquially known as “Ultras”. However, those who regularly follow football in the UK will have found it hard to ignore the increased prevalence of pyrotechnics and flares at UK football stadia in recent years. Indeed, … Continue Reading
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