Tag Archives: FIFA

FIFA WORLD CUP – Russia 2018 and Qatar 2022 Are a ‘GO’

Ending the endless talks about whether the next two World Cup tournaments will be held in Russia 2018 and Qatar 2022, FIFA has come to a conclusion: Nothing is wrong and they will be hosted as planned.

The investigatory chamber and the adjudicatory chamber and the independent Ethics Committee and Hercules and Zeus and the farmer in lala-land have looked into the matter and concluded: Long Live Sepp Blatter.

Now let us all go back to our normal life and see how we will prepare to attend Russia 2018 while leaving the wives behind, at home.

football ethics


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World Cup Predictions – Brazil 2014

I will be your Nostradamus again, and share my initial thoughts on the whole tournament.

  • World Cup 2014 Winner:

Brazil should do it – They have the home advantage – and experienced manager – and no European team won on South American soil before – Argentina (as much as I want them to win) are destined to flop.

  • Top Scorer of Brazil 2014 (Golden Boot):

Fred of Brazil may enjoy a good run in the group stage – same applies to Messi – and Benzema has two easy games to shine at

  • Best Player:

A certain Neymar and a specific Messi and a shining Ronaldo own the media to get it.

  • Best Keeper:

Casillas – Buffon – Courtois; a tight competition but cannot find a fourth better nominee

  • Young Player:

Hazard – Pogba – Sterling

  • Shocks and Stories:

Spain to choke in the quarter finals – Italy to flop and may not go beyond group stage – Belgium to be the Colombia of 1994 (although they have an easy group) – Dark Horse is a tight race and there will be no surprise name in the final four – Messi will do surprisingly good but not good enough – Ronaldo will not shine – Suarez will not shine – Samba dancers will be more interesting than England’s style of play, but a repeat of the 1990 English heroics is possible (a final four place is too possible)


What are your predictions for the WORLD CUP?

Ballon d’Or Gala – Time and Details

Today the world will know who was the best in 2013; Lionel Messi – Cristiano Ronaldo – Franck Ribery.

The details of the FIFA Ballon d’Or Gala 2013, are:

  1. Location: Zurich Kongresshaus – Switzerland
  2. Time: Starting from 18:30 CET / 17:30 GMT / 21:30 Dubai Time / 19:30 Beirut-Lebanon Time
  3. Broadcast: FIFA.com channels (the web and mobile through FIFA.com, the FIFA App, Facebook, Twitter and FIFA TV on YouTube) OR: beIN Sports – The News Channel (beIN Sports will start a live studio show 30 minutes ahead of the ceremony).


Ballon d'OR 2013 Candidates

Ballon d’OR 2013 Candidates

EXPLAINED and SIMPLIFIED: World Cup Draw Procedure

Even Jerome Valcke, the Secretary General of FIFA, confused himself while explaining the rules of the World Cup Draw procedure.

During its meeting, the Organising Committee for the FIFA World Cup in Brazil 2014, approved the procedures for the Final Draw. The ceremony of the final draw will be held in Costa do Sauipe, Bahia on 6 December 2013 (16:00 GMT – 20:00 Dubai Time – 17:00 CET – 13:00 Local Time) and will be broadcast live on free-to-air-channels in no fewer than 193 countries.

How the draw will proceed is the question everyone is asking. It is a little bit complicated process and different than previous draw, but here it is in what I hope is a simplified way:


  • Pot 1: Brazil (A1), Spain, Germany, Argentina, Colombia, Belgium, Switzerland, and Uruguay.
  • Pot 2: Algeria, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, Chile, and Ecuador.
  • Pot 3: Australia, Iran, Japan, Korea Republic, Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, and the USA
  • Pot 4: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, England, France, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, and Russia.
First Step of the Final Draw

First Step of the Final Draw


  1. Teams of the same Qualification Zone cannot be drawn into the same Group (Exception: Maximum of 2 European teams may populate any one Group)
  2. Any team drawn at any time from any pot will be allocated in a sequential way to the groups from A through H (Exception: Brazil is already allocated in Group A – Position 1)
  3. For rule number 1 to remain valid, if a team is drawn to be in a group breaking rule number 1, the choice of group will be skipped to maintain principle of geographic separation

PROCEDURE (in the exact order below):

  1. A team from POT 4 will be drawn and put randomly in POT 2
  2. POT 1 teams will be drawn to determine the group they will be in
  3. Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia, and Brazil will be put in POT X. One of them will be drawn. The name that comes up will directly get the European team from step 1
  4. POT 2 (minus the European team in step 1) will be drawn. Each name will go to the groups from A – H in order. However, if Chile or Ecuador got a group that has any team from step 3, there will be an exception and the team will go to the next available group (to maintain RULE 1
  5. POT 3 will be drawn
  6. POT 4 will be drawn


Possible Line-Ups (Permutations):

Imagine if Italy was drawn in step one of the procedure, hence we will have:

  • A possible scenario is: Brazil – Italy – Mexico – Netherlands
  • A wrong scenario: Brazil – Chile – Italy – Netherlands
  • Another wrong scenario: Spain – Italy – Mexico – Netherlands


I hope the above clarified some ambiguity. If yes, what is the toughest / best / worst group you imagine your team having?


FIFA – Brazil 2014: Allocation of pots announcement

As announced earlier on this blog, the allocation of pots announcement determining the candidates for the Final Draw of the Group Stage of Brazil 2014 will be held today.

Here is the link for the direct and live streaming of the event:


This is the last ceremony to be held before the Final Draw Ceremony on 6 December

This is the last ceremony to be held before the Final Draw Ceremony on 6 December

Lebanon Gets Featured on FIFA.com

It is a fact that FIFA recognizes all its members, and a featured article about one country isn’t a big deal.

Yet, I am making a big deal out of this one because while we are ruining our own football future, the world wants to remember us for the beautiful and memorable moments our national team had.

Lebanon featured on FIFA.com

Lebanon featured on FIFA.com

The article is on FIFA.com homepage, and it is talking about ‘Six of the best on the road to Brazil’. It states what are arguably the best six games played worldwide during the World Cup Qualifiers for Brazil 2014.

The match between Lebanon 2-1 Korea Republic on 15 November 2011 is listed as one of the best six.

You can check the article HERE, and you can tell everyone that there is hope somewhere or one day that football in Lebanon prospers in a good manner.

Visa Middle East Reveals Mexico’s U-17 Secret for the Miraculous Recovery

Have you ever wondered how a team that lost an opening game 1-6 could become a World Cup Finalist?

Well, the answer is Mexico’s U-17 National Football Team.

The young Mexicans have made a miraculous comeback in the FIFA U-17 World Cup UAE 2013 and will play the final of the tournament against Nigeria; the same team that have beaten them 6-1 in the opening game of Group Stage.

If you do not believe in magic and the super natural rituals leading to miracles, you have to think again. Mexico’s road to the Final was an act of sorcery – to an extent – and I was an eyewitness.

Thanks to Visa Middle East I had the privilege of an exclusive tour into the players’ rooms, pitch, media center, and every corner related to the matches of the FIFA U-17 World Cup. It was when I visited Mexico’s dressing room that I came to believe in magic and spiritual rituals.

The Mexico administrative team has setup a table at the entrance of the dressing room with holy figures and religious marks. Players take the blessings of Holy Mary upon entering and before leaving to the pitch. They also arrive to the stadium singing some morale lifting rhythms [which I was not allowed to record on video] and have their captain guiding them to exact steps while leaving the bus into the rooms.

These young Mexican players have already written their own history and a legendary story to be told in the years to come. Whatever the result of the final will be, they are already considered champions. If I called it magic, it might actually be faith and belief and these two aspects are really important for these young guns and any person who dreams of success.

This is why all the magic is happening: The Blessings Table

This is why all the magic is happening: The Blessings Table

The Visa Middle East exclusive U-17 World Cup tour has given me a lot of insider information on teams participating in official FIFA tournaments and the Mexican experience and revelation was the most inspiring.

 Visa Middle East will also offer a better pre-match exclusive tour for the Final matchday, and I am hoping it will be as epic as this one. You can check this blog again after 8 November for more stories, and click here for the more insider photos taken ahead of the quarter-finals match between Brazil and Mexico.

Ivan OCHOA and Marco GRANADOS - The Mexico Team heroes of the semi-finals

Ivan OCHOA and Marco GRANADOS – The Mexico Team heroes of the semi-finals


FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 is Not About Football

There are more things to life than the confederations cup. Yet, when football is on vacation we cannot but follow the tournament trying to fulfill our thirst for football action.

A friend of mine used to call the World Cup the “Mololoko Cup,” while I used to contest her opinion. Today, I want to thank her – yes, she’s a female friend but knows football more than Pele does – for she gave me the perfect name for the confederations cup: The Real Mololoko Cup. Moreover, it is not a dress rehearsal for the participating teams before the World Cup, because some of these teams may not even be there in the World Cup.

Prince Sultan Bin Fahd Bin Abdulaziz hands the trophy of the 1995 Confederations Cup  to Denmark's captain Michael LAUDRUP

Prince Sultan Bin Fahd Bin Abdulaziz handing the trophy of the 1995 Confederations Cup to Denmark’s captain Michael LAUDRUP

Having stated the above, it is obvious how highly I rate this tournament. Here are some more thoughts on it.

  • Neymar’s name will be accompanied with every mention of the tournament more than the tournament’s name itself.
  • Dancing and partying will be more fun than the football action; or actually sexier.
  • The female fans in the stands will have more game time from the cameramen than the players on the pitch.
  • The winner of the tournament will be forgotten before Brazil 2014 kicks off.
  • Marama Vahirua is the best name any pundit, fan, or commentator will remember from the team of Haiti.
  • Nigerian players will be missed as they spend time on the beach and forget to show up for football.
  • No one will be able to name Mexico’s starting 11 but everyone will refer to them as the Chicharito team.
  • Balotelli will have one more chance to prove his worthiness – if any – and he will make sure to make the headlines on and off the field.
  • Spain will be ‘Torresed’.
  • Uruguay will play as if it is the World Cup because most of its players are seeking a transfer market boost.
On FIFA's official site, this photo is a great shot from the tournament. Didn't I tell you so?

On FIFA’s official site, this photo is a great shot from the tournament. Didn’t I tell you so?

I honestly cannot find anything funny about the tournament, not even the timing of the games in this part of the world; even if we had to wait for a 2:00 a.m. kick off for a match between Nigeria and Uruguay.

Enjoy the football and do not concentrate on the official nature or the competitiveness of the matches.

p.s. You might have been too busy trying to understand the nonsense

above that you did not notice it should have been Tahiti and not Haiti

Caxirola: Brazil World Cup 2014 Instrument Revealed

Brazil’s answer to the vuvuzela has been unveiled.

The yellow and green percussion instrument is called a CAXIROLA [pronounced ka-shee-raw-la], and produces a rattling sound when shaken. It is made from recycled plastic, and will be given to fans attending the Confederations Cup in June, seen as the country’s dress rehearsal for the 2014 World Cup.

Brazilian musician Carlinhos Brown worked with FIFA and Brazil’s ministry of sports to create the caxirola.

The country’s president Dilma Rousseff said: “That image of the green and yellow caxirola and the fact that we are talking about a ‘green’ plastic in a country that leads in sustainability in the world. And at the same time it is an object that has the ability to do two things, to combine the image with sound and take us to our goals.”

Click the Image to watch and listen to the caxirola

The Caxirola will be used at the 2014 Brazil World Cup

The Caxirola will be used at the 2014 Brazil World Cup


p.s. Story based on Sky News Source

Sepp Blatter’s Account is Hacked

Sepp Blatter just tweeted he might have taken money from the Qatari family. It seems that his Twitter account – @SeppBlatter – has been hacked.

Here’s the tweet, judge for yourself



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