Face-to-face with football's most notorious match fixer
Convicted football match fixer Wilson Raj Perumal faced up to CNN's Don Riddell in his first television interview.
August 27th, 2014
11:46 AM ET

Face-to-face with football's most notorious match fixer

He says he never wanted to be famous; he just wanted a piece of the action.

He says he’s not a real criminal, yet he’s spent more than 10 years in jail.

He says football is a beautiful sport, but he represents the single-biggest threat to the integrity of the professional game.

Wilson Raj Perumal is known as the world’s most prolific match-fixer, and I’m sitting face-to-face with him in the capital of Hungary, Budapest. It’s the first time he’s ever been interviewed on television. FULL POST

June 19th, 2014
11:59 AM ET

Brazil 2014: The reasons for Spain's World Cup pain

Hours after Spain's new monarch ascended to one throne, the kings of football - the Spanish nation's pride and joy - were being knocked off theirs.

And while I agree with those citing tiredness as a cause, I think any fatigue was more in the mind than the body.

You only had to look at the demeanor of goalkeeper Iker Casillas to see he was suffering from the sporting equivalent of post-traumatic stress; shellshock brought on by the explosive nature of conceding five goals against the Netherlands in the 2010 World Cup winners' opening game. FULL POST

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Filed under:  Football • World Cup
FIFA's folly?: What's riding on the Qatar question ...
Sepp Blatter has many factors to balance at the FIFA Executive Committee meeting
October 2nd, 2013
02:50 PM ET

FIFA's folly?: What's riding on the Qatar question ...

As events go, committee meetings usually engender the same level of excitement as that felt by Willy Wonka on hearing his dentist appointment has been brought forward.

“A committee is a thing which takes a week to do what one good man can do in an hour,” was the assessment of American writer Elbert Hubbard. And if the judgement of Mr Hubbard is to be valued nearly one hundred years after his unfortunate death at the hands of a German U-Boat then it’s probably fair to assume such a gathering of bureaucrats won’t make for a great spectator occasion either.

However, even if you’re a sport hack more used to the drama-drenched fare of World Cup football, the deliberations of soccer’s biggest suits at the 28th executive committee (ExCo) on Thursday and Friday just might be different.

That’s because agenda point 25.2 will see a discussion on the future of the controversial 2022 World Cup in Qatar, an important bone of contention for a number of reasons: FULL POST

July 2nd, 2010
12:46 AM ET

Armchair Diaries: 'Frankly my Villa, I don't give a Lahm'

Like father, like son: Matt Booth and pop try to last the World Cup marathon (CNN)
Like father, like son: Matt Booth and pop try to last the World Cup marathon (CNN)

Editor’s note: CNN Hong Kong Operations Supervisor Matthew Booth will attempt to watch every match of the World Cup on television in the wee small hours of the night. Can he do it without being fired/divorced/committed to an asylum? Follow his updates here, as he becomes more and more incoherent from extreme sleep deprivation.

It’s possible I’ve watched a little too much football.

In total, about 5,100 minutes. Which is 85 hours or three-and-a-half full days on my couch. That’s like watching "Gone with the Wind" 23 times. I know some people out there would say, "Frankly my Villa, I don’t give a Lahm," but this has been something of a personal mission for me, and it’s now mercifully approaching the easy bit.

With the quarterfinals played over the coming weekend, then only one match a day for the semifinals, it almost feels like stopping a few meters from the finish line, having a pint and a bit of a lie-down. With a mournfully small amount of sleep during the epic ultramarathon of the first three weeks, we have now entered the leisurely egg-and-spoon race of the final stretch - and that’s just fine with me.

FULL POST