New FIFA Now aims to reform football’s governing body

Category Archives: National Teams

New FIFA Now aims to reform football’s governing body

While the Asian Cup was producing exciting football by the bucket load and the farce that is FIFA’s presidential election process degenerated into an even lower form of ‘democracy’, changes were afoot in Brussels. It was there that supporters of a bold organisation named New FIFA Now gathered to set in motion the wheels of reform and bring accountability back to football’s organisers. The brain child of British MP Damian Collins and strategy & public relations advisor turned football administrator Bonita Mersiades, who blew the whistle on Australia’s questionable World Cup bid. Having seen firsthand the ways in which FIFA…

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Schwarzer keeping it real

Australia’s most capped player and the goalkeeper of choice through much of the era known as the Golden Generation, Mark Schwarzer, earned the ire of many fans back in his native Australia last week. In an interview with Australia’s premier football magazine FourFourTwo, it was reported that the Leicester man had less than complimentary remarks to say about the national competition in Australia. No one enjoys hearing a high profile Australian footballer make negative assessments about the A-League or standard of football in Australia, especially the fans. Other stars such as Tim Cahill and Mark Viduka have also faced public…

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Jurić’s proud message sparks unwarranted response

Stretching his long legs to latch onto a swerving pinpoint cross from teammate Mathew Leckie, Tomi Jurić half volleyed past Omani goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi as Australia extended their already commanding lead in their Asian Cup group stage clash. Jurić, a proud Australian of Croatian heritage, then lifted up his shirt to reveal a touching and heartfelt slogan underneath: “Mum, Dad, Brother”. It was just his second goal in the green and gold of the Socceroos, and his first in a match of such magnitude. Jurić’s gesture acknowledged the crucial part his family have played in his development professionally and personally,…

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Postecoglou excited by home advantage

Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou has declared his team’s morale is high in the lead-up to the opening match of the Asian Cup against Kuwait. Postecoglou praised his charges for their attitude in the build up to the tournament, despite of a poor run of results and the country’s FIFA ranking dropping to a lowly 100. “The spirit’s very good at the moment. Our performances and results have been fairly patchy over the last couple of months. Coming here on the first day of camp I could see they were comfortable, coming in comfortable with the environment and there was a…

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Wilkinson’s whirlwind year

To say it’s been a whirlwind year for Socceroos defender Alex Wilkinson would be an understatement. At the start of 2014, the former Mariners’ captain was looking to consolidate his spot in the starting line-up at cashed-up Korean side Jeonbuk Motors. Not even the most optimistic of people could have predicted what would happen over the course of the next 12 months. In March, Wilkinson made his national team debut against Ecuador at the relatively late age of 30. He then proceeded to win 10 more caps and establish himself as one of Ange Postecoglou’s first choice defenders, starting all…

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The great balancing act for football

The issue of player development is one that is never far away from the thoughts of football fans, media, and administrators alike. And neither should it be as it is the number one issue, or at least should be, that determines the future of any sport. It of course is not the only area of concern especially given the environment that Australian football exists within, still trying to establish the national competition. Subsequently the administrators, officials, fans, owners and even players often prioritise according to their own interests. Player development though is the issue which intrinsically links every group because…

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Australia’s World Cup bid – a tale of deceit, propaganda and hypocrisy

Recent days have seen a summary of American lawyer Michael Garcia’s investigation into alleged corruption at FIFA released, creating a storm of controversy. Hans-Joachim Eckert’s summary, which contains less than 10% of the original content from Garcia’s detailed report, has been met with criticism from not only the global footballing fraternity, but also Garcia himself. Garcia has categorically dismissed the 42 page summary offered by Eckert, slamming the abridged report and stating that it includes “numerous materially incomplete and erroneous representations of the facts.” Garcia, who was paid by FIFA to conduct the investigation and publish the subsequent report, has announced that he will appeal to FIFA for his…

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How Australia can win the Asian Cup

With the Asian Cup kicking off in less than 50 days Australia still has some work to do before their first match of the tournament, against Kuwait in Melbourne, on January 9. Prior to Ange Postecoglou’s appointment as coach the national team had been dismantled 6-0 in consecutive matches against Brazil and France. With the ageing golden generation dominating the team sheet and the dressing room, Postecoglou’s mission of regenerating the national team was always going to be a challenging task, something he acknowledged at the time of his appointment. Prior to travelling to the World Cup, I asked Postecoglou…

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Socceroos focus turns to Asian Cup

Much has been made of the Socceroos form since their spirited but ultimately fruitless World Cup campaign. A string of lacklustre performances and an opaque selection policy from coach Ange Postecoglou have many fans fearing that January’s Asian Cup on home soil could end in embarrassment. The Socceroos’ latest result was a 2-1 defeat to Asian rivals Japan in Osaka on Tuesday night. A promising first half was followed by a poor second, with set pieces Australia’s undoing for both goals. So where do the Socceroos go from here? At the time of writing Postecoglou has 51 days before his…

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Tim Cahill is not scared

Following the Socceroos 2-1 defeat to Japan in Yanmar Nagai Stadium a bullish Tim Cahill fronted the media full of confidence, convinced the team were heading in the right direction. “I thought the performance was brilliant. I thought the first half was excellent, I thought the football was really good. I thought we caused them problems, we restricted them to playing the long ball. “The only thing is we didn’t reward ourselves with the result overall, and two set plays were probably the difference tonight. “They punished us really badly because I felt that we had control of this game tonight, and I…

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