May 27, 2008

Just in case anyone thinks this is an odd move by FIFA, they have previously suspended several other countries as a result of government interference with that country's Football Association. Countries such as Kenya and Lebanon have previously been suspended for that reason, but even Greece was temporarily banned while it was European Champion when the Greek government introduced rules that FIFA deemed removed independence of action from the Greek F.A.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 10:10 AM on May 27, 2008

Reports in this morning's Australian press indicate that the Iraqi government is going to restore the original IFA. This will be announced by their delegation to the FIFA Congress currently taking place in Sydney, and therefore allow Sunday's WCQ between Australia and Iraq in Brisbane to go ahead. Or that could be wishful thinking, and the game could be called off. Pity, as it's an eagerly anticipated re-match from last year's Asian Cup and a sell-out. The return leg is due the following week in Dubai. And, isn't it good to see that Sydney has temporarily become the football capital of the world?

posted by owlhouse at 04:32 PM on May 27, 2008

Maybe they can compete in the Developing Nations Football Championship instead. Man, I love The Onion.

posted by Bonkers at 08:53 PM on May 27, 2008

CNN are just reporting that FIFA have lifted the ban

posted by Fence at 05:26 AM on May 29, 2008

Yeah, the game's going ahead on Sunday. My daughter has a ticket. But I'll be on a plane to Jakarta. Bugger.

posted by owlhouse at 06:06 AM on May 29, 2008

Owlhouse - you going deep into the jungle again, or on a whistlestop tour of the region? I'm going to be in Manila for three days next week and then HK for 24 hours on Sunday (8th). All of which is probably going to put me about as close to you as I currently am to most of the Eastern US, but just in case our paths might cross, we shouldn't miss the chance to drink beer and shout at a football match! (Any hotel suggestions for HK, bearing in mind that I'll be there for 24 hours and intend to sleep for as few of them as possible?) On topic, Martin Samuels in yesterday's Times was suggesting that a bit of political jiggery pokery could yet see FIFA turf someone out and draft England in to play in Euro 2008. Euro 2008, we can win it. All we need to do is start a limited war in Europe. Not straightforward, I know, even in the Balkans. A lot could go wrong. Fritz Fischer, a brilliant historian, identified this strategy as part of German policy under Kaiser Wilhelm II and Dr Theobald von Bethmann Hollweg, his chancellor, in the build-up to the First World War. Sifting through thousands of government documents, Fischer constructed his theory that Germany had deliberately instigated the conflict as a way of increasing its power in Europe and had drafted plans to annex Belgium, parts of France and most of European Russia as a result. The aim, he said, was to fight a limited European war. Got away from them a bit there, didn't it?

posted by JJ at 07:08 AM on May 29, 2008

One of these days, JJ, we will indeed cross paths. Nah, this time is just Jakarta for a week, then I'm in Vientiane in late June/early July. I haven't had to overnight in HK for a while, so can't give any advice on that score. I can understand that German policy - if we remember that generals are always planning for the previous war. Up until 1914, I guess all European wars had been 'limited' and usually ended up with the victors dividing up part of the losers' territories. Now we're way off topic. But on further jiggery-pokery, if FIFA decide that South Africa can't host 2010 for any reason (stadiums not ready, violence), then Australia is the reserve host country. Maybe there's a cunning destabilisation plan already underway...

posted by owlhouse at 08:04 AM on May 29, 2008

There are too many winners in that Onion article but here's one: "In the Third-World Cup, every group is the Group Of Death." Thanks, Bonkers!

posted by worldcup2002 at 12:01 PM on May 29, 2008

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